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June 28, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with John Hollinger

John Hollinger
  (1:03 PM)

What's up everyone? Exciting 12 hours ahead of us as teams start wheeling and dealing on draft day. Obviously Houston is the focal point, but all eyes should also be on, well, everybody ...

Dwight Howard (Orlando)

What can the magic do to move me tonight? PLEASE HELP!

John Hollinger
  (1:04 PM)

Not happening. Any deal with Howard is almost certain to take place after July 1. That's also when cap considerations would make any trade with New Jersey or Houston much more plausible.

Brian C. (Los Angeles)

Odds on the Cavs trading up to #2 and taking Beal?

John Hollinger
  (1:06 PM)

Some interesting poker being played here -- it's not clear whether the Cavs are looking at trading up, trading down, or both. The workout story with Waiters makes a lot more sense to me if they were trading down to the 6-8 range, even though I really like Waiters. It sounds like they have to offer more than 4 and 24 to move up to No. 2 though, and I'm not sure what else they could throw in to entice Charlotte.

Andy. (NY)

Can you stop referring to the Nets as "New Jersey"? It's "Brooklyn" now if you haven't noticed.

John Hollinger
  (1:06 PM)

I'm a Jersey boy. Clinging to this one for as long as I can.

John (MI)

The Rockets will end up with what tonight?

John Hollinger
  (1:07 PM)

I'm not sure even they now. What they're effectively doing is building a house on spec and hoping somebody buys it. Great if it works out, but this is definitely a calculated risk on their part. I believe one way or another they're coming away with a center, whether its Dwight, Gasol, Drummond or somebody else.


The Suns seem to be taking a VERY conservative approach to their rebuild (or whatever euphemism their front office wants to use). If Nash doesn't return, are they the worst team in the NBA next year?

John Hollinger
  (1:10 PM)

Depends how they replace him. I think the Suns will push very hard to get Dragic if Nash leaves, and they'll have the cap room to offer him $12 million or so a year if they wish. And they weren't THAT bad last year, so with a somewhat adequate replacement hey won't be awful; if they also amnesty Childress they can sign another quality player too.

Jerry (Texas)

Any moves by the Bulls tonight to move Noah or Deng to free up cap space and get a top 10 pick?

John Hollinger
  (1:12 PM)

Here's a primer on Chicago: They're over the cap, so trading these guys doesn't give them any cap space. What it can do is help them avoid the luxury tax. The problem is that nobody is sitting around right now with a $15 million hole that they can just take Deng, Boozer or Noah into; trading any of them makes much more sense after July 1 when a lot of teams will have open cap space on their books. Otherwise the Bulls would have to take back almost as much salary as they sent out, so it doesn't help their tax situation that much.

John Hollinger
  (1:13 PM)

Also of note on Chicago: If they cut Watson, Korver and Brewer -- all of whom are non-guaranteed -- their luxury tax issues become very minor.

Justin (Portland, OR)

The Blazers in the mock draft are taking two seniors. Please someone tell them that's a bad idea.

John Hollinger
  (1:15 PM)

Excellent point. using high draft picks on seniors has historically been a recipe for colossal failure. One reason my Draft Rater isn't that high on Lillard is because he's three years older than all the other guys.

Charlie (Bored at work)

Will the Lakers trade into the first round tonight? And what's the latest with Gasol?

John Hollinger
  (1:16 PM)

I think Gasol is in play but, as with a lot of these guys, the possibilities expand considerably after July 1. As for L.A. trading into the first round, if Gasol isn't involved they really have no assets to get them there.

Samuel (Minnesota)

Whatever happened to Targuy Ngombo? Is he a real person?

John Hollinger
  (1:17 PM)

I picked this question just for Sebastian Pruiti. Targuy Ngombo is indeed a real person, but the pick was invalidated because he's something like 27 years old. I'm excited to see what hilarity the T'wolves can provide us in this year's draft, especially now that the David Kahn Auction Special has been eliminated by the $3 million rule in the new CBA.

Matt (West Valley, UT)

Did you put a weight on players' most recent college seasons in the draft rater?

John Hollinger
  (1:18 PM)

Last two seasons are the only ones that have any weight, the most recent one gets the bulk of it, I can't remember exact proportion but believe it's about 75%.

Big P (Bedford, MA)

There's a lot of rumors about Celtics trading up, how high can they go if they package 21 & 22?

John Hollinger
  (1:19 PM)

Probably just in the low teens. I think the Celtics are probably working all the angles, just like everybody else, but it's very hard for me to see how they get in the high lottery without trading Rondo.

Kevin (Corvallis)

Harden for the #2. Stupid move for OKC or extremely stupid?

John Hollinger
  (1:21 PM)

As near as I can tell, this has mostly been idle speculation. And the biggest hole in the story is that the Thunder don't even need to consider a move like this for another year, when they *may* end up in the luxury tax depending on the salaries Harden and Ibaka command and their willingness to amnesty Perkins. Can't see it happening.

Keepin it Wierd (Portlandia)

Over/Under on trades tonight? 10?

John Hollinger
  (1:23 PM)

Sounds about right, but a lot of them are going to be borderline irrelevant ones like "Team X trades the 58th pick and cash to Team Y for the 49th pick and a future second-rounder"

Jed (UT)

Do you see the Jazz making a move to the first round, or any significant moves at all?

John Hollinger
  (1:24 PM)

Jazz have four first-rounders from past two years so I have a hard team seeing them gung-ho over adding another. It wouldn't shock me to see them trade one of their bigs, either Jefferson or Millsap, but I think they'd rather trade for an established PG.

Charles (Houston)

More trades? Morey -7 or the field?

John Hollinger
  (1:25 PM)

I'll still take the field but it might be close. Remember, Morey also makes more trades in the second round than any about any GM in history. Kevin Pritchard is another one to watch, although apparently Larry Bird is still running Indiana's draft tonight.

Lee (Raleigh, NC)

In your mind, what is the best case scenario for Charlotte?

John Hollinger
  (1:26 PM)

Anthony Davis falls to No. 2. Otherwise, I think their best case is that they trade down to No. 4, get additional assets, and Robinson is still there.


Lakers trade Gasol to MN for Derrick Williams and Michael Beasley. Who says no?

John Hollinger
  (1:28 PM)

The CBA. Beasley is a free agent and can't be traded right now. If it's a sign-and-trade with Beasley, you're talking about a longer commitment than the Lakers are probably interested in. As for as your general premise though, I think you're on the right track -- the Lakers fill the 4 spot and get another wing player, and lower their overall salary. Those will be the types of deals they'll be looking at with Gasol. To use another Minny example, Williams+Ridnour Budinger works under the cap, with Budinger in a side deal since he can't be aggregated for a while.

Cory (Indy)

Granger, Collison, Hansb, and 1st rounder for Favors, Harris, and Hayward. Who says no?

John Hollinger
  (1:29 PM)

Utah would absolutely, positive, laugh in Indiana's face at that one. There is no way they're trading Favors unless it's a Godfather offer.

Chris (Providence, RI)

Isn't the answer to "who says no" almost always "both teams because they overvalue their own players/picks and undervalue everyone else's?"

John Hollinger
  (1:30 PM)

Often the case, yes.

Ben (Denver)

Are the Nuggets going to do anything or has all the talk surrounding them died down?

John Hollinger
  (1:31 PM)

I didn't think there was that much to begin with -- the Chandler rumor is just part of the torrent of stuff coming from Golden State, because seemingly anything discussed for more than 10 seconds in their war room immediately is leaked to the outside world. I'd be terrified to discuss a trade with the Warriors right now unless I was 100% certain the deal was going to happen.

Derek (Harrisburg)

What are the chances Andre Iguodala will have a new home after tonight?

John Hollinger
  (1:32 PM)

Unlikely; far more likely that he's traded in July or August. But I do think he's one of the more likely players to be changing teams.

Doc rivers (Boston)

any chance i am coaching my son by the end of tonight

John Hollinger
  (1:33 PM)

All indications are that Austin Rivers won't last past New Orleans at No. 10, so I'd say no chance. And that's almost certainly a good thing.

Billy (Memphis)

Will Draymond Green be there for the Griz to pick at 25? I think he would be a steal there. Anybody ahead of Griz drooling over him?

John Hollinger
  (1:34 PM)

As you know, my Draft Rater loves Green, and despite his suspect defensive chops I think he's a worthwhile pick starting in the teens. Memphis's need at backup point guard may compel them to take Wroten or Teague, however. I think Wroten in particular would be a steal that late.

Jon (Houston)

What is the status on the Rockets and Kings trade that would send evans and 5th to houston for kyle lowry and 16th.

John Hollinger
  (1:35 PM)

Rejected, by all indications. But I do think the Rockets are looking at other ways of getting into the top five, and that Lowry and the picks in the teens are the primary bait.

Big Mack (Idaho)

Will you be doing any live commentary or analysis on ESPN tonight?

John Hollinger
  (1:35 PM)

I'll be writing up analysis of all the trades for and making smart aleck comments on Twitter.

Reserrodent (Stumptown)

Why the angst about seniors? If a young guy sits for 3 years, is their a difference? Roy was a senior, so was Robinson, in San Antonio? Some players blossom late.

John Hollinger
  (1:36 PM)

Statistically, the data is absolutely club-you-over-the-head overwhelming that taking a senior in the lottery is likely to leave you horribly disappointed. Going all the way back to David Robinson for a positive example doesn't reinforce your point.

Bram (Netherlands)

How far can you see Andre Drummond fall? In some scenario's people are already discussing him falling to the Pistons.

John Hollinger
  (1:37 PM)

I'd say that's the absolute floor, and that if he really falls that far somebody will likely trade up to 6-7-8 to snatch him.

Marcos (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Do you think the Pistons still have anything cooking or they're done dealing?

John Hollinger
  (1:38 PM)

EVERYBODY has stuff cooking right now. We just don't know which of these deals will come to fruition. The reality is that teams make a tiny fraction of the deals they discuss.

Jesse (Michigan)

Do those metrics look at seniors who fell out of the lottery and then performed well--like Roy Hibbert and Danny Granger?

John Hollinger
  (1:40 PM)

Ironically, outside the lottery taking a senior has proven to be much less risky. Same goes for centers, actually -- take one between 5 and 14 and the fail rate is massive relative to other lottery picks; take one later and it's comparable to the fail rate at other spots.

Steven (Toronto)

Should the Raps make a move for Lowry?? Even if Waiters is on the board?

John Hollinger
  (1:41 PM)

most people see Waiters as more of a 2. The more interesting part of a Lowry pursuit is that I think the Raptors have another point guard in mind, one that hails from their own country.

Greg (Detroit )

Why is Houston so insistent obtaining Dwight Howard? The pieces needed to land him will cripple the franchise for years

John Hollinger
  (1:42 PM)

No franchise with Dwight Howard is ever "crippled", and besides, the Rockets have built up such a large pool of half-good players and assets that they can trade half of them and it doesn't hurt that much.

Benny (San Antonio)

Weren't Duncan and Roy seniors? I don't consider them to be disappointments.

John Hollinger
  (1:44 PM)

I didn't say every single senior ever taken in the lottery has turned out to be Acie Law. But if you aggregate them all, the odds are stacked against the seniors.

Mike (San Diego)

What is Atlanta's biggest need in the draft?

John Hollinger
  (1:46 PM)

More size, a backup 1, and a wing defender to replace Hinrich. I think the backup 1 is the most likely item to be available; I'd be interested to see Hawks roll out the Teague-Teague combo at the point.

gregg (dc)

Rumors the Cavs are offering Andy for a lottery pick. Rockets, Blazers or Warriors?

John Hollinger
  (1:47 PM)

I haven't heard this one but it makes a lot of sense all the way around -- Andy has a lot of value right now but by time Cavs are ready to win he may not.

Jeff (Charlotte, NC)

At the end of both of their careers, will Thomas Robinson be the poor man's Milsap or will it be the other way around?

John Hollinger
  (1:48 PM)

I like this comparison a lot but if I had to bet I think Millsap will end up being the poor man's Robinson.

Guy (St. Louis)

Do statistics tend to favor older players that enter the draft (Ervin Johnson, for example)?

John Hollinger
  (1:48 PM)

No. Dramatically no, in fact. That's why I'm down on guys like Miles Plumlee and Bernard James.

Ed (Mahopac, ny)

Big Dayton fan...Flyers Chris Johnson was speculated to go #49 to Orlando can you give me anymore Info on this 2010 NIT MVP

John Hollinger
  (1:49 PM)

I don't think he can play. Sorry. Just the messenger.

jerry (auburn, ny)

if dion waiters turns out to be monta ellis 2.0, is he worth a top 7 pick?

John Hollinger
  (1:50 PM)

No, but I think he's a better player than Ellis -- had a really strong Pure Point Rating in college, for instance, and he's bigger and more powerful, and under Boeheim he probably at least learned something about defense.

Stephen (Nashville)

Which of the 3 Vanderbilt grads to you think has the best chance of being a good pro?

John Hollinger
  (1:52 PM)

I'll say Taylor, but honestly I'm not crazy about any of them. On size alone, Ezeli may have a ten year career, but he's a career backup. Jenkins can shoot it but I'm not sure he brings enough else to the table for that to matter. Taylor's size and defense means he doesn't need to put up great numbers to still have a role. He's old for a rookie, didn't put up huge number and only shot well from 3 his final season, but I'm less pessimistic about him than the other two as far as eventually becoming a starter.

Patrick (Mars)

How do your statistics account for players playing behind NBA talent in college? Example: Thomas Robinson, behind the Morris twins and Cole Aldrich his first two years, reducing minutes and production. About 1.5 season's worth of minutes.

John Hollinger
  (1:55 PM)

All my data is per-minute. Really doesn't affect much from that end. And again, I put most of the weight on the final season anyway, because that's what the regression model says creates the most accurate prediction.

Falco (Miami)

Miami needs to trade their pick.

John Hollinger
  (1:55 PM)

The opposite. Heat need all the cheap help they can get given their luxury tax situation, and a late first-round pick is looked in at near-minimum salary for four years.

Ryan ((DC))

What colossal stupidity will Ernie Grunfeld commit on draft day? Can he reacquire Randy Foye and Mike Miller for their veteran leadership?

John Hollinger
  (1:57 PM)

No, but did you notice that the Bobcats got a likely lottery pick in return for taking on $13 million in mediocre talent for 2013-14, just days after Ernie gave up a second-rounder to take on $20 million in mediocre talent for 2013-14? This should help people in DC understand what a horrible trade that was.

Dez (South Carolina)

Jeff Taylor or Quincy Miller for miami?

John Hollinger
  (1:58 PM)

Love Quincy Miller in general but I'm not sure that's the best fit for him. Taylor can probably do more as an immediately contributing role player who defends/shoots 3s.

Greg (LA)

the WIZ trade wasn't bad - they got PROVEN VETERANS.

Brian (Milwaukee)

Please tell me why the Bucks trade makes sense? Do they think Zeller is going to be there at 14 and wanted to pick up another body? Just dont like the trade at all.

John Hollinger
  (2:00 PM)

They got a starting center and now don't have to reach for a center in the draft. I think they like the wing guys better (Lamb, Ross, etc) and now that the frontcourt is stocked they can take one of them, and then they're covered if Delfino walks.

Jason (Georgia)

The Bobcats got a likely lottery pick? You don't think that with Henson or maybe even Drummond that the Pistons have a shot to make even the 8th seed in the East?

John Hollinger
  (2:01 PM)

They have a shot. I just think, looking at their roster now, it's more likely than not that they miss.

Zac (Boston)

I agree with Greg LA. At some point you have to show John Wall what it's like to win a game. Not a playoff game mind you, but the guys probably about ready to go try his hand at badminton or something.

Pete Harvey (Idaho)

How high a pick can the Spurs get for Blair?

John Hollinger
  (2:02 PM)

20s at best. Knee still a concern, and so is his defense, and you only get him for one year. But a productive player.

Jon (Oakland, CA)

When Joe Dumars gets his cap space again, do you think he learned from the Gordon/Charlie V disaster and won't splurge on mediocre players?

John Hollinger
  (2:03 PM)

You're forgetting that the gave Arron Afflalo, who is better than either of them, to the Nuggets for free so he could create a bit more cap room and make sure he nabbed both of them. Yes, I think Joe will be a bit more careful this time around.

Steve (Minnesota)

Does Budinger automatically step in the starting lineup for Minny?

John Hollinger
  (2:04 PM)

Have to think so, but it's possibly they bring him off the bench if Derrick Williams move to the 3. Either way, he's gonna play more for Minny than he did in Houston.

John Hollinger
  (2:05 PM)

Folks, that's all the time I have but thanks again for all the great questions. I'll be posting my analysis of all the draft day trades and free agent moves throughout the coming days, so check in often.