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 10:30 a.m. PT/1:30 p.m. ET!
Brian Kamenetzky (1:32 PM)
Hey everyone. Ready to get started? We'll be here for a while to answer all of your Lakers/Finals/NBA questions. Fire away!
Is Kobe not commenting showing his disapproval of the hire of Brown? Why is he taking so long to comment about it?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:35 PM)
Hi Ray-Thanks for the question. The short answer is... I have no idea. He might approve, he might not, but you're exactly right- by not saying anything, even a short two line statement about looking forward to learning more about Coach Brown and working to another title, he leaves the impression he doesn't approve. I think he understands that. It's probably nothing, but until he comes out with some sort of comment, it leaves the door open to speculation.
Johnny Pope III (Atlanta)
Whats a major change that we can expect to see in the roster?
Dan (San Diego)
So just to make it easier, let's assume we're operating under current salary rules. Is Arron Afflalo a solid pick up for the MLE? Good defender and outside shooter off the bench.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:36 PM)
Hey Dan.I'd love to see Afflalo in L.A., but there's no way the Nuggets let him jump here. I believe they have the opportunity to make a qualifying offer on him, and getting him out of Denver will be very tough. They're extremely high on him. But it's a good idea.
Andy Kamenetzky (1:36 PM)
Johnny Pope: Save the unforeseen blockbuster, I don't expect any roster change equal to that of the coaching change.
Mohammad Mohsin Wasi (San Jose)
WHat do you think lakers will do in the draft? Also will there be a summer league if theres a lockout?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:38 PM)
Hey Mohammad-Regarding the summer league, there won't be any this year. Obviously that hurts whatever guys the Lakers do decide to draft, because they won't get a chance to get game competition before training camp. Likely, though, none of the four second rounders will be able to make much of an impact, unless the Lakers really find a gem deep in the draft. But considering how soft this group is considered as a class, that's unlikely. The top prospects will be gone by then.I suppose the picks in the 40s could have a chance to be useful this season, or stick on the team, but I suspect the Lakers will trade one or two of them, or at the very least draft some guys they can stash in Europe for a couple years.
im not too sure whats going on but Kobe hasn't commented on the Shaq retirement either? Does that mean no comments mean disapproval?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:38 PM)
Interesting point, but it's an apples and oranges type comparison.
I feel like the only stars the Lakers shouldn't consider trading are Kobe, Gasol and Odom. If that was the case do you think there is enough value in the players not named to go get some real talent?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:39 PM)
James Ellison: There's definitely value for Bynum. He's their best trade chip, hands down. Even more than Odom, whose contract may be a little friendlier, but his age and upside aren't as good. From there, however, the returns would be slim. A guy like Steve Blake, for example, could be a nice piece to a package. But straight up, Steve Blake basically gets you Steve Blake, if that makes sense.
Who's a riskier pick-up Greg Oden or Yao ming? Any chance the Lakers look at DeAndre Jordan? He is young and could possible not cost too much...Thoughts?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:42 PM)
Drew: In my decidedly uninformed medical opinion (I got a D in AP bio my senior year of high school), I'd say Greg Oden. He's younger than Yao, and more importantly, doesn't appear to be weighing retirement as a result of his injuries. I hope that's not the case, by the way. I really like Yao as a player and I think he's meant a lot to the league. As for looking at DeAndre Jordan, I'm sure the Lakers would be interested, but I doubt the Clips would let him slip away. Particularly across the hall.
James (Carson, CA)
KBros, do you think Mitch and or, Jim Buss are pursuing Monta Ellis, and would they trade big for small, if it means trading Gasol or Andrew for Ellis? Considering Mike Brown's layup-drill, force- the-offense style would any trade big for small for a legitimate starting PG be feasible? Wouldn't it?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:43 PM)
Hey James-I think the Lakers might trade big for small if the right PG came along, but I don't think Monta is that guy. He's really a small two, and a ball dominating one at that, and I don't see the fit with Kobe. That said, the dude can flat out score, which is something the Lakers need. On the other hand, moving (hypothetically) Bynum for Monta leaves a massive hole in the middle and fills it with a guy on the perimeter who isn't known as a good defender. I'd call this one highly unlikely.
What would it take for to Lakers to get James Harden? Is it possible?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:43 PM)
Drew (So Cal): Sam Presti losing his mind. Haha
never (Los Angeles)
It seems to get that head coaching gig, all you have to do is nail down that interview.
Andy Kamenetzky (1:45 PM)
Never: The interview and impressions made certainly do matter, without question. Between Mike Brown nailing the Laker gig outta left field and Mark Jackson getting the Warriors job with no experience whatsoever, it does appear a strong presence can go a long way.
brian frederick (bridgewater, ma)
Do you think Mike Brown can convince Kobe Bryant to play defense more consistently?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:46 PM)
Hey Brian-He'll certainly try. To be fair, Kobe isn't in position anymore to be a lockdown guy on every trip down the floor. It's too much energy for him over the course of an entire season. But the Lakers can still put him on secondary players and expect him to fill his role in that regard, to help keep the integrity of the defense generally. Kobe is still a good defender when he wants to be, but I suspect Brown will work to get him to play a little less "center field" than Bryant has in the past couple seasons. Which is good, because CF isn't a position on a basketball court.
Dan (San Diego)
What's the latest on Mike Malone, still leaning towards L.A.? Or is the money in Golden State swaying him?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:48 PM)
Hey Dan. He's already joined Mark Jackson's staff in Golden State. I think it was cash and an elevated position in the staff. Long term, if he can turn that team around defensively, it'll be far better for his career than serving again under Brown in LA.
What are your thoughts on Gasol playing in the Euro league? If Gasol's poor play in the Playoffs was attributed to fatigue, then why wouldn't he just use this time to rest up and train for next season?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:49 PM)
Dustin: I actually have mixed feelings on Gasol in the Euro League. On one hand, he clearly needs the rest. The guy has played basically non-stop since 2008 and between that grind and the time spent picking up for an injured Andrew Bynum, the toll caught up to him. On the other hand, after such a miserable playoffs, I wouldn't blame Pau if he wanted to get back on the horse again, so to speak. Rediscover his rhythm and confidence before the season starts up. Given my druthers, I'd probably take him resting, but I do understand the other side of the coin.
Can we finally question LeBron from the shoulders up?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:50 PM)
Jules-I think that's the only place to question him, because from the neck down, he's a beast. What's amazing to me is how he seemed to use Game 4 as a way to show everyone how small minded some of the debate on him was following Game 3. That night, he didn't score down the stretch, but made some great plays, locked down defensively, and so on. Last night, he just drifted. Wieeeeeeerd.
The Popcorn Machine (Movie Theatres Everywhere)
In order, what positions do you think are most important for the Lakers to chase this off-season? My list would probably be 1). Back up Big (ideally a C), 2). SG, 3). PG 4). PF
Andy Kamenetzky (1:52 PM)
Popcorn machine: I would probably rank PG first, since there's always the chance bolstering that position can play a role in improving the outside shooting, which I think is THE biggest issue in need of addressing. From there, backup C (Theo Ratliff's absence was a very underrated problem), then SG, then PF.
Any word on Brian Shaw? I feel bad that he wasn't named the coach, but I understand the change. Why are people not getting his reaction yet?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:53 PM)
Hey JQ-From what I read, Shaw isn't a name being thrown around with the Detroit job, and I haven't heard much about Toronto. B-Shaw did give some time to Bill Plaschke with the Times, and didn't say much other than he was disappointed, obviously. But you won't hear much from him right now because he's trying to make sure he's working somewhere next year. He's continuing to be gracious to the Lakers because looking like the angry snubbed coach does him no good in terms of securing future employment. Like a lot of people, I'm hoping Shaw lands somewhere constructive for him, whether as a head coach or a high ranking assistant on a team where he can do good work.
What are your thoughts on the Lakers getting a solid player in the draft? Would trading some players and picks to go higher in the draft something that would benefit the Lakers?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:56 PM)
Joshua: Outside of Bynum, the Lakers don't really have any players they can trade that would land a high draft pick in exchange. And I doubt they'll trade Drew for an unestablished player. But on the plus side, the Lakers have a pretty good recent track record drafting in the second round, so maybe they can find at least one sleeper in four possible tries.
Hey guys, What will Ettore Messina bring to the table? Can being a good European coach translate to success in the NBA?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:56 PM)
Hi Randy-I think it's a great hire. Teams have had their eye on him for a long time, with organizations like Toronto even having him in the mix to be a head coach. He's incredibly well regarded in Europe, where the quality of basketball has increased exponentially. Talent is talent, and I think the Lakers have brought in a guy with plenty of it. He'll be a great addition to the staff.
Just wanted to get your thoughts on this trade: Bynum, Lamar, and picks to orlando for dwight and brandon bass and/or jj redick. Orlando gets Bynum and a legit starting four while the Lakers get a serviceable backup big and a knockdown shooter with Dwight
Brian Kamenetzky (1:59 PM)
Brian-It's definitely worth considering to get Howard back, but remember, getting Howard to LA has almost nothing to do with the Lakers, and everything to do with Howard and Orlando. Short of him walking into Otis Smith's office and saying "Trade me to the Lakers," they're not going to do anything on that front until they absolutely, positively have to. And that won't happen this offseason.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:59 PM)
BTW, if you missed the Q and A on Messina, click here: http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/lakers/post/_/id/20012/q-a-about-ettore-messina-with-os-davis-ballineurope-com
So let's assume that the Lakers are willing to trade moveable parts in order for another 3 season championship run...which trade looks good on paper? Bynum for CP3, Bynum for Amare, Bynum for Howard, also what about Odom & Walton for Josh Smith.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:00 PM)
Clifford: I'd trade Bynum for Howard in a heartbeat, and also CP3, albeit with a little more trepidation, given Paul's recent injury history. I wouldn't trade Bynum for Amare, who is a very good player but a defensive downgrade from Drew and his knees are problematic. And I can't imagine the Hawks would pull the trigger on Josh Smith for Odom-Walton, so it's a moot point.
vietnameseJames (Long beach)
Should the lakers go after arron brooks or steve Nash?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:01 PM)
Brooks is almost certainly not going to be available, since the Suns control his rights, and Nash is an interesting name, but I really don't know what it would take to get him here. The Suns certainly won't give him away. But it would be a ton of fun to watch him play with Kobe, that's for sure.
Talking draft here and most are saying it's a shallow class but who would be a good pick for the Lakers with their 41st & 46th pick? I thought Charles Jenkins would be there but saw that he is in the 1st rd in some mocks....any other sleepers that might be there for the Lakers?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:02 PM)
Tamao-Honestly, I'm no expert in drafts or CBB generally. Once the draft rolls around, we'll get people smarter than us to answer some of those questions.
How can Mike Brown get more out of Ron Artest's Game? I know Lakers fans are quick to start the 'Trade Luke Walton' chatter, what is the likelihood of him contributing next season, and not by way of getting donuts for film sessions?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:03 PM)
Drew (So Cal): For what it's worth, Mike Brown was an assistant with the Pacers the year Ron won DPOY, so they have an established relationship. That never hurts, even if it guarantees nothing. As for Walton, I'm guessing he remains out of the rotation, unless he has an absolutely killer camp, or Shannon leaves, Barnes becomes Kobe's SG backup, and Walton beats out Ebanks (assuming he's still around). Otherwise, it's hard to figure out where the minutes would come from. Plus, to be honest, Walton just hasn't earned the increased PT.
The Purple One (Uptown)
K BrosCan you explain why Brian Shaw who has been the top assistant to Phil Jackson the last 3 years is not being seriously considered for head coaching jobs?Is Brian Shaw grossly underrated around the league or is Phil Jackson, the triangle and Zen mystique grossly overrated?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:07 PM)
Purple One-Honestly, I have no idea. There are a lot of potential reasons. Maybe he's not a great interview, which is obviously important. Perhaps people are worried he'll bring more triangle offense than they want to run. The lack of head coaching experience might scare some people (certainly it was the case with the Lakers). But I don't think it's because people believe Jackson is overrated. Look at a guy like Dwyane Casey, who has been a high end assistant for years (with a short head coaching stint in there), and seems like the finalist for every job in the universe, but still hasn't been given the go. So many factors can influence the process. Keep in mind, too, Shaw has been somewhat choosy in his courting of jobs. First time coaches have to be careful what gigs they take, because some of them are career killers. Eventually, though, I believe Shaw will get an opportunity, and that he'll do well.
Why won't we buy out Luke Walton?????
Brian Kamenetzky (2:08 PM)
Someone-Other than opening the roster spot, it wouldn't do any good. He still counts against the cap. Plus, Walton would have to want to be bought out, which he doesn't. The guy wants to try and earn his money.
Never (Los Angeles)
Kind off track but did you know the year 2004 never existed? If USC didn't win that year then the Pistons must have not either.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:08 PM)
Might be worth putting in a call to the league, no?
Please tell me our PGs aren't going to be Fisher and Blake again? Any way we can at least become average at the PG spot? I love Fish but he has become a liabiltiy and like I repeatedly said during the year Blake just doesn't have the chops or confidence needed to be a Laker.
who do you think wins game 5 tomorrow
Andy Kamenetzky (2:10 PM)
Andrew: I think Dallas wins Game 5. I figured they'd go back to Miami up 3-2, so events are thus far playing out as I figured.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:10 PM)
I think they'll bring in another body, but honestly upgrading at PG will be tougher than anything they do this summer. The FA rolls are, to say the least, barren at that position, which means they'd have to trade something to get a quality option. Trading means giving up something, and the only stuff the Lakers have of value is stuff they might need next year. Teams won't give up quality guards for L.A.'s flotsam and jetsam.
How about Bynum for Howard and Gasol for D-Will. That would put Howard at the 5 Odom at the 4 Artest at the 3 Kobe at the 2 and Williams at point....Howard and Williams could force the deal
Brian Kamenetzky (2:11 PM)
LP-The last part is the tricky part. I'd make those swaps, but the chances of them actually happening are small. And it certainly won't happen this summer.
Instead of shunning down every trade idea an enthusiastic fan makes because it includes D. howard or chris paul, what do YOU THINK the lakers will do if anything?
Tamao (LA, CA)
What are your thoughts on Caracter and Ebanks? What will the coaching change say for their impact on the team next year? Do you see them getting some time on the court?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:15 PM)
Tamao: I've always gotten the impression the staff likes the potential for both Ebanks and Caracter, but are probably a little higher on Ebanks. There are still some maturity issues w/Derrick, between that arrest in New Orleans, failing to maintain the proper weight and his admitted inability to remain ready when he got some chances earlier in the season. Granted, the guy is young, but at the same time, professionalism matters. In the meantime, I think Ebanks has a better chance of definitely making the team next season and could get some consideration at SG as well as SF. Phil mentioned a few times during the season how they see Ebanks as a potential two-guard and he was told during his exit interview to concentrate on guard skills. If Shannon doesn't come back, that ups the odds even more.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:16 PM)
James-I don't know, but my belief is the team will look largely like the one that took the floor last year. They'll sign a couple backups to minimum contracts, filling holes at center and perhaps looking to find a shooter, and (assuming the MLE still exists after the new CBA) they'll probably use the MLE to pick one hole to fill. I suspect that guy will be a perimeter shooter, because to me, that's the most pressing need they can actually address with the guys who are available. So much depends on the new CBA, for sure, but whatever the new arrangement, the Lakers will not be in great position to add significant pieces without breaking up the core of the team, something I don't think they'll do. If they do move someone for a PG, I'd look at Odom. He has the most value of easily tradeable assets, could get a decent return, and wouldn't cost them a guy like Bynum, who if they were to try and go down the Howard road later in the year, would be the chip required to make it happen.
Mike (Ladera Ranch)
Interested to get your take on Kobe's continued surly attitude. Everyone has brushed it aside over the years because he is such a great player but I am getting kind of sick of the dude. Would it have killed him to say a quick word of encouragement about Brown?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:18 PM)
Surly may be a little strong, Mike. I think Kobe has actually softened up and become more accessible over recent years. But yes, I think two lines from Kamp Kobe would have done an incredible amount of good in ending the speculation on his feelings about Brown. Even if he didn't mean it, something like "I'm looking forward to learning more about coach Brown, and working with him to bring L.A. another title." would have helped.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:19 PM)
Hi Sean-Vitti is the only guy who is guaranteed to return next year, and is under contract. The rest of the support staff, from assistant coaches to trainers to guys like Ronnie Lester, their contracts all expire on June 30. How many of them return next season is very much up in the air.
Thoughts on Monta Ellis for Iguodala?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:19 PM)
G: I think it's a trade that makes sense for both sides. Ellis is the more dynamic player between the two, but Iggy ain't chopped liver and can strengthen the Warriors' D, which is a must for them to move forward. It's also easy to wonder if Curry and Ellis, while often prolific, are too small a starting backcourt in the long run. In the meantime, Ellis would add give them a true go-to scorer, which they could really use as a team on the rise.
Mike (Burbank, CA)
Do you think there is any chance that Brian Shaw stays with the Lakers as an assistant for 1 more year if he doesn't feel anything is suitable?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:21 PM)
Mike-It seems unlikely at this point Shaw would return, even if he doesn't get any of the head coaching gigs that are currently open.
Michael Jordan (Hanes Headquarters)
I scored 38 points and shot 50% from the field and I had a 103 degree fever. My body temperature just rises when I hear people trying to compare what Dirk did last night.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:22 PM)
MJ-Don't worry, your flu game is safe. I don't think anyone thinks Dirk's game last night was better, just impressive.
corkyj (valley glen)
how about trading gasol for chris paul, any chance of that happening?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:22 PM)
CorkyJ: If I'm the Hornets, Chris Paul is only going to the Lakers if Bynum is coming to New Orleans. Period. Gasol is a very good player, but moving Paul means rebuilding and Pau is too old for the centerpiece for that kind of project.
Nick D (LA)
What is your opinion on Pau deciding to play for Spain in the Euro tournament? I feel like he could use the time to rest and get acquainted with Mike Brown's offensive and defensive system.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:25 PM)
Nick-I actually don't mind it at all. First of all, he's under an enormous amount of pressure to play, something he resisted last year, rightly. This season, though, the Lakers will have a lot more time off thanks to the early exit. Add in the likelihood of a lockout and the amount of rest gets even longer. He'll be done in plenty of time to recover on the odd chance the season starts on time, and can use a positive basketball experience to help turn the page on this postseason. As for getting acquainted with the system, if there's a lockout on the 30th, there's nothing he can do. He can't go to the facility, can't work with the coaches or contact them, etc. Might as well get some good competition in.
Tamao (LA, CA)
Thanks for all the insight!With all this talk about upgrading the PG spot what about Trey Johnson? What's your take on him, does he have a chance to be a contributor next year? If so what does he bring to the floor?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:26 PM)
Hey Tamao-Honestly, it's impossible to say. Johnson did get a brief look with Mike Brown's Cavs a couple years ago, I believe but wasn't around all that long. With the Lakers, he showed a willingness to work hard and be prepared and played pretty well in Game 1 against New Orleans. He's been a great scorer at the D-League level, but whether or not that means he can be a regular contributor at the NBA level is a WIDE open question. I suspect he'll be invited to camp, though, and get a real opportunity to make the roster.
how much of a chance does ebanks have at cracking the rotation? If shannon leaves, could he be a viable option at shooting guard?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:27 PM)
Brian: I talked about that a little earlier, but yes, I think Ebanks definitely has a chance for minutes behind Kobe if Shannon leaves. Phil mentioned a few times during the season how they see him as a potential 2-guard, and Devin was told during his exit interview to work on his guard skills. That struck me in the moment as the acknowledgment, if nothing else, that he could be in that mix. He's also among the most athletic guys on the team and the Lakers could use a boost. Having said that, it would be a major step for Ebanks, who didn't play much next season. He'd need to really be ready.
I thought Ebanks played really well with Steve Blake this year. He had a few lobs and transition buckets with the second unit. Would love to see increased PT for him! Thoughts on Ebanks for next season?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:27 PM)
Jay: See below. haha
LakerGreg (Denver, CO)
Aaron Gray for NO made a tad less than a mil last season. What I have read says he's a FA this offseason (the link you provided to the list in a blog you wrote). What are your thoughts on him as a backup to Drew, especially for that kind of money?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:28 PM)
Hey Greg-I think he's exactly the type of name the Lakers can get. Someone who won't set the world on fire, but is a credible player who can play 15 minutes a night should the need arise without killing you. There are a lot of those dudes around, more than the market can support, I think. So of all the needs they need to fill, I believe that hole at center will be the easiest.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:29 PM)
Alrighty, everyone. Thanks for swinging by. We really appreciate it. Be on the lookout for this week's Lakers Late Night show sometime Friday afternoon and in the meantime, we're continuing our series on offseason needs, plus "The L.A. in my Game," now with Clippers F Craig Smith.