GM Mitch Kupchak: Unlikely Lakers make trade by deadline

Roy Hibbert, whose contract is up after this season, would be a logical trade piece for the Lakers. Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Don't count on the Los Angeles Lakers entering Thursday's trade-deadline frenzy, according to general manager Mitch Kupchak.

"I think it's unlikely that something will happen between [Wednesday] and [Thursday], but [it's] possible," Kupchak said at the team's practice facility on Wednesday.

Though teams have contacted the Lakers about their young core of D'Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr., Los Angeles isn't looking to give up any of its young assets this early in its rebuilding and evaluation process, Kupchak said.

The Lakers have looked into possibly trading some of their veterans, however, as a few -- including Roy Hibbert and Brandon Bass -- are on expiring contracts that could appeal to playoff teams looking to take a flyer, while also potentially providing the Lakers with assets that they can in turn use in the future.

"There is an awful lot of interest in our young players, and I don't think it's likely that we'll do anything there," Kupchak said. "A lot of the other players are on one-year deals, expiring contracts, which strategically could affect the offseason in terms of cap room and stuff like that.

"There's a lot of conversation, but I think it's unlikely that anything significant will happen."

Kupchak sarcastically said the only certainty is that the team will not move superstar Kobe Bryant in his 20th and final season.

"Well, I mean, of course Kobe's not going to be traded. That's 100 percent," Kupchak said. "I don't see anything significant happening between today and tomorrow."

The Lakers have taken as many calls as they're making, according to Kupchak, and are still trying to get a read on the market and understand the motives of other franchises as the trade deadline unfolds.

"It's a puzzle," Kupchak said. "You want to figure out what other teams are doing. You want to see if there's an opportunity to get involved, and when a deal is done, you want to make sure you know why the deal is done.

"For example, the deals that were done [Tuesday], if you look at them closely, there's pretty clear reasons why the deals were done. We like to understand those things, and a lot of times you have to talk to other GMs and agents, and kind of put the puzzle together."