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December 21, 1:30 PM ET
Chat with the Kamenetzky Brothers

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:32 PM)

Hey folks. How's everyone this morning? Thanks for coming by. We'll be here to answer your questions for as long as we can.Let's get going!

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:32 PM)

Hey folks. How's everyone this morning? Thanks for coming by. We'll be here to answer your questions for as long as we can.Let's get going!

Mike (Long Beach)

Is there any chance the Lakers can use their trade exception to get a serviceable PG?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:33 PM)

Hey Mike-It's certainly possible. They can use it on any player making about nine mil or under. The big question, though, is if they use it on a PG, what do they use for a potential Dwight Howard trade? The presumption, at least, is that the TPE is being held to give the Lakers flexibility for Howard. In some ways, it's a question of short term vs. long term. Do the Lakers want to try and improve this year's team now, or are they waiting and going all in on Howard, whenever that might happen?

Damion (Tucson)

The Clippers have 5 PG's ! Don't you think Mitch would put in a call to get one of them ? ( Mo Williams would be a fit ) have you heard about anything like this or any other PG ?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:35 PM)

The problem is I don't know what the Lakers would give back to the Clippers that they'd want. Maybe the trade exception, but if that's not of interest, what then? Plus, I'm not sure the Clips are in any hurry to help out the Lakers?

Kevin (Manhattan Beach)

Why hasn't Bynum improved in 3 years? He is the same player and has the same moves he had 3 years ago?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:37 PM)

Hey Kevin-I just don't agree with your assessment, there. He has improved, I think, but hasn't figured out how to stay healthy. Look at what he did in the second half last year. To some degree, the big issue with Bynum has always been opportunity. He's not as good as he could be, but he's definitely improving.

Fernando (Camarillo)

Hey guys, great stuff!! If Dwight goes to New Jersey (John Ireland guarantee) D. Will will certainly re-sign too. CP3 will be with the Clips, so what big "stars" will be in the class of 2012? How do the Lakers get back to elite without another star? Keep Bynum?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:39 PM)

Fernando-That's the million dollar question, and why I think there's so much focus-- almost obsession, really-- on Howard now that CP3 is off the market. The Lakers thought they had solved the star of the future problem by getting Paul, but then the league pulled out the rug. If not Howard, then who? Not sure. I wonder if the unrelenting focus on Howard is healthy, but I understand why the concern is there.

Pierre (New York)

Hey KBros, I know the only trade Lakers want to make is for D Howard but lets just say Howard is unavailable. The other day I was thinking why not just continue that 3 way deal with the Rockets instead just 1-on-1. Trade Pau Gasol for Luis Scola, Kevin Martin & Gragic. What you think about that trade?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:41 PM)

I think it's an interesting one, though I don't know where exactly Martin fits in with the Lakers. But Dragic could help them if he can get back to his improvement stages. Scola is probably due for a bit of a dip following what was really a career year last season. But he's still very good. The big problem is the financials. Pretty sure Houston would have to take on more Lakers salary, a fairly subsstantial amount, in that swap, and I don't know who they'd want.

Neil (Castaic)

Gilbert Arenas.. Is he a viable option? If so, the Lakers don't seem interested even though it seems he can't hurt considering the team seems quite thin in general.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:43 PM)

Hey Neil-As I wrote on the blog last night, they need the skill set Gilbert theoretically provides. He can still create his own shot (though not like he once could) and is another ball handling guard and distributor, both things this team needs. There are huge question marks (more about his health than his mind, which is saying something) but if not him, they need to find a way to address those shortcomings. A lot about the Lakers will improve with practice time. But the skill sets they lack won't change with that. Only in personnel shifts.

ben (los angeles)

Bros K, the clippers game showed just why the Lakes are destined to be a 2nd tier team.......no defense and no playmaker. I know it is only a "scrimmage" but it was ugly.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:45 PM)

Hi Ben-It was scary, but remember, the Lakers are learning a new system on both sides, and de-programming themselves from a very specific offensive system with a certain style of reads, cuts, etc. For some of these guys, they've been in it for years and years. Add the fact they haven't practiced much, that a bunch of guys have been with the team for a few days, and so on, and it should be expected they'll look bad. Keep in mind, too, in a glorified pickup game, which is what Monday was by NBA standards, you always take the team with superior point guards, and LAC start two of them.

Rob (Los Angeles)

Guys, you mentioned in the last chat a possible deal with Minny involving Gasol for Love/Williams. Is this still in the works or was it ever really discussed?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:46 PM)

Rob-That wasn't a rumor we had reported, or even talked about. There was some hypothetical chatter around the draft, but it was all shot down, and I don't think it ever had legs.

Elizabeth (LA)

Do you think Darius morris should backup Derek fisher

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:48 PM)

Well, it really depends on how Fisher looks in the new system, but I suspect he'll still out play Morris. There is a lot to like about the rook, but if you go back and look at the tape from Monday, while he acquitted himself well in his first NBA game, he was clearly overmatched at times. He needs to learn.It's a lot to ask of a second round pick to lead a team like the Lakers on the floor. One day, he might, and the Lakers certainly believe they have a keeper. But now, he's likely to be sitting a lot.

JohnnyD (Long Beach)

Drew & Gasol for Howard? Your thoughts on that trade?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:50 PM)

Hey Johnny-That seems to be the deal, right? Basically, I see it as a "now" or "later" deal. Potentially, by making that swap you weaken this year's team (obviously it's hard to say until you know what comes back), but you do get the star of the future. I'd make the trade, because when you have a chance to get a top five player (top 3, really) you do it. But it would likely mean looking ahead, not a this season. Very hard to reconstruct the team on the fly like that.

Isaac (LA )

Who will lead the second unit? Have my doubts about Metta

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:50 PM)

I do as well, and I don't know how they answer that question if he can't. A healthy Ebanks could be key.

joe (auburn,ca)

The lakers looked very sloppy at both ends of the court. Are we to expect this at the beginnig of the season?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:51 PM)

Yes. The first 20 games or so are going to have some really ugly moments, I think. There's just a lot these guys are trying to learn all at once, and executing it on the floor is going to be hard. With repetition, they'll pick things up and improve, but early on, it's going to look bad at times.Remember, normally teams have weeks of preseason and six (eight?) preseason games to work with. This year, it's a ludicrously short camp and only two preseason games.

Doc (Long Beach, CA)

How much minutes do you think Morris and Goudelock will get this season.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:52 PM)

Morris will get spot minutes unless someone gets hurt, and I don't think Goudelock makes the team.

Trevor (LA)

Hey guys, prediction for tonight's game??

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:53 PM)

Hi Trevor-I think the Clippers win again, and the freak-out meter for Lakers fans ratchets up that much more. But again, it's not necessarily an indicator of long term prospects, because given their advantage in the backcourt, the Clippers should have more success right now while teams are so disorganized. Plus, they're really good.

Never (LA)

Do you think other teams will feel insulted if Lakers included Luke Walton for trade talks?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:53 PM)

This year, probably. Next year, less so.

Bobby (Westlake Village)

Guys, we know the other teams and even the NBA will go out of their way not to help the Lakers. I think the void left by Lamar leaving could be filled with Kirelinko who is actually a better defender and shooter and like Lamar could play multiple positions.Arenas is still out there too and he could provide instant offense. I think with those two guys the Lakers will be alright. What do you guys think?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:55 PM)

AK47 is an idea I like at the right price. He was vastly overpaid in his last few years in Utah, but still is a very productive player and a plus defensively with his length and leaping. Not what he once was, but as long as a team doesn't pay for past production, they're fine.The trick? Again, the only way to really pull that off is a S and T with Utah, which would likely cost the Lakers their trade exception. Use it on Kirilenko, and you can't use it on Howard.

Lex (LA)

The Clippers really are better than the Lakers, huh?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:55 PM)

Not quite ready to say it yet... but I might have to revise my preseason predictions after tonight. I'll put it that way.

Lex (LA)

Hey K-Bros, I think this the first time since we acquired Pau that I truly feel worried about th upcoming season. Our PG play is terrible with Fisher to old and Blake well looking terrible, Kobe is out only scoring option who can create his own shot and who knows is Pau will be the Old Pau and can Bynum actually stay healthy with us havung no bench at all? Can you give me some positives about this team going into this season?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:58 PM)

Hi Lex-Kobe looked good physically, which is a plus. Gasol played well, I thought, and will be fine. He is an elite PF. Don't worry about him. Bynum said yesterday that wind is a major issue for him right now, as they adjust to the more aggressive D they're playing on the perimeter in P and R. He's in good shape physically, but not game shape. There's just no way to simulate that when you're as big as him without playing in games, and they haven't had any. He'll be fine as long as he's healthy. Could be a big year. The Lakers have also done a nice job addressing shortcomings in perimeter shooting, and adding McRoberts is a plus. How was that?

joe (auburn,ca)

Why couldn't the lakers have used their trade exemption to bid on a player like billups? They have two in the sasha and Lamar trades.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:59 PM)

Hi Joe. Unfortunately for them, only teams under the cap were allowed to bid on amnesty players like Chauncey. They never had a shot, unless he cleared waivers. Once the LAC put in their bid, that went out the window.

Dan (Los Angeles)

Do you think the trade exception could be used to grab someone like Paul Milsap or Anderson Verejao, making it easier to part with Bynum and Pau for Dwight?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:00 PM)

No, because if you use the exception on one of those guys, it makes it that much harder to acquire Howard. Those are two good choices for improving the team, but that would be a "now" move, not something they could do to prep for life after a Howard trade. Or at the very least, not in any way that feels realistic to me.

4LifeLakerFan (earth)

Where's Andy?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:00 PM)

Working on other stuff right now. We're multitasking!

Kevin (Manhattan Beach)

What are you early impressions of the Lakers assistant coaches?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:01 PM)

Hey Kevin-They're very hard working, and seem very accessible as well to players. But on a personal level, I really haven't had a chance to do more than introduce myself to a few of them.

Chris (Newport Beach)

Lakers have no PG. No back-up 2. No back-up C. No bench essentially. The season has ended before it's begun.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:03 PM)

Well, actually they have three backup PGs and no starter. At least technically. The backup 2 is a problem, not necessarily because there's nobody they can put there, but they don't have the skill sets you'd normally associate with a SG. They need another ball handler, and a guy who can create his own shot. Hence the Gilbert chatter, despite all the misgivings.

Trevor (LA)

How good do you think Darius Morris can be? I like what I saw the other night, but still very raw. Do you think he is a potential starter or nice trade piece down the road?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:04 PM)

Both. He could be someone they move in a deal for a more established player, or perhaps he's a guy who develops with the Lakers. I think they'd love to keep him around if possible, because he's very young, and very inexpensive (and likely to stay that way for a while). They'll need that going forward. Talented and cheap is a great combination.But it'll take a while. Like you said, he's very raw. But he looks the part, right?

Chris (Newport Beach)

Here's something you don't talk about. The Lakers have no back-up Center. Why haven't they pursued one. Reggie Evans or Kurt Thomas would have been a perfect fit.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:06 PM)

Well, Thomas was taken off the market. Evans isn't a center, but might have made a nice addition (again, the Clips do well for themselves). But I think in the frontcourt, they're ok. A four man rotation of Gasol, Bynum, McRoberts and Murphy, all of whom can play center, should be fine. Could be very good, actually. Remember, Murphy had a lost season last year, but in the two years prior was a 14+/10 guy who can shoot the three. Pretty productive stuff for a mil and change.

Neil (Castaic)

7.62Is there a valid reason Walton wasn't amnestied while the Lakers had the chance? The guy is getting paid millions to keep the bench warm.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:08 PM)

There are a few. I think they still believe Luke might at some point qualify for an injury exception, depending on how things shake out with his back. Plus, by holding on to him they give themselves a potentially useful expiring contract for next season. Plus, they might want to use the amnesty provision on someone else down the road. Metta, perhaps, who makes more and has a contract running deeper into the future. If they use an amnesty on Luke now, a guy they can probably move as early as this offseason or into next season, moving Artest becomes almost impossible later.

Maximus (Rome)

Hey K-Bros, do you think the Lakers can actually win the title this year with the team as presently constructed? I mean as Legler said MCROBERTS is our 4th best player!

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:09 PM)

Yes, but they have very, very little margin for error. A lot would have to break their way. They're not the best team in the West right now, no question. Can't win the title if you can't win the West.

Jay (Santa Monica)

I would be that Mitch is calling Phoenix everyday to try to get Nash. Assuming we take on a couple bad contracts and give up some young talent/pics, would Nash fit Mike Brown's system? Phoenix has commitments totaling 59mm and no shot at the playoffs.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:09 PM)

Great idea, but there's no combination of players I think the Lakers could put together (or should, I should say) that would appeal to the Suns. They'd take Bynum, sure, but why would you trade Bynum for Nash?

Derek (San Diego)

Is there still a chance of the Lakers getting Dwight Howard?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:10 PM)

Of course. Until he signs an extension somewhere, he's a potential acquisition.

Matthew (Los Angeles)

Do you the current lakers lineup is what we are going to stay with (unless of course we get dwight) or do you think they are going to try to make more moves like picking up Gilert Arenas? Also, is anyone aware we are paying Troy Murphy $3mm more than we were giving ODOM!?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:12 PM)

Not sure I understand your last point. Odom makes almost nine mil, Murphy 1.3. They could troll the FA market for help, but as I've said, they're in a bind in terms of big trades. Use any pieces to help add depth, and they likely make it harder to go after Howard.

Rob (Los Angeles)

If K-Mart is released from his Chinese contract, is he a unrestricted FA? I know Lakers can only offer him vet minimum, but do you think he will command a higher pay like Humphries 7 million deal?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:12 PM)

He'd be a UFA, but I don't know if the Lakers could afford him (or Smith, for example) unless they wanted to play for the pro-rated minimum.

Matt Heupel (Florence,AL)

How sensible would it be to pull a trade with Phoenix for Steve Nash or a SA for tony Parker? There skill set could be similar to the plan in Dallas with Kidd. It would seem that those teams may want to get younger as well so we could use some of our draft picks and a say a steve Blake and Morris??? Thoughts??

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:13 PM)

I get the impulse, Matt, but would you trade Tony Parker for Darius Morris, Steve Blake, and some draft picks in the high 20s? I wouldn't.

Sergio (Long Beach)

Hey K-Bros. - If the Lakers(Jim Buss) would have pulled the trigger last season on the trade of Bynum for Melo, and IF the Paul trade went through, what do you think of that lineup that could have been of Kobe, Melo and CP3?? :)

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:14 PM)

Fun to watch, but I do wonder how well the Melo/CP3 combo would work, wedding toasts aside.

Travis (L.A.)

I think Metta-Rest in-Peace is total disaster. He is getting worse and worse.. Do you think this team will keep him??

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:16 PM)

This team will, but next year's? I don't know.

Joe (Los Angeles)

Are we really trying to say the Lakers are running the risk of having to rebuild again and being mediocre in the meanwhile like back in the days of Kwame Brown and Smush Parker?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:16 PM)

Absolutely, Joe. What they're currently trying to do is thread the needle, and rebuild without ever actually getting bad in the process. In the NBA, that's a very, very tough thing to do.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:17 PM)

And by bad, I mean less than Lakes standards. Generally speaking, you really do have to tear it down to build it back up.

Casey (Santa Clarita CA)

Brian I understand that they would like Howard but if you are the Orlando GM do you get more or less trading to NJ vs Lakers? NJ they would be able to save a lot of money. Your thoughts?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:18 PM)

Casey-It's really impossible to know, unfortunately. The Lakers would likely have to involve a third team, I think, to build the best deal for Orlando, and once that happens it gets very tough to figure out who might be able to make a better deal. I will say that Jersey's current offer, basically Lopez, a ton of picks, and the willingness to take on Orlando's bad contracts isn't overwhelming, or they'd have already pulled the trigger.

Jeff (West Hills, CA)

Stephen A. Smith said having Metta come off the bench is a terrible idea because he will lose focus not starting games. Do you think Metta should start?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:21 PM)

It's a trade off. In theory, he could be right, but at the same time he loses focus in the first unit because offensively he's such a non-factor. Basically, he stands in the corner and waits for the ball. In the second unit, he would be engaged because he'd have a greater level of responsibility, and a larger role on offense. I understand what Stephen A is saying, but in this case I think he's wrong. At least in theory, Brown's idea is a solid one. If Artest fails, I suspect it will have more to do with fading skills, not the choice to bring him off the bench.

CW (Long Beach)

We just keep getting back to the DUMBEST MOVE that could have been made. Why the giveaway on ODOM? Couldn't they have let it ride and see if he came around? They could have given him away later in the year even, if they decided he wasn't going to work out, couldn't they? It just doesn't make sense. Mitch isn't DUMB, so who made that call?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:22 PM)

Yes, they absolutely could have, and should have. It was a bad, reactionary deal that shouldn't have been made. My feeling is it's more a Jim Buss move, but that's based on feeling, not hard reporting.

Matthew (Los Angeles)

Do you think Jim Buss is being more stingy with the family money now that he has more control? Is this possibly the end of the Jerry Buss era where he spent tons of money out of his own pocket, which in turn allowed us to be so successful?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:23 PM)

I don't think that's really fair. Yes, the LO thing looks like a salary dump, but the payroll is still very, very high and 10 days ago everyone was talking about how the Lakers were targeting BOTH Howard and CP3. On the one hand, they can't be willing to spend on three superstars and still be cheaping out. Those two things are antithetical.

Joe (Los Angeles)

For the love of God, if us fans are in panic mode what must Mitch be feeling right now? In your opinion does Mitch's legacy hinge on what he can and can't do the next few years of Kobe's career and how much does the present day Laker roster have Jimmy Buss to blame?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:24 PM)

Mitch is surprisingly calm about this stuff. Which is good for fans. The big question is how much authority he has these days over personnel questions.

Jaime (Los Angeles)

I was wondering what will the thunder ask for Russell Westbrook. He can be the transition to the future. If Lakers offer Pau and Blake and draft picks? He is young can get other spare parts to make saliries match and if we can't get Howard at least we have a possible random with bynum and westbrook for the future.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:24 PM)

Not a prayer.

Matt Heupel (Florence,AL)

Thanks so much for answering my question! I really enjoy your articles and viewpoints. Everyone calls me crazy down here for following Laker basketball. But this stuff consumes me!! Thanks again

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:25 PM)

Thanks to you! We need that footprint in Alabama!

Jordan (OC)

Do you agree with Mike Browns choice of putting MWP as the 6th man. His strength is his defense (even if he has lost a step). In my opinion Ron Ron needs to start.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:26 PM)

I suspect he'll still be on the floor late, guarding the opposition's best players. His defensive metrics last year were very strong. Starting is an overrated talking point. If he plays well, he'll play, and in important situations.

Charlie (Downtown L.A.)

Gasol for Boozer/Korver (as some sites have mentioned)... Who wins in this trade?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:26 PM)

I don't like it.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:27 PM)

Hey folks. Gotta run. Thanks for the great questions. As always, if we didn't get to you, hit us up via Twitter (@espnlandolakers) or email (espnlandolakers@gmail.com).Thanks. Reminder, check out Lakers Late Night after tonight's game. Generally kicks off a couple hours after the final buzzer. We'll tweet out the time.