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NBA Rumors: Magic Looking to Steal GM Mitch Kupchak from Lakers, Kobe Bryant

| by Alex Groberman

About 16 years ago, the Los Angeles Lakers laid the groundwork for three consecutive championships by luring Shaquille O’Neal away from the Orlando Magic. Now that they’re essentially wiping the deck clean and looking to re-work their entire organization from the top down, the Magic hope to return the favor.

According to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, Orlando has a very real interest in stealing away L.A. GM Mitch Kupchak to fill their own void at the position. As per the report:

The Orlando Magic will begin scheduling interviews for their general manager position Friday and hope to have an executive in place within three weeks, league sources told CBSSports.com.

Among the characteristics said to be most prized by Magic CEO Alex Martins is championship experience. So while there have been no public indications that Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak will be available or wants to leave Los Angeles, Kupchak is expected to be among the first wave of candidates the Magic pursue, one of the sources said.

In addition to reaching out to free-agent candidates, the team's list also will include executives who are under contract with other teams. Martins also is expected to begin contacting teams Friday to ask permission to interview such candidates, and Kupchak -- with multiple championships on his resume -- will be among the obvious targets, sources said.

While this rumor is no doubt titillating and will create some buzz, it’s probably a safe bet that nothing will come of it. Sure, Kupchak has a year left on his contract and is heading into one of the most stressful offseasons he’s probably had to deal with in a long time (though, not the most stressful), but none of that lends any credence to the notion of him wanting to skip town.

Would reconfiguring the Orlando roster really be easier than curing what currently ails L.A.? Of course not. The Lakers job is still better and, even if Kupchak totally botches what’s left of the Kobe Bryant Era and ultimately leaves in a few years, his résumé is already stacked enough for him to get a different gig with another team any time he wants it.

There is no reason for Kupchak to even consider this move, really.

So yeah – no.

(Kudos CBS Sports)

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