Chat with Michael Wallace
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, NBA writer and blogger Michael Wallace stops by to chat about the latest news from around the league.
Send your questions now and join the chat Monday at 2 p.m. ET!
Michael Wallace (2:26 PM)
Thanks for joining the chat. Had some log-in issues that needed to be worked out. But I'm here. Let's get right to the questions.
Any rumors to share on finally moving Howard? And more importantly, is there any chance that they get fair value for him when they do move him? I figure if they move him preseason they may get fair value, but if they have to wait until mid-season, 0 chance.
Michael Wallace (2:31 PM)
No new rumors, necessarily. I do know that both Dwight and the Magic were frustrated - and are pointing the finger at one another - over how details of their latest meeting (if you want to call it that) leaked out to the media. But the bottom line is this: The Magic have moved on to other business for now by introducing Jacque Vaughn as their new coach. The hiring had absolutely no effect on Howard and won't change his mind.
Where do you think Dwight Howard will end up?
Michael Wallace (2:33 PM)
I'm not going out on any limb here by saying this. But I still think it'll be New Jersey by the trade deadline. Obviously, that means Dwight will have to show up for work and start the season in a very uncomfortable situation for all sides in Orlando. But the Magic's best bet is to keep their fingers crossed that Brook Lopez plays well enough and can stay healthy, and that a third team will also get involved after Jan. 15 to deliver the future draft picks the Magic will need to complete the deal.
Anthony Caba (Miami, Florida)
Hey, Michael do you think the Heat should start Lebron, Udonis Haslem or Battier at the four?
Michael Wallace (2:35 PM)
Doesn't really matter. I think the Heat would prefer starting out to go with Battier in the starting lineup. That's how they finished the season and there's really no reason to change that philosophy - unless they get a legit center that would force Bosh to move back to power forward. What's far more important for Miami is the "Finishing 5" which would likely feature LeBron, Wade, Bosh and Ray Allen. The final spot would depend on matchups.
Isaac (Cleveland, OH)
What are your post-summer league power rankings for Rookie of the Year?
Michael Wallace (2:37 PM)
My top two going into the season will be Anthony Davis and Harrison Barnes. There are a handful of others who could disrupt that pecking order.
Why does nobody bring up the fact that every European team could beat the ninety two eurpoean team , which means that the olympic teams will not win by as much. I mean European teams on average will have anywhere from one or two nba players, to five or six.
Michael Wallace (2:39 PM)
Your premise is correct. The international game has improved by leaps and bounds since the 1992 Dream Team blew through the world on the way to the gold medal. So the dominance gap has narrowed considerably. But I also think it was a bit outlandish to suggest this version of the US team could beat the 1992 team. I'm of the opinion that the 2008 team had a much better chance of matching up with those guys in 1992.
Any idea what the Pacers might be able to get for Granger? Seems like his trade value is probably the highest it will ever be, and as much as he contributes to the team's chemistry, we might be better served with someone else, though not sure who.
Michael Wallace (2:43 PM)
I've always felt that some sort of Granger-for-Gordon swap would have been perfect for both sides on a number of levels, the least of which is that it would send both players to their hometown teams. Gordon would slide into that backcourt as solid fit at shooting guard in Indy and Granger would give the Hornets an All-Star veteran that can stabilize that youth movement in New Orleans.As it stands, the Pacers might be better off bringing Granger back and seeing if that unit can build on last season's strong campaign. And the Hornets decided to match the offer sheet for Gordon and want to pair him, eventually, in the backcourt with Austin Rivers.
favorite to win it all next year....heat, lakers, or thunder?
Michael Wallace (2:44 PM)
Heat - until someone proves they can knock them off.
can wesley johnson resurrect his career in phoenix?
Michael Wallace (2:46 PM)
Resurrect? I think "launch" might be the more appropriate term. He hasn't actually done much in his short career to establish himself anywhere.
biggest surprise team in 2012?
Michael Wallace (2:51 PM)
Several teams would qualify here. But two true surprises to watch out for, in my mind, are the Wizards and Timberwolves. I think both make the jump into the playoff mix this season.
Rangasamy Jacques (Belgium Europe)
Hello Mr Wallace, are the heat really interested in the likes of Millicic,Blatche or some other big men veterans ?, i think it is a huge gamble not to load up,while the other teams like Boston are committing to solid frontcourt,considering the fact that chris bosh can be hurt in the season or post season? what are your thoughts on justin Hamilton, seems a better ball handler and prospect than Pittman? THe fact that Howard could finish with Lakers could also be a problem of not having size,dont you think so? thanks a lot for your answers
Michael Wallace (2:54 PM)
I believe the Heat will round out the roster with another big body or two. They have convinced everyone that they'll stick to this new versatile style of play, but there's really no reliable depth behind Chris Bosh right now. If everyone can stay healthy, this will work. But if there are injuries, particularly up front, Miami could be in trouble against quality teams in the playoffs. That said, I think Pat Riley will make one more move at some point to shore up the frountcourt.
What do you think of the Bulls? They seem to be in a lot of trouble. Without Rose for most of the season, and with a depleted bench mob. Are they going to drop to 3rd or 4th seed next year? Or do they still dominate the regular season?
Michael Wallace (2:55 PM)
I think the Bulls realize that changes are needed, and now is the perfect time to shake the roster up, considering Rose will be out for at least the first few months of the season. The Bulls can make the playoffs and, if Rose is cleared, can make a late run and see what happens in the postseason.
In General, what's your take on How Hennigan has handled himself as a "New GM"? Has he over played his hand, is it in alignment, is there any shot he comes out of this situation "on top" and "respected among fans/players
Michael Wallace (3:06 PM)
He's in a tough spot. It's tough to walk in and have to make the biggest decision in the franchise's history as your first assignment. Well, let me take that back a bit. The decision seems to have already been made. It's just a matter of pain tolerance at this point. The Magic won't get equal value for Howard. But what too few people realize is that Orlando remains a destination franchise for free agents. They've always rebounded after losing players. They'll bounce back again. Eventually.
Which team has the better chance of legitimately threatening Miami in the playoffs?
Michael Wallace (3:08 PM)
Boston and Brooklyn will be immediate and perennial contenders in the East alongside Miami. Indiana has a chance to really establish itself as well. And the Bulls will be back as soon as Rose is healthy.
I feel like Bosh gets the short end of the stick on offense even though he's probably one of the best mid range shooters. How can spo get wade and lebron to use him more?
Michael Wallace (3:11 PM)
That's just the way it goes in terms of the pecking order in Miami. But the team proved how valuable Bosh's role was last season in the playoffs. Miami isn't designing championship rings right now if Bosh didn't return from injury in the Boston series.
jordan (baton rouge)
Hornets have been busy this offseason. Playoff sleeper? Lottery bound?
Michael Wallace (3:14 PM)
I think they'll have one or two more lottery seasons before they push some of the big boys out of the way in the West to contend for a playoff spot. I just don't see them on the same level yet as the Timberwolves, Grizzlies and Suns. Not yet. I do like the direction the Hornets are heading, though.
What can Lebron do after the olympics to really take his post game to another level? I feel like he really likes the baseline fadeaway, but i think he would be more successful with running hooks etc.
Michael Wallace (3:18 PM)
One area where Pat Riley has said he'd like to see LeBron improve is with his mid-range pull-up game. There is a lot made of his post-up game, but it would be unfair to expect LeBron to all of a sudden turn into Karl Malone. He has too many other skills as a passer and playmaker to be locked into any one area of his game.
If this year's olympic team was fully healthy, you would add Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade, and Derrick Rose to the roster. If you had that team, I think it would be pretty close to the 92 team if you factor in the ages of the 92 team when the played in the olympics. Would you agree?
Michael Wallace (3:19 PM)
As I mentioned earlier, the 2008 Redeem Team would make it a really good debate. Not only are you talking about the presence of bigger bodies with Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh, you're also looking at Kobe being four years younger.
Why is nobody talking about the Knicks? Why would you not even put them in the discussion of East's best? You put in (unproven) Brooklyn and (geriatric) Boston. The Knicks added veteran talent and DEPTH. Who's to say they won't be in the ECF?
Michael Wallace (3:28 PM)
Too many questions. Too much turnover year after year with the roster. Not sure if those pieces all fit. Despite the starpower and big contracts, the Knicks just don't seem to add up to a legit contender. They're a playoff team. But a real contender is a different status. I could be wrong. But they're the ultimate "I'll believe it when I see it" team.
Hello, Michael I have been looking up the Orthokine surgery that Greg Oden has underwent and it has helped Kobe and A-rod a lot. I believe Greg Oden should be healthy and effective by next February, should the Heat take a chance on him?
Michael Wallace (3:33 PM)
The Heat won't be alone. The question is how much of an investment will teams be willing to make in Oden? If it's a mini-midlevel or less, at least initially, it's a smart gamble. Based on the way Oden has sounded in the few interviews he's done recently, I'm not sure where his level of motivation is at this point. I wouldn't blame him for lacking confidence in his body, considering all he's been through.
Michael Wallace (3:35 PM)
Well, that's my time for this week. Thanks for joining me and hanging in there through the technical issues. This chat will resume in September as we gear up for NBA training camps and the start of the 2012-13 season. Thanks again and take care. Until then, peace. MW