Chat with John Hollinger
Send your questions now and join John in The Show on Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET.
John Hollinger (3:13 PM)
Hey everyone, sorry I'm late.
What do you think have been the BEST signings thus far this offseason?
John Hollinger (3:15 PM)
Fair enough question. Certainly I liked the Pachulia deal for Atlanta, because he's already pretty good and is young enough to get quite a bit better. I thought the Abdur-Rahim and Swift deals were excelent values, as was Oberto.
Jin (Chicago, IL)
Are the Bulls going to match the offer made to Duhon by Toronto?
John Hollinger (3:15 PM)
Seems like it. The offer is low enough that there's really no harm done by Chicago matching it, unless they were planning on using their full midlevel for anothe rplayer.
David (Atlanta, Ga)
Sick and tired of our City getting trashed. Billy Knight has done all he can to help us. If Belkin wins we are screwed. Agree?
John Hollinger (3:18 PM)
It's really a lose-lose. If Belkin wins, it means the Hawks become Clippers east and have the absolute minimum payroll. If Belkin loses, it means they grossly overpay for Joe Johnson. I think the Belkin losing scenario is the better one long-term, but neither is pretty.
Dan (Grand Rapids, MI)
Do you think Walker and Williams will be able to take a back seat to Shaq and Wade in Miami, or will they create controversey in Miami?
John Hollinger (3:20 PM)
That's the big question. But I'll say this: the Heat needed another source of points, especially with Eddie getting up in years. Getting Walker and Williams gives them two more guys who can get double figures, and that might have put them over the top against Detroit this past June.
Ted (Seattle, WA)
What will the Sonics do with Vlade Radmonovich? I hate to see us lose him but with Lewis at the SF, he'll never be a starter.
John Hollinger (3:22 PM)
Certainly, the Supes shouldn't cave to the ridiculous contract demands, nor should they promise him a starting job when he's clearly too wimpy to play power forward. I thnk Sonics' best play here is the sign-and-trade route, especially if they can get a backcourt player to replace Daniels in return. That should also leave them enough dough to re-sign Evans and Wilkins.
Seven (Ny, NY)
Will the Celtics waive either Raef or Blount under the amnesty clause? Which of the Celtics young guys emerges first as a potential star?
John Hollinger (3:23 PM)
I wouldn't expect it because I don't believe the Celts are over the tax line, so it really doesn't do them much good. As far as Boston's young guys, definitely Al Jefferson. With Walker gone, he seems the likely starter at power forward.
Annette (Daisy, OK)
Mr. Hollinger, what do the Mavs need to do this summer? What do you think they will do? Thanks.
John Hollinger (3:26 PM)
Honestly, I'm not sure they need to do much. Dallas is kind of lying in the weeds right now, but they have a deep, talented team that might be my No. 2 in the west right now, even without Finley. As far as future moves, Finley is the key. Mavs want to trade him rather than cut him, but deals are in short supply. However, Cuban is terrified of Finley signing with Phoenix, so he might just eat the $50 million.
Susie (Milwaukee, WI)
Mr. Hollinger, what do you think that the Bucks will do for a power forward now that Zaza is gone?
John Hollinger (3:28 PM)
Right now it's Joe Smith and Toni Kukoc, bu tthe Bucks also are talking about giving Bobby Simmons some run at the 4. Personally, I'm dubious. think they should look into trading Desmond Mason for a stronger, defensive-minded power forward, because they got killed inside last year.
Marc (Olar, SC)
Do you think Indiana is a little weak at the center position to contend for the eastern conference title?
John Hollinger (3:30 PM)
No, I think they're plenty solid as long as Foster stays healthy. He's a very underrated player, and Indy has lots of bodies behind him.
Johnny (San Jose, CA)
Would you agree that the Warriors desperately need to ship Dunleavy so that Pietrus gets some PT? The Warriors would definetly be a playoff caliber team then.
John Hollinger (3:31 PM)
I would like to see them do it because I like Pietrus's future better. At the same time, what would they trade Dunleavy for? It seems to me they could just start Pietrus and bring Dunleavy off the bench, because unless they can get back a center it won't be worthwhile to deal him.
Is the Central division now the league's strongest top to bottom? It seems like all five teams could make the playoffs.
John Hollinger (3:32 PM)
Never thought I'd see an Eastern division be the best, but right now it appears to be the case. Southwest is the only contender, but the Hornets bring them down.
Ollie (Seattle, WA)
Hey John. Another Sonics question for ya...There's still a gaping hole at the 5. Who might we expect to fill it?
John Hollinger (3:33 PM)
You mean, besides Johan Petro and Robert Swift? I think Collison will see a lot more minutes this year, and if he's resigned so might Vitaly Potapenko.
John, any love for the Nuggets? What will Kiki finally pull the trigger on? Mid-level? Trade? Thanks
John Hollinger (3:33 PM)
Denver has been wierdly quiet. Jaric would seem to be an obvious fit there but I think the Nuggies are worried the Clippers will match.
Will any team sign Gerald Wallace to an offer sheet? Do you know of any teams chasing him?
John Hollinger (3:34 PM)
I haven't heard Wallace mentioned anywhere, and frankly I think it's a little odd. With his youth and defensive talent, I would think a full midlevel for him wouldn't be out of line.
What did you think of the money Dan Gadzuric got from the Bucks? If Bogut pans out arent they paying a bit much for a backup.
John Hollinger (3:36 PM)
I want to see how that plays out before I critique it much, because it could be that they want to use Gadzuric at the four at times, and if so the deal makes a lot more sense. It was good value -- I've always felt he was vastly underrated -- but as you point out, it will be tough to find minutes for both big men.
Nothing against you personally, but this is the 4th or 5th chat wrap that noone has answered any questions regarding the Orlando Magic. What are their plans after signing Dooling?
John Hollinger (3:39 PM)
Well, let's try to rectify that. The Magic have roughly half their midlevel left but might not use it because they're hitting luxury tax issues even after they whack Doug Christie. There was talk about them moving Francis but that's quieted down, and it seems now they want to go Nelson-Francis-Hill-Howard-Cato with Dooling, Turkoglu and an as yet-identified big man coming off the bench. Obviously, losing Vazquez was a blow, so they'll need Mario Kasun to step it up if they can't sign anybody else.
Do you believe in Danny Ainge and what he is doing with the Celts?
John Hollinger (3:40 PM)
In general, yes. With the brain-typing stuff, not so much. Scalabrine was his worst move since taking over. The other stuff has generally been very smart.
Wow, is not answering Lakers questions the "in" thing to do now? I just want to know what they can do for a point guard...other than salvage someone from the amnesty cuts?
John Hollinger (3:44 PM)
Plenty of point guards still are available, but the Lakers are only offering two-year deals so they can make a free-agent run in '07. That is limiting L.A.'s ability to lure talent, and they'll probably have to settle for somebody of Tyronn Lue's caliber.
Matt (Hamden, CT)
Does Jersey get any love? Whats the deal with Shareef are we going to finish this deal or have Collins at the 4 for another year.
John Hollinger (3:45 PM)
I think it will get done. We'll know by the end of the day apparently because NJ's trade exception is about to expire.
Matt (Aiken, SC)
Why doesn't Joe Johnson just sign the 70 million dollar deal with Atlanta?
John Hollinger (3:46 PM)
Because once he does that, he loses control of the game. If he really wants to end up in Atlanta and not Phoenix, the sign-and-trade is the only safe option.
In your article today, you stated that Raja Bell is a poor outside shooter, but he shot 40% from 3 this past year. Furthermore, he is an absolute fantastic defender. If I had to choose between Raja and his contract versus Q and his, I would take Raja for sure.
John Hollinger (3:49 PM)
Raja shot 40%, but on a very low volume of 3s. He's certainly improved as a shooter -- three years ago he couldn't hit the gym -- but it's a flat shot and I'll be very surprised if he hits 40 again. As for the D, he's better than Q, but he's not all-defense or anything. If he was it wouldn't have taken him a year and a half to beat out Gordan Giricek.
Kevin (Mount Pleasant, MI)
Do you think that there will be any more big trades before the season starts?
John Hollinger (3:50 PM)
Absolutely, yes. Usually once free agency dies down we see a couple of big deals before training camp. I'm sure this year will be the same.
Due to the need of a point guard in LA and Cleveland, do you see the Bucks trading Maurice Williams since they have Ford back healthy?
John Hollinger (3:51 PM)
That would be a pretty big roll of the dice on Ford's health. If they wanted to pull the triger on a deal ike that, I think they would wait to midseason at best. And now way would they send Williams to a division rival in Cleveland.
Do you see the Knicks starting Q at SF, Marbury at SG and Nate at PG by the middle of the year?
John Hollinger (3:54 PM)
Baby steps here, people. Let's see if Nate can handle being an NBA backup before we hand him the starting job. I wouldn't be surprised to see Steph at the 2, though, but it might be a vet at the 1.
Any work on Cleveland's point guard situation.
John Hollinger (3:56 PM)
I don't have a lot to go on, right now. One would think they need one, unless they plan on playing Hughes there, and I sure hope they don't think Eric Snow is the solution.
David G. (San Antonio)
IS the any team out there willing to trade for Rasho do you think the spurs would release him under the alan houston rule
John Hollinger (3:58 PM)
It makes no sense for hte Spurs to release Rasho because they're not over the luxury tax. (Don't you just love that with all the money that the Blazers, Mavs and Knicks spent the past few years, that Detroit and San Antonio won the past three titlles without paying a cent of luxury tax?) Trading Rasho probably involves taking back a contract that's just as bad, so the Spurs may be stuck with him unless they can pull a Rileyesque Eddie Jones-for-three-better-players deal out of their hats.
John you're the best chatter because you are fast and you stick it out for a longer time than the other NBA analysts. So thanks!
John Hollinger (3:59 PM)
Thanks for the props. Speaking of sticking it out, unfortunately I've stuck as long as I can today. Thanks for all the questions and we'll do this again real soon.