Aloha everyone and Happy New Year! Lots of great hoop storylines to talk about today ... from Agent Zero to trade talk to NBA Draft. Let's roll.
I've read a little about Jamison, but what else might the Cavs be able to acquire with Big Z's expiring contract? While it probably makes us better, I hate the idea of letting Z go and not having him around for a possible NBA title.
I think we're all thinking the Cavs will be among the league's biggest players at the trade deadline. They had a lot of interest in Jamison last year, but Abe Pollin vetoed a deal, believing that the Wizards would be a contender in 2010-11. Pollin has now passed away and the Wizards are awful .. so he's in play along with every player on the roster. The other guy to pay close attention to is Troy Murphy. Cavs have liked him for years.
Will the Mavs make any big trades? I know the company line is that they like their team, but they obviously need some kind of an upgrade after getting blown out by the Lakers.
I think the Mavs will be in this thing. Their window with Dirk and company is small. They're playing well and they have two huge assets, Erick Dampier's contract that isn't guaranteed next year and Drew Gooden's contract that isn't guaranteed for the rest of the season. I could see a team like the Jazz, who are desperately trying to cut payroll, make a Carlos Boozer like swap for that type of relief.
ESPN's playoff odds have CLE I believe the favorite to win it with 41%, while the Lakers are only in the 20th percentile. Do you people really think the Cav's can beat the Lakers (as presently constructed and both squads healthy) 4 times out of 7?
With LeBron on the team, you never know ... but if those two teams meet in the Finals, I think the Lakers would prevail. The only team in the East that I think can beat the Lakers is the Magic.
Does Joe Dumars regret not trading Tayshaun Prince (who would have been forwarded to Portland) for Boozer in the offseason? The Pistons have played better without Prince this season, and Boozer would have been another capable frontcourt player the Pistons desperately need.
I think they got cold feet on Boozer on two fronts. First, he wants a TON of money this coming summer ... more than he's probably worth. Second, given his injury history, I think the Pistons were worried that he might shut it down at some point in the season. So no ... I don't think they regret it. But they need to make a move and Prince is the best trade bait they have.
Any chance the Nets are looking at moving Harris or Lopez for expiring? Try to get two max contracts and land Wall would turn them from laughing stock to contender in one summer.
I've wondered the same thing ... and the word I've gotten back from the Nets is no ... those two are the core. Anyone else on the roster is probably fair game.
Any hope in sight for the Pacers? Trades or firings?
No one is getting fired. However, I do think you'll see them be very active. The benching of TJ Ford was a signal, I believe, that they are going to start giving their young guys more time and look to sell of some vets for a combination of cap relief, draft picks and young players. Troy Murphy and Jeff Foster are the two guys on their roster that a lot of GMs have interest in. I suspect both will be gone by the trade deadline. They both have a lot of value to contenders -- Murphy for his ability to spread the floor and to rebound. Foster as a mobile big who can defend players like Pau Gasol. I've talked to several GMs who have shown a lot of interest ... so there's hope.
The Raptors seem to be playing better as of late does that mean Bosh is staying put at the trade deadline?
I don't think it means that at all -- though I'm sure their recent success helps. Unless the Raptors are legit contenders, I don't see Bosh sticking around. The Raptors are another team I think will be very active at the trade deadline. I think they'll try to see if they can swap Calderon for a starting two guard.
Blazers send Blake and Outlaw contracts to NY for Jeffries and Gallo. Can this happen? How about swap Gallo for Hill?
Knicks aren't trading Gallinari for more cap space. Have you seen him play? He's pretty good and the only thing they really have going for them right now. David Lee is an unrestricted free agent next year. Jordan Hill hasn't shown much. They aren't letting go of Gallo.
Considering what we know so far, what do you think about the Wizards chances of voiding Gilbert's contract? And could a buyout of some sort be possible as well? Can't see anyone wanting him in a trade, but I can't imagine him staying with the Wiz either.
Pretty slim. If you believe Arenas' story ... what he did was incredibly stupid, but I'm not sure it arises to the level of jail time and voiding contracts. I know some people want to make an example out of Arenas because of the rampant problems with firearms, both in the NBA and in the country. But frankly, Arenas isn't the problem. He wasn't going to shoot anyone. There are a lot of people out there that would. I think he should pay a heavy price in fines/suspension for his stupidity. But I don't think he should be punished because of all the other bad things others do with guns.
why hasn't the NBA taken action against Arenas for the rules violations they know he committed? and, do you think they would take the same "wait and see" philosophy if Crittenton was the one with the guns?
That I don't understand. You'd at least think he'd be suspended, with pay, until the investigation is complete. I don't understand the NBA. They fine guys who criticize the refs or who demand trades, but have been totally silent on this. I know they're waiting for all of the facts to come out, but even Arenas' admissions are enough now for them to act.
What is the minimum length suspension you could imagine Stern giving Arenas?
10 game minimum. Max -- the rest of the season. I'd lean toward something in the middle -- 25 games.
Can the Wizards trade Arenas?
Not right now. Not until the league makes a ruling. They're stuck. Who is going to trade for a guy who might be suspended for the rest of the season? Even if he wasn't, given his contract, Arenas is a very tough player to sell at the moment.
If the Hornets are under .500 around the trade deadline, do you see them dumping salaries in exchange for expiring contracts? Do you see them moving the 31 year old Posey & his 3 year $18 mill+ contract?
I think they are dumping salaries regardless. That's what the almost trade with the Wolves and Devin Brown was about. It's clear that they have to get under the luxury tax threshold. If Devin Brown can't make it happen, I could see them trying to lure a team with Julian Wright or Darren Collison.
Can we trade and get a center so I can go dominate at PF like I need to be doing. Someone like Camby, Okafor, or even my bud Joakim?
It would cost the team Josh Smith or Joe Johnson. That's a pretty high price.
When are people going to realize that there should be not just 1, but 2 All-Stars on my team this year? Russell Westbrook is one of two players in the league averaging at least 15 ppg, seven apg and five rpg. The other guy? Some dude named LeBron James.
I'm not totally against it in theory. Westbrook has been terrific. But when you have Steve Nash, Chris Paul, Tony Parker and Deron Williams in your same conference ... it's tough.
Any update on where T-MAC might end up? Thanks?
I'm not that hopefully that the Rockets find a good place for him to land. Teams want the expiring contract, but he makes $22 million. The Rockets are going to have to get back a lot of players that they like in that deal and I'm not sure we've seen a team desperate enough to give back $22 million of great players for cap space. Too bad Memphis isn't in fire sale mode again.
Don't look now but my Grizz are making a playoff push early. Do you agree that bench scoring is the missing element and if so who is out there for the taking?
I think the Grizzlies have looked pretty good, but I think .500 ... not the playoffs is the goal right now. I don't think Michael Heisley is spending any more money right now. Remember he has to figure out a way to pay Rudy Gay this summer.
Foster would look good as the Nuggets 3rd big. Do they have the assets to go after him?
They like him a lot, but they're going to need a third team to get involved unless they're willing to give the Pacers Ty Lawson. The Pacers were down to Lawson and Hansbrough on draft night. They went with Tyler and would love to get their hands on Lawson too. I just don't think the Nuggets would do it.
Jose Calderon for Kevin Martin. Contracts match up. Fills a need for both teams. Both terrible defensively. What do you think?
Would be great if the Kings weren't convinced that Tyreke Evans is a point guard. I keep hearing they are reluctant to make a trade for a PG.
Chad You have not taken one Laker question yet. Any Moves for the Lakers?
I don't think so. Been pretty quiet out there. Lakers are really set as a team and Phil Jackson has never been a big fan of mid season trades. Unless a no-brainer came along, I think they stay pat.
Chad, Do you think the sixers make a move to try and shake things up?
They really need a point guard. Andre Miller was so critical to them. Jrue Holiday will be good someday, but I'm not sure they really want to wait another year or two for that to happen. I think they're wishing there was a way to get Andre back
Any chance of seeing Anthony Randolph moved before the deadline to a team that could actually do something with his potential?
Not unless they can get a team to take Corey Maggette's contract too.
What about Michael Redd? Are we going to move him?
Trying. It's not easy. Still not clear whether he has enough left to help a contender.
How about Bynum and Farmar for the rights to Rubio, Love, and throw ins? Fixes both teams needs
I would do it in a heart beat if I was the Wolves. Not sure I'd do it if I were the Lakers. Think the Wolves get the better end of the deal. Besides, Bynum is a base year player this year making him difficult to trade. There'd have to be a lot of other pieces to make this happen.
Chad, Northwest Question, Do you see Portland Making any moves before the deadline.
I've spoken with the Blazers and the feeling I got was that they don't know yet. So many players are injured, the value isn't high on many of them. I think if someone gets moved it will be Steve Blake.
I don't know about you, but this draft class doesn't look as strong as advertised. Derrick Favors is only averaging 12 and 8 while not facing any great competition. John Wall is the only star in this class.
Only superstar right now yes... but there is a lot of other (rawer) talent out there including Favors, Ed Davis, Wesley Johnson and Evan Turner. I think this draft is better than last years ... unless you're in the market for a point guard and don't have the No. 1 pick.
What do you think of Epke Udoh of Baylor. He is having a great year rebounding and blocking shots. How high could he go in the draft if he keeps improving?
Really intriguing. Great shot blocker and rebounder. Good athlete. A better offensive player than you think. He's 17 on our Big Board, but could end up in the lottery. NBA scouts just love guys with his physical tools.
Who's a better SG fit for the Wolves come draft time, Henry or Turner?
If Evan Turner's back is healed and there will be no long term problems ... he's awfully good. However, the Wolves really need a shooter and that's Turner's weakness. Henry, on the other hand, has deep range. I'd say they'd probably lean toward Xavier Henry.
Is it possible half of the 14 lottery selection in the 2010 draft are made up of only Kentucky and Kansas players?
No. Two from Kansas -- Cole Aldrich and Xavier Henry. Two from Kentucky -- John Wall and Patrick Patterson. DeMarcus Cousins would be a fifth if teams weren't scared to death of him. Many see the second coming of Derrick Coleman in Cousins.
Do you think Gordon Hayward will be Butler University's first player drafted into the NBA? Thanks.
Yes. And may even go in the lottery. Lots of scouts are very high on him. Does a little bit of everything and is tough.
How do you feel about my fellow countryman Eliah Harris, Freshmen at Gonzaga,how much NBApotential does he have? Maybe even late firstround? And does he even enter this years draft?He has been pretty good in the last few games exept for the stinker against Duke(the whole team was pretty bad that game).Love your Writing and would love to hear your opinion,thanx.
More than pretty good. I think he's got a very legit shot at the lottery. He's very versatile, tough as nails, and gets it done on both ends of the floor. Kind of reminds me of a tougher Shawn Marion.
Put aside his play this year and assume he was going to be drafted (2nd round-ish); how has Tyler Smith's being arrested with gun charges and marijuana going to hurt his stock? Does he have any chance in the draft right now? (Not even considering if he's dismissed or suspended for an extended time).
I think he's done. He's not good enough to put up with all the off-the-court stuff.
What is the ceiling on Donatas Motiejunas? Is he a high-upside guy worth gambling on, or is he what he is? Not much of an opportunity to watch the top Euro in the draft.
He's good. But he's painfully thin. I think he could be a really special player someday, but he's going to have to get much stronger. He's probably a lottery pick, but teams will have to patient with him.
Has Luke Harongody improved his draft stock at all by staying another year or is he still a lock for the 2nd round?
what will be the effect on the lack of success for Oden and Thabeet for future center draft picks?
None. Teams will always reach for big guys. That's why guys like Cole Aldrich and Solomon Alabi are so high on the board. It isn't that they're the most talented players on the Board, but every year teams reach hoping to hit a home run. In most cases, they strike out.
Settle a debate that we couldn't on New Year's Eve: Who would win in a 7 game series. The 1996 draft class vs. 2003 draft class. Take the 12 best players from each draft in their primes
2003. A team of LeBron, Wade, Carmelo and Bosh beats a team of Nash, Kobe , Ray Allen and AI in my opinion.
Gotta run everyone. Thanks for the chat. I'll be back next time, same time and same place. And don't forget to check out my new draft blog running a little bit later today. I take a look at who has helped (and hurt) their draft stock the most this season.