Aloha everyone. Great to be with you today. Lots of stuff to talk about trades, AI, even a little NBA draft in honor of ESPN's 24 hours of college hoops. Let's roll.
Sad day for Allen Iverson fans. I count myself among them but both his body and the game passed him by. This isn't the late 90's, or early 00's where you could be a superstar dominating the ball for 24 seconds at a time taking step back jumpers. Fans are too smart for that now. Who in their right mind would want him now, no his terms?
"Sad" That's exactly how one long-term GM described it to me yesterday. Iverson's body can't do what his mind still thinks it can do. Basketball has been his whole life. It's tough to let this go. He can still play for many years if he would accept a lesser role. I just don't see him do it. Who's going to take him now? I think Larry Brown is the only one crazy enough to do it.
Why in the world isn't A.I. even trying to join a contender?
There isn't a contender out there that wants him.
In the long-run, what's your take on the Cavaliers not landing Stephen Jackson? For some reason, I think they can do better at the deadline.
I do too. I didn't like Jax to the Cavs. They were hemming themselves in to a bad predicament with the cap. If Jax didn't work out, they'd be stuck with him and that would only encourage LeBron to bolt. What the Cavs need right now is young players to build around LeBron. Not veterans past their prime (ie. Shaq, Anthony Parker and Jax). I think they've fundamentally taken the wrong approach to building a team around 'Bron.
Did anyone REALLY think Brandon Jennings was going to be THIS good after his disappointing year in Europe? He's one of the best rookies I've ever seen so far. Why do you think there's such a disconnect between his so-so play in Europe and his blossoming in the NBA?
No. Not this good after 8 games. But did some scouts think he was the 2nd or 3rd best player in the draft? Absolutely. Remember he was ranked on our big board as the 4th best prospect for most of the year. The scouts that followed him closely thought he was going to be a star. The GMs and coaches who followed him from a distance had legitimate concerns. It didn't help that he was awful in workouts and blew a number of personal interviews with league execs. But from a talent perspective ... yeah, some people knew. Check this out:http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/10335/botching-the-italian-job-the-case-of-brandon-jennings
@ChadFordInsider, Can you give us a quick breakdown of why you think the Nocioni trade would be good for the Celtics?
He's the type of gritty role player who can play several positions for them, hit shots and give them energy. Yes, he's expensive (3 years, $21 million left on his deal). But the Celtics have a 2 year window. It's not about saving $$ in Boston. That will come soon enough. They need every advantage they can get to win. Adding Nocioni is a great fit for them and they give up virtually nothing in return. I think it would make the Celtics the favorites in the East.
Sixers seem to be working hard to move Dalembert. Is there any chance of them actually doing it?
It's tough. The only two teams with any real interest have been Sacramento and Charlotte. The problem is that the Sixers want salary cap relief in return. Charlotte just trade their cap relief away to Golden State for Stephen Jackson. Kings need a third team to make things happen. They aren't swapping Dalembert for Kenny Thomas straight up. But from a broader perspective ... Sixers looking to dump contracts. They've come a long way from the euphoria that surrounded the Elton Brand signing a little over 17 months ago.
Why in the world would the Kings want Dalembert. If you're gonna pay for the salary of a veteran, why not Keep Nocioni who is better than Dalembert?
t's a good question. I think they feel they need depth on the front line ... especially a shot blocking presence. And Nocioni's contract goes until the summer of 2012. Dalembert comes off the books in summer of 2011.
What happened to Okafor?
From what I can gather, both sides say the talks never happened. But you know how this goes. That's what everyone says once these things get out. While New Orleans is looking to slash payroll, I think they'll want more than Kenny Thomas' expiring contract for Okafor. Dalembert may be the best they can do.
Can the Pacers trade some of their expiring contracts at the end of the season for an all-star? Kevin Martin perhaps.
Maybe. They'll look into it. They know that using their expiring contracts as trade bait may be more effective than trying to sign a big free agent in 2011. And yes, I think there's a chance that Kevin Martin goes on the block. Tyreke Evans is a two, not a one and he's been thriving since the position change. That makes Martin expendable.
Tyler Hansbrough, limited time but...better than people expected?
He's a beast. Once he figures out how to get his shot off against the longer, more athletic bigs in the NBA, he may be a decent scorer too. I think he'll end up being a nice pick for the Pacers. They really needed that toughness and Hansbrough and Dahntay Jones are bringing it right now.
Is there any hope for the Warriors?
Well, they made a smart trade by shipping Jax out for Radmanovic and Raja Bell. But it doesn't sound like it was the smartest trade out there. If they really could've have Wally Szcerbiak and Delonte West (both expiring contracts) for Jax, they should've taken that and ran. But let's face it, they also need to trade Corey Maggette and Monta Ellis. They need to fire Don Nelson and Larry Riley and then Chris Cohan needs to sell the team. The Warriors, in other words, are a long way away from being out of the woods.
Does the trade for Jax improve the Bobcats?
For a week before Larry Brown decides he wants to trade him again. The problem with Brown is that, from week to week, he can move from being in love with you to wanting you out. When a team had a strong GM like Joe Dumars, they were able to tell Larry no. But since Michael Jordan is running the team from the golf course, Larry has been getting their way. The result? The team is only marginally better and they're in bad shape financially for years going forward. This is another team that needs to sell, fire everyone, and restart.
Ai to the Big Apple? --> Not the worst record in the NBA?
I don't think Donnie Walsh or Mike D'Antoni really want that headache. They have enough problems in NY at the moment. Team is playing poorly. D'Antoni is unhappy. The future doesn't look as bright in New York as it once did. Unless Walsh pulls off a miracle Eddy Curry and Jared Jeffries for cap space trade before the deadline, I think they'll have a solid, but ultimately disappointing summer. It's going to take years to undo what Isiah Thomas did to the franchise. I think we we're all a little naive that Walsh could reset the whole franchise in 2 years. Not sure anyone could.
Seems like the lakers are not the same team as last year? Do you see anything wrong with the lakers this year?
They don't have Pau Gasol. When he returns, I think they'll be fine. Still my favorites to win the West.
Should we offically say Hawks are contenders?
I think that's fair. They have a ton of talent and every year they keep taking another step. Joe Johnson has been an early MVP candidate. Josh Smith has been on fire. They really look great. I still favor Orlando, Boston and Cleveland. But Atlanta's closer than I thought they'd be.
Big Hawks fan. Could it possibly have worked out better for the Hawks getting Marvin Williams over Chris Paul (Salary wise -- freeing up money for Joe Johnson)... and also producing worst teams for higher draft picks?
Ummmm ... Phil (if that's your real name), let's not go that far. They'd be better off with CP3. Nice try. I know this is you Billy Knight.
The suns are off to a GReat start and even though its too ealry to tell, they are looking like contenders. they still are missing something(big man). Who do you think the suns should go after?
The Suns are playing great basketball. Grant Hill looks like he's 25 and Channing Frye has been a big upgrade over Shaq in the middle (and no ... I never envisioned that statement coming out of my fingers). However, I don't think they'll make a move for another veteran and I'm still pessimistic long term. I don't think they win a 7 game series against the Lakers come playoff time and if Amare bolts this summer, there isn't much left.
Will the "Tinsley for Iverson" swap make the grizzlies any better? Any comment on Gasol and Randolph season so far?
Well, Tinsley is more motivated than Iverson to be on his best behavior. He's sick of sitting out and wants to prove to a NBA team that he's still a good player. So I think the Grizzlies will see a motivated player willing to conform ... unless that is, he isn't getting playing time. Then there'd be trouble. Grizzlies have a lot of nice players. Love Gay and OJ. Gasol's been very good. Still believe that Conley has a chance to be good. Randolph is talented, albeit most teams wouldn't touch him. But put them all together and they don't add up. No chemistry. Just talent thrown out there. Reminds me a bit of the Isiah Thomas approach to building a team.
So Mavericks questions are still getting avoided, but I will take my shot? After last nights victory, can anyone really question the quality of depth of the Mavericks, as well as their starting Five, as legitimate title contenders?
Marc Stein has reserved all Mavs (and Cal State Fullerton) questions for himself.
Is there any possibility that David Stern or anyone can set up a system where owners who give the NBA a bad name (Sterling) or owners who simply will not spend and who constantly waste their player's primes (Sarver;Nash) can be voted out ala some for the best interest of the game clause? Or is it something he wont even touch considering the tough economic times.
We all wish it would happen. Dream about it really. But the reality is no ... it will never happen. How great would this league be if all 30 owners were willing to do whatever it took to win?
thunder make the playoffs this year?
No, but they'll be a 35 to 40 win team. When they're good, they're very good. But they've been pretty uneven ... especially Westbrook.
"The Isiah Approach" a tell all confession of how to mess an NBA franchise up for the short and long term. You telling me you wouldn't buy and read it. Hey speaking of Isiah... He gave my Jazz a top five pick this year... Who should we go get with it?
And how about Isiah begging Tulsa's head coach to pull his starters with 10 minutes to go in the game. He's the gift that keeps on giving.
Joe D has to be pretty happy with his signings of Ben Gordon and Villenueava right?
Yes. But Joe D wants to win a championship and he knows a lot more has to happen to get there. I think at some point we'll see Rip and Tayshaun on the block as Joe D tries to add a dominant low post player to play alongside all of his shooters.
Chad, is there any way John Wall won't be the first pick in the draft and if so who would be?
He's the odds on favorite, though it may be premature to say he's a lock one game into the season (though a game winning jumper sure helped the legend). A few other players like Georgia Tech's Derrick Favors, UNC's Ed Davis and maybe Georgetown's Greg Monroe are candidates. But the odds are strongly in Wall's favor.
Coming into this week, how was Evan Turner more than 70 spots higher on your draft board than Manny Harris? He's better because he's more efficient as a scorer (although Manny's offense undoubtedly hurts him), but Harris is the same kind of all-around guy and he doesn't get the luxury of going one on one all game (which is his strength).
Harris and Turner both have had triple doubles this year. However Turner is bigger, more efficient and more consistent. Turner looks like a Top 10 pick at the moment. Harris could be a first rounder, but he's going to have to consistently put up good numbers.
Chad Ford, be smart and put Paul George on your draft board as one the the top prospects in this upcoming draft.
He's there. But not going overboard until we see him overcome a few of the weaknesses scouts saw last year -- mainly consistency. He didn't play hard every night and that scares people. Still we have him ranked as the 26th best prospect and with a strong season, he could go lottery.
Sorry everyone ... having issues posting comments and answers. Net's really, really slow.
Still having trouble posting questions and have to run. Sorry for the tech problems folks. We'll try it again next week.