"I've been very pleased with D'Angelo. I think he's going to be a really, really, really good player," Kupchak said. "Going forward, we're going to have to surround him with players that know how to play because he loves to make plays, whether it's a pick-and-roll, drop pass, or a look-away pass.
"I think he will score in this league. Defensively, he's got a long way to go. I think he wants it. He's in the gym before practice and he goes back at night. It's tough out there for a 19-year-old. He's just going to have to remain confident and remember that his work ethic is going to make the difference."
"One thing about Julius that's impressive is he just plays so hard," Kupchak said. "A lot of time when you play hard, you make mistakes but you also make up for mistakes just by playing hard. I think if you talked to general managers and coaches around the league, would you rather have a rookie play too hard and that may lead to mistakes or one that doesn't play hard? And I think the answer is always the same: You'll always take a guy that plays hard and competes.
"He doesn't know where he fits in yet on the offensive side and we don't know ultimately how his impact on this league is going to be felt. But his competitive nature is unmatched."
"You always wonder, is he still trying to find his rhythm and his timing, or is this what we're going to see for the rest of the year?" Kupchak said. "I think he goes back and forth on it. Some days I think he feels great and his legs feel great and he feels like his rhythm is back, and then the next day it's not a great game.
"It's not a game that he plays by himself either. There are teammates that have to put him in positions and a coaching staff that has to put him in position where maybe he'd be more successful. It's hard to say after 20 games if this is it. Clearly, he's not the Kobe of old."
View on rest of the season
"I think our fans understand, this being Kobe's last year, after 19 just ridiculous years, that we're in a year that there's going to be a salute and a goodbye, which in itself is exciting. But we've got to give them more than that," Kupchak said. "Quite frankly, I have to get more answers on our players going forward on this [young] corps. I want to see them develop and not only just get through the season averaging X-number of minutes and then next year we just figure it out. We need answers this year."