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June 18, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with John Hollinger

John Hollinger
  (3:06 PM)

Greetings everyone. Though part of me would rather be at a Game 7, gotta admit it's nice to be home napping half the day. Lots to discuss with draft and trade rumors, so let's get to it.

Brian (Boulder)

Danny Green is an NBA athlete. He has NBA size. He can shoot. According to you, the stats suggest he'll succeed. What exactly aren't the scouts seeing in him?

John Hollinger
  (3:07 PM)

The biggest question is his ability to handle the ball and create shots, which means he probably won't ever be a star. But after the first five picks or so, you're probably not getting a star anyway.

Kevin (Reno)

Where do you think Sam Presti ranks on the list of best NBA GMs? Any thoughts on what the ex-Sonics should do this year?

John Hollinger
  (3:08 PM)

The only proper grade for a GM in his position is an Incomplete. I think he's done a great job so far in accumulating assets, but that won't mean much until/unless OKC starts winning.


John, Hansbrough didn't rate high in your system but he put up great numbers and tested better athletically than anticipated. Why is his rating low?

John Hollinger
  (3:10 PM)

Hansbrough didn't put up great rebounding numbers and isn't much of a shooter, so the Draft Rater looks at him and doesn't see much to separate him from the pack. The running assumption that he'll be a solid role player but never a starter seems like a pretty good one.

Don (DC)

Who should the Lakes keep? Ariza or Odom?

John Hollinger
  (3:11 PM)

If it's one or the other I vote for Ariza, but I think LA will try very hard to keep both of them. Odom is likely to give them a hometown discount as well, which should help.

Scott (Tucson)

John, the best player who isn't likely to be drafted in the 1st round is...?

John Hollinger
  (3:11 PM)

I'll go with Paul Delaney out of UAB, who showed surprisingly high in the Draft Rater. I suppose it's possible Danny Green slips to Round 2 as well, much as Chalmers did a year ago.

Justin (New york)

Do u think sam young or Terrence Williams will be on the board when the Cavs pick

John Hollinger
  (3:12 PM)

Young might be, but I expect Williams to be long gone. I don't have very high hopes for Mr. Young, but Cavs could use another wing defender.

Richard ((NY))

Would Stephen Curry be a good fit in D'Antoni's system?Jrue Holiday?

John Hollinger
  (3:14 PM)

the thing to remember about the Knicks' "system" is that it's gong to change an awful lot a year from now if they have the success they're hoping for in the free agent market. Whomever they draft needs to be able to play without the ball opposite Wade/LeBron/Bosh, and that would tilt the calculus toward Curry for me.

Reggie (Portland, OR)

How do you see the Calathes situation panning out?

John Hollinger
  (3:15 PM)

I think a good team will take him late in the first round to secure his rights, especially one that is trying to avoid the cap hit from a first-round pick. Interesting one would be Phoenix at 15.

luau girls (HI)

% chance Hawaii ever gets a prof team..will Alaska beat us?

John Hollinger
  (3:15 PM)

Roughly 0, but still twice as likely as Alaska. If the league expands to 75 teams you're both in play.

didi (toronto)

If your rating suggests DeMar DeRozan might not develop into a stud, who should the raptors pick?

John Hollinger
  (3:16 PM)

It depends on availability, but I think DeJuan Blair could really help them as a physical beast type to play opposite Bosh. I know his lack of height is an issue, but Raps have badly needed a muscle guy for a long time.

Cesar (Tempe)

Phoenix at 14

John Hollinger
  (3:17 PM)

thanks, always appreciate the corrections -- doing this live I'm usually going off memory.

Mike (Milpitas, CA)

Isn't thabeet a bust in waiting? The guy did nothing in college while being so much taller. He's going to get crushed by guys his own size now, right?

John Hollinger
  (3:19 PM)

Draft Rater sees him as a competent, but hardly outstanding center. Generally if a 7-foot-plus center is a top three pick there's a good chance he'll turn out pretty good, and any later he's almost certain to be a stiff. We've had a couple exceptions (Kaman, Bynum), but that's the general rule.

josh (orlando)

will McClinton be around for Miami to get at 40ish?

John Hollinger
  (3:19 PM)

So what if he is ... I don't think he's much of a player personally, essentially the new Guillermo Diaz.

Mike (Tucson)

Do you think the Lakers can win 70 plus games next season when Bynum comes back healthy and presumably Derek Fisher isn't starting any longer?

John Hollinger
  (3:21 PM)

Put it this way -- L.A.'s ceiling is higher than anyone else's ceiling. I said the same thing coming into last year but was dubious whether they'd hit it; they got a lot closer than I expected. If Bynum steps up and Farmar claims the PG job and Kobe doesn't lose anything, they definitely can threaten 70. That's a lot of ifs, of course, but you need good fortune to win that many that games.

Gary (Detroit)

John, in what world is Ben Gordon worth 11 million dollars a year like it's been reported the Pistons would offer?

John Hollinger
  (3:23 PM)

That one has me scratching my head -- they already have Stuckey and Hamilton as the backcourt and they're going to pay Gordon? Would pretty much necessitate trading Rip, who is much harder to deal now that they signed that puzzling extension last year. (Seriously, stop killing Joe over the Iverson trade, the Hamilton extension was much worse).

jeff (minnetonka)

what do the t wolves do at the 6 spot

John Hollinger
  (3:24 PM)

You mean besides "screw it up"? Let's hope David Khan is better at drafting than McHale was. I have to think they're going to take one of the PGs like Flynn or Holiday given their glaring weakness there.

Kevin (Minneapolis)

Is Tyreke Evans draft scored based on him on wing or point? And what is his rating at the other position?

John Hollinger
  (3:25 PM)

I rated him strictly as a wing. I'm always highly suspicious of 6-5 or 6-6 guys who have "point guard skills" actually playing the point -- usually they're either too slow to defend opposing PGs or can't push it up fast enough to get transition points and they end up playing their whole career at the 2.

Zach (Dallas)

why is Eric Devendorf under the Radar?

John Hollinger
  (3:26 PM)

Because the Hungarian league hasn't held its draft yet.

Justin (Ny)

From a fans eye many people i have spoken to agree that Sam young in college was just as good as earl clark? Why is he not a top 15 pick

John Hollinger
  (3:27 PM)

Because he's like the kid who was left back two years dominating the kickball game at recess. Young is already 24 years old -- this is about as good as he's going to get. Clark has a lot more time on his side to get better.

Simon (NYC)

Was this year's Lakers team really much better than last year's?

John Hollinger
  (3:29 PM)

Better when they had to be, anyway -- those last two games against Denver were essentially for the championship and they turned it up another notch. I thought L.A. played like gangbusters at the end of last season and was surprised they hit such a wall against Boston. But I don't think there was a big difference between the two teams, no.

Dave (Hercules, CA)

John, how will the Warriors screw up this year's draft?

John Hollinger
  (3:30 PM)

As our Ric Bucher noted, the Warriors don't screw up the draft. They screw up everything that happens after the draft. They haven't had a first-round pick stay in town more than seven seasons in the past two decades -- that's unbelievable.

Justin (Salem, OR)

What realistically can the Blazers do? The fans are irrationally in love with all the players, but Steve Blake is a below average point guard, Aldridge isn't a star, and Oden is a question mark, though a great rebounder.

John Hollinger
  (3:32 PM)

Blazers will be looking to upgrade at 1 and 3 and possibly add a quality 4 to back up Aldridge. Improvement at the 1 could come internally from Sergio or Bayless, and same could be said from Batum and Outlaw at the 3, but I think the Blazers can use their cap space to speed up the process a bit. They own five picks, and I think they will be one of the most interesting teams to watch on draft day.

Max (Cleveland(Where Losing Happens))

What realistically can the Cavs do? We need help as everyone saw in the ECF? Shaq? Kidd? Villanueva? Draft?

John Hollinger
  (3:34 PM)

The good news for Cleveland is that they have a lot of options since Sasha's contact is only partially guaranteed and Big Ben is in the final year of his deal. That's about $20 mil in contracts to play with, and if Ben is serious about taking a buyout they could save a trade partner a heck of a lot of money in salary and luxury tax.

Jim (Portland, Oregon)

Do you think McHale ends up coaching anywhere next year? He seems like a good coach, but a terrible GM.

John Hollinger
  (3:35 PM)

Be hard to see for two reasons -- 1) the taint of his name is now pretty strong, even though, as you mentioned, he did a solid job coaching, 2) though he was a solid coach, I'm not sure he's that interested in doing it long-term, especially if it means basing himself someplace besides Minnesota. So I'd bet against it.

Rotem (New York)

I think you blew it when you said Orlando did the right thing by not fouling Fisher.

John Hollinger
  (3:36 PM)

They never had an option to foul Fisher -- by the time Nelson was within shouting distance he was shooting. The time to foul was when Kobe caught the inbound pass, and with that much time left the odds were better not fouling.

krayyy (los angeles)

will crawford opt out in GS? what are the chances?

John Hollinger
  (3:37 PM)

0%. Despite Nelly's best effort at baiting him into it, nobody in this league leaves money on the table.

Heather (OC)

Did the Lakers GM pull off the greatest 3 trades in a 12 month period of all time? He traded for Pau Gasol, Trevor Ariza, and Shannon Brown and the only average player he had to give up was Pau's brother.

John Hollinger
  (3:39 PM)

I don't think enough has been made of the moves by Mitch Kupchak -- he also used late draft picks to get Farmar, Vujacic and Walton and rolled the dice on Bynum with his one lottery pick. He was deservedly criticized for his role in letting the supporting cast crumble at the end of the Shaq-Kobe run and the disastrous Caron Butler-Kwame Brown trade, but since then he's been on fire.

Clarence (Ottawa)

Don't you think with the recent additio of Reggie Evans, the Raps should try and take a run at an athletic small forward/shooting guard...and maybe trade bosh this summer while his stock his high to a team with a surplus of say, Portland?

John Hollinger
  (3:40 PM)

Reggie Evans isn't good enough to play heavy minutes, he doesn't change the equation for Toronto one iota.

Jamal Crawford (Oakland)

Carlos Boozer, Hedo Turkoglu...

John Hollinger
  (3:41 PM)

Completely different situations. Crawford can't get more money on the open market than he's due to make next year. Boozer and Turk can.

David (Toronto)

What do you think about Toronto trading Bosh to Detroit, a rumored place he wants to go anyway. Something like Rip and Prince coming back?

John Hollinger
  (3:43 PM)

Detroit has reportedly been jonesing for Bosh for a while, but I can't see how a Rip and Prince deal would help the Raptors much. Right now the Texas teams have a lot more to offer, plus they put Bosh closer to home.

Jon (Palm Springs)

What free agent do you think besides Hedu will get anything above the mid-level this off season?

John Hollinger
  (3:44 PM)

Boozer, if he comes out. Ben Gordon. Possibly Millsap. David Lee. Possibly Villanueva and Ramon Sessions. Trevor Ariza. Perhaps Lamar Odom. But it's a pretty short list.

David (Missouri)

Where do u see Demarre Carroll going in the Draft? I've heard hes had great workouts and is moving up. He also was the MVP of the Portsmith Invitational.

John Hollinger
  (3:45 PM)

I see Carroll as a late first-rounder. I also had Leo Lyons rated just as high, but apparently his stock among scouts is lower.

Shawn Marion (Vegas)

you know i am tricking the Raps into paying me more then the MLE!!!!

John Hollinger
  (3:47 PM)

If so your agent is a genius. You're right, it may happen. But the Raps could also renounce everybody and have enough space to make a run at another FA.

John (New York)

How do you see BJ Mullens game panning out in the league?

John Hollinger
  (3:47 PM)

Probably a career backup at the 5, but somebody will take a chance on him by the middle of the first round.

Dave (SLC)

Even if Boozer opts in, wouldn't he then be even more valuable as a trade chip for Utah?

John Hollinger
  (3:49 PM)

Here's the problem -- if Boozer and Okur both opt in (and it appears Okur will, so Boozer is the bigger question), then Utah has massive luxury tax issues -- that's before they do anything to keep Millsap. So while having Boozer around as a large expiring is nice in theory, the fact is they'd probably have to trade him for somebody making less just to have any shot of keeping Millsap.

Bo (Hawaii)

Howzit John, you may have already answered this but my friend and I were arguing about SVG's decision to play Jameer over Raefer at certain points cost the Magic the title. What say you?

John Hollinger
  (3:50 PM)

To say anything "cost the Magic the title" is a bit extreme -- L.A. pretty solidly outplayed them. Stan probably wishes he put Rafer back in at the end of Game 4, but that only means they lose in 6.

Phil (Orlando)

Do you think Rafer Alston will be traded this offseason? It didn't seem to work out with both him and Jameer Nelson on the roster.

John Hollinger
  (3:52 PM)

Alston is highly likely to be dealt because Orlando already is paying Nelson and Johnson, so they'd rather use that $5 million salary slot on a frontcourt player (or for a nonguaranteed deal to put them under the tax).

Andy (LA)

You want to share your assessment of Phil Jackson's career with us at this point?

John Hollinger
  (3:52 PM)

GOAT. Thought so before the season and obviously still think so now. I think he misses some details now that he wouldn't have missed ten years ago, but he's still among the elite.

John (mia)

Do you think that Beasley, Cook, and Blount for Chris Bosh is realistic and would it make Miami a contender. Wade and Bosh would be Kobe and Pau 2.0

John Hollinger
  (3:54 PM)

I think the hard part of the question is "will Beasley be as good or better than Bosh two years from now?" For the all the criticism he took he led all rookies in PER and had a pretty phenomenal scoring rate, and he'll be on a rookie salary for three more years.

Michele (SoCal)

Do you have time for a Milwuakee Bucks? Will they be able to re-sign both Sessions and Charlie V?

John Hollinger
  (3:57 PM)

Bucks are in a tight spot because re-signing both players will put them way over the luxury tax. You can think last year's foolish trade for Luke Ridnour for that. Milwaukee would basically have to do a salary dump with somebody like Jefferson or Redd in order to bring both of them back. It's possible they could bring one of them back with a less dramatic overhaul, but even that will be difficult.

Ed (Toronto)

Why would Bosh sacrifice his pay day to be second fiddle to Wade or LeBron. He wants to get paid too and BC doesn't do a sign and trade out of the goodness of his heart.

John Hollinger
  (3:58 PM)

That's still the biggest point in Toronto's favor -- they can offer more money than anyone else. But remember, some of that advantage is eroded by Florida's lack of state income tax. It's not what you make that matters, it's what you keep.

Hanif (Toronto)

Why is Ty Lawson so far down on the draft lists that I look at? He could easily be the next Jameer Neslon or better no? Very hard to defend, offense is already mature, very quick, and physically developed more than most in the draft. What am I missing?

John Hollinger
  (4:00 PM)

I had Lawson at the top of my Draft Rater, so I'm with you on this one. I'm very interested to see how he fares next year compared to the likes of Flynn, Holiday, and Teague, because he rated more than one standard error better than all three.

Mike (Mpls)

Kevin Love led the rooks in PER, John. Related: would you trade Love for Rubio straight up, as is rumored?

John Hollinger
  (4:02 PM)

Thanks, got my rooks confused -- Beasley was up there but finished fourth or fifth, believe he had the top scoring rate. Love for Rubio makes sense personnel-wise, as Memphis could use a PF and Minny needs a PG; at this point it's hard to say who will have the better career since I like them both.

Nate (Pittsburgh)

Other than maybe JJ Barea, is there a player in the NBA that Ty Lawson can guard?

John Hollinger
  (4:03 PM)

Haha. He's 6-0, not 5-4. And the other guys aren't any bigger. NBA guys freak out over short PGs, but a lot of time it's much ado about nothing.

Mark (LA)

Is Kobe top 10 now?

John Hollinger
  (4:07 PM)

All-time? It's still a tough list to crack. For instance, just looking at contemporaries -- Shaq cleary outranks him, and you still have to rank Tim Duncan ahead of him too (four championships, top dog for all four, won without another All-Star in '03); it's really a battle for third with him and Garnett. Then you get into all the old-timers and the list fills up awfully fast. I'm comfortable with top 15, but top 10 is really crowded and I'm not sure he's in yet, or if he'll ever be.

Mark (Deerfield)

If Jordan Hill and Johnny Flynn are there for the Milwaukee Bucks, which way do they go? And do the FA's in Villanueva and Sessions have any impact on who they draft?

John Hollinger
  (4:08 PM)

A team in Milwaukee's position should just grab the best player available and worry about the other stuff later. Right now they just need to get as many talented players as possible; if a couple play the same spot they can always make a trade.

Josh (TX)

Your system has been way off in predicting the best teams for a while now and also in evaluating players that win, do you plan to stop being a Laker hater and Kobe hater as well now that they proved you wrong?

John Hollinger
  (4:11 PM)

Sigh .... I've got mail like this from Lakers fans all year because they weren't first in the Power Rankings (which, to repeat for the hundredth time, are fully automated). They finished second, by half a point. So for the first team the team that was No. 1 didn't win the title; this time it was the team that ran a close No. 2.

Cosmo (Anytown, USA)

Is there a more annoying fan base than Laker fans? Who cares where someone ranks? Who cares if someone picked the other team? Enjoy the title and zip it!

kenneth white (Las Vegas)

chances the sacramento kings move to las vegas?

John Hollinger
  (4:14 PM)

I'd say Vegas is either the fourth or fifth most likely option. Nos. 1, 2, and 3, clearly, are Anaheim, San Jose and Kansas City, because they have existing buildings ready to go. Vegas and Seattle aren't as strong options because they would need to build new arenas and that's tough to get done in this environment (just read, for instance, that Nevada has something like a $30 mil budget shortfall -- good luck getting public money for that one). Dark horse might be Vancouver -- GM Place is a bit old but it's still better than Arco.

Phil (Toronto)

How is the draft rater at picking busts? DeMar DeRozan is projected to go top 10 but you had him 54th. I know from the article that the Rater has picked some sleepers but there was little evidence regarding busts.

John Hollinger
  (4:16 PM)

Rater did a fantastic job picking busts until last year. ("bust" being defined as somebody chosen among the first ten collegians that the Rater had well down the list). The only bad miss in the first six years was Charlie V. But last year it didn't like Randolph, Mayo or Gordon. Gordon's stats were ruined by the thumb so I can excuse that one a little, but the other two were plain misses.

Nathan (Redding)

What are the chances the Kings move at all?

John Hollinger
  (4:17 PM)

Pretty high I'd say. They badly need a new arena and the state has no money and there hasn't been much in the way of private money coming forward. Nothing new has been announced since a vaguer-than-vague proposal came out several months ago. They've had great fans and deserve better, but there's a financial gale blowing in their face right now.

John Hollinger
  (4:17 PM)

Folks, that's all the time I have, but we'll do this again next week at the same time to warm up for the draft. Thanks again for all the great questions.