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 folks! Ready to answer your questions, though I should say up front that all of my responses will be revealed in a prime time special tomorrow night.I kid, of course. Fire away!
Ben (los angeles)
A/B-Any chance the Lakes will lose Fish? there seems to be a stalemate....
Brian Kamenetzky (1:34 PM)
Hi Ben-I think it's a little early to be using terms like "stalemate." They've barely started in the negotiations, and Fisher has been in China, in Vegas and so on. I wouldn't worry yet. There isn't another team out there who will swoop in and make the proverbial offer he can't refuse, and meanwhile they're not all that far apart in money. It'll get done.
Is there any chance they can take a look at Tracy McGrady. Although he is injury prone, i think he can he a sixth man of the year canidate playing for the Lakers.
Andy Kamenetzky (1:37 PM)
Dave,I can't speak with absolute certainty towards the Lakers' interest in T-Mac or his current health, but I definitely think it's worth the team's while to inquire. I don't know about McGrady being a 6MOY, since he may not have enough left for that kind of dynamic play. The good news is, with LO and Blake, he doesn't have to be that good for the Lakers to benefit. If T-Mac scored just 10-12 points per game, a marked drop from his prime, that would represent a huge uptick for the Lakers.
Ryan Dez (Newport, Beach)
Lebron, Wade, and Bosh is obviously a very big 3, but how can you add any depth with those contracts on the books.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:39 PM)
Hi Ryan-If- and it's still an if- LBJ goes to Miami, that's certainly the trick. How exactly do they fill out the roster? I believe they'd only have four guys under contract, and virtually no ability to spend to get the rest of the team filled out. But they'll figure out a way. Minimum vets, perhaps their mid-level (I believe that would still be in play), their second rounders, etc. How well they do it would be the determining factor in whether or not they'd be favorites in the E.C.
Since the Lakers are in need of a shooter, why wouldn't they go after a Mike Miller or a shooter like him?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:39 PM)
JackfromTitanic,A) Miller may have been too expensive. If he commands more than a MLE from another team, we can reasonably assume that's the case. B) They did get a shooter in Blake. He's almost 40 percent from behind the arc for his career and above 40 percent in the last few seasons. He's not as good a pure shooter as Miller, but on the flip side, he's a point guard, which fills another need.
Brothers Kam... Is Gerald Green a possibility, pending Summer League results, a possibility to make th roster?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:40 PM)
Roy-Hey. I'm going to do a larger preview of the SPL roster, but no, I don't think Green has a real chance to make the roster, unless he just crushes people in Vegas. The Lakers are almost certainly going to carry Ebanks this year, filling the "end of bench" wing slot, where Green would go. I'm not sure he'll even get a camp invite, to be honest. Just my guess, though, and Green certainly has heaps of athleticism, still. But his basketball skills just haven't developed.
Do the lakers have enough cap room to sign Fisher,Brown (or another guard like Bell) and a veteran big man (someone like kurth thomas,juwan howard) along with our 2 2nd rounders (Derrick and Ebanks?)???
Andy Kamenetzky (1:43 PM)
Jerry (Glendale) - It's not a matter of cap space. You can always exceed the cap to resign your own FA's or draft picks, and the veteran's minimum for a guy like KT or Howard is allowed as well. It's a matter of what Fish/Brown/Veteran Big X want and what the Lakers are willing to pay.
And another question, what are the odds that Shaq tries to come back to the Lakers for one final run?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:44 PM)
JackFromTitanic-No, not gonna happen. From a practical standpoint, there's just no good way to make it work. Bynum already splits time with Gasol in the post, and if you bring in Shaq, how does that work? Is it worth having Shaq around to play 13 minutes a game? He's not a very good defender anymore, is more presence from a personality standpoint than he's worth, and (and I agree with Kobe here), why would Kobe want to have him around, to dig up themes he's managed to bury? Just not a practical idea.
BK, I don't think the Heat still have their MLE. I believe teams lose their exceptions when they go under the cap. Based off team building, I think they'd be better off not signing Lebron and filling out their roster with guys that can actually play and not a bunch of min. salary guys.
Ethan (Santa Monica)
What's the status on Bynum's health? Is he scheduled for surgery?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:45 PM)
Ethan: Bynum is planning on having surgery sometime this summer. He mentioned mid-July as a target date during his exit interview, but I don't know if that's set in stone. But either way, he'll be under the knife at some point.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:45 PM)
Yeah, you're right about that. Thanks. Hard to argue they'd be better off not signing LBJ, though- he's LeBron- but in the short run, you're probably right. Long term, though... take LeBron.
jimjohnson (las vegas)
Is Kyle Korver to expensive to back up Ron Ron? Just in case Luke can't go at full speed.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:46 PM)
jimjohnson-Yeah. No way he comes to LA without sacrificing a TON of money.
Your analysis yesterday was spot on!! Need a 4/5. Anyone interesting out there wanting to play for a ring? Can we package the rest of the MLE and a Vet ME for about $3mil?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:48 PM)
Thanks, Roy. Nice of you to say.Unfortunately, exceptions can't be combined like that. So they'll be able to make offers for the vets minimum, and for whatever is determined to be remaining from their MLE once the final figures are determined.
BK- Yeah, not signing Lebron is a short term answer. In the long run, you grab Lebron, and then in the upcoming years you hope to draft well, use the MLE, and recruit vets that want to win while living in South Beach.
Can we get back fish, get tmac, and get a big like kurt thomas? Is that possible? Also i'm pretty ebanks will make the roster, but do you think caracter has a legit chance??
Steven G (Oceanside, CA)
So now that we have Steve Blake, which was a great pick up, what's next for LA? We need another lock down defender
Brian Kamenetzky (1:51 PM)
Hi Steven-I hope the Blake thing works out, because we've touted him as a great option for a while. We kind of own this one, and it would be nice to look smart for once. As far as another "lockdown" defender, I'm not sure if that guy exists, particularly in the backcourt. They need a smart team defender with good instincts, no question. You're right about that. I think they'll look for someone who can provide a little change of pace from the longer guys they have like Kobe, Sasha, and (to a lesser extent) Blake, or Fish, who is a more physical, less quick defender. They could use a guy with a different kind of mobility that might serve them in the open floor when the need exists.
Andy Kamenetzky (1:51 PM)
Zain,It depends on what Fish, T-Mac and Thomas are asking for. I'm very confident Fish will be resigned in any event, but T-Mac/Thomas will only happen if they're willing to play for the Vet's minimum or close. That's all the Lakers will have to offer. And I do think Caracter has a decent shot at making the team, assuming he plays reasonably well. He'll provide a big body at about half the cost of a Mbenga. Those savings make signing Fish, Blake, et al more palatable.
Samuel (Chino Hills)
Is a Kwame Brown reunion at Staples a possibility?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:53 PM)
Samuel, I'd be pretty shocked. Stranger things have happened, and he'll be a cheap signing for someone... but probably not the Lakers.
With Mbenga gone, isn't there a need for a backup center? One that will actually play though.
Andy Kamenetzky (1:53 PM)
Hank: Yeah, another big is in order. They may go after a guy like Kurt Thomas or Juwan Howard at the veteran's minimum. Someone reliable who'd be okay with a a very reduced role. I could also see Derrick Caracter being the third string center. Basically Mbenga at half the price, since neither was likely to play much anyway.
I think Lakers fans need to lower their sights some on which FA's are options for the team. Guys like Miller and Korver are known commodities that have real value around the league.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:54 PM)
No disagreement here. The Lakers had the chance to sign one "name" player, and did it with Blake. Smart signing, but it basically eliminates the chance for other guys of higher profile coming to LA.
like how bosh went to the heat thats mean the lakers wont trade bynum
Andy Kamenetzky (1:55 PM)
Kim: I never put much stock in "Bynum-for-Bosh" to begin with, but yes, CB in Miami essentially kills the shot of a trade in the immediate future.
Any Clippers Q's accepted? I can still dream about LeBron, but it ain't gonna happen. Whatta ya see the Clips doing with their $16.7? Thanks.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:58 PM)
Hey Ross-Honestly... nothing particularly splashy. They've sent out the signals that they'll use their cap space this summer, but at the same time, I've heard some talk that they're not going to use it just to use it, which is smart. They've made some good moves to gain flexibility, and it would be foolish to blow it by over paying for a player just so they can say they did something. Assuming LBJ's big announcement isn't LA- and it won't be- I'd anticipate setting sights on guys like Miller or Korver who fill a need and won't crush their flexibility going forward. Or that's what I'd do, at least.
Julian Butler (Mt Bethel, PA)
what do you think our chances are at getting another 3-peat?/ Phil Jackson getting his 4th 3-peat?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:58 PM)
Julian: Crazy as it may sound, I think the odds of a threepeat are fairly good. Assuming Fish returns (as I think will happen), all of the truly important pieces will remain intact. Jackson is back for another season, and the team will be motivated to send him out on a high note. Ron Artest will have a year under his belt in this system. Steve Blake is a big upgrade over Jordan Farmar. Obviously, everyone needs to stay healthy, and last season proved how tough that can be. But I still consider the Lakers the favorite for the time being.
do u think lebron will stay with the cavs
Brian Kamenetzky (1:59 PM)
At this point, I'm guessing Cleveland or Miami, but what do I know? I've always thought he'd end up in Cleveland, but at this point could be wrong.
jimjohnson (las vegas)
how does the big two down south affect the lakers run at a threepeat?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:01 PM)
Jim Johnson: It's too early to really answer that. We have no idea what the entire Miami team will look like beyond Wade and Bosh. Without a good supporting cast, I have a hard time believing they could beat the Lakers in a seven game series. I'm not even positive they could beat the Western elites or come out of the East. Bosh is without question a nice start, but he guarantees nothing without solid pieces around them. For the time being, I don't see them as a threat.
Ryan (Newport Beach)
Assuming Fisher is re-signed and ebanks makes the team, I count 10 players on the roster. So 3 more spots are needed to fill out the team, which players do you think they will be? Bell? Brown? DJ? Powell? Character? Or hopefully some new guys willing to join a championship team on the cheap?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:04 PM)
Hey Ryan. I talked about some of this in my "to do list" post yesterday. With the three spots, one needs to go to the fifth guard. Could be Shannon, still, depending on what the market bears for him. If he gets squeezed, it wouldn't shock me to see him back in LA. The Lakers could certainly make him an offer, knowing they'll have to spend to replace him if he goes. The difference may not be that much, and if that's the case they could choose to keep him. With the other two spots, I figure they belong to PF and C (slots filled by Powell and Mbenga last year). For the PF slot, I think they'll look at a guy like Caracter, or a similarly inexpensive piece. I'm a big fan of Powell, but if the Lakers can save $1.5 mil or so by not bringing him back, they probably will. He only played 40 minutes in the playoffs last year. As for DJ, he'd like to find somewhere he can play more than he does in LA. Told me that this year, and I think the Lakers will let him. Look for a veteran big to fill that slot for the minimum.
Hey Andy! How do you feel about DeMarcus Cousin's saying about our Bynum?! I personally hope Bynum demolishes Cousin's in future matchups, but don't you think a rookie like that should keep his mouth shut?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:05 PM)
Justin: I assume you're referring to the "he doesn't deserve to hold the trophy" Tweet? Assuming it was real (you never know these days), I think it was a dumb move on Cousins' part, hyping up a player of Bynum's caliber to come right at him. But hey, if Cousins thinks he has the goods, more power to him, I guess. Personally, it's not how I'd handle the situation as an unproven rook, but some of these guys love putting their names out there. And you never know. Brandon Jennings talked a lot of smack heading into last season, and basically backed it up.
Craig Tully (Long Beach, CA)
I feel as if the Lakers will have to try and win 3 with a declining roster ... not the same depth, etc. How well do you think they can defend the title and can they win again barring any injuries?actually
Brian Kamenetzky (2:07 PM)
Hi Craig-Depending on how the rest of the roster fills out, with the Blake signing I think you can make the argument they'll be a little deeper this year. Much more stability in the back court. Everyone else is basically the same.
Jerry (Los Angeles)
Anthony Morrow's name has been tossed around and he seems to be in the Laker's price range. But being restricted, will GS really let him go?
Just received breaking news from Jared Dudley of the Suns. JaredDudley619 Breaking News!!! My sources tell me Lebron will announce that he will be goin to the NY KNICKS tomorrow on ESPN.. This is serious.. WOW!!!!
Andy Kamenetzky (2:07 PM)
Chris: It would be hilarious if every news outlet was scooped by Jared Dudley, I must admit.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:07 PM)
No way they can afford Morrow, especially after the Blake thing. Highly unlikely they could have anyway. If he's offered a mid-level, GSW would almost certainly match.
We'll probably need another guard off the bench right? Who are we looking at? Crittenton a possibility?
is it just pure business thinking from buss and kupchacks end to think fish is an injury risk given his age, but now his playing ability and conditioning - which is at top form. Are they thinking way long term to keep a team intact or is it purely ageism?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:12 PM)
Jerry: The rumor mill had Crittenton playing for the Lakers' Summer League team, but he's apparently not playing for anybody's Vegas/Orlando squad. How that affects the Lakers heading into training camp remains to be seen, but I'm guessing he won't be invited. That's also just a hunch, so don't put much stock into it.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:12 PM)
lakersscore-Again, it's a negotiation, and it's not gone on very long. I don't quite know why so many people seem to be in crisis mode already when it comes to the Fisher negotiations. They're not all that far apart, and have a strong mutual need. But as much as I love Fisher, I would argue he's still in top form from a performance standpoint. He came up big at moments in the playoffs, no question, but during the regular season his work, on offense in particular, was often below par. And even in the playoffs, he had some stretches where his shot went away (including the Finals). I think they need to bring him back, no question, but I do wonder if people are losing a little perspective.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:12 PM)
Ageism seems a little too strong a word.
I just received breaking news from my mom. She says LeBron is going to the Clips and my lunch is ready.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:13 PM)
I'll need to confirm that news with your mom, then we can run with it.
Any idea what the recovery time will be after Kobe's finger surgery?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:15 PM)
Hank-Nothing definitive, but Kobe has said he doesn't expect to miss any time in camp or during the season.
Ali (washington dc)
What do you think of the Blake signing? Also what other players do you see the lakers maybe pursuing or getting? Thanks.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:15 PM)
Ali: I think Blake was a terrific signing for the Lakers. He addresses the need for point guard depth and outside shooting. He's a willing defender. He's smart, scrappy and team-oriented. The money was a little more than I thought the Lakers might pay in their situation, but it's a reasonable contract. All in all, very little to complain about.
do u think the lakers will make it to the finals next year
Brian Kamenetzky (2:15 PM)
Still nobody in the west better than them.
Brothers Kam: Another 4 years out of this core? Then what? Keep Bynum and get under the cap?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:16 PM)
Roy-That's so far down the line, it's really hard to speculate. So much depends on how successful they are in the next two or three seasons.
The Lakers can get away with playing a PF at Center for limited minutes as long as Odom and the other players rebound and actively defend the perimeter. Remember too that with Bynum/Pau/LO healthy, a 32 minute split is barely enough minutes to go around. Another big is strictly insurance and if you have to use that insurance there are probably bigger concnerns.
ben (los angeles)
B&A- the lakes showed they could be a bit ragged on defense last year for games at a time. Then they would seal everything off and look like champs.....should we look for the same pattern this year?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:20 PM)
Ben-No team looks amazing on defense for 48 minutes every night. The Lakers were, overall, an outstanding defensive team, and should be again this year. But I'm sure fans will find them periodically frustrating.
Steven G (Oceanside, CA)
I understand we have to wait until the season starts but in the West for the most part who can compete with the Lakers in the playoffs?
I can't believe Walton was signed for so many dang years. It's nuts. Any chance we could convince Minnesota to take him off our hands? He would provide them with an experienced triangle guy.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:21 PM)
Younger, I don't think even David Kahn could be Kahnned into that one.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:21 PM)
Steven G: If the Blazers stay healthy, they were the team I pegged last season to meet the Lakers in the WCF. I still see them as a threat if their bodies stay right. The Thunder will only get better, and could very well meet the Lakers a round or so into the playoffs. From there, it's a bit of a crap shoot. Denver appears to be at a crossroads of health (Karl, K-Mart) and direction (Melo extension). Dallas is always a tough team to pin down. San Antonio can't be counted out, but got old very fast during the playoffs. Utah will be different without Boozer (the assumed outcome). Phoenix will be VERY different without Amare. Houston could be good if healthy, but we don't know what the Yao-Brooks-Martin trio looks like yet. The Clips could be good if healthy, but we've yet to see evidence of it ever happening.
Having tea with Lebron. He's considering signing with the Lakers for minimum then supplementing his income backing up the Kamenetzky Brothers. Swears he's not joking.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:21 PM)
You heard it here, first!
Brian Kamenetzky (2:22 PM)
Time for one or two more... thanks!
Chris Barboza (Chico, CA)
Besides Fisher, who else are the lakers really looking at in free agency? I've heard Kobe Bryant would like Raja Bell on the team, i actually like that idea, also the idea of a Juwan Howard or a Kurt Thomas. How realistic does signing any of them seem?...Thanks
Brian Kamenetzky (2:23 PM)
Chris-Hey. Howard and Thomas are certainly reasonable options, because both are near the end of careers, and fit the profile of guys who might take a little less (at least in the case of Howard) to play for a winner. Either would be a great addition.
Ben Wallace played for 825,000 last year. he can still board and play d. He would be an awesome back up and also Bynum insurance. Why haven't i seen him mentioned once? It's always Kurt Thomas.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:26 PM)
Tom: I don't know if Wallace would be interested int he Lakers. Assuming everyone stays healthy, he's looking at maybe 10 minutes per game. Would that be enough, even for a shot at a ring?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:27 PM)
Hey guys, that's all the time we have. Thanks for stopping by, and for the great questions. If we didn't get to you, feel free to hit us up on Twitter or in the mailbag. Thanks!