Chat with Marc Stein
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Marc Stein (5:31 PM)
Marc Stein (5:31 PM)
Let's do it.
Everyone is saying that Joe Smith to the Cavs is a done deal and foregone conclusion. I think I'd rather have Gooden. He clearly has more skills at this point of his career. I know he was shipped out last time because of his mental breakdowns and defensive lapses, but hopefully he has grown up. Any chance Cavs go with Drew over Joe?
Marc Stein (5:33 PM)
I don't think so. The sense I get is that the Cavs want the guy who snaps into their defense quicker. The guy who's easier to slide back into that locker room. You've heard the Cavs talk about their chemistry all season long.
Who is better for the spurs, Smith or Gooden??
Marc Stein (5:35 PM)
On the flip side, I think Gooden makes good sense for Spurs even their traditional NBA thinking would label Joe as more Spur-like. The Spurs -- even though they feel pretty good about their ability to score when healthy -- could use the extra offensive punch for their bench.
Gregg (Cleveland, OH)
How do you view the buyout signings? My first impression is "Boy, did Danny Ainge jump the gun..."
Marc Stein (5:36 PM)
The Celts were apparently A) not convinced that Smith or Gooden would shake loose in time to play in the playoffs for someone else or B) the more likely scenario: Ainge must have known that it was going to be too expensive too try to sign either one of those bigs.
Hey Marc.. With all of the Celtics signings of late hasn't it become quite obvious that they need someone to back up Pierce and Ray?? Posey and Nocioni's ships have sailed, but are we still even looking? We don't have the size to deal with the big 2's and 3's off the bench!
Marc Stein (5:37 PM)
No roster spots left. Celts would have to be let someone go like Walker or Giddens to make room for another vet.
Jeffery (Knoxville, TN)
What is the price tag for Gooden, and do you think the Spurs are going to be willing to pay him?
Marc Stein (5:39 PM)
The Spurs can pay him just under $1.5 mil for the rest of the season and Gooden will probably get all of it because a lot of teams are after him beyond SA.
Do you see any negative to the Marbury signing? You wouldn't think so but following Marbury his whole career, he seems to find negatives in any positive.
Marc Stein (5:41 PM)
Only negative I see is that the Celtcs had to spend more than most of us thought: $1.2 mil is $2.4 mil with the luxury tax. But it's still a figure they can swallow if bad things happen and a quickie divorce is necessary
Is there any chance Dallas will be able to land Gooden's services ???
Marc Stein (5:42 PM)
Don't think so. They're hugely interested, but the Mavs and Hornets don't have mid-level exception money to offer.
Andrew (Kansas City)
If the Spurs and Lakers meet in the playoffs do you give the Spurs a chance because it would be tough to eliminate the Spurs two seasons in a row?
Marc Stein (5:43 PM)
I know Ric Bucher would vehemently disagree with me, but I definitely do. As long as the Big Three are healthy. I still say the Spurs can.
Iverson informed Curry that he would be ready to go Tuesday night at home, but now he saying that the injury is more serious. Do you think that he's trying to avoid coming back to the team because the Pistons are finally playing like we expected?
Marc Stein (5:46 PM)
That conspiracy theory is definitely out there.That we've seen the last of Iverson for the season because he's going to shut it down in protest of Rip Hamilton's restoration to the starting lineup. That bit of gossip has been circulating on the NBA grapevine for the past few days. But I'm struggling to buy it. Iverson has been such a gamer for so long that it's hard for me to believe -- no matter how wounded his pride is -- that he's going to sit out the rest of the season. Don't forget, furthermore, that this is a contract year, which can heal pride wounds pretty quickly. The market was already going to be tight for Iverson, at nearly 34, after a season like this where the Pistons didn't start looking like the Pistons until Iverson went to the injured list. I think -- actually I know for a fact -- that Iverson loathes the idea of coming off the bench. But he'll grudgingly accept it when he gets back. He has little choice. We repeat: C-O-N-T-R-A-C-T year. So what I most want to see now is whether Chris Webber's prediction is right. Webber knows a little bit about playing with AI from their days together in Philly and said recently on NBA TV that Iverson moving to a reserve role could (in a way) replicate his heyday with the Sixers back in 2001 when Iverson got to take all the shots and everyone else did all the dirty work. Wishful thinking, perhaps, but it's an experiment that has to happen. The other Pistons, out of deference to Rip, clearly were never going to accept Rip coming off the bench behind AI. Michael Curry should have accepted that a lot sooner.
Johnny (LA, CA)
Am I the only one who doesn't like this new buyout trend that lets contenders add cheap pieces when the season is almost done? Ridiculous, and hopefully the league will end this practice soon.
Marc Stein (5:48 PM)
No. You are not the only one. But it is NOT a new trend. The issue that bugs folks in the league office a LOT more, as far I've been led to believe, is when guys are traded and then return to the team that moved them. Like McDyess this season. Even with the 30-day wait that is now enforced, I can see that practice ending.
Tony, Idaho Falls, Idaho
Marc, Utah has the best record for the month of February and they only move up 2 spaces? What gives?
Marc Stein (5:49 PM)
Hard for them to leapfrog Denver when the Nuggets just beat the Lakers.
Do you see the Denver Nuggets as a possible finals contending team?
Marc Stein (5:51 PM)
No. Great turnaround from the Nuggets, but they've been the first to admit that they've needed another big all season . . . and that was before K-Mart and Nene got a little dinged up.
The recent OKC-Memphis game was like watching a D-League game. How long will it be before the Grizzlies leave Memphis?
Marc Stein (5:52 PM)
I'm guessing this is a reference to the crowd in Memphis. The lease at the FedEx Forum makes it super tough for the Grizz to get out. That's why you don't hear about it more often.
Nick (Portland, OR)
I continue to be intrigued by the Tyson Chandler trade fiasco. What really happened there? Did OKC really fear his turf toe that much? Or is there something else to this?
Marc Stein (5:56 PM)
From everything I've been told about the Thunder and Chandler's toe, yes. They were that freaked out. In Simmons' must-read column on the NBA and the economy, there was another theory: One of the Thunder's owners has lost some $2 BILLION in the economic collapse. But I question how big a factor that really was because the Thunder surely knew on the day they made the day that Aubrey McClendon has taken an unfathomably huge financial hit. It's not like it all happened on the same they acquired Chandler.
Gooden to LA seems to make sense to me
Marc Stein (5:58 PM)
It makes sense from a keeping-him-away-from-the-Spurs perspective. Don't think the Lakers need him that much. Guys generally don't walk into minutes with Phil Jackson, either.
tony, las vegas [via mobile]
This is phil jackson's final year in his contract as lakers head coach ,do you see him coming back nxt year or will he take a few years off. Or will he sign elsewhere.
Marc Stein (5:59 PM)
He will be back next season. Mark it down.
Denver needs another big? Like, I don't know. . . maybe . . . Camby??? This is a frustrating league sometimes.
Marc Stein (6:00 PM)
If they didn't trade Camby, they never would have had the wiggle room under the tax to trade for Billups.
Marc Stein (6:01 PM)
Could the Nuggets have had this kind of season without Chauncey?
Eric (Hoboken, NJ)
Marc, does Stromile Swift help the Suns secure a playoff spot? If so you would have to think teams would be terrified of playing them in the first round with a healthy Amare back?
Marc Stein (6:05 PM)
If I'm Amare, I'm taking the rest of this season off. No matter what. Not worth rushing back from an eye injury. As for Swift, given the Suns' limited flexibility for signings and their need for another big, hard to see them doing better than Stro.
Chris (Hacienda Heights, CA)
Why don't you hear about the Heat making a play for Gooden or Smith when they clearly need more size?
Marc Stein (6:06 PM)
Because the title contenders typically get first crack. Cleveland. SA. The Lakers if they wanted to get involved.
John (Carrboro, NC)
You mention OKC winning the Blake Griffin sweepstakes, but wouldn't they be much better off targeting a C or PG? I don't think they want to push Green to the bench or Durant to the 2.
Marc Stein (6:07 PM)
I typically leave the draft questions for Chad Ford and Andy Katz, but I think I can handle this one: NO.
Clayton (Denton, TX)
Hey Marc, what is the deal with Robert Horry? Are teams really not pursuing him like he claims? As a spurs fan I would love to see Horry in a spurs uniform one last time.
Marc Stein (6:11 PM)
Horry talked about this a couple weeks ago in the Weekend Dime. He says he doesn't feel quite right going to a team this late in the season to just basically show up for the playoffs. Which contradicts what all of us have been writing and saying for years about him that he'd prefer to just take the regular season off. That saId . . . I don't think the Spurs are looking to bring him back because he's in fairly regular contract with various Spurs folks. They know where to find him.
JB (Portland, OR)
Are former NBA players currently in Europe, like Carlos Delfino or Jannero Pargo, eligible for the playoffs if they were to come back stateside?
Marc Stein (6:17 PM)
Yes. If you weren't on an NBA roster all season, you're eligible for the playoffs even if you sign at the end of the regular season. Not so easy to get Pargo and Delfino until after the season, though.
Nathan, Salt Lake City
Why only 7th in the Hollinger and Power Rankings? No Love for the Jazz. Pretty typical. NBA.com put them 4th behind CLE, LA, and BOS.
Marc Stein (6:19 PM)
To crack my top five, Utah will have to be a LOT better on the road. Maybe they will be now with Boozer back. But we haven't seen it yet.
J.C. (Miami Florida)
How come the MVP race is a two person race between Kobe Bryant and Lebron James when Wade averages more points, assists, blocks and steals than both of them?
Marc Stein (6:25 PM)
You already know the answer. Wade himself has talked about how he doesn't consider himself a top MVP contender on a team that's not in the title mix. For 25 years, voters have only chosen MVPs from teams that win 50 or more. This is how the voting has evolved over a quarter-century. With the Lakers and Cavs bound for 60-plus wins and Kobe and LeBron doing what they're doing, it's hard to see how Wade could do better than No. 3, sensational as he's been. Don't forget that LeBron's across-the-board production is equally ridiculous.
Marc Stein (6:29 PM)
It is time to wrap this up. Off to the airport. We will do it again soon.