Lakers News: Latest Surrounding Possible Trades and Phil Jackson Return

Joe Pantorno@@JoePantornoFeatured ColumnistDecember 16, 2016

GREENBURG, NY June 3: The New York Knicks Phil Jackson introduces Jeff Hornacek as their new head coach during a press conference at the Knicks Practice Center on June 3, 2016 in Greenburg, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Steven Freeman/NBAE via Getty Images)
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It's been a trying time for the Los Angeles Lakers and new head coach Luke Walton. After starting the 2016-17 season at 10-10, which was far better than last year's start in which they didn't get their 10th win until February 2, the Lakers have lost eight straight games. 

They've been suffering from the injury bug lately, as both of their starting guards, Nick Young (calf) and D'Angelo Russell (knee), have been sidelined. 

With the Lakers looking to stop the skid and right the ship, here is the latest news from both the court and the front office.


Kupchak Gives the Kids the Keys

Despite their struggles, which could be chalked up to inexperience, the Lakers aren't looking to make any moves at the moment to try and turn things around. General manager Mitch Kupchak told Bleacher Report's Eric Pincus:

We're fun to watch. We're very competitive. We love our coaching staff. We love our young players. We're going to have to be a little patient.

We're going to have to do our job, which is to look at opportunities that may come up in the next month or two. And if there are none—which is fine with me, because I like the young guys on the team—then during the offseason, we'll have to look at opportunities.

With a bevy of young talent that features Russell, guard Jordan Clarkson and forward Julius Randle, the Lakers have at times been one of the more entertaining teams to watch in the Western Conference. 

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A big-name veteran could have been an option to bring on in an attempt to avoid stretches of down play like this, but Kupchak appearing to dispel those thoughts shows that the team's current hopes hinge on these youngsters. 

Knowing that their jobs are relatively safe could give them a world of confidence, which could help calm things down in the locker room. 


Jackson Stresses He's Staying in New York

No matter how many times Phil Jackson says he will remain the New York Knicks president, rumors have swirled that he will head West and join his fiancee, Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss, in Los Angeles.

Both of them once again took the opportunity to deny those rumors, via Marc Berman of the New York Post:

Jackson has an opt-out clause in his deal with the Knicks after the 2016-17 season, but the team is playing the best basketball since his arrival, which could make it more difficult to leave. 

However, he has been at odds with star scorer Carmelo Anthony at times, and a strained relationship could help push him out the door if he had any thoughts of leaving. 

Lakers fans would likely welcome him back with open arms given his past history in Los Angeles. In 11 years as the team's head coach, Jackson won five titles, bringing his total to 11 championships and cementing his place as one of the best in NBA history. 

At least for now, though, it's all about New York.