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!
Andy Kamenetzky (1:32 PM)
Hey all, Brian will be here in a few, but in the meantime, let's get the first post-lockout chat STARTED!!!
Lawrence (Toronto, Ontario)
A shortened season is good or bad for the Lakers?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:34 PM)
Lawrence: I've said for quite some time a shortened, compressed season is bad for the Lakers. There will be more games piled on top of each other with less downtime to recuperate. Plus, training camp will be compressed -- along with the free agency period -- which means less time to get on the same page with Mike Brown, develop chemistry in a new season, plus the conditioning benefits that come with training camp. It is what it is, but for the Lakers, it ain't great.
Do you see Metta World Peace and some other Laker players significantly improving because the triangle is now gone?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:37 PM)
Rohan: I don't know about "significant" improvement, since most of these guys are veterans who've been in the league for a while, so a jump in performance isn't typical. (Lamar Odom's 2011 season notwithstanding) But I do think MWP and Steve Blake could be more comfortable in a more traditional system, which can certainly help. Although in the case of Blake, any uptick would probably feel significant.
What had a more dramatic ending... the NBA lockout or The Walking Dead season finale?!
Andy Kamenetzky (1:38 PM)
Never: NO SPOILERS!!! I still haven't had a chance to watch the entire episode. (And also, it's only the half-season finale, as is my understanding. They're gonna pick it up again come February as part of the same season.)
Maybe Bynum,Odom and World Peace for me and Turk???????? Then if the Turk expreriment goes wrong use the amnesty clause on him....
Andy Kamenetzky (1:40 PM)
D12: I'd do that trade, even though i don't think you can amnesty a player acquired by trade. It would hurt on several levels to lose LO, but who knows if he'll be around past this season anyway. And for a player like you, the move should be made if it's really on the table. Can't hesitate.
ben (los angeles)
Bros K, since the lakes have not "upgraded" in any significant area why should I hold out any hope that last year was an anomoly and this year will be better? They will all be older, but better, I think not!
Andy Kamenetzky (1:43 PM)
Ben: I do think the team will play better. They've had a lot of time to stew in last season's disappointment -- which should provide motivation -- and I also think they were getting burned out after three straight trips to the Finals. Plus, something just wasn't connecting between them and Phil Jackson last year. Having said that, you're right about them being older and whatever improvements made will likely be along the margins. Thus, there are holes. The Lakers are still among the best teams in the league -- Kobe, LO, Pau and Drew is a pretty incredible foursome -- but I wouldn't label them a favorite.
Anyone see Jamal Crawford as an attractive piece for the Lakers backcpurt? Is it possible?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:47 PM)
Alex: I'm not a huge Crawford guy (he can score, but does little else on a regular basis), but if the Lakers could get him, he'd be worth the pickup on a short term deal. The Lakers need guys who can create their own shot, and Jamal certainly qualifies. Having said that, it's probably a moot point, because I doubt they'll be able to afford him.
Michael (Santa Monica)
Will Andrew Bynum's suspension be prorated to fit the new 66 game schedule? Seems unfair if the penalty stays the same. At least 1 game? Every game counts
Andy Kamenetzky (1:50 PM)
Michael: Nope. To the best of my knowledge, Drew is serving all five games. As well he should. The infraction remains the infraction -- and a bad one at that -- regardless of the contracted season. The punishment can't be alleviated because of extenuating circumstances. As the saying goes, don't do the crime if you can't do the time. And yes, it does hurt even more in a 66 game season, which makes Drew's actions even dumber and more reckless.
Mike (Ladera Ranch)
Hey guys- throughout this whole process, I have found it amazing that union attorney Jeffrey Kessler still has a job. It seems like anytime he was involved it just screwed things up. The owners hated him, he played the race card in his comments, and it wasn't until he was kicked out of the negotiations that progress was made. Why would anyone hire him to represent them?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:51 PM)
Mike: I couldn't agree more. I wouldn't hire Kessler to represent me in traffic court.
Daniel (San Diego)
Could the Lakers possibly make a run at getting Rudy Gay from Memphis?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:55 PM)
Daniel: I doubt it. From what I understand, the Griz don't wanna move Gay and I'm guessing the Lakers wouldn't take on his long term deal. There's still 4 years and 68 mil to be paid, which becomes even more when the tax penalties kick in. Gay is a good player, but the Lakers already have a lotta money on the books.
Amazo (South Jerzy )
so technically the lakers could save the amnesty for Kobe & use it at the end of the year, he'll get paid his full 83M, resign with the lakers after july 1st taking a hypothetical pay cut (wink wink)
Andy Kamenetzky (1:58 PM)
Amazo: Technically, there's no way on Earth Kobe would go for that.
How exactly does this amnesty clause work? Could we, for instance, trade for Dwight Howard and Hedo Turkoglu (who I'm sure will be forced down any team's throat in order to get Superman) and then use the clause on the newly acquired Hedo??
Andy Kamenetzky (2:00 PM)
Josh: It's obviously not set in stone yet, but my understanding is you can't trade for a player, then amnesty him. Thus, if the Lakers take on Hedo in a Dwight deal, they're stuck with Hedo and his money.
On behalf of all the die hard Lakers fans, we believe it is necessary that the Lakers continue to win more titles. So we are asking you the Lakers organization to sign the big man from Spain "Marc Gasol". Instead on spending about 4 million or more on some crappy player why not invest that money in a skilled player as young Gasol. Having the two brothers on one team will be dynamic and send shoc...k waves through out the entire NBA. Sign Marc Gasol! Sign Marc Gasol! Sign Marc Gasol!, invest for the future of the Lakers and we shall triumph Long live the LakersSigned a true Lakers fan
Andy Kamenetzky (2:02 PM)
Kcboy: Unless Marc Gasol is gonna play for half a mid-level exception or less, that scenario is literally impossible for the Lakers. And call me a cynic, but I doubt Pau's hermano will use his first opportunity for a pay day to sign for drastically below market value.
With the new CBA hoe long do we have to get under the salary cap? I know cutting Walton will help, but are we going to be able to have any room to sign a decent free agent in the next couple of years?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:04 PM)
Maximus: Cutting Walton won't do anything in terms of getting the Lakers under the cap. It just allows them to free up a roster space and feel less of a luxury tax pinch.
Who is the most likely candidate for the Lakers to use their amnesty option on? I say Luuuuuuuuuke!!
Andy Kamenetzky (2:05 PM)
Vince: I concuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuur, but Metta World Peace can't be ruled out, since his deal runs longer. Blake too, but I think he'll be safe.
Ben (los angeles)
Bros K, any thoughts on what the lakes can do to get under the cap and still field a competitive team?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:07 PM)
Ben: No, which works out great, because they ain't getting under the cap anytime soon.
Instead of focusing on blockbuster deals that the lakers are not bound to make, do you think that they should make a play for Willie Green or Daquan Cook? Willie Green is a solid shooter and could provide a great spark off of the bench. Cook is not as strong of a player or coveted as much, but he would undoubtedly be cheaper and is one of the most efficient 3 point shooters in the league. I also think Kupchak should push hard to get Aaron Gray. His willingness to play few minutes per game and his defensive skillet and large frame make him the perfect backup for Bynum at the center position.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:09 PM)
Jack: I don't know about Cook, Green and Gray specifically, but that general plan you're endorsing may be what the Lakers have to do, whether their first choice or not. Obviously, they may feel this team is too good and/or the season may be too short for radical changes, and both opinions may be valid. But even if they were in favor of sweeping facelifts, that may not be doable.
How about a trade for Igoudala centered around Odom? We could then use the amnesty on MWP and hopefully get Walton to retire.....
Andy Kamenetzky (2:11 PM)
Andrew: That's a lotta if's (and money for the Lakers to take on in Iggy). But in a vacuum, not the worst plan in the world, although Odom does safeguard tremendously against the inevitable Bynum injury.
With Walton getting the amnesty, does this mean we will have a little wiggle room to sign a free agent this offseason ala Jeff Foster?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:12 PM)
Maximus: They'll need to look into a "Foster" type regardless of how they use the amnesty, or even if they use it at all. A backup center, maybe even two, is big on the list of needs.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:14 PM)
Hey folks. Stepping in now for Andy, so presumably the quality of the answers are going to get better.
How likely is it that Luke would retire because of his back injury and what would be the cap/tax ramifications if he agrees?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:16 PM)
Hey Bill-I think there's a legitimate chance Walton could at some point retire. I think he'll give it a whirl at the start of this season, but if it's clear he can't play, the Lakers might be able to wipe some of the salary off the books with either a medical exception or if he retires. It still doesn't get them anywhere close to the cap, or even the luxury tax threshold, but it would save them some money and also allow them to use their amnesty waiver on another player, perhaps Metta.
The Riddler (Lair)
Riddle me this K-Bros, what are some realistic moves the Lakers can make this offseason to get better? Also will Bynum still be suspended 5 games since the season is only 66 games?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:18 PM)
Hey Riddler-First of all, think small because the Lakers simply don't have the ability to go out and sign big name players to large contracts. They have a mini-mid-level, and that's about it (along with veteran minimum deals). So older players like Jeff Foster to backup Bynum, or perhaps a player like Grant Hill or Shane Battier could be given the hard sell to sacrifice cash and win a ring. A shooter, someone like James Jones, could come in handy and might be relatively inexpensive. Guys like that. Think rotation depth, not huge impact players.
Are there any legit trade rumors flying around there or at least any rumblings the lakers talking to free agents??
Brian Kamenetzky (2:19 PM)
Hey Josh. Too early to know about trade rumors, but I wouldn't expect the Lakers to be active in that market. Signing guys, yes, but trades, I don't think we'll see any. Nothing major, at least.
Drew Abell (Oxford, MS)
When can we expect a vote on this new deal?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:19 PM)
Sometime next week, I believe.
Do you guys know if the amnesty clause can be used on a player acquired via trade? For example, if the Lakers had to take one of Orlando's bad contracts to get Howard, would they be able to waive that player with the amnesty?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:21 PM)
No, I don't think so. As is my understanding, you can't acquire, then cut, a contract.
Jay (Burbank, CA)
Hey K-Bros, how goes it...Good to finally have the chat back :)When does the revised schedule come up. Looking to plan my Staples visits!
Brian Kamenetzky (2:21 PM)
I've heard rumblings it could be out as early as Friday.
There has been a lot of news lately about CP3 and his possible destinations. Do you see the lakers possibly making an offer for the best PG in the league instead of going for howard?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:23 PM)
Hey Jack-It's certainly possible, but I suspect nothing will happen until later into the season. The Lakers would have essentially the same package of guys (Bynum/Odom, perhaps Pau) to offer New Orleans as they would Orlando. It just gets to whether or not those teams can find a deal they like better. I believe they'd dangle Bynum for Howard. I don't know if they'd do it for Paul (I think they'd consider it for sure) because of the injury history. It would be very, very tempting for sure.
Sergio (Long Beach)
How can the knicks have signed both amare and melo, and yet they still can sign paul.. How???
Brian Kamenetzky (2:23 PM)
Many people think they can't.
whats paus age?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:23 PM)
31, I believe. Google knows, ask him.
Carl Martigani (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Brian, is there any truth to the fact that Odum may not stay and play in the U.S. ?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:24 PM)
No, Lamar is back. The agreement he reportedly had with Besiktas in Turkey had an out clause allowing him to return to the NBA.
El Jefe (Anaheim)
In looking at this cramped schedule, I really do not see how this benefits the Lakers? The team is "long in the tooth" and I do not see the Vets being able to play back to back to back multiple times and not pull their hamstrings, tweak their ankles, etc...look at what's happening in the NFL, players missed mini camps and other workouts that would have taken place if not for the lock out...Not to mention, the Lakers bench does not inspire much hope if one of the starters goes out....what do you guys think?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:26 PM)
El Jefe-You're right, it doesn't. The Lakers are better off playing fewer games (each game matters more, allows them to focus more easily, and so on and so on) but overall I think the benefits are mitigated by the compressed nature of the schedule. It doesn't destroy them, but it hurts. And you're right-- bench depth becomes incredibly important, as does the physical conditioning guys have WHEN THEY SHOW UP. There won't be time to play yourself into shape. If guys are only 50 percent ready now, they'll never make it up to speed in time, and that increases injury risk.
Considering that the Nets are already preparing trade offers for Howard, do you think we will start hearing offers from the Lakers? Further, do you see Orlando trading Howard during the free agency period, or do you think it will drag out all season long?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:28 PM)
Dustin, we know the offer for Howard. It's Bynum, probably with Odom or whatever else the Magic might want save Kobe and perhaps Gasol. I think it'll drag out for a while, and the team that takes him on (probably w/ the revised extend and trade rules) will be taking a big risk, since they'll have to give up a lot of stuff, but only can extend for a year.
Jay (Burbank, CA)
Hey K-brosWho do you guys think start as favorites to win the western conf
Brian Kamenetzky (2:28 PM)
1. Oklahoma City2. Lakers3. Dallas4. Memphis (if they bring back Marc Gasol)
I know there is a lot of speculation on what kind of game shape these guys will be in. Can you give us any updates on how they look physically?? Also, will there be an All-Star game this year? Hope not, one less thing for Bynum to focus on.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:30 PM)
Well, Fernando, I think there's no reason to worry with Kobe. Pau has been playing a lot, and should be fine. Bynum has reportedly been working out VERY hard, so I don't worry about him. Guys like Barnes and Blake are reliable vets who take care of themselves. Basically, the only guys I really worry about are Fish because his offseason program had to be thrown off by all the CBA stuff (still in great shape, but he relies so much on conditioning and strength that any slip hurts) and Odom, who has a rep for using camp to work himself into shape.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:31 PM)
Thanks, everyone. That's all the time we have. Keep an eye out for the return of Lakers Late Night, which could come as early as tomorrow evening. If we missed your question, tweet us at @espnlandolakers...Thanks!