Greetings from someplace over Idaho. I'm flying from Jazz-Spurs last night to Portland for Blazers-Celtics tonight, and I need you guys to keep me entertained. I've got a mountain view, an iTunes folder full of grunge, and at least an hour to kill. Let's get started.
Could it be the Suns say they aren't going to trade Nash because they know there's simply not much of a market for him? I'm a Suns fan and want the Suns to rebuild, but if they can't get any more than expiring contracts and a first round pick from a playoff team, I'd rather have them keep Nash.
If there is one thing I can assure you of, it's this: There is a market for Steve Nash. If they put him on the market they will get serious offers with good players in them.
What are the odds that the Pacers make a big move before the deadline? They aren't playing well and have a lot of expiring deals they can offer along with Danny Granger. Thoughts?
The only way I see Indy doing something is if they can effectively buy their 2011 free agent right now. Otherwise they'd probably rather go into the summer with the cap space and accelerate the slo-mo rebuilding project
I continue to be baffled by the lack of positive recognition the Spurs get from the "main stream media". Stroke our ego, John...tell us how good we are, make us feel like winners! Or not.
The problem is that when we write about how good the Spurs are, nobody cares. When we point out that they're not boring at all and are actually one of the most exciting, creative teams in the league, that falls on deaf ears too. The only way to really get people on the Spurs bandwagon is to have them play the Lakers or the Heat.
Who is more likely to be traded at the deadline: Andre Miller, Joel Przybilla, or Marcus Camby?
Miller. The Camby injury makes it hard to trade either him or Przybilla. The Blazers keep insisting on three weeks for Camby, which conveniently is just before the trade deadline, but I still have my doubts.
Is there anyone on this team worth keeping?
Eyenga. I can't believe they're starting Alonzo Gee instead of giving the kid more burn and letting him learn.
Mayo and Randolph for Granger and Ford. Good for everyone? Does Bird balk at the personalities of the Grizz players?
There's no way the Pacers are taking on Zach Randolph after what they've gone through to try to clear their roster of shaky character guys. He's a free agent after the season, so perhaps they could do it as a rental, but I can't see why you'd move Granger for him in a salary dump.
What is more likely? The Jazz look to improve and trade AK for an All Star caliber player to team with D-Will or trade AK to NJ for Troy Murphy and fillers?
The latter, for two reasons -- 1) AK isn't getting you an All-Star, and 2) the Jazz need to trim their luxury tax bill. I'd be very surprised if he finishes the season in Utah.
Do you think the Blazers get the 8th seed in the west?
I think they'll get in, but it could be as high as No. 6 depending on what happens at trade deadline. If you look at possibility of Denver taking a big dive and Utah cutting $$, it's still possible Blazers, Griz and Rockets could be final three. Of course, Portland might trim its hopes with a trade for assets too.
John, I really liked your piece on Al Jefferson. It seems like some of these criticisms are the same ones we heard back in MN. No defense, slows the offense, ceiling is second best player on a great team. If he can't fit in with Utah or Minny, what situation is good for Al?
Here's the deal -- he needs to have a good defensive big next to him, and he needs to be in a post-and-space offense. Both Minny (next to Love, lots of triangle last year) and Utah (next to Millsap, flex offense) fail on both counts.
If I can continue to play with the intensity I've had on both ends of the floor lately, can I be that X-factor that pushes the Hornets into at least a 2nd round series?
Yes. I was surprised they weren't playing him more early, but I think Monty was trying to drill into his head the importance of playing a little defense in between all those shot attempts. Thornton definitely runs hot and cold, but that second unit desperately needs his scoring.
If the Blazers trade Miller they will need a PG in return so who do you think are realistic options out there ? The option i like and it would be a downgrade is Luke Ridnour. The team needs a PG who can shoot and distribute the ball.
But do you want to pay Ridnour for three years after this one? Interesting name, I'll give you that. The one I think is the most likely, though, is Devin Harris. The issue, however, is that I don't think the Nets want Miller, so it would have to be a three-way.
Who would you pick to be the West reserves in the All Star game?
We're a couple days away from that column.
How about Fernandez and Miller for Ridnour and Brewer?
I think Blazers would want something more like Tolliver and Ridnour, and no Rudy in the deal, but I can't see the Wolves' need for Miller. Again, looking at a three-way.
would ford be of any use to the hawks?
That's a sneaky good move right there -- Ford plays selfishly but he'd be an upgrade talent-wise and he could get them running, where they're lethal. Pacers wouldn't want much in return, either, but getting contract $$$ to match could be an issue.
Do you see Rose running away with the MVP in the 2nd half of the season, like he did the first half?
You're just saying this to upset me, right? Look, Rose had a great first half of the year, but any first-half MVP list that doesn't have LeBron, Howard, Wade and CP in the top four in some order is immediately suspect.
Seeing how well Chicago has played without Noah, do you think they want to rethink their Noah for Melo stance?
No, actually I don't think Rose and Melo are good complements for each other's games.
People are tripping over themselves saying win-loss shouldn't matter for guys like Griffin and Love to make the All Star team. But why aren't they making the same argument for Steve Nash? He's having maybe his best season. He's 7th in the league in PER and averages more points and assists than Chris Paul while shooting 53%. It's not his fault his owner tried to play GM this summer and destroyed the team.
Agree completely. Nash's All-Star case is dramatically stronger than most presume ... I don't envy the folks who have to select the Western reserves. Also, keep in mind that we'll have an injury sub named for Yao Ming afterward ... David Stern makes the pick, and based on history there's a good chance it will provide unintentional comedy.
CP3 to the Clippers. Paul. Gordon. Aminu. Griffin. Jordan. Looks like a championship team to me.
Right team, wrong point guard. Deron Williams is the guy who may very well be a Clipper in 2012. People think of Texas with him but he actually lives in San Diego in the offseason.
Have fun in Portland John. I hear people there sleep until 11:00 and work part time jobs at coffee shops.
The Dream of the 90s is alive!
Kevin Pritchard would be a great Wolves Gm! Do you think Kahn is toast if they do not win more games this year, or does he have taylors ear?
C'mon, look at how long Kevin McHale kept his job and tell me you don't already know the answer. I'll be doing KAAAAHHHNNNN shtick for years.
Devin Harris!?! I'M better than Devin Harris! I'll also play the next 5 years without missing a game - Devin Harris can't say that!
You're more durable, yes ... but you're also half a decade older. That's a concern. That's why I think the Blazers get proactive and try to move Miller now.
What is Sloan's fascination with continually using old, has been players in his starting lineup. Bell is the toast this year and years past we have had to live through the likes of Calbert Chaney and Matt Harpring.
I agree that Utah needs to start Miles and AK on the wings and reduce Bell's role, but I don't see it as a cure-all either because CJ is going to get shredded on defense in that stopper role.
No Nowitzki in your top 4 MVP list?
I think the logic with him is backwards. I'm not moving a guy UP my MVP list because he misses ten games.
Shouldn't I be getting more consideration for the All Star game? I average a double double, get nearly 2 blocks a game, and I anchor one of the top defenses in the NBA. Nene can't rebound and Bynum can't get off crunches. I'M AN ALL STAR!!!
Stop being ridiculous. You're 17th among centers in PER. If they took an All-Star team that was composed entirely of centers, you'd still be on the bubble. Sorry.
John, if I MUST see one NBA player play in person, who would it be?
I'm a big Ginobili guy for that, but I've only seen Griffin in person once. CP is great in person too ... his game comes across as kinda boring on TV but up close you see it in a different light.
If the pacers lose O'brien are they playoff bound??
O'Brien is the least of their problems. They have a roster full of solid players, but if you don't have a star or two to go with it you're gonna end up 34-48.
Simmons dumped me. I'm on the rebound. Are you interested?
I think he and Jimmer Fredette are already an item.
Josh Smith in person is something to see (for a variety of reasons).
Good one, I should know ... Tony Allen, for the same reasons, can be absolutely spectacular. So can JaVale McGee.
Is there any chance that the Miami Heat make any moves in the trade deadline?
If they do it's gonna be real low-level stuff, because they just don't have any assets to put into play. More likely is that they sign somebody who's waived by another team.
LeBron doesn't get any consideration for the one player you'd want to see in person? Granted, he's not the best for "pure" basketball and there's nothing Ginobili-weird about his game. But in terms of flat out excitement, especially for a casual fan? Can't be beat.
Look, the transition plays are ridiculous, I'll agree with you on that. But he's really methodical 95% of the time, and that's kinda dull.
Stat has to be in the MVP talk. The Knicks' above .500 & the Suns below .500. Who's more valuable than that?
Um, have you seen what LeBron's current and former teams are doing?
Who is on the blazers radar other then Devin Harris?
It'd be a much lower-level move, but I think they may like Jeff Teague. Portland's assistant GM was in Atlanta when they drafted him.
What are the odds Aldridge makes the All Star team?
Less than 50% right now. He needs to kick Garnett's butt tonight on national TV, especially after that lame performance against Sacto on Monday.
John, do u see Boston getting 4 reserves for the ASG. KG, Pierce, Rondo and Allen have been having spectacular seasons...although 4 reserves from one team is a lot... Detroit pulled it off a few years ago. If not who do u see on the outside looking in?
I think there's a decent chance. Ray is definitely the one with the weakest case, but the East is so lame this year in terms of All-Star candidates that Boston may pull this off.
Kinda interesting you say Al and Millsap can't play D next to one another when the BEST D in the league features Boozer and Thomas on their front line. It's the TEAM concept in Utah that is lacking.
Thomas is a good defender, and off the bench Taj Gibson is a very good defender. Utah doesn't have anybody close to that level.
You are a portland Timbers fan?
It's hard to describe myself as a fan of a team that has yet to play a game .... but I do expect to hit PGE Park a few times this summer, yes.
are the grizz gonna get anyone to help them get the playoffs or are they just gonna give up and trade away contracts
I think it's important to them to make the playoffs, but they have to look at possibilities with Z-Bo if they get good offers.
Why all the Mozgov jokes in your columns? FREE MOZ DEF!!!
It just entertains me that ever year in training camp D'Antoni is always so wildly optimistic about one player who is demonstrably terrible. Last year it was Jeffries, this year it's Mozgov.
best player to never be an all-star? Still Bibby?
i think Josh Smith is starting to be a serious contender in that category. Byron Scott is probably the all-time leader.
Your thoughts on Ricky Rubio and his potential NBA future?
Here's thing with Rubio -- everyone talks about his bad shooting, but there are lots of bad shooters in the league. What kills Rubio is that he's also a terrible finisher -- even in the paint he has trouble scoring. It's not just that he can't score from outside, he can't score from anywhere. Gonna be tough to make a large impact til he fixes that.
If the Jazz consider keeping Deron the most important priority, how do they justify dumping AK this season to save money?
AK won't be here next year anyway, and I'm not sure D-Will is all that thrilled with him (remember that "vacation" comment a couple years ago? Totally directed at AK) to begin with.
Who should Memphis keep and pay -- Randolph or Gasol?
They're gonna keep Gasol because he's restricted. Z-Bo is unrestricted and has a say in his future, so that's the more interesting one. I think they'd like to pay both if they can keep Z-Bo at reasonable money.
Ok folks, it looks like we're gonna be landing so I gotta shut this thing down. Thanks for all the great questions and we'll do this again next week.