Answers from Mitch Kupchak and Mike Brown

The Lakers’ general manager and their new coach conducted their first mass visit with reporters since the lockout began July 1. Kupchak was a little vague about what his plans are to bolster the roster, but that was to be expected since that’s his normal method of operation. He acknowledged the backcourt’s lack of depth and youth was a concern as was the need for backup big men if Joe Smith and Theo Ratliff move on as expected. Kupchak said because the Lakers’ payroll is already so high, it was unlikely he could do much beyond signing a free agent to the new mini mid-level exception of about $9 million over three seasons. He wouldn’t touch a question whether the Lakers would entertain a trade for Orlando’s Dwight Howard. “That would be tampering,” he said.

Brown said because training camp is going to be shorter, he might have to present his offensive and defensive schemes in measured doses and there might not be enough time to fit it all in before the regular-season opener Christmas Day against the Chicago Bulls. The team will play exhibitions on Dec. 19 and 21 against the Clippers at Staples Center. The rest of the regular-season schedule will be announced Tuesday. Brown was a little vague on how he might best use Kobe Bryant his season, and he declined to commit to naming Derek Fisher as his starting point guard.

How’s that for burying the lead?

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