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July 9, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Michael Wallace

Michael Wallace
  (2:03 PM)

Thanks for joining me for another installment of the NBA chat. Plenty to get to, with free agency, trade talk, summer league play and Olympic team workouts in full swing right now. So let's get straight to the questions.

Mike (Miami)

Would you trade joel and cole and that philly first for camby?

Michael Wallace
  (2:07 PM)

Nope. I like Camby and what he brings from a rebounding and shot-blocking standpoint. And I know the Heat have been interested in him before during his previous movement around the league. But I also believe Miami really likes Norris Cole and what adds to the roster right now, as well as moving forward. In essence, you'd be talking about giving up last year's first-round pick, next year's first-round pick and a Joel Anthony for an aging Camby who might have a year or two left in him. Can't see it.

John (MIA)

I know the money isn't there but for a guy who has made as much a Camby wouldn't starting for the NBA champs be better than backing up Chandler for 2 million more

Michael Wallace
  (2:09 PM)

Different guys are motivated by different things at this stage of their careers. Camby was on that Knicks team that went to the Finals after the previous lockout. He might honestly see a chance to end his career where it really got started. Not everyone wants to join the Miami Heat or Los Angeles Lakers - even though it seems like it sometimes.

Ari Simon (Orlando, FL)

You see any real chance Miami signing Raja Bell and if and only if Brand clears waivers, the Heat have a chance at him too?

Michael Wallace
  (2:11 PM)

I'm not sure if there's a role for Raja on this team, especially if Mike Miller and James Jones come back. Miami already has a really deep wing rotation - even with LeBron taking some minutes at power forward. Brand would be a different situation, considering he's clearly a post-up player who could even be used as a backup center in the Miami's preferred style of play moving forward. But I think Brand will have some value around the league, and I'd be shocked if he's passed up and falls to the Heat's veteran's minimum offering.

Mo (Chicago)

If you're a team in the East that has to compete with Miami for the next several years, how would you go about it?

Michael Wallace
  (2:15 PM)

As the late, great Biggie used to say, "The Brooklyn Way" As in load up on as much talent as you can to match up with Miami. If the Nets pull off the trade for Dwight, it could get very, very interesting in the East with what Miami, Brooklyn and Boston are doing.

Mike (Mission Viejo, Ca)

Does the Nash trade make the Lakers contenders again? In my opinion they are now the 3rd best team in the NBA (behind Miami and OKC).

Michael Wallace
  (2:18 PM)

The Lakers were contenders before Nash arrived. But they certainly improved their position and standing in terms of being able to get over that championship hump again with Nash. He will keep that offense moving and get Pau and Bynum involved more on the run and less in stagnant half-court sets. He can also spot up and shoot the 3 to complement Kobe's pass-and-kick game (assuming Kobe will embrace the "kick" part of that equation). I put the Lakers, with Nash and healthy everywhere else, on par with OKC.

Adrian (Oxford)

Why do professional moves suddenly become personal for non-Heat fans?

Michael Wallace
  (2:20 PM)

Likely because there's always a bit of angst for the way Miami's stars went about conducting their free-agency business. But that's part of the game. Few seem to get as agitated when coaches, GMs and owners get together and dictate player movement. But there's always that extra anxiety when players seem to take their career paths in their own hands.

Jacob (ATL)

Any chance we will see Dwight Howard in a Hawks Jersey?

Michael Wallace
  (2:24 PM)

Maybe if he has a Dominique Wilkins, Doc Rivers or Spud Webb throwback jersey in his collection somewhere from his childhood growing up in the ATL. New basketball chief Danny Ferry certainly has positioned the Hawks well to make a major splash - or at least recruitment pitch - for Dwight and Chris Paul if they ever hit the free agency market in 2013. Two places I've always said would make a lot of sense, basketball-wise, for Howard if he's so determined to move out of Orlando would be Atlanta and Chicago. Both of those teams would have attractive enough pieces or draft picks to satisfy Orlando's desire to remain a playoff contending/attractive team. But logic hasn't always ruled the day in the Dwight saga.

el dominicano (miami fl)

If we cant get camby,which others center can we hope to land.kwame brown??

Michael Wallace
  (2:28 PM)

The mere mention of Kwame Brown should indicate that there just aren't a lot of notable center options out there within the Heat's minimum price range. Unless Miami gets creative and goes the sign-and-trade route, they might be forced to bring back Ronny Turiaf. There are some undersized guys out there who can play center in Miami's system. But, overall, the pickings for minimum pay are simply slim.

jeremy (mckinney ,TX)

do u see greg oden coming to the heat?

Michael Wallace
  (2:30 PM)

That's the wildcard in this equation for Miami. There have been conflicting reports from Oden's camp about whether he'll be ready to try to play at some point next season. But if he slips through the initial cracks and is willing to take a minimum salary on a team where there wouldn't be any realistic pressure on him at all to perform right away, Miami is the spot. I could certainly see Pat Riley making a willing Greg Oden the Heat's next Eddy Curry project - likely with greater interest and more productive results.

Rah-Steam (Hackensack, N.J.)

Is it just me or is the Brandon Roy signing a roll of the dice? Albeit, worth the risk in every possible way....

Michael Wallace
  (2:33 PM)

In Minnesota's case, I say yes. If it works out with Roy, it was a great pickup for mid-level money. If his knees go astray again, then he's an expiring contract after the coming season. So it's a low-risk gamble for both sides. But the Wolves will have to key guards coming off major knee issues, with Ricky Rubio also on the mend.

Andrew (Washington DC)

Hey Michael - probably premature to worry about its impact, but for anyone rooting for a Howard to Nets trade, how does Marshon Brooks' performance in Summer League games factor in?

Michael Wallace
  (2:35 PM)

None at all, as far as I'm concerned. I think it's a tremendous risk to even have him out there playing in summer ball right now, all things considered. What if he tears up a knee or does anything that puts next season at risk. He's one of the key cogs in all of these Dwight Howard trade discussions. If I'm the Nets, I'd have him work out and practice but not play until this is all resolved.

Joe (SC)

Where do you have Lebron on your all-time list right now? I have him 11th behind Jordan, Magic, Kareem, Russell, Wilt, Bird, Shaq, Hakeem, Kobe, and Duncan.

Michael Wallace
  (2:39 PM)

He'll definitely be in the top 15 by the time he's done. I just think, for me at least, that it's still too early to lock him into any slot right now. There's just too much room for him to swing from one end to the other depending on what he does over the second half of his career. For instance, if LeBron leads his teams to three or four more titles, he's gotta be top 5 or so, right? But if this one title is it for him the rest of the way, then you have to consider other guys in there who also had a great impact on the game but didn't win as many rings as they probably should - or could - have.

Kevin (OC)

How realistic is it that Kevin Love leaves Minny because he's unhappy? What are potential landing spots? Minny has wanted Pau for a while - K Love for Gasol if he forced their hand???

Michael Wallace
  (2:43 PM)

Unless I'm mistaking about something, Kevin Love is in no position to dictate much of anything right now. He's locked into that contract extension he recently signed, I believe. I do admire his desire to win right now instead of toiling through losing seasons. But Minnesota made a big jump last season and will contend for a playoff spot next season as well. There does need to be a bit of patience as that roster adjusts and develops.

jc (toronto)

Will Lowry blossom or regress as "the man"? (guess I should have included status quo)

Michael Wallace
  (2:46 PM)

I like the potential of Toronto's backcourt of Lowry and DeRozan. But I haven't been sold on their frontcourt for some time now - even going back to the Chris Bosh days north of the border.

Ben (Chicago)

What percent chance do you give the Heat of winning the title this coming year.

Michael Wallace
  (2:48 PM)

I put them as the favorites to win it again next year. As long as LeBron is healthy, this team can overcome a lot - as we've seen this season. But there stands to be greater challenges in Boston, Brooklyn and possibly beyond considering how things are stacking up right now around the league.

Dan (Minnesota)

With or without Batum, where do you see the wolves moves placing them in a ranking of the West? Also, assuming that Rubio is healthy and starts the season.

Michael Wallace
  (2:52 PM)

Those are two very big "ifs" right now. Batum gives them a lockdown defensive wing who can score in a variety of ways. He reminds me a lot of a far more skilled version of Stacey Augmon in his prime. With Rubio's recovery, the key question will be how will such a young player respond to such a major injury. Will there be a lot of apprehension? Will he trust his body? Could this be another Shaun Livingston-type situation, although Rubio's injury wasn't anything quite as devastating as Livingston's? If Batum and Rubio are good to go, and Brandon Roy is serviceable, then I'd put the T-Wolves right there around the seventh or eighth seed in the West - right in there with Memphis/Utah.

Alex (NYC)

Is Ray Allen gonna start (by moving Wade to the 1) or is he coming off the bench?

Michael Wallace
  (2:55 PM)

I'd assume he's coming off the bench. Wade will be approaching 31 and coming off knee surgery entering the season. If he hasn't wanted to chase around younger, faster point guards all of this time in his prime, I can't see him wanting to do it now. If the Heat want to get super creative and start Ray, it would be at small forward, with LeBron moving to power forward (just don't call LeBron a power forward, though). More than likely, Ray is coming off the bench and Shane Battier will remain the starting defacto power forward.

Trevor (Utah)

Do you see Derrick Favors having a breakout year, may MIP?

Michael Wallace
  (2:58 PM)

He'll need to be featured far more than he has been the past two seasons to have that kind of breakthrough. But he does have the upside and skill level. I think he can progress along the same lines that Andrew Bynum did last season - again, if he gains a more prominent role in the offensive plans. But Utah has had some trigger-happy guards that have taken plenty of shot attempts away from Favors in the past. Mo Williams isn't likely to buck that trend.

Ari Simon (Orlando, FL)

Is a true center a real necessity for the Heat? Especially in the East, besides Dwight not to many of them. Plus the way Miami played small in the Finals if they just improve could be golden. Thoughts?

Michael Wallace
  (3:01 PM)

The blueprint for Miami was established over the course of the playoffs. In four rounds of mostly small-ball, they go through Tyson/Amare, Hibbert/West, Garnett and Ibaka/Perkins. As I've always said, teams will have a much harder time matching up with LeBron and Wade than they'll have exploiting Miami's lack of conventional point guard and/or center.

Michael Wallace
  (3:03 PM)

That's my time for this week. Thanks for joining, and for submitting questions. We'll do it again next week as this stunning offseason continues to unfold. Take care. Peace, MW.