Aloha everyone, thanks for coming to the chat today. Seems like the waiver wire frenzy is the NBA's new trade deadline. We'll chat NBA first half, NBA Draft in the second half. Let's roll
Will Greg Oden ever be healthy? Is it genetic at this point?
I think the Blazers are just be overly cautious. They have a serious investment in Oden. They aren't rushing him back until he's 100 percent. Frankly, with the way they are playing they don't really need him. No ... I don't think any of this is genetic. But with a few more injuries, maybe I'll change my mind.
What are the chances of the Spurs landing Drew Gooden?
I think really good. I would put them as the front runner. My question is ... why is everyone going crazy over these guys. Gooden, Marbury, Joe Smith. They were doing nothing for non playoff teams. Suddenly they are the missing piece.
Gooden to the Spurs, Swift to the Suns, Smith to the Lakers/Cavs. Does that sound about right?
Yes. Sounds like Smith is heading to Cleveland. He's comfortable there and they could use him with Ben Wallace out ... though his best chance of winning a title is to go to LA. Swift would give the Suns some size but ... he's been such a big disappointment for so long, I don't see him really putting them over the top. Think Kwame Brown's addition to Detroit this year.
Chad, who do you see missing the playoffs in the west? Is it too soon to start buying blazers playoff tickets?
Yeah, it's too soon. It's very tight. But the odds are that either Dallas or Phoenix misses the playoffs. Given the loss of Amare Stoudemire (you know they are desperate when they turn to Stromile Swift) I'd say it's more likely it's Phoenix who misses the playoffs. Though ... what was that Dallas loss to a Durantless Thunder about?
How do you see the East playoff picture working out, any true shot for the Pacers to sneak into the 8th spot?
As bizarre as it sounds ... yes. They are really banged up, but they are still playing hard every night. I thought they were toast without Granger and Dunleavy, but Jarrett Jack has really stepped up. However, if I was a betting man I'd say the Bulls edge out the Bucks, Nets and Pacers for that eighth spot. I'm assuming Detroit and Miami and Philly hold onto spots in the playoffs.
So much for the East catching up to the West this year. It's going to take around 48 wins to make the playoffs in the West. You'll be able to get into the East playoffs with a losing record.
How did this all go so horribly wrong?
Never sure it was going great. Bosh and Calderon were there when Colangelo arrived. Bargani is looking like a decent pick, but he's not in the same league as Brandon Roy. Who knows, maybe even second round pick Paul Milsap will prove to have been better, especially for what the Raptors need. If Bosh leaves ... there's not a lot there.
Chad, have you had a chance to read Simmons' latest column? Is it really that dire of a situation? Are we talking NHL type strike looming, or even contraction (though it sounds like Stern is too stubborn to do that)?
I did. I'm not sure I'd go quite as far as Bill but for the most part he was dead on. The financial crisis is creating huge headaches for the NBA and will likely change how they do business in the future in significant ways. The lowering of the cap is just the beginning. Free agents are going to be hurting this summer. (Obviously hurting is a relative term given the average salary in the NBA is around $5 million a year).
Don't you think Skiles and Hammond deserve a lot of credit for the position the Bucks are in right now? They lost Redd, Bogut, and even Ridnour for a while and yet they are still in the playoff race.
Yes. Scott Skiles always has his teams playing hard. He's a very good coaching winning in a difficult situation. However, he burns teams out about 2 1/2 years into it. The Bulls have yet to recover.
The Pistons are clearly a better team when AI doesn't play (6-1, +8.5 ppg) compared to when he does play (23-28, -2.5 ppg). So how many minutes does he play as a 6th man once he comes back?
Frankly, not a lot. He should be a scorer off the bench ... much the same way they used Vinnie Johnson back in the day. Frankly I'm surprised they didn't do that from the beginning. Rip needed to be the starter.
I am really regretting turning down that $50m. Why couldn't I have been drafted a few years earlier when GMs were handing out money?
Yes, Ben Gordon isn't going to get anywhere near that number this summer. His agent made a huge mistake.
What do you think of the revived fun and gun Suns? And the revival of the Diesel?
It's fun, but not as fun without Amare. At least the Suns are interesting again.
What are the chances the Knicks keep Robinson and Lee around after the season is over?
They need to clear off either Eddy Curry or Jared Jeffries this summer. I'd expect them to start playing more to drive up their value the last bit of the season. Lee will be the first priority. The Knicks just have to cross their fingers that a team doesn't offer him a huge deal. In this case, the financial crisis could really benefit them. The only two teams they have to worry about are Detroit and Memphis. If they go in different directions, the Knicks should be good. Lee will probably either take the mid-level or take the qualifying offer leaving the Knicks flexibility down the road.
The Clippers have a great group of guys, a front court presence, a defensive stopper, an explosive wing, a sharp shooting guard and a super star in Baron Davis, why is this team doing nothing?
Terrible chemistry ... ME first players. Just a bad, bad mix. This is a team that is much less than the sum of their parts.
Chad, Portland didn't make a move at the deadline, and the scoop has been because they feel they can make a better deal in the summer. Can you really see anything better happening this summer with a reduced cap number squeezing the cap space the team thought it might have?
Maybe. I think much of that is spin. But they do have some assets -- both Travis Outlaw and Steve Blake have contracts that are unguaranteed. So, they could trade them to a team needing to cut payroll and perhaps get back a good player or draft picks. But I think they probably should have pulled the trigger on a Vince Carter or Richard Jefferson deal. Those guys are pretty good and the Blazers could've afforded it.
Doesn't the impending smaller cap and tighter CBA mean Lebron, Wade, and Bosh are more likely to stay where they are? Other teams won't have as much money and who knows what max contracts will be.
Yes, it definitely gives their teams an advantage, because teams may have roughly $10 million less in cap space than they originally anticipated. Teams like the Knicks, for example, are in a difficult position. It will be nearly impossible for them to clear the room to sign two superstars. Same goes for a lot of teams. I actually think the Heat may be in the best position. They can re-sign Wade easily and add a big like Bosh and still have a little room to spend on others. Combine them with Michael Beasley, Mario Chalmers, Daequan Cook and they have a great young team in a place NBA players love to live.
Is this the worst draft since 2000 with Kenyon Martin and Mike Miller?All I see is a bunch of role players and undersized guards.
MIght be. More likely this reminds me of the 2006 draft. There is talent, but not a lot of superstars. Blake Griffin will be a stud in the NBA. I think Ricky Rubio will be as well if he declares. Then a lot of question marks, but a couple of the kids should be good with time. I like Willie Warren a lot. Ditto for Greg Monroe. But overall, there is a good chance a number of lottery picks will be busts.
You're Sam Presti. You have pick #2 and Blake Griffin is off the board. Who do you take for the young Thunder?
Probably James Harden ... another shooter could help them. Also Ricky Rubio if you want to play Westbrook at the two and add Rubio as a playmaker. That backcourt would pick up a lot of steals on the defensive end.
Greg Monroe may not try as hard as Blake right now but I still would take monroe. I havent seen a genius of the high post of his caliber since chris webber, you can immediatley run an nba offense around that aspect of his game right now. Blake his a meaner beefier tyrus thomas.... nice but.....
I like Monroe and I think the Chris Webber comparisons aren't totally misguided, but Griffin's combo of toughness, athleticism, and motor make his a sure fire thing in the NBA. He's not the head case that Thomas was and unlike Thomas, he doesn't think he's a two guard.
DeJuan Blair a little overlooked? Looks like another Elton Brand to me.
If he was taller and a little more athletic, he'd be the second pick in the draft. He's a beast. But NBA teams shy away from 6-6, 6-7 power forwards. Brand is an interesting comparison. He wasn't the tallest guy, but his long arms made up for it. However, Brand was a much better shot blocker in college and in the NBA and was better conditioned. I think 10-20 is the likely range for Blair if he declares.
Tell me you were kidding about Sylvan Landesberg? The kid needs another year. I need him another year at UVA.
Word is he's looking into declaring for the NBA. He'd be a likely late first round pick. The kid can score. But I agree, he needs another year. But if you were stuck on a bad team like UVA, you might declare too.
Why no love for Stephen Curry? I think once again he's getting overlooked.
He's not being overlooked. I doubt he slips past the Knicks, wherever they are drafting. They love him.
Who are your non-lottery sleepers for this draft?
Craig Brackins, Iowa State ... Sylven Landesberg, UVA ... Jarvis Varnado, Mississippi State .. Lee Cummard, BYU ...Donatas Montiejunas, Lithuania
More important for the Knicks, Lebron loves him (Curry).
What do you think of Evan Turner? He seems to have the heart, size and skills to be successful at the next level.
I love him. Scouts are a little more mixed. I think he's a mid first round pick. Love all the little things he does.
Are you worried about Thabeet becoming another Olowokandi?
No. He's nothing like Olowokandi. He's a great shot blocker and he's pretty athletic. But he's not a selfish offensive player. It's a good thing, because he's terrible on the offensive end. If you want a shot blocker, he's the best in the draft, but his upside is Tyson Chandler. His downside is Mouhamed Saer Sene.
Chad Greivis Vasquez has been lighting it up - GMs noticing?
Yes and no. They have some interest ... but what position does he play? Is he athletic enough? Ugly shooting percentage this year.
Is Tyler Hansborough ever gonna enter the draft? I feel like that guy has been in college forever.
He's delaying the inevitable. He's THE MAN in college. He'll be waiving towels in the NBA. Would you really want college to end if you were him? The NBA will get him paid, but his glory days as a basketball player are now. It will never get as good for him as it is now. Ask Adam Morrison.
I get an opportunity to watch James Harden frequently and he reminds me of another somewhat under the radar Pac10 player...Brandon Roy anybody?
I see some similarities, but Roy is a better athlete. The concerns about Harden mostly surround his athleticism
Being the Brandon Jennings is playing overseas, no one talks about him. What are the chances he falls out of the lottery and then becomes a "steal"?
I don't think he falls out of the lottery. This draft is weak enough that someone will take a chance on him. He's got too much talent to pass 14 times. He'll go somewhere between 7 and 14
You have to love Jordan Hill even more after watching him battle an ankle injury in the WASH game.
He's a good kid, a tough kid who's having a great year. He's No. 5 on our big board. I don't think he'll be a superstar, but he'll be in the league a long time.
Don't you think a guy like Terrence Williams would be a perfect fit on the Knicks? This year's version of Russell Westbrook, who they wanted last year?
No ... Mike D'Antoni likes players who can shoot the basketball.
Who ends up being the better player out of these 3: Gerald Henderson, Evan Turner, or Terrance Williams?
I'd say Turner, then Henderson then Williams. Ironically, Williams has the most tools, but he's very inconsistent putting them together.
If you got a do-over in the 2008 NBA draft what would the top 10 look like?
Here was my Top 10 on draft night ... 1. Derrick Rose 2. Michael Beasley 3. O.J. Mayo 4. Russell Westbrook 5. Danilo Gallinari 6. Kevin Love 7. Eric Gordon 8. Brook Lopez 9. D.J.Augustin 10. Anthony Randolph I doubt I'd do much shifting other then to drop Gallinari down to No. 10 and move Lopez to No. 5 ... I still think Beasley will be a player.
Thanks for coming everyone. We'll do this again next week. Mahalo.