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 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET!
Andy Kamenetzky (2:01 PM)
Hey all, Brian is running late, but we'll get 'er going anyway. How's everyone doing?
Are you guys the only ones allowed to speak of the NBA now? Or did all the other NBA guys run off on vacation? (Not that they showed up for their chats half the time anyway....)
Andy Kamenetzky (2:02 PM)
Marty: We can never be silenced by David Stern!!! NEVER!!! Granted, he never tried to silence us, but still... NEVER!!!!!!
Austin (Los Angeles, CA)
No one seems to mention Kyrylo Fesenko as a possible free agent addition but he seems the perfect backup big man and is still young. Also Marco Belinelli seems like a great pickup as a shooter and Ramon Sessions is better than any of our point guards and could be available in a trade. These three are all young as well any chance the Lakers could get one or two of these players to fill out the rotation?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:10 PM)
Austin: Interesting names, all three. Fesenko certainly could fall into the Lakers' price range, but I'm not sold on him as a player in the slightest. He's often looked like a clueless, uncoordinated lug. Granted, he's also hands down the most unintentionally funny player in the league, so I would absolutely support bringing him into the fold. However, my reasons are arguably frivolous. Belinelli might also be affordable, but he is among the more one-dimensional players in the NBA. He literally does NOTHING but shooter. Granted, he's a very good shooter and the Lakers need a guy to space the floor, but he'll leave a void (or three) while filling another. Sessions could be an upgrade over Fisher or Blake (although he doesn't space the floor at all), but I'm not sure how the Lakers would trade for him. The Lakers don't really have a tantalizing 4 mil player to match salaries. Unless we're talking about a package, don't see it happening.
Puneet S. (Toronto,Canada)
No one really pays enough attention on the Back Centre on the Lakers Roster. Last season After Ratliff season injury Odom/Bynum/Gasol covered up the position. But what are the available piece that lakers can go for to make them better at Centre Position going into the next season if there will be one.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:11 PM)
Puneet: Well, you can't accuse Brian and I of ignoring that reality. We've talked about it all season. I'll also have a post up sometime tomorrow examining FA options.
You guys at ESPN Insider really know how to attract customers. I almost became a subsriber just to read nbarumorcentral's piece about Luke Walton's role for next season. Would you all be so gracious enough to tell us what his role would be?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:14 PM)
Never: I'm not privy to that particular piece of Insider-y info, but were I to place some hard earned cash on Walton's role next season, I'd put it all on "See last season." I'm guessing it's not a high payout, but the long shot bet ("an expanded role") strikes me as money wasted.
What are your thoughts on the Lakers landing Baron Davis in a trade or buy-out and signing? Seems to me Baron is a likely candidate for a buy out since the Cavs are rebuilding and can be a distraction if not motivated.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:17 PM)
Justin: I think Baron is a terrible idea. As a general rule of thumb, if a player's motivation is constantly in question, I don't want a thing to do with him. And the odds of him remaining focused in L.A. where he's a social butterfly and has a million projects going on feel low at best. Plus, he's always hurt and out of shape.
Mike (Ladera Ranch)
Hey Guys- Do you find it strange that Kobe still hasn't said a single word about Mike Brown?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:22 PM)
Mike: Well, by now, Kobe is overseas in these various exhibition matches without (to the best of my knowledge) much stateside press on hand. Thus, he's probably not getting asked about Brown. Along those lines, the current radio silence doesn't raise eyebrows. But before he left, I definitely think it was meaningful. I don't think it's as much about Brown himself as the front office's handling of the hire, but I'd also be lying if I claimed to feel completely confident about the situation. I'm very curious to see how Brown plans to use Kobe -- and on a VERY related note, Bynum -- next season. Should the team get off to a slow start, I'm also concerned about Kobe taking matters into his own hands. Especially since he's already on an admitted mission to shut up those who think he's too old.
Nick R (Chicago, IL)
K Bros, Kind of an easy question, but why wouldn't The Mamba get finger(s) surgery at this point of the summer during a lockout without a foreseeable end? Is his choice a good or bad one, considering that his stats have been declining and as ESPN pointed out D-Wade has surpassed him as the best 2 guard?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:27 PM)
Nick R: Kobe has repeatedly explained how the recovery time from finger surgery would be too long. Even with the lockout, it's hard to schedule surgery, because you don't know how long this will last. What if it ends early, and he's still on the shelf? In theory, I wouldn't mind him taking his chances on missing some games (unless we're talking half or more of a season) because I think the payoff would more than balance out the missed games. His handle is definitely affected by the finger, which gets complicated by his recurring knee and ankle issues. But my opinion doesn't really matter, because the subject is clearly a non-starter discussion for Kobe.
Bake (Upper Marlboro)
If Jeannie Buss runs the business side for the Lakers and the Lakers made some business decisions to get rid of Assistant GM, scouting brain trust, equipment folks, and a quite famous Athletic Core trainer/instructor, would you say that Jeannie Buss made these decisions actually? And her brother, Jim BUSS is taking the media image fall for her????
Andy Kamenetzky (2:32 PM)
Bake: Those aren't the business decisions Jeanie would make, to the best of my knowledge. She oversees marketing, broadcasting, and promotional business affairs, not personnel directly related to the team (even if their salaries are obviously a "business" matter). She's repeatedly stated her lack of involvement or authority when it comes matters directly related to the team, staff and players. I could be wrong, but I'm fairly certain Jeanie had anything to do with decisions like Ronnie Lester, Alex McKechnie, and down the line.
Puneet (T-dot, Canada)
I dont know why this question doesn't come up a lot, but why do Lakers never consider to trade Luke Walton. His productivity is pretty much useless and he is injured most of the time.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:34 PM)
Puneet: A) That question actually comes up about once every 5-10 seconds and B) the Lakers are absolutely open to trading Walton. As a matter of fact, they'd love to. But as you said, he's injured most of the time and hasn't been productive in quite some time. Why would another team want him, and who would they possibly give up of any value in exchange? Unless Walton is packaged, he's more or less untradable right now.
What do you think about bringing back Trevor Ariza, to freshen up the roster and to bring the youth and quickness back to the lakers roster?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:35 PM)
Puneet-Hey. I like Trevor as a player, and certainly he would add an element of athleticism, but overall, his game is highly flawed. He's a very inefficient offensive player, and while good defensively, I think is overrated. With Trevor, or guys like him, the big question is what it would cost to make it happen. He's a solid role player, and obviously has shown the ability to fit in with a championship team, but I'm not sure if the cost would outweigh the benefit.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:35 PM)
Hi everyone, by the way.
Excluding a blockbuster trade...What do u really think the Lakers do about their PG problem? Trade Odom and sign a FA sixth man? Sign FA pg in T.J. Ford or any that u listed previously? I have no idea with Jim Buss running the show.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:38 PM)
Justin-I don't think the Lakers "solve" their PG problem this summer. There just isn't a practical way to get it done, save some miracle work from Mitch or a truly blockbuster deal. A guy like TJ Ford might be an upgrade, or he could just muddle the picture even more. I certainly don't mind them signing one of the available players, but the pickings are slim, and they'd have to be very careful about cost. I think what the Lakers need is someone who clearly steps into that number one role. That guy is going to be hard to find. Instead, I would recommend beefing up the rest of the rotation.
Should the Lakers try to sign Big Babby Davis?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:39 PM)
Can't afford him, and Big Baby wouldn't come to the Lakers for the role he'd get on the team.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:39 PM)
Eric: I think Baby would be too expensive, even coming off a down season. Plus, I think he's overqualified for the gig. With everyone healthy, he'd play about 10-15 minutes a night, max. Granted, Bynum's track record makes such a scenario feel like a long shot, but still, it does throw a wrench into the equation. But obviously, were he a feasible and willing option, the Lakers would probably love to have him. As a back up big man, he'd be quite the luxury, Plus, he slobbers and is very funny, which only makes my job easier.
Josh (San Diego)
With Kevin Love going to play volleyball, which Laker can you see going to another professional sport and which sport would that be?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:45 PM)
Josh: Maybe Barnes playing football. Back in the day when he was struggling to stick in the league, he debated trying out with the NFL at wide receiver. He was apparently quite good in high school. Granted, he's probably too long in the tooth for a career switch. Then again, so is this entire roster, more or less, so it's all relative.
Hey, guys. Two questions: 1. I know there is no way to know yet, but how/if do you think Mike Brown will handle reducing Fisher's minutes? To me, this is the biggest "chemistry" issue Brown will face, and it will be hard to do unless something weird happens and they trade for Paul or Williams. But it needs to be done. 2. Any chance you guys can talk to Ettore Messina and get soem stuff from him up on the site. New names for the show: KobeHate Live Sixteen and Counting Showtime Digital
Brian Kamenetzky (2:45 PM)
Rob---1) Honestly, i don't know. Some of it obviously depends on what's available to fill those minutes. Is it more time for an improved Steve Blake? Is there someone else they bring in? Some third option, where a non-PG plays the point? But at some point, Fisher's minutes, and more importantly his role in the fourth quarter, will change. I don't know exactly when, but it won't be an easy transition, because while Fish is extremely professional, he's also very prideful. He won't give it up easily.Definitely hope to talk to Messina at some point...
YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Santan NO HITTER
Bake (Upper Marlboro)
Would anyone take Trevor Ariza signing over Ron Artest signing in summer 2009 if it COST Laker fans a 0-2 record in the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics in this current Laker era?? NO WAY!!
Andy Kamenetzky (2:49 PM)
Bake: I agree. Even if the entirety of Ron's career as a Laker ends up disappointing (and that certainly may be the case), his inclusion directly led to a title. That's the end game, and a rare one at that. Plus, Ariza has really struggled since leaving L.A., so it's hard to know just how well he would have performed if he stayed.
ben (los angeles)
Bros K, if there is a new hard cap and the Lakes have to unload players to get under it who goes and it would seem to weaken them in any case?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:50 PM)
Hey Ben-Without knowing the timeline and the exact rules of how it'll have to be done, it's hard to say. It's almost a guarantee that teams won't have to get under by the start of next season, which is good, and the Lakers have another year after (12-13) with this basic core/salary structure together (though someone like Odom could in theory be cut loose). The big elephant in the room is Kobe's contract. He's scheduled to make 30 million in 2013-14. Even if that's adjusted in a new CBA, he's still likely to take up a massive portion of the team's salary cap. Filling a team out around him will be hard. Really what it does is put the onus on the next two seasons, because down the road the Lakers could very well have to make real adjustments that could at least in the short run, hurt their ability to contend.
Nick R (Chicago, IL)
Are the Lakers in a uniquely bad position because of the lockout? Seems to me that we could potentially be very unprepared for the season, as both of our captains have their hands tied with barnstorming in China and Player's Association negotiations. Please, tell me I'm worrying about nothing
Andy Kamenetzky (2:52 PM)
Nick, I'd love to say you're worried about nothing, but then I'd be lying. The Lakers definitely need time together to get comfortable in not just a new system, but an entirely new atmosphere and direction. And considering how rudderless they often looked last season, it's not like they can count on the 2011 "chemistry." The barnstorming and exhibition matches don't necessarily concern me (although I get where you're coming from), but a shortened season doesn't help the Lakers at all, in my opinion.
Iron (Pittsburgh, PA)
What do you think of this possible minor move for the Lakers - sign PF Darnell Jackson. He would be a relatively cheap banger and rebounder who could provide 10 - 12 minutes a night depending on the game situation behind the big three. He sets a mean pick and isn't afraid to mix it up inside. Jackson does not have a real offensive game, but the Lakers wouldn't be looking to him for O, anyway. Plus, having played for the Cavs, he already knows Brown's and Kuester's systems.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:53 PM)
Hey Iron-At that position, Jackson is the type of guy they'd probably target. Strong, energetic, a hard worker, and most importantly, cheap. Obviously if he - or any other 3rd PF for that matter-- is pressed into real service, the Lakers likely have far bigger problems, but someone like that to fill the "emergency PF" role wouldn't be the worst thing. I think there are better options they can explore first, but it's not a bad idea.
a sad laker fan (hope)
The thought of Fisher playing significant minutes next year seriously depresses me. Can you give me any silver lining to make me feel better?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:55 PM)
Sad Laker fan: Maybe Fisher playing close to 30 minutes again will be indicative of him bouncing back in shocking fashion. The proverbial fountain of youth rediscovered for a daily bath and chug a lug! Otherwise... I got nothing. The scenario is indeed pretty depressing, because it likely means nobody is pushing him. And the rebound season feels pretty unlikely. Fisher is what he is at this point. He can help at times, but you'd much rather see him pick his spots. Or have his spots picked for him.
How about Andrew Bynum and Luke Walton for Josh Smith and Kirk Hinrich?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:56 PM)
Hi Jake-Can't honestly say I'm a big fan of that one. Mostly because I'm not as big a fan of Smith as some others. He's a talent and obviously a spectacular athlete, but I think for a guy like Bynum, a more legit star needs to come back in return.
yo can i get some love for yi jian? imagine if the lakers 4th big man was ANOTHER 7 footer that didnt have wobbly knees. that'd be crazy.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:59 PM)
Hey ZR-Yi would be fine as an insurance policy at the end of the bench. Still young, and has great mobility for a guy his size. He hasn't turned that into particularly good production at the NBA level, but to be the backup to the backups, he'd be fine. I wonder how interested he'd be in the role, though. But if they got him, people who remember him as a high level prospect would probably have to temper expectations in a big way.
How about going for Darren Collison? Or am I just dreaming..
Andy Kamenetzky (2:59 PM)
Joshua: I think you're dreaming. Even if the Pacers acquiring George Hill is indicative of a willingness to move Collison (and it very well may be), the Lakers don't really have the pieces. Collison only makes $1.5 mil, which leaves the Lakers extremely limited when it comes to matching salaries. Packaged, who knows, but would you really give up a guy like Lamar Odom for Darren Collison? I wouldn't, even if you don't think LO will be around past this season.
Andy Kamenetzky (3:00 PM)
BK has the last question... now.
I dont get Jim Buss....how is Bynum untouchable? The guy has potential, but is injured all the time and can't be relied upon. Every time he falls, i think the season is over. If you can trade him for a Paul, Howard, or even for a combo PG and C like Collison and Hibbert or Conley and Gasol they have to do it, right?
Brian Kamenetzky (3:02 PM)
Hi Justin-I think the narrative Bynum is fully untouchable probably isn't accurate. What I do think, though, is the list of players for which he'd be traded is very short. Rightly so. I have to believe they'd move him for Dwight Howard, or an elite PG. If the package was large enough, I do believe they'd pull the trigger. It would just require a very compelling offer, and a package of lesser players (volume over star power) probably doesn't get it done). Gasol/Conley could, but I don't think Memphis does that.
Brian Kamenetzky (3:03 PM)
Hey everyone. That's all the time we have. Thanks for stopping by. If we didn't get to your question, hit us up on Twitter: @espnlandolakers.....See you next week!