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January 21, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with John Hollinger

John Hollinger
  (12:00 PM)

Greetings everyone, we got lots of trade chatter, Kobe vs. LeBron tonight, and whatever else is on your mind. Let's get to it ...

Elias (Cleveland)

For weeks we in Cleveland have been hearing all of the Jamison, David West, etc. rumors... What are the latest odds Washington makes a trade with us givin the history? What about the Hornets?

John Hollinger
  (12:02 PM)

I don't think the history will affect what Washington does, I think the bigger issue is that the Cavs can't offer luxury tax relief for this season the way teams that are under the cap and/or have trade exceptions can. As for West, I wouldn't put much stock in that -- Hornets have good shot at playoffs and can get under tax with minor moves, so they won't be looking to dump one of their best players.

Brandon (Utah)

Is there any trade rumors coming out of Utah? Who do you think will go?

John Hollinger
  (12:04 PM)

There's a rumor in the Memphis paper today involving Ronnie Brewer today, but I suspect that would only be a small part of any deal - Utah would need to deal more than Brewer to get under the tax, which would be the entire motivation for them to do any kind of trade with Memphis.

Cullen (Germantown)

My friend Aunt D still thinks that the KLove for OJ Mayo was a great deal for Grizzlies, do you agree?

John Hollinger
  (12:05 PM)

AuntD is only half right. In a vacuum, Love is a better player than Mayo, but if you look at the Grizzlies right now Mayo is more helpful than Love given that Memphis already has two really good frontcourt players.

steven (san juan)

Who has more to gain from tonight's Cle vs LA match up?

John Hollinger
  (12:06 PM)

Gotta say LA after the way Cleveland manhandled them the first time. By the way, word from Cleveland's outstanding beat writer Brian Windhorst is that the Cavs won't have Mo Williams tonight due to a shoulder sprain that could keep him out for a while.

Slim (Chicago)

Being that Amare might be on the trade block how about shipping him to the Bulls for Deng and Thomas. Sounds reasonable?

John Hollinger
  (12:08 PM)

Only if you're a Bulls fan. Gotta think about the other side when you're making these deals -- why does Phoenix want to take on Deng's contract?

Martin (Argentina)

John, what's your take on Manu's situation right now. I think he did some damage control yesterday and followed that with a great performance, though it was not enough to seal the win. Is San Antonio shopping Manu or do you think the latest reports will make the FO more eager to shop him around?

John Hollinger
  (12:10 PM)

I think it was a bit overblown ... Manu knows they aren't doing an extension before the season ends, that's all he said. This fact should have been obvious already, so I can't see that any new information came from this. I don't think they're shopping him because as a free-agent-to-be he has limited value to other teams.

Jonathan (Los Angeles)

Hey John! Do all the rumors surrounding Bynum make this trip a make or break for him? Should he not play well, could the Lakers conceivably begin the trip with Bynum and end it with Bosh?

John Hollinger
  (12:11 PM)

Such a deal would have absolutely nothing to do with Bynum. Regardless of how well he plays this week, if the Lakers can get Bosh for him it will take them 0.000001 seconds to say yes.

Donnie Walsh (NY)

So why wont houston trade me TMAC for Jeffries (good defender fits in well with system), Harrington (they need more scoring) and Darko (cap space)

John Hollinger
  (12:12 PM)

They'd basically be giving up their cap space this summer to have Jared Jeffries. If you had $8 million in cap room, would you use it on a) Jeffries or b) just about anyone else. I go with b)

Forest (North Carolina)

You have the Bobcats ranked at number 4 in your daily rankings. What is the basis for such a high ranking?

John Hollinger
  (12:14 PM)

Two reasons -- 1) Only two of the expected "powers" are playing well right now, and 2) The Bobcats have been going gangbusters. Or perhaps you didn't notice that they beat Miami by a hundred last night. Charlotte has won 9 of 10 with an average margin of 10.7; since recent performance counts heavily in the rankings, this is why the Bobs grade out so well. Incidentally, tomorrow's meeting with the Hawks in Atlanta should be a good one, and could preview the 4-5 or 3-6 series in the East.

Larry Bird ((Indy))

What can I get for Troy Murphy? The locals are falling asleep here...

John Hollinger
  (12:16 PM)

A lot of Murphy talk out there, but I wonder how the Pacers get better from a trade like that. Even if they deal him for expiring contracts they won't have any cap space next year, so what's the point? The better move would be to trade T.J. Ford, since they apparently have no intention of playing him again, and getting something for Jeff Foster while they still can.

Kurt (Boise, Idaho)

Do you think the Jazz can contend in the west and possibly beat the Lakers?

John Hollinger
  (12:17 PM)

I'm still skeptical, but I must admit they're playing very well right now and have gained very little attention for it. I'll say this -- despite their position in the standings, I don't think a division title is the least bit out of the question.

Taylor (Corvallis)

Any chance the blazers make a run at a big man this month?

John Hollinger
  (12:18 PM)

More than a chance; they're trying really hard to do something. The problem is that they don't want to give up any of their young guys, and that's all anyone asks about. If they could do a deal that only cost them Blake or Outlaw I think they'd go for it; both are free agents this summer and I don't think they expect Outlaw to stay.

mark (cleveland )

I was suprised to see Shane B on C Ford's list this morning...what about D West and JJ for Shane. Good deal for both teams?

John Hollinger
  (12:21 PM)

Houston loves Battier, but the economics ($7 mil next year) and the lack of offense from the wings mean that Battier is in play for the right offer. I don't know what Rockets' opinion is of DWest's off-court problem, but that would heavily color any discussion of such a move. I'm not sure that's a great deal for Cleveland though -- Battier and Parker are pretty similar players, and while some Cavs fans are down on Hickson, he's not somebody you just stick in as a throw-in to make the dollars work.

Beth (Seattle)

With Roy's bad hammy.... do you think the Blazers still make the playoffs? Seems like with him healthy it would be hard.

John Hollinger
  (12:23 PM)

I think they'll make it as long as Roy only misses a handful of games ... it's too bad they couldn't get him to hold back longer before returning, you could see this injury coming from a mile away

Drew (OKC)

Do you see the Thunder making any big trades? Or do you think they can wait until the offseason and lure in a FA?

John Hollinger
  (12:24 PM)

Thunder might do some minor cap-related deals that shift money around, but I don't think they'll make any big moves til this summer. Only game-changer would be a chance to add a quality young big man, as with the near-deal for Tyson Chandler a year ago.

Bronson (NYC)

would the spurs consider trading Duncan in the next two-three years??

John Hollinger
  (12:25 PM)

absolutely positively not. Better chance of San Antonio turning the Riverwalk into a sewage plant than there is of Spurs trading Duncan.

Vincent (Atlanta)

Tell me your East and West All-Star reserves.

John Hollinger
  (12:25 PM)

Not yet -- that's coming next week.

Lowenbrau (Cleveland,OH)

Congratulations to the Lakers.....they just got a free win tonight due to Mo Williams' injury.

John Hollinger
  (12:26 PM)

I wouldn't go that far. Cavs are still very tough in Cleveland and the Cavs have been getting some good minutes from West. Crossing my fingers that we can get a Danny Green sighting out of this -- one of my favorite draft sleepers, but he's hardly played this year.

Jordan (Toronto)

Any trade rumours coming out of Toronto NON BOSH related? Seems likethe Hedo/Toronto marriage isn't working out. Guys plays with ZERO fire.

John Hollinger
  (12:28 PM)

I don't think selling Hedo for pennies on the dollar is the answer. More likely scenario is Raps trading Calderon and putting more ballhanding responsibility in Hedo's hands the way Orlando did, gambling that will bring him out of his funk.

B (Phoenix)

With Jazz's improved play, does D-Will FINALLY make it to the ASG?

John Hollinger
  (12:28 PM)

I think he makes it, but if Amare and T-Mac both get voted in it's really going to put a squeeze on All-Star spots and two deserving players will get shaft as a result.

Patrick (Illinois)

Can anyone besides Orlando, Cleveland, and Boston win the Eastern Conference?

John Hollinger
  (12:29 PM)

I would say no, but that's why they play the games, right?

mike (tennesse)

John if you had to bet on one trade happening or one player getting traded what trade would you bet on?

John Hollinger
  (12:30 PM)

Miami's Dorell Wright. If Heat deal him to a team under the cap or one with a cap exception, they'll go under the luxury tax. Financial incentives are just too good to ignore, even though Wright has played fairly well lately. Most likely landing spot is Memphis, since Griz are under cap and their bench could really use the help.

Zack (Atlanta)

Think the hawks will enter the playoffs with the 2-seed? why or why not?

John Hollinger
  (12:32 PM)

Been meaning to write about this -- with Boston's slump and the Hawks' tiebreaker advantage already cemented by winning the first three meetings, the No. 2 seed is very much in play for Atlanta. And that, in turn, puts conference finals in play. Very exciting times for the local basketball collective.

Alex (Utah)

Halfway through the season, what has been the biggest surprise?

John Hollinger
  (12:33 PM)

The lack of surprises. There isn't any Phoenix or New Jersey shocking the masses this season; while a couple teams are a few games better or worse than projected, as a whole this season has been chalk.

Sakes (Dallas)

Would a win for the Cavs tonight be a statement to the rest of the league?

John Hollinger
  (12:34 PM)

Not really, it's a home game. The Christmas win in L.A., and the way they broke the Lakers mentally in the process, was much more of a statement.

Brett (Idaho)

You sayin the knicks aren't a surprise?

John Hollinger
  (12:36 PM)

A mild surprise. They'll probably win 37 or so instead of 27. Whoop de do. And sure, Memphis and a couple other teams are better than expected, and New Orleans and Washington are worse. But we've had nothing earth-shattering.

GeeMack (ATL)

Why no consideration for Jamal Crawford as an all star? There are only 2 guards playing better ball than Jamal JJ & D-Wade in the east.

John Hollinger
  (12:38 PM)

I guess Rajon Rondo, Andre Iguodala, Stephen Jackson and Derrick Rose aren't guards in your world. More seriously, Crawford has regressed to his Knicks habits the past two games -- he's falling in a habit of taking low-percentage hero shots like the one he made to beat Phoenix, even trying the same exact move twice against OKC and missing badly both times.

George karl (DEN)

What do I make of JR Smith?

John Hollinger
  (12:39 PM)

One thing to remember about Smith -- the past two years his pattern has been to have a slow first half and a torrid second half. So I wouldn't give up on him quite yet. That said, I think the Nuggets would cut the cord if the right deal came along.

George karl (DEN)

Should Denver just extend me?

John Hollinger
  (12:40 PM)

It'll happen -- just have to do more haggling over dollars and guaranteed years. George doesn't want to go and Nuggets don't want him to go.

john (ny)

crawford was 7 for 12 last night u clown

John Hollinger
  (12:41 PM)

I know, I was there. Crawford shot well against a bad defensive team, but subjectively his shot selection has fallen off lately.

Frank (Charlotte)

With the Bobcats playing so well, is there any kind of move they could make at the deadline that would put them in position to challenge the eastern conference elite?

John Hollinger
  (12:42 PM)

I think you're getting way ahead of yourself with that one. I do believe, however, they'd look at trading D.J. Augustin for a more productive backup point guard, and that they'd look hard at converting Acie Law's expiring deal and perhaps the rights to Alexix Ajinca into a serviceable reserve big man.

Darryl (Oakland, CA)

Should Monte Ellis be an all-star? There isn't a guard in the league as fast as him and despite playing on a team with 3 D leaguers the warriors still manage to win some games.

John Hollinger
  (12:45 PM)

The Warriors are pushing him really hard for it, but honestly I don't think he's anywhere close to good enough to make it. His team has won 12 games all year and yet they play dramatically better when he's off the floor; that's a pretty damning statement there. Ellis has a high scoring average but once you let out the air from the hyper pace and all the minutes he plays, it's not that impressive. Additionally, he's one of the league's least efficient offensive players; he also creates little for others despite having several talented scorers around him. I don't mean to turn this into a rip job -- he's a talented young player who is pretty good right now and will only get better. But promoting him as an All-Star is completely preposterous.

Otis Smith (Orlando)

With my large trade exemption and some good big men collecting dust on my bench, should i try to make a trade to shake things up and get back to winning the Eastern Conference?

John Hollinger
  (12:47 PM)

I was told that it's almost certain the Magic won't use the trade exception because of the massive luxury tax hit they'd take. I do believe they'll try to shake some things up if the team doesn't perform better over the next four weeks, but the size of their contracts makes it difficult to complete trades.

Fats (MA)

No one has ever cared about the Nets but as a basketball guy, do u want to see them move to Brooklyn simply as a change of scenery? you almost pity them for that pitiful fan base of theirs in NJ.

John Hollinger
  (12:49 PM)

Selfishly, I want to see them stay -- they're about 25 min from where I grew up and it's very convenient to catch a game when I'm in town. No chance of that happening in Brooklyn -- it might as well be in New Zealand to me.

AJ (Toronto)

Has there been any news on the Lakers and possibly looking for an upgrade at the 1?

John Hollinger
  (12:50 PM)

Yes, our Ric Bucher reported they were inquiring about New Jersey's Devin Harris, and while that one seems like a longshot I expect them to look at other options to upgrade their D against quick guards. Fisher is ready to transition to a bench role but I don't think they trust Farmar and Brown is really more of a 2.

Joe D (Detroit)

You think I could trade Rip/Will Bynum for Morrison/Farmar/Vujacic ....why did I extend Rip again?

John Hollinger
  (12:52 PM)

The Hamilton extension is one of the most baffling personnel moves in recent annals -- it basically was the same decision Golden St made with Stephen Jackson, but the Wrriors were lampooned as idiots for it while the Pistons barely drew a hint of criticism. Just to be clear, both decisions were terrible. Not sure Lakers would have a need for Rip -- their current shooting guard seems to be working out OK -- but I agree that Hamilton is their most tradeable commodity given Prince's health issues.

SK (Chicago)

Do you see an all-star reserve appearance for Derrick Rose if AI opts not to play?

John Hollinger
  (12:54 PM)

I expect Iverson to play, so that will hurt Rose's odds. But his recent play has put him back on the map for All-Star -- I still think odds are against him, but he has a chance.

Joe (CT)

What is wrong with the Celtics other than Garnet being hurt. They have looked awful the last few nights, has Doc lost control of this team.

John Hollinger
  (12:56 PM)

I don't think anything is "wrong", I just don't think they're as good as they thought. They have four key players in their mid-30s and despite their preseason talk they don't have anywhere near the depth they did two years ago.

Dubbadown (San Jose)

How can you say the Warriors play better without Monta? He plays 45-48 minutes EVERY GAME. What kind of sample size do you have for when he's not playing? Are you scouting their scrimmages?

John Hollinger
  (12:59 PM)

Haha. Ellis has played 87% of Golden State's minutes this year .. in the 13% he doesn't play, the Warriors are outscoring opponents by 7.1 points per 100 possessions. Yes, outscoring.

joe (toronto)

John...I keep hearing these Bosh for Bynum trade proposals, but wouldn't the Lakers want to make sure they can re-sign Bosh to a long term deal before giving up a promising young center?

John Hollinger
  (1:00 PM)

Yes, they would want to be sure, but I've heard that wouldn't be an impediment -- Bosh, like most players, would happily re-up with L.A.

Younger78 (Cali)

Is Hinrich's value really that low that they would trade him for exp contracts? If so why don't the Lakers send over Farmar, Morrison, and Powell to obtain Hinrich?

John Hollinger
  (1:02 PM)

He makes $9 million next year and the Bulls can be a huge player in free agency if they can dump his contract, so yes, dealing him for just expirings makes all kinds of sense. I think the Lakers are reluctant to dive in because of that large obligation next year and the tax hit that would result; Dr. Buss's position on spending seems to be that they'll probably make the Finals with the current group, so why spend any more?

Mike (Arizona)

Do you think Gerald Wallace is a shoe-in for the All-Star game? Also, any chance Bob Johnson sells the Bobcats?

John Hollinger
  (1:04 PM)

He's not a shoo-in, no, but I do like his chances of making the team. The only threat is if Jackson splits the "Charlotte vote" -- I don't see coaches putting multiple Bobcats on their ballot.

Jeremy (Yonder)

Estimate the number of trades you're personally expecting at this deadline? any specifics?? Thanks

John Hollinger
  (1:06 PM)

I'll go with 8-12. I think things will be pretty active and we'll see a couple big names (like Jamison, perhaps) involved. Only caveat is that the Wizards seem to be the first domino, and I've been told they're asking for way too much right now. So waiting on Washington too long could cause some teams to run out of time at the end.

John Hollinger
  (1:07 PM)

Folks that's all the time I have, but we'll do this again at the same time. Thanks for all the great questions and check out my column today on LeBron and Kobe's chances of breaking Kareem's scoring record.