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Former Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak has recently visited three NBA teams

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Mitch Kupchak, once the long-tenured general manager for the Los Angeles Lakers, may not be done in his career as a front office executive.

He is known for his success at spotting and evaluating talent in the NBA draft (and he was at the 2017 combine doing just that even without a job) as well as his many championship-caliber teams in Los Angeles. Kupchak still brings lots of value to a team despite a messy divorce from the Lakers.

The GM who once landed Pau Gasol from the Grizzlies has recently met with a few professional teams, though it’s unclear if the occasions were just an informal visit.

He may be a candidate for an advisory role, however, for various teams around the league.

Washington Wizards

Ernie Grunfeld, the general manager of the Wizards, is a longtime friend of Kupchak. The two met in 1976 and were also seen together in Las Vegas for NBA Summer League this offseason.

Kupchak played for the Washington Bullets from 1976 until 1981, taking home NBA All-Rookie First-Team honors in 1977 and an NBA title in 1978.

Once the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Player of the Year, Kupchak is originally from the East Coast.

Houston Rockets

During perhaps the most infamous moments in his playing career, Kupchak got in a fight with Hakeem Olajuwon during the 1986 Western Conference Finals.

Olajuwon, a former No. 1 overall pick for Houston, now has a statue outside of the arena for the Rockets. But that didn’t stop Kupchak from meeting up with Houston GM Daryl Morey at a recent practice. Morey and Kupchak have previously worked together on a trade for Jeremy Lin.

Trevor Arizona and Tarik Black are two players on the Rockets who were on the Lakers when Kupchak ran the front office.

Dallas Mavericks

Before he met with either the Wizards or Rockets, Kupchak was spotted at the practice facility for the Mavericks.

Kupchak traded Lamar Odom to Dallas in December 2011 shortly after his attempt to land Chris Paul, which used Odom as a centerpiece, was vetoed by the NBA.

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban once revealed his team nearly agreed to a trade for Kobe Bryant in 2007, which if true, would have been executed by Kupchak.





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RGV Vipers 2017-18 Training Camp Rosters

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The training camp roster for the RGV Vipers, the Houston Rockets G-League affiliate is set and the Rio Grande Valley could see some exciting basketball this season.  The roster does not include players that may come down as assignment players.

Returning from last years team are Chris Walker (Florida) and Julien Lewis (Fresno State).

Demetrius Jackson joins the roster on a two-way contract. Wroten, Devon Bookert, and Rodney Cooper were acquired via the 2017 NBA G League Draft.

Prior to the draft, the RGV Vipers acquired the returning player rights to RJ Hunter in exchange for a 1st round pick in the 2018 NBA G League Draft.

Name

Pos

HT

WT

School

Danuel House

Forward

6’7

215

Texas A&M

Isaiah Hartenstein

Forward

7’0

250

Germany

Demetrius Jackson

Guard

6’1

201

Notre Dame

Craig Victor II

Forward

6’9

235

LSU

Alvin Ellis

Guard

6’4

210

Michigan State

Julien Lewis

Guard

6’4

195

Fresno State

Chris Walker

Forward

6’10

220

Florida

Shane Richards

Guard

6’5

195

Manhattan College

Kevin Hardy

Guard

6’2

181

McNeese State University

Georginho De Paula

Guard

6’6

194

Brazil

Kyle Davis

Guard

6’0

165

Dayton

RJ Hunter

Guard

6’5

185

Georgia State

Tony Wroten

Guard

6’6

205

Washington

Devon Bookert

Guard

6’3

181

Florida State

Rodney Cooper

Guard

6’6

220

Alabama

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Four teams interested in Jameer Nelson

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Rockets should be fine without Chris Paul

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Even though news that Chris Paul could be out for a month is not good for the Houston Rockets, it’s still not the end of the world for them.

Last season, James Harden proved he can be a stellar point guard for the franchise. If he slides back into that role, PJ Tucker could easily step in and join him as the starting shooting guard for the Rockets.

NBA analyst Mike Pina wrote about the value Tucker brings to Houston (via Vice Sports):

“In Houston, he’s good enough to start and close games as a primary wing stopper, and that domino effect makes life easier for Trevor Ariza, Eric Gordon, Harden, Paul, and everybody else. ‘[Houston] finished 10th in the NBA all-time last year on offense, so scoring is not a problem,’ he says.”

The rest of the starting lineup would look the same with Trevor Ariza at small forward as well as Ryan Anderson and Clint Capela in the frontcourt.

Eric Gordon, who won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award last year, will still provide a scoring option off the bench for the Rockets. Luc Mbah A Moute can add valuable minutes as a backup wing behind Ariza if Tucker plays down a position.

It’s not ideal to see Paul injured, but even without his services, it’d be best to not overwork him during the regular season. Houston should still be in a place to compete for a top spot in the Western Conference even without Paul, and he will bring the necessary spark once he returns healthy.





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