Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

August 8, 1:57 PM ET
Chat with David Thorpe

David Thorpe
  (1:00 PM)

Glad to be back here in the chat room. It's been a busy summer, with more to come. Seems quiet here so far, so the chances of getting a question posted are better. I'll do my best to get everyone involved.

Tim D (Vegas)

Got $20k I can borrow? I, uh, have a few debts to pay off around town.

David Thorpe
  (1:00 PM)

Only appropriate to start the new chat season with a comment about the biggest story out there right now.

Mark (Boston)

In terms of conditioning, how hard will it be for Reggie Miller to come back and play for Boston? Do you think he should?

David Thorpe
  (1:01 PM)

Hard. I don't know what he's been doing for the last few months. But no matter what, it will take a few months to get him where he needs to be AS A STARTING POINT.

Steve, NYC

Who do you think is poised to make "The Leap" or at least have a breakout year. Everyone seems to think Luol Deng. Who else?

David Thorpe
  (1:03 PM)

I saw Deng in person in our gym at the PTC at IMG. Really impressive man with a world of upside. I liked what little I saw of Raymond Felton at the Orlando summer league. He could have a big jump in production too.

PaulieP (Scottsdale)

I think that missing out on KG is a mistake that may haunt the Suns. Especially because they are so thin on at the big positions. Do they have a shot at getting another big man? (Brown?) Are they ok the way they are?

David Thorpe
  (1:04 PM)

Everyone but Boston will be lamenting not getting KG if they don't win it all. But getting him, at the right price, was no guarantee of a ring. I still like the Suns, a lot.

Ahmad (Montreal, Canada)

Hi David ... With the Celts grabbing KG, what's your take on the Titanic division this season? Who will come on top? And do you see NJersey getting J. O'Neal?

David Thorpe
  (1:05 PM)

It's literally a free-for-all. 5+ teams are legit contenders.

Brian (MPLS)

Where does Rashad McCants fit in to the Timberwolves plans? Can he be a viable 6th man?

David Thorpe
  (1:06 PM)

Simply unknown at this point. But it's something to really key on in November.

Brent (Indianapolis)

Have the Bulls done enough (with the drafting of Noah and signing Smith) to become a team that has a legitimate shot at making the NBA Finals? Thanks.

David Thorpe
  (1:06 PM)

I think so, yes. But I might be alone with that thought.

Joe, New Jersey

Have you ever been approached for information, and if yes, what sort of information have you been asked for?

David Thorpe
  (1:06 PM)

You are scaring me, Joe.

Daryl (Ashland, NE)

How do you think Roy , Aldridge and Oden will mesh together. Aldridge looked great in the summer leagues. I expect him to step up this year. Will he ever be the go to guy or will that be Oden at some point.

David Thorpe
  (1:07 PM)

I've contended for a while now that developing two young bigs concurrently is difficult. Perhaps each will fill more of a niched role in the early going.

Eldo (Ooramana, India)

You had mentioned in an earlier chat that you have been suprised with Jared Jeffries this summer. Since I believe a lot of the Knick's success this season will come down to Jeffries having a turnaround year, in what ways have you seen him improve?

David Thorpe
  (1:09 PM)

According to him, he has finally developed a consistent work ethic and is developing a plan for improved play. His body looks terrific, and so does his shot. But we'll just need to see it in live action to be a believer.

David (Stratford, CT)

Will Randolph and Curry be able to co-exist in NY?

David Thorpe
  (1:09 PM)

Has to be a pretty big dinner table.

John (Providence, RI)

Is the NBA considering having another referee on the floor? Having another set of eyes would not hurt.

David Thorpe
  (1:09 PM)

Ugh.

Peter (L.A.)

Haven't heard anything about the Clippers this offseason, will they get back to the playoffs this season?

David Thorpe
  (1:10 PM)

Losing Brand for awhile makes it far harder, of course.

Drew, Los Angeles, CA

David, I watched almost every Cavs game this year. And yes there is a small % of the time Anderson Varajeo flops. However, most of the time he is incredible at positioning and gets real charges. I think he is getting lumped in with Manu when I feel he is one of the best in the league at drawing legal offensive fouls. Agree?

David Thorpe
  (1:11 PM)

Both are great at getting to the spot and showing a willingness to take the hit. An occasional flop is par for this course (see the video running at espn.com).

Chase (Houston, TX)

You think your prescirbed workout regimen might be too much for my 6 yr old? I'm trying to teach him that NBA work ethic early.

David Thorpe
  (1:12 PM)

I can only say that my wife and I prefer our 6 year old twins to develop emotionally and intellectually before anything athletically. Though they did complete a kids triathlon!!

aaron (los angeles)

David, can you explain to what happened to dallas? i expect them to win it all this year,but why does golden state have their number?

David Thorpe
  (1:13 PM)

Golden State does not get exposed inside vs. Dallas, and they shot lights out too.

Nate (PA)

How do you think a "flop" should be called by an official? A blocking foul or a no call?

David Thorpe
  (1:14 PM)

An obvious flop should be a technical. Or a no call.

Paul (Cleveland, OH)

David answer this please... is it possible the significantly improve your jumpshot throughout your career, or do most people have a natural ceiling?

David Thorpe
  (1:15 PM)

Both-significant improvements can be made, but not every year. Ultimately the ceiling would be reached.

Jason, PA

David, could you elaborate on the type of jump Luol Deng can make? Will he make the jump to be a "franchise player"?

David Thorpe
  (1:15 PM)

I think he can get pretty close this year: best scorer, best shooter, best defender, best "teammate", hardest worker.

cameron, chi

Do you think Joakim Noah will emerge to fill Ben Wallace's shoes in the coming years, or will he always be more of an energy guy off the bench?

David Thorpe
  (1:17 PM)

I'll quote a Bulls scout, whom I spoke with on Father's Day (before the draft) about whether Noah could fall to #10; "We think he is starting center for a Championship Team good".

Bart (philly)

Do you think Andray Blatche will be resigned by the wiz amidst his recent allegations? Hes a very promising younster...

David Thorpe
  (1:18 PM)

The situation is murky. He's very gifted, but very lost.

Chris, LA

Do you got some Chat advice on how to answer.. please NO.. you are answergin very slow..

David Thorpe
  (1:18 PM)

First time I've been told that.

hoss (austin)

You criticized Big Baby for poor work ethic while other draft sites and beat writers say the opposite is true. What gives?

David Thorpe
  (1:19 PM)

His body will give us all the answers. I'll see him myself at the PTC on Monday.

Zack, LA

What should we expect of Tyrus Thomas this year? Will he breakout or is it too soon?

David Thorpe
  (1:19 PM)

Maybe not breakout, but be more productive. Still has no defined skills game. but his energy is crazy good.

tmacisaswingman (tmac land)

tmac is not a point forward agreed?

David Thorpe
  (1:20 PM)

Yes.

Amaru (Anchorage, AK)

Can you assess the chances of Charlotte making the playoffs?

David Thorpe
  (1:21 PM)

8.4%? I don't know, but I think they will be greatly improved. It may all come down to who stays healthiest the longest.

Ben (Hanover, PA)

Its hilarious how much better Kobe is then anyone in the league. Though I am wondering why he dropped weight this offseason. Why isnt he doing what MJ did and bulk up a little and moving inside more? Big things from Kobe this year if the Lakers stay healthy. I think this is the year everyone notices just how great Kobe is.

David Thorpe
  (1:22 PM)

Ben, quit smoking, drinking, or whatever it is you are doing.

jeff (chicago)

do you think Rajon Rondo will improve his shooting?

David Thorpe
  (1:22 PM)

Marginally would be my guess.

jase, tn

what do you think of the new look grizzilies with navarro, milic and conley are we the new raptors

David Thorpe
  (1:22 PM)

I like their coach most of all, but their new GM is a bit of a head scratcher.

Chris Richards (Sota)

If I'm cut, should San Antonio take a chance on me? Wouldn't I be a perfect fit to play enforcer along side Mr. Duncan?

David Thorpe
  (1:23 PM)

There's a long list of guys who could do that.

Eli (Kingston)

Chris Bosh's chances at an MVP? Andrea Bargnani's chances at being an All-Star?

David Thorpe
  (1:24 PM)

Both are possible, though I think CB's chances are better. Love that guy.

Jack (Toronto)

Have you seen anything from the Raptors in the offseason that would indicate they can get further in the playoffs this year?

David Thorpe
  (1:25 PM)

I like Kapono, but mostly they need Jorge back and also to learn from their mistakes vs. the Nets.

Travis, SLC

What does Utah have to do to become a powerhouse like Dallas, SA, and Phoenix? And can they become a powerhouse this season or anytime soon?

Kevin (Sacramento)

Chances the Kings make the playoffs in 08?

David Thorpe
  (1:26 PM)

4.2%.

charles (baltimore)

Fact or Fiction, Arenas scores over 30ppg this year?

David Thorpe
  (1:27 PM)

Fiction.

eric (city of angels)

Who will have to step up the most with the loss of Brand for my Clips? Can Thornton step in right away and contribute something like 15 and 7?

David Thorpe
  (1:27 PM)

Probably not-he won't get enough shots.

Charlie (Miami)

Sire, Rumblings in the blogosphere suggest that the Heat may not make the playoffs next year. What say you?

David Thorpe
  (1:28 PM)

I think they could finish below #8, or top 3. It all depends on Shaq's health and desire and Wade's overall well being.

David (Stratford, CT)

Please tell me the Knicks don't trade David Lee for Artest.

David Thorpe
  (1:29 PM)

I should think they could already have done so were they so inclined.

Sean, SLC

You didn't answer travis' from SLC question.

David Thorpe
  (1:30 PM)

Sorry. I think I wrote that they need an upgrade at two-which has not happened unless you count the rookie. Which I don't.

Eli (Kingston)

The Raptors have the best European, as well as African basketball minds in the world on their staff in Gheridini and Ujiri. They are composed in a similar fashion to the Spurs. It might not be in the next three years, but a championship is coming north of the border in the next 7.

David Thorpe
  (1:31 PM)

Masai Ujiri is like a brother to me, so I couldn't agree more.

Gordon, Brooklyn

Can you talk about my Cavaliers, i want to know if they are gonna be doing anything this summer at all, if any?

David Thorpe
  (1:31 PM)

It's getting late, isn't it?

Ryan (Chicago)

Don't defenders flop because - even if the offensive player legitimately fouls the defender - the defender essentially can't get a charge call without hitting the ground?

David Thorpe
  (1:32 PM)

Yes-typically the player must fall to draw the call.

Mark (Hartford)

How much does the return of Krstic help NJ this year?

David Thorpe
  (1:33 PM)

Lots!!

dan (NY)

N-E-T-S NETS NETS NETS! curious as to what you think of the Nets situation. without a big move, no chance...but theyre saying no big moves on the horizon. Are they wasting a top 3-5 pg of all time and should kidd be kobe-esque in some demands?

David Thorpe
  (1:34 PM)

Love the big 3, which is really the big 4 including Coach Frank. Losing Moore might really hurt them-can Nenad make it all the way back? I say yes. Nets a contender for Eastern crown.

Shawn (Rochester, MN)

Hi David. Who will be the starting SG for the Wolves in a year or two? Green, McCants, or Brewer?

David Thorpe
  (1:34 PM)

Brewer is simply not a 2.

Scott (MI)

Over/under the Pistons winning 55 games in 2007-2008...

David Thorpe
  (1:35 PM)

Under.

Jeff (Texas)

Would Reggie Miller really help the Celtics, or would it be a case of too many stars on one team. See '04 Lakers: O'Neal, Bryant, Payton, Malone

David Thorpe
  (1:35 PM)

Well, that team made it to the Finals. Not sure Boston will be as fortunate. Adding Miller seems cool now, but check back in late December.

Toby (Indiana)

David-Please answer this question. Do you think the Pacers are any better than last year with adding Rush and Diener?

David Thorpe
  (1:36 PM)

Probably-both are great shooters.

Eli (Kingston)

Burning question here; Who is skinnier - Kevin Durant or Corey Brewer?

David Thorpe
  (1:36 PM)

KD.

JB (Portland)

Good grief, Miami a possible top 3? How on earth does that happen? Shaq and Wade can't combine for 80 points every night.

David Thorpe
  (1:37 PM)

JWill is in a contract year-always a sign for improved play. But I think it is more likely they finish #9 than #3, pending a deal in late summer.

Bazzy (Knoxville, TN)

Noah is "starting center for a Championship Team good", huh? Kinda like Rasho or Nazr, both of whom started for the Spurs in '05 and neither is top 10 pick worthy? Or maybe like some of the Bulls' old centers like Cartwright, Perdue or Longley?

David Thorpe
  (1:38 PM)

Hate on Noah all you want. But despite a severely injured shoulder he helped carry that team to legendary status.

Vince (DC)

Did the Wiz make a mistake by choosing Deshawn Stevenson over Juan Carlos Navarro?

David Thorpe
  (1:39 PM)

Probably.

James (AZ)

True/false The NBA (David Stern) finds a way to the screw the suns again

David Thorpe
  (1:39 PM)

False, and borderline moronic.

Rob, Boston

Besides eating healthy, is running the easiest way to get in shape?

David Thorpe
  (1:39 PM)

I'd substitute "exercise" for running.

Will (Oakland, CA)

What is your top 5 teams next season?

David Thorpe
  (1:40 PM)

I'd lean to, as of now, the big 3 in the West, plus Utah and Chicago.

Jason (Brooklyn)

Of all the players you've seen this summer, who looks like he's made the biggest strides in the off-season in terms of bball skills or conditioning?

David Thorpe
  (1:41 PM)

My 7'4 Brazilian project. Down 70 pounds from last year and looking more like a pro each day.

jeff (ny)

how many NBAers smoke cigarettes regularly?

David Thorpe
  (1:41 PM)

I can only think of one, but I think he'll quit soon.

Bob (Seattle)

A friend suggested this nickname for Kevin Durant - the Durantula

David Thorpe
  (1:42 PM)

Actually not bad, but it will never stick.

William (Fairbanks)

I'm curious.. the Piston's handled the Bulls pretty easily. Why do you have the Bulls ahead of them? Joe Smith? I'd take Amir Johnson over Noah any day.

David Thorpe
  (1:43 PM)

You leave me no choice but to ban you, dude. Amir over Noah? Please be excused back to the basement.

Danny (Denver)

You picked Utah over Boston? The better question is what are you smoking?!?!

David Thorpe
  (1:44 PM)

Until I see the Celts win some games with the weakest bench in basketball, choosing Utah is easy.

Matt (Houston, TX)

Why Utah over Houston? They won by one possession last year? The Rockets added Scola, Francis, James and only lost Howard, while the Jazz lost Fisher and picked up no one.

David Thorpe
  (1:45 PM)

Great point. For me it's a coin flip, but the new system in Houson under Rick will take some getting used to.

Aaron,Seattle

What are your thoughts on DJ Strawberry?

David Thorpe
  (1:45 PM)

Until he makes a roster I really don't have one.

Matt (Reno, NV)

Can the Lakers pull of a deal that would not involve Lamar Odom?

David Thorpe
  (1:46 PM)

I doubt it.

Sean, SLC

The Jazz added Ronnie Price and Jason Hart.

David Thorpe
  (1:46 PM)

Advantage: Rockets.

Patty (LA)

David, Javaris Crittenton was extremely impressive at the Vegas Summer League and Kevin Durant named him as one of 3 rookies he's a big fan of. What's this kid's upside. He reminds me a lot of a young Baron Davis, but without jocking too many 3s. Your thoughts?

David Thorpe
  (1:47 PM)

Don't know his game well yet. Clearly talented.

David Thorpe
  (1:47 PM)

I may be doing a rookie report this season every week-so I'll know his game far better if that occurs.

Evan (TEXAS)

Rockets have Wells on a contract year, playing again w/ Adelman.. can you please remember everyone how he played last time in Sactown..

David Thorpe
  (1:48 PM)

Great early, injured and soft in the mid-season, great in the playoffs.

Roddy (Chicago)

Anyway that Chicago ends up with no All Stars again next season?

David Thorpe
  (1:48 PM)

Deng should be a lock.

Phil (Denver)

Do you see Kenyon Martin being able to fully bounce back from double micro fracture surgery?

David Thorpe
  (1:49 PM)

I'm not a Doctor so I don't really know. I've heard he's doing well.

Mike (DC)

Are you in a bad mood today?

David Thorpe
  (1:49 PM)

Not remotely!!

Evan (TEXAS)

Thanks, now do you still on a coin flip Utah vs Houston.. does Houston is now a Top 5? over CHicago?

David Thorpe
  (1:49 PM)

No. Not today.

Chris (New York)

Who do you expect to make the biggest impact as a rookie after Durant and Oden?

David Thorpe
  (1:50 PM)

Horford and Law should get good minutes.

David Thorpe
  (1:50 PM)

Maybe Hawes will too if Miller has health issues.

walter (Halifax, NS)

I still challenge that the Florida team can beat a bad NBA team. You never address me in chats when I ask. On an odd day, a team of rookies in the NBA can beat any team in the league. I watched the Raptors beat the Bulls as an example. 4 rookies on that Florida team. 3 taken in the top 10 and in a normal year it might have been all 4. Plus a deadly shooter who just didn't have an NBA body. So why can't a team of lottery picks that plays well together beat a team of scrubs on a day when the scrubs are off and the rooks are on? I think your automatic 'they lose' idea is flawed.

David Thorpe
  (1:51 PM)

Not a chance. Not a chance. Not a chance. In 5 years-maybe, but the kids against the adults is a bad match.

Yes! (Go Team!)

Who do you think gets more minutes- Shelden Williams or Horford?

David Thorpe
  (1:51 PM)

Maybe a tie.

Chris, Florida

Super Dave! Have you seen Tyrus Thomas this summer? I'm wondering if you're as impressed by his improvment as the rest of the media seemed to be earlier in the summer.

David Thorpe
  (1:52 PM)

Saw him in Orlando. Not too impressed with his offensive game, very impressed with his energy and athleticism.

Solomon Washington DC

How do you see the Denver Nuggets season going this year?

David Thorpe
  (1:53 PM)

Poorly and frustratingly. Too many potential pitfalls.

Peja (Zurich)

Does the New Orleans Hornets have a chance of making the playoffs if everyone stays healthy and do you think that Peja will ever be as good as in Sacramento?

David Thorpe
  (1:54 PM)

Not a great chance, mostly because of Peja's fall from NBA elite.

Chris, Seattle

Brandon Roy has hit the weights hard this offseason, and is taking 600 shots a day. What kindo of improvement do you see from him this year? 20 ppg?

David Thorpe
  (1:55 PM)

I don't care about shots per day. Silly. Adding strength is key, and taking and making quality shots is too. He is a fave of mine-but 20ppg is an unknown due to the changes there.

alex (strongsville, ohio.)

do you see lebron winning MVP

David Thorpe
  (1:55 PM)

No. Perhaps an award for best newmarketing company.

Tom (SF)

Do you see a significant leap happening for Monta Ellis and Biedrins, both are still only 21 and have 3 years experience?

David Thorpe
  (1:56 PM)

Possible, especially in that system. But I don't think it's definite.

Scott (MI)

Worst. Chat. Ever.

David Thorpe
  (1:56 PM)

You. May. Be. Right.

Jeremy (Memphis)

Why do you not like Lebron?

David Thorpe
  (1:57 PM)

I do-but I'd like his attention more focused on his game than his business.

jeremy (ohio)

not sure how you say its the worst chat ever, at least David answer a lot of questions, unlike many others, i give you two thumbs up

David Thorpe
  (1:57 PM)

Thank. You.

Cameron (Indy)

Ok, let's say Boston gets Reggie. Boston down 2. Who gets the final shot?

David Thorpe
  (1:58 PM)

Rondo!!

poppi (west palm beach FL)

is daniel gibson going to be a big impact on the cavs in 2008?

David Thorpe
  (1:58 PM)

I think he'll be better, but big impact is a bit much. He does deserve solid rotation minutes.

Josh (mpls, MN)

Better player in 2 years: Randy Foye or Brandon Roy?

David Thorpe
  (1:59 PM)

Roy.

PaulieP (Scottsdale)

As a basketball fan, I'd like to see Lebron focus more on his game too, but he stands to make more over his life from his business pursuits, right?

David Thorpe
  (1:59 PM)

He's not 25 yet. Plenty of time to pull business deals later.

Miguel (KS)

Which team is the best at teaching the cheat moves demonstrated in your videos?

David Thorpe
  (2:00 PM)

I honestly don't think any team teaches that. It's learned from player to player.

Joe, Norfolk VA

Do you see the addition of Noah taking the Bulls to the next level?

David Thorpe
  (2:00 PM)

Yes, but not just him.

Mike(Detroit)

So you like Bosh has better chance to get MVP than Bron?

David Thorpe
  (2:01 PM)

Not better, no.

Phil (Cincy)

I hike on the weekends up to 30 miles in 2 days without gassing, but every monday when me and my buddy play basketball I'm dieing after 10 minutes. What is a good condition excercise that I can incorporate into the week to balance my two passions.

David Thorpe
  (2:01 PM)

Mix in sprints or high intensity stuff.

mathieu (san francisco)

This has been a great chat, we even got the first banning in a long time. I like your surly, irascible nature, it's like chatting with a porcupine!, but in a good way

David Thorpe
  (2:02 PM)

That's it for this week. I'll leave the porcupine at home next week-probably back to my noon Wednesday slot.