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April 15, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Michael Wallace

Michael Wallace
  (2:00 PM)

Thanks for joining me for the final regular-season edition of the NBA chat. An exciting playoffs are just a few more days away. Let's get right to your questions and takes.

John (DC)

What are your thoughts on the individual members of the "Little 12", specifically who will stick around after 2014? The young guys Norris Cole and Mario Chalmers could almost certainly make more money elsewhere, do you think they are inclined to stick around for more championships?

Michael Wallace
  (2:02 PM)

This Heat squad is truly an in-the-moment team. They aren't looking past this postseason. Some very hard decisions will have to be made about the Heat's roster starting next season, and that goes from LeBron James down through the final spot on the bench. But that's talk for another time.

Timmy Tayo (Austin TX)

What's your guess Michael, Brooklyn ATL or Bulls. Who do you think the Bucks/Heat will face in the second round. (I put the bucks to be respectable lol)

Michael Wallace
  (2:05 PM)

I think the Bulls, if healthy (still assuming without Derrick Rose), are the best team of the three. I'm sure no one outside of Joe Johnson fans will get much of anything out of watching an Atlanta-Brooklyn series. But if the Bulls stay at sixth in the standings, they're off the Heat's radar prior to the conference finals.

mike (new jersey)

Is this possible scenario, that the lakers make a deal with Kobe to amensty him so he gets his money and the Lakers don't have to pay tax. As soon as he is ready to go can they bring him back with a new contract?

Michael Wallace
  (2:08 PM)

My understanding is he'd have to sit out a year from the point of his release before the Lakers could bring him back. That sort of deal has never been done in the current version of the amnesty program. But what's the stop Kobe from looking elsewhere at a better or more championship-ready team if he's amnestied and hits the free agent market? Why wouldn't he consider the Bulls or Spurs or anyone else? That's the thing folks have to consider in this equation.

Adam (BK)

Do you think my Nets have any chance vs Miami if they make the 2nd round? I think D Will is playing as good as any PG in the league right now and could be a possible difference maker. Your thoughts?

Michael Wallace
  (2:11 PM)

The Heat have pounded the Nets this season, but we all know that regular-season success doesn't always translate into the playoffs. The Heat are a prime example of that, when considering how the Celtics and Bulls have had their number in the regular season. But the Nets are such a unique team. They have the talent, balance and potential to be real headache for the Heat - or anyone in the East. But they simply lack consistency. They're difficult to trust. You don't know what you'll get from them game to game. They're a really good team, but they don't seem to have the intangibles necessary to be a great team just yet.

ac (virginia)

Hey Mike, do you see the lakers and spurs series going to seven games? With a some what healthy Steve Nash, I do.

Michael Wallace
  (2:12 PM)

No way. I don't see it going past five.

Jeff (Toronto)

How do you fix the Raptors?

Michael Wallace
  (2:13 PM)

Add a shooter. Figure out what to do with Bargnani. Give the rest of the roster a full season together and see if that leads to a spot in the playoffs. They'll be fighting right alongside the Philly, Sixers and Wizards among teams gunning for one of the final two seeds in the East next season.

Jeremy (Waltham)

who are you picking, knicks or celtics?

Michael Wallace
  (2:15 PM)

Head tells me Knicks. Heart tells me Celtics. Tough to split the difference and stick my neck out for either one of these teams, though. I could truly see this series going either way.

pj (midlo)

okay give us your upset prediction for first round (and not the 5 seed over a 4 seed) - I am predicting it will be Spurs

Michael Wallace
  (2:17 PM)

I'd go Boston over New York first, then Houston over Denver as my second candidate for most likely first-round upsets.

Ga [via mobile]

What should the lakers due this off season with the older guys

Michael Wallace
  (2:22 PM)

Well, that would seem to be the entire roster. The Lakers need a serious overhaul. There are so many decisions this team needs to make that you could be looking at a completely new team in training camp next season, especially with Kobe being sidelined. This was a team of misfits this season. Pau and Nash would be my first two trade possibilities. They have to resign Howard and then figure out if they'll use the amnesty option with Kobe. Bottom line is there are no quick-fix solutions in LaLa Land.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Do you think that the Miami Heat will be the 2012-2013 NBA Champions for the 2nd Straight Year?

Michael Wallace
  (2:23 PM)

Barring injury, it's hard to see anyone stopping the Heat in four out of seven games. Really hard.

Javon (Seattle)

Gotta go with one, Kings staying or are they coming to Seattle? And If the King's stay in the Sac, does Seattle get a team in the next 2 years?

Michael Wallace
  (2:30 PM)

It's unfortunate that one of these cities will lose out at this point. Sacramento has done all it can to keep the Kings in town. But Seattle really deserves another crack at the NBA after the way the Sonics bolted to OKC after the ownership change. If Charlotte can rally to get themselves back in the NBA (despite how bad the current product is on the court these days), then Seattle certainly should as well. I see it happening via relocation way before it happens through expansion.

Joe (Philly)

Lakers wouldn't play the Spurs, they would play the Thunder.

Michael Wallace
  (2:31 PM)

Same theory applies.

Devin Brooks (Detroit)

Hey Mike, Question for you. If you are Minn would you trade Kevin Love and your first round pick for Greg Monroe and Stuckey? remember Kevin Love want out..

Michael Wallace
  (2:33 PM)

But Love has absolutely no leverage at this point. He first must prove he can stay healthy. Beyond that, he recently signed that contract extension. He's not going anywhere unless Minnesota doesn't want him, not the other way around.

Derrin (Plano, TX)

Will a rash of unfortunate injuries lead to an early exit for the Nuggets in the playoffs?

Michael Wallace
  (2:36 PM)

That's looking like a serious problem in Denver. But that said, Houston may have still been capable of beating the Nuggets straight up. That will be the most fun series of them all to watch in the first round.

Brad (Gadsden,Alabama)

Michael, Do you think the hawks will make a surprise run in the playoffs?

Michael Wallace
  (2:38 PM)

They never do. But the Hawks could get past Brooklyn in the first round if those teams match up. After that, they'd have to most likely face the Heat in the second round. I'm not sure how big of a surprise you'd be looking for from Atlanta at that point.

Jon (New Orleans)

Does the Kobe injury hurt or help LA's chances of resigning Howard?

Michael Wallace
  (2:44 PM)

It has to help, right? Dwight is finally the unquestioned focus of the franchise at this point. He was going to be in the offseason, regardless. But he also knows that the game plan will be built around getting him the ball first. The supporting cast will be revamped to fit his game. If there was ever a truly unfortunate silver lining in this Kobe injury, this is it for the Lakers.

Charles (San Jose)

Is Joe Johnson the worst player to ever receive two max deals?

Michael Wallace
  (2:45 PM)

Depends. How many did Steve Francis get?

Kurtis (Houston, TX)

Thanks for chatting.... So with Kobe's injury, and the fact that LA can offer Dwight Howard more money than anyone else, does he stay in LA? My gut says he will, but if he's smart - I'm thinking he takes a little less money and goes to Houston

Michael Wallace
  (2:48 PM)

Houston, Dallas and Atlanta are all in great shape and have good supporting cast pieces already in place. Dwight has had a hard time making up his mind before. I think he stays in L.A., but I'm not completely sold he will. I look forward to seeing how this all plays out as much as anyone.

Adrian (Canada)

Another thing you didn't mention to the amnesty response is that Kobe might not even get to choose where he goes. a team with cap space can claim him. Pretty low risk if someone like Houston claims him for about $2 mil and could have him for the couple of months of the season and playoffs.

Michael Wallace
  (2:49 PM)

That's another great point that gets lost in all of the amnesty talk.

Kurtis (Houston, TX)

Thanks for the chat.... whats your thought on a potential HOU/DEN series?

Michael Wallace
  (2:55 PM)

If I had my choice to cover any first-round series, that would be it. It has seven games written all over it. I just hope Denver can get a bit healthier to make this series all it's capable of being.

Andres (GA)

Mr. Wallace, Top 5 Power Forwards of all time are 1.- Tim Duncan ... then 2-5 are Dirk, Charles, Karl and Kevin, but in what order?

Michael Wallace
  (2:58 PM)

Really makes no difference. That's the ultimate splitting of hairs there. But my question is are you talking about McHale or Garnett? Either guy could make that list. Maybe both should be in there.

Tom (Chicago)

If it turns out that Rose has been ready to play and he is unleashed for Game 1 of the playoffs, would you support his/the Bulls decision?

Michael Wallace
  (3:00 PM)

Yes, I would. Derrick knows his body better than anyone. And the Bulls know how much of a risk-reward situation that scenario could be. But the talk out of Chicago's front office is that Rose isn't expected to play until next season. I'm not sure you just throw him into a physical first-round series against the Pacers without any warmup games.

Michael Wallace
  (3:01 PM)

Well, that's my time for this week. Thanks again for hanging out with me. It's been a pleasure. By this time next week, we'll be into Game 2s of the first round. Until then, peace. MW