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 (2:00 PM)
Thanks for joining me for our 2012-13 NBA season wrap-up chat. I'm with you live from the Heat's championship celebration inside AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami. Looking forward to taking your questions on the Heat's title run and all things NBA. Let's get right to it.
Ed (Queens Village)
Who is to blame for Doc Rivers leaving Celtics Ainge, Doc, or other?
Michael Wallace (2:02 PM)
I don't think there's anyone to blame. That team just ran its course. It was a great six-year run with KG and Paul Pierce there. It's time for the Celtics to rebuild. The Celtics and Clippers will be better off for this move at this point. This coaching transition, obviously, pushes the Clippers into win-it-all-now mode. I'm not sure they have enough to get over the hump out West, but the Clippers apparently will go all in on this title chase.
Why do the experts think Noel would be a better long term pick then Lens? Len is taller, bulkier, more mature, and has a much, much better offensive game.
Michael Wallace (2:04 PM)
Len is the more refined product of the two right now. But Noel's upside and potential development has scouts salivating. I've also heard talk that at worst, Noel could be the next Stromile Swift. That's a great swing from top to bottom as far as his potential. We'll all find out in a couple of years.
Felipe de Mello Martins (Tucson, AZ)
Hi Michael. Big fan of you chats. I've been dying to ask all these questions about the future of the Heat roster. Are they going to buy out the last year of James Jones contract? They have to amnesty somebody right? Will it be Mike Miller or do you the Heat looking to amnesty someone else like Joel Anthony? Who do you see them targeting in their mini-midlevel, will it be Birdman or someone else? Will they only offer one year-deals to keep flexibility in 2014? So many questions... Keep up the good work.
Michael Wallace (2:09 PM)
I wish I had all the answers to these questions. My best guess is the Heat keep the LeBron, Wade and Bosh together. They also have Shane Battier and Udonis Haslem also under contract. I expect that group, at least, to return intact. We all know Ray Allen has to make a decision. But after hearing him talk about how much he's enjoyed being in Miami and how he appreciates and respects the family atmosphere around here, I think he'd lean toward picking up the option in his contract to return next season. Beyond that, Pat Riley and Micky Arison will have some tough financial decisions to make. Miami is looking at anywhere between paying $14-28 million in luxury tax penalties to bring this team back.
What do you think of the situation in Boston? With Doc leaving, and KG/Pierce's future in question, how come nobody has asked Rondo about how he feels about all this? What is the general feeling around the younger core (Rondo/Bradley/Green/Sully,etc)?
Michael Wallace (2:13 PM)
If I'm Rondo, I'm not sure I'd feel exactly stable right now. He could also be dealt if this is going to be a complete makeover for Boston. If he remains in Boston as the clear-cut centerpiece of the team, he'll need plenty of help. But a team that starts with Rondo, Jeff Green and whatever the team can get in return for KG or Paul Pierce would be a great start.
The Kings need a culture change almost as much as they need talent. Big names like Josh Smith & Monta Ellis have been mentioned as possibilities, but they also have been labeled as knuckleheaded or not winners. Who is out there in FA who can help change the way a team plays and carries itself?
Michael Wallace (2:19 PM)
David West, JJ Redick, Dwight Howard. There are several productive players all over the place, from one end of the spectrum to the other, depending on the price range. Sometimes, that knucklehead tag is overstated. Many of us aren't around these guys to really get to know them enough to place those kind of labels on guys. If they can help you win games and are professional, you sign them. Sacramento will have to roll the dice on some guys and hope to get lucky if they want to speed up this rebuilding process. As we've seen, it's a long way back to contender status.
Josh (Phx, AZ)
A lot of talk about Dallas trading their pick. What do you think about the Suns getting the pick for either J. Dudley or Scola?
Michael Wallace (2:25 PM)
I'm not sure Dallas wants to eat up any of their available cap space by taking back a veteran under contract. If anything, they would part with the pick to maintain their salary cap space for free agency.
Chris (Dubuque, IA)
This is a serious question: Why are Vinny Del Negro and Doc Rivers viewed so differently? Doc took an Orlando team to a .500 record and won Coach of the Year. Vinny took a Bulls team with low expectations to a .500 record as a first-time coach, and rumors swirled he'd be fired. Doc has great years in Boston and gets a $7 million a year salary. Vinny coaches the best Clippers season ever and gets let go. Why is Doc viewed as a great coach and Vinny as kind of a doofus? Is it just Doc winning the championship?
Michael Wallace (2:28 PM)
Well, a championship does a lot in that regard. It's also about the players and when you get them. There are several coaches who could have inherited KG, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen in the prime of their careers and won a lot of games. But not every coach has that intangible get manage the egos and get the most out of their players. Doc Rivers, when given the talent, has shown that ability.
Andre (Tallahassee, FL)
Although I don't wish failure on any of Thursday's NBA hopefuls, which prospect(s) screams bust to you?
Michael Wallace (2:33 PM)
I don't place those kind of labels on guys without seeing at least two seasons of performance from these guys. Let's give them a little bit of time to see what they have on the next level. I don't see more than a handful of players who I think would absolutely help a playoff team right now. But there are always surprises in the draft.
Andre (Tallahassee, FL)
Who are your top 5 amnesty candidates this offseason?
Michael Wallace (2:41 PM)
Let's do teams instead. I think the Heat, Bulls, Lakers and Pistons are among the teams I would suspect to strongly consider using amnesty clauses to get out of some difficult contracts. All I know is there has been speculation for two seasons that Mike Miller would be amnestied by the Heat. Fact is, he's still on the roster as of now.
Andre (Tallahassee, FL)
With Iggy opting out of 16M, it seems clear he wants to play for a real contender. How much of a discount do you think he'll be willing to take?
Michael Wallace (2:43 PM)
Iguodala and Monta Ellis both planning to opt out of significant money is quite a surprise to me. I don't see a market out there where they will be able to recoup the money they're initially walking away from right now. But the NBA is crazy. Some team will miss out on a primary target and have to overspend. It happens every summer. Both players would be huge on contending teams. But that's a combined $27 million gamble they're taking.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Prior to the Miami Heat who was the Last NBA Team to win Back-To-Back NBA Championships?
Michael Wallace (2:46 PM)
The Lakers did it in 2008-09, and 2009-10.
Given that Stern seems to have prohibited Garnett's moving to the Clippers, would the NBA prohibit the Celtics releasing Pearce and him signing on with the Clippers, or would the league approve a trade for Pearce?
Michael Wallace (2:47 PM)
No. The Pierce transaction would be the easiest one of them all. If the Celtics don't want him back, they can release him at the cost of $5 million and allow him to enter free agency. But the Celtics should - and do - want something in return for a guy who was still one of the most productive wings in the league last season. Piece is not the player he was, but he's far from being washed up.
Mike (Yonkers, NY)
With the performance of Chris Bosh I really believe for that money that should shop him. Can Pat Reilly pull off Howard to the Heat if they clear cap room by shipping Bosh to say the Bobcats and amnesty Miller? Also what about Oden....did the championship secure his signing with the Heat?
Michael Wallace (2:49 PM)
That's a lot to ask. It would basically require the Heat to pull off a couple of miracle transactions to make room. Don't expect that to happen. Take that back. It won't happen.
Charles (San Jose)
Michael, why do you answer questions that can be answered by 1 minute on Wikipedia that show no knowledge of something that happened in the last 5 years?
Michael Wallace (2:49 PM)
Because I try to be a man of the people.
I believe the only team that can beat the Heat is OKC but for them to do that I believe they need to make a trade for Dwight! What are the chances that Dwight gets traded to OKC for lets say, Ibaka and two first round picks plus a couple of second round picks?
Michael Wallace (2:50 PM)
What's the percentage that's less than none?
Charles (San Jose)
What's the market going to be like for DeJuan Blair? He didn't fit alongside Duncan, but he's always been productive when given time.
Michael Wallace (2:53 PM)
I like Blair's game. He can go somewhere and be that team's Reggie Evans. He can be a garbage scorer and tough rebounder off the bench. He was in that role for the Spurs until Splitter came along and provided more length alongside Duncan. Because Blair's fallen so far out of the playing rotation and didn't get a lot of minutes this season, it may take a toll on his market value. But some team will be happy to have a guy like that on their team.
What changes can Jason kidd implement to make brooklyn nets a better team. Would you think they should go after kg or pierce.
Michael Wallace (2:55 PM)
For starters, they must become an up-tempo team and take advantage of the versatility that roster has. You can't have Gerald Wallace playing in a halfcourt set as your "corner 3" option. He's not a shooter. Lopez doesn't seem to be that great of a pick-and-roll player with D-Will. So there needs to be a tempo change, and then an attitude change. That team grew too complacent too quickly at times.
Darryl (Oakland, CA)
Is this the worst draft you can remember? I've seen Noel Nerlens multiple times and he makes Adonel Foyle look like superman. Do you think any of the players coming into the draft have a chance of making an all star game in their collective careers?
Michael Wallace (3:00 PM)
I remember that 2000 draft. Go back and look at that one and let me know what you think. That one was pretty bad. This one his is just full of a bunch of unproven guys - even in college. It has all the makings for a bad draft, but you never know until you see how this guys develop after a couple of years in the NBA.
Michael Wallace (3:01 PM)
That's my time for this week. Thanks a lot for a great season. I've enjoyed it from the start to the finish. Have a great summer and I look forward to being back with you guys once training camps for the 2013-14 season. Until then, peace - MW