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July 2, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with John Hollinger

John Hollinger
  (3:05 PM)

Greetings from the West Coast office in Portland, where the weather gods are conspiring to make Hedo Turkoglu think he's signing in a warm-weather city. Let's talk free agency ....

jay (portland, oregon)

Do you like the blazers going after Hedo?

John Hollinger
  (3:06 PM)

I like it .. not sure I love it. He's not really a $50 million player or anything close to it, but he's probably the best fit of the players available.

Drew (Atlanta)

What teams have interest in Marvin Williams? Are the Hawks just going to sit around and wait for someone else to offer ala Josh Smith last year?

John Hollinger
  (3:08 PM)

I'm surprised Williams isn't getting a harder look from teams like Toronto or Sacramento, but maybe they figure when push comes to shove the Hawks will match and they'll just miss out on a week's worth of deal-making. Good news for Hawks is that they might get him for just a hair above midlevel. Unless he wants to follow Josh across the pond, that is.

Jeff (Memphis, TN)

Any chance Iverson ends up in Memphis? Heard anything on that? Also, what is the latest with Ariza? I think the Grizzlies should have traded Gay for Amare and then sign Ariza, what would you have thought about that?

John Hollinger
  (3:10 PM)

Had a couple different Iverson questions from Grizzlies fans today. He'd actually fit in one sense, because they need more scoring and he can play in a backcourt with Mayo. The problem, obviously, is that by the time the Griz are ready to anything interesting AI will be long gone, so really what's the point. BTW, Memphis should have about $6 mil in cap space even after the Zach trade, so they still can be a player for B free agents.

Ryan (LA)

What can the Clippers get for their new 7-8 million dollar trade exception on the open market? Which teams will be interested? Milwaukee? Utah?

John Hollinger
  (3:11 PM)

Be shocked if they use it. Much more important to preserve the cap space for next summer.

Bryan (Bellevue)

Where does Iverson end up, then? Is he a fit in Boston? Miami? Houston?

John Hollinger
  (3:12 PM)

I still think Charlotte makes the most sense. He has the relationship with Brown and the Bobcats have the need.

Clint (Orlando)

Do you think Hedo is just getting his free agent value, just to resign with Orlando for a little less? He did say that he would take less to stay a week or so ago?

John Hollinger
  (3:13 PM)

$15 million is not 'a little'. Not even to an NBA star.

Darsh (Houston,Texas)

Do you think the Cavs will possibly acquire Ron Artest and if they do how much do you think he would help.

John Hollinger
  (3:14 PM)

I think it's very possible. Seems to me the best he can do is short-term deals for the midlevel, because absolutely nobody will commit to the guy long-term. That makes it Lakers vs. Cavs for his services in my mind.

Hugh (ATL)

What's a realistic dollar figure for Bibby? Do the Hawks even have room for him anymore?

John Hollinger
  (3:16 PM)

I'd say his value tops out at 3 yrs, $15 mil, but I'd a lot more comfortable with two years if I was running a team. I've heard he and the Hawks are getting close, and yes, I think there's room for another PG, whether it's Bibby or somebody like Jarrett Jack (whom I've also heard ATL likes).

Sean (Philly)

Andre Miller...Where and how?

John Hollinger
  (3:18 PM)

My spies think it's unlikely he returns to Philly. It's possible he could end up in Portland in a sign-and-trade, but I haven't heard about anyone really making a hard push for him yet.

Josh (Detroit)

Was Charlie V worth all that cash in your mind considering he doesn't play defense or rebound? How do you think the Pistons will be next year with Hamilton, Gordon, Prince, and Villaneuva?

John Hollinger
  (3:20 PM)

Want to see what answer Joe D. comes up with at center before I answer the latter question -- He may re-sign McDyess or he may keep the $4 mil in cap space he has to take on a contract (i.e, he can trade Kwame's $4 mil and take back a player making $8 mil). As for Charlie, I thought that was fair value considering his youth and the year he had last season.

Anthony (New York)

Why do the Blazers prefer Hedo to Ariza? It's unclear Hedo and Roy will be a good match since they both need the ball in their hands to be at their best. Furthermore Ariza is cheaper, younger, and a better defender.

John Hollinger
  (3:23 PM)

Blazers desperately want another player who can create off the dribble so they're not so ridiculously dependent on Roy, something Houston exposed in last year's playoffs. So Hedo fits -- the Blazers can even use the "no PG" lineup like Orlando did and play Rudy-Turk-Roy in the backcourt. As for Ariza, my presumption has been that LA would match any offer for Ariza, and despite the comments put out there yesterday it's not clear to me that LA really isn't willing to go past midlevel for him -- now if they can get Artest for the same money THEN I think Ariza is very portable and a team like Portland should pounce.

Josh (Cleveland)

Chances Ariza comes to Cleveland = ??? Ariza:Pippen::LBJ:MJ

John Hollinger
  (3:24 PM)

Ariza: Pippen Folger's:Freshly made espresso in Italian cafe.

flavio (Brazil)

if it's unlikely Miller returns to Philly, any chance that iverson go back to philly??

John Hollinger
  (3:25 PM)

None. If Miller goes they're probably going to play Louis Williams at the point.

David (New Orleans, La)

Will the hornets ever deal chandler?

John Hollinger
  (3:26 PM)

Yes, it's highly likely he'll be dealt this summer into a team's cap space. Otherwise the Hornets will pay several million in tax, and they're not equipped to do that.

Kevin Pritchard (PDX)

What is the biggest downside of bringing in Hedo?

John Hollinger
  (3:27 PM)

The fact that he's 30 and might stink in two years. That's the downside potential.

Joey (LA)

I love Ariza, but I think a lot of his success is due to playing on the same court as Kobe and Pau. How many wide-open threes did he get this year?

John Hollinger
  (3:28 PM)

Ariza had similar PER in Orlando and New York, so I'll disagree with you. I don't think he's an All-Star and he might never be more than a real good complementary player, but in this market he's one of the best FAs out there.

Andy (GA)

Any chance the Nuggets utilize that trade exception or will they wait for the FAs to settle and go for the scraps?

John Hollinger
  (3:30 PM)

I highly doubt it, though if they make a big trade they may be able to "recycle" it the way they did with the Billups trade - the exception was originally created by the Camby deal. Problem with using the exception is that puts Denver WAAAAAYYYY into luxury tax, and based on what I'm told they would absorb some staggering losses at that payroll level.

Ryan (Denver)

Pistons have to move Rip for a center now, right? Stuckey, Rip, Gordon, Afflalo, Bynum...

John Hollinger
  (3:31 PM)

Everything I'm hearing is that Gordon will come off the bench as the sixth man and Rip will start. It bears mentioning again -- people kill Dumars for the Billups trade, but the Hamilton extension that received far less scrutiny was a much, much worse decision.

Jay (OKC)

Do the Thunder make the playoffs with their young Nucleus? I think well be contenders in 3 years.

John Hollinger
  (3:32 PM)

I'm interested to see if they make a run at Gortat, who would give them the 5-man they're missing. They have the cap space to do it and I'm guessing Orlando wouldn't match a big-number deal. If they can't get a 5, I'm guessing they win 30-35 and don't make playoffs for another year.

Tylor (KC)

I can't tell yet if Houston's trying to dump the season Donnie Walsh style. Their apparent lack of interest in Artest tells me they are, but this Gortat situation tells me they're trying to put a band aid on 2009-2010 and hope for the best. What's your take?

John Hollinger
  (3:32 PM)

They're interested in Gortat as much for what he can do in 2010-11 as what he can do while Yao is out this year. I'm still thinking they're on the Walsh plan.

Jake (Utica)

Anything on the Knicks other than Kidd...anything at all??

John Hollinger
  (3:33 PM)

Yes, they're going after Kidd and Grant Hill, which would have been a great rebuilding strategy in 1997.

Dave (wisconsin)

What are the chances the Bulls land Bosh by trade this summer?

John Hollinger
  (3:34 PM)

They have the assets to do it; the part about Gordon leaving that everyone forgets is that now they also have the cap space to sign Bosh outright after the season. Given the talent already there and the desirability of Chi-town, it might be the leading free agent destination next summer -- even ahead of the Big Apple.

Jake (Salt Lake )

So what do the Jazz do now? This has to have been the worst case scenario where all the players opt to stay another year. Do they try to trade Boozer? Or do they just eat major luxury tax this year in order to keep Millsap long term? Is Millsap even worth all of this fuss? Thanks.

John Hollinger
  (3:35 PM)

I think they have to trade Boozer into a team's cap space or trade exception in order to get themselves under the tax; the wild card is if ownership decides to approve paying the tax for one year so they can keep Millsap and then sets Boozer free after next season.

Will (LA)

No mention of Odom? Can he really command the $10M per his agent is looking for? Plus, who would or more importantly could pay it?

John Hollinger
  (3:36 PM)

I think Odom is going to end up getting something in the $7-8 Mil range just because the market is so depressed this summer and nobody wants to get in a fruitless bidding war with the Lakers.

Nate (Iowa)

Will Love and Jefferson be able to start next to each other or should the Wolves be pursuing Chandler or another #5

John Hollinger
  (3:37 PM)

Offensively, they fit, they problem is at the defensive end. That's where a guy like Chandler would come in, but unless you have cap space or a large non-guaranteed contract to bring to the table there's no reason for the Hornets to talk to you.

Carter ((Virginia))

Give us a free agent that you like, that didn't make your under-rated article and no one talks about. I'd take Shavlik Randolph, he's still pretty young, good size, puts up solid numbers, but was hurt, and then buried on a deep Portland team.

John Hollinger
  (3:38 PM)

Actually, the guy I'm kicking myself for not putting on there is C.J. Watson, who quietly had a very strong year for Golden State and is still young enough to get better. Randolph wouldn't be a bad pickup as a fifth big for the minimum, though.

Derek (Mpls, MN)

The Wolves have over $20 million in expiring contracts.

John Hollinger
  (3:40 PM)

Doesn't do the Hornets any good -- they need to get under the cap THIS season, not next year. By the way, that's the same for any trade (such as Utah dealing Boozer) that puts a team under the tax -- expirings don't help, they need to either be traded into cap space or for non-guaranteed deals.

Neil (Agoura Hills, CA)

Great Chat so far! How is it, with the Blazers and Thunder as the only two teams with cap space left, that we keep hearing Arzia wants more then the mid level, Odom wants more, Hedo, Milsap, Kidd, Marion, Williams, Miller, and Iverson too, etc. Who in fact gets more and who is upset at the end of the day?

John Hollinger
  (3:41 PM)

Actually Sacramento, Toronto and Memphis also still have space; Toronto can potentially create enough to outbid everybody.

Andy (Houston)

Do the Spurs really pay the luxury tax at a chance for the title or was signing Richard Jefferson a sign Manu will be traded?

John Hollinger
  (3:41 PM)

They signed off on paying the tax, yes; that's why you see them still pursuing players like Rasheed Wallace and Antonio McDyess with their midlevel.

jesse solomon (toronto)

How about anything from Raptorland?

John Hollinger
  (3:42 PM)

Biggest decision is whether to renounce everybody and go for broke on a player like Turkoglu or David Lee, or do it more piecemeal by resigning the likes of Marion and Delfino.

Justin (Los Angeles)

If the Lakers only manage to re-sign Odom and lose Ariza, what are their chances of landing Ron Artest?

John Hollinger
  (3:43 PM)

I think the only scenario where Ariza walks is if they can get Artest. So I'd say very strong.

andrew (chicago)

I know most teams are lookin forward to 2010....but any chance the bulls try to bring in a stud this summer? Also and legitimite chance that Wade would consider Chicago next year?

John Hollinger
  (3:44 PM)

No cap space, can't happen, though they'll probably use a piece of their midlevel on a fourth guard. I think Wade to Chicago is an interesting potential subplot, but I'm still thinking he stays in South Beach.

DJ (PGH)

Any upside to Sean May? I would think he is a low risk signing because you can get him on the cheap. If he stays healthy (big IF I know), he could be competent down low. He also had to play for Larry Brown, not exactly a young player's dream.

John Hollinger
  (3:45 PM)

Upside? sure -- he was extremely effective on the rare occasions he played in his first two seasons. But between the knees and the conditioning, I wouldn't want to gamble much that he could stay on the court for more than a couple weeks at a time.

Danny Osharag (Burbank, CA)

If Houston signs Gortat (and his shnoz), and are unable to sign Artest, who out there right now would be a good and realistic replacement for Artest?

John Hollinger
  (3:46 PM)

You mean besides Von Wafer, Jermaine Taylor and Chase Budinger? I think the Rockets might look at "internal candidates", if you get my drift.

Paul (Trenton, NJ)

Any chance Philly could offer some kind of package to Detroit for Rip involving Dalembert and whatever else makes Detroit forget that Dalembert is involved in the trade? Hey, the need a center.

John Hollinger
  (3:47 PM)

No. Sixer fans, stop with the Dalembert trade proposals. You're stuck with him. Get used to it.

Alex (DC)

Would Tyson Chandler for Kwame Brown work, looks like the numbers would put New Orleans under the luxury tax

John Hollinger
  (3:48 PM)

No, best deal for NO would be Chandler and Brown or Wright for Maxiell and Kwame; doesn't get NO all the way under but gets them close enough that they could probably wriggle out of it at the trade deadline.

Devlin (Minny)

Does Ron Artest going to CLE automatically make them the favorites in the east if they get him?

John Hollinger
  (3:49 PM)

I think that would move them back ahead of Orlando, yes. Right now I believe the Magic may have the upper hand, though I haven't run any of my prediction models yet.

Andy (Houston)

Is Toronto actively trying to trade Bosh? Could the Spurs trade Manu for Bosh? Resurrect the twin towers!

John Hollinger
  (3:50 PM)

No Bosh deal on the horizon. Raps are gonna try to win with him first and convince him that it's worth staying. Manu for Bosh would make no sense for Toronto on multiple levels.

Jeremy (Boston)

I don't see how Orlando has the upper hand without Turkoglu. Who is creating shots on that team?

John Hollinger
  (3:51 PM)

You mean besides the four All-Stars? Vince Carter and Jameer Nelson make arguably the best backcourt in the league.

Jules (Miami)

Do you think Miami should trade Beasley if it means getting Boozer, Amare or Bosh, even if they could lose them after a year?

John Hollinger
  (3:53 PM)

No, no, and maybe. Despite his faults, Beasley was extremely productive as a rookie, so dealing him for other guys with warts isn't smart. For Bosh? That might get me thinking, yes.

Adam (Philly)

is Andre Miller the worst defensive PG in basketball? He definately seems to get torched every single night by faster point guards.

John Hollinger
  (3:54 PM)

You seem to have confused Andre Miller with Mike Bibby. 'Dre wasn't great against quick 1s but did well against power PGs and could move up and guard 2s at times.

Ian (Corvallis)

Say the Blazers sign Turk. Who do they then trade out of Bayless, Mills, Blake, Rudy, Webster, and Outlaw... you can't have all those guys... can you?

John Hollinger
  (3:55 PM)

I suspect Outlaw is the one that goes .. cap-friendly with just one year left at $4 mil, and his shot-creating ability won't be needed so much.

Johnny (Philly)

Possible destinations for Marquis Daniels?...he seems undervalued to me.

John Hollinger
  (3:55 PM)

He's an eighth man, it will be weeks before players like him get their status resolved.

Ed (D.C.)

It seems to me that McDyess is the IDEAL fit for the Wizards - if they offered him two years at the full mid-level would it get it done?

John Hollinger
  (3:57 PM)

Wash certainly could use another big but I haven't heard them mentioned with any of the free agent bidding. Also, I don't think players like McDyess and Sheed see the Wizards as a real contender.

Daniel (Las Vegas)

Could CLE get Channing Frye and do you think that he would fit well with them?

John Hollinger
  (3:57 PM)

Frye most likely going to Denver or Phoenix. Cleveland is going to re-sign Varejao I believe, which would really leave no room whatsoever for another big in the rotation.

jim (sf)

don't the warriors have to trade someone?

John Hollinger
  (3:58 PM)

Yes, but unfortunately owners can't be traded in this league.

Anthony (Orlando, FL)

Are the Magic serious about anyone right now? They say thay are willing to go over the tax, but I don't see their name coming up a whole lot in the big FA rumors.

John Hollinger
  (3:59 PM)

I agree. Every contract dollar costs them double from there on out since they're over the tax, so I don't see them using the full midlevel. I think they're content with their eight-man rotation and will be looking strictly at tier-B guys to fill out the roster.

Adam (Philly)

What do the warriors do with 5 shooting guards? Curry, Ellis, Magette, Morrow, and Belinelli all play the same position. Whos getting traded?

John Hollinger
  (4:00 PM)

You left out Stephen Jackson and Kelenna Azubuike. Fortunately, Don Nelson has no qualms about playing five shooting guards at the same time, so they might all get minutes.

Joe (Miami, FL)

How can you have the best backcourt when both players in it are below average defenders?

John Hollinger
  (4:02 PM)

Watch some tape of Carter the last couple years -- he's actually pretty good. Apparently nobody watched the Nets last year because I've had several people questioning Carter -- he was in Siberia with the Nets last year but played very well and should have made the All-Star team.

McQ (Boston)

Is Big Baby Davis going to see any real money? He had a good, not great playoffs and is still a small yet overweight 4? Or am I underrating him?

John Hollinger
  (4:02 PM)

real money? No. doubt he even gets midlevel. More like three years, $10 mil.

Dan (NY)

Do you think Josh Childress will be back in the NBA this year? If so, with what team?

John Hollinger
  (4:03 PM)

Hearing rumors about Milwaukee, which makes some sense since the Bucks have a hole at the 3 they're trying to fill.

AstroMan (Dubai)

If the sixers can't get Miller will they go after Jarrett Jack or Mike Bibby?

John Hollinger
  (4:05 PM)

I'm hearing that they won't, that they'll promote Williams, sign a veteran backup and go into the season that way.

CC (Atlanta)

What would the Bucks being willing to trade ATL for Chill?

John Hollinger
  (4:06 PM)

Bucks don't have to trade anything -- just sign Childress to an offer sheet and bet that the Hawks won't match, which they likely wouldn't. But to make it truly safe, they could sign-and-trade a second-round pick over to ATL, which also would let Childress get bigger year-to-year raises.

Brendan ((Philadelphia))

Besides Blake Griffin, who do you think has the best chance of getting Rookie of the Year in 2010?

John Hollinger
  (4:07 PM)

Tyreke Evans and Stephen Curry, since both are likely to get lots of minutes and shots.

Jay (King of Prussia PA)

Anything on the Pacers at all?

John Hollinger
  (4:08 PM)

Crickets as far as I can tell. Not sure if they'll even bring back Jack.

Jay (SD)

"I think the only scenario where Ariza walks is if they can get Artest." Does that mean that the recent comments by Ariza's agent is just posturing so he can frame any potential Ariza exit as his choice and not the Lakers in the event they obtain Artest?

John Hollinger
  (4:10 PM)

Assume every comment from an agent is posturing unless you are presented a compelling reason to believe differently.

David (Los Angeles)

Do you have a Twitter account?

John Hollinger
  (4:11 PM)

@johnhollinger

Marc (Sacramento)

What have you heared the Kings where doing? Should they use some of their cap space to get a talented player for a cheap price this year? The big names 2010 FAs are not coming to Sac.

John Hollinger
  (4:12 PM)

We've heard some whispers that they might make a run at Turkoglu; Sac could also use their cap space in a late-summer contract purge trade like the Clips did a year ago with the Camby deal.

Marc (Charlotte)

Where is Rashad McCants going to end up? Granted he doesn't play much D, but he can fill it up on offense.

John Hollinger
  (4:12 PM)

I agree that he's really talented, but he's such a nut case that he might have to earn his way onto a roster in training camp. Nobody is going to spend anything of consequence to take a chance on him, that's for sure.

Jason (Milwaukee)

Do you see Sessions getting an offer from anyone? Over or under mid-level?

John Hollinger
  (4:14 PM)

I think he eventually might, but it could be August before it happens and the Bucks will probably match. Most interesting scenario to me would be Memphis using their remaining cap space to sign him -- that's the only shot I see of the price being high enough to scare Milwaukee away from matching.

John Hollinger
  (4:15 PM)

Folks, that's all the time I have. Sorry I couldn't come close to answering all your questions -- nearly 6,000 of them today -- but I'll be back at the same time next week and we can do it again.