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. How's everyone doing? I'll be here for a while to answer all of your pre-draft questions... Let's get going!
Is it just me or is Jim Buss trying to do what Jerry West did in the late 90's to trade the best big man on the team to get a potential all star? However I think there is a big difference Pau Gasol is still one of the best PF's in the league and should not be traded where as Vladi Divac was on the decline. What are your thoughts on the trade rumor of Pau Gasol for Kevin Love and the #2 pick?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:34 PM)
Adam-My biggest thought is that it's not going to happen. I think most of the conversation on this deal (and most of them involving the #2 pick) are coming from Minnesota. I don't doubt the Lakers made inquiries, because that's what teams do. You're always kicking the tires with other teams to see what's available. But I don't believe the Lakers are actively trying to shop Gasol, or have a compelling desire to move him.I might do Love/
Just wanted to jump in about the broadcasting crew announcement yesterday. Sad to see Spero go, I was looking forward to seeing him on the TV broadcasts, I loved his radio calls. I also love Ireland's work on the radio, but I've never heard him call games (I believe he used to do Clipper play-by-play a long time ago?). How is his play-by-play? Will I miss the "basketball maestro" calls of Spero?!
Brian Kamenetzky (1:36 PM)
Like you, Nate, I'll miss Spero, too. I think he's as good as anyone working in the business. But if indeed he's going to New York, you have to be happy for him. For a Jersey guy who broke in on NYC sports radio, to get the TV gig with the Knicks seems like one of those dream jobs.As for Ireland, he's got real play by play experience, and I think will do a good job.
Devin Ugland (Huntington Beach)
I'm hearing a lot about Mike Brown bringing a double post offense to the Lakers, a la Duncan/Robinson in SA, how effective can that be with Pau and Drew?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:38 PM)
Hi Devin-Very. Both of those guys are very smart players capable of moving well without the ball. Gasol in particular has excellent vision and passing ability, and with Bynum's very soft hands they could do a lot of damage. The biggest issue is making a real, genuine commitment to get the ball down there, something the Lakers often forget to do. I'm less worried about the way they're deployed, and more concerned the Lakers will fall back on bad habits and ignore the post.
Jerry (Los Angeles)
If John Kuester is selected to be an Asst Coach, is he going to be a good fit? Heard he did not get along with the Piston's players; walking out of practice as a boycott???
Brian Kamenetzky (1:39 PM)
I wouldn't worry about it, Jerry. In Detroit, he was the final authority. Here, he's another assistant. Guys need to respect him, which they will if he does a good job in his capacity as the offensive coordinator, but ultimately it's Mike Brown that needs to keep people in order.
With all the trade rumors going around, which trades are the most likely to actually happen?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:41 PM)
Well, the Tony Parker rumors seem to have some legs. I heard one interesting tip off the record that may or may not mean anything, but those talks are percolating. Many people think the Kings would like to get a vet as opposed to another lottery pick. So that's one to watch for, I think. Houston seems interested in moving up, perhaps, and have two picks in the first round to help make it happen. What's interesting is how in this draft, since it's not considered deep, I wonder how many teams will sacrifice real pieces to get good position.
exhelodrvr (San Diego)
Any guesses on what the CBA will look like?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:42 PM)
Eight by eleven, Arial.
Why would the Lakers NOT want to go after Dwight Howard?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:43 PM)
Who's to say they don't? I'm sure they're interested, but interest and actually getting him are two very different things. Orlando, I believe, is a long way from trading Howard. Won't happen this summer.
Nick R (Chicago, Il)
K Bros, thanks for the continued great coverage this offseason! I know everyone's been speculating on offseason trades lately, but in your opinion who's the most likely Laker to get traded? Would you say its Barnes, Artest, Bynum? Or some other player/combination?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:45 PM)
Thanks, Nick. Nice of you to say, and very much appreciated. The Lakers would happily move Artest, I believe, but his appeal is not all that high. Bynum has a ton of appeal, but rightly there are only a few players the Lakers would and should consider trading him for, and I don't see it happening. The easiest guy to move is really Lamar Odom, who has great skill and versatility, plus a very friendly contract. But in the end, I don't think the Lakers make a significant trade tomorrow.
I been hearing a trade Monta Ellis for Lamar Odom, Steve Blake, next years draft pick. I was wondering if this is true?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:46 PM)
Reports out of Golden State say they're not moving Monta. Could just be a smokescreen, but that's what I'm reading.
Trevor (El Segundo)
When do you think the Lakers need to start making real moves to acquire a marquee player to replace Kobe down the road?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:48 PM)
Hey Trevor-I think that's a great question, and very difficult to answer. The short version is they should always be looking to improve the team now, and if there's a player who can do that, the Lakers should pull the trigger, whether it costs them Bynum, Gasol, or Kobe (yeah, I'd do it!). But it's very hard to acquire those guys, and in the meantime the Lakers have a very narrow window to work with where Kobe is still a highly elite player. They really can't be looking too far down the road.
Ashok Kumar (Gilbert, AZ)
Hey guys,Do see the Lakers making a major or minor trades before the draft tomorrow? Also, it feels like people want Dwight Howard just because he's Dwight Howard... and the position, at the moment, the Lakers need is PG.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:49 PM)
Hi Ashok-I think people want Howard because he's awesome, and is really the one center in the league who is clearly an upgrade over Bynum. Particularly when durability is factored in, because Howard appears to be some sort of cyborg. But you're right, to trade Bynum for Howard, just as a hypothetical, is strengthening an existing strength. Doesn't make it a bad idea, but it also doesn't solve the PG problem, either. That said, with Howard on the back line, LA's PGs look better instantly.
bob (los angeles)
percent lakers don't make a move at point guard and stay with fisher and blake
Brian Kamenetzky (1:50 PM)
On draft day, very high. (Unless you count drafting a 2nd round PG, but I don't.) I do think they'll come into camp with another option, though, and try to upgrade if possible.
Miguel (Bilbao (Spain))
In the last podcast David Thorpe more or less said that they are (the team, the players) tired of playing together and probably they are having chemestry issues. If that is true how you can solve this if the core is the same next year? you think that could be a problem in the near future?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:52 PM)
Hi Miguel.Thanks for listening to the show!I think losing the way they did is the best thing that can happen to the team chemistry. It lengthened the offseason, gave them something to recharge themselves mentally and physically, and will go a long way towards providing a unifying force and motivation going into next year. I don't think the problem is they hate each other or can't work together. I just think there was some burnout. The biggest potential obstacle is Bynum trying to force his way into a bigger role, and Kobe perhaps holding on to something more than he can handle on a day in day out basis, particularly late in games.
Francis Hutt (West Dundee IL)
As the draft day is finally here, don't the Lakers have to consider trading pau gasol to minnesota? If they can get Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio, it gives them a more physical front court, and gives a much needed lift at the point gaurd position! This trade also allows them to take a big contract off the books, so they can still persue Dwight Howard!
Brian Kamenetzky (1:53 PM)
Even Minnesota wouldn't give up that much stuff for Pau.
are the lakers going to tried to get dwight howard
Brian Kamenetzky (1:53 PM)
Not anytime soon, that's for sure.
raymond felton (on a train to la)
will i get there i am the missing link for the lakers agreed
Brian Kamenetzky (1:54 PM)
I think you'd be a great pickup, Raymond, but the big question is what it would take to get you here. If it costs Lamar Odom, for example, I'm not sure the Lakers come out ahead. LO does so much in terms of providing flexibility for the entire rotation. It would take two players for sure to replace him.
Dorian (Rancho Cucamonga)
So rumors are going around saying tht the Lakers are trying to make a move into the 1st round, do you actually see that happening? Then 2nd do you believe the Lakers are going to make a blockbuster deal sometime today or 2morrow during the draft?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:55 PM)
No on both counts, Dorian.
Brady (Temecula, CA)
Am I the only one that thinks trading Pau for unproven talent is crazy? Derrick Williams is a nice player, but there is no knowing of how he'll turn out to be. Love is a good player but he's nowhere near the talent Pau is.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:56 PM)
Brady, that's basically the undercurrent in the post I put up yesterday. Gasol was bad in the playoffs, for sure, but is overall still one of the game's great big men.
Any chance the Lakers will get a player with Ebanks' potential in the 2nd round this year>
Brian Kamenetzky (1:58 PM)
Hey Doug-Sure, it's possible. The one good thing about a weak draft, and David Thorpe talked about this in our podcast last week, is there tends not to be a big difference between guys from about 15 into the 40s. Obviously the guys taken later are lacking in something or other, but things even out pretty fast. There's always a chance the guys who are thought of as first rounders don't pan out, and guys taken later are undervalued going in. I suspect they'll draft a couple players, and then pick a couple guys to stash overseas.
What are your thoughts on the owners wanting shorter contracts? I think this will help teams out that sign that long term year to a player that has a career year then are stuck with his bad contract for years...ala Walton.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:00 PM)
Fernando-I think he's a great example. Basically, though, it's a safeguard for owners to protect themselves, both from doing something stupid (meaning protecting themselves from themselves), but also knowingly having to overpay a guy in years to sign him in the first place. Sometimes teams are forced to take on years they know will end up being dead money because the alternative is losing a player entirely. Sometimes, it's a trade off that has to be made.
Who do you peg as the starting PG when the season starts? Would D. Fish willingly accept being relegated to bench duties?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:02 PM)
Hey Anderson-I suspect Fish will start, but honestly starting isn't really a big deal to me. It's largely ceremonial. I look more at the minutes Fisher plays. And in that regard, if Mike Brown cuts them substantially for whatever reason, I think Fisher will push back. Not in an unprofessional way, but he's a very prideful guy, very competitive, and wants to play. I don't suspect he'll become a real problem, but it's very difficult to predict how players, even those as classy as Fish, will respond when PT starts going away. Especially late game minutes.
Zain Saleh (Lincoln, Ne)
What do you think of picking up Michael Redd? Fills our outside shooting problems. Him on one knee is better than any of our 3 point shooters.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:03 PM)
Zain-I actually think Redd, if he's healthy, will turn out to be more expensive than what the Lakers can give, but can't say for sure. I'm terrible at estimating what guys will get on the open market, and with the new CBA coming, it's even harder. But you're right- Redd's skill set would be a great fit.
What exactly is a "hard cap"?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:04 PM)
Hey Fernando. A "Hard Cap" is where teams wouldn't be able to spend more on payroll than a fixed number set by the league. Right now, the NBA has a "soft cap," where teams can exceed with some sort of penalty (luxury tax) imposed at a certain level.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:05 PM)
There are other rules in there, but that's the basic gist.
What are the chances the Lakers don't trade their draft picks and draft 4 players in the 2nd round?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:06 PM)
Maybe fifty/fifty? They may not make any trades, but I'd be very surprised if they drafted four guys and brought all four to camp. Ideally, they'll have one or two from this year's draft with them when it finally rolls around, hopefully with a chance to make the team. Then they can keep the rights of another player or two by sending them to Europe, if they'll go.
Raj (Los Angeles)
Do you think Derick Caracter will still be on the team this year?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:06 PM)
No. Ebanks, yes, but the tide seems to be turning against D.C.
Steve Kerr (Chicago)
What good is having a good point guard if the only outside knockdown shooter you have is Kobe Bryant? Don't the Lakers also need some deadly shooters?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:07 PM)
Yes, yes, yes, a million times yes. But I'd disagree with you that Kobe is a knockdown outside shooter. He's very effective in mid-range, but from beyond the arc he's actually very, very ordinary, at best.
LakerGreg (Denver, CO)
When I heard that the Lakers were trying to buy a 1st round pick, I thought that either was a bad rumor or a real acknowledgement on the team's part that they screwed up practically giving away their #1 in the Sasha to NJ trade. If it actually did happen, what's your take?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:10 PM)
Honestly, LakerGreg, it doesn't make much of a difference. The guy they'd be drafting in the high 20s really isn't much more likely to help them this season than whatever player is chosen at 41 or 46, but the difference is the Lakers would be obligated to pay that guy for three years. It might be nice to have the selection, if for no other reason than to dangle for something else, but in the grand scheme of things I don't feel it is significant. Trades like the one for Sasha are part of the price of doing business for very high payroll team. Costs have to be controlled somewhere.
What's your read of our early 2nd round picks (40s)? I've seen some mocks going after Nolan Smith early.. what is your opinion of him? I admittedly have a tough time imagining him as the starting guard for the LakeShow, but thought he played well when taking over PG duties last year for Duke.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:10 PM)
I know he's a guy many people attach to the Lakers in mock drafts, but honestly I'm no expert when it comes to scouting and CBB. I really can only pass along what I read or others tell me.
If the Lakers can come away with either Nolan Smith or Josh Selby in tomorrows draft, we'll be set at PG. Even if they're 2nd round selections...
Alexander (AZ (worried laker fan))
Do you think Jim Buss is the right guy to run this franchisee going forward? I am really worried about him, and the decisions he has made so far. Calling Bynum untouchable, he just seems to Emotional and not rational enough for the job needed. Thoughts?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:15 PM)
Honestly, I don't know, in part because it's very difficult to get a read on just what sort of basketball mind he is. I know he's not terribly well respected around the league, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's not capable. Bynum, championed as his choice, is obviously a very good player. While Mike Brown isn't who I would have hired and not consulting Kobe was an admitted mistake, there's nothing to say yet that Brown won't succeed. Now if he announced they'd never trade Bynum for anyone, even Howard, then I'd worry. What gets people skittish is the total lack of knowledge about the guy, and the perception he's not up to or qualified for the job. Particularly given how he's moving into a role dominated before by his dad, who was an outstanding in delegating authority, and stayed out of his basketball people's way.The big worry about Jim Buss is he considers himself one of the basketball people. Tough spot to be in when you're also the guy signing the checks. Rarely works in pro sports.
Peter (Edina, Minnesota)
Am I the only one who sees K Love as overrated? I watched a few Wolves games and he is one of the worst defenders in the NBA.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:16 PM)
He's a very good player, and should continue improving, but you're right- he's awful defensively. In part because the team around him is awful as well, but also because he's undersized, and doesn't have much agility.It's a great example of how "getting younger" wouldn't necessarily help them in the athleticism/speed area. Young guys aren't always faster or more athletic. Gasol is a better athlete than Love.
With the coaching staff coming together with 2 assistant coaches being signed, do we have any clue on what kind of offense the Lakers are going to run next year? Or what will be the biggest difference besides no more Triangle offense?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:19 PM)
Hey Tamao-I think there will be some similarities, since Brown talked about installing something similar to what they did in San Antonio when he was an assistant there. There, they did a lot of read/react stuff, which isn't triangle, but is triangle adjacent. A great source for this sort of thing is Sebastian Pruiti at NBA Playbook. I posted a story of his last week that's worth a look (on how he might use Bynum/Gasol). Today, he has another great post on Ettore Messina's offense with his teams in Europe, which could be instructive.http://nbaplaybook.com/2011/06/22/ettore-messina-and-more-post-offense-that-los-angeles-could-run/
Eric Macke (Los Angeles)
I heard a rumor going around that we made a promise to Juylan Stone, to draft him with our 41st pick. Any truth to this?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:19 PM)
I have no idea. But promises don't usually come that late in the draft.
who needs the most work on their team nets or cavs?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:20 PM)
Bobby (Los Angeles)
Of all the point guard names being thrown around out there which veteran PG is most likely to be a laker next year?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:21 PM)
Hmmmm.... Maybe Tony Parker? But I don't put the odds of it very high. Just guessing, since you asked. Has Felton been around long enough to be a veteran PG? Probably. So he's in there, too, just because he's available.
Is Chris Paul an option for the Lakers?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:21 PM)
Not immediately, I don't think.
Josh (Huntington Beach)
If Lakers do try to move into Lottery Picks, who is the most likely person they are targeting? I've never heard this answered ...
Brian Kamenetzky (2:22 PM)
I would have to believe it's one of the point guards. Knight or Walker, perhaps. Or maybe they really like Williams, and depending on the deal making it happen could move a forward to make it happen.Moot point, though, because the odds against it are overwhelmingly strong.
Kyle (Yorba Linda, CA)
Should the Lakers make a run at JJ Barea?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:23 PM)
Yes, but I don't believe they can outbid Cuban.
Peter Nguyen (Cambodia)
Will you answer this please, who do you think is a better post player. Bynum or Pau? I think Pau has more moves, but Drew is just more of a beast. He's more effective. I know Pau isn't soft, but if you get physical with him, he tends to float out of the paint. Who do you think is a better offensive post player?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:24 PM)
Overall, Gasol is the more skilled player, but Bynum's size makes him very tough to handle down low, particularly when working off the ball to accept the pass and staying out of double teams.
How come Shannon Brown does not get more time at PG? He is not the best ball handler in the game but if given more time I feel he could really take some of the attention off of Kobe and Pau with his athleticism and ability to knock down the outside shot.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:24 PM)
Totally disagree, Nick. Doesn't handle the ball well, struggled with his decision making, and wasn't nearly a consistent enough shooter to make that work.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:24 PM)
Hey guys. Time for a couple more...
Robbie (Studio City)
Which point guard would fit best on the Lakers? Veterans like Billups, Nash, Andre Miller, Hinrich or Parker, or youth like Felton, Collison, Lou Williams, Holiday, or Augustin? Or would it be best to pull off a big trade for Paul or D-Will? Vets and superstars already have the immediate respect of Kobe and co., but the infusion of youth could be just what the Lakers need. Thoughts?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:26 PM)
Hi Robbie-My thought is always to take the best available player for whatever list is there. The Lakers don't need to worry about who will develop in three or four years, because they're set up to win now. Parker is still a very good player, as is Andre Miller. But obviously they play in very different styles. Holiday would be great, too.
Do you think all this trade talk about pau will make him more motivated for next season?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:26 PM)
Less the trade talk, more that he is somehow broken after the playoffs. I think he'll be very, very motivated next year.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:27 PM)
Okay, everyone. Gotta run. If you get a sec, pop over to 710 ESPN at 2 pm. I'll be on for an hour or so.And if I didn't get to your question, Tweet us. @espnlandolakers.We try to respond to all of them.Great chat. See everyone next week!