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)
Thanks for joining me for this week's edition of the NBA chat. I always look forward to this part of my week. So let's get right to the questions.
Greetings Mike. Thanks for taking the time to chat.Do you think loyalty toward players will eventually doom the Heat?I know Haslem has a lot of value in the locker room, but his production has gone south and doubt Pat has the guts to get ride of him.
Michael Wallace (3:06 PM)
At the end of the day, it's a business. Loyalty only goes so far. But the thing about Udonis is that he twice gave the Heat a hometown discount and took far less money than he could have gotten on the open market to stay in his hometown of Miami. That said, he also has three championships he likely wouldn't have won elsewhere had he left. So it will be interesting to see what the Heat decides to do, considering Udonis does have another year and is owed a tax-burdensome, $4-plus million next season.
What would you say to a kid from london who wants to work for the miami heat one day (even as a ball boy) but hopefully in the front office. Thanks
Michael Wallace (3:07 PM)
Get to Biscayne Boulevard (AmericanAirlines Arena) and start knocking on some doors. You never know who might answer and what type of response you'll get. But good luck.
Chandler Parsons is a terrific player im my eyes one who i think has star potential do you see houston maybe losing him the same way they got harden? if so how good can he be on his own team?
Michael Wallace (3:09 PM)
He fits that role perfectly as the Rockets' third option. Sometimes, he's even the No. 2 option, depending on how Dwight Howard is featured. It would make no sense for Parsons to leave that situation, because there aren't many teams that would afford him the space and kind of role he has in Houston. He's certainly blossomed in that system, and has value there.
Keith Bernes Jr (Cleveland Ohio )
With wade being injured a lot recently and bosh not playing as well if the heat don't win a championship, what are the odds of the king returning to Cleveland?!
Michael Wallace (3:11 PM)
If LeBron leaves, and I still think that's a very, very, very big "if" then my gues would be that Cleveland would be his third choice - at best - beyond Miami. If he's got the itch to leave, I've always said L.A. would be the next-best fit for him (and I'm talking Clippers, not Lakers).
Hey Mike, What type of reaction do you think Lebron and Bosh would get in Miami if they decide to leave this summer? Similar to Boston with Pierce and KG?
Michael Wallace (3:13 PM)
Depends on how early in the game they'd show the tribute. Miami's a late, late arriving crowd.
Any idea who the kings will target at the trade deadline
Michael Wallace (3:14 PM)
Obviously, they need another big to add depth, as we're seeing amid the injury absence of DeMarcus Cousins. They could also use another ball-handling guard, because Thomas is playing a ton of minutes for those guys. But they've already made their most meaningful acquisition by getting Rudy Gay.
Word has it Kobe will be out even longer. If he comes back and he can't play like he wants to (he's stated that he wants to go out at a high level), and he decides to retire, how does the cap hit look like to the Lakers? He's guaranteed 48 million over 2 years, do the Lakers get a break if he retires, or do they have to buy them out?
Michael Wallace (3:17 PM)
The Lakers would have some options under that scenario from a cap standpoint and how much of that money would count against their salary structure. But don't worry yourself too long pondering this. No way Kobe's walking away at this point. Not gonna happen.
I know he prefers KD as a nickname, but if Durant doesn't stop playing the way he has been playing I feel like the Slim Reaper is inevitable.
Michael Wallace (3:19 PM)
Slim Reaper, Iceburg Slim, Slim Stimulus. All work for me.
chilly (virginia beach, va)
in the history of the nba, has there ever been a team that had three worse high first round draft picks than the bobcats? mkg, biyambo and zeller are averaging about 12 pts combined
Michael Wallace (3:21 PM)
That's pretty hard to beat, off the top of my head. But I'm sure there are other teams out there. In reality, it's still early for those three guys. Give them another season or two, and see where they stand.
Jon (Key Biscayne)
Michael, really enjoy your chats. Safe to say a LeBron vs. KD NBA Finals rematch would be nothing short of EPIC with the way both have been playing since they faced off 2 years ago?
Michael Wallace (3:22 PM)
Especially if Westbrook and Wade came be productive players in that series. Otherwise, I'd be just as satisfied seeing LeBron and K.D. play one-on-one in a seven-game series.
Which other guards should go to the ASG? Wall is already a lock. Out of Afflalo, MCW, Derozan, Lowry, Stephenson, and Teague, who would you choose. Pick 2 and explain.
Michael Wallace (3:26 PM)
I suggested my East team on Twitter the other day. It was Wade, LeBron, Melo, Paul George, Kyrie, Wall, Hibbert, Joe Johnson, Millsap, Bosh, DeRozan, Al Jefferson.
Josh (Deerfield, IL)
If the bulls were to amnesty boozer and trade dunleavy, do you think they would have a shot at signing Melo?
Michael Wallace (3:28 PM)
Maybe it's just me. But I can't see that move being made as long as Thibs is coaching that team. If they make a regime change, I could see it. Especially if Melo truly allows himself to be recruited as a free agent. But if he leaves New York, I think he's more likley bound for Los Angeles (and I mean Lakers, not Clippers).
Brian (Sacramento, CA)
What are your thoughts on Phoenix? Do you see them making the playoffs? If so, could be a dangerous team. They are high scoring and even beat Indiana a few weeks ago pretty handling.
Michael Wallace (3:33 PM)
Jeff Hornacek is the coach of the year at this point. What he's done with that roster is nothing short of amazing, considering his best player in Bledsoe has been out with a knee injury. The Suns have come East twice now and picked up some extra wins to pad that record. That means the back end of their schedule is probably loaded with West teams. So we'll see how they handle the stretch run. But I think Memphis is better, although Phoenix is right there with Denver and Minnesota.
Rob the Radid (Stamford, CT)
Do you think Durant's recent play has shown that people were right about Westbrook getting him the ball more, or just a testament to Durant as being an all-around, do-whatever-the-team needs guy?
Michael Wallace (3:44 PM)
I think it's the latter. It's unfortunate that some are using Durant's scoring outburst as some sort of referendum on Russell Westbrook. He's an exceptional player and will be needed if the Thunder are going to win a championship. The one thing you worry about with KD is that there's still a lot of season left to play, so carrying this sort of burden for the long haul might wear him down a bit when the games really start to matter in April and May on the way to June.
Keith (Cleveland, Ohio)
What is your opinion about how the Cavs coach brown has done this season? No one expected them to be world beaters but some locals here are dissatisfied so far given the upgrade in talent (addition of Deng, j jack), and that varejao and kyrie have been much healthier...
Michael Wallace (3:46 PM)
I think they're the most underachieving team in the league. And that's saying something, considering it could just as easily fit the Knicks and the Nets so far. But you look at Cleveland's roster and there's not reason they should be this inconsistent-to-poor. But the East is forgiving, and there's still time for them to right the ship.
Doesn't it make a lot of sense for LeBron and Wade to not opt out until 2015(if Wade does at all)? Roll with things one more year, plus not a lot of great free agent destinations this year. And still leaves lots of options for 2015...
Michael Wallace (3:49 PM)
My thoughts, precisely.
Ben (Los Angeles)
Hi Mike, I've noticed how some hall of famers, such as Bill Russell, continue to receive new recognition. For example, Bill Russell had the finals mvp trophy named after him a few years ago. Should we expect the same treatment for Michael Jordan as he ages too?
Michael Wallace (3:52 PM)
Sounds good to me. But the bigger question is finding the right award to dedicate in Jordan's hame.
Just how much difference has coach Bud made down here in snowy Atlanta? Sure seems like a big improvement over Woodson and Drew...especially the movement on offense.
Michael Wallace (3:53 PM)
Having guys like Korver and Paul Millsap make a huge difference, too. I credit the coaching staff for finding just the right tempo to maximize that roster so far. Atlanta plays a fun brand of basketball, with their spacing. They've gone completely away from the iso-ball of the Woodson and Drew eras.
What are the odds Cleveland lands Greg Monroe as a RFA in the off season? What kind of outlook does that place on the team?
Michael Wallace (3:55 PM)
At this rate, the Pistons may have to dump Monroe before then in order to get something in return. I said the Cavs were the most underachieving team in the league a few questions back. Well, let's make room right alongside them for the Pistons.
Lebron wins the 3 peat, retires to try football, then comes back and wears number 23 and 3 peats with the Cavs. Then could we say he is better than Jordan? Or does he need to score 70 in game just once to appease the short sighted Skip Bayless types of the world?
Michael Wallace (3:57 PM)
It says Chicago, but you sure you're not in Colorado or Washington state sending that kind of question?
Do you think Rudy Gay can be a long term fit in Sacramento? It seems like Malone is the first coach to get him the ball in spots where he can be successful so I think the shooting percentage for the most part will stay improved.
Michael Wallace (3:59 PM)
Rudy isn't the key. Keeping DeMarcus is. If Cousins continues to develop and is clearly set up as the No. 1 option on that team, it would allow Rudy to slide into a No. 2 threat, which is a role he's far more comfortable carrying, it seems.
Who are you picking to win the Super Bowl?
Michael Wallace (3:59 PM)
The Best Corner In the Game. His team. LOB
Felipe de Mello Martins (Berkeley, CA)
Do you see anything regarding Jalen Rose's comments that the Joel Anthony trade is the first domino for the Heat acquiring a difference-maker wing down the road? Who could this piece be?
Michael Wallace (4:00 PM)
No, that trade was primarly to relieve the luxary-tax burden on the Heat ownership. It does nothing from a basketball-improvement standpoint. Basically, it was a tax write-off.
Lebron will not play in LA. His ego will not allow him to play in Kobe's shadow. Even if Lebron is better than Kobe the LA fans will continue to wear their Kobe blinders and consider Lebron second best.
Michael Wallace (4:01 PM)
I'm not suggesting he's leaving. But based on your logic, he's done okay in Wade's shadow in Miami. The only ghost or legend LeBron might never be able to catch from that standpoint is Jordan. That's the list.
Michael Wallace (4:02 PM)
Well, that's my time for today. Thanks so much for all of the great questions. There are hundreds that I wasn't able to get to. But I certainly appreciate the interest, and I look forward to chatting with you guys next week. Until then, be cool. Peace - MW