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 3 p.m. ET!
Amin (2:57 PM)
As I said on Twitter, the Best of Bad Boy Records playlist is bumping on my computer, and I'm ready to chat!
Tim (Nanaimo, BC, Canada)
why is pacer becoming such a mess? what happened to larry legend's team? is the tuner trade a total bad move? thanks
Amin (3:01 PM)
First of many Pacer questions today! We touched on this topic on THTV Live yesterday (Wednesdays and Fridays at 2pm ET). Turner's presence causes Lance Stephenson to abandon the team oriented play he bought in to earlier this season, as both players play similar positions and roles, and are competing for same free agency dollars (not just in Indiana, but all over the league)......also, Turner's inefficiency on either end of the floor hurts the Pacers..........check out these clips for more! http://sprc.st/q11YR http://sprc.st/b1n8K
Hello Amin, reader if chats first time question asker, what is the max the pacers could offer stephenson? and what is max others could offer? I see carmelo, lebron and other FA's can only make a certain amount more, is that true with all FA's or do 2nd rd picks have a loophole?
Amin (3:04 PM)
Thanks for checking in, Donald. The maximum Stephenson is eligible for from Indiana would be a 5 year deal starting at roughly $13.7 million with 7.5% raises. The maximum he can get from any other team is a 4 year deal, also starting at roughly $13.7 million but with only 4.5% raises. That's based on his status of having less than 6 years of experience in the league..........I think it's safe to say he won't see anything close to that offer
How do you feel about a T-Mac comparison for Wiggins? T-Mac was also initially a freak athlete/lock down defender before he fine tuned his game and became a super star. Is it really a reach to project Wiggins as a T-Mac like player?
Amin (3:05 PM)
I think T-Mac from the get-go featured more guard-like skills, as far as being able to handle the ball and attack off the dribble. Wiggins is more of a forward. That's not to say he won't be a superstar, but I just don't see the T-Mac comparison
Amin (3:06 PM)
"Get Money" is the song playing now, by the way. How appropriate!
why don't we see more emotion after a player makes a bad play, like after a bad turnover or an ill-advised shot? When I turn the ball over I pound my chest furiously.
Amin (3:07 PM)
This aint the park, son.
Sun Boy (Meza, AZ)
Hi There, I enjoy you colums and chat work. Q#1 Have you ever touched a BBall? Q#2 how tough is it to be an ESPN Insider?
Amin (3:07 PM)
1- Sure. 2- Not bad, other than having to deal with jerks during my chat.
Hey Amin! I've been investigating a bit about Evan Turner's atrocious defense, because it hasn't always been like this, or has it? I mean, he never stood out as a defender, but also didn't look this clueless. In 2011/12, Philly was 3rd in defense (96.6 pts allowed/ 100poss.), and Brand and Iguodala had spectacular def. ratings. But it didn't fall off a cliff when Turner was on the floor (99.1 pts all./ 100 poss.) With him on the floor they were still a top 10 defense that year, and 99.1 would be good enough for #3 this year. Has he effectively been getting worse on D? Does he need Doug Collins' constant nitpicking? Another thing is that he looks really out of shape, or is that the normal for him?
Amin (3:09 PM)
Sometimes it's the coach. Sometimes it's the comfort within the system (remember, he had full training camp). Sometimes it's the pressure (in his mind, might feel like he's "proved" himself and thus doesn't need to try as hard on defense). Whatever the reason is, this much is true: he has less than satisfactory awareness on the weakside, and the Pacers suffer when he's on the floor.
Greetings Amin! I was happy with the Warriors win in Dallas (great game it was!), but that play at the end looked like a goaltend to me. My question is, why didn't the refs stop the game to review it? They are allowed to review goaltending calls now. And it was crucial to the game outcome, since there was only one possession left. They also interrupted game 6 of the NBA finals to check if Ray Allen was outside the 3pt line.
Amin (3:10 PM)
Great question John. We were wondering the same thing....the league released a statement that it was not reviewable, but like you, I'm not buying that.
Should the Pacers consider using a zone when Turner is on the floor? Following his man seems to be a herculean task, so maybe he can just stay in a spot! Also, once Watson comes back (I'm looking forward to that!), shouldn't he take some of Turner's minutes? Hill and Watson can play together for stretches. Neither of them is a good floor general, but at least they space the floor.
Amin (3:11 PM)
You answered your first question with your second question: the "zone" Indy should use is the one that keeps Turner's minutes to a minimum
When do you see Kevin Durant overtaking Lebron as the consensus best player? Or do you think Anthony Davis passes him before Lebron drops off?
Amin (3:12 PM)
Tough tough tough tough tough tough question. I think KD vs AD will be the next battle of elites for the league. Age difference isn't that great!
Greetings Amin, thanks for chatting! That was a great article the other day on the "Laker fans vs. Kobe fans" issue. One thing I wonder is, does anyone in the organization (Mitch, Jimmy) share this delusion that he's still an elite NBA player? Because if they do, they might do something really stupid to try and "reload" to go for a championship in these last 2 Kobe years. That may mean overpaying for mediocre talent, or drafting someone who is readier now as opposed to someone with a higher ceiling (Parker instead of Wiggins). Or even worse (!), dealing away the pick!
Amin (3:13 PM)
Thanks Garibaldi, but I didn't write that piece! Just retweeted it! I think the Lakers brass (or at least I hope) understand Kobe isn't elite anymore, but I also think they know the next two years are going to be rough anyway, so they might as well cash in on the Bryant Retirement Tour.
desmond (brooklyn )
all things being equal would you take kawhi leonard or paul George long term ? personally ill take George even though he is 2 years older they are pretty even on defense and and offense George is way way more talented !!! who would you take ?
Amin (3:14 PM)
If we're not counting money, I think I take George; he isn't as efficient as Kawhi, but he's also not playing the same role, and is asked to create offense for a team that is offensively challenged, while Kawhi is an ancillary piece to an amazing offense. Counting salary? Kawhi all day
If the LAK dont land a Top 3... what about 2014 pick (possible #6) + fut 1st lotto protected x Horford & Schroeder.. or Al x both 2014 pick 1st
Amin (3:15 PM)
Looks like I'm gonna have to dust this one off: "IF you follow me on Twitter (@AminESPN), you'll know that I don't entertain "who says no?" type hypothetical trades."
Ed (Queens Village)
Twolves will extend longest playoff drought in league at 10 years. What must they do to end it in 14-15?
Amin (3:16 PM)
Glad you asked! I wrote about this TODAY on Insider: http://es.pn/QIKhFG
Do you left Curry 15sec left with Calderon on him or do you put the Matrix on him and try to double team??
Amin (3:16 PM)
Golden State makes that decision exceedingly difficult by spreading the court with shooters. I think you have to try to stop Curry from getting the ball in the first place, but that's easier said than done
Al (San Antonio)
Everyone is talking that the Spurs some years ago went for a similar streak and lost in the 1st (need to remember Manu went down)... do you think they are picking too soon (i dont see them burning the major players)
Amin (3:17 PM)
I think you're asking me if they are peaking too soon. No such thing....as you pointed out, not like they are riding their guys like Chicago....quite the opposite, they've sat their guys! I think it's just a team that's hit a groove where they are executing flawlessly
Somehow, the Knicks are still in it. Do you think they make the playoffs?
Amin (3:18 PM)
I gotta stick with my preseason pick of Cleveland! Much, much easier schedule down the stretch.
Steve (Kimberley BC)
Hi Amin. I have two questions for you. First, do you have any inside info about how Joakim Noah feels about having a feature film about him in the theatres and Russel Crowe playing the lead? And second, do you feel the the push for changing the playoff seeding system is a bit short-sighted? Things are definitely out of whack this season when it comes to the strength of the conferences but three years from now they could be equal or even swing the other way. Draft picks, free agent signings, trades, coaching changes and just sheer luck could change the landscape in a relatively short time and we could find ourselves looking back at the calls for changing the playoff system and having a good laugh.
Amin (3:18 PM)
1st question: sad trombone......2nd question: I feel like that sometimes, but then I remember the West has been tougher for about 15 years! At what point do we go enough is enough
Tim Irvin (Los Angeles)
Mr. Elhassan, Is Eric Bledsoe going to be a free agent this off season? If so, a talent starved team like the Lakers (man, that was a weird statement to write) should really look into bring him back to So Cal...
Amin (3:20 PM)
Bledsoe will be a restricted free agent, meaning Phoenix will have the right to match any offer that teams make to him. I think he'd be high on the Lakers' wish list. .......(see Laker fans? Ask a respectful question, get a respectful answer!)
Contracts aside, which PG would you take moving forward: Ricky Rubio or MCW?
Amin (3:20 PM)
I'm a sucker for Rubio, but even my patience is starting to wear thin. I think he needs major changes in his approach to the game....having said that, they are about a year apart in age!
Hey Amin! Do you think Robin Lopez is starting to get close to where his brother is at, in becoming one of the premier centers in the NBA?
Amin (3:21 PM)
David, I don't think the expectation for Robin was ever to be Brook: they do very different things. I think Robin is showing he can be a high level defensive center who is efficient with his offensive touches.
What direction should the Suns go this off-season? Do they try and package their picks and assets for Kevin Love, which seems like the only moveable star that makes sense? Or do they stay the course and hope to nail a couple of their draft picks and try and contend for a lower playoff seed again? It seems like they can go either way and there's a good case for each.
Amin (3:22 PM)
If you're the Suns, you have to be thinking about a homerun deal for a Kevin Love....if that doesn't work out, looking at upgrading the swingman position would be key. Gordon Hayward, Luol Deng, etc.
don't mean this as a trade question, just trying to better understand him as a player...what good team might want JR Smith for the vet minimum or something not too far above?
Amin (3:23 PM)
It would have to be a team with unbelievable structure and self-policed locker room: Spurs, Heat, Pacers (if Lance isn't there!)...
Bill Simmons (CA)
Here is an idea - try not complaining about the questions you get today, or that people who have jobs or other things to do might not have read everything you've written. If you don't like a question, don't whine and act like a baby, just don't answer it.
Amin (3:24 PM)
Here's an idea: I'm going to handle my chat my way because (if it's not painfully apparent) it's MY chat. Also: try using your real name if you're gonna tough talk!
Jay (Orange County)
I'm hearing that Phil wants to run the triangle in New York. There aren't too many players playing that have experience. Do you see the Knicks going after triangle veterans (Steve Blake, Sasha Vujacic) or keeping Shannon Brown to help run the offense? Also how do you see Melo fitting into the triangle.
Amin (3:26 PM)
Jay, I don't think the triangle is an offense that only has a few players in the world who can run it. Really, all you need are good IQ players who know how to dribble, pass, and shoot and know WHEN to dribble, pass, and shoot. I look at the entire Spurs roster and see guys who could run triangle. Still, it does help to have someone there who knows some of the wrinkles......as far as Melo fitting in the triangle, I actually wrote about it here: http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10632905/can-carmelo-anthony-fit-triangle-offense-nba ....short answer: yes.
Cory Clay (San Antonio, TX)
Spurs vs OKC will be a great playoff series if it happens, but can people stop bringing up 2012? That's a series between a Spurs team that was playing Richard Jefferson and George Hill at SF, Dejuan Blair at Center, and the first time Kawhi had been in the playoffs.....And James Harden had a bigger impact on that series than Russell Westbrook. What are your thoughts?
Amin (3:27 PM)
Both teams are very different from 2012. It'll be a great series
Between Mavs, Grizz and Suns who do you see making the playoffs and maybe making some noise in the first round?
Amin (3:28 PM)
Has to be Memphis. They are here artificially, by virtue of untimely injuries. Really they should have been fighting for homecourt advantage. They also play a style that is very different from the rest of the conference....the Grizz just better hope they avoid San Antonio!
Who's your Defensive Player of the Year? In the middle of the season it seemed like Hibbert had the award locked up.
Amin (3:28 PM)
Joakim Noah! More versatile defensively than Hibbert.
B (los angeles)
do you ever think about how lucky you are to know nate jones?
Amin (3:29 PM)
Only on Thursdays at 3pm ET>
You predicted the Suns would miss the playoffs. If they make it, it would be by the slimmest of margins. In that case, I don't think it would be fair for people to hold your prediction against you. Tie?
Amin (3:29 PM)
If they make it, kudos to them. It will mean they overcame an incredibly tough schedule that I thought would sink them. I'll give them all the credit in the world
Saw yesterday's THTV Live. So you got a bachelor's degree from both ASU and GT?
Amin (3:30 PM)
No, I transferred from GT to ASU to finish my undergrad. Got two Bachelor's degrees from ASU, then got my MBA. Oh, and also a Basketball PhD! Shout out to the former star/executive!
Hello Amin, love the chats! Obviously on the analytics side of basketball there are certain things that raise red flags on prospects (lack of steals, translated shooting %, etc) From a scouting perspective what are the red flags that scouts look for in a prospect? Also how different would a big board look from a scouting take then from a analytics take?
Amin (3:32 PM)
Great question...I think I look for, more than anything, "awareness": awareness on offense of what's going on, ability to move without the ball, space properly, and awareness on defense of where the ball is, where my man is, and being vocal about cutters. After that, I get into skill based stuff: shooting, handling, efficiency of movement. But I'd like to point out I rely heavily on stat analysis as well to tip me in right directions (example: DRB% is big for me)
Does Toronto hold onto the Atlantic?
Amin (3:36 PM)
Yes. TIme's running out for the Nets
Tom Idaho [via mobile]
Do you see ty corbin back with the jazz next year
Amin (3:37 PM)
Depends on who's available. I can see them extending by another year, or giving him a two year deal with team option.
Josh Thompson - Mankato, MN [via mobile]
With Gorgui Gjeng (sorry for spelling) playing (somewhat) well is there any chance we could see a trade this summer/next season to get rid of Pek's huge contract? Sincerely, TimberPups Fan
Amin (3:38 PM)
You'd like to believe there'll be a taker: after all, he's relatively young and one of the best interior scorers in the league. Problem is, he's a subpar defender. Still, looking at Al Jefferson's success in Charlotte should give some team hope that they can achieve the same sort of success. But you'll need to find someone desperate enough for talent
Amin (3:39 PM)
Total "No One Else" playing now....WOOOOO!
Hi Amin. Looks like chicago will have two mid first round picks for this year's draft (their own and charlotte's). In that regard, Should they go all in for the draft and pick the best players available or trade the picks for a rotation player?
Amin (3:40 PM)
Without knowing who the "rotation players" are, it's hard to answer that. But for a team that has strict financial guidelines, I'd try my luck with the draft. After all, they've done fairly well there
Do you think Patty Mills will get offers from other teams in light of his play this season? Seems like he could be a starter on a different squad.
Amin (3:41 PM)
Gotta remember something about Mills: he's never made much more than minimum. He'll be in line for a lucrative deal for "change my life" money, much like Gary Neal before him. Can't pass that up.
In building a team, which is the ideal position to have a good offense/bad defense player? How about the bad offense/good defense player?
Amin (3:41 PM)
Good offense/bad defense: stretch four. Bad offense/good defense: Center. They better be paired up with each other!
Kevin Love (Minnesota)
Hey Amin, we are not going to make the playoffs this year and it sounds like we're going to have a new coach next season. Who would you say our next coach will be if Adelman isn't back? Will the team try to convince me to stay, am I going to be traded, or do I just leave in free agency in 2015 when I can opt out? I really love what the Bulls are doing, and I would finally make the playoffs on that team, I make a great fit there, right? Or do I go elsewhere? Help me.
Amin (3:44 PM)
Kevin, how's it going? I think you need to try to use your status to leverage your way outta there. Don't pull the KG silly pride thing man. Get outta there!
Jeff (New York)
Who's future is brighter Orlando or Philly?
Amin (3:44 PM)
Given that they are both similarly leveraged as far as flexibility, future picks, etc.? I'll go with Orlando: they have more baseline talent in the cupboard.
I understand why you're short with people on Twitter sometimes Amin. You feel like people should defer to you a little more because you've done this. I feel the same way with my friends since I watch the most basketball and understand it the best. I think it has to do with the nature of sports in general. It's an opinion/debate field. People don't want to be deferential. Do you agree with this?
Amin (3:45 PM)
I'm always up for a nuanced discussion, and have many of them on Twitter. But I do get short with people who feel they can get cocky in their answers like "oh what makes you so smart/know that/so sure??". That's where I have to let them know: this isn't a hobby for me, and hasn't been for a long time.
Bo Schwartz Madsen (Copenhagen, Denmark)
If you could introduce one more award, what do we need?Best Comeback From Injury, Most Impressive Old Guy Hanging in There or what?I think we could divide DPOY in to Bigs and Smalls. To honor guys like Iguodala, Tony Allen, etc.
Amin (3:46 PM)
I want the Bigs and Littles DPOY, but Tom Haberstroh says that's a participation trophy. :(
chew soh hai (Chitown)
The chance of MELO or lebron to chicago?
Amin (3:47 PM)
Melo? Small, and smaller every day Phil jackson is around. LeBron? The chance of an Extinction Level Event meteor hitting Planet Earth before I can finish this chat.
Matthew (Virginia )
What's up Amin! How much truth do you put to the Kyrie trade rumors? Even though they have nothing to offer I'd sure like to see him running the offense in Dallas w/ Dirk and Monta.
Amin (3:47 PM)
How much truth do you put into the rumor that the moon is made out of green cheese?
You bumpin some old school Mase Amin?? Answer a Celtics question for me...Is there anybody on that squad that is part of their future?
Amin (3:48 PM)
Brandy feat Mase "Sittin On Top of the World Remix" to be exact. I think the Celtics have a couple of promising young players, but nobody I'd deem untouchable.
Should Houston be concerned about Howard's health heading into the playoffs, or is this more about rest and getting healthy for the post-season?
Amin (3:49 PM)
I think it's more of the latter
Dr. Octagon (The Cosmos)
It seems like Mark Jackson is a mediocre coach from a managerial/technical standpoint and a great coach from a player relations standpoint. I've heard he will be assessed based on wins and losses, but can't help but feel like the Warriors front office is in a no-win scenario here. Either they keep a coach they clearly don't believe in or they anger their players. Is there a third option I am not seeing? How do you think this will be resolved? Of course, winning cures all wounds...
Amin (3:51 PM)
I would say Mark Jackson has done a great job on the defensive end, but has been mediocre offensively. Still, you've painted an accurate picture: management may want to move in a different direction, but the locker room seems to support him. I think you have to do what's best for the franchise moving forward. You could have painted the same picture about Memphis last year; I think the key is that Hollins' replacement was someone that the players respected, knew and trusted.
Hey Amin, really respect your opinion. When will we see the first Indian NBA player. I know the NBA has set foot in India to try to promote the game there. What role does Kings owner Vivek Ranadive play in this?
Amin (3:52 PM)
As I understand it, Vivek has already spearheaded several grass roots initiatives in India to grow the game. That's the first step (along with him being the face of the NBA over there), and it will be a long process for that to bear fruit. Sooner than then, I think the first Indian NBA player will come from North America though (born and raised in Canada or USA).
Rogie (Manhattan, KS)
It's no secret Spoelstra has been conservative with Heat players' minutes this season. I'm of the belief that Wade's current hamstring injury, Ray Allen's illness, Chalmers' "bruised quad", and other injuries are of minor concern and the Heat are overplaying them as good excuses to get some critical rest here at the end of the season. Would you agree or is there more to these injuries than we're hearing?
Amin (3:53 PM)
I think this is all maintenance, but I also think you're seeing guys like Allen and Battier simply start the natural decline. Father Time wins
Is it crazy to think if Toronto matches up with Indiana in the 2nd round, they could knock them out?
Amin (3:53 PM)
Nothing is crazy for Indy in this post 2/20 world
Better shot to make it to West Finals... Portland or Golden State?
Amin (3:54 PM)
GSW. Great defense, and an underachieving offense that could click at any moment. I think we've seen the best Portland has to offer
LaVante (Port Arthur, Texas)
Already! I've been doing some investigations on the worst hairlines in the NBA and was wondering who you think has the jankier hairline between LeBron and Kobe?
Amin (3:54 PM)
My hairline prevents me from being TOO cruel on this....but at least Kobe has accepted his fate. LeBron holds onto a false ideal!
vic (no cal)
Doug McDermott's pro prospects have been all over the board from the so-called "experts". I've heard him compared to Wally Szczerbiak, Adam Morrison, Xavier McDaniel, Antawn Jamison, Paul Pierce, Steve Novak, and even Larry Bird. How do you think he'll do in the pros and do you strongly agree or disagree with any of the above comparisons?
Amin (3:56 PM)
Whoever said Larry Bird needs to switch to decaf! I saw McDermott play in USA Basketball Camp last summer, and walked away hearing nothing but good things about him. He has an elite level skill (shooting) and has good size. Those two things will give him a chance. I see a lot of Wally to him, but also see Paul Pierce, with the slow methodical offensive game.
Sean (Albany NY)
I enjoyed your piece on how some of the poor management teams could improve. A couple of follow up questions: If you were the Kings and you couldn't resign Thomas or Gay without over paying them what would you do with your cap space/ roster? If you were the Pistons would you let Monroe walk for nothing if you decided you couldn't play he Smith and Drummond together?
Amin (3:57 PM)
I think the Kings need to realize they aren't a fringe team like Phoenix, New Orleans, Minnesota...they are a bad team. They need to be patient with this rebuild, so if they can't afford those guys, they need to seek sign and trade partners to get some value returns. Detroit should do the same for Monroe: seek sign and trade partners
Hello, Amin. I am of the strong opinion that players can better defend Stephen Curry by forcing him to drive or shoot two-pointers. We all know Curry is an incredible three-point shooter. I mean, is it just me who thinks that the players who defend him are dumb for not inviting him to drive? Am I the only person who's figured out that you defend scorers effectively by making them do what they're less good at?
Amin (3:58 PM)
There have been studies that show that Curry actually doesn't shoot ENOUGH 3's! Given that, I agree, I'd gear my defense to prevent him from taking 3's. Problem is, how do you do that with a guy who can raise and fire from 30 feet?
On a scale of 1 to 10 how worried are you about the pacers? Call me crazy but I think when the playoffs start they might opt to go as close to their old status quo if possible if they don't improve (sit turner) Am I wrong or do they have deeper issues?
Amin (3:59 PM)
I love when people ask questions that I can answer with a link! http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/page/5-on-5-140401/nba-concerned-indiana-pacers
Amin (4:00 PM)
Loon "How You Want That" is the guilty pleasure portion of my Best of Bad Boy playlist
Sean (Albany NY)
In your poor management piece you mentioned that the Pistons would probably have to pay Monroe 4 years $50 Million to keep him. Who else would want Monroe at that type of money? As a Pistons fan I see him as a slow footed defender who can't close out on shooters or protect the rim. On offense he's ok but he needs the ball in his hands and isn't that efficient.
Amin (4:06 PM)
If I'm the Pistons, I need shooting shooting shooting. If we can get guys who can defend while they're doing that even better. But shooting is the main directive.
Gorilla Zoe (The Zoo)
Honestly Amin...which is harder to accomplish?? The Spurs win streak or the Sixers losing streak?
Amin (4:07 PM)
Winning 19 in a row is tough, and each additional game gets tougher because teams are trying to crack your streak.......but LOSING 26 in a row?? I mean, at some point you gotta catch somebody sick, somebody hurt, somebody slipping, right?!?
Is there something fundamentally wrong with the Knicks players understanding of what a championship contender is? Since they all came together they have not stopped crowing about it and even know as they are scraping for the 8th seed!!!!! Tyson Chandler has the gall to make these comments.. http://nypost.com/2014/04/01/chandler-somebodys-in-trouble-if-knicks-make-playoffs/Do you think Phil can fix this mess of ego and mismatched parts?
Amin (4:08 PM)
Phil can fix it, if he makes the right staff moves (coach, front office) and if he gets time to fix it.
Martin (Hattiesburg, MS)
With the Pacers in decline, who do you see as the toughest matchup from the Heat in the East?
Amin (4:08 PM)
KH (New Jery)
Amin, why do the Milwaukee Bucks get such a free pass for being dreadful. This is a team that basically did what the Sixers are trying to avoid doing which is patch yourself into contention for one of the last play-off spots and it failed miserably. Fun fact when the sixers lost 26 games in a row they picked up whopping 3 games on the Bucks,
Amin (4:09 PM)
Come on KH, literally every single person had that punchline: [10 min tirade about how bad Sixers are, followed by "And theyre STILL better than the Bucks!"]
Jeff Nicholas (TN)
I'm still smarting from my (admittedly poor) choice of Monta as a placeholder to compare situations with Paul George yesterday. On a similar note, who do you think is the most overrated high profile defender and who do you think is the most underrated stopper?
Amin (4:10 PM)
Most overrated: Arron Afflalo. He's not the defender he was in Detroit and Denver prior to getting paid. Most underrated: hmm, might have to think about that one. Sefolosha?
Eli Thompson (Atlantic City, NJ)
How can the 76ers make the playoffs next season?
Amin (4:10 PM)
If Nucky and AR fix it.
What do you think of Dion Waiters of late? Worth keeping around or do you need to separate either him or kyrie?
Amin (4:10 PM)
My opinion on Waiters has never changed: great talent, but if forced to choose between him and Kyrie, I'm saying "don't forget to write".
bill (not in espn headquarters)
is Rubio really that much worse than Rondo when they won the championship? At that time he was a horrible offense liability who was meh on defense? I know he has improved a lot but I just don't see why rubio doesn't get the benefit of the doubt like rondo did
Amin (4:11 PM)
I think the difference between Rondo and Rubio is Rondo is a much better finisher in the paint, and Rondo has an aggression to him that Rubio doesnt. I wrote about this a few months ago: http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10250496/nba-ricky-rubio-needs-fix
ESPN ranked Larry Bird as the 4th best front-office executives. Here are some of his moves this season:-trading Gerald Green, Miles Plumlee, and a 1st rounder for Luis Scola-trading Danny Granger and a 2nd rounder for Evan Turner-signing Chris Copeland-signing Andrew BynumPlease justify this ranking.
Amin (4:13 PM)
If you read my piece from today (http://es.pn/QIKhFG) you'll know every front office has its warts. San Antonio traded YOUNG Luis Scola for nothing, traded the rights to Dragic for the rights to DeJuan Blair and paid Richard Jefferson $39 mill AFTER the whole world knew he was garbage....and they're NUMBER 1!
Amin (4:14 PM)
2Pac "Hit em Up" found its way into my playlist. Not happy about this.
Jeff Nicholas (TN)
Was great seeing Steve Nash's double-double the other night. What do you think the odds are that Nash will be productive enough next year that people won't feel the need to hold it against him that he wants paid?
Amin (4:15 PM)
Same odds as that meteor I talked about earlier. Steve has riled the hatred of a fan base that never embraced him to begin with....to them, he'll always be that dude who said he wants his money, and is stopping them from signing LeBron, Jordan, Wilt, and Tom Brady.
Eric (San Antonio)
I read this the other day: Duncan is averaging 15.2 points, 10 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.9 blocks on the year...in under 30 minutes per game. Assuming his numbers hold, Duncan will become the first player in NBA history to average at least 15 points, 10 rebounds and three assists in under 30 minutes per game. How crazy is that? Tim Duncan > Father Time
Amin (4:16 PM)
I think Tim Duncan has a portrait of himself in his attic that looks like Bill Russell
Tim Duncan (San Antonio)
We have been playing phenominally down the stretch. We're at a high point that we haven't been in a while. Should I go out a Champion like David Robinson (should we win) or should I try to repeat the only thing that has alluded me in my career? Keep in mind I do have a player option for next year.
Amin (4:16 PM)
Timmy, keep doing what you doing man...just hope you can get your soul back when it's all said and done!
Cavs are 15-12 since Chris Grant was fired. Case of a young team finally coming together, or something else?
Amin (4:17 PM)
I think the culture surrounding the organization needed to change, and the Grant firing (and subsequent naming of David Griffin as interim GM) is responsible for the air of optimism surrounding the Cavs.
Mike(Amsterdam) [via mobile]
Say something about Asik?
Amin (4:17 PM)
"something about Asik"
Why are people so quick to right off players these days? MKG is a great example, he is 9 months younger than every member of the All-American team this year, yet people think he should be a finished product. It seems if you are drafting players 2-3 years earlier than years past they should be given 2-3 years longer than normal to decide if they are a bust. right?
Amin (4:18 PM)
I'm a big MKG fan....and a fan of patience! PReaching to the choir, REVEREND!
Brian Scalabrine (California)
Hey Amin, I get asked all the time by fans that they could bet me one on one, do you think you have a shot against me?
Amin (4:18 PM)
White Mamba, I been around, so I know better than to disrespect you like that.
If Big L hadnt died would Children of the Corn with Big L, Cam'ron and Mase been the greatest rap group of all time?
Amin (4:19 PM)
Three overrated rappers. And I'm from NYC!
Jansen Gunther (NYC)
The John Hammond grading seemed harsh. He's long been on a directive to make the playoffs and he drafted the best prospect out of the 2013 draft. He has his issues, too, for example, the money he's given Sanders, but isn't he far better than 29th?
Amin (4:20 PM)
I think even within the context of that directive he's made a lot of colossal mistakes. Trading for Monta, paying OJ Mayo, paying ZaZa when he had three bigs who were better on the roster.....let's not paint this picture that he was out here overpaying for talent.
steve(bugysgod) (battle creek, mi)
Danny Ainge said recently he doesnt see any "franchise changing" players in this 2014 draft. Do you agree and if not what players do you see as franchise type players. Thanks
Amin (4:21 PM)
I don't agree: just because a player cant come out of the box ready to change the fortunes of your team immediately doesnt mean he can never be. Look at Antetokounmpo: hardly ready, but in a few years, he might be elite at his position.
Amin (4:22 PM)
Wow, running late. Last couple of questions
Amin, a lot of people complain about your short sarcastic answers, I just wanted you to know that I find it refreshing! I love how you give real answers to real questions and use snark to the dumb questions you get. I'm sure you get way more stupid questions so you need to post them to show people the dumb questions you get asked.
Amin (4:22 PM)
Thanks Doug. You get it!
Jansen Gunther (NYC)
TH Live After Dark, tonight?
Amin (4:23 PM)
Yes! THTV After Dark starts right after Spurs Thunder! Special Guests Keith Pompey from Philly Inquirer, Eddy Rivera from Magic Basketball blog, and my Follower of the Week Angie from Utah!
Amin (4:24 PM)
And on that note, I'm outta here....my playlist has readjusted and come back with Diddy and Mase "Been Around the World"...time to put on a silk shirt and dance around my house! Thanks guys!