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 (1:31 PM)
Hey everyone. Brian will be here in a few, but in the meantime, let's get 'er rolling.
Bros, K! Waddup? Do Buss/Kupchak DARE to amnesty Kobe after next year (before his last contract year) to save the $75-90MM hit ($30 mil salary and what, like $60 mil or more in cap hit penalties?) Do I speak of sacrilege? They could resign him after a year's hiatus, right?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:35 PM)
Roy: The smart money is on "no," unless Kobe truly loathed the idea of being part of a rebuild, which the Lakers might actually have to do in the near future. Kobe means too much to the franchise in terms of history and, frankly, the money he generates by putting butts in seats. But the elephant in the room is Kobe's contract, when it comes to prepping for the future. His salary takes up an enormous chunk of the cap, and he has a no-trade clause, which makes moving him nearly impossible. If the Lakers really wanted to rebuild, Amnestying Kobe is actually the most effective way of jumpstarting the process.
Steven (O.C.) (kj)
Hey guys, can't Goudelock backup Kobe at the 2 spot when Blake returns? I understand he's undersized but his ability to hit shots and create are needed and I don't understand why his minutes have to diminish after Blake returns. I love d-fish but goudelock is playing solid D and can score and develop so why not even start Blake and keep using Goudelock and use D-fish in short stints? Thanks
Andy Kamenetzky (1:37 PM)
Steven: My guess is that's what will happen, unless Goudelock's play slips or Mike Brown thinks he and Blake make too small a backcourt. But Goudelock began the season as Kobe's backup, so Brown clearly is open to the possibility.
What do you guys think about the 3-point clinic that the Lakers bench put on? Do you think that the Lakers are now back on track in terms of 3-point shots?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:40 PM)
William: I'll wait a little longer before truly buying in, but I felt heading into the season the team would be better from behind the arc. Adding Murphy, Kapono, and Goudelock, plus a reasonably credible return to form by Blake should lead to much better 3-point shooting on paper. The three newbies have played more of late, and the 3-point shooting has in turn gotten a bit better. Hopefully, it's a trend and not a flicker.
How desperate are the Lakers that they are hitting up Arenas when no one else is. Also how bad is Arenas that no one is interested? I'm hoping it has more to do with attitude than play but I'm thinking it is both that are terrible.
Wow since starting, Metta has averaged almost 4 pts a game.
Andy Kamenetzky (1:42 PM)
Alfred: He has not been "prolific" as traditionally defined, for sure. Then again, Barnes hasn't been lighting it up these days, either. So I guess it's worth a try. It's really more important Metta just take good shots, play solid D, make a few assists and not turn the ball over than put up 15 a night. Not that I'd object, but I'm just trying to keep things realistic.
Is it just me, or has Matt Barnes been a turnover machine with terrible passing in the last few games???
Brian Kamenetzky (1:44 PM)
Hey Danz-I think that's one reason you've seen MWP moved back into the starting lineup. Not only has his shooting performance been bad (two triples last night notwithstanding) but he's been more careless with the ball.Honestly, though, the move also had something to do with the face Metta just wasn't working with that second unit. It was a nice idea in theory, but in practice he just couldn't be a catalyst, and meanwhile the group was suffering.
joe (los angeles)
so does kobe calling goudelock mini-mamba just him teasing the rookie or do you think he really thinks goudelock has talent?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:45 PM)
Joe: Probably a little of both. It's obviously a mite early to start truly comparing Goudelock to Kobe in earnest, but there's also no question the kid has a nose for scoring and he's not afraid, even that this level, to act on that instinct. Kobe's gonna appreciate that, especially as a rook.
Gilbert Arenas? Seriously? Surely the Lakers have better options out there...
Brian Kamenetzky (1:46 PM)
Hey Steven-Better? Hard to say, because the current options on the market as far as street free agents go are pretty weak. But if you're saying GA isn't a good idea, I agree. I wrote about this the other day. A) I don't know if he's worth having to cut someone, b) I'm not sure he's worth the investment of getting him integrated into the lineup, and c) there is good reason to believe he won't be very good. Not a winning formula to me. If they're willing to explore other options, that's what I'd do.
What do you think the odds are that Bynum and Gasol will be on the Lakers after the trade deadline? Also what will be considered a good road trip .500?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:48 PM)
Very high. I just don't see them making significant moves before the deadline, unless the wheels come off the wagon completely or the Magic make it clear Howard is available and they want to move him here. But I put the percentages of DH in LA at below 50 percent. That being the case, I think it's more likely than not that both Gasol and Bynum are in purple and gold the rest of the year. As for the road trip, 3-3 is ok. I'd consider 4-2 very strong, because it likely means they beat two of the four good teams on the schedule.
Hey guys, I don't understand why coach brown doesn't give Ebanks some more floor time. Ron is a beast at times but its such a rarity now. Start Barnes and perhaps set up more plays for pau to catch and barnes to slash and then bring Ebanks off the bench before Ron and let him develop and use his length defensivily. Thanks!
Andy Kamenetzky (1:49 PM)
Steven(!): I would really like to see Ebanks play more, too. If not at the 3, then at the 2 behind Kobe, at least until Blake returns. Kapono isn't necessarily a "bad" option, but he also brings very little to the table beyond shooting (which he doesn't even do much of anyway while on the floor). Ebanks can help create more transition buckets, change the pace and provide a little better D. Plus, the front office needs to figure out what they have in him as one of their few young assets. But for now, doesn't appear to be in the cards.
with goudelock playing very well...do you still see them making a play for arenas or sessions? which is more likely?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:50 PM)
Hey Mike-Goudelock's performance, to me at least, makes an Arenas signing less likely. I don't think it impacts any trade scenarios revolving around Sessions, though, because Ramon is a more traditional PG who would represent a legit upgrade at that spot. In terms of more likely, I'd say the trade, because I don't think they're signing Gilbert. If they wanted to go down that road, I think they would have by now.
Are the Knicks a Phil Jackson away from being title contenders or is the pair of Melo and STAT nowhere close to par with Jordan/Pippen, Kobe/Shaq, Kobe/Gasol?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:52 PM)
Never: No, and I cannot for the life of me understand why Phil would come out of retirement to coach that team. Not that I actually think he will, and I've been on record as saying there's no chance in Hades, but the rumors certainly persist. They'd need at least a few years and a bunch of roster tinkering to even possibly resemble a championship contender. By then, Phil will be 70 or older. Does he really wanna put himself through that kind of grind to break HIS OWN record? He couldn't possibly need the money that badly.
Hey K-Bros, is the rumor true that DH12 has cautioned the Lakers that he will not immediately commit long term and that he wants to explore free agency? This doesn't help my bargaining power.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:52 PM)
Otis-Honestly, I have no idea. There are so many stories and rumors out there about what Howard wants to do, and he's a little flighty in terms of making a commitment to one mindset over another. One day, Chicago isn't in play, the next day it is. And so on. It's not like last year with Melo, where it was clearly New York, New York, and only New York. So I think in the end, Otis will just wait it out as long as he can and see what he has at the deadline, and if the options aren't good, it wouldn't shock me to see them take the risk and go into the summer, and hope they can do a sign and trade with a team able to make such a deal.
Jonathan Gonzalvo (Dominican Republic)
Hey AK! I think despite the Bobcats sucking so bad, the Lakers did do a pretty good job on a lot of things. Do you see them continuing on this momentum coming Friday?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:54 PM)
Jonathan: It's hard to gauge anything specific off last night, since the Cats are so terrible. But I'm hoping the trend of more wins with more practices is perhaps a sign of what the Lakers are capable of becoming. I think we'll know a fair amount about this team's potential by the end of the month when they've finally had more practices and rest, despite being on the road a lot.
So what kind of steal did we get for Odom? I'm kidding, but still..deal doesn't look horrible at this point.
I hear there are rumors of the Lakers showing interest in Kmart and Rasheed Wallace?Why would the Lakers be interested in signing any of them? I think Mcroberts and Murphy are doing a good job coming from the bench
Brian Kamenetzky (1:55 PM)
The Sheed thing, I'm really not buying. What I've read is that his people have contacted the Lakers, not the other way around. I don't know how effective he'd be after the layoff, and again, they'd have to cut someone to bring him on. Martin would be an upgrade. He's a good player, but you're right-- fitting him into the rotation won't be easy. I suspect he'll end up going somewhere else. I hadn't seen anything with him potentially picking the Lakers as a destination until the last day or so, and wonder if that's not just put out there more to sweeten the market for him with other teams around the league, especially since they can all pay him more than the Lakers can.
Whats good K Bros? I was pleased with the ball movement of the 2nd unit plus Bynum. Bynum made good decisions in double team situations. Is he learning or was it just the poor quality of competition?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:57 PM)
Brandon: It certainly helped Bynum's night that the Cats are terrible, but Drew nonetheless did a nice job reading the floor, whether to move the ball or react going against the doubles. He's been showing some signs of better recognition in the last couple games, so perhaps it's a sign of nice things to come. But by his own admission, it's still a learning process.
lakers 6 game road trip record predictions?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:58 PM)
Hey Jake-I think they'll go 4-2. I'm an optimist, right? If they can get through the first three games in Denver, Utah, and Philly with a win, they'll be set up reasonably well to have a shot at 4-2, which would be a good trip. Obviously Boston isn't a patsy, even at 10-10, because that's an emotionally charged game. But it's also very winnable, and if they do getting through New York and Toronto shouldn't be beyond them.If they can steal 2 games off the top, it puts 5-1 in play. But I think given their road struggles, it's best to temper expectations, right? Over .500 is good. .500 is tolerable...
Would acquiring Sessions hinder the chances of trading for D12?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:59 PM)
Hi Brandon-It depends on what they have to give up. Some people think using the trade exception isn't a big deal in relation to trading for Howard. I'm not sure, my feeling being that LA has a very limited array of assets, so ANYTHING they give up could have an impact, but if it costs them the draft pick acquired in the Odom deal, that could make a difference.
What's the holdup with the Lakers upgrading the roster??
Brian Kamenetzky (2:00 PM)
It's not a matter of snapping your fingers and making it happen. Trades require trade partners, and terms that make sense.
When is this whole Dwight Howard thing going to resolve!?
What up K-Bros, last week was the first chat I missed all year. Unfortuntaely there was a funeral I had to attend. My question is, do you think the Lakers loyalty to D Fish will cloud our judgement on a move like Sessions? If we were to trade for a guy like Sessions blake would be the backup or starter and Fisher would be basically irrelevant. Obviously Kobe and Fish are super close, so does their relationship force the Lakers management to think twice about a move like that, even though it would help the team?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:00 PM)
Personally, I think it could drag into the summer. I'm not at all convinced Orlando will move him soon, or even by the deadline.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:00 PM)
Lex: Actually, if Sessions ended up a Laker, I don't think it's necessarily guaranteed he starts. Fisher's skill set matches better with the starters than reserves, in my opinion, and Blake could be played off ball, unless Brown felt he and Blake were too small a backcourt. From there, Sessions does what Blake did before the injury, which was eat up a lot of Fisher's minutes. Or maybe Sessions starts and Fisher plays off the bench. Who knows? But either way, I don't see the Lakers not making that move if the price is right just to appease Fisher. Remember, they traded for Chris Paul.
Who would have thought having a couple guys like Farmar and Vujacic would be pretty helpful right now?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:02 PM)
Yes and no. Remember, Farmar had no interest in staying, and they thought they got a guy in Blake who represented an upgrade. It's hard for me to be critical, because I agreed with them. As for Sasha... sure, he'd likely be playing right now, but at the time trading off a guy who wasn't in the rotation and cost a lot of money was justifiable. You'd like to see them hold on to pieces like him (he would have come in handy near the end of last year, too) because they're the Lakers and can afford it, but at the same time the payroll is easily the NBA's largest. Hard to call them cheap.
If Gasol wasn't included in a theoretical Howard trade then who could the magic possibly want the lakers to throw in with Bynum to seal the deal?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:03 PM)
Anie: It's hard to say, actually. Unless the Magic's first choice is to move Dwight straight up for Drew, they'd almost certainly ask the Lakers to take on salary, likely Hedo Turkoglu. The Lakers don't have many appealing assets to equal that salary. It probably becomes a matter of getting another team involved. Who knows? But that's a tricky scenario you're presenting.
if we're looking at big men like kenyon, doesn't that foreshadow a Gasol or Bynum trade?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:05 PM)
Joe: I don't know how solid the K-Mart talk is, but even if the Lakers were in discussions with him, I doubt it necessarily triggers a move involving Pau or Drew. Martin is getting up there in age, has a history of injuries and they have no idea how he'll fit into their schemes. I wouldn't put all my eggs in his basket like that.
I'm a Laker fan hoping to see us develop atleast one prospect from the bench. Does Andrew Goudelock have potential from the bench or is he just one of those players just doing good right now.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:05 PM)
Hi Corey-I think there will be a point for sure where the league catches up to Goudelock, and then we'll really see what the Lakers have in him. He'll start appearing on scouting reports and attracting defensive attention. But he absolutely believes he can score anywhere, at any level, and faced a ton of attention from defenses in college, as well and still put up big numbers. Some guys are just scorers. He might be one. If that's the case, LA found itself a solid player at a spot where they tend not to be. Goudelock is a tweener, because he's no more 6'3" than I am, and needs to develop his PG skills. But you have to like the confidence, and he seems to have a nose for putting the ball in the basket.
Hey guys. There is a rumor about Mitch Kupchak leaving the Lakers. How much truth is there to this rumor?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:07 PM)
Hi Khan-I don't put any stock in it, really. It's always possible, but knowing Mitch if he really did decide to leave, nobody would know until he was gone. I think that rumor comes off a lot of "what if?" speculation regarding his working relationship with Jim Buss, not anything concrete in terms of what's actually happening.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What Los Angeles Lakers will be Playing in the NBA All-Star Game?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:07 PM)
Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum.
i think we all agree that the lakers must improve at the PG position--we all love deron williams, but that senario is not likely. I think Jeryd Bayless would be a great addition--- a 1st round pick and 3 million of our exeption would get it done. Agree?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:08 PM)
Honestly, bigbird, that's too much to give up for Bayless. He's a shoot first PG, and is turnover prone. Not my favorite guy.
Hank (Glendora, CA)
Do you think New Orleans would have been a better team if "basketball reasons" didn't prevent the Lakers trade? Hornets certainly don't look they could have been worse.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:08 PM)
Hank: In the short run, no question. In the long run, not necessarily so, depending on who they draft and how Aminu develops. However, if they can't lock up Eric Gordon or get something good in return for a sign and trade, then I'm guessing Stern will likely have done more harm to the Lakers and Rockets than help to the Hornets. Perhaps it'll even go down as damage to all three.
If the lakers keep Bynum and Gasol, is getting Sessions enough to make them playoff ready? Championship caliber?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:10 PM)
Probably not, but it gets them closer. I'm of the mind the Lakers need a couple mid-level pieces to bolster the roster, and then they can make a push. Or they can try to push their chips in on a big move designed to secure the future. What's tough to do is improve the team now AND get that next superstar at the same time.
Hey K-Bros,If the Lakers can somehow finish in the Top 2 in the West and Kobe averages 30ppg how good are his MVP chances. It's a shame if he ends up with just one.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:11 PM)
Jay: If the scenario you presented actually happens, I would say bet the house on Kobe winning MVP. I'd be stunned if that wasn't the case. Between merit and the media's love of a good storyline, Kobe would have to be the frontrunner. However, the "30 ppg" part feels much more realistic right now than "#2 in the West," which will hurt Kobe's chances with many a voter.
Will the Lakers have a second area rival soon? I know the Honda Center management acted like it was getting the Kings last year..
Brian Kamenetzky (2:13 PM)
Hi Alex-I spoke to a couple Sacramento people a little while back, and honestly that conversation about them moving has cooled off a little. I'm not deep inside it, but you don't hear nearly as much about it as was coming last year. I know the league wants to make it work up there, because they like the market, and obviously the city of Sacramento and Kevin Johnson is working VERY hard to make it happen.If they fail, Anaheim becomes a strong potential spot for the Kings, but right now I'm not hearing a lot.
Patrick (Los Angeles)
With Kobe, Pau and Andrew I dont see why people really think a superstar PG, what this team needs is a PG who plays solid D, distributes the ball and hits the open 3. And a small forward who plays D and hits an occasional shot. I think Fisher is phased out once Blake is healthy to play and the PG will be mainly a combination of Blake/Goudelock and whoever the hot hand is at SF between Artest/Barnes and Ebanks backing up Kobe. This team hasnt lost to any slouches on the road, the Kings home opener is a trap, Portland, Denver, Clippers, Miami & Orlando back to back (thanks NBA) and Bucks who are good at home are not terrible losses and losing close ones at home to two top Easten conference teams isnt either. Fans should be patient as they actually get practice time there is improvement and I think gonna be hard to beat 4 0f 7 come playoff time . Your Thoughts ?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:15 PM)
Patrick: I don't disagree with your assessment of the team needs, but addressing them could be easier said than done. But you raise a valid point I've also talked about in terms of the Lakers' road competition. It's been very good, which makes me take their road record so far with a grain of salt. Not that I "accept" or "excuse" the losses, and teams desirous of a title need to win on the road. But the quality of competition nonetheless matters, and the Lakers' has been pretty stiff, especially considering the lack of practice and off-days to rest.
Bros K! Waddup? Do Kupchak/Buss DARE to amnesty K24 after next season (before his last under contract) to save the, what, $75-$100mil hit on that year ($30 mil salary plus up to $70mil in cap hit penalties)? Do I speak of sacrilege? They could always resign him the following year to something more palatable. What say you?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:18 PM)
Hi Roy-First of all, if they do decide to amnesty Kobe, he's gone forever. That's a given. There's no way he'd resign with the Lakers after they did that to him. His relationship with Jim Buss is dicey enough as it is, so he would never give him that satisfaction if JB did that to him. That said, while I'd be absolutely floored if the Lakers actually did it, structurally you're right. If they really, truly decided rebuilding had to happen from the ground up, then losing Kobe's contract is almost essential. He makes too much money to get it done, otherwise. Bynum and Pau can be traded, other guys can be let go, but Kobe would have to be amnestied. Again, they're not doing it, and I wouldn't recommend it, but there is some truth to what you're saying. The only caveat would come if the wheels TRULY come off the wagon, or Kobe suffers some sort of long term injury clouding his future. Nobody wants either of those things to happen.
Jonah (calfornia) [via mobile]
I have a question... I know a lot of lakers fan like I am... wants to see luke go.. in order to get gilbert arenas or other players.. what the odd of the chance of letting luke walton go?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:19 PM)
Hey Jonah-If they signed someone, I think the guy who would be cut is Derrick Caracter. Cutting Walton at this point robs them of one of their potential assets for next year-- namely that they can FINALLY swap his contract. As an expiring player making a decent amount of money, Walton could have a little value in a deal next year. I don't think they sacrifice that to take a flier on Gilbert, nor will they amnesty him next year.
jake (los angeles)
gasol not all-star this year?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:21 PM)
Jake: I'm guessing Gasol won't make it this season. At last count I've personally seen, he's behind Griffin and Durant, meaning he has to get selected by the coaches. He won't possibly beat out Kevin Love, and I imagine Dirk, even in a slow year, will make it out of respect. I'm guessing LaMarcus Aldridge also makes it among forwards. Gallinari and Rudy Gay are arguably better choices. Plus an extra center or guard could get carried. So I'm guessing Pau is aced out and frankly, that's fair.
With the condensed schedule are the Lakers even practicing? How would they take a guy like Arenas off the scrap heap and get him in a position to be productive? I don't see how thats possible in a season like this.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:22 PM)
Hi Dan-The practice thing is interesting. Last week marked the first time they were able to have a full speed, full contact practice since the start of the season, and Brown said last night they've had maybe three over the course of the week, and will have another today. The ability to get out on the floor and practice makes a HUGE difference in the on court product, because not only do players get a chance to work on stuff in something approximating game situations, but coaches have a consequence free chance to watch players play together, and try to pick the best combinations before they get on the floor in games, rather than experimenting on the fly. I'm of your mindset on Arenas, btw.
Mike (Ladera Ranch)
Rasheed Wallace? Really?
Bynum better destroy it on this roadie... It could really help jacking his value up... If so, start tracking down a real estate agent in the greater Orlando area, chum...
D Williams would obviously help out the Lakers at point & the Nets would have a decent front court with Pau
Brian Kamenetzky (2:23 PM)
There's no way the Nets would take Gasol in return for Williams. They'd be better letting DW walk and saving the salary space. Gasol is obviously a good player, but that team is so bad, it wouldn't make much difference. Particularly if Williams was gone.
I cant believe I'm even asking this, bit is Goudelock the 4th best player on the Lakers right now? Its nice to actaully see someone other than Kobe and Bynum actually want to score.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:24 PM)
That you can ask the question illustrates the problems with the roster. That role of 4th best guy changes daily.
If you're Mitch, are you trading Gasol for a few younger pieces or holding on to him and seeing how the rest of the season plays out? If ORL comes calling and says, right now..Howard for both your bigs..what's the response? Wouldn't potentially trading both for Howard allow LA to make a run at D-Will in the off season?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:25 PM)
I would probably do it, but that's only because it gives them Howard who is a top 5 player in the league. When you have a chance at a guy like that, you take it. It wouldn't make them better in the moment, though. That's a ton to give up.
Should the Lakers part with a first round pick to get Sessions? They have an extra one from the LO trade right?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:25 PM)
Greg: I'd consider giving up one first rounder for Sessions. He's a passable, if not ideal, starting PG in the league, and there's no guarantee of getting someone that good in the low 20's. But I wouldn't give up two first round picks for him. The Lakers need to start thinking about the future, and that involves the draft.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:26 PM)
Hey folks. That's all the time we have today. If we didn't get to your question, feel free to send it to us via Twitter, @espnlandolakers. Thanks for the great Q's today. See everyone next week.