Chat with J.A. Adande
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, ESPN.com NBA senior writer J.A. Adande will stop by to chat about the NBA hardwood.
Prior to working at ESPN, Adande was at the Los Angeles Times, where he started in 1997. He has been a frequent panelist on ESPN's "Around the Horn." He has covered every major pro championship, every major college bowl game, the Final Four, the Masters, Wimbledon and the Olympics, and his work has appeared in the "Best American Sports Writing" series.
Send your questions now and chat with Adande at 3 p.m. ET on Friday!
Big Cactus (Phoenix)
If I go to Cleveland. Will I have a better shot at the ring then Kobe?
J.A. Adande (3:01 PM)
First of all, greetings everyone. Welcome to my final chat of the season. I apologize in advance if there are some glitches along the way, this is my first time using the new chat system they have for us.
J.A. Adande (3:03 PM)
As for Shaq vs. Kobe in their quest to be the first to get to 5 rings, I think Shaq helps the Cavs get out of the Eastern Conference, but he wouldn't be enough to beat the Lakers (assuming they come back intact). If you assume Kobe/LeBron and Shaq/Gasol cancel each other out, I like Odom, Ariza, Fisher and the Laker role players better than Cleveland's supporting cast. We've seen the Laker little guys step up in the playoffs. Cleveland? not so much
Reuben (Portland OR)
The Blazers have needed a solid 3 for a while, with Josh Smith on the trading block, why don't they make a strong play for him? They should offer Outlaw, Blake and the #24th pick in the draft. You think that is enough to get him?
J.A. Adande (3:06 PM)
I think Portland's more interested in a point guard than anything. And they need leaders, savvy vets. Josh Smith doesn't fit any of those descriptions. But I do think you'll see Kevin Pritchard active on draft day again, but this time to move down or out of the first round, not up.
Ingrid (Miami, FL)
By hanging the unsigned extension over their heads Lebron is hurting Cleveland. If Cleveland makes a high risk move and don't win the championship, they'll lose him. If they take the correct path and wait for 2010 to sign an elite PF they'll be perceived as "doing nothing", he'll go to NY. That's what I call "The Cavaliers Conundrum". Your take?
J.A. Adande (3:10 PM)
I was just talking with a GM who thinks if they've got a chance at the ring next year, go for it. How many teams have thought they were close, then just fell away? it's a tough scenario, though. Because if you're LeBron and you win a championship next year with Shaq, is that enough to make you want to sign a long-term extension in Cleveland knowing that you've got 1-2 more years of good Shaq at best? The good news is they'd get Shaq's $20 million salary coming off their cap, giving them a chance at free agents
Bryan Luckscheiter (New York)
How much better will the knicks b this upcoming season if they draft Stephen Curry?
J.A. Adande (3:12 PM)
I don't think he gets to NY unless they trade up. And they don't have a lot of assets left to work a deal. Even if he gets to the Knicks he's not enough to turn a lottery team into a playoff squad. Curry might have moved up a little too much for his own good. I'd like to see him begin as a 6th man on a good team, not be the supposed savior for a raggedy bunch.
What are your thoughts on the Nets trading down from 11 to get a pick in the mid teens and mid 20's. Think they could grab a Hansborough/James Johnson/Earl Clark with the 1st, and look for a PG with the second one? (Maybe even pick Calathes and keep him in Europe for a year or two?)
J.A. Adande (3:13 PM)
If they want Hansbrough they'd better stay in the top 15, which is where the latest projections have him going. Even though Tyler lacks that coveted "upside", GMs are starting to see the value in the known entity. They'll know exactly what they're getting in him, which is more than you can say about a lot of guys...including Johnson and Clark.
Could you see this trade happening? Cavs get Jamison, Mike James, and the #5 pick for ben wallace, sasha, darnell jackson and the 30th pick? I was thinking this would work out.
J.A. Adande (3:16 PM)
On the SportsCenter set Jamal Mashburn was saying he'd love Antawn for Cleveland...me, not so much. But that trade makes no sense for Washington. They'd rather try to win with the group they spent all that money on, if it can stay healthy.
Greetings from the home of the fightin Amish! Ty Lawson has been working out for the Sixers, and I personally feel he'd be a great fit. What do you think the chances are that he'll go there? I haven't heard anyone outside of philly talk about that possibility.
J.A. Adande (3:18 PM)
One GM I've talked to who likes Lawson said he'd be great on an up-tempo team....Hmmm, sounds like the style Philly likes to play. I agree with you. He should be there when they pick, too.
David (Wichita, KS)
Hey J.A. Got a question. Should the Thunder take rubio with their pick or trade it for some assets or possibly get a James Harden?
J.A. Adande (3:20 PM)
I would trade it. You keep hearing that all of the 2-6 picks are in play. OKC is another team that needs wisdom more than youth now. I'm not a big fan of Harden, either, so I'd ship the pick off for a vet.
you are an LA guy so you won't admit it but you know if the Celtics were at full strength they beat the Lakers rather easily. Nothing changed from 08 to 09. Bynum was not a factor like everyone said he would be. Also the Rockets with Yao and Mac beat the Lakers as well. Your thoughts??
J.A. Adande (3:25 PM)
Sorry, the page on this new format keeps "slipping" and it can be hard to find the questions.A lot of people say the Celtics would have easily handled the Lakers again this season. I don't think that would have been the case if L.A. had homecourt advantage this time around. Do people forget the Lakers beat the Celts twice this season with KG in the lineup? I do think it takes a little away from the Laker championship that they didn't have to go through the defending champs...but I'm also not sure Ray Allen's legs would have held up through the long playoff run for him to be very effective in the Finals. And maybe Bynum wasn't a big difference, but Ariza sure helped this year.
Hey J.A. If you're in Chicago who do you want to fall to you at 16: Hansbrough, Blair, Mullens, Williams out of Louisville, or Henderson from Duke?
J.A. Adande (3:26 PM)
Blair. Under-sized, yes, but tough and smart, 2 qualities any team could use
philip (san diego)
are the kings out of their mind if they don't take Rubio if he's available? rumors about some in organization having questions about him
J.A. Adande (3:30 PM)
It didn't help that he was too sick to work out for them. But I think he'd be great for Sac. Have them playing an exciting style, which that team. And having a Spanish-speaking player in California??? Marketing possibilities? Hello.
Mike (Los Angeles)
Hey JA, I was going through some old newspapers and found your piece in the L.A. times after the 2000 NBA finals. I found it interesting how that title was redemption for Shaq, is this Kobe's redemption ? P.S. you rocked a nice 'stache back in the day.
J.A. Adande (3:33 PM)
This was Kobe's redemption, although he didn't need this as much as Shaq needed that 2000 championship. If the worst thing you could say about Kobe was that he never won without Shaq, Kobe would still be a 3-time champion. If Shaq didn't get a ring, he'd be viewed as a colossal bust...and remember, at that point he'd been swept out of the playoffs 5 times already.
Sanjay Rao (Isghey, TX)
Hey J.A., what are the Rockets missing in order to become a real contender. Health has killed us every year since 2005. What can they do this off season to get there though?
J.A. Adande (3:35 PM)
First priority has to be size in the frontcourt. Gonna be hard to come by, though. Only 2 7-footers considered 1st-round worthy: Thabeet and Mullens. And I don't think the Rockets can make a play to get either of them.
Gobi Pathmasiri (Toronto, Ontario)
With the 9th pick of the 2009 NBA draft, the Toronto Raptors select...
J.A. Adande (3:35 PM)
I think DeMar DeRozan winds up there
Neil ((Agoura Hills, CA))
Lets not forget the James Posey was huge a year ago and he would have been missed dearly in the Finals had they met.
J.A. Adande (3:36 PM)
good point. I think the 2008 Celtics would have beaten these Lakers, but the 2009 version wouldn't.
Can Dallas trade Dampier and Stackhouse for Shaq, and then pick up the perimeter shooter they need at 22?
J.A. Adande (3:38 PM)
Not with Dampier still due 2 years and $23 million, and being a horrible fit for a team trying to go up-tempo.
Out of Jennings, Holiday and Flynn, who's most likely to be a quality NBA starter?
J.A. Adande (3:41 PM)
I'm going to say Holiday. Going with "upside" here, even though I could see Flynn as an Aaron Brooks type...and that was good enough for Houston to get to Game 7 of the conference finals.
Marc (Austin, Tx)
What do you see the Pistons doing this off-season/draft?
J.A. Adande (3:43 PM)
I think they'll be more active in free agency than the draft. Don't see them bringing in a huge name, but maybe a few pieces like B. Gordon, Ariza or Odom. Maybe trading Rip Hamilton...
Where do you see the timberloves going this year with a healthy Al Jefferson and Corey Brewer? And what do you make of the ridiculous rumour that they would trade Big Al for Amare? I think Al is leaps and bounds better and will only improve while Amare will struggle without running Nash's cotails.
J.A. Adande (3:46 PM)
Am I the only one who would rather have Amare than Al? Do people forget Amare went to the playoffs with Stephon Marbury at the PG while none of Al Jefferson's teams have made the playoffs?
Roger (West New York, NJ)
I think currently Al Jefferson is much more consistent and reliable player but, Al cannot be the best player on the team if he could join a Wade or a Lebron he would be a great fit because he does not demand the ball the way Amare does.
J.A. Adande (3:51 PM)
That makes sense
Is Marbury a returnee in Boston and will big baby stay?
J.A. Adande (3:55 PM)
Saw Marbury during the playoffs and he says it's up to them, he's waiting to hear from Boston. That was a move to try to put things together this year, something that cost them practically nothing. I didn't see enough to make me think they'd bring him back. Boston's in a tricky spot: try to squeeze one more ring out of this group or position themselves to be in the mix for a while. I don't think the fan base could handle another long drought like what they endured post-Bird and Co.
Any chance the Warriors can make a huge splash on draft night via a trade? Although most of my friends disagree, I think we need to move Ellis or Biedrens, and certainly get out from under the Maggette "panic" contract from last summer. I see none of those guys as a build your team around them superstar. Can we make a play for Rubio, or trade for Bosh or give Maggette back to LA for Baron. Please tell me we have hope and what is the perceived value of the aforementioned Warriors around the league given their contracts?
J.A. Adande (3:57 PM)
I don't see anyone taking on the Maggette or Ellis contracts in this summer of savings. So how could they move up to Rubio range? The name you hear that's more likely to be moved is Brandon Wright, but that wouldn't bring the No. 4 pick (or higher) back
J.A. Adande (3:59 PM)
That will wrap it up for this week...and for the season. It's been great. I appreciate all of your questions throughout the year. Hope you enjoyed a season that gave us a better-than-anticipated playoffs. And even though it's the 2009 off-season, I'd say the countdown to the Summer of 2010 is really the big story. Starting right...about...now....