Hey everyone. Thanks for stopping in. I'll be here for, well, as long as I can, and will try to get to as many Q's as possible. Let's get rolling!
What is the severity of Dwight Howard's back injury? There's no way LA can trade Bynum for an unknown. Right?
Yeah, I think the back is the first thing that has to be figured out, even before trying to measure Howard's interest in signing an extension now that Brooklyn is (at least as a free agent destination) off the table. Honestly, I don't know how bad it is. I've heard people say he's healing, I've heard people say there are reasons to be concerned. So they'd have to get a feel for it, because obviously it doesn't do much good to trade for Howard if he can't get on the floor, or his career arc could truly be altered by the injury.
Any chance Mike Brown gets an offensive coordinator? Or did he just get one in Nash?
I think in the end, Nash will have an extremely large say in what happens offensively. Between him and Kobe, adding in someone like Gasol, the Lakers have some really high end intelligence on the floor. The coaching staff needs to have some control over what happens, but would be wise not to try and hold the reins too tight.
BTW, John Kuester basically serves that role on the staff as the O.C.
Hi Brian. Are you surprised Nash is with the Lakers, especially after all those playoff battle with them?
Yes. On a couple levels. The playoffs thing doesn't rate as high for me, though it's a factor. But a) I thought the Lakers didn't have the stuff to get Nash in an S and T, given the number of teams that might be interested in him. B) and this is a big one, I NEVER thought the Suns would actually trade him inside the division to a rival team. All together, it made the news a big surprise to me.
So what happened to the Lakers trying to shed salary? And do you think they'll make another trade to try and bring in more depth on the bench?
It wouldn't surprise me to see some cost cutting somewhere, but basically what they've done is to truly go all in over the last couple seasons before the SuperTax kicks in under the new CBA. They had a choice of either paying a ton and having a chance to compete for a title, or paying less (but still a lot) and having no realistic chance.
Do the Lakers have a chance to land the "Big Fish" who is Dwight Howard?
They do, but right now I'd say it has more to do with Brooklyn's ability to complete a trade, rather than L.A.'s. If the Nets can figure it out, he'll likely go to Brooklyn.
Hey B, I just wanted to give a honest opinion on something....you and your brother are a bunch of bozos you stupid jerk!!!!
Your candor is appreciated.
What are the chances that Johson-Odom become a surprisingly good player for the lakers?
I don't know. I think I may have seen him once or twice flipping around, and catching Big East games. I'm really not a CBB expert, by any stretch. But they've had very good success finding players in the second round, and in many ways this sort of pick fits the profile. He's a guy who has a great motor, a defensive profile, and can shoot. If a guy can do those last two things, generally the league will figure out a way to keep him around.
Brian, do they Lakers have the MLE left to sign anybody else to help them next year off the bench, like Allen or Lewis?
Hi Jon. They have a mini-mid level, worth about 3 mil a season (it's what they used to get McRoberts last year). Allen won't be an option, I don't believe, but Lewis in theory could. But I'm not a huge fan of Rashard, b/c he was awful last season and he's a very poor defender. The guy I would love if he manages to slip through the cracks a little woudl be Courtney Lee. Good wing defender, can hit a corner three.
Hey Brian! What about free agent OJ Mayo?
Can't afford him.
whose the favorite for the amnesty? (mwp or blake?) Would you expect who ever gets it will be replaced with the use of our mini mid level on a FA?
Hey Art. At this point, I'm not sure they use it on either. It won't be Blake, because they need a credible backup to Nash at the point, and you can't line up someone like Morris with that sort of responsibility. It would be a waste of resources to amnesty Blake, then go and sign someone to fill the backup PG role. As for Metta, the problem with getting rid of him is they need to have a replacement in mind, someone who can D up like he's still able. If they can get a defensive minded wing at a good price, though, MWP could be out the door.
Are the Magic concerned that Bynum wouldn't sign long term with them if he was swapped for Howard? sincerely, the guy who owes you 20 bucks from LLN starting with sound
Where's my check?I think they might be, but suspect it's a hurdle that would be easily jumped by offering Drew a max extension. He'd sign it, I think.
Greatest respect for you guys, and yourself BK. If I may call you that. Any news on L.A signing in free agent players that are complimentary to the team?, most notedly outside shooters in Nick Young (earned 2.5m last season) and Brandon Rush, maybe add to that Rashard Lewis.And do you believe this move for Nash signifies the intent that the Lakers front office are sticking to their word and keeping the main core together, of Gasol, Bynum and Kobe?Also with Toronto apparently picking up Lowry for a future first round pick, have we missed the boat on adding a great young PG? I realise their picks will always be higher than what we offered, and my guess is if we did the same deal as Toronto sending a future 1st rounder then we wouldn't have been able to get Nash.
Thanks, Domenic. Nice of you to say. I think Rush is a really interesting name (though one ultimately I think could be out of their Mini-mid level price range. He certainly fits the profile of what they'd want in a signing. Someone who can play some D, and hit a three. They won't find a complete player with the money available, so it's important to pick specific skill sets and target them. Even to the point of trying to figure out exactly where they believe the triples will come on the floor, and try to find someone particularly effective from those spots. It's a strategy the Spurs have used very well over time. As for the Toronto thing, it's hard to say exactly b/c in the end, the Raptors pick sent to Houston has a chance to be in the lottery. The Lakers would have had to use multiple picks, I suspect to get Lowry away from the Rockets in the same way. And if they're going to do that, you might as well take Nash. He's still a superior player.
Is Steve nash s deal official? And what about HOWARD .. in ur opinion lakers have a chance to sing him thanks a lot and much respect sir
Nash won't be official until he can sign the deal on July 11, when the NBA lifts its moratorium on new business.
What other players do you expect the Lakers to sign ie: hill, ebanks, grant hill, barnes, or any other free agents ?
Ebanks and Jordan Hill for sure, assuming J.Hill doesn't get an offer the Lakers literally can't match (there's a ceiling on L.A.'s offer b/c of the CBA's more arcane rules). Grant Hill seems like a strong possibility, based on the Nash connection especially. He could be a nice fit, if he's healthy. Last year he broke down a little. He's still a good defender, and has developed a sneaky effective corner three game.
Hey guys, just wondering IF we get Dwight howard where would be go from there? Our bench would still be a liability and we don't seem to have any outside shooters?
Hey Adam-That's true, but it's true now, and they don't have Dwight Howard. Work would still need to be done, but assuming Howard's back holds up, they'd have work to be done but also have Dwight Howard.
I'm not an unrealistic laker fan but i feel like one when i say if the lakers shore up their bench and get a workable sf rotation/jordan hill/two or three shooters i think lakers could be a solid favorite against the thunder. I know its a lot of things that have to happen but i think mitch is capable.
JJ-I don't think you're talkin' the crazy talk. Right now, the Lakers have a great top 4, and questions after. Fill in a couple of those Qs with decent players -- a shooter, reliable bench depth -- and they're in great shape. No team is perfect, and the Lakers will still have weaknesses, but they just picked up an elite level player without sending any talent out the door. That is significant.
Do you see Christian "Sky" Enga having any role with the Lakers whatsoever in a coming off the bench capacity? From what I saw in Cleveland he is athletic but offers little else.
Hi Chris. For what it's worth, I've had one member of the media tell me the Lakers like what they've seen from him so far this summer. He is a very hard worker, for sure, and extremely raw. But if they can mine a little skill out of him, Eyenga could be a nice boost next year as a rotation SF. He wouldn't have to be a complete player yet, but 10-15 minutes of solid play would be great. It's possible, I suppose, but as you say, he's incredibly raw. Athletic like few in the league, but raw.
Where has this generation gone with fashion? After seeing Russel Westbrook, I must suggest my urban sumbrero
Courney Lee for the mini MLE is wishful thinking. Only way Lakers could get him is if they traded Pau to Houston and Lee signed and traded was one of the pieces coming back (Lee, Scola, 2 of those recent picks?)
It probably is, but that's the type of guy they ought to go for. Some might not like him b/c he's not a great scorer off the wing, but he does a couple things well, and those are the things the Lakers need.
Any chance of Matt Barnes coming back to the Lakers?
No, I don't think so Jorge.
I thought the Lakers wanted me back? Anyway they'll still resign me to a backup role?
Nope. Looks like you might be off to Dallas!
i think the lakers should go after ray allen or ryan anderson
Allen looks like he's going to Miami at the moment, and the Lakers can't afford Anderson. But his stretch 4 ability would be nice, for sure.
Is Steve Blake our backup PG at start of season?
Hi Jose. I suspect that will be the case, barring some trade requiring Blake's salary be added to make the whole thing work.
What's the Market for Steve Novak?
He's expected to stay in New York. The Knicks can essentially match whatever offer he's given on the market, and almost surely will have the opportunity to keep him.
If the Lakers can't get Dwight, who can be the best at C posizion ? Bynum or Pau ??To me, playing with Nash could help more Gasol than Bynum.
They have to line up Gasol at PF, Bynum at the 5. Drew doesn't have the range to his game either offensively or defensively to play the four.
what are the chances the lakers trade bynum for someone not named dwight howard?
Hi Joseph-Low, but slightly higher perhaps than some think. If you look at it in terms of future commitments, the Lakers have basically lined themselves up to take this group right up to the point where the ultra punitive repeater tax kicks in, at which point they'd have very few obligations. Pau fits in well there, because he's off the books in two years. Bynum, they'd have to extend to keep past this season to a max contract. So if the Lakers weren't sold on that as a move for the future, it might make sense to move Bynum for current needs -- shooting, depth, a young athlete on the wing, for example -- lining up contractually with the rest of the roster. I'm not saying it's going to happen, but it's a possibility, and does make some sense financially.
Odds we get Jamison, R. Lewis, and amnesty Metta? How is the Jordan Hill situation looking?
I don't think they'll amnesty Metta until there's some sort of wing option at SF available, or they get a little clarity. Jamison wouldn't be a bad fit offensively, I don't think, in a reserve role assuming he'd take small money to play here. The problem would be at the other end. He's never been a great defender, and at 36 or whatever he is, isn't likely to improve. Granted, in championship environments everyone plays harder on that end (in part because otherwise they often don't play at all), but he would likely be another potential liability. I'd kick the tires on him, though, becuase the guy can still play a little. For sure.
Do you think being agressinve for Dwight is the right idea or pursing two more role players and a great 3 point shooter?
I don't think those goals are mutually exclusive.
There has been a lot of talk about the Lakers needing outside shooting, especially with the acquisition of Nash. Who are some likely FA candidates that can fill this need?
Names you'll hear a lot are Michael Redd. Rush can shoot, but is an RFA and likely not gettable w/ what the Lakers can spend on him. In the end, the Lakers might have to look at the Cartier Martins of the world -- potentially cheap option out of Washington who can shoot a little -- and see what sticks. Or hope someone wants to come here for less than they might get somewhere else. Hill could be an option, too. His shooting has quietly improved with age.
Would you trade Bynum for a package built around Iggy and Thaddeus Young?
I might, though I'd have to look at the money to see if the Lakers would. They'd certainly add longer term costs, but so would re-signing Bynum. But questions like this basically come down to whether you think Bynum is someone to go all in with. If the answer is no, deals like this -- Iggy is an OUTSTANDING wing who would fit in great with what they've got going on now, and would allow them to amnesty Metta w/o any concerns about losing defense, and Young is a very good player as well -- make a lot of sense.
Steve Nash baby! Now that I got that out of the way, where are we gonna find the shooter and bench production that is still lacking?
The search is on, Lex! What I think will happen over the next few days is some of the bigger names left on the market will shake out, then the Lakers might go after the dudes who have slipped through and now are squeezed into a lower salary bracket. There's always someone. From there, it's scouring for vets looking for a ring, and I would take a shot at a couple high end D-Leaguers who fit the profile of what they need. Instead of trolling for the Kaponos and Murphys of the world, go out and get someone with a little more potential and youth.
Do you feel any of these will become a Laker: Jordan Hill, Grant Hill, Rashard Lewis, and/or Antawn Jamison? Thanks
I think they'll re-sign Hill, make a run at Grant Hill if his health checks out. Lewis... I'll say no. Same with Jamison. Both are defensive liabilities on a team needing more stoppers.
Courtney Lee would be a great piece for the Lakers, are they really able to make a run at him with just the mini MLE?
I would make the call, for sure, but as was pointed out earlier, it's probably wishful thinking. But so much depends on how the market shakes out. Someone always falls through, and Lee hit the market late because of Houston's moves. He wasn't supposed to be a UFA this year.
Is this the last year to use amnesty clause on a player. Is there any chance to use it and resign the player to a lower salary if they are willing to return to the team.
Nope. An amnestied player a) must clear waivers, and then b) the amnestying team can't re-sign him until the obligation they're killing would expire. That's to keep teams from employing amnesty related shenanigans.
Do you think Lamar Odom can be effective next year with the Clippers?
I do. Not 6MOY effective, but a good player and a major upgrade for the Clips in the frontourt.
Game 7 Heat vs. Lakers tie game, 10 seconds on the clock, starting 5 on the floor ... gimme your play by play! (Nash bringing the ball up the court)
Hmmmm, Maybe have Gasol set a screen off ball for Kobe, who could then screen for Nash. Nash has the option of penetrating, dropping to Kobe, or kicking back to a (likely) free Gasol for a mid-range J? Decent play?
Any chance the Lakers take another look at Arenas as a shooter off the bench?
Maybe, but it's not a high priority... if it's even on the radar... which it likely isn't.
What's the likelihood of keeping the core together and just boosting the perimeter and bench?
strong. More likely than trading a member of the core for other players.
Hey folks. Time for one or two more...
The Lakers past season was full of love, lust, greed, & unbridled enthusiasm. What does next season hold?
If they can add some bench depth and find a shooter, they have a great shot. More importantly, I think, for the first time in at least two seasons, the Lakers will be genuine fun to watch and will likely be having fun on the floor again. That's been missing lately. As a basketball fan, I think it's a huge factor. Yes, everyone wants to win, but at the same time, there are 82 games plus playoffs. A little entertainment is a good thing, right?
WHAT ABOUT DONTA GREEN AS A SF
Well, he's very long and athletic, but hasn't amounted to much yet. Still young, though. The type of guy they might take a flier on with a minimum or non-guaranteed deal. It would make Dave McMenamin happy to have a Syracuse guy around, that's for sure.
How about Gerald Green for a bench spot? Was here early last year and proved he could play in the league this year.
If they could afford him, it would be great but I don't think Brooklyn will let him get away. Should have kept him while they had the chance.
Brian, over the past year or so I've read a few articles that were critical of Jim Buss. The argument seemed to be that he was in over his head, was fairly dysfunctional in his position in the Lakers organization, and other higher ups in the NBA did not like to deal with him. Given recent events, what is your take on that? Thanks.
I was talking about this on the radio yesterday, Doug. At this point, until he really does screw stuff up, fans should lay off. They've done everything fans could want, from making a push last year with CP3 and then the Sessions trade (neither worked for different reasons, but the effort is the key), and now with Nash. Clearly they're trying to win, in a very difficult environment to do so. He should have more goodwill now, there's no question.
Thanks everyone for the great questions. Sorry I can't get to more. If you'd like, hit me up on Twitter (@espnlandolakers) and I'll get back to you there. See you next week.