Chat with the Kamenetzky Brothers
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, we'll have ESPNLosAngeles.com Los Angeles Lakers bloggers Andy and Brian Kamenetzky stopping by for their weekly chat.
Before joining ESPNLosAngeles.com, Brian and Andy hosted Lakers Blog for the Los Angeles Times from 2005-09. They host the ESPN Kamenetzky Brothers Lakers PodKast and frequently appear on ESPN Radio 710. As contributors for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com, they have written about virtually every sport known to mankind.
Send your questions now and join the Brothers Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. PT/3:30 p.m. ET!
Andy Kamenetzky (3:32 PM)
Hey everyone Let's get 'er started. Just me today.
Why are the Bulls complaining about Boozer now? Before they got him, they knew he wasn't good at defense (has he ever left his feet when playing defense?) and was a streaky shooter. He never looks good against any player that is taller than him.
Andy Kamenetzky (3:35 PM)
Ray: That's why the expression "buyer's remorse" exists and remains so popular. You know what I mean? But I didn't like the signing at the time, and it's for the exact same reasons you listed and one has to figure the Bulls knew the same. But you always think, "maybe it'll be different for me." And also, there's only a handful of players with few to any flaws.
Louie (Los Angeles)
Love your guys show! My question is where has this trust in bynum come from? Is this the emergence of the next dominant Laker big men after two "shaq-tastic" performances??
Andy Kamenetzky (3:37 PM)
Louie: At the risk of reading Kobe's mind, I'd like to think it's him recognizing he can't do everything on his own. Physically and mentally, it's taxing and in the meantime, it's predictable for defenses to key on. The more Bynum and Gasol become perceived as bigger threats down the stretches of games, the deadlier the Lakers become.
Boom Boom Pau Gasol (TheBigEasy)
Will I be traded?
Andy Kamenetzky (3:38 PM)
Boom Boom Pau: I'm guessing you're staying put, but who knows? The trade deadline is a wacky, unpredictable affair, and with the new CBA rules approaching, the world becomes even tougher to predict.
Mac (LA CA!!!)
Looks like its going to be Ramon Session or Gilbert Arenas... I don't know much about Ramon Session, is he a get to the rim PG or spot up shooter perimeter PG?
Andy Kamenetzky (3:40 PM)
Mac: While I have no idea if Sessions is actually going to be a Laker, he's definitely more of a threat attacking the rim than as a jump shooter, particularly the further he gets from the basket. He doesn't help the Lakers' outside shooting weaknesses at all. But at the same time, he would provide more PG strength, so that's a positive.
What would it take for the Bulls to get Gasol?
Andy Kamenetzky (3:43 PM)
Chops 47: Give up Derrick Rose? I say that semi-facetiously, but really what would the Bulls offer that that Lakers can't refuse? Deng would be an upgrade at SF (and he does move the ball reasonably well), but he's pretty expensive and would create a logjam unless the Lakers are moving MWP in return. Boozer is a step down from Gasol. Noah and Bynum couldn't play together (and I doubt the Bulls would give him up for Pau, anyway). And while I think Taj Gibson is a seriously underrated player, he ain't Pau. Unless we're talking a multiple-team deal with more moving pieces, I don't see how the Lakers would get involved with Chicago.
If the Lakers were to make a play for Howard, the only way they do it is if he agrees to sign an extension when he gets here, right?
Andy Kamenetzky (3:45 PM)
Chris: If nothing else, I think they'd at least ask him to pick up his player option for next season, so he's not a true "rental" risk. But given how well Bynum is playing, they'd probably want some assurances. Then again, the Buss family is nothing if not willing to gamble, and it's hard to picture Howard literally walking away from the Lakers.
Santiago (Fontana, CA)
Is Ron Artest getting open looks because they are daring him to shoot or is it because of our offense creating looks? If its the latter wouldnt we want to trade for a shooter? If Artest shot at least 40% from 3, we'd be much much better, right?
Andy Kamenetzky (3:47 PM)
Santiago: A little bit from column A, a little bit from column B. Quality ball movement often creates quality looks for MWP, but he's also getting dared to take a lot of those shots. And until he becomes a truly reliable threat from outside, he'll keep getting clean shots from behind the arc. And yeah, the Lakers would be much better if MWP hit those shots. If everyone hit those treys, really. Not just MWP.
Is it too late to amnesty a player who has only played 9 or 10 games and is essentially no help when he is on the floor?
Andy Kamenetzky (3:51 PM)
Bryan: Yes, it's too late for this season, and it's also not a good use of a rolling amnesty clause. Walton isn't earning his money, but he's also not preventing the Lakers from spending money. They're well over the cap either way. Plus, his contract expires next season, which means he could be valuable in a trade. Plus, MWP's and Blake's deals run longer, and if the Lakers decided they wanted to blow up everything and start from scratch ASAP, Pau's and (gasp!) even Kobe's are WAY more expensive and prohibitive to that process. If they had the provision for this season only, I imagine it would have been used on Luke. But as a stretched option, there are better approaches.
Kobe, Pau P&R and Bynum alley oop dunk from Pau play is devestating! Stu said it last night, milk that play until the other team figures it out. That's what teams have done to the Lakers for years with their P
Andy Kamenetzky (3:52 PM)
Fernando: Milk it until the cow screams for mercy, I say! It's an incredible sequence, and very difficult to defend.
What do you think of Raymond Felton? Does he fit into the Laker system?
Andy Kamenetzky (3:53 PM)
Andrew: I'm not sure how well Felton fits in anywhere this season. I've always liked his game, but he's looking out of shape and maybe even disinterested. Maybe new surroundings spark a second wind, but for the time being he seems like an upgrade in name only at the point.
Scott (Santa Barbara)
Wouldn't the lives of 2 Laker reporters be a lot easier if that Chris Paul deal had gone through? You guys must be going nuts with all this trade speculation, yes?
Andy Kamenetzky (3:55 PM)
Scott: At the very least, our lives would have been more fun. Paul makes the game more enjoyable for everyone from teammates to media to fans. Dude's a pleasure to play with. Maybe the Lakers would still be in the thick of the rumor mill as the deadline approached, but the lead up would have been less tense.
Jeff (San Diego)
AK, what are your thoughts on Sessions for a draft pick?
Andy Kamenetzky (3:57 PM)
Jeff: I'd do it, but I'm also of the opinion the Lakers should prioritize building around the big three (unless a D.Will type player becomes available), which would mean sacrificing a pick and the TPE if necessary. But if the Lakers are either still swinging for the fences (or just trying to avoid taking on salary), they may be disinclined to do so.
AK -- Not that we couldn't use help at SF, but what's the fascination with Beasley? Does the coaching staff see too many young-player mistakes from Ebanks in practice?
Andy Kamenetzky (3:59 PM)
Mark: Beasley may be a headcase and streaky, but he's far more polished and experienced than Ebanks. Even as someone who likes Devin's potential a lot, there's no way to refute that statement. Beasley may be a flake, but he seems like the kind of guy who'd be a flake in his 30's, if you know what I mean.
andy, are you the bald one or the one with a little hair?
Andy Kamenetzky (4:01 PM)
Bobbbbby: A little hair... for the time being, and that sand keeps running to the bottom of the hour glass. #I'veLearnedToAcceptIt
Sessions shoots 43% from 3 pt range...that's not good? That won't improve LA's outside shooting? Tough standards.
Andy Kamenetzky (4:03 PM)
Dan: That's one season for Sessions. On his career, he shoots below 30 percent. He also takes less than 2 treys a game, which leads me to believe the percentages would drop if he took more. Maybe I'm wrong or being too skeptical, but his track record as an outside shooter isn't very well established.
The Lakers money problems aren't with the top guys, it's with all those full mid-level exceptions that they throw around. From Luke, Sasha, MWP, McRoberts, the list goes on and on.
Andy Kamenetzky (4:09 PM)
Josh: Yes and no. You're right about certain role players not working working out. That's frustrating to see and the money does feel burnt. But in terms of building a team, while the top three guys (Kobe, Drew and Pau) may "earn" their paychecks, so to speak, they also take up the overwhelming majority of the allotted space available. Kobe in particular takes up nearly half now. That makes for a very difficult task when it comes to fielding a quality roster. That he busts his ass, produces at an elite level, and is worth every cent is unfortunately largely irrelevant when it comes to the cap, sad as that may be. So it depends on how you define "money issues."
tee [via mobile]
Would the lakers put fisher on the bench if they pick up sessions
Andy Kamenetzky (4:12 PM)
Tee: I'm guessing yes, but if Brown doesn't think Fisher would help the second unit, he may opt to still start Fisher, and just cut his minutes even more, just for the sake of matching skill sets, which is often the the key to creating first and second units. It's not always a question of "your best five players." But given the deficiencies at that spot and the pressure on Kobe (and to a large extent, Pau) to create, I imagine Sessions would start.
Ramon Sessions (Rotting away in Cleveland )
KBros, You guys know I had a 24 assist game in my rookie year, right?
Andy Kamenetzky (4:13 PM)
Ramon Sessions: I already said the Lakers should make a deal with Cleveland to get you. What else do you want from me?
What are your thoughts about trading for Beasley? Keep up the great work guys.
Andy Kamenetzky (4:15 PM)
Ivan (and others asking): If the biggest concern about Beasley is a matter of money, I think the Lakers should go after him. He's an imperfect player, immature and inconsistent. But he's an upgrade at the position and provides another desperately needed scoring threat and athleticism. Plus, the contract commitment isn't particularly long. Unless the concern is a poor fit, I don't see how he'd hurt much.
Eric (Manhattan, KS)
Love the blog. It's a great way to quickly get update date on the happenings in Lakerland. Isn't the best option for LA at this point to try to use the 2 first rounders and trade exception (plus role players) to try to upgrade at PG and SF. This could also result in an upgraded bench and one (maybe two) more runs at a title with the current core. With the way Bynum is playing, I seem to have forgotten who D12 is anyway.
Andy Kamenetzky (4:19 PM)
Eric: Thanks for the nice words. BK and I have been big proponents of the scenario you're presenting. We have no idea what the future will hold for this franchise, but they're staring at a big three with real potential if properly built around. You're already spending a boatload on the payroll as it is. Might as well go all in. Easy to say when it's not my money, but I'd like to think I'd adopt the same mindset if it was.
Alex R. (Long Beach)
Hey guys! My questions are always passed on for people still bemoaning the L.O trade, but here it goes anyways: Have the Lakers dodged a bullet by not winning the Dwight sweepstakes? The dude is horrible, isn't he?
Andy Kamenetzky (4:23 PM)
Alex: Lamar has obviously struggled badly this season, but I have a feeling (albeit an unprovable one) he'd be better if he remained a Laker. The support system of his teammates would be in place, along with familiarity. Eventually, those hurt feelings would likely subside, and his focus would improve. But even if that didn't happen, LO at his Dallas level would still improve the Laker bench, sad as that may to accept.
Andy Kamenetzky (4:28 PM)
Alrighty folks, gotta cut out. But we'll be back next week. And in the meantime, keep your eyes attached to the blog. Between the Hornets game tonight and the deadline approaching, plenty to focus on. Thanks!!!