Chat with Amin Elhassan
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, NBA Insider Amin Elhassan stops by to chat about the latest news from around the hardcourt.
Elhassan joined the ESPN NBA Insider team following a stint with the Phoenix Suns. He earned his way up the ranks with the Suns, serving as a video coordinator, college scout, before finally working as the assistant director of basketball operations. While with the Suns, he also earned his MBA from Arizona State.
Send your questions now and join Elhassan Thursday at 4 p.m. ET!
Amin (4:03 PM)
Hey all! Time for another thrilling chat session!
Lorenz (Zurich (CH))
Memphis gets Amin Elhassan, ESPN gets back John Hollinger. Who says no? And is there still any doubt, that Embiid will be the #1 pick in this years draft? Super impressed with the big kid.
Amin (4:04 PM)
Ha, I think Memphis would need about 8 zillion picks thrown into that deal for them to agree to that trade! As for Embiid, I think it's still early to crown anyone as undoubted #1....but he has been very impressive!
Casey (Wichita Falls,Tx)
Forgive me if you have already addressed this in previous chats, but I've recently seen Jordan, Scoop Jackson, and some others writing about or hitting social media with their All-Time teams for a pick-up game, so I was just wondering,who would be on yours?
Amin (4:09 PM)
This is a very interesting question. I think I would go with something like Magic, Bird, Jordan, LeBron and Hakeem. Shooting, post play, passing at every position!
Amman (South beach)
How much will Rondo help the Celtics after returning from his acl injury?
Amin (4:09 PM)
He'll help them by playing well enough in an audition role to get moved!
If you were the GM of the Bucks, what moves would you look to make in the next 8 months to improve the team for the 14-15 season? Getting a top draft pick will be nice, but what about current NBA players. Would you seek to clear cap space (for example, trading Ersan Ilyasova or OJ Mayo) so that you could sign an offensive post presence like Greg Monroe?
Amin (4:11 PM)
Clearing the salary cap muck (I'd add Zaza and Larry Sanders to your list) should be a priority but easier said than done. This isn't getting fixed in 8 months
What is your opinion on how much will Eric Bledsoe will get during off-season?
Amin (4:13 PM)
I have him valued at about 11 mill a year, but I would not be surprised if a desperate enough team approaches with a max offer sheet. (averages out to roughly $14.6 mill per year)
David (Melbourne, Australia)
G'day Amin, love your chats. Long time reader, first time questioner/asker? Anyways.....I watch every Jazz game down here, and I don't know if it's my bias, but there is an awful load of young talent on his team. Hayward, Burke, Burks, Favors, Kanter, Gobert, an improved Evans, a more confident Rush, Raul Neto probably next season. You've been assigned Jazz GM, what do you look to do by the trade deadline, draft day and possible free agency targets? Thank you!
Amin (4:14 PM)
If you're the Jazz, you have a good thing going right now. Might look to dangle Rush, Jefferson or Williams at trade deadline to see if any extra assets can be had. I'd look to keep Hayward in the offseason, bring Neto over, try to target a veteran big who can play alongside Favors and also back him up. A veteran 3 point shooting wing would be a good addition as well.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who do you think is the Best NBA Rookie that you have seen this season?
Amin (4:15 PM)
I don't think it's any secret that Michael Carter Holy Grail is probably running away with this. But Trey Burke is making an interesting case as well
Celtics going to continue tanking or are they going to look to cash in some of their assets for players who would help now (ex, G Hayward, Josh Smith/Greg Monroe, Eric Gordon, Evan Turner)?
Amin (4:17 PM)
Some of the names you mentioned wouldn't help, while others probably aren't available. I don't see them aggressively seeking a deal unless it's a bona fide star in the making coming back.
Do you think there is any chance the media will just give discussing the HEAT a rest at any point and stop postulating about their demise? The face is one team has taken them down (I don't want to hear about taking a team to game 7 or a team failing to close them out..they lost) in 3 years and yet after every loss or lackluster performance we find new ridiculous things to talk about (Lebron coasting!!)
Amin (4:19 PM)
Jim, I feel your pain. But many fans live life on the edge of their seats, wanting to know why LeBron sneezed too hard, or if Wade's untied shoelace is cause for concern. I alone have about a zillion questions regarding "What's wrong with the Heat" in this chat alone!
Chris (Studio City, CA)
Hi Amin:The Lakers' free-fall continues. Last night, though, was troubling for me, as I've come to like Swaggy P a lot this season. But after what he said about his teammates not having his back, and the response to that, could his positive season (and possible payday next year) go up in smoke??
Amin (4:20 PM)
Chris, I don't think Nick Young's goodwill has been depleted by one bad play last night (nor by his comments, which I think were understandable). As far as a payday is concerned, I'd argue nobody was planning on backing up a Brinks truck for him anyway!
Omarvls (N. Hollywood CA)
Amin, If the 8 min Oden of Last night turns into a 20 minute Oden in the ECF would you pick Miami to beat Indy?
Amin (4:20 PM)
I have Miami winning anyway, so yes.
Brian (Bay Area)
So what can the Lakers do to effectively tank from here on out? They are doing a great job so far on their own, BUT no one will be able to tell Kobe to chill for the rest of the year (and he's supposed to be back in about 2 weeks). I'm not worried about Nash because I fully expect him to re-injure himself within a week of his return (unfortunately)?
Amin (4:22 PM)
Kobe can come back all he wants, he's not changing the direction this sinking ship is heading. If I'm the Lakers, I want Kobe to sit to preserve his health and have him be 100% next year, not because I'm worried he'd help "win too much"
Afternoon Amin! would u want Terrence Jones on your team? are u a fan of his game? thanks!
Amin (4:22 PM)
As a backup power forward, absolutely. He's skilled and quick and causes some matchup problems. As my starting 4? Not so much
Can Matthew Dellavedova hang around as a three point shooter?
Amin (4:23 PM)
I love Dellavedova's game! Not just as a shooter, but as a very effective pick and roll player. He's going to stick around the league for quite a while as a smart,efficient backup PG.
I know he hasn't had much of an opportunity yet, but C.J. McCollum has looked solid since being activated. What do you see him contributing to Portland? This season, next? Thanks for the chats!
Amin (4:25 PM)
McCollum brings another efficient shooter to the mix for the Blazers, a real scoring threat off a bench that is now a LOT deeper than it was last year....he'll probably continue to see limited minutes as long as Mo Williams plays well, but looking forward CJ can be a great asset as a third guard who can play alongside Lillard or sub in for him
After watching the heat this week I think the missing piece for them is Channing Frye. I know his contract isn't the best but I think his shooting and post defense could be the difference between getting by Indiana. With Frye lebron would play less at the 4 and they could put a line up out there with two legit 3 pt threats, bosh and Frye. If not Frye could you see the heat targeting another big who can shoot
Amin (4:26 PM)
While I agree with you on your assessment of Frye as a player (and think there are more than a few teams that can benefit from having him), I'd argue the Heat already have that guy in Bosh.
Amin, what is your opinion on level of D-league? Would player be better to be coming to europe to developp? take Do colo, the guy goes to D-league, easely put great numbers in a not so competitive environment, what's the point really, getting PT?
Amin (4:29 PM)
Great question Ludo. The D-League caliber of play has grown by leaps and bounds recently, as more NBA teams are controlling their own D-League franchises. For a player fortunate enough to play for one of those NBA teams, going to the affiliate can be extremely beneficial since he is running the same offensive playbook and defensive schemes that his NBA team runs, so he's not falling behind. Also, if you're already on an NBA roster, going to Europe is not an option to develop; if you're not on a roster, it is more difficult to get called up mid-season from overseas (which requires the Euro team to agree and a letter from FIBA clearance).
G. Oden (South Beach)
What do you think of my first game in 4years? I will be an all star if this continues.
Amin (4:30 PM)
I wouldn't book my travel to New Orleans just yet, Greg, but I was very encouraged by your game last night!
Jeff (Miami FL)
Will JR Smith Retire a Knick?
Amin (4:34 PM)
Interesting way to put it! Does playing in China count as "retired"?
Jeff (Miami FL)
I know the Knicks traded a ton of 1st round picks for upcoming drafts, when do they actually have a chance to pick in the first round again?
Amin (4:36 PM)
They actually have their 2015 first round pick. They just can't trade it because of the Stepien Rule, which prohibits teams from trading consecutive future first rounders
How does a Boston fan watch the Nets-Hawks game?
Amin (4:36 PM)
Extremely conflictedly (if that's a word)
Brian (Bay Area)
What realistically can Lakers get in return for Pau? A 1st rounder if they take back salary? (We know they *must* trade him, right???)
Amin (4:37 PM)
The hope is you can get a first for him, but I'm not sure what teams are lining up for a $19 million post player who appears, as the kids say, "washed"
Any news regarding on moves the Rockets can make towards the deadline? Your impression on Howard's season so far?
Amin (4:38 PM)
Foreshadowing alert: I have something coming this weekend to that end. As far as Howard's season, I think he's been everything Houston hoped he would be, and has shown that last year was an anomaly
Give me the best possible scenario for Orlando between now and the start of next season.
Amin (4:38 PM)
"With the first pick in the NBA draft, the Orlando Magic select..."
Amin, who would you pick in a hypothetical Spurs/OKC WCF? Would you agree that they are the two best teams?
Amin (4:39 PM)
Tough decision. I think I'd go Spurs, but health will have a lot to do with it. I wouldn't jump to say those are the two best teams, as I think the Warriors and Clippers (both when healthy) probably deserve to be in that convo as well.
Twitter has really changed the face of fandom in the past few years--it seems like armchair GMs and coaches pop up in every NBA team twittersphere. My question to you is how should fans try to maintain perspective?
Amin (4:41 PM)
Great question. I think the danger of today's sports landscape is so much information is readily available, but having information does not necessarily equal knowing how to use it, interpret it, and parse the irrelevant from the crucial. That said, part of being a fan is wildly overreacting to everything, whether it's based on a wealth of info or straight up ignorance. To ask them to maintain perspective at all times seems a little unfair!
Giannis A. (Confused in Milwaukee)
Amin: Giannis is obviously so much better at SG than SF! KNow we're talking L.Drew here but why not just leave the Alphabet at his best position?
Amin (4:42 PM)
I think the main thing right now is getting him minutes and touches. Shouldn't be worried about boxing him into a position just yet! Only 19!
Brandon Lane (Mattoon, IL)
How do you think Bulls management feels about Thibs playing Jimmy 60 minutes last night? Thanks!
Amin (4:44 PM)
Well, as I said in a 5-on-5 today ( http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/page/5-on-5-140116/big-deal ), it's odd to me that they seem so cool with it when just a few years ago you had your Exec VP of BBall Ops physically confronting the head coach about playing a guy 27 min instead of 25 min in a game.
The Heat put Shane Battier on Nene and Gortat last night. Is the lack of bigs after the trade a problem?
Amin (4:44 PM)
Are you asking me if trading Joel Anthony is something that will come back to bite them? No, it's not.
Rudy Gay seems to be pretty darned efficient since he came to Sacramento....what say you?
Amin (4:45 PM)
Kirk Goldsberry of Grantland wrote about this today. The biggest difference in Gay's play is he's making shots at the rim,something he didn't all season in Toronto. Funny how getting traded twice in 10 months gets your attention, though. I wonder if Rudy is looking at box scores now?
Juan Pab-Joe (Arcadia, CA)
Great team -- give me Stockton, Kobe, Barkley, Pippen and Kareem. How many games does my team win in a best-of-seven?
Amin (4:46 PM)
If peak Wilt were playing today what kind of numbers would he put up?
Amin (4:46 PM)
He'd be the best center in the NBA, but I don't think he'd be playing 48.5 min per game or scoring 50
Hi Amin! First of all, thanks for chatting and I love your analysis. Now, can you please enlighten me on the defense of Anthony Davis? He was regarded as a great defensive player coming out of college and even now, yet the Pels defense stinks. Every metrics I saw lately ranks them in the last spots in the League defensively. Sure he averages 3 bpg, but is he really that good? Shouldn't he have a major impact on his team defense? Or am I missing something?
Buzzmaster (9:35 PM)
Hey folks, sorry for the abrupt end to the chat today. We had server issues that shut everything down.