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 (3:02 PM)
Thanks for joining me for this week's chat. Looking forward to some great games this week as we wrap up the first half of the season and head into the All-Star Break in New Orleans. Let's get right to your takes and questions.
Jermajesty Moonblood (So Fla)
Is Tom Haberstroh as cool in person as he is on twitter?
Michael Wallace (3:03 PM)
One of the smartest and objective guys covering the league, and is a specialist at what he does. Considering he dresses like Shane Battier sometimes, I'm not sure where he falls on the cool scale, though.
Darius (Cavs Fan)
still trying to understand why we took Bennett... Can you help?
Michael Wallace (3:05 PM)
Nope. But there are times when you see the Bennett's upside. The bottom line is that the Cavs are as dysfunctional as they come right now, from top to bottom. It's a shame that they are performing so far below expectations.
Why do so many GMs value going to the Playoffs only to get swept in the 1st round. In the end what does that do for your team?
Michael Wallace (3:07 PM)
If you're a young team, it's a building stage. At some point, if you continue to be first-round fodder and can't get beyond that, it's time to reload and reconsider your direction. But you play to win the game, as Herm Edwards says. You don't play each season to get back to the lottery. Eventually, there should be something to show for all of that struggling and retooling.
To win a chip with Melo doesn't your team have to be much like the 2011 Mavs? Only thing is NY has no idea how to play def.
Michael Wallace (3:08 PM)
The Knicks winning a title is such a farfetched notion right now, it's hard to even imagine what has to take place with that team. But considering they signed Tyson and ended up with Jason Kidd, they did try to become the 2011 Mavs at one point. That didn't work either.
Tony, Utah [via mobile]
Do you think Roger Mason Junior and Toney Douglas will be on Miami's roster come playoff time? And do you think Miami made a mistake not signing Andrew Bynum?
Michael Wallace (3:10 PM)
One thing I know about Pat Riley is that he loves to do his shopping after the March release date, where free agents who are on the street will be eligible for playoff rosters. He picked up Chris Andersen that way last year, and there were others before that. So if there is someone enticing enough, then you have to figure the roster spot would be created by parting ways with either Douglas, Mason or maybe even James Jones. As far as Bynum, no. The Heat won't regret that as long as Oden continues to take small steps forward and stays on pace to play in the playoffs.
Is it me or is the NBA the only league in which average players get so grossly overpaid. Other leagues tend to understand player worth ALOT better.
Michael Wallace (3:11 PM)
I see your point. But I can also find a few contracts in baseball that are way out of line as well.
So..... nobody told Dumars that Josh Smith wasn't a 3? I'm just an average hoop fan and I knew that.
Michael Wallace (3:13 PM)
Yeah, Dumars is a guy that stuck around a bit too long and watched watched the championship squad he had a decade ago crumble into probably one of the most mismanaged teams in the league.
Deven (New York, NY)
Your thoughts on the Carmelo situation?
Michael Wallace (3:19 PM)
Carmelo got what and where he wanted a few years back by going to New York. He's had a chance to make it work. It's not all on him, but he carries majority of the responsibility because of the way he plays - as well as the way he's refused to change certain aspects of his game, so far. I just can't see any place in the East he can go that would get him past Miami and Indiana.
Since Brooklyn's goal was to win now, do you see them trying to trade brook lopez for something they can use this year? They are 2-0 vs. Miami and played Indy tough in the two games they met. They have looked good without lopez.
Michael Wallace (3:23 PM)
They've fallen off from that hot start in Janaury, but are still playing solid ball on most nights. At the end of the day, I'm not sure I'd trade Lopez unless I could get my hands on someone like DeMarcus Cousins or maybe Larry Sanders. I don't like the idea of having to rely on K.G. to play heavy minutes down the stretch and well into the playoffs, and I'm not sure I can trust Blatche in the postseason just yet.
Chicago would receive Melo, Raymond Felton, and Iman Shumpert.......Carlos Boozer, Kirk Hinrich, Tony Snell, Jimmy Butler, and likely a 1st to New York .... I saw this as a rumor... think theres any chance?
Michael Wallace (3:24 PM)
The only way Carmelo leaves New York is if he makes it very clear to Dolan that he doesn't want to be there any longer. I don't think the Knicks blink until they absolutely have to with regards to trading Anthony.
Colin (Bay Area)
What do you do if you're the Warriors? Time to let Barnes or Klay go? If so, who should they target?
Michael Wallace (3:26 PM)
Tough call that might eventually have to be made. But I don't believe the Warriors have to panic just yet with that roster. They need to get healthy. There's been too many moving parts for them this season. If they can settle down heading into the stretch run, they will be one of the most dangerous teams in the league to face come playoff time.
Charles (San Jose)
I understand signing Josh Smith as a talent acquisition move, but the next step was to turn around and deal Monroe, right?
Michael Wallace (3:28 PM)
I can't speak for the Pistons' logic - if there was one to begin with. Josh Smith is far more effective at the power forward spot in today's NBA. He was simply a bad fit for that roster if there were any plans of keeping Drummond and Monroe as a tandem. The Pistons have some nice pieces, they just don't fit well together at all. That said, they've put together one of their best stretches of the season the past week or so.
Leo Arizona [via mobile]
There's been a lot of players that the Suns are interested in like Pau Gasol , Rudy Gay , Zach Randolph and others. Who fits better for the Suns if they want to try to make playoff push?
Michael Wallace (3:32 PM)
The critical question is whether the Suns have learned enough about their team in the injury absence of Bledsoe to believe they can move forward without him. If he becomes the trade piece, then there's a chance to get one of the better players back in return. But the Suns are playing with house money this season. They are also a potentially attractive destination for free agents. I think they build gradually, and avoid rushing the process. Making the playoffs this season would be a huge step forward.
In Today's 5on5 I couldn't tell if you were being the Heat index guy or just plain hating. OKC is 3-0 against the Spurs this season and have had their number for the past 2 years. Thunder are the clear favorites in the West.
Michael Wallace (3:34 PM)
No hating at all. I thought it was a fair, straightforward answer. I'd give the Spurs the edge in a 7-game playoff series if both teams are healthy. A slight edge. That's no knock on OKC. They are capable of winning that series, obviously. And they beat San Antonio a couple of years ago in the playoffs. My answer was my opinion. Period.
Time to blow up the Wolves? Seems like they just can't get it right with this group.
Michael Wallace (3:35 PM)
The Wolves are haunted by two things. They're never healthy, and they play in the West. Enough said.
Beano Cook (South Bend)
Who do you see making it out of the West to face the Heat this year? I like the Thunder, but it will probably depend of Russell Westbrook's health.
Michael Wallace (3:38 PM)
The Pacers and Heat are the only real options in the East to win a title. But out West, I could see the Spurs, Thunder or Clippers all getting it done if healthy and hot at the right time.
If Dwade gets another ring would he be the 2nd best SG off all time?
Michael Wallace (3:39 PM)
No. Top five, for sure. But he's not getting past Jordan and Kobe on many lists out there.
Who would be a good fit to coach the Jazz after this season?
Michael Wallace (3:42 PM)
Maybe a change won't be made if they show progress down the stretch. They've certainly had some encouraging wins and Burke has developed nicely the past two months. But to answer your question, there's always Jerry Sloan. I've always thought Mark Few would be a great fit there if he had the NBA itch.
Is Rondo more likely to be traded in the off-season? It seems like the market would be larger then.
Michael Wallace (3:45 PM)
That logic would make sense, sinply from the standpoint that you don't know exactly what you're getting in Rondo right now. He's still working his way back to form from the knee surgery. So perhaps teams might need more time to see what he does the rest of the season. I don't get the sense that Boston is better off building around Rondo. But no one should be in a rush to turn the franchise over to Jared Sullinger either.
Where do you see Oladipo in two years? Westbrook light?
Michael Wallace (3:51 PM)
Great question. I'm still trying to figure out exactly what Oladipo is in terms of position. Is his upside at shooting guard or at the point? His game is not as refined as Dwyane Wade's or Russell Westbrook's through the same stage of their careers. But I think he's as explosive as Derrick Rose was. Defensively, he's got a bit of Rondo swag with him. There's plenty to like about Oladipo's future, in other words.
Who do the Sixers like more, Wiggins or Parker, and if they get the first pick do you think there is a possibility they could trade down one or two because they don't have a need for Embiid?
Michael Wallace (3:54 PM)
There's a lot of ball to be played between now and then, and I think the pecking order among the lottery picks will change two or three times by the time the NCAA Tournament is over. I think Parker has the most NBA-ready game. But I'm not sure he's the clear No. 1 pick in a deep class.
Joey (staten island)
Who wins the atlantic?
Michael Wallace (3:55 PM)
I respect what Toronto has done. But I think Brooklyn eventually catches the Raptors and wins the division.
Paprika [via mobile]
Lakers got good pg assets and kaman plus hill too, any teams intrested?
If Rose comes back healthy, you are nuts if you don't think Rose / Anthony / Noah can beat Miami & Indy.
Michael Wallace (4:00 PM)
Then call me nuts, because that's not certain to be enough to get it done.
Joe (Best Question)
Does what happen with the Nets somehow give more respect to what the Heat did.. in showing it's not easy to just BUY a championship?
Michael Wallace (4:02 PM)
There's a big difference. The Nets got K.G. and Pierce well after the prime years of their careers. The Heat got Wade, LeBron and Bosh in the midst of their primes. The Nets, even with those additions, were relying on Deron Williams and Brook Lopez to carry the bulk of the load, with Joe Johnson filling in the gaps. Williams has been limping all season and Lopez is lost for the season. I still think the Nets have enough to be a very tough out in the East, though.
Michael Wallace (4:03 PM)
That's my time for the week. Thanks for joining me. Let's do this again next week as the NBA season heads toward the stretch run and into the trade deadline a week from Thursday.