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Trail Blazers Reportedly Interested In Lakers' Kupchak For GM Vacancy

Trail Blazers Reportedly Interested In Lakers' Kupchak For GM Vacancy

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Kupchak may be interested in Blazers due to Jim Buss' perceived control of Lakers
The Trail Blazers "have strong interest in interviewing" Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak for their GM vacancy, according to sources cited by Stein & Broussard of ESPN.com. It "remains to be seen, however, whether the Lakers would be willing" to grant the Trail Blazers permission to speak to Kupchak, who has been in the Lakers' front office since '86. Kupchak took over for former GM Jerry West "as the club's lead decision-maker in the basketball department in the summer of 2000 before gradually ceding that status" to Lakers Exec VP/Player Personnel Jim Buss. A source said Thursday that the Trail Blazers have "not yet contacted the Lakers for formal permission." Sources said that Kupchak's latest contract with the Lakers "is a lucrative multiyear deal." However, Jim Buss "is widely perceived to have the deciding vote on basketball matters." That perception has "spawned a growing belief among several of Kupchak's peers" that he would have "some interest in listening to outside proposals" (ESPN.com, 4/19). In Portland, Joe Freeman reports Trail Blazers President Larry Miller "did not deny that the Blazers might have interest" in Kupchak. Miller said, "Maybe. I don't want to get into who's on our list, not on our list" (Portland OREGONIAN, 4/20).