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January 14, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with John Hollinger

John Hollinger
  (12:01 PM)

Greetings from Portland everyone, where I saw the Blazers roll past Milwaukee last night and am looking forward to seeing them face the Magic tomorrow. Trade rumors galore out there as well as anything else you want to discuss... let's get to it.

Adam (Chicago, IL)

What are the chances that the bulls can dump hinrich in order to pick up lebron-bosh, dwade-bosh?

John Hollinger
  (12:03 PM)

I think it's highly unlikely. The contract is just too much money, especially with Hinrich playing poorly.

Mark (Toronto)

Is Calderon for Martin realistic?

John Hollinger
  (12:04 PM)

Be very surprised if Sac gave him away that easily ... I would think they'd only do that deal if they were getting DeRozan too.

Shane Jaworski (Austin,TX)

What do you think of DaJuan Blair? One great night or does he have a chance to be a good starter in the league?

John Hollinger
  (12:05 PM)

Yes to both. Obviously last night was an outlier, but he has a chance to be a quality starter for as long as his knees can keep him upright.

Chris (Indianapolis, IN)

Simmons and Ford seem pretty high on a Bosh for Bynum deal ... what's your take?

John Hollinger
  (12:06 PM)

I think it's not a bad endgame for the Raptors -- Bosh is the better player, obviously, but Bargnani-Bynum as a frontcourt is a lot more coherent than Bargnani-Bosh defensively. If they think Bosh is going, it's probably the best way to rebuild.

Josh (St. Louis, MO)

Do you think the Lakers will actually make a trade before the deadline?

John Hollinger
  (12:07 PM)

Sure, they've done so the past two years, have expiring contracts they can put into play (most notably Morrison's) and have a couple areas that seem to require addressing (point guard, the bench). I'd say odds of a deal are more likely than not.

Scott (Columbus, Ohio)

What are the chances the Cavs land either Jamison, West, or Miller at the trade deadline?

John Hollinger
  (12:09 PM)

No shot at West. They have a better shot at Jamison or Miller, but the issue for Cavs is that the can't offer any lux tax relief this season so they might need to set up a 3-way -- clubs with trade exceptions or cap room have a leg up on Cavs in this one.

Mike (Akron)

Hey John, do you think Varejao should be right there for 6th man of the year along with All Defensive team? Dude has been playing out of his mind.

John Hollinger
  (12:10 PM)

I think he'll get stronger consideration for All-D than for the Sixth Man, first because Sixth Man traditionally goes to scorers and second because Landry plays the same position and has been going bananas.

dred99 (Mia)

what are you hearing out of Miami other than a possible salary dump (D. Wright) before the deadline??Thanks

John Hollinger
  (12:11 PM)

you keep hearing Udonis Haslem's name as a possibility, but it's not clear to me how Heat could upgrade their roster, get under the tax and preserve next year's cap room in one go. They'll certainly try to get Bosh if he comes available, but otherwise Wright may be the only move.

MC Welk (SLC)

The Knicks have higher playoff odds than Chicago, but what does your heart say, John, about who will be the 8th seed in the East?

John Hollinger
  (12:12 PM)

Knicks. Wrote about this a bit in today's PER Diem, but Bulls have 25 road games left and are 3-13 away from home.

Tyler (Indiana)

Will there be any teams interested in Dunleavy?

John Hollinger
  (12:12 PM)

I kinda doubt it, but this has been an encouraging stretch of games lately.

Corey (Bloomington , IN)

Chances of sixers moving Iguodala, brand or dalembert? These contracts are gonna kill this team for years

John Hollinger
  (12:15 PM)

Dalembert has played well enough to offer a slim chance of his being moved, most likely in concert with Iggy (i.e, if you want Iggy you have to take Sammy too). Sixers unfortunately have to be very careful with any trade that takes on money for next year because they're right at the tax line. And I think they're stuck with Brand.

Steve (Chicago, IL)

Hi John. Do you think Stan VanGundy's job will eventually be in jeopardy if the Magic continue to play like this? It is a shame that this team continues to hoist 30+ threes per game and Howard has these games with single digit shot attempts. That's rediculous. Who's to blame?

John Hollinger
  (12:15 PM)

Specious argument at best -- It's not any different from how they played a year ago, and Howard's shot attempts are artificially reduced by all the fouls. Entire difference between this year's Magic and last year's is on D.

Brad (NJ)

I don't understand your logic when you say that L.A needs a better pg and a better bench. Last I checked they won it all last year with the same pg and bench. Stop being a Cleveland homer.

John Hollinger
  (12:17 PM)

As it says in any mutual fund prospectus "past performance is no guarantee of future results." Fisher, Odom and Brown aren't playing as well as they did a year ago.

Jamal Crawford (Atlanta)

Did someone say Sixth Man of the Year?

John Hollinger
  (12:17 PM)

Yes but they said it in Houston, and said it to Carl Landry. I think Crawford probably comes in second unless Manu makes a late charge.

Marc (Charlotte)

What about Marvin Williams to the Cavs? The Cavs need someone to guard athletic 4s. The Hawks have 4-5 guys who take 10-15 shots a game, leaving little for Williams, and by moving his salary, they can free up money to resign Joe Johnson.

John Hollinger
  (12:19 PM)

There's a lot of confusion on this point from folks outside Atlanta, so let me clarify: Williams is a 3. He's played 3 all year, all last year, and all the year before that. He never guards big guys and big guys never guard him. Josh Smith is the full-time 4 in Atlanta and has been for some time now.

Harry (Babylon)

Does trading Jeffries for the additional cap room really hurt the Knicks chances to land in the 7th or 8th spot in the East?

John Hollinger
  (12:20 PM)

Yes, because they have to pay somebody to take Jeffries by also including a useful young player (Chandler or Gallo) in the deal.

Chris (Cairo, Egypt)

Do you think any big Hornets activity will be based on shedding salary or finding an athletic wing that can score? They have been playing much better as of late.

John Hollinger
  (12:22 PM)

I expect Hornets to pay somebody cash and a late No. 2 to take Sean Marks or Ike Diogu, get themselves under the tax, and call it a day.

Jeff (Denver)

What do you think of Simmons hypothetical JR for Battier trade

John Hollinger
  (12:23 PM)

I think J.R. for Ariza makes as much or more sense. The basic logic -- a wing stopper who can shoot a little for Denver, a wing who can create offense for Houston -- is airtight and the contracts match.

Rastamonsta (Portland, OR)

Being that your in Portland, can you comment on any moves the Blazers should make? What about Outlaw and Blake being moved for another big man to help this years run to the playoffs?

John Hollinger
  (12:24 PM)

The Blazers are looking hard at bigs but it's a tough proposition -- ideally they want a guy with an ending contract since Przybilla and Oden will be back next year, and they don't want to give up much in the way of future assets to get such a player. The other question is whether the Blazers are looking at getting an impact player (i.e. Brendan Haywood) or just a stopgap (i.e. Rasho Nesterovic or Kwame Brown).

Sean (La La Land)

Do you believe in the clippers curse? *cough* griffin....

John Hollinger
  (12:25 PM)

Of course not. This was just bad luck. Better question: If you're John Wall do you just go ahead and get the microfracture out of the way now? Not a great era to be a No. 1 overall pick, eh?

Miles (Arizona)

Do You Think Denver Needs A Low-Post Scorer Other Than Melo?

John Hollinger
  (12:26 PM)

No, it's a low post *defender* that they need. Bynum and Gasol played right over the top of them in the conference finals last year.

Dave (Corvallis, OR)

Favorite thing to do in in Portland (other than go to Blazer games)?

John Hollinger
  (12:26 PM)

Walk. Best walking city in the country, with the possible exception of Beantown.

Darren (Ann Arbor)

With all this Bosh for Bynum talk, no one mentions a scenario where players and contracts match and make sense.

John Hollinger
  (12:28 PM)

Bynum and Morrison for Bosh and O'Bryant. Several other combinations work as well. It's not any kind of impediment to a deal getting done.

Vinny (NY)

If you have watched any Knicks games, you would see that Jeffries contributes on a nightly basis. And a playoff team would be smart to add him as a bench defender for this years run and he becomes a useful *Expiring Contract* next year for another trade..

John Hollinger
  (12:28 PM)

Thank you, Donny Walsh, for posting your advertisement. Trust me, nobody thinks Jeffries is a $7 million player no matter how hard the Knicks insist otherwise.

Keith (pdx)

is now the time to move rudy fernandez, can he really live long term in PDX with b roy in front of him, could'nt he start on quite a few NBA teams

John Hollinger
  (12:31 PM)

Blazers historically have been very reluctant to deal their young guys -- did it once and got burned (J. O'Neal) and while that wasn't Pritchard, it was the same owner and other management folks. So I'd say it's unlikely for at least another year or two. By the way, Fernandez returned to action last night. While he looked horribly out of sync, the Blazers finally starting to get healthy.

Younger78 (Cali)

"Bynum and Morrison for Bosh and O'Bryant" doesn't seem to work. Bynum is a BYC player. Is there another combo?

John Hollinger
  (12:34 PM)

This is what I get for not trying it on the trade machine first. Gotta put Sasha and Ammo in it and then take back players like O'Bryant and Wright using L.A.'s trade exceptions (Mihm, Radmanovic). As I said, those players are not obstacles to a deal getting done.

Mark (New York)

If there is no interest in Jeffries, why would there be interest in Jeff Foster (same type player, same contract) as Chad Ford has reported

John Hollinger
  (12:36 PM)

No, not the same type of player. Front office types love Foster for his ability to defend long post players and rebound. Jeffries is much more a perimeter player and the difference in rebounding ability in particular is glaring.

Jeff (Denver)

Should Denver give up Lawson to get a guy like Foster, doesnt seem worth it for the Nuggets

John Hollinger
  (12:37 PM)

Nuggets will not give up Lawson in a trade for Foster, and I don't think they'll give him up in any other kind of trade either.

Chris W (Charleston, SC)

John! Help a disenchanted Pistons there any help in sight?

John Hollinger
  (12:38 PM)

Hate to beat a dead horse, but the worst part of the Billups deal was the extension they gave Rip at the same time. Take that away and Pistons are in much better shape going forward. As it is, they'll try to deal Prince, but Tay has looked so bad that I'm not sure what they can get for him.

Sam (La Jolla)

John, do you see any Hawks moves on the horizon other than the Mario West Experiment 4.0?

John Hollinger
  (12:39 PM)

Things have been very quiet in Atlanta. If anything big went down I'd have to think it would involve Marvin Williams, a good young player who has seemed a little lost offensively this year.

Ryan (Milwaukee)

Since you just saw the Blazerrs beat the Bucks, what do you see any moves in the future for Milwaukee, especially since Redd is out?

John Hollinger
  (12:41 PM)

I'm sure any offers for Kurt Thomas or Francisco Elson will be listened to intently, and if anyone wants Joe Alexander they'll gladly oblige. Otherwise I don't see any landscape-shifters out there for Milwaukee.

John (Houston)

Any chance the Spurs try and cobble together a few of their last expirings to make a push for Tayshaun Prince? I'm tired of Pop trying to pretend that Keith Bogans is the second coming of Bruce Bowen

John Hollinger
  (12:44 PM)

I don't think Bogans is a solution as a starter and I think a healthy Prince would be a great fit in San Anto. But they have to be careful -- like I said above, Tay's looked terrible this year and back issues are nothing to sneeze at, and adding an $11 million player for next year would almost certainly put Spurs into tax. At the very least I'd want to see how he looks over this next month, and even if he looked good I'd still be on the fence.

Ben (portland)

John, if the Lakers are not willing to offer Bynum, would a Blazer offer of LaMarcus/Rudy+expiring's be the 2nd best deal available to the Ratpors for Bosh?

John Hollinger
  (12:47 PM)

I don't think Toronto would be as jazzed about that one since L.A. has a lot of the same weaknesses as Bargnani (softness, etc.) -- the lure of Bynum is that he's exactly what they lack at the moment. But you're right that Portland can throw a lot more sweeteners into the deal with its young guys and expiring contracts.

Bruce (LA)

If the Bobcats make the playoffs, should Larry Brown be the coach of the year?

John Hollinger
  (12:48 PM)

He merits more consideration than he's received thus far. Rick Adelman has a great shot at it if Houston makes the playoffs, but others to watch would be Mike Woodson and Rick Carlisle.

Jon (Indianapolis)

Impending trade for the Cavs? Brian Windhorst is saying both Shaq and D. West are being held out of tonight's game even though they both participated in the shoot around this morning.

John Hollinger
  (12:50 PM)

Just saw Windhorst's tweet on that myself. Intriguing, to say the least. The two represent about $25 million in salary, so there are a LOT of different possibilities for how that might be used. One wonders if there's an agreement to waive Shaq and let him come back, too.

Al (Atlanta)

Over/Under 5.5: The number of below .500 teams that will make the playoffs in the East?

John Hollinger
  (12:50 PM)

I'm thinking only one or two. Charlotte, Toronto and Miami should finish right around .500, so that leaves only the No. 8 spot as a guarantee for a losing record.

Aaron (Charlotte)

Are the Bobcats in any discussions?

John Hollinger
  (12:52 PM)

I think Charlotte already made its "deadline deal" when it got Jackson earlier this year. The Gerald Wallace rumors have quieted now that the team is winning, and Felton isn't going anywhere with Augustin playing as badly as he is. Only possibility would be something involving Diaw, and/or low-level moves involving Ajinca, Henderson, or Law's expiring deal.

Phil (SLC)

C'mon. No discussion of the Jazz with Boozer and/or AK supposedly being shopped around?

John Hollinger
  (12:54 PM)

Sorry -- This is getting into dead horse territory for me since I talk about it every week. Despite Utah's denials I think the benefits of sidestepping the tax (about $14 mil all told) are too great for them to ignore, and for that reason deals involving Boozer and/or Korver still seem likely to me. They'll try to move AK first, obviously, but I doubt they'll succeed.

Rich (Orange County)

Nate Robinson to the Lakers could shore up the PG and bench problem. What do you think?

John Hollinger
  (12:56 PM)

I don't think he's what they're looking for. A team like L.A. wants low-usage, high-efficiency guys because Kobe, Pau and Bynum use such a huge chunk of the possessions. Also, Phil hates short guards and Nate's suspect D would be an issue.

AJ (Houston )

Who has the best bench in the NBA in your opinion?

John Hollinger
  (12:57 PM)

Has to be Orlando. Magic's second unit has really kept them propped up despite disappointing years from all five starters.

Vick (Woodstock GA)

Will the Grizz be able to keep Rudy Gay this summer?

John Hollinger
  (12:58 PM)

Certainly they can -- Gay is a restricted free agent. The more interesting question is whether they're willing to match another team's outlandish offer. So many teams set themselves up to have cap space this summer and sold it to their fans that they'll feel like they have to get a player, even if all the max-worthy ones are gone. That means Gay is in great position to get an outlandish offer ... and it's not clear to me whether the cash-conscious Griz would match.

Neil (Toronto)

What do you think of Calderone to Lakers, Morrison to Houston and Battier to, win and win, no?

John Hollinger
  (1:00 PM)

that's a pretty good one, provided Houston is willing to sacrifice Battier to have max cap room this summer. Calderon can't guard anybody but he'll help L.A.'s scuffling offense out big time, and of course Battier would give Toronto a D stopper.

Andy (Denver)

Do you think Denver's willing to move JR Smith if they could get the sort of low post defender you have said they need?

John Hollinger
  (1:01 PM)

I doubt it because such a move would unbalance their roster so much. They'd pretty much need to get back another wing if they were going to trade Smith, or have a second deal ready to do the same.

Adam (Houston)

John, any word on whether Daryl Morey wants to make any moves? I keep on hearing Houston mentioned in rumors, but it kind of seems they just want to stay the course and let T-Mac's contract come off the books. Thanks!

John Hollinger
  (1:03 PM)

Here's the calculus in Houston: They'll take on a player with a contract for next year if they value having that player more than having roughly $8 mil in cap this summer. For Bosh, obviously, that's a yes; for the likes of Caron Butler the answer is less clear.

Ed Stefanski (Philly)

Is there a team out there in a worse bind than mine?

John Hollinger
  (1:06 PM)

Have you seen how your former team is doing about 100 miles to the northeast? I also think Charlotte is in a worse bind long-term -- at least the Sixers have some good young players (Speights, Young, Williams, Holiday). Philly's issue is that they have no money coming in and are completely capped out, so it's hard for them to make any moves between now and the end of next season.

John Hollinger
  (1:06 PM)

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