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 (1:31 PM)
Hey everyone. Thanks for coming by. Andy and I are going to split up the chat today, so I'll be taking the first half hour, then handing over the baton.BTW, I'm calling this, "the half hour where your questions get answered correctly."Fire away!
Is it just me or is coach Brown's substatutions terrible? Is there any way we can bring in an Offensive coordinator like football and have coach brown only work on defense?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:33 PM)
Essentially, they do have something of an offensive coordinator, in John Kuester. It's not exactly the same, since MB is still pulling the strings on substitutions and such, but Kuester does have a big influence on what they run and so on. The issue with the rotations is a tough one. He does tinker around too much, but at the same time, the need to do so is fueled by the lack of reliable options on the roster, particularly in the second unit. Deciding to play one guy often means having to make other switches, to make sure the skill sets match.
What up K-Bros, last week I said I would be happy with a 3-3 road trip with the way we play on the road. Now I'd be thrilled with 3-3 and gappy with a 2-4 trip. Why are we such a terrible road team this year?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:34 PM)
Lex-The real answer, I think, isn't all that complicated. A) They don't have a reliable bench, or even a reliable back half of the starting lineup. So overall, the team is incredibly top heavy. B) They're not a dominant team, meaning more often than not they'll lose to good teams on their floor. It's not that they can't win, just that the odds are stacked against them. As Kobe said the other day, the margin for error is slim.
ecouple (Juniper Hills, CA)
If it's true that D.Howard indicated that he will test free agency even if traded to the Lakers, there is no way that trade is made, correct? That would seem way too risky, especially since he does seem like kind of a flaky guy...
Brian Kamenetzky (1:36 PM)
It's hard to say exactly what will happen with Howard. Keep in mind, every time you hear something put out there, it's put out by a person with an agenda. Maybe the source is connected to Howard's inner circle, and is trying to put pressure on the Magic. Maybe it's his agent, trying to steer the process, or someone from Orlando's front office (or a competing one) again trying to influence the process. I tend to think he isn't coming here, but less because he doesn't want to and more because the Magic may not find a Bynum centered package to e appealing enough.
If the Lakers to get a starting point guard does that move Fisher to second unit or out of te rotation all together?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:37 PM)
Braden-That's an interesting question, for sure. I suspect it would cut down on his playing time severely, at least when Blake comes back.
What are your thoughts on going after J.FLYNN, A.BROOKS, R.SESSIONS ?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:38 PM)
Flynn is awful. Brooks isn't really an option, because he'll cost too much and the Suns can (I believe) match offers. Sessions might cost them a first rounder, and I would probably give that up if the interest is saving this season. If the interest is holding pat until Howard is somewhere else, then they probably need to keep that pick. The Lakers have so few assets, losing any could damage that chase.
Joe,. Whittier [via mobile]
With character getting Cut, does this mean The lakers will go after Gilbert Arenas? And we do pick up Arenas, what will be his impact on the team?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:40 PM)
Hey Joe-Not necessarily. Cutting Caracter absolutely opens up a spot they'd need to sign any free agent, Arenas included. But remember, Friday Caracter would have been due his full salary guaranteed for the season. Perhaps they just didn't want to pay a guy they didn't earning much PT. Perhaps they've soured on him, generally. To be honest, I was a little surprised he made the team to begin with given how last season ended.
James (New Mexico)
at the beginning of the playoffs who would you guess would be the starting lineup for the Lakers?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:41 PM)
What it is now. Obviously that could change, but I'd say the odds favor the lineup looking then like it looks now.
What do you guys think about a McRoberts, Matt Barnes, and our 2013 first round pick (meaning we would still have our two # 1's from this year) for Teyshawn Prince? He would be a big upgrade at our SF spot.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:42 PM)
Hey Carlos. It's a great trade for the Lakers, but putting aside for a moment that I don't believe the money matches up, why would Detroit do that? Would you trade Tayshaun for that package? I certainly wouldn't.
Aaron (California )
Do you think the lakers will take a shot at J.R. smith?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:42 PM)
I think they'll kick the tires, Aaron, but I don't expect he'll sign here.
Mike (Palm Springs)
What's the possibility of Lakers landing Steve Nash? I'm sure this rumor has floated around before but I'm curious what the Lakers could offer to get him realistically.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:45 PM)
Hey Mike. It's a long shot, for sure. First, Nash would have to ask his way out of Phoenix, which to this point he hasn't done. Second, the Lakers would have to find a package Phoenix would want, which is tricky. I don't see Gasol appealing much to them, because he's getting older and costs a lot. Bynum is less a factor because they have Gortat, who is very productive and costs less. So mechanically, Nash to LA is tough via trade.
Darnell Aie (New York)
If the lakers were to trade Pau Gasol for Rajon Rondo what other trade pieces would be involved?Thanks!
Brian Kamenetzky (1:48 PM)
Not sure. It's an intriguing deal for both sides, though. Gasol would give the Celtics a little different flavor up front, adding depth and scoring punch, plus start on the rebuilding process. They like some of their young guards, and for whatever reason have always been a little sour on Rondo. For the Lakers, Rondo wouldn't solve the shooting issues, but certainly would give them a legit point guard. I'm not sure if the Lakers absolutely get the best of this one (in terms of value vs. value, but it's not a lopsided deal and does fill a need.
TG (Anaheim, California)
What are your thoughts on the Rondo for Gasol rumors?Will it give us what we need to be a real title contender?I'm kind of on the fence, Rondo is great at moving the ball and kicking it out to perimeter shooters, but thats one of our biggest weaknesses, on top of it his jumper leaves more to be desired.Your thoughts?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:49 PM)
I still don't think that move, without others to build depth behind the reconfigured big three, making the Lakers into a title contender. It would give them a jump start on the rebuilding process, though, and provide the PG of the future.
Going off of @ecouple 's question: Realistically, what are the odds that we make a move for Dwight (for Bynum) and Derron (for Pau)? And if that were to happen, wouldn't that increase the odds that Dwight stays?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:51 PM)
If I'm Jersey, I'd honestly let Williams walk before taking on Gasol's salary. If they don't get DH, they have to strip that thing down to nothing and build it back up. Having Gasol around won't make them good enough to contend, it'll just make them too good to land a couple years worth of really high lottery picks. As for Howard to LA, like I've said before, I'm not a believer that he'll end up here. It's obviously possible, but I don't think the Lakers are the favorites. No question, if the Lakers were able to land Williams it would make Los Angeles more appealing for Howard, except it won't play out that way. Jersey won't trade Williams until Howard is off the market.
Tee (La) [via mobile]
Do you think the lakers will break up this team to get howard or build around the team that they have in just feel the holes
Brian Kamenetzky (1:52 PM)
I get the sense the number one priority is holding out until the Howard thing is settled.
Do you think D12 is still a good fit for the Lakers? I don't think he makes them any better as Drew is playing at a high level. Do you think they should even be focusing on a big trade anyway? Seems like the big 3 are playing well, the Lakers need complimentary pieces...
Brian Kamenetzky (1:53 PM)
Hi Trevor-Absolutely, the issue with this team isn't the Big Three, it's the Very Small 4-14. Adding more to the top end doesn't really fix the problem, but I think Howard is a move made more with an eye to the future than this season. Setting themselves up with a durable superstar they feel comfortable with from a health standpoint to play next to Kobe, then take that mantle a couple years down the road.
Jeff (West Hills, CA)
Why don't the Lakers pull the trigger on a 1st round pick for Ramon Sessions now? We would still have another 1st round pick if Orlando wants it. If the Lakers wait for Dwight Howard to move, the Lakers might be in a big hole already and not have enough time to incorporate Ramon Sessions into the offense.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:55 PM)
Hey Jeff-A) We don't know if that's exactly what it'll take, and Cleveland has no incentive to hurry up on that trade. They can hold out for a little while longer if they want. B) There is good reason to wonder if the Lakers need every possible chip available to push in for DH, given their limited resources. They might need that first rounder to assemble the larger deal.
Carlos (Los Angeles)
How would you guys feel about a Bynum for Deron Williams swap? Would an elite ball handler/creator be as valuable to the Lakers right now as a Drew is?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:58 PM)
I'd do it. My problem with Drew isn't how he's playing, but as a long term investment he'd make me incredibly nervous. This year is going well health wise, but the Lakers if they keep Bynum will almost certainly be forced into a very expensive, very long term commitment with a player who has a very dodgy health history. With that in mind, I'd flip him for the best player I can get, and Williams is certainly a top shelf acquisition.
Jaime (Puerto Rico)
How would you rank the following Laker greats (listed according to my ranking): Kobe, Magic, Kareem, West, Shaq, Wilt
Brian Kamenetzky (1:59 PM)
I'd go 1. Magic2. Kobe3. Kareem4. West5. ShaqSo we're pretty close. I think Kobe/Magic will turn into a generational thing, too. Younger fans tending to favor Kobe in that top spot, older fans looking at Magic.
ted (florence sc)
It seems this year is lost, tell me next year will be better.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:59 PM)
Next year will be better. (That is not a prediction, I'm just doing what you asked me to do-- :) )
How is it going Andy and Brian? I have my reservations about the Lakers "wait and see" mentality when it comes to D12. What happens if Orl waits until the deadline to move D12 elsewhere and the Lakers are left out to dry?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:00 PM)
That's the risk. From there, they turn to whatever the next plan is.
ecouple (Juniper Hills, CA)
Isn't time running out to use the Odom trade exception as part of a bigger deal? Doesn't the new player have to stay on the team for a month (or is it two?) before they can be "flipped".
Brian Kamenetzky (2:01 PM)
ecouple--I believe exceptions still last a year under the new CBA, so there is time. As for traded players, they can be flipped whenever. It's players who are signed as free agents that have to stay on that team for a certain period of time.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:01 PM)
Save a sign and trade scenario, of course.
Mansa Gills (From L.A. to The Bay)
Hey K Bros, appreciate the consistent good work. This team just isn't good. Even when Bynum, Kobe and Gasol gave all played well, we have still lost. I've never been in favor for the Dwight Howard deal, so wouldn't Pau for two quality players be a better move? David West and George Hill? Scola and Martin or Lowry, Josh Smith and Heinrich? We gotta shake this thing up somehow.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:02 PM)
Mansa-I think you're getting at the larger issue. It's not the Big Three that's the problem, but the rest of the roster. What you're talking about-- trading high end talent for a lot of depth, has some merit, though it's generally frowned upon in NBA circles, where star power is so important. But yeah, they're losing from the bottom up, not the top down.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:03 PM)
OK, everyone. I'm stepping out now, and Andy will take you home over the last half hour or so. Thanks for the great questions.
socalife (los angeles)
I know you've already answered this, but I wanted to point to the inconsistency of the stated rotations. Earlier last week, MB said that he'd have T.Murphy play with Bynum to get inside/outside big men and he'd play McRoberts with Gasol to get another inside/outside big man set. However, that has not happened. Why the disconnect in theory and execution? Plus, against the Nuggets, Murphy was getting absolutely trashed by Al Harrington. Wouldn't that have been the perfect opportunity to sub in McRoberts for some athleticism? Especially when Pau was on the floor at that point? One final jab, I'm not blaming LeBron for poor 4th quarters any more because it appears that Mike Brown taught poor 4th quarter execution to him. As evidenced by the Lakers' performance, or lack thereof.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:08 PM)
Socalife: I think McRoberts is the victim of the natural difficulty of maintaining a four man rotation. Brown said he wanted to try once Bynum was back, but said from the outset it would be tough. And in the meantime, Murphy spaces the floor better for Bynum as a second unit anchor. Thus, in order to get Bynum and Gasol enough minutes, particularly together, there just aren't enough minutes for McRoberts.
Can the return of Blake be a huge help? Or are the role players on this team bad enough that it doesn't matter?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:10 PM)
Trevor: I imagine Blake's return will help to some degree. If nothing else, it'll allow Andrew Goudelock (who I suspect will become Kobe's backup) to be even more of a pure scorer, as opposed to running point guard duties that's not really his strong suit. But at the same time, I wouldn't count on Blake as a panacea. It's not like the second unit was a beacon of consistent production with him available.
Assuming Nash finally asked for a trade, and assuming Houston would still give up the care package for Pau, what would you think of a deal with it's core being:Houston gets PauPhoenix gets Kevin MartinLakers get Scola and Nash.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:14 PM)
LTLF: That's not a bad suggestion, and it's a reasonable for everyone involved. Still, I might hesitate if I'm Phoenix. With Nash, Hill, etc. off their cap next season, plus the amnesty still available, they're gonna have a boatload of space and flexibility to rebuild. Martin adds salary without really making them a playoff team. Granted, his contract expires in 2013, and maybe they can flip him for an asset. But I'd be tempted to maintain the ability to rebuild exactly as I want.
I think at this point in the season, Brown needs to settle on a rotation for consistency's sake -- even if there are patches of bad play by certain players, I really think he needs to decide what to run with for the rest of the year. IMO, this should be a starting lineup of Fish/Kobe/MWP/Pau/Bynum (despite MWP's struggles, we simply need to continue to give him those minutes to keep him engaged so we have him as a defensive option against the more prolific scoring SFs); with the main sub-lineups being (1) Blake (once he's back)/Goudelock/Ebanks/Murphy/Bynum in a 4shooters+Bynum setup (like the Magic emply) when we need to rest Kobe/Pau
Andy Kamenetzky (2:20 PM)
Nate: I completely agree, and to Brown's credit, he seems to have the last few games. I don't like every element of the rotation (I would play Ebanks behind Kobe rather than Kapono, or maybe even ahead of Barnes), but either way, a decision appears to have been made. The options, as you note, are all flawed, but they'll never improve if they aren't allowed a chance to jell.
Love what you guys do, K. bros. Whatever happened to Vujacic, seems we really need someone to hit some 3s and space the floor? With minutes he did OK in NJ last year
Andy Kamenetzky (2:21 PM)
Jack: Thanks for the nice words, Jack. Sasha is under contract in Turkey, and the contract doesn't have an out clause, to the best of my recollection. I'm not sure the Lakers would want him back anyway, but he's not an option either way.
Jason (Pomona, CA)
Wil Pau be an all-star reserve this year? I don't think so because his production has dipped a little and there are a lot of great forwards in the West..Love, Aldridge, etc..
Andy Kamenetzky (2:23 PM)
Jason: I'm guessing Pau won't make the All-Star cut, nor does he really deserve to, honestly speaking. I don't think the persistent criticism over his play is entirely warranted, but he's nonetheless not playing up to his established high standards. And frankly, other guys, whether fellow forward or at other positions, are just outplaying him at the moment.
can kobe adjust his contract with the lakers so that they have more cap space? and if he can, would he ever?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:27 PM)
Ahmad: That's not legal by CBA rules. It's different than in football. Having said that, I also don't think Kobe would adjust his contract even if it were an option. He's had the opportunity twice since Shaq left to leave some money on the table for the sake of the team's cap, and chose not to. Obviously, that's Kobe's right, and he certainly earns every cent. But based on that history, I'm guessing Kobe wouldn't do that.
What do you think would have happened to Lakers history if Mitch Kupchack drafted Monta Ellis instead of Von Wafer who was picked right before Monta?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:30 PM)
Never: The Lakers would have gotten a better player (albeit one that might have been difficult to team with Kobe). But at the same time, the K Bros' blogs would have lost a icon. I ask you, which is more important?
Pau got a "T" last week for hitting his arm to the ref to indicate and 1.Why is it not a T when every single player yells out "and 1" when they go to the basket?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:31 PM)
Fernando: You're asking me to apply logic and reason to the way referees dole out technical fouls? As the folk singer Donovan once said, I may as well try and catch the wind.
lol (idiot brothers)
u guys are jokes both of u i have more laker knowledge on my pinky than both of u morons.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:32 PM)
Get your pinkie a blog. Sounds like it would be worth reading.
Andy, that brings up a great question that I think should have been included in Bryan's article about a "World of Wants" -- when the time comes at the end of his contract, will Kobe be able to take a lower salary/year for the sake of allowing the team to add pieces to help him win his next ring?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:33 PM)
Nate: Will Kobe be able to? Sure. It's a brand new deal, and he can sign for whatever he wants. Will he? Who knows? Although I'm not 100 percent convinced Kobe will play beyond this contract anyway. But that's another story, and a long way off to begin with.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:34 PM)
Anyhoo, people, we gotta wrap. Thanks for dropping by, and be sure to check out Lakers Late Night after the Celtics and Knicks games Thursday and Friday. Also, be sure to check out our podcast interview with Gary Oldman. Really cool conversation with an incredible actor.