Good afternoon from New York, across the Hudson River from the state where Sasha Vujacic wore purple and gold kicks in his New Jersey Nets debut Sunday. Let's get chatting ...
I can't think of any real contender who could use Steve Nash. Can you? What's a likely destination for him if he's traded?
I can think of about five right off the top of my head, a list that begins with the Lakers. But from reading and listening to what Steve said after the big trade, and from what I'm hearing from folks around the league, is that the Suns are nowhere near going down that road. We'll see if that changes if they drop far below .500, where they currently reside, over the next two months.
Hey Chris, do you think the Lakers will package the exception from the Sasha trade or use it by itself around the trade line to get another asset or sit on it and save the money.
I think they'll save the money. Jerry Buss has been in money-saving mode for two years now. Paying luxury tax on Sun Yue was the last straw. He saved $8 million in salary and luxury tax with this most recent trade.
Is Dwight Howard really threatening to leave and making demands? Where do you think he'd end up if he left?
The threat is implicit, because Dwight will have the right to be a free agent in 2012, and teams have to surround thyeir superstars with the best players possible to keep them happy. I do not know where he'd end up. Too many mammoth variables, a list that begins with which way the Knicks will go with their cap room. Right now, they must save it until they know whether or not they can get C.Anthony.
Laker's have played some pretty poor opponents lately and that's probably the only thing keeping them at that record. Are they going to be able to shape-up in time for teams with records above .500? I feel like they do this every year
Their schedule has been crazy easy, including the trip they just completed, so it has been hard to get a reading on what they're going to do against superior competition. The nice thing for them is they're getting Bynum back in time for that stretch, which will ease the minutes Pau Gasol has been forced to log. The weird thing is how their schedule remains easy until late January. Yes, they have Miami and then San Antonio, but their next 11 after that are all very winnable games. Toughest foe in that stretch is New Orleans (twice).
What's with Van Gundy's love for Jameer Nelson? It makes more sense for Nelson to come off the bench. Truthfully, shouldn't he be moved for another big? e.g. Thompson in Sacramento.
Jameer is more of a glue guy than a point guard that is going to overwhelm you with stats, and he certainly can run hot and cold. What I like about the two trades is that they imported a combo guard (Arenas) who can run the point when Nelson is sitting/ineffective, and a forward (Turkoglu) whose best days came when he played point forward when J.Nelson was sidelined during their run to the finals two years ago. That's two guys you can run the offense through who are not as limited in skills as Lewis and Carter were.
Is Tim Duncan the best PF ever? If not, why and who is?
I am partial to Karl Malone in that argument. In his prime, he was unstoppable at a level Duncan has only scratched.
Just off the Magic's blockbuster deals, where are they looking for a backup center? Or can someone slide over to the 5?
It's Earl Clark for now, and Otis Smith has said he expects to find another big somewhere out there in the next month. But there aren't many available. Assuming D.Milicic and N.Pekovic get healthy son, Kosta Koufos might be the most getable 7-footer around.
People like to bring up the injuries and the gun incident but let?s be honest, Arenas has been healthy for a year and a half now and while the gun incident was really stupid, it was isolated and Arenas is no thug. If a reinvigorated Gilbert Arenas is even three quarters of the guy that blew up from 04-07, then straight swapping Lewis for Arenas has got to be a good thing right? I realize there?s still an if in there but I don?t think it?s necessarily a HUGE if.
I know Turk's got a bad contract but the focus of that deal with PHX should really be Richardson and how he's instantly a pretty big upgrade over any of the players that Orlando shipped out. He's a great teammate, still relatively young, on the last year of his contract, and he's a picture perfect fit for Orlando's system. Agree?
Matt, you've earned a rare double-post beause of your astute observations. Richardson is indeed more important to that deal than Turk, and Arenas was still All-Star material what, 13 months ago?
If it isn't already clear, I really like the trades from a Magic standpoint. I still think they match up poorly with Boston, but they are now better equipped to defeat Miami.
Are small market teams doomed if this super team trend continues? Seems like guys like Melo, Howard, Paul know that there's no real point really when trios like Miami are forming...on more deeper level was what Lebron/Wade/Bosh did a little reckless? They might have started a LT trend thats not that good for the league if this happens...what's your take?
IMO, it is good for the league to have superteams. It generates interest. There are a lot of folks who are going to be watching their first NBA game of the season on Christmas Day when the Heat play the Lakers, and those people can be brought aboard (or brought back) as casual fans if they like what they see. As for the small-market theory, the Oklahoma City Thunder are bucking what you call a trend. Kevin Durant really, truly likes it there, or he wouldn't have signed an extension. Also, the Spurs haven't been bad since the year David Robinson was hurt and they tanked/stanked their way into winning the Tim Duncan lottery.
Is there any interest at all around the league for Brandon Roy, or is he essentially untradeable?
He is No. 1 on my untradeable list.
Hi Chris, All the conventional wisdom (so to speak) has Melo eventually accepting his fate as an NJ Net. This obviously goes against what you reported. Are you still sure he only signs with NYK?
The Nets still think they can get in his ear and convince him to sign the extension with them, and though I'm sure M.Prokhorov and Jay-Z can make a strong pitch (and B.King can make the best offer), I still give them and the other 27 teams only a 5 percent chance of getting 'Melo. I've still got it at Knicks, 75 percent; Nuggets, 20 percent; rest of NBA: 5 percent.
Hey Chris, Have you noticed that Lebron has started using a move where he uses his off hand to push his defender away, creating space. Think the NBA will ever call this blatant foul? I don't.
That's known as the Bryon Russell move, and the NBA refs are as hesitant to make that call against superstars today as they were in 1998 when Michael Jordan used it to hit the shot that gave the Bulls the championship in Game 6.
With the magic making this move will it put more pressure on the bulls to fix there shooting guard dilema.
That's a problem the Bulls are looking at, but there is no real urgency a this point of the season for them to make a bad deal to find someone who is a combination of Bogans/Korver. That only changes if they slide to such a degree that the 4/5 playoff seeding becomes in jeopardy.
Who plays 4 for the Magic? Seems like even though Lewis was struggling his presence forced bigs out of the lane. Won't Bass clog the lane for Howard? Will we see Anderson and Hedo at the 4? If so does that slide Richardson to the 3?
Bass has been a very good complimentary player to Dwight this year and was a big part of what made Gortat expendable. But he's about all they've got, which is why still don't like them against Boston as much as I do against Miami.
Nothing has been said about Earl Clark in this deal. A few years ago he was a pretty hot prospect. He claims he didn't get a chance in Phoenix, do you see in him a potential diamond in the rough for Orlando?
He'll get some burn out of necessity, and we shall see. Was hard to make a judgement on him in Phoenix, where he didn't play.
Where does Manu rank in the MVP race?
Glad you asked, John, because they were chanted it for him in San Antonio on Saturday night when they beat the Grizzlies in OT. He has to be in the discussion, along with Amar'e (who LeBron James himself called the MVP of the first quarter of the season) and Derrick Rose (who missed a free throw Saturday night against the Clips that would have sent the game to overtime). The fans in Chicago were chanting M-V-P for him right before he missed.
Should coach's vote in Love for Allstar? what he is doing is amazing........
I'm usually one to say winning should be rewarded, but I'm also one who usually deflects MVP discussion questions until January. In this case, the numbers Love are putting up are truly astonishing. No way he is left off the All-Star team, IMO.
From the Nuggets' point of view, how much worse is the Knicks' offer than the Nets'? Favors, Harris and picks sounds alot better than Landry Fields, Gallo and picks...
Favors and three No. 1s trumps anything the Knicks can/will offer, and that will continue to be the case until the deal does or doesn't go down. (other piece would be T.Murphy, not D.Harris, if it is a straight two-team deal). What matters most is whether Anthony will remain steadfast in his opposition to agreeing to sign an extension with anyone other than New York if he is traded. And if the Nets get shut out, they are well positioned to build a decent young team through the draft over the next two years and have a ton of cap space for the summer of 2012 free agent class.
Hi Chris, assuming the Magic play LeBron in the 2nd round again, similar to two years ago, do you see the new-look Magic being able to win again? Their backcourt seems like it has the firepower to compete offensively with James/Wade... but can the Magic really survive games where Howard gets into foul trouble, without the Polish hammer?
Get into foul trouble defending who, Damp? Offensive fouls would be the biggest threat to Howard staying on the court. But I see the point of your question, Ryan, and as noted before, O.Smith believes he can get another center within a month. Let's see who he gets and then revisit this discussion when we've had 10-20 game body of work to judge the new-look Magic by.
In the west this year, the 6-8 playoff spot is up for grabs by like 4 teams, how do you see the west bottom half of the playoff spot round off to be?
Right now I would say Memphis and New Orleans will get Nos. 7 and 8 over Phoenix and Portland.
As a nugget fan I want clarity already with this melo situation. Give me gallinari and fields i dont care. Lets move on. Do you see this being resolved anytime soon and do you think its NYK or bust?
They'll need to get more than Gallinari and Fields. If you look at the Knicks' fivesome of Gallo, Fields, Chandler, Randolph and Curry, I have to believe three of those names are going to be involved in a deal if one happens. Also, Knicks president Donnie Walsh said last week he is confident he can get a No. 1 pick any time he wants to, so I'd expect this to be a three- or four-team deal if it indeed goes down.
That's a wrap, folks. Happy Festivus, or whatever holiday it is you will be celebrating this weekend.