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February 3, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with John Hollinger

John Hollinger
  (2:07 PM)

Greetings everyone. Just back from a road trip through the south -- Orlando, Atlanta, San Antonio, Memphis -- where I saw every top contender except Cleveland. We're back at Hollinger HQ now and ready to talk about it.

Donnie (Atlanta)

Brian Windhorst thinks the Cavs will land Jamison in a 3 way possibly through Houston; your thoughts?

John Hollinger
  (2:10 PM)

3-ways are where trades go to die. Usually once you involve a third team the only way it's working is if there's already a deal and the 3rd team plays a minor role in ironing out some subtle cap issue. In this case the Cavs and Zards can do a pretty good deal even on their own, so I could see how it can happen. Certainly Cleveland is more interested than anyone else right now, it just depends if somebody jumps in late with a better offer (i.e. better young guys) than the Cavs can do with Hickson.

JJ (UTAH)

If the Jazz come back and win there division would you consider Jerry Sloan for COY?

John Hollinger
  (2:11 PM)

I think Sloan has made himself a very strong candidate for the award, yes. But if Memphis makes the playoffs it's hard for me to imagine Lionel Hollins not winning.

Gregg (OKC)

Any thoughts on what the Thunder will do? They have expiring contracts and I keep waiting for them to make a splash.

John Hollinger
  (2:12 PM)

Don't hold your breath. Thunder will pounce if somebody dangles a young big man but otherwise they're going to lay low until summer.

Andreas (NYC)

To your point about 3 ways, what's the last "big" 3 way that actually occurred, in which all 3 teams made a significant change?

John Hollinger
  (2:16 PM)

I'm thinking the Vin Baker-Terrell Brandon-Shawn Kemp deal in 1997, but there has to be a more recent one .. um, right? Anyone got a more recent example? I guess that convoluted 2005 Miami-Memphis deal with an Antoine Walker sign-and-trade thrown in would also qualify.

Bradley Bennett (Texas)

Do you think the San Antonio Spurs are going to try to pick up any one to boost their chance at another trophy?

John Hollinger
  (2:17 PM)

I wrote about this the other day, but its basically "splurge or purge" depending on how this road trip goes. If San Antonio can't turn the corner I think they might drop some of their expiring contracts to cut the luxury tax bill; if they show signs of making their patented Rodeo Road Trip run, I think they could target a stretch-4 type player for the stretch run.

Joel Ebouele (France)

Hi Mr Hollinger.Have you heard about the center that the blazers will take ?? and who are the player that portland want to trade ??.thanks

John Hollinger
  (2:18 PM)

Blazers have several different targets in mind; obviously they'd love Brendan Haywood (doesn't need touches, expiring deal, good defender) but Washington is asking too much. Blazers don't want to trade anyone from their young core and that's all anybody asks them for; I think they'd trade Outlaw and/or Blake for the right piece but that's about it.

Jonny (Queens)

Now that Paul is having knee surgery are the Hornets anymore inclined to have a fire sale this season or does this make no difference? Id like to see West on the Cavs

John Hollinger
  (2:21 PM)

I get asked this a lot, but it makes no sense for Hornets right now because their hard financial work is done -- they're already under the luxury tax line. Hornets are in same pickle next year but have enough large expiring deals that they can probably do the same thing next year without cutting into their core.

Ben (New York, NY)

Can the Pacers find relief in their Salary Cap during this trade deadline or will it take 2 seasons?

John Hollinger
  (2:22 PM)

Unlikely. They'd have trade Murphy AND Ford for expiring contracts to get significantly under the cap. Better alternative is to try to get quality youth in return for Murphy/Ford/Dunleavy.

Rob (AZ)

Can you see an Amare to Philly trade involving Iguodala and Dalembert? (or Ig's and Speights?)

John Hollinger
  (2:23 PM)

No, both teams are trying to cut money so they aren't partners.

Dave (Denver,CO)

Any chance the Nuggets add a big by the trade deadline?

John Hollinger
  (2:25 PM)

I'd bet against it but they're going to keep trying. Issue is getting somebody good enough for ownership to sign off on additional luxury tax expense, without trading anybody from their eight-man core and without taking on money for next year, when they're also a tax team. I can't rule out them using $3.6 million exception from Hunter trade if the right player comes free, but it's a long shot.

Ken (Scottsdale, AZ)

Why would any team trading for Amare Stoudemire have any trepidation about him opting out of his deal? Power forwards who play little to no defense and average 20/8, aren't leaving 17M on the table.

John Hollinger
  (2:27 PM)

I'm of the same mindset, but Stoudemire has seemed pretty adamant about exploring the market. Additionally he's got a new agent (this is No. 7 I believe) who I'm sure would like a big fat commission this summer.

Albert (New York NY)

John, which are the teams that are NOT trying to cut money? in short, can you give us a list of all the teams that will be looking to acquire these big name trade baits? Thanks

John Hollinger
  (2:30 PM)

Great question. Cavs and Celtics are the only ones I'd list unconditionally. Everyone else has ifs and buts. Laker will add $ for right player but feel little pressure to do so given their lead in the West. Spurs deciding whether to jump in. Nuggets would do it for a perfect fit. Thunder would if it gave them a young big man. Grizzlies will add a few short-term $$ to improve the bench...etc.

Andy (NYC)

ESPN has an article up about disharmony in the Celtics lockerroom. What comes first lack of success for the team or a fractured lockerroom? They always seem to go hand in hand, but it's hard to tell which comes first

John Hollinger
  (2:31 PM)

I'm not sure this is breaking news. Remember, we heard whispers about Rondo dating back to this summer, when the Celtics quietly explored his trade value before signing an extension. Have never been convinced that the young guys and old guys in that locker room are 100% on same page.

Darrel (Lynwood, CA)

John, how realistic is the Kirk Hinrich to the Lakers deal? We all know that the defending champs' weakness has always been the pg position. LA continues to get torched by quicker pgs, and haven't had a real threat there since Nick Van Exel.

John Hollinger
  (2:32 PM)

Problem isn't fit, it's money. Between salary and luxury tax, Hinrich will cost the Lakers $35 million in the two seasons after this one. I'm guessing that pretty much kills the deal.

Rich (SLC)

Does Millsap's recent play make Boozer more expendable?

John Hollinger
  (2:33 PM)

Yes and no... makes it easier to let him walk after the season. But because he's helped Jazz push into top 4 in West, it makes it harder to deal Boozer for table scraps before the deadline.

John (NM)

Let's say an Eastern Conference All-Star reserve (Paul Pierce) elects to pass on his invite to Dallas. Who does David Stern add to the Eastern Conference roster?

John Hollinger
  (2:34 PM)

Great question. I'd say Josh Smith and David Lee are the two obvious candidates, and given the recent bias toward players on winning teams and the fact Smith got absolutely hosed in the initial selection process, I'd have to think Smith would be the guy.

md (Dallas, TX)

You don't list Dallas among those willing to take on money. Is this on purpose, or an oversight?

John Hollinger
  (2:35 PM)

Total oversight, thanks. They're on the unconditionally willing list with Cavs and Celtics.

Ryan (Utah)

What about Chris Paul's replacement?

John Hollinger
  (2:38 PM)

CP's replacement is guaranteed to be Chauncey Billups. The more interesting dilemma is if Brandon Roy can't go. In that event I would think they'd be OK going big and taking Carlos Boozer, but if they decide to stay small it opens field up to the likes of Tyreke Evans or Baron Davis.

Dave (Cleveland)

give the hawks another player in the all star game while the cavs still have only one. if they are looking at winning records, whats wrong with that picture?

John Hollinger
  (2:40 PM)

Who on the Cavs is better than Smith? Cleveland has one awesome player and a bunch of pretty good ones, and as they've shown it can be a very effective way to win big. But saying more than one of them is among the 12 (or even 15) best players in the East is silliness.

Tom (NJ)

Any deals for the Nets? give a guy some hope leading to 2010/11.....

John Hollinger
  (2:41 PM)

They're the leading suitor for Amare Stoudemire, and if they pick him up I think they can probably get to 10 wins.

Joey (PDX)

Do you really think Roy's injury is that serious? The AllStar break isn't for another 2 weeks. Should he think about sitting out until or beyond that point?

John Hollinger
  (2:42 PM)

I think it's more likely he's back before then, but hamstring injuries have a way of lingering.

Brook (New York)

With the Knicks recent losing streak and hope of playoff fading, should Walsh sacrifice Douglas/Robinson/Hill to move Jeffries and get some cap room? Is anyone interested?

John Hollinger
  (2:43 PM)

The last three words of your question are the relevant part -- why would anyone take on Jeffries unless they were paid a huge ransom to do so? They'd have to give up Gallinari to get much traction on that front.

Ryan (Utah)

Can you explain how you get "PDX" out of "Portland"?

John Hollinger
  (2:44 PM)

PDX is the airport code for Portland, Oregon, and for some reason it's used far and wide among locals in a way that, say, Orlando people would never use for MCO.

Brad (San Francisco)

I understand the selection of Chauncey and maybe even Boozer or Kaman, but listing Tyreke Evans and Baron Davis over Monta Ellis for an Allstar spot? It must be because both the Kings and Clips are such powerhouse teams to overshadow a guy who's the 4th highest scorer, top 10 in assists, and first in steals in the Western Conference.

John Hollinger
  (2:45 PM)

No, it's because they're better players. Sorry. Ellis is king of the quant stats because he plays 40 minutes a game for the league's fastest paced team, but once you let the air out his production (and examine the low efficiency that accompanies it), it just isn't that impressive.

Joe (Brazil)

How's Amare better than Boozer? Why does everyone want Amare and not Boozer?

John Hollinger
  (2:47 PM)

This is a legitimate question -- both Boozer and Lee might be better big-man prospects than Stoudemire. The advantage with Stoudemire is that you can lock him up for certain, right now, if you can work an "extend-and-trade" type of deal.

Matt (Enola, PA)

John, So i ran Iggy for Josh Howard through trade machine and it worked, Sixers get cap relieve and the Mavs get a great piece to puzzle.

John Hollinger
  (2:49 PM)

Nice try, but the Sixers aren't trading Iguodala for an expiring contract. Pretty much every team in the league can work a deal like that. Philly will only deal Iggy if they get a huge benefit in return -- i'e., taking Brand off their hands, or taking Dalembert and giving them picks/young guys, etc. Everything is on the table in Philly, but I have trouble seeing Dallas landing Iggy.

Joel (Grand Rapids)

Your are as close to an NBA fortune teller as I know. Please tell me what Pistons players will be gone on Feb 18th???

John Hollinger
  (2:50 PM)

Tayshaun. One other one to look at: Kwame Brown. Serviceable big man on an expiring deal. Could see some action there.

Jordan (Dallas)

Marion to Dallas was a 4 way trade this past offseason. Pretty recent I'd say.

John Hollinger
  (2:51 PM)

But only two significant pieces -- Turk to Toronto and Marion to Dallas. We've seen deals involving several teams before, I'm just trying to recall the last one that saw significant talent exchanged three ways.

Chris (Canton,OH)

Do you agree that Amare doesn't make a good fit in Cleveland given his reluctant defensive game. Personally don't think it matches with Mike Brown's insistence on the defensive end.

John Hollinger
  (2:51 PM)

I'd be worried about that, yes, and even more worried about where his touches and space were coming from -- he didn't exactly thrive playing next to Shaq last year.

Adam (East Lansing, MI)

Combining the rumor on insider of Tayshaun for Boozer and the Possible deal you posted for the Pistons regarding Amare for Villanueva/Brown/Wilcox, it works in a 3-team deal for the Piston, what is the likelihood of one or either of those 2 deals coming to fruition?

John Hollinger
  (2:53 PM)

I can't see Tayshaun landing in Utah because he has a year left at $11 million after this one and would put Jazz back into the deep tax hole that they're trying so hard to avoid.

Peter (Boston)

Are the Celtics seriously looking to trade Ray Allen before the trade deadline? It's not surprising his FG percentage is down, he's logging so many minutes.

John Hollinger
  (2:55 PM)

I'm not sure how serious they are, but common sense should tell you that since he's the one with the huge expiring contract and he's the one who's struggling the most, that he becomes the obvious trade chip here. The Monta Ellis talk doesn't make sense to me, I don't think he pairs well with Rondo since neither is a shooter, but there are deals out there that work pretty well if Boston wants to take the plunge.

Bobby (Louisville)

The Glen Rice/Vin Baker/Patrick Ewing trade was huge.

John Hollinger
  (2:56 PM)

Thanks. We're up to the 2000s now.

Jesse (Toronto)

I may get kicked out of town for asking, but would anyone object to a Hedo for Vince deal today? Orl takes on a longer contract but better fit...Toronto gets a guy on a shorter deal and maybe someone they can move elsewhere for a better SF fit alongside Derozan.

John Hollinger
  (2:57 PM)

That would be the ultimate irony wouldn't it? I think the extra years on Hedo's deal would scare Orlando though ... that's why they couldn't re-sign him in the first place, they were terrified of going beyond 4 yrs.

Jake McGrath (Maryvale, AZ)

If Amare is traded, what happens with Steve Nash?

John Hollinger
  (2:58 PM)

Nash isn't going anywhere. The locals would riot and burn things if they moved him.

Kal (Buffalo)

Also, how can you say Varejao is the DPOY, but isn't an all-star?

John Hollinger
  (2:59 PM)

You've seen him play offense, yes?

PJ (Toronto)

(kicking Jesse)... Hollinger... Josh Howard to Toronto, Kevin Martin to Dallas, Jose Calderon, Antoine Wright's expiring and a draft pick to Sacramento... why not?

John Hollinger
  (3:01 PM)

I think two of the three teams would do it -- the hang up right now is that Sacto isn't ready to move Kevin Martin. I think they want to play out the season with Martin and Evans in the backcourt and then make a decision on whether it can work. On that note, would love to see Kings play more with Sergio or Udrih at point and try Martin and Evans together on wings -- I think it's a much more coherent pairing that way than with Evans at the point.

Patrick (Philadelphia, PA)

Speaking of Boozer, if you don't think he'll be back in Utah, what sort of piece, if any, do you think he could bring back in a S&T this summer?

John Hollinger
  (3:03 PM)

It's tricky even with a sign-and-trade, because if Utah takes back as much as it's paying Boozer then it's back to being a tax team. Would have to either take back a non-guaranteed deal or do the trade with a team under the cap and take back a fraction of the money.

David (california)

Don't you think toronto should trade bosh to see if they could get anything out of it?

John Hollinger
  (3:05 PM)

No, not right now certainly. They're about to make the playoffs and have a decent shot at keeping him this summer. Even if they can't, a sign-and-trade will net them other assets. I'd be shocked if Bosh went anywhere before July.

John Hollinger
  (3:06 PM)

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