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 (1:29 PM)
Hey everyone. Thanks for stopping by. We're here for the next hour or so answering all of your Lakers questions. Let's get rolling...
Mike (Ladera Ranch)
Do you guys know if Kobe ever had his exit lunch meeting with Mitch and if so, any details that came out of it?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:33 PM)
I presume he did, though don't know for sure. Some people made a big deal out of the fact he didn't meet the media on the way out, but I didn't really think it was an issue. There's nothing league mandated about exit interviews, so in that regard it's not a problem, and I don't know what exactly Kobe would have said that would have shed some great light on what happened this year. Assuming he met/meets with management and they're all on the same page, as it relates to what happens next season I don't see problems.
Mitch (LAL Front Office)
Should I trade Pau Gasol or Andrew Bynum?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:35 PM)
Thanks for asking, Mitch. Really, it depends on what you want to get back. if you want a star, Bynum will have to be the one out the door. Gasol has value, but nobody is going to trade an elite up and coming player for a guy who is much closer to the end than the beginning, and makes almost 40 mil over the next two years. Gasol is much more likely to fetch depth, which the Lakers absolutely need. So either can work, it just depends on what the goal is in terms of total roster composition.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:35 PM)
Obviously, too, if you don't think you want to give Andrew Bynum a contract extension, he needs to go at some point.
Bhavin (San Francisco)
Not Lakers related, but what are the odds of Clippers picking up Coach Spo after Miami fires him this off season?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:36 PM)
Mike Brown will be the coach of the team next year.
Enrique (corpus christi) [via mobile]
Who was the Lakers last first round pick. it seems to me they always give them away, and has this hurt them in anyway.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:40 PM)
Hey Enrique-I actually went back to look this up, just to make sure (because it feels odd to say), but the last one they drafted and kept was Javaris Crittenton in '07. Before that, Farmar, and then Bynum in '05. But you're right, they haven't had many. As for how much it has hurt them, it depends to some degree. For a while, the Lakers used those picks as a means to improve a team that could win a title. In the Gasol trade, for example, or as a means to keep the team at top levels. The guys they'd have likely drafted in the high 20s or at 30 wouldn't have helped them much right away.Now, though, not having picks is a problem, because the Lakers aren't at a championship level, and have little means of adding young talent to the roster. So they robbed Peter to pay Paul, but that's something many title contending teams do. I don't think fans would give up the success they had in the three Finals runs.
The Lakers had trouble in the reg season and playoffs in blowing late and big leads. Is that a result of poor coaching or not having the right players?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:42 PM)
Both. The biggest problem with the Lakers is they were unable to generate enough on either side of the ball to consistently put teams away. We saw it in the OKC series. they just couldn't gain separation. To some degree, it's a matter of coaching. Their offensive schemes often seemed limited (particularly late in games) and defensively they were a pretty ordinary team in terms of efficiency. But at the same time, the roster had major holes making it difficult to compete at a championship level.I think the blown leads are more a symptom of the problems, as opposed to the problems themselves.
I would like to see Lamar back with the team. Do you think it is worth the risk if he is available at the right price?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:44 PM)
Hey Fernando-This is one of the more intriguing Q's out there. The new CBA states Odom wouldn't be able to return to the Lakers until about a month into the season, so that's a consideration. But from there, it's much more about whether the Lakers would welcome him back. Jim Buss has expressed his affection for him, but at the same time, it's tough to go home again, so to speak. They're trying to turn the page, and Odom represents an effort to get the band back together. It's not a great fit. Still, if he's sitting around, ready to go, and is fit he's worth considering. The fitness issue is key. Because even if he's diminished from his 6th man of the year level, he'd still be a massive boost to LA's bench.
I know you're Laker guys, but what are your thoughts on Olshey leaving the Clippers? I felt he is who Clipper fans looked to as a sign that we were in good hands. Now...
Brian Kamenetzky (1:46 PM)
JJ-This is a collossal blunder for the Clips, who should have done what they could to lock up Olshey months ago when his contract expired. Instead, they let him work at rates well below market, and make himself into a free agent. Then to announce a deal was there and then days later see him leave? It's a big problem. Now they go into the most critical year arguably in team history with no GM and a coach seen by many as a lame duck.Not exactly a strong start. They have a ton of personnel decisions to make this summer. Who is going to make them?
Who says no to a Pau Gasol for Josh Smith and Marvin Williams/Zaza?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:46 PM)
Atlanta, I think. But I'd ask them.
Howard (Columbia SC)
If the Lakers trade Bynum/Sessions For Williams/Lopez and then trade Lopez/Gasol for Dwight Howard would that work under the NBA salary cap?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:49 PM)
Hi Howard. There's nothing about that I think would be a problem, assuming you could get the parties involved to agree on it. Including D-Will agreeing to a sign and trade to LA, and Howard saying he would sign an extension with the Lakers. But any time you're proposing a deal this complex with this many star players, it's a major long shot. Plus, I'm not sure Jersey (sorry, Brooklyn) agrees to that deal in the first place. I don't know if I would.
Dustin (A Cubicle )
If the Lakers were to somehow aqquire an elite PG over the offseason, where would that leave Sessions?Would the team re-sign him? He'd obviously be a better option than Steve Blake, however do you think he would be content to return to the Lakers knowing he'd be a backup?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:51 PM)
Hi Dustin-Sessions has a player option for next season worth about 4.5 million. Assuming he exercises it, if the Lakers acquired someone like Williams they'd likely try to move either Sessions or Blake. Sessions would be the more appealing piece to another team, because of his reasonable salary, youth, and expiring deal. Timing would obviously have a lot to do with it, but I'm fairly sure Sessions has to make a choice about his option before any of the trade talk would swing into full gear.
Dave (West LA)
What does Amnesty mean? Do you still pay the salary? Does it simply not count towards luxury tax. For example, if the Lakers were to Amnesty World Peace, what does that mean in terms of who they would then be able to sign?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:54 PM)
Hey Dave--Thanks for the Q. It's a good one. The amnesty provision allows an NBA team to take one player (who had to be under contract at the time the new CBA was signed) and essentially release that player and remove him from their payroll. So that guy's salary wouldn't count towards the salary cap or luxury tax figure. So in the case of MWP, if the Lakers used it they wouldn't owe him the 15 or so mil he's owed next year and the year after. It wouldn't give them any more flexibility, because they'd still be well over the cap/tax, but it would save them a lot of money. Hope that helps.
Who are the lakers ganna get to back up kobe at SG... while he had a great season brown ran him into the ground at times...
Brian Kamenetzky (1:55 PM)
Scott-You're touching on one of the major failings of the last offseason. The Lakers allowed Shannon Brown to walk -- not in and of itself a disaster -- but didn't replace him. They went into the year without a viable option behind Kobe at the 2, which was a huge mistake. Never addressed it, either. That has to be fixed this offseason.
what are your thoughts on a three way deal sending gasol to houston for a package that is then traded to phoenix for a gortat and nash (sign and trade) package
Brian Kamenetzky (1:56 PM)
You're short a few details, there, Andy.
what do you think are the chances that KG signs with the lakers in the offseason? for the mini mle
Brian Kamenetzky (1:57 PM)
It's possible, though if Boston advances through Miami and into the Finals, there's a much stronger chance KG stays with the Celtics. A lot of the KG-is-gone talk came when it looked like a) he might be finished, and b) the Celtics were done. If that group shows the potential to stay competitive for another year or two, they won't let KG walk out the door without a fight.
average (laker fan)
when can we trade morris and blake for howardthen trade goudelock and eyenga for williamsand then gasol for lebron james why doesnt mitch make these deals happen
Brian Kamenetzky (1:57 PM)
Do it, Mitch!
I know a lot of people want to ship out Bynum AND Gasol, but looking at who's left in the playoffs, don't you think trying to keep as much of the core together and adding depth is the best way to have a better chance at a ring next year? That's if we're committed to Kobe's last 2 or 3 years.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:59 PM)
JQ-The question is how do you add that depth? If neither one of those guys is traded, how do they acquire quality players otherwise? They have only a mini-midlevel exception, and veterans minimum contracts to offer, few trade chips, and no draft picks to swap. The trade exception from the Lamar Odom deal is still available, but generally speaking the Lakers don't have many chips in play. Gasol and Bynum are the biggies.
Gus (Los Angeles)
What's more of a priority for the Lakers - Acquiring depth or a star?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:59 PM)
I'd say depth. Even if they have great stars, if you don't fill out a roster it doesn't really matter.
gasol to houston for lowry and martinthen lowry and martin forgortat and nash
Brian Kamenetzky (2:00 PM)
Phoenix won't do that. Not a prayer. Sorry.
Mark (stl) [via mobile]
What is the one realistic trade scenario that would put the Lakers back to championship level?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:04 PM)
Hi Mark-Gotta be honest -- I don't think there is one. As I've written a few times, I don't see a clear path this offseason that gets the Lakers to a level above OKC, SAS, or even some of the up and coming teams in the Western Conference. If you look at it closely, the Lakers were actually pretty lucky to finish third in the conference. Had Billups not been injured, the Clips might have passed them. Had Randolph not missed most of the year, Memphis almost certainly would have. LA's metrics were actually worse than a team like Denver's who had crushing injuries of their own. The Lakers, meanwhile, were healthy and still didn't produce at an elite level. Some of that is a lack of familiarity with Brown, a lack of practice time, etc. But a lot of it is talent. The Lakers don't have enough of it, and have few avenues for getting more.
Dave (West LA)
OK, so let's say the Lakers amnesty Pau because there is some kind of juicy free agent they'd rather go after. Pau has no contract for the next two years? And has to sign with a new team as an unrestricted free agent? And then, how far does that get the Lakers under the cap? How much money could they sign a free agent for. While we are talking insane scenarios, just for understanding sake, what if the Lakers amnesty Kobe? Does this get them around the 'no contract restructuring' restrictions? If I'm going to help Mitch figure things out this month I'm going to need to understand some parameters.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:06 PM)
No, the Lakers would still pay Pau, and he'd then be able to sign with another team. Amnestying Pau would save the Lakers about 19 million next year... but still wouldn't leave them in position to sign a premiere free agent unless they let Bynum go and found homes for guys like MWP/Blake. As far as using it on Kobe, then resigning him, that doesn't work. The CBA thought of those sorts of shenanigans. The team releasing a player via an amnesty clause can't re-sign that player until after the contract would have expired. In the case of Kobe, that's after the 2013-14 season. He won't wait around that long.
Shouldn't signing nash be the biggest priority for the lakers ? he brings constant shooting, great ball movement and someone who won't deal with kobe's drama.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:07 PM)
Scott-He'd be awesome, but I don't think the Lakers can get him for the mini-mid level as a straight signing. Engineering a sign and trade with Phoenix is tricky business. It's not a very realistic scenario, to be honest.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:08 PM)
Hey folks. I'm done, but Andy is here to finish up the chat. Thanks for all of your questions!
Andy Kamenetzky (2:09 PM)
Scott: If Nash was a legit possibility, I think the Lakers should definitely investigate, particularly if a "for the future" option (like D. Will) feels unlikely. And for all the reasons you mention, not the least of which is the unlikeliness to automatically defer to Kobe. I'd like to think Kobe would recognize the value in playing more off ball with someone as good as Nash, but even if he didn't, Nash has the gravitas/confidence to say, "I'm the point guard, I run the offense." And it's important the Lakers have players like that, particularly along the perimeter.
Ben (Los Angeles)
Bros K, you get rid of Gasol and Bynum and replace them with two lesser stars and a lower payroll........Kobe may have 5 years left.......and an astronomical salary. it seems to me it would be easier fitting pieces around Gasol and Bynum with whatever you could get for Kobe.......just a thought......and I know the fallout would be nuclear.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:13 PM)
Ben: Unless Kobe wants to be traded, that's a non-starter suggestion. He has a no-trade clause, and unless he's helping manufacture a deal to the team of his liking (and there ain't gonna be many situations he'll want, if any), he's gonna say no. That's why he has the clause in the first place. The Lakers could obviously Amnesty Kobe if they're looking to rebuild as quickly as possible, but I doubt they'd take that route, between the likely fan reaction and the potential lost ticket/merch revenue.
Dave (West LA)
Andy, if Mitch were forced to choose one Kamenetzky brother to back up Kobe at shooting guard next year, who should he choose?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:14 PM)
Dave: Mitch would select Brian, then immediately scour the earth for a third stringer to bump Brian by roughly 5 minutes into the first preseason game. If not the first practice.
I get my Lakers news from you guys every day since 2005. Thank you! Great to hear you on the radio now! I'm leaving the trading up to Mitch and hoping for the best. A full season under Mike Brown and this team can win it all. Do you guys think Phil Jackson will have an asterisk on this season in his mind?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:17 PM)
Aaron: Thanks for the nice words. Much appreciated. And yes, I imagine PJ will apply the asterisk. Particularly if the Spurs manage to overcome this 3-2 deficit, then win the whole thing. Anything to create "distance" between himself and Pop. haha
Why can't Gasol fetch us a star? He was the centerpiece to a trade that under any normal circumstance would've got us CP3 in return. I may be wrong, but CP3 is a star. I think a 3 way trade for DWill is very possible using a team like Minn who has shown interest in Pau and may be willing to part with a young player like Derrick Williams - who would go to NJ - to get him.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:23 PM)
Noriega: Remember, Gasol wasn't traded to the team that gave up Paul. He was traded to the team that gave up Scola, Martin and Dragic. Thus, Gasol may have been part of a deal that would have eventually landed the Lakers CP3, but he didn't actually fetch the guy on his own. Big difference. As for whether Pau could land someone like Derrick Williams, maybe that's a possibility, but Derrick Williams isn't a star. Maybe he will be, and if Minny already has Rubio and Love, perhaps they can take that chance. But that's not moving Gasol for a star, either. And there's no way the Nets are moving Deron to get Derrick as the primary reward. Not a prayer.
Nick (Orange County)
Any chance Lakers bring back Shannon Brown? His year with the Suns was definitely a disappointment and I know Kobe is definitely a fan.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:27 PM)
Nick: Depends on the money and years Shannon wanted (My guess: More than the Lakers will spend), but he certainly proved his worth through his absence, and the Lakers need somebody behind Kobe. If not Shannon, SOMEBODY. Period.
Love the blog guys! Would it be a better decision for the Lakers to amnesty Pau and sign a bunch of veternes for the league minimum such as Kg, jkidd, jterry
Andy Kamenetzky (2:32 PM)
Eddie: That's taking a very big chance on a couple levels. A) You'd have to get all of them signed (for below market value, in most cases) before cutting Pau loose. You don't wanna lose an asset like Pau for nothing, then miss out on the vets. Plus, that's a lotta old guys who run the risk of getting hurt. Plus, I think Pau would land the Lakers some better (if more expensive) players, and the Lakers need "better." And with those new pieces from the Gasol deal, it becomes easier to lure KG, Kidd, etc. Thus, that suggestion isn't the approach I'd take.
The Truth (Mich)
If Pau was miserable in last year's playoffs in Phil Jackson's triangle when he played in the low post...........Why are some blaming Mike Brown's usage of him in the high post for his miserable play in this year's playoffs?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:34 PM)
The Truth: Last season's postseason problems for Pau were more about fatigue (three straight trips to the Finals) and offcourt issues than his role. This season, his role was much more central to the problems. Thus, I consider the situations fairly incomparable.
Can you explain how getting a franchise point guard would help the Lakers? The way I see it, any point guard can give Kobe the ball like Ramon Sessions. The only way C. Paul or D. Williams would be effective is if they had the ball in their hands but there is only one ball go around.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:37 PM)
Scarface: Ultimately, Kobe has to be genuinely willing to play off ball more throughout games. Obviously, the newbie, whether Williams, Paul (almost happened), Nash (name gets tossed around), would need to play off ball at times as well (and someone like Nash or Paul is an extremely good shooter), but at the end of the day, those players won't be allowed to do what makes them best playing away from the ball. Kobe has to adjust in earnest.
Andy, you completely butchered my question. You must've missed the part where I said a 3 way trade for DWill. Where Gasol would go to Minny, Derrrick Williams to NJ, and DWill to LA. Very similar to the trade for CP3 six months ago.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:43 PM)
Noriega: No, I didn't butcher the question. I addressed at the outset why Gasol can't necessarily land the Lakers a star by himself, and why you can't apply the CP3 deal as an example of how he can. From there, I explained why Pau getting flipped for Derrick Williams doesn't illustrate Pau's ability to land a star in a deal (Derrick isn't a star) and also why your trade scenario doesn't work in the first place. There's no way there's no way the Nets make that deal, because Derrick Williams isn't enough to give up Deron. What am I missing?
Who are the most likely Lakers back in a 2013 reunion tour: Lamar, Farmar, Shannon Brown, Ariza, or Sascha? Who are the most likely current free agent Lakers back: Jordan Hill, Devin Ebanks, Troy Murphy, or Matt Barnes?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:45 PM)
Frank: Lamar (although hardly a given) and Ebanks, since he'll be less expensive than Hill.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:46 PM)
Noriega: It's not the "same scenario," because the players/teams involved are totally different. And again, Derrick ain't enough for Deron. Period. You're proposing a trade where the third party wouldn't agree.
You were missing the complete point of the post that you finally addressed with the last line of the most recent answer. NJ isn't exactly in a position where they can ask a lot for DWill. Either he walks, or asks for a sign and trade. If I'm NJ, I'm hoping for the S and T. Getting back a guy like Derrick Williams is better than nothing.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:47 PM)
They can get more than Derrick Williams. Trust me.
..."he [Shannon Brown]certainly proved his worth through his absence"... will happen the same with Gasol if he is traded?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:48 PM)
Mario: In my opinion, definitely.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:48 PM)
Alrighty, kids. Gotta run. But thanks to everyone for dropping by. We're hoping to record a podcast tomorrow, so hopefully it'll run either late Thursday or early Friday. Be on the look out. See ya!