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 9:30 a.m. PT/12:30 p.m. ET!
Brian Kamenetzky (12:32 PM)
Hey everyone! Thanks for stopping by. Plenty going on, with the Nash press conference today, and the ever-evolving Howard drama. Let's get going.
D.j. Ellis (Norwalk, CA) [via mobile]
getting a good bench is more important than landing a drama queen center. don't you think? like O.J. Mayo and grant Hill would be major.
Brian Kamenetzky (12:33 PM)
Hi DJ. Hill is certainly an option, though Mayo will almost certainly be out of L.A.'s price range. But the need for a scorer off the wing, particularly off the bench, is pretty strong no doubt.
Looking at the complexity of the 4-team trade including Nets and Magic for D12 and Nets desire to get the trade done today or never. How likely are we to see this trade go though? If today does by without this blockbuster trade, how likely are the lakers to land D12 with the help out the rockets?
Brian Kamenetzky (12:35 PM)
Hey Bryan. You're right, that deal the Nets are trying to assemble is really, really tricky. It's hard enough to put together multi-team deals, and then when you add in the fact that this one involves at least four or five guys who would need to be signed-and-traded, it's even moreso.I don't know if Brooklyn is out, but it does seem like that deal as reported over the last few days is not likely.As for LA, it does seem like they'll need help from a third team, and the Houston scenario is as plausible as any.
Hey K-Bros. So Ive been pushing for this all along because it makes sense to me: 3 way deal, Hou gets Bynum & Hedo, LAL gets Dwight, ORL gets young inexpensive contracts/ picks. Hou gets dominate big man, LAL gets dwight, ORL gets to unload bad contract and start to rebuild. Everyone wins. You guys think this could go down? Or would the fact that Hou signed Aisk have any affect?
Brian Kamenetzky (12:37 PM)
Rob-It does depend a little if Chicago matches, though in Houston's case they're so thin on salary, I don't know if it would significantly impact their plans. But yeah, it would be something like that. Orlando unloads a couple bad contracts (Hedo, Richardson, etc.) and gets young, cheap assets in return so they can start truly clean.
What do you feel are the best options out there for the Lakers bench?
Brian Kamenetzky (12:38 PM)
Names like Grant Hill, Marco Belinelli, and Jodie Meeks make sense. Yesterday when I wrote about this, I talked about minimum guys like Cartier Martin, Dominic McGuire, and people like that. I'd just as soon they go after younger, less established players with more upside than vets and retreads. Raja Bell, for example, won't help them much.
Do you think Howard gets traded soon? Also, if Howard is not traded here, any chance Bynum still signs an extension?
Brian Kamenetzky (12:39 PM)
Chris-I think they'll offer Bynum an extension, but suspect he'll end up going to free agency. That said, if the Lakers don't trade him, ultimately I think he stays here long term.
Do you think the Dwight Howard drama is preventing the Lakers from making other moves?
Brian Kamenetzky (12:40 PM)
To some degree, the Dwight Howard drama is keeping everyone from making other moves. For the Lakers, it's not so much Howard himself, but trying to figure out what they'd get back. If J-Rich is the price of a deal in L.A., then they don't need to use a mini mid on a SG. That sort of thing.
Is Nash a major upgrade for the Lakers, or is he getting too old to really boost this team?
Brian Kamenetzky (12:41 PM)
Major upgrade. Check his stats over the last five yaers or so. Remarkably consistent. He's shown no signs of decline, and with the Lakers will actually have the ability to do less than he did with Phoenix, which should help keep him strong throughout the year.
Roger(Belize) [via mobile]
I think the lakers shud trade gasol to atlanta for smith n another piece even if they trade for howard. What u guys think?
Brian Kamenetzky (12:42 PM)
Hey Roger-At this point, I think ATL is interested in holding cap space for Howard next year. He's a good friend of Howard's, and could be a major attraction for him when the market opens next summer.
William (Los Angeles)
I feel like Devin Ebanks can be and is becoming a solid 3 (defense stopper). Do you think coach Mike Brown will start him and give him consistent minutes?
Brian Kamenetzky (12:43 PM)
It all depends on who they have in the fold at small forward when the season begins. If MWP is amnestied (I don't think he will be), that changes the equation. Matt Barnes won't be back, but on the other hand, if they sign Hill and MWP stays, there is less time available for Ebanks. They could make him Kobe's backup at the 2, but it's really not his natural position.
Enrique (Corpus Christi, Tx) [via mobile]
Why is everyone so concerned about getting Dwight Howard? Last time I checked we have a good center in Andrew Bynum, granted he is sometime more trouble than hes worth. What really hurt the lakers was the production off the bench. When does the bench get adressed, and what number should Steve Nash be since 13 is Wilt Chamberlain?
Brian Kamenetzky (12:45 PM)
Because Howard is better. Healthy, he's a top 5 player in the league. Dominant defensively, dominant on the boards, and more consistent in his effort than Bynum. This is a talent driven league. If you have access to a guy like that, go get him. But you're right, the bench was a huge issue last year, one the Lakers need to address and will, I think. But the two aren't mutually exclusive. I believe Nash will wear 10, per the OC Register's Kevin Ding.
Mars (Santa Monica )
If Dwight Howard ends upin LA, and Bynum goes to Houston how will the finances work out to help update our bench? Rudy fernandez is still available as is Courtney lee...
Brian Kamenetzky (12:47 PM)
Really, nothing changes for the Lakers in that regard. They'd still have a mini-mid level contract to offer, as well as veteran's minimum deals. They'd be spending more money, likely (if nothing else, Howard costs more than Bynum), and might get other players back/ship other players out as part of the deal. So needs could shift some, but I don't think things change all that much. Or not automatically, at least.
Eric (Sac, CA)
I keep hearing that Bynum won't sign an extension with Orlando, but won't they have his bird rights? Which means $25 mil left on the table plus whatever he loses leaving a state with no income tax. Thoughts?
Brian Kamenetzky (12:48 PM)
Personally, I think he'd sign. But given what Orlando has gone through in the last couple years, I can understand why they'd be gun shy. Moreover, I think they want to start truly from scratch, and having Bynum on the books doesn't let them do it. Yes, it would give them a high level player, but if he's not the one they want or they're concerned about his injury history/attitude, they shouldn't take him.
Andrew (Huntington Beach)
Any chance the Lakers will sign Shannon Brown to the Mini MLE?
Brian Kamenetzky (12:50 PM)
Hey Andrew. It's possible, though I don't think he'll be their first choice. But players always slip through the cracks in the market, and he might be one. It's happened to Shannon before, and because the Lakers aren't in a position to be overly picky, there's always a chance he might return. He'd certainly qualify as a real reserve 2 guard. Don't expect it, though.
Sergio Del Real(Chicago) [via mobile]
With all the fiasco going on,what are the odds that Dwight Howard just stays in Orlando this offseason?
Brian Kamenetzky (12:51 PM)
Low-to-nonexistent. Orlando wants some closure.
Josh B (JC Tennessee)
Could the Lakers trade Pau Gasol to the OKC Thunder for Harden or Ibaka?
Brian Kamenetzky (12:52 PM)
No. OKC wouldn't be interested, and would have to throw in more players to make it work. They'd basically be busting up a Finals squad to make that work.
adam (melbourne, Australia)
if the lakers somehow get howard, do they become championship favourites? Or are we better how we are constructed at the moment plus an outside shooter or 2?
Brian Kamenetzky (12:53 PM)
Adam-If he's healthy, Howard definitely raises them another notch in the conversation, because of what he'd do for them defensively. But they'd still need bench depth and a shooter, for sure.
Do you think Andrew Goudelock will play a bigger role for the team this year? He impressed me with his shooting ability before getting buried on the bench at the end of last year, and shooting seems to be a constant issue for the Lakers.
Brian Kamenetzky (12:55 PM)
Hi Jared-It's possible, depending on how the bench situation plays out. If the Lakers don't find a more established backup behind Kobe, Goudelock has a chance to play more. Plus with Nash, his ability to spot up would be very valuable. Still, he's very, very undersized so defensively, having him on the floor isn't always easy. Particularly if paired with Nash with Kobe at the 3.
Pumpkin Escobar (Hogwarts)
BK, i understand the importance of a getting a good shooter. But LA didnt even have a meeting with R. Lewis. Thoughts on that? he signed for cheap. But with Nash running the point, and the ball going in downlow, why is paramount we get a shooter?
Brian Kamenetzky (12:57 PM)
Pumpkin-Honestly, Lewis was one of those guys I hoped they'd avoid. Spotty injury history over the last few years, and a marked decline in performance. He's just not been a productive player, including as a shooter, for a few years. Now, maybe he's rejuvenated with better players around him in Miami, but for the Lakers they can't afford to whiff on their signings, and to me that would have been a bad one. I don't think he'll be all that good this year. Maybe I'll be wrong, but that's my take.
Why dont the Lakers try some more zone? Sincerely, A fan who is tired of seeing awful pick and roll defense from Andrew Bynum
Brian Kamenetzky (12:59 PM)
Generally speaking, NBA teams don't zone up because teams are too skilled and shoot too well to make it work for any length of time. It wouldn't surprise me to see them go with it periodically this year, but unless teams devote a great deal of time to practicing it, it's hard to do it right in significant stretches of the game. You almost have to devote your overall plan to it.
Any news on J Hill resigning?
Brian Kamenetzky (12:59 PM)
Younger (Redondo Beach)
Would u agree that Bynum vs Howard, that there is not much of a difference in talent level? Both are extremely talented but the differences in the skill set types and energy makes D12 a HUGE upgrade to Bynum in terms of fit for the Lakers roster?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:01 PM)
No, I wouldn't. Howard is better. He's a better defender, a more consistent rebounder, better in the pick and roll, and still effective offensively. He's not as polished in the post as Bynum, but still gets the job done. AB is a better FT shooter, that's for sure. But I agree that it's the D and energy in large part making Howard the better fit. On those nights where Bynum is fully committed, he looks a lot like ... Howard.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:01 PM)
Hey folks. Andy is going to take over from here. Thanks for the Q's!
Andy Kamenetzky (1:02 PM)
Hey all, how's it going?
WHy didnt we try to get aaron brooks instead of nash, for defense?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:05 PM)
Dee: Because Brooks isn't a very good defender, either. And in the meantime, Nash is light years better on offense. It's a no-brainer.
Scott Tarlow (Redondo Beach)
So if Nash-Kobe don't win a championship in the next two years, you think mike brown is done in LA ?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:09 PM)
Scott Tarlow: It would depend on why, probably. If the Lakers played well but were just ultimately beaten by legitimately better teams, it's hard to pin that on Brown. But if they didn't win a title because the pieces aren't clicking, then Brown could be a casualty. Plus, his contract is basically done by then anyway.
I have a feeling this Nash thing will not work because I don't remember a possession where Kobe didn't touch the ball. Do you really think Kobe will stand and watch a pick&roll as a spot up shooter?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:13 PM)
Parm: Can't Kobe be part of the pick and rolls? Or fed by Nash off ball on a cut? Or occasionally set up Nash for an outside shot, where he's deadly? Obviously, Kobe will need to become more legitimately comfortable/willing as an off-ball player, because that's how you get the most from Nash. And I'd be lying if I claimed zero concerns over occasional bumps. But I do think Kobe will at least try in earnest to try and make this work. Plus, Nash has the gravitas to speak his mind and take charge, even with Kobe, which I think will help.
David Stern (Hiding)
Now that I let you have Steve Nash, can you Lakers fans ever forgive me for The Veto?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:15 PM)
David Stern: After such a "generous" act, who can possibly stay mad at you, Commish?
3dano3 (Mankato, MN)
A while back it was assumed Gasol would be out the door this offseason. But now it seems a lot of the possible trade targets (HOU/ATL) have gone the route of rebuilding with cap space. Is it seeming like Gasol is a Laker next season?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:19 PM)
3dano3 Who knows? Nash in the fold perhaps makes Pau a more tantalizing player for the Lakers -- I think they could be brilliant together -- but his salary remains an issue. Money could create a tipping point. That said, I do agree Houston and Atlanta (who I never quite bought as "in the picture," for what it's worth) are no longer options. It makes zero sense for either team to trade for Pau now.
When does the summer league start for the lakers and who is invited that we might of heard of? Thanks!
Andy Kamenetzky (1:24 PM)
Fernando: Dave McMenamin, in his newser about Ebanks resigning, listed some of the familiar names. They include Ebanks, Darius Morris, Andrew Goudelock, Christian Eyenga, Darius Johnson-Odom and Robert Sacre.
Johnny B goode (LA)
How many star trek conventions have you been to in your life? my guess is over 20.
Andy Kamenetzky (1:27 PM)
Johnny B Goode: You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who likes Star Trek less than me. Generally speaking, I hate science fiction. If you wanna hang out on a chat board mocking me (which, ironically, is actually dorkier than attending a Star Trek convention), get back to the drawing board.
exhelodrvr (San Diego)
How come I got stuck with Andy answering this question instead of Brian?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:27 PM)
hey- wich combo is better. nash-kobe-pau-bynum or chris paul-kobe-pau
Andy Kamenetzky (1:29 PM)
Jamal: Probably the first one. You get more overall talent, even as the moving parts (and chemistry) can be trickier to figure out. Generally speaking, the more high end talent, the better off a team becomes.
How about Carlos Delfino playing for the Lakers? I think he could be a nice piece coming from the bench.
Andy Kamenetzky (1:33 PM)
Lucas: BK recently wrote about potential options for the Lakers around the edges, and Delfino was among the names he cited. If not specifically Delfino (who probably would fit, FWIW, especially if they don't resign Jordan Hill), then someone of that caliber.
Im a trekker, you dislike star trek so much??...hmmmm I think you just lost a follower.....I might just get my laker news elsewhere....too bad you do a good job...
Andy Kamenetzky (1:36 PM)
Landon: I'm not really sure what one has to do with the other. It's not like you'd hold a Trekkie blogger's disinterest in the Lakers against him, if you liked his work. But if that's the way you feel, I'll just offer one of those Spock-hand salute dealies (whatever they're called) and wish you the best.
Jason (Simi Valley)
Who is the best P&R team in the league? I have to say, watching Parker on the Spurs slice up defenses with pin point passes makes me count the days until the season starts to watch Nash! Can't the lakers "borrow" their playbook?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:38 PM)
Jason: I agree. Parker has seriously improved as a prober who keeps the ball alive for multiple pick-and-rolls. He's evolved nicely from a guy known best for attacking the basket to a player with a more versatile approach.
Do you think Steve Nash will break the Laker curse on point guards?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:39 PM)
Never: If he can't, then it's definitely up to the unicorn.
Andy Kamenetzky (1:40 PM)
Okay, kids. That's all the time we have. We'll have plenty of coverage from today's Nash presser on the blog, so drop by. Also, we have a podcast up with George Lopez. We talked some Lakers, plus stand-up comedy and even pro razzlin'. Give it a listen! Thanks.