Aloha everyone and Happy Holidays! Thanks for joining us today. Lots of NBA stuff to talk about. Coaches on the hot seat. Trade rumors, etc. We'll also keep you up to date on the NBA draft. So let's roll.
Hey Chad, whatsup with Tiny Nate in NY? Are there any teams interested?? I think his mouth is a little too big for his game right now...
There wasn't an enormous amount of interest in Nate Robinson this summer. He's clearly a terrific scorer. But his ego, combined with his small stature, make him difficult for coaches to deal with. I think fans love him more than coaches do.
Can Evans and Martin co-exist together? It has been a pleasure to watch Evans grow without Kevin on the floor. What is your take?
I think the Kings are already beginning to explore their options with Kevin Martin. Clearly Tyreke Evans is the teams new alpha dog and they'd be better off with him playing the 2 and getting a real point guard on the team. I think there will be a lot of interest in Martin when he comes back and could definitely see the Kings making a move by the trade deadline. I wonder if the Wolves would send a package of Mark Blount and Oleksiy Pecherov's expiring contract and the rights to Ricky Rubio whether the Kings would bite. Would be a great deal for both teams.
Kobe, Melo, Dirk or Lebron? Who has been the MVP with 40% of the season played?
1. LeBron 2. Melo
Will Del Negro get a pink slip in his stocking this year?
Bulls fired two coaches on Christmas Eve ... so he might get an early Christmas present this year. Last night's collapse was the worst I've ever seen. Bulls clearly have more talent than they are showing. With that said, this isn't all Vinnie's fault. The loss of Ben Gordon has really hurt the team. Bulls are another team who should probably make a run at Kevin Martin. They really need help offensively.
Chad, of the names tossed around for the CAVS to trade for: troy murphy, a randolph, or jamison, which one has the most potential, who would be the best fit, and what would the CAVS give up?
Problem for Cavs is that they only thing they really have to offer is cap relief. They have a bunch of expiring contracts ... but little in the way of talent that they're willing to swap back. As for the three guys mentioned here's how it breaks down: Anthony Randolph has the most long term upside, but he's very raw and the word out of Golden State is that he isn't the easiest guy to coach in the world. Jamison has the biggest immediate impact, but he's also 33 years old. Murphy is the middle ground. He's younger, has a better contract than Jamison and can rebound and really stretch the defense. Most realistically, I see them landing Murphy. Given Indy's woes right now, I think that an expiring contract for Murph might hit the spot.
Is this just beginners luck, or am I actually going to pan out the way everyone is hoping?
Bender's looked good early, but everyone is being cautious. He had knee problems that forced retirement. I'm told that one one of his knees, the cartilage is gone and that it's basically bone on bone. Right now he's playing well and playing pain free, but over the course of the season? We'll see. If he can keep this up, obviously it's a huge score for Donnie Walsh and the Knicks. But don't go overboard yet. One week is not an entire season.
A lump of coal for you, Mr. Ford. Next year, I would like to see you on the Nice List.
Clearly Santa's a Kobe fan ... along with the thousand or so readers writing in right now telling me I'm an idiot for picking LeBron or Melo over Kobe in the MVP race.
With Blake Griffin coming back, is this the year that the Clippers make the playoffs? (Seriously, I'm not joking)
I thought they'd be a playoff team pre-season and frankly, given how the West has played out, still think they can make it as long as Griffin can deliver relatively quickly. He'll make a big difference. So yeah, I still have them pegged as an 8th seed.
Why won't you answer a kings question? Are you still bitter that your Jerry Stackhouse comparison as what Evans would be has been wrong?
I think Evans has been better. But not by much. Here's a comparison from their rookie years.Evans: 36 mpg, 20 ppg, 5 rpg, 5 apg, 46% FG, 27% 3, 3 TO pgStack: 37 mpg, 19 ppg, 4 rpg, 4 apg, 41% FG, 32% 3, 3 TO pg
numbers dont tell the whole story! stackhouse was NOWHERE
Not true. Lots of people at the time felt Stackhouse was going to be a star. The problem for Stack came when AI joined the team and the two of them couldn't exist on the court. He was traded to Detroit, and after a slow start there averaged nearly 30 ppg in his 2000-01 season. Issue for Stack was he never developed a reliable jump shot and was pretty one dimensional. Evans will have the same issues later in his career if he can't become a dangerous shooter. However, I think Evans has more upside because he's a more natural playmaker and I think he has a better body than Stack.
I think the Lakers have a legitimate chance of wining back to back to back titles. What are their percentage chances? Or should I ask the quantitative Hollinger?
I thought the Magic had the edge on the Lakers coming into the season because of Orlando's depth. But honestly the way the Lakers are playing right now, I don't see anyone beating them. Bynum has been a big key. Artest has stayed out of trouble. Kobe's having another terrific season. I could go on and on. But remember, the season isn't over. Bynum's had injury issues. Artest has had combustibility issues. But if the Finals were right now? Lakers would roll.
Will BLAZERS have a chance to trade Blake? Avoid being "Trail Blakers". Will McMillan get fired?
From what I can gather talking to other GMs in the league, the Blazers would prefer to move Blake over Andre Miller or Bayless. Blake is in the last year of his deal, has struggled shooting the ball and may have more trade value than Andre. Plus, I'm not sure Blazers are willing to admit they made a mistake so early on Miller. So yes, I think Blake could end up being the guy they move and no -- I don't think they should fire McMillan. He's a great coach. Who would you replace him with?
"But if the Finals were right now? Lakers would roll"4-0 over Boston & Orlando...?
Yes. Over Boston and Orlando. I wouldn't say 4-0, but 4-1 or 4-2 yes.
Based on today's economy, do you see any one-sided trades happening again this year in the league, a la Pau Gasol?
Yes. The salary cap (and thus the luxury tax threshold) are expected to drop big time this summer. That means GMs will be scrambling to get their payroll either further under the cap or under the luxury tax threshold now. I expect we'll see several very lopsided deals where one team steals talent and the other team gets back tax relief or more cap space.
everyone always points to the Pau trade... the Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson trades were more lopsided... HAS ANYONE SEEN MARC GASOL PLAY???
Marc Gasol is good. Much better than I thought he'd be. But he's not Pau Gasol and you know it "Mark" (ie. Chris Wallace)
Hi Chad, Love your work. Who do you think is a better rookie - Tyreke Evans or Brandon Jennings?
Evans is having the better season in my opinion. Jennings got off the fast start, but he's cooled down considerably. However, on pure upside, I think Jennings may have a slight upper hand. I think he's got serious PG skills and if he had some talent to pass to, I think he could be one of those rare guys who could average 20 ppg and 10 apg for his career.
All I wanted for Hanukkah (and now x-mas) is to know if Jon Scheyer will make the NBA. He's the Jewish Jordan. Seriously his PER is amazing, great defense, no TO's and he can score.
He's been really good, the best senior PG in college basketball. But I can't find a NBA talent evaluator that's sold on him as a NBA player. He lacks great lateral quickness (a key for NBA PGs on both sides of the ball) and might end up being more of a Steve Kerr type shooter. Could he get drafted? Sure. But the Jewish Jordan? Uh ... no. If anyone is the Jewish Jordan, check at Omri Casspi in Sacramento. He's have a terrific rookie year.
Is Wall a lock to be the first player taken in the draft?
Yes. Right now there isn't a close No. 2. Some NBA guys like Derrick Favors, Ed Davis and (if his back heals quickly) Evan Turner. But NO ONE is in the same league with Wall at the moment.
There is a lot of hype recently here in the Bay Area about hometown star Jeremy Lin of Harvard. What do you think his chances really are of making it in the NBA? Do you see him getting drafted?
He's been terrific against big time teams like Boston College and UConn. Had he played in the Pac 10 (shame on Stanford for missing on this kid) he might be the Pac 10 player of the year. Yes, I think he has a real shot of getting drafted -- in the second round.
I have seen on your Big Board that Xavier Henry keeps rising but why hasn't he received the same amount of buzz as John Wall from the national press? Henry is the leading scoring on the #1 team in the country with two pre-season All Americans. This should be a much bigger story in my opinion. What is Henry's draft ceiling?
He's having a great year. No question. But he doesn't have two things that Wall has --- extraterrestrial athleticism and point guard skills. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge Henry fan and have him ranked No. 5 on our Big Board -- but Wall could end up completely redefining the PG position. He's got that much potential
Chad, where is Craig Brackins' draft stock at? I was surprised he didn't come out last year when his stock was so high.
Yeah, it's slipped a bit. He made a mistake in coming back, in my opinion. He's a little older than other guys in his class, he's on a bad team and he really needed to take his game to the next level this year ... and he's not doing that. Still, he's a mid first round pick.
Were NBA scouts concerned about the way Ed Davis got manhandled on the boards by Dexter Pittman.
Not really. Pittman has 70 pounds on Davis and it wasn't like Davis was terrible in that game (20 points, 10 boards). I think what it did do was raise Pittman's draft stock in the minds of a number of NBA decision makers. I think he's now firmly planted as a legit first round prospect -- might even go lottery if he keeps playing like he did against North Carolina. NBA GMs love big men and there is no one bigger than Pittman.
In your opinion is Greg Monroe going in the lottery? I don't think there's a more talented big man than him in this draft.
Too early to tell. He has great size to skill ratio. But he doesn't have a great motor and he's not a great athlete. Those are two huge strikes against him. NBA scouts are really mixed on him. Some have him in their Top 10 ... others in the late first round.
People have compared Wesley Johnson to a smaller Shawn Marion, what do you think about his pro prospects?
I love him. Shawn Marion isn't a bad comparison. I think Josh Smith is another possibility. I think he's a lock for the Top 5 at this point.
How is Gani Lawal's draft stock looking? Does he stay in the draft this time around?
Just wrote about this today on my draft blog -- but Lawal looks great against weak competition and then falls off dramatically when the competition gets better -- see this weekend's Florida State game. I don't think he'd be a first round pick if the draft were held today.
Gotta run everyone. Happy Holidays to everyone. Hope you get everything you want for the Holidays ... but more importantly ... hope we all take the time to seek out those in need and give more than we get this year. See you next week!