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February 4, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Michael Wallace

Michael Wallace
  (2:01 PM)

Thanks for joining me for another week of NBA chatting. Skipped last week to attend/cover the Miami Heat's ceremony at the White House. Back in tow now, with the All-Star break and NBA trade deadline looming. So I know there's a lot of questions/takes to get to out there. Let's go!

Owen (Los Angeles)

Do you think vdn is gone after the season? If so, any replacements? I think Phil would give a serious look and Jerry Sloan would do wonders.

Michael Wallace
  (2:04 PM)

I think that absolutely depends on how the Clippers fare in the playoffs. If they get bounced at any point before the Western Conference Finals, I think Del Negro's future is certainly in question. And Chris Paul will have to take a definitive stance on the subject if he plans to stay and sign long-term with the Clippers as a looming free agent.

Omarvls (North Hollywood, CA)

Michael, how would a 4th qt lineup in crunch time against NYK/BULLS/OKC/IND do?C Birdman PF Bosh SF James SG Allen PG Wade

Michael Wallace
  (2:06 PM)

Should Andersen get into NBA game shape soon, I could see the Heat using him at the close of tight games with that lineup, you suggest. I also believe it will depend on matchups, and whether the Heat can get away with going small or if they need an additional shooter, such as Battier, on the court.

jerry (chicago)

What do you think the bulls chances are for getting Al jefferson?

Michael Wallace
  (2:09 PM)

The better questions is, 'What are the Bulls willing to get up to get him?' because it will take parting with a key piece. If it's either of their All-Stars (Deng or Noah), I don't make that move. That means you'll have to work some sort of package around Carlos Boozer, and Utah has been there, done that.

robb (south dak)

Do you see the Pacers making any moves before the deadline? Also beating the Heat twice in the regular season doesn't mean were better but it does give pacers fans hope agree?

Michael Wallace
  (2:12 PM)

Regular-season victories don't count for much in the playoffs, with the exception of developing some sort of general blueprint of what it might take to match up with an opponent. The Pacers have had plenty of looks at the Heat over the past couple of seasons. I've said this before. The Pacers have the talent and physical play to give the Heat problems. But they have to show they've got the mental toughness and resolve. David West has to play like Karl Malone in order for Indy to get over the hump against Miami, provided everyone else plays to expectations for the Pacers. These teams are closer than many think.

Will (Arlington TX)

I think the Pistons need the Matrix from the Mavs and that the Mavs should take Maxiell's expiring and maybe Jerebko. Matrix would be the type of pro guy they need to make the playoffs in the next season and the Mavs need as much room as possible to make the huge splash. They're going to have to be a place where two superstars can come in and not just try to add one guy.

Michael Wallace
  (2:15 PM)

I'm not sure that kind of move would do anything for either team, outside of the salary-cap predicament. Marion's days as an effective and consistent small forward are pretty much done. And if he's at power forward, the Pistons don't need anyone to take minutes away from either Drummond or Monroe.

Jared (Virginia)

One game for everything - which of these power forwards do you choose? Blake, LaMarcus Aldridge, Chris Bosh, Z-Bo, or David Lee?

Michael Wallace
  (2:18 PM)

Great question. And there are some really good options there. I'll be honest. My first instinct when I read this was to go with Z-Bo, no doubt. And I'm still not totally convinced I should reconsider. But it's close from there. Very close.

james (new york)

should celtics trade KG or pierce not likely getting to east finals?

Michael Wallace
  (2:21 PM)

I don't think the Celtics trade either of them. KG, keep in mind, has a no-trade clause in his contract and would have to approve any move. He does live in L.A. during the offseason, which is why the Clippers would make some sense in this equation. But Pierce has declared he wants to stay in Boston no matter what. He's been loyal to the Celtics, and I can totally see Danny Ainge remaining loyal to Pierce - at least through the end of this season.

Felipe de Mello Martins (Tucson, AZ)

Michael, it was reported that the Heat and the Spurs had a deal that would land Dejuan Blair to the Heat. Do you know what was the Heat offering and why it fell apart? For me it seems that the Heat already has an undersized defensive-minded PF in Haslem.

Michael Wallace
  (2:28 PM)

Pat Riley always has his hands involved in one deal or another. I don't know the exact particulars of this proposed move, but if it was considered, my guess is that it would have had one of the Heat's excess shooters going back to San Antonio - perhaps a James Jones or a Mike Miller. Otherwise, it wouldn't make much sense for either team.

EJ (Charlotte)

Michael with Big Man injuries in LA and Chicago who you see as the more important player down the stretch: E.Clark or T.Gibson?

Michael Wallace
  (2:30 PM)

Taj will be asked to provide far more on both ends than Clark, although he has been a very pleasant surprise for the Lakers after being buried on the bench in Orlando.

Tommy (Madison, WI)

At this point, who'll be traded from Utah? With which team(s)?

Michael Wallace
  (2:35 PM)

Right now, Utah is in the midst of one of its best stretches of the season and have the seventh seed in the West. The only problem is the Jazz have expiring contracts, and might not be able to re-sign a major free agent in the offseason, so they are in the same position as Toronto - meaning they have to take a big-money/marquee player contract that has additional years. Everything about the way they play would suggest Pau Gasol would be a perfect fit there, but I'm not sure if either of Utah's bigs - Al Jefferson or Paul Millsap - fit what D'Antoni truly wants.

andy (West Virginia)

You see J.Terry as the Guard the Celts turn to more as the season goes on or try to get Bledsoe in a Clipper trade?

Michael Wallace
  (2:37 PM)

Guard depth isn't necessarily the Celtics' problem with Rondo done for the season. It's guard execution. With Terry, Bradley, Lee and Barbosa, the Celtics have the manpower to withstand to some extent. But they need two or three of those four to play to their expectation and potential if the Celtics are to continue this run they've been on the past week and potentially do anything in the playoffs.

Wayne (Vancouver)

Do you have any idea why the Heat have been using a Bosh + 4 subs lineup at the start of 2nd quarter? Is it to boost Bosh's confidence? Whatever it is it's not working. Seems every game they give up 8-0 or 10-2 runs in those couple of minutes. Need to go back to staggering Lebron and Wade's rest times.

Michael Wallace
  (2:39 PM)

Or ... Bosh needs to be the impact, featured player he's not always able to be when he shares the floor with LeBron or Wade. Two years ago, that tweak in the rotation was referred to as "Bosh Time." But if it's not effective or efficient, Spoelstra won't stick with it for long. Once the playoffs arrive, rest assured he'll have either LeBron or Wade on the floor at all times.

jbird (nyc)

Trade scenario for teams at different phases. Iman Shumpert and Steve Novak for Jared Dudley. Who says no?

Michael Wallace
  (2:40 PM)

Knicks, of course.

Blake (San Fran)

If Harrison Barnes becomes a consistent scorer for Golden State do they have a core that can compete for titles in the upcoming years?

Michael Wallace
  (2:42 PM)

A consistent Barnes is a huge plus, but it's an effective Bogut who would truly make the Warriors title contenders out West. He's the dynamic that opposing teams would have a difficult time accounting for if he can just stay healthy for longer than a couple of weeks at a time.

Ethan (NC.)

Hey michael! You see Speights and J.Green getting more expanded roles/PT and raising their games to a newer level?

Michael Wallace
  (2:46 PM)

Speights had a helluva game against the Thunder the other night. He won't be able to shoot that well every night, but he can throw his big body in the paint and give them a presence down low - if so inclined. Few have questioned his ability, but his motor and mindset have left plenty to be desired in the past. And if by J.Green you're talking about Jeff Green, his time is now. The Celtics need him in a major way to be the All-Star level talent many thought he'd be when he entered the league. Unfortunately, the heart procedure set him back the past couple of seasons, but he's starting to come around.

Logan (Fla.)

Michael any inside info on players you think will definitely be traded?

Michael Wallace
  (2:47 PM)

Not even insiders can guarantee you inside information on NBA trades. You generally get a much better sense of where things stand over All-Star weekend on the trade front, becomes then it's crunch-time.

Don (DC)

What do you think of the KG to Clips rumors? I just don't understand how this helps the Clips. What is the rationale? Do you think he's really worth Eric Bledsoe? Thanks

Michael Wallace
  (2:52 PM)

As reported, the deal doesn't make much sense for either team. But stranger things have happened. If I'm Boston, there's no way I'm giving up KG in any deal that doesn't return at least DeAndre Jordan. The Clippers would have to part with more than Bledsoe and Butler.

chilly (virginia beach, va)

biyambo is terrible on the offensive end and i haven't seen any improvement, what is the deal?

Michael Wallace
  (2:54 PM)

He remains an extremely raw product. His athleticism is world class, but his skill set is elementary. But you could say the same for a lot of guys who were in that draft class from a couple of years ago.

Neal (Chi)

Mike, Who would Miami like to face the least in East conference finals? Bulls, Knicks, Pacers, other ?

Michael Wallace
  (2:57 PM)

Obviously, all three would be potentially tough matchups. But I don't get the sense the Bulls have enough offense in key moments in the fourth quarter to scare the Heat. And the Knicks can always be counted on to be derailed by an injury or two. So that leaves the Pacers.

Bill (ATL)

after the prince trade, detroit now has a ton of cap room this summer. do you think joe dumars is targeting a specific player, josh smith perhaps? and do you think dumars has learned from his diasterous '09 summer (villaneuva and ben gordon signings)?

Michael Wallace
  (2:58 PM)

I absolutely love Joe Dumars the player. I certainly respect Joe Dumars the draft/young player evaluator. But I don't trust Joe Dumars when it comes to veteran acquisition or free-agency spending.

dc (dc)

Michael, what are your thoughts on John Wall? Seems like a lot of folks are down on the guy, but he's still only 22 years old and has looked fabulous since returning from the knee injury. I was shocked to see him miss out on the to 25 under 25 list, while guys like Ed Davis were included. I'd be amazed if there was a single GM in the NBA who'd take Davis over Wall.

Michael Wallace
  (3:02 PM)

Yes, that shocked me, too. John Wall went from promising point guard to forgotten man as quickly as he goes from one end of the court to the other with a basketball in his hands. He'll change all of that if he can stay healthy and gradually work his way back from that knee injury. With Kyrie Irving, Ricky Rubio and Damian Lillard now the new flavors of the month, Wall has faded to the background. But he'll be back. There's too much talent in him to get too far left behind.

Michael Wallace
  (3:03 PM)

That's my time for the week, folks. Thanks again for joining me. As always, it was great to hear from so many of you. If you didn't get your questioned answered, holler back at me next week. Until then, peace. -MW