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December 14, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Chris Sheridan

Chris Sheridan
  (3:02 PM)

Good afternoon from New York, where it is only 20 1-2 hours until the World Championship draw is held in Turkey and we find out who -- and where -- Team USA gets to play in the first round next summer. I have a story up on this in the news headlines box on the main NBA page, so plz go check it out. Much more to come after tomorrow's draw, so check back on the main page tomorrow for an analysis of the draw column, and on TrueHoop, where I'll post a little something extra. Plenty of NBA stuff to talk about, too, and I'll warn you in advance that I may show a pro-Philly tilt after having spent half of last week there covering Allen Iverson's return. Off we go ...

Michael (PDX)

Do you see the Blazers making a move soon? If so, who do you think they'll go after?

Chris Sheridan
  (3:07 PM)

Well, they're calling Tuesday Andre Miller Day aty water coolers around the NBA, because lots of people thought the Blazers signed him simply to be a trade asset, and tomorrow is the first day he is eligible to be traded (check Marc Stein's Weekend Dime for a list of all players with trade restrictions, and when they expire). I think Portland tipped its hand when it went after a wing player in Hedo Turkoglu right from the get-go, and I think that remains a spot they need to fill (along with a big body to backup Joel P. It is a well-known fact around the league that the Knicks are willing to move Al Harrington, who would be a fantastic fit for Portland, but the Blazers would have to take back Jeffries in order for the Knicks to make that deal, and when you throw him in it is very hard to find enough ballast to go along with Andre (and Rudy Fernandez, whom the Knicks would insist upon) to make the deal work.

Rick (Philly)

We tried a new coach. We tried signing AI. What should the sixers do since everything seems to be falling apart?

Chris Sheridan
  (3:09 PM)

For starters, get Andre Iguodala to hit one of those last-second game-winners he keeps missing. That would cure a lot. Second, be patient with Speights. He was playing great before he got hurt. Third, remember what conference you play in. A week ago, the Knicks were more of a laughingstock than y'all were. Now, they're a relative juggernaut.

Lior (Houston)

Does it make sense to you that: (a) TMAC is on the all star ballot (b) He's 2nd in voting.

Chris Sheridan
  (3:12 PM)

No in both cases. But I was not on the panel that picked the ballot names (that would be, ahem, Stein), so I take no responsibility. My question is this: How much support is T.Mac getting from online voters, specifically overseaso online voters. gets a ton of traffic from China, and I think the NBA should give us a breakdown of where specific pockets of All-Star support are coming from.

Juicebox (Orlando)

Do you think that the Magic will move Gortat this year or wait until the summer of 2010?

Chris Sheridan
  (3:15 PM)

Depends on what kins of a situation he was being traded into, since he has a veto (as does Paul Millsap, since their offer sheets were matched). Orlando is forbidden to trade him to Dallas (also part of the restricted free agent matching rules), and it's hard for me to see the Magic getting that kind of a talent at that kind of a price who would be that good of an insurance policy behind Dwight. So I see Gortat sitting put this season, and maybe for a long time after that, too. Such are the perils of signing for mid-level money as a restricted free agent 7-foot center.

Dan (DC)

Since we're talking about teams with problems, what's to be done with the Wizards? I'm afraid they are going to make salary dump plays with the poor record and new ownership.

Chris Sheridan
  (3:19 PM)

They boggle my mind, and I have noticed that Gilbert Arenas' mind has seemed to be racing as he has stepped to the FT line in the last two games (or two of the last three, can't quite recall) with a chance to ice or solidify both games, and missed both shots both times. Missed 'em badly, too. And in yesterday's game those two misses are what cost them that game vs. the Pacers. (The ending of that game, BTW, should be used as a case study on how to correctly use video review). So that's a long way of saying they got to get their heads on straight, beginning with Gilbert. Those guys haven't been on the same page in the locker room this year -- or a lot of times in years past, too (at least in the Haywood-Thomas feud days). Still, they have a new coach, we'e onl a quarter of the way into the season, and again: they play in the East, where everyone except the Nets is one good 7-game stretch from being a playoff team.

Will (WV)

Do you think the departure of Gay this off season will boost Mayo up to the top 10-15 scorers in the NBA?

Chris Sheridan
  (3:22 PM)

Whoa? The departure? Not so fast. The Grizz could be playing a game of chicken with Rudy, who is arguably a max player but did not get a max offer from Memphis. if Rudy goes out and signs a max offer sheet next summer with another team, he can only get five years and 8 percent raises max, instead of six years and 12.5 percent raises. That right there might be incentive enough for the Grizz to match _ getting a max player at a discount.

Big Moe (Charlotte NC)

I'm one of the biggest Laker fans there is but I find myself at a cross roads..Could the one thing that makes Kobe a great player also be his biggest flaw? I admire his will and competivness but playing wiht a broke finger & flu sympthms really nesscary? At one point does someone ( PHIL, GASOL, ARTEST or his best friend FISHER) say Kobe, relax ..we got this tonight? I mean, it's great he's trusting his team mates while he's on the court but shouldn't he trust them when he's off too? What's your thoughts?

Chris Sheridan
  (3:26 PM)

It's not my index finger, so I don't know how much it is hurting him. I also don't know and whether rest would fix it or just keep him from making it worse. i think if the pain persists and his shot suffers, he'll do whatever is the right thing for the team -- even if it means a 2-month recovery in which the Lakers would likely drop to the middle of the pack in the West. Cuz even if they finish 5th, there is no one in that conference who scares them when they are at full strength.

Chris Sheridan
  (3:26 PM)

It's not my index finger, so I don't know how much it is hurting him. I also don't know and whether rest would fix it or just keep him from making it worse. i think if the pain persists and his shot suffers, he'll do whatever is the right thing for the team -- even if it means a 2-month recovery in which the Lakers would likely drop to the middle of the pack in the West. Cuz even if they finish 5th, there is no one in that conference who scares them when they are at full strength.

Felix (Riga, Latvia)

Do you think Griffin could winn ROY? I think he doesn't deserve it, unless he literally averages 30+15 when he comes in. Evans and Jennings have allready played great and taken their teams further than we thought. It should be decided between them

Chris Sheridan
  (3:30 PM)

First of all, apologies for the slowness. The chat room software apparently has the hiccups today. as for your question, Felix ...

Chris Sheridan
  (3:32 PM)

Jennings and Evans have been the flavors of the month, and January might bring someone else. I think Griffin is going to take some time to get himself established in that rotation, especially with Thornton playing so well recently, and the lack of a Camby trade creating that logjam in the middle with Kaman. In other words, Griffin has to klearn on the fly and earn his minutes at the same time, which is a tough task when everyone around him has 25-30 games under their belts. That being said, if he plays to his potential in feb., March and April, he can still win ROY. Very much so.

Carlos (Mexico)

The grizzlies have been great lately, beating good teams and destroying the bad teams. With 2 massive expiring contracts next year (randolph and jaric) and 3 first rounders in the upcoming draft, do you think they will surpass the thunder for the best young team title ?

Chris Sheridan
  (3:37 PM)

Carlos, I've kind of felt like a freak job recently, but I've really enjoyed watching Grizzlies games recently. I'm as astounded as anyone by their success, but Rudy Gay is wonderful to watch, Marc Gasol is developing at such a rate that people might one day say he was better than Pau (I have had Spanish journalists tell me this will be the case in 10 years), and there's always the freak factor in that you might actually see Zack Randolph get an assist. They have what the Thunder need -- a big post presence at both the 4 and 5 -- and I will say, strange as it seems to say it, they have a chance at peaking before OKC does.

Jake (Salt Lake)

Do you see the Jazz making any moves to try to make a push? Is AK's contract short enough now that teams might be willing to take it on? Thanks.

Chris Sheridan
  (3:40 PM)

I think they want to see what they're going to get out of Miles and now Korver not that both are halthy, and make their perimeter game their focus at the trade deadline if they feel they're lacking at that position. I still think AK's contract is too big to be moved, but you never know. Heck, Jerome James got traded last year and has already been in trade rumors this year.

josh (orlando)

rumblings of TMac to Miami... what say you?

Chris Sheridan
  (3:44 PM)

For what? He makes $23.5 million, and the Heat only have Haslem's $8 million expiring deal unless they want to give the Rockets Jermaine O'Neal, too, along with Daequan Cook (on the books for $2.2 million next season) while taking back Brent Barry's contract. That would give the Heat real money savings this year and an additional $2 million to play with next summer when they, the Knicks and nets will all be the heaviest hitters in terms of cap room.

Brian (SF)

The Cavs don't seem to have a go to five man lineup and on a lot of nights, everything besides Lebron and Mo Williams looks like a platoon. Is this a cause for concern, or do you think the roles on the team need to be better defined?

Chris Sheridan
  (3:48 PM)

That's what they are, Brian, a team with a platoon at every position except those two. And those platoons have flaws _ Shaquille too immobile and Z took non-physical at center, Andy a bad shooter and Hickson a non-aggressive rebounder at 4, West-Gibson a crapshoot every night at 2. Is this a cause for concern? Yes. Can it be overcome by the greatness of one player? Yes.

Jon (NYC)

Would Harrington, Jeffries and the savings from Cuttino Mobley's contract be enough to get T-Mac from the Rockets?

Chris Sheridan
  (3:50 PM)

Donnie Walsh would do that deal in a second, and he'd throw in $3 million cash to get it done. But the Rockets have not been receptive to the Knicks inquiries in the past re McGrady, who would be a panacea for NY's cap situation if they could move Jeffries/Curry in a McGrady deal.

Jim (Providence)

The genius of Danny Ainge was in keeping Rondo out of the Garnett trade...or was it the stupidity of McHale for not insisting on his inclusion?!?!

Chris Sheridan
  (3:52 PM)

Maybe the credit should go to the guy on ainge's staff who worked the phones on the draft day deal that allowed them to get the Suns' pick and take Rondo. That was the summer, you'll remember, when the Suns handed $20-plus million to Marcus Banks and sold the pick that was used on Rondo. When they do the top 10 worst deals of this decade, that one is on the list.

Curtis (New York)

Hey Chris thanks for chatting today. I know you get tons of Knicks questions in regard to 2010 but I am not asking about Lebron coming. I want to know what can the Knicks do within the next 2-3 years to be contenders. Do we need to make some smart moves now, pick up someone like Joe Johnson or Amare, then build from there. Then wait for Curry to come off the books and compliment the team with someone like CP3 in 2011? Would something like this work?

Chris Sheridan
  (3:55 PM)

Bottom line: If they can't get Curry and Jeffries off the books by June 31, they sell their top max free agent candidate on the idea that they'll be able to go get another max guy in 2011 with the Curry/Jeffries money.

Zach (Portland)

But how about Gortat to the Blazers? Any way that could happen?

Chris Sheridan
  (3:56 PM)

Only if Orlando gets someone back who can provide adequate Dwight insurance, and Portland doesn't have that (although Przybilla is nice Oden insurance).

Jordan (Toronto)

Gortat and Bass plus a number 1 pick to the Raptors for Bargnani?

Chris Sheridan
  (3:58 PM)

Never in a million years would Toronto do that.

John (Denver)

Do you think the Nuggets need/will make a move?

Chris Sheridan
  (4:00 PM)

I still think they need an additional shooter/scorer off the bench like they had in Kleiza last yar, and AC is not the same level of defender in reserve as Dahntay Jones was. If J.R. smith's game doesn't rise up a notch soon, I could see them entertaining offers for someone similar to him who plays better D.

Chris Sheridan
  (4:00 PM)

That's a wrap, folks. See you next Monday, same time, same place.