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July 9, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with John Hollinger

John Hollinger
  (3:06 PM)

Greetings everyone. Four-way deal just went official with Nathan Jawai to Dallas instead of Quincy Douby to Memphis, as originally reported. Hang up was that Douby couldn't be traded for a few more days. Marion's in the books at five years, $38.9 million with a year 1 salary of $6.43M.

jacob (Los Angeles)

Why are more teams interested in Marvin Williams? Good on ball defender, good rebounder, improving shooter. He isnt a good fit with Josh Smith. When Josh doesnt play, his numbers sky rocket.

John Hollinger
  (3:07 PM)

Actually I think Marvin is an excellent fit with Josh because he can shoot -- Josh sure as heck can't. The problem with Marvin, as with Lee and Millsap, is that he's a restricted FA. And unlike the Knicks or Jazz, the Hawks don't have any cap tangles that might make them think twice about matching. I'm betting Marvin ends up playing for the qualifier and tries again next year.

John (Nashville)

Do the Bobcats trade Felton if they sign Iverson?

John Hollinger
  (3:09 PM)

Bobcats are in danger of being over next year's luxury tax line if they do that, unless Iverson is on a one-year deal. Also, I think they see Iverson as a 2 anyway, so I'm not sure the Iverson and Felton decisions are connected except as far as their cap planning goes. Felton, by the way, would be a sign-and-trade since he's a restricted free agent.

Adam (St. Louis)

John -- Any thoughts on the Pacers' acquisition of Dahntay Jones? Nice addition but a little overpaid at 4yr 11mil?

John Hollinger
  (3:10 PM)

Ridiculous contract, this year's Eduardo Najera. What makes it worse is Indy was already in danger of being a tax team next year, even before paying Jarret Jack, and the Pacers already had a stopper-in-training with Brandon Rush.

Angelo (Cleveland)

Are the Cavaliers done now in free agency or will they add another player

John Hollinger
  (3:10 PM)

Cavs still have a chunk of the midlevel (assuming the Parker deal goes through) and their biannual exception, and I expect them to use that money too.

Mark (Philippines)

On that four team trade, what does Orlanda receive?? I know they give up Hedo, but for what?

John Hollinger
  (3:12 PM)

Orlando gets a protected second-round pick (essentially worthless), some cash, and an $8 million trade exception. To me, it wasn't nearly enough compensation for letting Toronto up off the mat -- Raps were screwed without doing Hedo as a sign-and-trade. Orlando probably won't even use the exception given that they're already a tax team the next two years and still have their midlevel.

trader205 (Portland)

Paying a guy $8-10 mill a year to backup Aldridge- has KP lost his mind? Is the Millsap rumor just a veiled threat to Bass' camp?

John Hollinger
  (3:14 PM)

Portland really wants to get tougher and more physical -- that's why they drafted Pendergraph and Cunningham. So you can see how Millsap fits the plan that way. I'd imagine Przybilla would play a lot less in that scenario and might even be a trade candidate if Oden proves to be healthy. I still think a sign-and-trade of Millsap and Harpring for Outlaw and the rights to Freeland and/or Koponen is a great deal for both sides -- preserves some cap for Portland while getting their player, and gets Utah out from the tax man.

Louis (San Antonio)

Even with Marion, Mavs can't touch the Spurs, right?

John Hollinger
  (3:15 PM)

Um, you watched the playoffs this year, right? San Antonio obviously will be better adding Manu, Jefferson and McDyess to that crew, but I don't think it's a given that they beat out Dallas.

Joel (Toronto)

Any chance on Parker backing out and re-signing with Toronto now that they have the cap space available to re-sign him?

John Hollinger
  (3:16 PM)

I've wondered that myself, but I'm not close enough to the principals to know how realistic that is.

Andrea Bargnani (Toronto)

I feel my deal was pretty fair compared to other Big Men. No?

John Hollinger
  (3:18 PM)

Actually I thought that deal was ridiculous. Are the Raptors not paying attention to what's happened to restricted free agents the last few summers? What team was coming after Bargnani next year? And how much sense does it make to commit to a Bargnani-Bosh frontcourt when they both do the same things and neither can guard a true 5? They basically were bidding against themselves for a player they were guaranteed to own for at least the next two years regardless.

John Hollinger
  (3:19 PM)

Actually, the only way the deal makes sense is if they think Bosh is leaving anyway ... and even then they take a needless risk a year early, and possibly at greater dollars as well.

Jon (SF)

Can you finally say what others seem hesitant to say, that Hedo is slightly above average, and way way way overpaid. This contract will be an albatross in about a year or two.

John Hollinger
  (3:21 PM)

Pretty much, yes. Colangelo turned it from an atrocious deal into a mildly bad one by at least making it a sign-and-trade, but I don't understand why they committed so much to a guy that doesn't put them anywhere near a championship.

Joe (Decatur, GA)

Does Childress stay overseas or will a sign

John Hollinger
  (3:21 PM)

We'll know in six days -- his opt-out is July 15. I'm still guessing a sign-and-trade with Milwaukee for Bowen makes the most sense for everyone.

Josh (Knoxville, TN)

Marcus Haislip - what's his potential ceiling for the Spurs?

John Hollinger
  (3:22 PM)

Ever watched "Being John Malkovich"?

James (Cleveland)

Isn't the Varejao deal a little ridiculous? He really can't be worth 50 mil, can he? Also, how do you feel the Parker deal helps/hurts the Cavs?

John Hollinger
  (3:24 PM)

A lot of people are killing the Cavs for the Varejao deal. I didn't think it was that bad. The last year is a partial guarantee, the per-year numbers aren't ridiculous (he starts under $7 mil this year), and if they pushed it much lower OKC or Portland could have made a push for him -- remember, he was unrestricted. He's not a scorer, but he's an elite defending big who can rebound. Historically, teams have paid for that.

matt (oakland)

do you think the Bargnani signing is an indication that Colangelo does not believe he will be able to keep Bosh?

John Hollinger
  (3:25 PM)

It certainly makes more sense if you think Bosh is leaving, because they share many of the same strengths and weaknesses. Also, if Bosh doesn't opt out it's now likely they'll be a tax team next year.

josh howard (dallas)

i can't guard 2s. I'm old(er). I put my foot in my mouth daily. And now they got the Matrix? When am I getting traded, and for whom?

John Hollinger
  (3:26 PM)

Mostly it's going to be Kidd guarding 2s -- they're just starting games with Howard there because they like Terry coming off the bench. Dallas will finish games most nights with Dirk at 5, Marion at 4, Howard at 3, Terry and Kidd in the backcourt.


How can Varejao be called an elite defending big after the Orlando series?

John Hollinger
  (3:27 PM)

Because most people are smaller than Dwight Howard. Varejao is great defending pick and rolls and can handle all but the biggest centers on post ups, and he's a great help defender. Cleveland got Shaq to deal with the one big guy he couldn't handle.

Will (Indiana)

Do you feel that the Thunder should spend their cap space considering they need to save some to resign their young stars? And if yes then who should they target in your eyes?

John Hollinger
  (3:29 PM)

They won't -- they want to use it next year when they have a better idea of what exactly they have and need. Only exception would be if somebody makes them a compelling offer to rent their cap space at this year's trade deadline, and/or a player they truly desire is available via trade.

Matt (Portland)

If Outlaw goes to the Jazz in your proposed sign and trade, does that kill any chance that the Blazers can land Captain Kirk?

John Hollinger
  (3:31 PM)

Still works if the Bulls would accept Harpring. If that was the goal, though, it would work best as a three-way trade.

Dave (Cleveland)

Two years ago Anthony Parker was one of the league's best outside shooters. Can he return to that level by playing with LeBron and Shaq?

John Hollinger
  (3:32 PM)

He's going to help them more at the defensive end, because now they have a 2 with size instead of asking Delonte West to chase bigger players all the time. But he's a good shooter too, yes.

Rich (Richmond)

The article discussing the Marion deal mentioned that Toronto gets to keep its mid-level exception; however, a team does not have a mid-level exception when it is under the cap by a certain amount, correct?

John Hollinger
  (3:35 PM)

Technically, you can use your midlevel even if you're a bit under the cap. What you can't do is sign somebody with cap space and use the midlevel in the same year -- you can either add players under the cap, or sign them with exceptions to being over the cap, but not both. So if they had signed Turkoglu without doing a trade with Orlando, they'd have no exception to use; because Orlando technically signed Turkoglu and then traded him to the Raptors, Toronto can still use all its Bird rights and exceptions.

Jon (NY, NY)

Do you think the Bucks extended the QO to Sessions because they're looking to keep him or because they wanted to be able to facilitate a sign and trade?

John Hollinger
  (3:36 PM)

I think they want to keep him; money-wise they should be able to get him at a reasonable figure that doesn't push them into tax this year or next.

Xander (Philly)

Are the Sixers so doomed that you refuse to even answer questions about them?

Seth (SF)

What kind of sign and trade options do the Sixers have with Miller?

John Hollinger
  (3:37 PM)

Not a lot. They need to take back expiring contracts only, and they don't want to take back as much money as Miller is hoping to make. So the scenarios are fairly limited. A deal with Portland for Blake or Outlaw is the best-case scenario, but the Blazers don't seem very interested in him.

Buddies (Columbus, OH)

Why is all your stuff Insider stuff now? I hate it. Let me read something.

John Hollinger
  (3:38 PM)

They had this crazy idea that we should try to make money. Sorry it's not more available, it's a difficult tug of war between those two goals.

MC Welk (SLC)

Why would the Blazers/Jazz agree to a sign-and-trade? Their offer for Millsap creates some bad blood. Plus, Jazz want to keep 'Sap and dump Boozer.

John Hollinger
  (3:39 PM)

That's obviously the question -- do they like Millsap enough to go $12 million over the tax this year? If so, then there's no need to agree to a sign-and-trade.

Thomas (VI)

Miami has been very quiet in the FA market. Do you see them making and moves? If so what are some possibilities?

John Hollinger
  (3:40 PM)

I see Miami staying very quiet. The news about the low cap next year is the greatest thing that could have happened to them, because the Heat will have more money than anybody next year. If they can just convince Wade to be patient they can add Bosh and another high-priced (but not max) FA.

John (Portland)

If Portland signs Milsap without sign and trade, then they deal Prizbilla and Outlaw to Pistons for Prince. Makes sense for both teams doesn't it?

John Hollinger
  (3:41 PM)

I like Prince a lot for Portland, yes, and that would clean up the jam in the frontcourt, but I think the Blazers would be very skittish about trading Joel until they see Oden make it through a season in one piece.

Ken (VA)

John - If the Hawks keep everyone together, plus Crawford and Teague, are they one veteran big man away from catching that 3 seed, or are they stuck at the 4??

John Hollinger
  (3:42 PM)

I think Hawks are still stuck in the second tier with teams like the Wizards, Bulls and possibly Raptors. Top three in the East will win 60 or get close to it; Hawks look more like a mid-high 40s team to me right now. Which is still a hell of a lot better than what they used to be, I might add.

Tim Duncan (San Antonio)

With so many teams making big moves, can I really win a championship next year? Assume Manu is totally healthy.

John Hollinger
  (3:43 PM)

The problem isn't Manu's health, it's Duncan's. We just don't know how much the knees are going to hinder him next season, and that's the biggest variable for the Spurs going forward. Based on their spending this summer, seems to me they think they have one year, two max, before they have to start over.

Sam (Chicago)

Do you see next year as 6 teams really trying to win a championship? Mavs, Spurs, Laker in the West and Celtics, Cavs, Magic in the East? Those 6 teams seem to be making bold moves and nobody else seems to really be trying to get in the mix.

John Hollinger
  (3:45 PM)

I'd mostly agree, except that I think Washington and Portland are trying very hard to join them and that Denver still has to be taken seriously. By the way, Denver' starting five alone will be a luxury tax team next year... that's why they're not exactly going crazy on free agent signings this summer.

josh (FL)

how much better did dallas get with the players they have picked up? and are they in real nba contenders?

John Hollinger
  (3:46 PM)

The unknown variable here is age. Dallas has eight guys who played really well last year, but seven of them will be in their 30s by the time the playoffs start. If they hold up the Mavs are serious contenders, but obviously there's a risk that this could all go downhill with alarming speed.

John Carr (Charleston, SC)

How do you think Antonio McDyess and Richard Jefferson will fit on the court with TD, TP, and Manu? Seems like a solid veteran 5 to have on the court during crunch time...

John Hollinger
  (3:48 PM)

Outstanding starting five, I agree, and the pieces fit together pretty well since McDyess can shoot and Jefferson has become fairly proficient at that corner 3. And having Mason and Bonner off the bench as snipers is a nice luxury too. But that's another old team trying to hold it together, much like Dallas.

Yatin Patel (LA)

PLEASE take a Hornets question. They clearly don't have the $ to do anything in free agency, so when/where is Chandler going? Or is there an outside chance the current team remains intact (and hopefully healthy)?

John Hollinger
  (3:49 PM)

I can't imagine them remaining intact given that they're not only a tax team this year, but well into the tax a year from now. Best-case scenario is that they play it out with the current roster till the trade deadline and then try to dump money if they're not in the top four, but I think we might see them making moves in August or September.

Aaron (Fredericton)

Riddle me this Holli, now that the Raps can use their MLE, who do they target?

John Hollinger
  (3:51 PM)

Frontcourt definitely. I'm hearing Rasho Nesterovic, they could also be a player for Bass. Apparently backup PG a lower priority -- they like Roko, for some reason, and they can always go "No PG" like Orlando did if they have Turk and Delfino on the wings.

Mike (Summer, PA)

Rank the likelyhood of where AI ends up next year: Bobcats, Heat, Grizzlies, elsewhere, retired. Thanks!

John Hollinger
  (3:51 PM)

I think his best shot is still Memphis on a one-year deal, followed by Charlotte. Griz are the only team that can pay him more than the midlevel.

Tom (River North)

John, am I the only one that thinks it is crazy to pay someone $10 million that is coming off the bench (Ben Gordon)? As you've mentioned before, Rip's extension basically makes it tough to trade him. Also, it kind of sounded like the Pistons were Gordon's primary suitor. Did they overpay?

John Hollinger
  (3:53 PM)

Yes, they overpaid, and I'm not sure why they went up to $58 million (even more than the originally reported $55 million) when I doubt anyone else would have even given $50M. Also, it's a little awkward to announce that Rip is the starter when at this point in their careers Gordon's clearly better.

Scott (Santa Barbara, CA)

Is Howard really going to play the 2? How about Kaman or Camby to Detroit, RIP to Dallas, and Howard to the Clips? This all works cap wise.

John Hollinger
  (3:54 PM)

We'll see a lot of trade speculation with Howard. But remember, most of his minutes will still come at the 3-- he's just beginning games at the 2 so they can bring Terry off the bench.

JR (Chicago)

Given New Orleans' financial situation, would a combination of Tyrus Thomas, Tim Thomas and a 1st round pick for David West make sense for both teams? I've been underwhelmed by the Bulls' moves this offseason, and I think West would give them a much needed post presence.

John Hollinger
  (3:56 PM)

Hornets aren't holding a fire sale. And remember, to help them get under the tax this year you need either cap space or a non-guaranteed contract or a buyout candidate. That's why Chandler for Ben Wallace appeals to them -- they can buy out Ben and be rid of their tax exposure.

Andrew (Orlando)

Can you atleast answer one Orlando Magic question? Anything in free agency for the Magic????

John Hollinger
  (3:57 PM)

Apparently they wanted Sheed, so they're open to using the midlevel for frontcourt help. I think Nesterovic would be a good fit there, though not at such a high price. Otherwise I think they're going to be looking at minimum-type deals -- they're already a tax team both this year and next.

jdote (ma)

why no love for golden state? team has a lot of talent and finally some stability at the 4 and 5 positions

John Hollinger
  (3:58 PM)

that is the last time this season you will hear "stability" and "golden state" in the same sentence. Best news out of GST is that Cohan may sell the team; otherwise the leadership mess is likely to screw up what is possibly playoff-caliber talent on the court.

Cody Sprance (Saugerties,NY)

Do you think the nets are tageting anyone... they need someone to help harris... possibly a shooting guard??!!??!! I really think they need someone

John Hollinger
  (3:59 PM)

The Nets need to target Warren Buffet or Bill Gates; they're hemorrhaging cash and that's why they traded Carter and have stayed out of the free agent market. They already have 13 or 14 players under contract (can't remember offhand) and I'm pretty sure they're done unless they see something tasty for the minimum.

Joe ((NY))

any truth to boozer to chicago rumors?

John Hollinger
  (4:00 PM)

I've had about ten people ask me in here about Boozer to Chicago or three-way deals to Portland, but I haven't heard a peep yet.

Kris (Salt Lake City)

What are the odds the Jazz move AK? He seems like the type of player Don Nelson would hate...seems like a perfect player for Cohan to take on.

John Hollinger
  (4:01 PM)

Forget it, you're stuck with him unless you want to part with the New York pick AND take back another player somebody hates who makes in the $7-10 million range. Can't see Jazz doing that.

Steve (Mobile)

What are Lamar Odom's options at this point? With the Dallas and San Antonio improvements, do they need to re-sign him to remain favorites in the west?

John Hollinger
  (4:03 PM)

Lakers have to be careful not to overplay their hand lest he ditch them for Portland in anger, but otherwise I think he'll back -- similar money to Marion I'd guess.

Bob (Detroit)

Tell that guy you can get ESPN mag subscription for like $10 a year, and that includes free insider!!! Great Deal!

Brett (Connecticut)

If Grant Hill chooses to sign with the Knicks do you think that he make the Knicks a better team?

John Hollinger
  (4:04 PM)

Here's what I don't get about Hill to the Knicks -- everyone says Phoenix's doctors did wonders with him. Everyone thinks the Knicks docs are quacks. So what good will he do NY if he plays 23 games? New York's free agent strategy this summer leaves me baffled.

Adam (OH)

Odem 10X > than Marion tho?

John Hollinger
  (4:05 PM)

Better player, yes, but he's giving a hometown discount. Maybe I undersold it and he ends up with $50M, we'll see.

Jeff (Akron)

Who do the Cavs target next with their leftover exceptions money? Kleiza, Frye, someone else under the radar? I thought they wanted to acquire a stretch 4 in free agency?

John Hollinger
  (4:05 PM)

Stretch 4 would be the goal, and I'd say Frye is at or near the top of their list. Wouldn't be surprised if they got something done soon here.

Ian (Corvallis)

Is Memphis overtaking the Clippers as the worst franchise. Seems like all they do is help everyone else get better... except when they screw over the Blazers.

John Hollinger
  (4:07 PM)

Memphis got $2.5 million for trading Greg Buckner for Jerry Stackhouse. They got a lot more out of the deal than Orlando did. You can argue they should charge more for renting their cap space, but there was a clear benefit here .. even if it wasn't an on-court benefit. With Heisley trying to save bucks anywhere he can, I'm sure that was the driver behind the decision.

Matt (Columbus (OH))

Does drafting Hansbrough make Foster a likely trade candidate this year?

John Hollinger
  (4:08 PM)

I don't believe the Pacers will trade Foster, they view him as an important part of their core. Denver made a hard push for him last year and couldn't shake him loose, even with a pretty strong offer.

Steve (Mobile)

With Hedo gone, will the Magic be looking for a 4 and try to slide Lewis to the 3 (with Carter at the 2) or will they be looking for a 2 or 3 and continue with Lewis at the 4?

John Hollinger
  (4:09 PM)

Pietrus and Redick at the 2, Carter at the 3, Lewis at the 4. But if they sign a player it will be a 4, preferably a stretch 4 who can play with Lewis and Carter as the wings at times.

Charles (Dayton, Ohio)

John please tell Ian that Memphis would have to do plenty more wrong to reach that status . lol

Danny (Seattle)

Who's the worse owner out of the 3....Sterling, Heisley or Cohan?

John Hollinger
  (4:10 PM)

Sterling still in a league of his own. Cohan, Heisley, Taylor, Dolan round out the bottom five.

Steve (Cleveland)

Any take on the Orlando Summer League thus far, Ryan Anderson is looking like a contributor for a contender.

John Hollinger
  (4:11 PM)

Summer League is mostly worthless as far as projecting NBA success goes. But I do think Anderson can help Orlando this year, yes.

Kevin (Orlando)

Is orlando over the tax right now if not signing anymore players?

John Hollinger
  (4:12 PM)

Yes, and they still have some open roster spots so they need to sign a few more guys, even if its to minimum contracts. A few folks pointed out Ryan Anderson is a stretch 4 and already on the roster; I'm not sure they're sold on him though. Magic also need a backup 5 presuming they don't match Gortat, although it may be a hybrid 4/5 type like Bass.

Manong (Houston)

Is YAO MING out of the season after the league approved the injury exception? or He can still come back and play around playoff?? please answer

John Hollinger
  (4:14 PM)

The injury exception has nothing to do with it; Yao can come back and play when he's healthy. Actually I'm surprised the league granted it, but perhaps the Rockets shared some info with them that they haven't shared with us.

Sam (NYC)

any chance of Sessions to Portland?

John Hollinger
  (4:15 PM)

I'd classify that as possible, but not very likely. Blazers would have to go a few more rungs down their free agent list before they get to him.

Joe (Ri)

Are we allowed to talk celtics? Who do they target next after 'Sheed?

John Hollinger
  (4:16 PM)

Not much left to target since they're down to the biannual exception now. Bigger question is whether they'll got back to pursuing a Rondo trade as they did earlier this summer. Celtics could also sign-and-trade Big Baby to get a player, though their roster is starting to get awfully spendy already.

matt (atl)

John:Please answer!!!!!How does a childress for Bowen sign and trade make any sense for the Hawks? Bowen's offense was never very good and considering he is about 100 years-old, he is barely more helpful than Bibby on defense.

John Hollinger
  (4:17 PM)

I left out the part about a protected first-round pick; that would be the Hawks' incentive to participate. Bowen's contract is only partially guaranteed and Hawks would waive him in this scenario.

Joe (Dayton, OH)

Essentially, Chris Wallace traded Darko for Zach Randolph. Z-Bo is a headache, but still way better than Milicic. Finally a good deal by Mr. Wallace?

John Hollinger
  (4:18 PM)

First of all, it wasn't Wallace -- that was Heisley all the way. And if they wanted a $17 mil power forward so bad, they could have just not traded Pau and had a better player at the same price. That was Heisley's call too. No GM is more hamstrung by the whims of his owner.

Kenny Q (Toronto)

Since toronto still has a MLE, is there any chance of them going for AI? We have a hole at the 2 guard spot that he can fill and im pretty sure he'd like coming to T.O rather than memphis...

John Hollinger
  (4:19 PM)

That's intriguing but I don't think he fits BC's vision for the team of having lots of shooters and passers -- AI is a straight 1-on-1 guy.

Gabe (Florida)

John Please answer this:Do you think the Miami Heat will be able to sign a max free agent in 2010? If so, who are the top three players the Heat will target?

John Hollinger
  (4:21 PM)

Yes, I absolutely do. Between the climate and the lax of income tax, they're in a great situation to get free agents. I'm thinking they'll target Bosh and Amare (Florida native); LeBron is a pipe dream.

Dave (MN)

Assuming we've never seen "Being John Malkovich," what do you really think of Haislip and how good he can be?

John Hollinger
  (4:22 PM)

Fifth big man at best. This year's Anthony Tolliver.

John Hollinger
  (4:22 PM)

Folks, that's all the time I have, but thanks again for the great questions and we'll do this again at the same time next week.