Good afternoon from New York, and it's good to be back in the chat room for the first time since the end of the NBA Finals. Free agency is obviously Topic A for the day, but I also haven't yet had a chance to defend and debate the vote I cast for Pau Gasol as MVP of the NBA Finals. Those who follow me on Twitter (http://twitter.com/CSheridanESPN) got a brief explanation at the conclusion of Game 7, and I am prepared to supplement that defense. Also, I'd ask that you click on the TrueHoop link on the main NBA page and read what I have to say about the notion that the Bulls have an edge (because of their superior current supporting cast) over the Knicks in recruiting LeBron James.
Hi Chris,I know you think Gasol deserved the Finals MVP but consider this: Tim Duncan averaged just 15 points a game in Games 3 and 4 of the 2005 Finals on 10-for-32 shooting? In the decisive Game 7, he went 10-for-27 and still won Finals MVP. Also, Timmy went a combined 10-of-32 in the last two games of the 2007 Finals and no one cares about that. All they remember is that he won.Also,in Game 5, at home with a chance to close out the Jazz, MJ shot 9-of-26, with four turnovers. We also don't remember that in the previous series against the Pacers, Jordan was just 9-for-25 in Game 7. With that said, please explain why Kobe did not derserve the Finals MVP this year. Kobe is the main reason the Lakers got to the Finals in the first place. I think this is a classic example of "Kobe hating."
Kobe had my vote until I changed my mind with about 20 seconds left. Reason No. 1: The championship was won in the final 6 minutes of Game 7, and Pau Gasol was the best player on the court over that span. Reason 2: 6-for-24. Reason 3: In the Lakers' four victories, Gasol had 25 buckets and 45 rebounds while shooting 45 percent. Kobe had 35 buckets and 40 rebounds while shooting 37 percent.
By the way, the final vote tally was 7 for Kobe, 2 for Gasol. I do not know who cast the other Gasol vote.
Do you think LBJ already knows where he will sign, or do you think he is still debating his options? As a related question, how quickly do you think we will see the dominoes fall once July 1 hits? Will there be a flurry of signings, or will it play out over several weeks?
To the first question, no. In fact, the notion that the guy is going to make his mind up in late June, just a couple days before he gets to hear each team's recruiting pitch, is ludicrous. He has waited his whole career for this moment, and you think he's going to make up his mind prematurely? Absurd. As for the dominoes, it depends on the alpha domino, LeBron. And I have heard through the grapevine that the NBA has let it be known to LeBron's people that they would appreciate it if he doesn't keep the entire NBA on hold for an inordinate amount of time.
Thoughts on the blantantly obvious missed calls in the Germany-England and Argentina-Mexico games? With all this talk about how 'rabid' futbol fans are, with that much on the line there would be blood in the streets if decisive calls like that were made stateside, no?
As I recall, there was a fairly egregious non-call when Bruce Bowen shoved LeBron James in the back as LBJ was attempting a 3 with the Cavs down 3 in the final seconds of Game 3 of the Spurs-Cavs series in '07. That stuff happens. It is part of sports.
Any chance NYK can pull of a Chandler/Curry for J.J. sign and trade and then sign LeBosh ? Would that be a better team than Chi ?
Nobody is trading for Eddy Curry,. If you are looking for a dead weight center who is likely to be traded this summer, it is Erick Dampier. He has a non-guaranteed contract for $13.1 million, and the deadline for his team to decline that option is not until the end of training camp. That is why he is a huge outgoing sign-and-trade chip for the Mavs this summer.
Hey Chris, I think you guys wrote off LBJ going to NJ a little too early; it looks like with the fact that LeBron has questions regarding the Bulls roster and the fact Lbj chose to meet with Proky and the Nets first, he may wind up a Net. Your thoughts
My thoughts remain the same: The King does not do purgatory, and two years in Newark is purgatory. when the Brooklyn arena is built and LeBron becomes a free agent again (could be 2013, 14 or 15), Prokhorov and Jay-Z will be truly in the mix.
hey Chris, which lottery pick puts their team into the playoffs?
The safe answer is Gordon Hayward. The guy who I think will be the biggest impact player is DeMarcus Cousins with Sacramento.
LeBron talks about loyalty and loving being an Akron guy, but with Cleveland's total lack of cap space and inability to win with a seemingly loaded roster this year (Mo Williams, Antawn Jamison, Shaq) are the Cavs seriously in the running to keep LBJ?
They will have one crucial intangible working in their favor: LeBron will be reviled in Cleveland if he leaves, at least at first. That has to weigh heavily on him.
Do you believe Pat Riley when he says he's not looking to trade Beasley?
He's not looking to trade him because he's been trying to trade him for a year, and he can't. So technically, I believe him. But the truth of the matter is they discussed moving him to the Wizards several times, and the Nets, too, and neither team wanted any part of him. The Wolves were willing to give them Ryan Gomes, but Miami did not want to do that deal.
Hey Chris, What are the Clippers planning to do with all that space in their salary cap? Is there still a chance LeBron will sign with the Clips?
A small chance. I found it noteworthy that LeBron went into quite a bit of detail in discussing the Clippers when he went on Larry King. He didn't say similar things about any other team. Still, I think it's a miniscule chance, and I see Joe Johnson as a more plausible fit there, with Eric Gordon moving into a sixth man role.
Chris, your hypothesis about James Dolan > Jerry Reinsdorf in LeBron's mind neglects the fact that Dolan is a total nutjob.
That was not part of my argument. Here is the link to the Bulls vs. Knicks article:http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/knicks/post/_/id/133/lbj-free-agency-5-questions-on-bullsknicks-premise
Is there any way Minnesota can trade Rubio, and we see him playing in 2010-2011
Ricky does not have an opt out this summer. He can get out of his Barcelona contract next summer -- just in time for the lockout.
Hey Chris, what does LeBron want more? Money/Fame/Power or a Championship?
C) All of the above.
Hi Chris,I just wanted to thank you for a sane, thought provoking piece on why LeBron might consider NY over the more "stacked" Chicago line up.If you had to take a shot for all the marbles, would you even guess were the top five freeagents land?
Appeciate the kind words, Scott, but I am not making any guesses at this time. Makes no sense when Dwyane Wade himself said yesterday: "None of us know what is going to happen. Not LeBron, Not me. Not Chris. Not any of us right now." (Hat tip to the Miami Herald's Michael Wallace for getting that exclusive quote out of Dwyane at O'Hare airport.)
Maggette a good fit in Milwaukee? Maybe I'm wrong but I don't really see Skiles and Maggette working well together.
Someone has to replace John Salmons in that offense, and Maggette is one of the better guys in the league at getting to the line. The Bucks lacked that last season.
Which teams do see as good fits for Redick, provided the Magic let him walk?
I don't believe they will let him walk. I think it is more likely they trade Gortat once his trade veto expires a year from the date the Magic matched his offer sheet from Dallas.
Of the top free agents, who is likely to get a max contract and who would take less? Seems like too many agents and not enough chairs here
If there is one guy who played himself out of max money during the playoffs, I would say it was Joe Johnson.
Any ideas on a what point guard the Lakers will go after? Your thoughts on Collison, Jameer Nelson, very very long shot of CP3. I think they'll stick with Bynum so only move I see them making is at the point. Your thoughts?
Steve Blake or Luke Ridnour with the MLE.
If Miami signs two or three max contracts what other guys could they sign to fill their roster and who would the most likely sign other than Wade.Thanks
If they re-sign Wade and add a max player, they'll still have $10 or so million to play with. The only players they'll have under contract on July 1 are Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers.
Is it me, or are the Houston Rockets flying under the radar when they could be huge players? Seems as though with MIA/CHI filling out rosters with huge free agents, the western conference would be the most logical place for other FAs to sign .... and HOU has tons of assets.
That is why they want to get into the sign-and-trade mix with Bosh. Problem is, most folks in the NBA believe Bosh and LeBron will end up going to the same place.
Do you see Lebron and Rose being able to co-exist if Lebron were to sign in chicago? I personally don't.
They both need the ball in their hands. That is a major factor. And the fact that Rose can't shoot from 3 is a factor, too. The Bulls have no shooters.
Where do you see Arenas ending up? Bucher mentions Sixers, Knicks, and Magic as potential landing spots. What could the Wizards expect in return?
Sixers might give them Brand. Knicks have no assets to trade except David Lee. Magic makes more sense, especially given the tight relationship between Otis Smith and Gilbert. Just did the math on a Jameer Nelson/Marcin Gortat for Arenas trade, and it misses under salary cap rules by a mere $337,000. Magic would have to add a third player.
I know the mavs are interested in Lebron. But will the cavs even consider a sign and trade?
My belief is that if LeBron James tells Dan Gilbert he is leaving, Gilbert will turn his back on him and refuse to facilitate a deal that would net LBJ an extra $30 million over six years.
Should the Rose/Lebron co-existing point and the Bulls lack of shooters be the Knicks #1 pitch point?
Their No.1 pitch point will be playing in NY, but from a basketball standpoint one of their top arguments should be that they are positioned to be major players in free agency again in 2011 when Eddy Curry comes off the cap. Miami and Chicago can't make that same argument.
In your opinion what was a bigger factor in the Cavs playoff exit: Players around James or James taking too many jump shots and long 3s?
LeBron's non-performance in Game 5 was the biggest factor. Possibly his last night in Cleveland playing for the Cavs.
Chris, you make it sound like the lack of shooters on the Bulls is some irrevocable problem. You realize that they can acquire shooters fairly cheaply, especially if they have the lure of LBJ...
Only if they divvy up their remaining cap space after signing LeBron. You think Kyle Korver is signing for the minimum? No way.
How about Stephen Curry for Derrick Rose to solve the lebron misfit?
They'd have to move Monta Ellis first. Not an easy thing to do with his contract ($11M per year for four more years).
Using the summer of 2011 as an asset for the Knicks is almost laughable. LBJ wants to win a title now, so why would he sign somewhere and wait another year for Eddy Curry's hamburger money to come off the books?
It's about what the team will look like over the next 3-4 years, not what it'll look like in 2010-11.
how about Deng for a shooter? He can't play alongside Lebron anyway neither can play PF or SG.
Deng would have to be used in a sign-and-trade to get Bosh. Otherwise, Raptors would tell Bosh to go sign for the Bulls' remaining post-LeBron room for five years instead of six. That's the $30 million hammer they are holding over his head.
You say Newark is a purgatory? I say it's a state of the art arena, and a chance for community revitalization. Lebron also has a better, more promising supporting cast that fits his game better than any other team. Noah, is nowhere near the center that Brook Lopez is. Your thoughts?
Agree with the Lopez part, but Newark is indeed purgatory. And with the way two-year construction projects tend to turn into four-year construction projects in New York, that purgatory might end up lasting longer than originally envisioned.
Then who is NY's contingent of shooters? Gallinari?
And Andy Rautins. Still two more shooters (OK, maybe one and a half) than the Bulls and Heat have.
"It's about what the team will look like over the next 3-4 years, not what it'll look like in 2010-11."In 3 or 4 years, LeBron will be beginning to exit his prime. If he's concerned with championships, with legacy, I think his consideration is winning now, not winning later. Chicago or Miami. I'll stake my second child on it.
I disagree. In three years's he'll be 28. In four years he'll be 29. Michael Jordan didn't win a championship until he was 29. Then he won five more. It's about the long-term future, Ryan, not the short-term future or the recent past.
How about a NJ contract that lets him leave after 2 years if year 3 isn't going to be played in Brooklyn?
More likely would be a four-year contract elsewhere with an opt-out after three years that would allow him to have the option of moving to Brooklyn once the arena is built.
I am under the impression the Heat can sign three max players because Wade's contract will not count against the cap because he's a returning FA, granted Arison would have to pay a lot of money out in luxury tax. Doesn't that give them the clear advantage?
Under collective bargaining rules, Wade's contract counts against the cap at 200 percent of his 2009-10 salary (about $31 million) until he re-signs or leaves.
That's a wrap, folks. We'll chat again next Monday when all hell will have already broken loose. Also, I'll be live chatting again on the ESPNNewYork site at noon EDT Wednesday.