Chat with Michael Wallace
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, NBA reporter Michael Wallace stops by to chat about the latest news from around the league.
In addition to writing about the NBA, Wallace is also a frequent contributor to the "Heat Index" and the TrueHoop Network. Prior to working for ESPN, Wallace spent more than a decade covering the ACC, SEC, NFL and the NBA for other publications.
Send your questions now and join Wallace Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Michael Wallace (3:03 PM)
Just got done with Heat-Pacers morning shootarounds in anticipation of tonight's showdown between the top teams in the East. Fired up for today's NBA chat. Thanks for joining me, and let's get right to the show.
After seeing Andrew Bynum's progress over the last four games, is it crazy to say that he can return back to All Star form in the 2013-14 season?
Michael Wallace (3:06 PM)
That seems to be a bit much to ask after just four games and a couple of weeks of encouraging play. The main thing for Bynum, who missed all of last season and hasn't really been healthy for two years, is to put his game and confidence back together in stages. I'd like to see him build on the past four games, and put together a strong month. Then, from there, it's anyone's guess. The East has a shortage of bigs, and there is no longer a center designation for the All-Star game, so suggesting he'll get back to that level so soon might be a bit much to expect right now.
Pelicans or Wizards? which team rises to conference finalists first?
Michael Wallace (3:09 PM)
Wizards. Only because the climb is much easier, it appears, in the East. All it takes for Washington is one upset to get there, all things considered. The Pelicans will have to knock off what might be a clearly better team each step of the way. But I wouldn't hold my breath for either to get that far anytime soon, although the progress of both teams has been encouraging this season.
Does Thibs over value Deng? The myth that he is a lock down defender is what gets me.
Michael Wallace (3:10 PM)
Deng was a much better defender when he was clearly cast as the No. 3 or No. 4 option on a completely healthy Bulls team. That hasn't been the case for about three years now, so he's had to sacrifice some of that work ethic and reputation on defense to carry far more of an offensive load than he should. But Deng is still one of the top 20 two-way players in the game.
What kind of contract does Ryan Anderson command next go round? It seems everyone needs him.
Michael Wallace (3:15 PM)
More teams are valuing that stretch-four position, especially a big who can extend his range to the 3-point line. Anderson would be perfect alongside a Dwight Howard or on a team that has a dominant point guard or center. Can Anderson stay healthy and motivated to be a reliable option? That's been the question. But somebody will pay him very decent money on the open market, despite the more punative luxury-tax penalties that go into effect this offseason.
Hey Michael, how are you? Big fan of your stuff. How realistic do you think this potential trade is?Knicks acquire: Kyle LowryRaptors acquire: Iman Shumpert, Jodie Meeks, Steve NashLakers acquire: DeMar Derozan, Raymond FeltonKnicks get a PG upgrade and a shorter contract and they seem totally fine with losing Shumpert anyway. Raptors go into full tank/rebuild mode for this stacked draft (plus can see what Shumpert can do) + get Nash for the fans. Lakers get a young promising LA native with a reasonable contract and a PG who had his best numbers w D'Antoni in Felton. Not sure it makes any team immensely better but considering the goals of each team, I think this is something that all three teams could benefit from. Thoughts?
Michael Wallace (3:17 PM)
My thoughts are that you put a lot of creative thought into that trade. Not sure how all the numbers and finances lineup up, but I don't see the Lakers giving up on Steve Nash at this stage.
with the dumpster fires that are the celtics and nets right now, did anyone make out better than ray allen? guy took some slack for taking less money to join MIA, but in hindsight its hard to blame the guy
Michael Wallace (3:20 PM)
Ray got out first, and he's come out the best so far. You can't fault him. He got a ring out of his decision. But to me, Danny Ainge is also looking like roses right now, considering the flexibility, draft picks and cap space he got in return for parting with Garnett, Pierce and Doc Rivers. I do think the Nets and Knicks will eventually get it together well enough over the coursre of the season to make this slow start a bit of a distant memory. But that might just be having some blind faith amid the Big Apple's basketball blues.
There are some news telling the Heat want a back up PG.. this is the end for Cole?? what we can get for him? Cole + Philly pick x Lowry?
Michael Wallace (3:22 PM)
From what I've seen, heard and see every day covering this team, the Heat value Norris Cole and appreciate the way he's developed over the past two seasons. Now that he's improved his three-point shooting, it might just be Mario Chalmers who is expendable at the end of the season. We'll see. But point guard depth isn't an issue for the Heat this season.
People were doubting the Kings for making this deal for Gay. Just a Splash in an empty pool. After seeing what could be last night against Dallas, wouldn't Gay just add to the speed and athleticism? Good or bad trade?
Michael Wallace (3:25 PM)
I do understand those who are Gay's biggest critics. I get that he's not living up to that contract and all. But I like what he brings when he's on his game. I like that move for Sacramento, because it offers a bit more credibility to that roster and the direction of the team after the franchise nearly bolted town. I like Rudy alongside Demarcus Cousins. I think there are some nice pieces to support those two players. I also get that Toronto underwent a front-office regime change and inherited Gay's massive contract and would like to start over. Both sides got something out of the trade, so it's a good deal.
Does Wade's maintenance program help or hurt Lebron's MVP chances? and how many total games do you see Wade missing this season? Also any Greg Oden updates?
Michael Wallace (3:28 PM)
I think it helps LeBron. But at the end of the day, LeBron's dominance stands on its own and doesn't need much assistance. At this stage, I see Wade playing 60 games this season. If he misses tonight's game in Indy, it would mark the third time he's played just one game over a span of a week. The concern should be how much would Wade's absences place LeBron further in potential wear and tear mode. I know LeBron has been a tank, a machine, the past few seasons. But eventually, that has to catch up to you.
If Lebron doesn't win the MVP award this season do you think that puts a chip on his shoulder during the playoffs that pushes Miami to a 3-peat?
Michael Wallace (3:30 PM)
The only chip that involves LeBron is his quest for the 'ship. He knows he's the league's best player. He also respects the development of others such as Paul George and Chris Paul. He's 28 years old with four MVPs. He's been there, done that. But a 3rd consecutive title is something only three other franchises has done. That quest for history is enough motivation alone.
Russell S (NC)
Where does Omer Asik end up?
Michael Wallace (3:33 PM)
Man, it's so easy to say New Orleans because of the natural Ryan Anderson fit in Houston. But I'm sure there will be plenty of teams lining up to take Asik off the Rockets' hands.
Do you think Lowry will be shipped out/traded?
Michael Wallace (3:35 PM)
He's certainly a valuable trade chip. The thing about Toronto that's sort of funny is that they can have a fire sale with the roster, and still be in the running for the eighth seed in the East at this rate.
Mack (Columbus OH)
What is the Sixers going to do with Evan Turner? and if they could trade him at the deadline what are they looking for in return?
Michael Wallace (3:37 PM)
Lottery picks and cap space only get certain teams so far. Unless you're bottoming out for a legitimate shot to build a title contender, you're just spinning your wheels. And it's a shame because Philly still has a loud and proud fanbase. OKC and Indiana are two teams that build title contenders through the draft, at least with their core players. Plenty of teams claim they have similar plans and goals. But very few have anything close to that level to show for it.
Vlad Nasta (Paradise, MI)
Why don't the Heat try to get Asik? Would it not solve a lot of their low post problems?
Michael Wallace (3:39 PM)
Because Houston would have 28 better suitors to bargain with, it appears. Unless Miami is offering a package that includes Chris Bosh, there is nothing the Rockets would want from Miami, with the understanding that LeBron isn't going anywhere.
Cullen Gus (Memphis)
My friend Shannon think the Grizzlies should package Tony Allen and Marc Gasol for Javale McGee Darrel Aurther and the no. 1 pick owed by the Knicks, wouldn't this be great for both teams since neither clearly aren't getting out of the west?
Michael Wallace (3:41 PM)
So take my hurt and underachiever for your underachivers? I've seen worse trades, that's for sure. I can see what Denver is doing these days. I just don't get what the end game is for Memphis.
how much money do you think lance will demand and will the pacers make any trades or cuts to give him more money
Michael Wallace (3:42 PM)
My guess is that the Pacers will allow Granger to walk and shift some of those resources to Lance.
At what point does LeBron become frustrated that his running mate has to sit out every other game?
Michael Wallace (3:44 PM)
I think LeBron understands the plan with Wade, but that doesn't necessarily make it easy to accept. If Wade isn't reliable physically, and Chris Bosh doesn't become a more dominant and consistent threat, it places far more onus on LeBron to carry the Heat night in and night out. I do think that wears on him, win or lose. And it'll get old quickly if the losses are too frequent.
Cullen Gus (Memphis)
How is it that some center duos can work like Nene/Gortat but Howard couldn't play w/ Gortat in Orlando nor can he play w/ Asik in Houston?
Michael Wallace (3:46 PM)
The difference here is that Asik clearly doesn't want to play with Howard. There has to be a desire to make a situation like that work. But not only is it not a natural fit, it's an unwilling fit.
Why were there trade rumors for depth behind wade. Doesn't Allen provide the perfect sg reserve for pace and space offense. I would think Miami would look for a center.
Michael Wallace (3:48 PM)
Bottom line is this: Miami is showing that it will not stand pat with the roster if there are improvements needed. They appear to be set at the guard and perimiter spots. They could use another productive big, but there aren't many of them walking around available on the streets like Birdman was last season.
Mickey (Columbia, SC)
Who do you think has the best shot to become the next Paul George between Kawhi Leonard, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Jimmy Butler?
Michael Wallace (3:50 PM)
Of the three, I would say Kawhi is the far more natural offensive player. But I don't think any of those guys are as fluid and smooth offensively as Paul George.
DeMarcus Cousins or Andre Drummond?
Michael Wallace (3:52 PM)
I love both. Absolutely. But I'd take Drummond. I think Cousins has more versatility, but Drummond has more stability. It's close. But it's Drummond.
What do you think will happen to Boozer: Amnesty, trade, or finish contract with Bulls?
Michael Wallace (3:55 PM)
Boozer has played well this season in the games I've seen. So there is hope that he's driving his value a bit for a potential suitor. But the Bulls are likely going to have to go the amnesty route, because I don't assume they want to take back a longer contract via trade and would value the potential cap space of having both Boozer and Deng off the books after this season.
Is there anything the Knicks can do, other than get Chandler back healthy, that can help this team? I doubted the naysayers who projected mid-40 wins this year, but even that's looking good now....
Michael Wallace (3:58 PM)
Carmelo is the go-to guy, clearly. But the Knicks are best when Chandler is available and Felton is consistent. Neither is the case, or has been for a while. New York won't be able to trade their way out of this. Shumpert is a solid prospect, but he won't fetch something in return that would make them drastically better than what they're capable of being when healthy and consistent.
Russell S (NC)
Let Giannis Antetokounmpo play! Why not? The Bucks' season is pretty much lost anyway...
Michael Wallace (3:58 PM)
I'm simply giving a shoutout to someone who cares enough about the Milwaukee Bucks to actually send in a question.
Russell S (NC)
Captain Jack is BACK! Impact on the Clippers?
Michael Wallace (4:01 PM)
Depends on his attitude. Stephen is a smart guy. He can blow his top once in a while and show that dangerous ego. But perhaps he learned by the San Antonio ordeal last season that he's not essential to a championship roster. He's a luxury. I think he'll buy in to his latest opportunity and could be a huge lift for the Clippers off the bench - if he allows his game, not his mouth, do the talking.
Michael Wallace (4:02 PM)
That's my time for the week. Thanks again for joining me, and I look forward to getting at you again next week. Until then, peace - MW