Chat with John Hollinger
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, NBA columnist John Hollinger will stop by to share his thoughts on all of the NBA news.
Send your questions now and join Hollinger Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET!
John Hollinger (2:07 PM)
Greetings everyone. You had your 24 hours hockey, now it's back to the hoops ... glad that finish in Orlando salvaged some real low spots over the rest of the weekend.
Will Cleveland look to trade their veterans, or will they try to make a playoff push with Jamison, Sessions, Varejao, etc.?
John Hollinger (2:07 PM)
They'll keep Andy. The other guys? all expendable, especially since the playoffs are a longshot even with all the vets.
John, just what is Monta Ellis' trade value? As anyone who watches The Warriors can see the guys needs to be traded, awful defender, the exact kind of volume shooter they don't need right now, but I do wonder just who would take him, and what they'd be willing to offer. As a fan I just want to get the guys contract off the books, but what can we get back in a trade?
John Hollinger (2:08 PM)
They nearly got Andre Iguodala on draft day, which would have been a huge coup for Golden State and a disaster for the Sixers. The problem with Monta is that everybody except the Warriors knows he isn't a star, so it's difficult to concoct a trade that both sides would find fair.
How was your weekend? Nevermind don't tell me. Now that the Kings are staying, which team is likeliest to move to Seattle?
John Hollinger (2:10 PM)
Short-term, nobody. If it's true that Stern has located a buyer for the Hornets who will keep the team there, then Seattle is looking at a few more years in the wilderness. Long-term, I have to think Charlotte -- they're just bleeding cash.
John - I love the core group of my Sixers But after this year we can still use the amnesty on Brand and we would have enough for Howard . Why not the Sixers for him ? Best talent he can go to by far
John Hollinger (2:11 PM)
I get this question every week from fans of Philly/Chicago/Indiana/Golden St./etc. and the answer is that he doesn't want to go there, and it's not because of wins and losses that he doesn't want to go there. The information on this has been really consistent: If he leaves, it's for New Jersey or Dallas.
There is no way to put us Jazz fans out of our misery, but please give some insight on what they might potentially do at the trade deadline.
John Hollinger (2:12 PM)
Actually I think Utah is having a nice year, it's just that the start may have led to some unrealistic expectations. Utah should look hard at moving Jefferson and clearing minutes for the kids; obviously, they'll also take anything anyone offers for Devin Harris as well.
Signs seem to point to Portland making some trades with them signing Przybilla to make trading Camby's expiring easier, waiving Armon instead of Oden so they can have his deal to "make contracts match" in trade as Buchanan said... Only problem? What is their plan? Acquire vets or youth? I can't tell, can you? What do you see them getting?
John Hollinger (2:15 PM)
I definitely agree that one motivation for signing Przybilla was to open the door *IF* they need to move Camby, but that's by no means a certainty. Portland also potentially saves money by waiving Armon instead of Oden by the way -- if another team claims him off waivers the Blazers are off the hook. That may happen with Johnson, no chance of it with Oden. But big picture, I think the Blazers are looking at veterans who can make a push to get this team deeper into the playoffs. Nash is the apple of their eye, but they'll be shopping hard for point guard help of any kind.
Will Lakers fans be upset with Kobe telling Dwight Howard he could be the "Tyson Chandler" and 3rd option if he came to LA?
John Hollinger (2:16 PM)
Clearly you've never discussed Kobe with a Laker fan. Somewhere between Gandhi and Mandela in their eyes.
The Knicks are MUCH worse, especially on defense when Melo and Stat are on the floor together. Is there a trade market for them?
John Hollinger (2:17 PM)
there is no trade market at all for Amare -- his contact is uninsurable, which immediately eliminates most of the league from even considering it, plus he's rapidy declining and has three years left after this one at nearly $20 mil a pop. So they would have to deal Melo, which would be quite the irony. But if I'm New York I don't do anything rash just yet -- let this play out and see what you have with Lin and Smith playing, and then make decisions this summer.
What do you mean Kobe is somewhere between Gandhi and Mandela? How many rings do they have?
Besides the Orlando rumor of trying to trade for Nash, do you see the Suns trying to make any trades for the deadline?
John Hollinger (2:19 PM)
I really have no idea what to expect from Phoenix. They *should* be looking at trades, and in particular they should be looking at a Nash deal that also allows them to dump as many bad contracts (Childres, Warrick, Frye, etc.) as possible. But I'm not totally sure the organization has accepted its fate yet.
Any (realistic) options available to improve the Pacers at the deadline?
John Hollinger (2:21 PM)
Yes, they need a point guard who can pass. I think Ramon Sessions would help. So would Andre Miller if they could pry him loose. And Rondo, obviously, would be a huge coup. But everybody who talks trade with them asks for Paul George, and then Indy properly hangs up the phone.
Ok John, give me your 8 western conference playoff teams!
John Hollinger (2:22 PM)
Today's Per Diem touches heavily on that topic. Short answer: I don't know.
Do you really think Rubio is the 29th best PG in the league? I know that you acknowledge the flaws in PER, and Rubio is the perfect case where the stat doesn't tell the whole story. He's a very good defender and you can't really create a stat that measures how well a PG controls the game, which he is one of the best PG's in the game at doing.
John Hollinger (2:25 PM)
We discussed this when I was on Numbers Never Lie last week. You're correct that it undervalues Ricky's defense, which may be the bets part of his game. But the other stuff? They're a league average offense, and the only reason they're that good is because Love and Pekovic get so many put-backs. So a better-than-league-average PER for a guy shooting 37% doesn't seem outrageous. It's not like there's some hidden value that the numbers are failing to capture, people just get swayed because it looks nice.
Are we looking at a Thunder/Heat finals this year?
John Hollinger (2:26 PM)
It's what I picked before the season and I see no reason to change my tune now. That said, Spurs-Bulls is probably nearly as likely, and I could see a few other darkhorses emerging from the West as well.
John, if you were running the Celtics right now, would you go "all in" with a desperation trade to try to set up the team for one final, unlikely championship run, or would you blow up the team as the Wizards did two years ago?
John Hollinger (2:27 PM)
As a Thunder fan the Grizzlies scare me the most as a team because the playoffs last year and how they are built. Whats your opinion on Memphis and what they can do if they make the playoffs?
John Hollinger (2:29 PM)
I think your worries are well-founded, given that Memphis would be adding Rudy Gay to this year's mix. I want to see what Z-Bo looks like when he comes back, but if he's himself the Griz are going to be a very dangerous playoff opponent if they can stay in the top eight.
Nash to the Pacers. Pacers can return cap relief, draft picks, expiring contracts (Jones, Foster, Amundson, Hill) and even take back a bad contract or two. Is the exclusion of Paul George really the only thing keeping Nash in Phoenix for the next 4 months?
Buzzmaster (2:37 PM)
Hang on folks...John's having some technical difficulties and is trying to get back online.
John Hollinger (2:40 PM)
I'm not sure Indy is interested in that deal actually. Remember Nash is a free agent after the year -- you think he'll stay in Indy? One reason Portland wants him is because they think they can get him to stay. If he doesn't then you just blew a bunch of assets out the door for two months of Nash, and in the end still get hammered by Miami/Chicago
John Hollinger (2:40 PM)
And we're back! Sorry about that ... the Internet gods decreed that I would have no access for the last ten minutes.
Are we really going to go a whole hour without mentioning that D-Wade should be suspended? Really? Ok, I guess...
John Hollinger (2:42 PM)
That foul happened right in front of me. Didn't think it was suspendable, but I did think it merited a flagrant ... which would have been a new one for the All-Star Game. As I noted on my Twitter at the time, that was an unusually hard foul for an exhibition.
Edward (Jacksonville, NC)
Is Eric Gordon the scoring punch needed at the 2 guard for the Pacers or do they look in another direction?
John Hollinger (2:43 PM)
I expect them to pursue Gordon very hard provided his knee checks out, because he's one of the few free agents they feel they have a legitimate shot at.
Jay (LA, CA)
John, I refuse to believe that there isn't anyone better in the D-League than Bobby Simmons. I know you have talked about teams ridiculous tendency to go for washed up vets, but this move seems crazy even by those standards.
John Hollinger (2:43 PM)
And yet, he's probably still better than Solomon Jones or Brian Cook.
Justin (Portland, OR)
Who will take the crown from Dwight Howard as the defensive player of the year? Will someone get tired of voting for him, a couple articles get made about player X (like Deng), and then player X wins it?
John Hollinger (2:45 PM)
I think there's a very good chance Andre Iguodala wins it. Sixers are first in Defensive Efficiency despite a lack of imposing defenders, and their strong start has taken Iggy's D out of the shadows and into the limelight.
Jason (Atlanta, GA)
Gasol for Rondo/O'Neal... who wins that deal?
John Hollinger (2:46 PM)
If I'm Lakers I don't trade Pau unless I can fill three or more rotation spots. Trading for Rondo makes no sense -- he won't have the ball and he can't spot up.
Watching the Magic play it's very obvious they don't have a single player who can get his own shot. Why not go after Monta - his defensive shortcoming can be covered up by Howard. The current cast isn't getting it done and Bynum/Lopez aren't taking the Magic out of the first round.
John Hollinger (2:48 PM)
One of the few scenarios for Monta that I think might genuinely make sense. Only problem is what would Orlando send back -- they'd basically have to be willing to accept expirings and low-ceiling prospects (Ie Justin Harper, Daniel Orton). Also, the Monta-Howard tandem would only exist for about 45 days.
What are your thoughts on the Nash-to-Orlando rumor? Would trading for Nash make them a contender in your eyes?
John Hollinger (2:49 PM)
What "rumor"? You mean the "we like Steve Nash, too bad we have crap to trade and he won't re-sign once Dwight leaves" rumor? Yes, I'm sure Orlando would like Steve Nash. They'd like LeBron James and Kevin Love too. They aren't getting any of them.
Should the Pacers stay with the group they have this year now that everyone is healthy or should they still make a trade before the deadline? I honestly think Hill will take over the starting PG spot and which will help our starting group out much better. It will also give us a better scorer off the bench with DC. Your take?
John Hollinger (2:51 PM)
I'm pot-AY-to, pot-AH-to on Hill vs. Collison; neither of them can pass and that's what Indy needs. As far as a trade, Indy is being very careful in building this thing right. They spent four years taking their lumps to get to this point and aren't going to rush things now. If a great opportunity presents itself, fine, but they aren't cashing in chips for short-term solutions.
Malhar (CA) [via mobile]
Drafting for the warriors is has not been on point. Any opinion on ekpe udoh over Monroe and Klay Thompson this year?
John Hollinger (2:52 PM)
I'm withholding judgment on Klay. The Udoh pick was terrible and I wrote as much at the time; he's going to be a useful player because of his defense, but Monroe will be in the All-Star Game next year.
I don't understand why the Blazers would trade to rent nash. Just blow it up already
John Hollinger (2:53 PM)
They see it as a rent-to-own; the idea is that he'd agree to stay beyond this season. And I'd say "blow it up" is a pretty harsh remedy for a team with an All-Star in his prime
Majeed (San Diego)
Gasol to Rox, Scola and Marin to Nets, D will to Lakers. Who says no?
John Hollinger (2:54 PM)
that's an interesting deal, although I think you'd need more assets going to New Jersey. Houston has them though. The bigger point you raise is that if Orlando doesn't trade Howard, then New Jersey has to assess whether it makes sense to trade Williams. I have a feeling they'll stay the course and gamble that Dwight will sign with them after the year, which would convince Deron to re-up as well.
Daniel (St. Louis)
Do you put absolutely no stock in Udoh's +/-? Or does it just say more about Biedrins than Udoh?
John Hollinger (2:56 PM)
I think you answered your own question. Udoh isn't terrible, but when you draft that high you need to get a better caliber of player, and I think the indicators were fairly obvious that he'd be a role player and not a star.
does monta ellis for all jefferson make sense for both teams?
John Hollinger (2:57 PM)
I could easily talk myself into that, yes, although I think Utah would want a couple more trinkets coming back to even things out.
Andrew (Santa Barbara)
I think you're too bullish on the Sixers' future. This is Doug Collins doing his thing. When they start 10-18 next season and he's sacked they will again be the mess that we are familiar with.
John Hollinger (2:58 PM)
I don't think I'm *that* bullish on their future actually, but they at least have the ability to hit a home run if the opportunity presents itself between being able to amnesty Brand and having young players to trade.
Is OJ Mayo headed out of Memphis before the deadline?
John Hollinger (3:00 PM)
I think it's more likely that he stays now. He's been a lot more important to this season's team and I suspect that in addition to his current duties he's going to be the backup point guard in the playoffs.
In your opinion, what's the probability of the Celtics re-signing KG and Ray for cheap contracts next year and then adding Dwight Howard?
John Hollinger (3:00 PM)
0.00002% Howard has shown no inclination to consider Boston.
Who do you see the Blazers trading for Nash? I can't seem to find a trade that makes sense for the Suns. All the Blazers have are underperforming guards, old expiring contracts and picks.
John Hollinger (3:01 PM)
Batum would be the key haggling point. Not sure if Portland would give him up, but I do believe they'd consider it.
What will it take for Philadelphia to get back on track? They stumbled into the All-Star break.
John Hollinger (3:02 PM)
Unfortunately Spencer Hawes is out at least two more weeks, because he was the key to their hot start. I've also been disappointed in the Jruth; I thought he was a potential breakout player this year and instead he's been pretty ordinary.
Bryan (Springdale, AR)
Any chance you cover the Mavs more this year in your twitter feed than the Hawks or Blazers?
John Hollinger (3:05 PM)
Ha! None unfortunately. Stein lives in Dallas and McMahon usually travels with them for ESPNDallas, so I'm rarely sent to Mavs games. And they don't come to the ATL til the last day of the season.
John Hollinger (3:05 PM)
Speaking of the Hawks, I'll be at Philips tomorrow to watch Ekpe Udoh and the Golden State Warriors. But that's all the time I have for today, thanks again for all the great questions and we'll do this again next week in my regular Thursday slot.