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July 5, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Kevin Pelton

Kevin Pelton
  (1:06 PM)

Hey everyone, after a week's break I'm back to chat about NBA free agency and trades. Don't know if I'm going to be able to go all afternoon today, but I'll try to get to as many questions as possible.

Kevin Pelton
  (1:07 PM)

Also, bear with me the first few minutes. Still wrapping up my trade grades on yesterday's New Orleans-Portland-Sacramento deal.

zack stl [via mobile]

Prediction on where Dwight Howard ends up?

Kevin Pelton
  (1:08 PM)

Obviously I have no real insight, but I still think Houston. It's interesting how much the Warriors' perception of their own meeting with Dwight has driven the narrative that he's headed to Golden State. What if they're just overly optimistic?

Jasen (North Royalton, OH)

Kevin, when D12 announces his decision and its determined he isn't going to play for his hometown ATL, when does Ferry start exploring trades for Hordord to begin the "Tank for Wiggins" transformation?

Kevin Pelton
  (1:10 PM)

Given the Hawks re-signed Kyle Korver, I'm not seeing a tank job coming in Atlanta. Maybe that was just a move to get value out of an asset, but seems like the Hawks could just as easily have done so in a sign-and-trade. So I don't think Horford is going anywhere.

Drom John (Macon, GA)

Tiago Splitter was 25th in WS this year, just behind Tim Duncan, just ahead of Zach Randolph. The length of the contract may be long, but $9M seems to be a bargain when lesser WS players like Howard, Jefferson, Evans are getting more. While older, Splitter's WS/48 is only .001 less than the best of his draft class. Was that block by the best player in basketball that damaging to the market?

Kevin Pelton
  (1:15 PM)

I wouldn't go so far as to say bargain. Splitter's Win Shares credit him for some of Tim Duncan's defensive prowess. But I think $9 million is very fair for Splitter given the market for centers. Three years would have been better than four, but such is free agency. I don't think Splitter's poor Finals really affected his value much, but they did do a lot to the perception of it among fans who did not watch him regularly all season long.

Keanu (Honolulu)

Hi Kevin, do you think the Bulls made a wise move essentially swapping Bellinelli for Dunleavy?

Kevin Pelton
  (1:18 PM)

I think so. Belinelli was great for them in the playoffs, but a lot of what he provided in terms of creating out of pick-and-roll is less valuable with Derrick Rose's return. Overall, Dunleavy's track record is much better. I think he's one of the best value contracts of free agency thus far.

Dave (WI)

So the Bucks just traded JJ Redick and got 2 2nd round draft picks, are they the losers of this trade? Do you think they're just trying to bottom out and get a high draft pick next year?

Kevin Pelton
  (1:20 PM)

Too early to say for certain what Milwaukee is planning next year, given the Bucks are still in on multiple free agents, but they didn't really trade J.J. Redick since they had no particular claim to him as an unrestricted free agent. The trade they lost was the one to acquire Redick in the first place, not the one to send him to the Clippers.

Josh (Sacramento)

Putting the Igoudala fiasco behind us, who are some targets at SF for Sacramento? Does Kirilenko fit?

Kevin Pelton
  (1:27 PM)

Age is an even bigger issue for Kirilenko than Iguodala, though the price is better. I'd rather see the Kings target a player on the rise, or at least not on the decline. At small forward, that would probably mean Dorell Wright.

Darryl (Houston,TX)

If houston gets Dwight but can't get Josh Smith, is Thaddeus Young a good 'reduced' Smith? Do they have the assets to get him?

Kevin Pelton
  (1:29 PM)

Certainly they have the assets to get him. It's more a question of whether you want to spend $$$ + assets as opposed to just $$$. So it really depends on the price Sam Hinkie wants it return. Is it more than some of the extra pieces at power forward?

Korry (Chalmette, LA)

With the additions of Evans, Holiday, & Withey to the roster, how improved will the Pelicans be?

Kevin Pelton
  (1:30 PM)

They're in the mix for the playoffs in the West. However, they really haven't done much to upgrade their terrible defense. Vasquez for Holiday helps, but PG defense is not nearly as important as interior defense, where they've downgraded by giving up Robin Lopez. So I think they're still likely to return to the lottery.

Kris G (Indy)

I don't want to dwell on Dwight, but how likely is a sign-and-trade versus Dwight just walking away?

Kevin Pelton
  (1:32 PM)

Depends on where he chooses to go. Only Golden State would necessitate a sign-and-trade. I'm sure the Rockets would offer Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin if Dwight chooses them to create more cap space, but more certain the Lakers would turn that down to keep their cap clear for 2014.

Marc (Sacramento)

Could the Kings have gotten more for Tyreke if say they matched the Pelicans offer an then moved him? And I would have liked to have maybe kept Lopez or have received Jeff Withey from Portland in this sign-and-trade.

Kevin Pelton
  (1:34 PM)

To the first question I would say you have to think of this deal as Vasquez + whoever the Kings sign with the difference between his salary and Tyreke's. So I think that will probably be better than what they could have gotten at the trade deadline. I'm surprised myself that they didn't just keep Lopez given they need interior defense almost as badly as the Blazers did.

Ned (NY)

Kevin, please tell me there's some glimmer of hope in the Knicks' move for Bargnani? Also Alan Hahn ( I think) tweeted about some provision whereby they could cut Amare and take his cap hit as 9M/year over 5 yrs. Is this true? Should/will they?

Kevin Pelton
  (1:36 PM)

Second question first: That's the stretch provision, but I don't see the Knicks using it because five years would stretch into the next time they're under the cap (2015, when only Raymond Felton is under contract). First question: If the Knicks emphasize 3-point shooting for Bargnani, he can be more valuable than he has been in Toronto. But there's no glimmer of hope defensively.

Jose (CAL)

Okay Mr. Pelton I say you chat until Dwight announces where he goes and then do more analysis on here with us! WHO'S WITH ME!?

Kevin Pelton
  (1:36 PM)

That could be days or weeks. It's only nice in Seattle three months a year -- I can't afford that risk.

Larry (NY)

It seems as though it's a foregone conclusion that Carmelo will be resigned for max money when he becomes a FA in 2015. This scares me as I don't think he's good enough now to win a title.

Kevin Pelton
  (1:36 PM)

Question is, who would you get who is good enough to be the first option on a title team?

Craig (Seattle)

Kevin, what next steps do you see Portland going for this offseason?

Kevin Pelton
  (1:37 PM)

Seems like the last need might be some veteran size on the wing, and they've got about $3 million left to offer to guys like Wright and Matt Barnes.

Alex (Santa Cruz, CA) [via mobile]

If you were the Kings, would you tank this upcoming year or try to be competitive and possibly lose your first round pick?

Kevin Pelton
  (1:38 PM)

I'd be surprised if there's anything the Kings could do that would push themselves out of the top 12 picks, barring a bunch of West teams in the Dallas/Utah range unexpectedly deciding to tank. So I don't think that should be a big worry.

Marc (California)

What incentive would the Lakers have to doing a Sign-and-trade with the Warriors. It's an inter-division rival, it seems they won't part with Curry, Barns, or Thompson, and any first-round pick would be late. Why would the Lakers trade Howard to them for their garbage contracts of Bogut and Jefferson?

Kevin Pelton
  (1:40 PM)

The division rival factor shouldn't really matter, as it didn't with the Suns last year. Divisions are basically irrelevant at this point. It probably doesn't make sense to do the deal without Barnes, as first-round picks aren't worth that kind of luxury-tax hit, but let's just wait and see what the Warriors would offer (and if Dwight actually wants to go there).

Mike (MN) [via mobile]

We keep hearing what a terrible defender K.Martin is. Is he really that bad and just how much worse then Reddick or Mayo?

Kevin Pelton
  (1:41 PM)

Yes, he's really that bad. Few players have as consistent a track record in terms of making their teams worse on defense when they're on the floor. Redick is a plus defender, Mayo average. I'd say the difference is probably a couple of wins per year.

Alex (Santa Cruz, CA (At work))

Hey Kevin, Can you make it till 2 P.T. today? Also, with information coming out about the Lakers willing to sign and trade, do they lose their leverage on getting anything but a couple of expiring contracts?

Kevin Pelton
  (1:42 PM)

I would say probably not till 2 p.m. Root for clouds in Seattle. I don't think the Lakers lose their leverage because if they walk away, it's still impossible for Howard to go to Golden State. And I don't think other teams would have done a sign-and-trade anyway.

James H (El Dorado Hills, CA)

Why should the Lakers be too concerned if Dwight Howard chooses to leave? If Kobe doesn't fully recover from his recent injury, I don't see how Howard and an aging Nash can lead the Lakers to any championship. Just let him leave if that is his choice, and rebuild some other ways. A happy Howard isn't going to lead you to any championship, not to mention an unhappy Howard if he only chooses to stay with the Lakers for the extra millions. That's just my opinion.

Kevin Pelton
  (1:44 PM)

Well, if Howard stays and is really that unhappy, you could always move him to another team for solid value. I don't think the Lakers could do better for their money than Howard, basically.

Sunil (Harlem)

Me thinks the new cba which was supposed to bring about parity is doing the exact opposite. Now the leageu is split into two categories you're either tanking (a la OKC) or going for the Larry O'B

Kevin Pelton
  (1:46 PM)

I don't know if the new CBA is really to blame. I think part of the issue is obviously this year's loaded draft class, which is helping lead teams to tear down. I think the other factor is the number of new, young GMs with enough job security to attempt an OKC-style rebuild. Logically, it makes sense for teams to either be aggressively trying to win or aggressively ... well, I wouldn't say trying to lose; let's say _willing_ to lose.

zack stl [via mobile]

In the past, how have your warp projections performed relative to Hollinger and his draft ratings?

Kevin Pelton
  (1:48 PM)

I haven't specifically compared them statistically, but you can eyeball his year-by-year ratings and the complete list of results I published. There's a lot of overlap, but often surprising differences. One interesting trend is that Hollinger's Draft Rater isn't as enamored of undersized big men.

BIG BOY (LA)

Where is our man with all the free agent/trade info???

Kevin Pelton
  (1:49 PM)

You can find Marc Stein on Twitter or in the live TrueHoop updates!

Kira (Japan)

Why is Matt Barnes so crazily underpaid? Might be one of the weirdest phenomenons, the Clippers basically got their 3rd best player for free last season. He should easily command at least a $15 million, 3 year contract

Kevin Pelton
  (1:50 PM)

Doesn't help that his locker-room reputation (at least with coaches, not so much with players) is iffy, but I'm surprised he hasn't gotten more attention. Nate Robinson is the PG version of Barnes.

gabe in seoul [via mobile]

Evaluate this statement: like in baseball, as more nba teams use advanced analytics there will be diminishing returns to doing so bc they wont represent a competitive advantage. Analytics teams today have the greatest advantage they will ever have bc like mlbs original moneyball teams they are new to the scene.

Kevin Pelton
  (1:51 PM)

I think that eventually that will certainly be the case, but we've probably got a long ways to go to get there because most of baseball's development was done pre-Moneyball A's. There are still big quantum leaps in terms of using SportVU data, evaluating defense, etc. While most teams are using analytics in one way or another, only a handful are really committed to those kind of developments.

Colin (PA)

Wouldn't the pistons be wise to trade Monroe or drummond for a young wing player of comparable value? I have a hard time seeing them fit together offensively due to spacing, which might have even contributed to Drummond's absurd lack of minutes last season?

Kevin Pelton
  (1:53 PM)

Definitely contributed. I wouldn't rule out the possibility of them fitting together. When Monroe came into the league, I envisioned him as a high-post center with his passing ability. So I think it's possible he could improve his midrange jumper and those two could fit together better this year. I'm probably more concerned about the two of them defensively. I don't think the Pistons have to make a decision now, but probably will by this time next year.

Marc (Sacramento)

Why would luxury tax considerations cause the Lakers to not want to take back expiring contracts in D12 sign and trade? The Lakers would have all the way up until the trade deadline to move some pieces around to reduce their tax liability. It seems like these Laker luxury tax concerns are much ado about nothing.

Jean (Paris)

Why do teams sign players going into the last year of their rookie contracts to max deals (a la James Harden)? There seems to be little upside (since they can always match) but lots of downside (injury, etc.).

Kevin Pelton
  (1:57 PM)

RE: Lakers luxury-tax issues, why would they be able to move those contracts for worse assets than they got from the Warriors? If moving bad contracts costs the same, then at best it's a wash.

Kevin Pelton
  (1:58 PM)

On max rookie extensions: Keep in mind these players are usually critical parts of the organization. Having the player want out is an enormous downside.

Andrew (DC)

Should Hawks make a play for Bynum assuming that Howard signs elsewhere?

Kevin Pelton
  (1:59 PM)

They look like one of the best candidates. I might be willing to do a there-year deal at smaller money (say $15 million total) with lots of upside.

Fridrik (Boston)

If Howard chooses GSW, Dallas, or Houston; and IF Kupchak decides to "tank" it must involve trading Gasol for picks or bad expiring contracts. What teams might be interested in Gasol which could do business with Lakers?

Kevin Pelton
  (2:00 PM)

Doesn't seem like there are many left with the combination of cap space + expiring contracts that would really work. Either of Dallas or Houston could get involved. I like that move for those teams because it allows them to contend while preserving their cap space. Utah is a possibility. Atlanta too.

Charles (San Jose)

Are you aware of any NBA players that have changed how they play in response to being exposed to analytics?

Kevin Pelton
  (2:01 PM)

LeBron and KD have both hinted at this over the last year in terms of their shot selection.

Brett (Blandburg)

In today's NBA, is Dwight Howard just a clog in an NBA offense? This to me would especially be true in the Rockets beautiful slash and kick offense.

Kevin Pelton
  (2:03 PM)

No. He played for the second-best offense in the league at one point in Orlando. Dwight Howard post-ups might be a clog, but Howard in the pick-and-roll with shooters is a beautiful thing.

Ben (TN)

Kevin, being in Seattle, how much does it pain you that the Kings didn't make the move?

Kevin Pelton
  (2:03 PM)

It doesn't pain me that the Kings didn't make the move; it pains me that the NBA didn't seriously consider expansion.

Aaron (Pennsylvania)

One more pistons question: Thanks for this great chat! We all really appreciate it-- I was wondering, with the rumors that Detroit and Boston have talked about a Rondo to Pistons trade, do you think that it is a realistic possibility that he becomes a Piston? Detroit can offer Knight, and their expiring contracts of Stuckey and Villanueva. Plus, they have the cap to take on big contracts (Lee, Wallace)

Kevin Pelton
  (2:04 PM)

I think the Pistons would have to offer either Drummond or Monroe to get involved in a possible Rondo deal. Don't see Knight moving the needle for Boston.

Kevin Pelton
  (2:04 PM)

Same goes for Lance Stephenson, optimistic Pacers fans.

Carl (Portland)

Kevin, my favorite blogger (Dave at Blazersedge) Is going apoplectic over our Free Agency decisions. I don't think they are that bad. Should I be disappointed in our front office for not making more noise this summer with an elite addition? It seems like Olshey has been looking to find potential value additions, rather than overpaying trying to land a more heralded player (Asik, Evans, or Pekovic).

Kevin Pelton
  (2:05 PM)

I've liked some moves and disliked others, but given that Portland's overwhelming need was depth, I think playing the summer like this is a good idea. And none of the players the Blazers have added can potentially clog the cap like a Pekovic deal, for example, could if he had gone south.

shaw (boulder)

why do you seemingly always seem to dog my nuggets...i liked our trade, front office moves, draft. what gives?

Kevin Pelton
  (2:06 PM)

http://www.denverpost.com/lunchspecial/ci_21836462/wait-could-denver-nuggets-win-western-conference

Ben (WI)

Would a Jennings-Mayo back court be better than a Jennings-Ellis back court?

Kevin Pelton
  (2:06 PM)

Yeah. Not only is Mayo a better outside shooter, he doesn't create the defensive issues that Ellis does at shooting guard.

Kobe (LA)

If you're a rebuilding team with cap space and resources to make moves to get immediately better, but you don't do it for cap and draft reasons, aren't you still tanking?

Kevin Pelton
  (2:07 PM)

I don't believe so. I have defined tanking as intentionally trying to lose games: http://www.basketballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2183

Josh (Oregon)

You think there is a chance portland would try and trade Wes Matthews after drafting Mccollum and Crabbe to the same position. What do you think they got get in return?

Kevin Pelton
  (2:11 PM)

I don't think it's likely. For one, we're not even sure McCollum is better at shooting guard yet.

Charles (San Jose)

Will Mark Madsen shooting 6 three-pointers in a game remain the quintessential example of tanking?

Kevin Pelton
  (2:11 PM)

I'd hate to see something worse than that.

John (Santa Barbara, CA)

Players and coaches don't intentionally try to lose games. Would you call the sixers moves so far tanking or rebuilding?

Kevin Pelton
  (2:12 PM)

Sometimes they do, but definitely rebuilding because the Sixers are making moves that bring them value in the future.

Jeff (Lafayette, LA)

Should the Pelicans try and trade Gordon or see how the newly acquired players mesh together?

Kevin Pelton
  (2:13 PM)

Tough to replace him at this point given the relative lack of outside shooting elsewhere on the roster. But, as always, all depends on what someone else is willing to offer.

Ryan Ting (Utah)

In today's per diem, James Harden's WARP projections drop significantly through 13 to 16. How can it be? Given that he is still 26 years old at 2016.

Kevin Pelton
  (2:14 PM)

In general, the further out the more even young players tend to drop simply due to the risk of injury. In Harden's specific case, he gets compared to a lot of score-first PGs, and they have a history of burning out early: Francis, Marbury, Arenas are all examples. That probably doesn't apply to Harden because he's much bigger.

John (Santa Barbara, CA)

It seems that both the sixers first round picks have the same pluses (defense) and the same minuses (weight, shooting)...is there something that says those weaknesses (especially the shooting) are more fixable than other weaknesses for incoming rookies?

Kevin Pelton
  (2:17 PM)

That's the conventional wisdom as far as shooting, and perhaps the Sixers are planning to bring guru Chip Engelland along if they hire Brett Brown from San Antonio as head coach. But I think more likely that was just a coincidence. Had Trey Burke slipped and not Carter-Williams, I think Philly would have been fine taking him.

Bob (Buffalo)

Is there a reason the Cavs aren't more active in the free agency market? With all their cap space, and a serious question of center depth with varejao's injury history, are they better suited to spend some of that money this offseason rather then carrying it into 2014, where melo or lebron will likely not join them anyway

Kevin Pelton
  (2:18 PM)

Too many people lend too much credence to the LeBron possibility for the Cavaliers to throw that money away this season. Better to sign guys to one-year deals (as Earl Clark's is, with a team option) or trade for expiring contracts.

gnosys (East Seattle)

Hey KP, crappy Seattle weather, but a change from the heat wave, eh?Anyway, you said on Twitter that expansion is on the horizon, but a couple of years away. Is Seattle a sure-thang when that happens, and which team in the East would be part of it? Thanks....

Kevin Pelton
  (2:19 PM)

I'd say potentially on the horizon in a couple of years. I don't think it's a sure thing. Hard to imagine Seattle not being at the top of the list in that scenario, but I don't think the NBA would necessarily need to add two teams, or one in the East of that group. Minnesota desperately wants to move to the Eastern Conference, which could happen with either expansion to Seattle only or the addition of two West teams.

Michael (aurora, co)

Didnt see this in a chat: what were the chances of spurs losing game 6 when they were up 4 with ginobili at line and 37 seconds left. 10%?

Kevin Pelton
  (2:23 PM)

Much lower than that. According to Betting Market Analytics' in-game analysis, their chances peaked then at 98.6% of winning the game and the championship.

Matt (St. Louis )

Kevin, I don't know why everybody is so high on Howard. To me he looks like Amare after his injury. Not the same player. Your thoughts?

Kevin Pelton
  (2:25 PM)

Well, if we're talking after the initial microfracture surgery, after that Amar'e led one Suns team to the Western Conference Finals and had another as co-favorites before the suspensions in 2007, so I don't think that's so bad. I think it's unlikely Dwight will ever be as good as he was in 2010-11 again, but probably better than we saw last season.

Byron (Belgrade)

Who will be the best player in the NBA after LeBron no longer is? The age difference between Durant and LeBron is small enough that I don't think Durant ever claims that title.

Kevin Pelton
  (2:26 PM)

Andrew Wiggins?

justin (greensboro)

did the bobcats just go from worst team ever to 7th seed in 2 seasons

Kevin Pelton
  (2:26 PM)

They're still a long ways away from the playoffs. Al Jefferson won't help that much, particularly on the defensive end. And good! If anyone proves that first-round exits aren't worth sacrificing long-term potential, it's the Bobcats from a few years ago.

Marc (Sacramento)

Do you really believe the Kings are going to make DeMarcus Cousins the "face of the franchise" and offer him a max deal? With his track record, that's seem too risky for my taste.

Kevin Pelton
  (2:28 PM)

I'd be awfully surprised if that happens. Even if you really believe he can be a part of your long-term future, I don't think you extend him yet unless there's a discount involved.

Ridge Stringer (Dallas)

Does Dallas have to get rid of Marion or Carter to get Dwight on a max contract?

Tyler (indianapolis )

What's the chances of the pacers moving Danny Granger?

Kevin Pelton
  (2:34 PM)

I don't think it's likely they get anything of value for him before he demonstrates he's healthy again.

Eddie (Fresno)

Are the Kings really out of the running for Iguodala? They have the cap space to sign him and there has already been contact. It seems to me like it might be at least a possibility that the talks get rekindled, seeing the need the Kings have for a SF of his caliber.

Kevin Pelton
  (2:35 PM)

Hard to see Igoudala putting the aggravation of a pulled offer behind him unless the rest of the market is really soft.

Brett (Altoona)

Did the Kings make a great trade by getting Grevis Vasquez?!? Their first pass first point guard in forever!

Kevin Pelton
  (2:35 PM)

Much as I personally love Isaiah Thomas, that is a big upgrade in terms of playmaking at the position.

Ryan Ting (Utah)

One more question. Do you use player's physical measurements as a variable or just their on-court stats when comparing the similarity among players?

Kevin Pelton
  (2:36 PM)

Height and weight are both factors in the similarity scores.

Alex (Santa Cruz, CA) [via mobile]

Let's say you could auction off your picks and every team had equal money, how much does the number one pick go far next year?

Kevin Pelton
  (2:37 PM)

Hmm. Assuming it counted against the cap like salary (over the length of how long you had Wiggins), I would say somewhere around $75 million?

Jamal (Houston)

with all the cap room rockets have what are their plan B if DH choose to stay or another team?

Kevin Pelton
  (2:38 PM)

Well, they've reportedly told Josh Smith to hold tight until after a Dwight decision, so that's surely part of it. I would look hard at Gasol if Howard goes somewhere else and keep my options open for LaMarcus Aldridge or Kevin Love down the line.

Martin (Hattiesburg, MS)

In response to Ned's question, Per Larry Coon.. Amare isn't eligible for the stretch provision.. He signed his contract under the old CBA and thus isn't eligible.

Kevin Pelton
  (2:38 PM)

Ah, yes. Good point.

Pavel (Czech republic)

hello, what are the chances some D12 suitors will throw max offer to Pekovic? If they doesn't want to tank that could make a sense

Kevin Pelton
  (2:39 PM)

I don't think "make sense" and "max offer to Pekovic" belong in the same question, I'm afraid. I like Pek -- and am scared to say anything negative about him lest he come after me personally -- but that's a reach.

Chris (Philly)

Why on earth would the Bobcats sign Jefferson this year of all years? If MKG makes any significant strides, they are positioning themselves for a mid to late lottery pick instead of getting a franchise player in the top 5.

Kevin Pelton
  (2:39 PM)

You've got me. Strange timing to say the least, especially when the need to amnesty Tyrus Thomas is factored in.

Billy (Germany)

Talking bout Cleveland, the Lakers may trade Pau Gasol.Would he be a good fit as a talented Player who has a lot of experience for the Cavs?He could play Center and the Lakers could get Varejao + a minor Player to replace Dwight.In additon the Lakers would have mor cap space for a better Bench.The Cavs would have Gasol to play with Irving,

Kevin Pelton
  (2:41 PM)

I think Gasol could make some sense in Cleveland, especially if the Cavaliers view a playoff appearance as making them more attractive to free agents. But no way I'd give up Varejao; taking Gasol's contract off L.A.'s books is more than return enough.

Dylan (Pleasant Hill)

Warriors plus Howard a championship contender?

Kevin Pelton
  (2:42 PM)

I don't think so this season, since they would basically not be able to add anyone else. In a year or two, potentially.

Bob (Vallejo, CA)

So how much cap room do the kings actually have with the Evans deal and a posssible amnesty of john salmons? Do you see them being a possible trade partner with the GSWs cap clearing efforts given the team's ties?

Kevin Pelton
  (2:43 PM)

Looks like they might be able to clear enough space to take on Biedrins' contract without amnestying Salmons, but I think it's more likely they use that to sign a player.

Greg (Mpls) [via mobile]

I understand that swapping AK for Martin brings up D problems, but overall, is Martin better than Mayo?

Kevin Pelton
  (2:44 PM)

Right now, yes, but I think over the next four years I'd rather have Mayo.

Adrian (Greenville)

What do the numbers say about Tyrus Thomas' potential to rebound his career? He's about to be amnestied, and I think he could help a contender a lot.

Kevin Pelton
  (2:44 PM)

In general, when a player dips as far as Tyrus Thomas has, especially over two years, it's tough to get back to useful.

Marktavious ((Boston) )

What do think of Cleveland signing Earl Clark? Can Clark play the 3? What does this mean for Tristan Thompson?

Kevin Pelton
  (2:46 PM)

As another question-er pointed out, a Clark-Bennett frontcourt might work well because Bennett's floor spacing helps offset Clark's poor shooting. So I think Clark will mostly play the 3, and won't affect Thompson much other than that kind of pairing. As to the signing overall, I was stunned he got so much money per year, but I guess that's the tradeoff for only one guaranteed year.

Will (Baltimore)

The Wizards drafted two of the most NBA ready players in the draft in Porter and Rice, but then overpay to keep Martell Webster for the next 4 years. Porter will obviously get playing time but do you think Rice will get enough to develop?

Kevin Pelton
  (2:47 PM)

Going to be tough next year with Ariza around, though wing depth is a plus given that Beal missed time last year.

Gilbert (DC)

How come a sign and trade with Brooklyn for B. Lopez was never brought up, if thats where Howard wanted to go to so bad a few seasons ago?

Kevin Pelton
  (2:48 PM)

The Nets would have had to move massive amounts of contracts in order to get under the luxury-tax apron and be eligible for a sign-and-trade deal. Realistically, it was never possible.

Mark (PDX)

To expand a little further on your comment about being disappointed the NBA didn't consider expanding to Seattle. I think Stern will announce it at his retirement press conference. It'll be his last "hurrah" as commish.

Kevin Pelton
  (2:48 PM)

I'd be surprised if Stern could get the owners to line up in favor of expansion by that point ... but very pleasantly surprised, obviously.

Ryan (Chicago)

B. Doolittle is projecting 64 wins for Brooklyn next season, seems a little high to me, what do you think?

Kevin Pelton
  (2:49 PM)

I think that's with rosters as is, so the figures are going to be on the high side. I would put them in the group of contenders for second in the East with Chicago and Indiana, with New York probably a tier below at this point.

Rod (Atlanta, GA)

If the Hawks does not get Dwight Howard, is there any chance that they would be able to lure a franchise type guy to Atlanta this year?

Kevin Pelton
  (2:53 PM)

Since Chris Paul is the only other franchise-caliber player available, I feel comfortable saying now.

Ruskin (Detroit Lakes, MN)

With Masai Ujiri wanting to put his stamp on the Raptors, and LaMarcus Aldridge wanting out of Portland, not to mention the Blazers' need for a veteran wing player, what do you think the odds of a swap between the Raps and Rip City are? Toronto should've drafted LaMarcus in 2006, and Rudy would fill a need for the Blazers, who might lose Aldridge for nothing, if he walks away.

Kevin Pelton
  (2:54 PM)

http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/batumni01.html

Brent (Fort Wayne, IN)

In a "good draft" like is rumored for next season, does that just mean better at the top? Or is it expected to be better than normal through the 2nd round as well?

Kevin Pelton
  (2:58 PM)

I don't think you can really project depth that far out because it's so hard to tell whether players in that range will come out early or not. With stars it's easier to project, and that's why the hype for next year's draft exists.

Arun (Texas)

Do the Lakers really think they are Championship calibre with Dwitght?

Kevin Pelton
  (2:58 PM)

Who would make them more championship-caliber?

Chris (Philly)

Does Hinkie give the reigns to Turner this year to raise his trade value or is he gone before the season starts?

Kevin Pelton
  (2:59 PM)

I'd be surprised if he makes it to opening night, given that whichever team acquires him might want to consider an extension.

Charles (San Jose)

You say need to amnesty Tyrus Thomas like that's a bad thing. He's been a below-replacement level player the last two seasons and isn't a positive in the clubhouse. Is there any hope of that changing?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:01 PM)

Not much, but as long as a contract is on the books there's a chance of including it in a trade. That's gone now.

Kory (Ohio)

Assuming Utah lands a third big (Millsap or Bogut) and fills the roster with the Randy Foye's of the league, can you ballpark a win total for them?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:02 PM)

Probably similar to last year. High 30s, low 40s.

Matt (Iowa)

What do you think of a trade sending Gortat, Frye and Beasley for Gasol between the Suns and Lakers? The Lakers would get some much needed depth and Frye was outstanding in D'Antoni's system and Beasley seems like a good fit. also Gortat was outstanding when playing with Nash. The Suns would get rid of some long term contracts and a piece that would be very valuable come the trade deadline. Thanks!

Kevin Pelton
  (3:03 PM)

The Lakers have little interest in taking back contracts beyond next season, and I don't see Channing Frye changing that.

Jordan (NYC)

Did the Knicks re-hire Isiah Thomas? Afterall, who else could possibly engineer a Bargnani for three draft picks trade? Is there any plausible way for long-suffering Knicks fans to make sense of that move?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:04 PM)

The chance for Mike Walczewski to bring back his Italian pronunciation? It is a very Isiah-style move, with one important exception -- it actually locks the team into fewer years of salary.

BobHD (Walnut Creek, cA)

When do the Warriors contracts for Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry come off the cap? Can the Warriors some how renounce those contracts and free up that $ amount?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:05 PM)

Yes, they can renounce them, but it still leaves them miles over the cap. Hence the attempt to trade Biedrins/Bogut/Jefferson.

Josh (DC)

Any thoughts on what the Wiz should do with their glut at SF? Any bigs they could get back for Ariza?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:07 PM)

Just eyeballing the list of expiring contracts, I don't see an obvious fit. But Ariza is clearly the odd man out.

Sam (FLA)

I don't quite understand how your WARP ratings aligned Oladipo with Evan Turner. Oladipo's a freak athlete who's got questionable skill while Turner was quite skilled in college but pretty lousy athlete.

Kevin Pelton
  (3:10 PM)

The problem is Turner's limited athleticism is tough to show statistically, since he had a good steal rate and was such an excellent rebounder.

Sameet (Kalmar, Sweden)

Hey Kevin, what are the chances of the Warriors getting Dwight without a S&T with the Lakers and not giving up assets such as Thompson or Barnes? What would they have to do in order for that to happen besides the obvious of moving Bogut, Jefferson, and/or Biedrins?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:10 PM)

Zero chance they pull it off without giving up one of those two guys.

Brett (Layton, UT)

Why the crickets from the Jazz? It is tough to watch all these agreements being made all over the league, and nothing from Utah. They only have 6 (I believe) players under contract. Shouldn't they be more busy? It's hard to be a fan right now with nothing happening.

Kevin Pelton
  (3:11 PM)

The history of the Jazz is that no front office in the league leaks less information. So just because we don't hear about anything Utah is doing doesn't mean the organization isn't busy negotiating.

Brady (Florida)

Did the celtics make a good move in hiring brad Stevens?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:12 PM)

It's definitely a risky move, given the magnitude of the change for Stevens. But this is the right time to make that kind of move with a rebuilding team, and if there's any college coach I'd be on making the leap, it's Brad Stevens.

Dan Swagerty (Bakersfield, CA)

Where does George Karl end up? Will he become the next Tex Winter ? He could mentor a younger associate head coach to take over in a couple of years?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:12 PM)

I can't see George in that role yet. I think he's more likely to sit a season out and turn up again next year.

Cloud (KY)

Regarding your article posted today, I understand the logic for injuries lowering harden's projected WARP. But why does that not apply to Curry, who is smaller and has a history with injuries

Kevin Pelton
  (3:13 PM)

Well, it's injuries *to similar players*, not the player's own track record. I don't really have a good way of accounting for that.

Jeff (Boston)

The Sixers have 17m of cap space and have up to not much thats been public, if at all. What should they do with all that space?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:15 PM)

Nothing. Or, more accurately, they should be looking at how they can use that cap space to acquire future assets. For example, they should be in that conversation about the Warriors dumping contracts.

Leland (texas)

I know they don't have much room, but anything else from the spurs this off season? I heard Kirilenko, but after latest signing probably not going to happen.

Kevin Pelton
  (3:15 PM)

I wouldn't rule that out, depending on how the Kirilenko market shakes out. One potential for AK47: A big one-year contract from Cleveland.

David (Flagstaff (AZ))

So Heat not doing much here in FA? Game 6 victory was an outlier (1.4% --someone else posted this in games odds). Combine that with a virtual coin-toss for game 7 and the odds were not favorable to get a two-peat. Bringing back the now +1 yr older core just does not seem to reek of three-peat? Lebron's amazing yes, but sitting pat is bad. What am I missing?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:17 PM)

They have (I believe) 13 players under contract and may have to use their mini-MLE on bringing back Birdman, so there's not really much they can do this summer. That's the system working, in a sense.

Big B (Dallas)

Would the Mavs be able to offer ANYTHING in terms of a sign/trade with the Lakers that would interest them?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:17 PM)

Not really relevant for them. Either Howard picks the Mavericks or he doesn't; the Lakers won't have any say other than Golden State.

Daniel S. (Alameda, CA)

Were the Warriors magically able to clear space for Howard with the now-oft-mentioned contracts going away, would they be in a position to make some sort of run at Jose Calderon?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:18 PM)

They'd only have the room exception to offer, so I'd say unlikely.

Matt Dooley (Roanoke)

What would be worse management: Having two horrible seasons in years with weak drafts, or improving before the best draft in a decade?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:19 PM)

Both?

Tom (Chicago)

Does drafting Snell mean the Bulls won't be keeping Deng much longer? And do you see any minimum-cost centers that could back up Noah?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:19 PM)

Tony Snell would have to dramatically exceed my expectations in order to affect Luol Deng's future. At this point, he's depth.

Josh (Oregon)

With the rumors about a Lamarcus Aldridge trades. Do teams consider him a #1 player for a team? or just a nice compliment?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:21 PM)

The assumption is he'd want to go somewhere to team up with another star, so probably a No. 2 option -- an interior counterweight to guards like Kyrie Irving or James Harden.

josh (Utah)

With Utah and GSW discussing a bogut trade would that mean Utah is telling them that they will help them out by taking on boguts contract if they give Utah Harrison Barnes as well? Otherwise why do it....

Kevin Pelton
  (3:22 PM)

Hard to see the Warriors offering that much when Bogut is their expiring contract with (by far) the most value. Maybe some picks, but I think mostly you're getting Bogut at low risk since he's only got one year left on his contract. It's an alternative to a long-term free agent deal.

PK (Phoenix, AZ.)

You don't buy the Suns "We're holding onto Gortat" ga-ga do you since they drafted Len? What would be a good trade for the Suns?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:24 PM)

Seems like a waste irrelevant of Len, with Gortat in the final season of his contract and aging. I think you're looking for a decent young player and an expiring contract. Maybe something like the J.J. Redick return.

JJ (Toronto)

What do the Raps do with Amir Johnson? On one hand, he's improved every year, is a valuable 3rd big/reasonably good starter, and is a big fan favourite who hustles and works hard. On the other, the likelihood he maintains or exceeds his present value is slim to none in the Raps' lifecycle to contend.

Kevin Pelton
  (3:24 PM)

I'd say at this point basically everyone in Toronto is available, depending on the return.

Gates (DC)

I don't think Eric Maynor is very good, and could struggle to remain in the league if he doesn't improve. How does WARP value him, SCHONE project him, and what do you think, subjectively?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:26 PM)

He's rated around replacement level historically; I think he's better than that given his defense, but there's little upside at this point. I think the Wiz got him at a fair price.

Josh (Oregon)

With the average age of the Nets starting five now older than Brad Stevens. Is it 1-2 year opening for them to win?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:27 PM)

Yeah. Garnett may not play past two years, and he's a crucial cog at this point.

steve (battle creek, mi)

Jefferson's expiring 11mil + H. barnes to the pistons. Is that too much for GSW?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:28 PM)

If it means getting Dwight, probably not. I'm not a huge Barnes fan, but that might be better than taking chances with a questionable fit in free agency.

Tom (Chicago)

You sound pretty down on Snell. Do you see him as just a role player for his entire career or did he have the potential to become a starter?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:29 PM)

If he becomes a consistent defender, he could be a lesser Jimmy Butler, but I don't think generally you can expect a player drafted at the end of the first round to develop into a starter.

Brett (Altoona)

Would the Warriors as is be a threat to win the West next year?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:29 PM)

As is without Dwight Howard?

Dan (WI)

What are the chances that next year's 8th seed from the Eastern Conference will be the worst playoff team in history?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:32 PM)

I can't see it, if only because they'll beat up on the bottom of the conference so much.

Ed (Brazil)

If the Rockets land Howard, how far they can they go next season?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:33 PM)

I think that vaults them into the top half of the Western Conference playoff race, depending how they fill out the roster.

Rudy (Dallas)

I know Everyone wants a star Point Guard or just a Back up, but other than the fact that Devin Harris is at most an AllStar and at Worst a Starter, why is there no one interested in singing him and yet so many teams who need a point guard.

Kevin Pelton
  (3:33 PM)

There's a whole group of guys, including Mo Williams, who will probably have to wait out the top point guards landing somewhere and see what situations are available.

Brett (Altoona)

yes

Kevin Pelton
  (3:34 PM)

Without Howard, and without Jack/Landry, I think they're more likely to miss the playoffs than win the West.

Matt (MPLS)

Wolves pay too much for Buddinger? Like his potential to play a bench role, but 5+ a year seems steep for a guy coming off injury.

Kevin Pelton
  (3:35 PM)

Since Budinger's injury shouldn't be an issue long-term, and he's just coming into his prime, I'm OK with the money -- especially since it's very possible he'll start at small forward with Kirilenko's departure.

josh (Utah)

Second part of question....if Utah tell GSW they will take biedrins and Jefferson does that mean they need to throw in Barnes? Utah is in great position for rebuilding (tanking) with their 5 youngs and taking on biedrins and jefferson (who wont help you win games) while getting barnes and still remaining bad enough for a high draft pick next year would be a smart move.

Kevin Pelton
  (3:37 PM)

It's hard for me to see a scenario where the Jazz really have a high draft pick; the young players are too good for that as long as the bench is halfway decent. But Barnes might be a better long-term play than anyone they could sign in free agency, yes.

Justin (Portland, OR)

Do you think the Blazers should aim for a decent lottery pick this year, developing their young guys, or go for the playoffs? The draft pick has the same protect this year, but they don't want to frustrate Aldridge anymore.

Kevin Pelton
  (3:39 PM)

I think the playoffs should be the goal. They've got their core of young talent in place. Similar to last year, when and if you're eliminated from the playoff race, that's when you start worrying about holding on to the protected pick.

Frank (Philly)

How would you evaluate Rob Hennigan's approach to the Magic's rebuild so far? Seems to have them set up OK, but there's still not a lot of talent there.

Kevin Pelton
  (3:40 PM)

There's not a lot of production, but I would disagree that there's not a lot of talent. The Magic may already have long-term starters in place at four of the five positions with another lottery pick likely next year.

Mike (Charlote)

I read that Orlando is going to play victor oladipo at PG in the summer league, does he have the ball-handling skill-set for that?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:40 PM)

We'll find out, won't we?

Marc (Sacramento)

I don't get why teams cater to players demands and sign-and-trade so the player can get "max dollar". Yeah the team gets a trade exemption, but do trade exemption ever amount to anything? Has Cleveland or Toronto done anything with their trade exemptions from losing LBJ and Bosh? Wouldn't it be best just to tell the player to go kick rocks and make him take less money?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:41 PM)

Keep in mind that both of those teams also got draft picks out of the deals. There's nothing to lose from a sign-and-trade, so anything to gain is better than being petty.

Futon (Boston)

Think any chance of a Bass for Ariza trade? Wiz get a big and Celts get closer to salary relief?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:42 PM)

I don't think that's worth cutting into the Wizards' potential 2014 cap space.

Justin (Portland, OR)

Did you use height/standing reach/wingspan or anything like that in your draft ratings? Might explain guys like Faried.

Kevin Pelton
  (3:43 PM)

I don't. I think there are some cases where it's useful information, but many more where it doesn't add anything to how the player has actually performed.

Alex (Santa Cruz, CA) [via mobile]

Shawn Kemp or Chris Webber in their primes?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:43 PM)

Much as it pains me to say this, Webber.

John J (SLC)

Kevin, great work. Love the marathon chats...The Bogut to Jazz rumor doesn't sit right with me. KOC has gone on record as being "against facilitating super teams to be created." If your Jazz, or any other teams in NBA, or more importantly the Lakers, why cooperate with GS at all?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:44 PM)

Is Golden State with Howard really a "super team"? To me, worry about your own team and let everybody else deal with their own.

Chris (Houston)

Am I alone in thinking that pairing Josh Smith with Howard would be bad for Houston? Hate the floor spacing implications.

Kevin Pelton
  (3:44 PM)

It's not ideal in that regard, but when you compare Smith to other PFs, he spaces the floor better than average, I would say.

Jason (Georgia)

Heard rumors that Howard would like to team up with Calderon? These two haven't very likely crossed paths. How likely do you see that happening at any of Dwight's possible destinations? I really want him back in Detroit (Pistons fan here).

Kevin Pelton
  (3:47 PM)

None of those teams will likely have anything but the room exception to offer, so I doubt it. A sign-and-trade with Houston in particular might be one way to accomplish it.

G.P. (las vegas nv)

Do you think Phoenix have any chances getting any player that can put phoenix back in the Playoffs in couple years?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:48 PM)

Well, the team with the worst record has a 25% chance of winning the lottery ...

Kevin Pelton
  (3:48 PM)

I don't actually think that will definitely be Phoenix. But I don't think it definitely won't be Phoenix.

jeremy (illinois)

Did you fall out of your chair laughing as I did for dr. Dolittle"s 64 win prediction for brooklyn in a recent espn article. They'll be lucky to win 50 games

Kevin Pelton
  (3:49 PM)

They won 49 games last year, and replaced Kris Humphries and Gerald Wallace with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. I'm aware of the risks, but I'll take the over on 50, and possibly 55 too.

Josh (Oregon)

Before the Dwight signing is complete. Who would you say has improved their team the most over the summer between draft and FA?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:50 PM)

Strictly for next year, I think New Orleans is the leader in the clubhouse, followed by Brooklyn and Portland.

Gates (DC)

Considering that (I believe) the huge opportunity cost the Wizards have paid by having Ariza/Okafor and the glut of small forwards on the roster, do you think it would be wise trade Ariza? Otherwise the Wizards would reap nothing from their large commitment to him?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:50 PM)

Can't let the original trade affect your decisions about Ariza going forward.

Brett (Altoona)

Will Eric Bledsoe take a step backward this season due to more responsibility on a much less talented roster?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:51 PM)

I don't know if he'll take a step backward, but I do think he'll be picked apart far more than he was in L.A. If anyone watches the Suns, that is.

gp (mpls)

You talk of dumping Bogut's contract. Are injuries the thing keeping people from liking Bogut? When healthy he does a lot on the floor from defending the basket to scoring on the inside?Maybe that's why I'm not GM?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:53 PM)

Certainly. If we could guarantee the playoff Bogut for 75 games next year, teams would be lining up to pay him $14 million in the last year of his contract. But the track record is simply too negative in terms of his health to expect anything like that.

Joe (KC)

Any first time All-Star predictions? Josh Smith and Rudy Gay seem like guys who need to make at least 1, while Curry was robbed last year and John Wall looks primed for this year

Kevin Pelton
  (3:55 PM)

Curry and Wall would top my list. Some other names: Nic Batum and Serge Ibaka?

jer (Louisiana)

Do you think the Pelicans can/should go after Bynum?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:56 PM)

Awfully big risk of throwing Anthony Davis out at center 30+ minutes a night if Bynum can't play, so I don't think that's a good fit.

Justin (greensboro)

will the lakers/celtics ever be relevant again or are these two classic champions finally laid to rest

Kevin Pelton
  (3:57 PM)

Ever is a long time.

Andy (Austin, TX)

If you're Indiana, do you consider trying to send out a pile of draft picks normally reserved for big star trades if they could move Granger and Green to rebuild the whole bench? How much would you have to pay a team like Phoenix, say, to get a pile featuring Gortat, Shannon Brown, Dragic, whoever. Or Derozan/Lowry from Toronto, if they decide to blow it up? Something like that.

Kevin Pelton
  (3:57 PM)

Not sure why that's necessary when Granger is back, they've already added Watson and will likely sign someone to play power forward.

Pete (Chicago)

Who are some quality back-up Big men that are expected to sign for the minimum?

Kevin Pelton
  (3:59 PM)

I don't know that any big man signing for the minimum is a quality backup, but besides Nazr Mohammed you're looking at Ronny Turiaf, Jermaine O'Neal, Ryan Hollins and Jason Collins.

Josh (Oregon)

Still dont understand the no Milsap chatter at all. He is a borderline all-star in my view. Are teams just waiting for Smith to go before deciding on Milsap?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:00 PM)

Could be a Jazz corollary -- just because we don't hear anything about Millsap doesn't mean nothing is happening. But I think the entire market is waiting for Dwight at this point.

Ryan (New York)

If Dwight leaves the lakers is it safe to say there were no real winners from that trade last year?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:01 PM)

Orlando landed 3 starters out of the deal, so I think they made out pretty well.

Adam (Houston)

If Houston gets Dwight, is there any chance they do a S+T with LA for Asik and Lin? If so, does that clear enough space to add Josh Smith as well?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:02 PM)

Virtually none, given the Lakers' reluctance to take on contracts past 2014. More likely try to trade Asik and Lin to Atlanta in a Smith sign-and-trade.

Tsuf Bechor (Tel Aviv)

What are your thoughts on Iggy to Golden State?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:05 PM)

This is interesting. It's definitely interesting. Hard to evaluate without knowing the Howard piece, though. Is Iguodala to replace the wing they'd have to send to the Lakers?

Brett (Altoona)

Would anyone want Lin at this point? He was awful for what he played in that series against OKC and his contract swells in year 3.

Kevin Pelton
  (4:07 PM)

I wouldn't read too much into the playoff series, since Lin was injured. The contract is an issue, though only in terms of money, not actual cap space.

Jack (Portland)

Any chance of Blazers landing Bogut, or has that opportunity sailed with the Lopez trade?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:07 PM)

Didn't have enough cap space to get him anyway.

Kevin (New York)

Woj just tweeted that Iguodala signed with Golden State and that GS sent Jefferson and Biedrins to Utah in a trade. This takes them out of the Howard sweepstakes right?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:08 PM)

No, they could still offer Barnes + Bogut (some picks depending how many they gave Utah) in a sign-and-trade.

Kevin Pelton
  (4:09 PM)

Woj reporting Warriors out of the Dwight pursuit. Hard to keep everything straight right now.

Kevin (Brooklyn, NY)

Am I the only person who feels that the Bos-Bkn trade only made the Nets marginally better? There's only 1 ball and they now have 4 players in their starting lineup that needs the ball to be effective. That grows to 5 when Blatche comes in for KG. I see early BIG 3 in MIA days when everyone takes turns to take a shoot making the offensive struggle.

Kevin Pelton
  (4:10 PM)

There's a difference between being best with the ball and needing the ball. Since all of those players are good outside shooters, as long as Jason Kidd can massage the egos, I don't think it's an issue on the court. I'd say this team is much more similar to Boston's Big Three than Miami's in that regard.

James (Miami)

Who is coming off the bench now for Golden state?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:11 PM)

Still have Brandon Rush and Draymond Green, plus apparently one of Klay Thompson or Harrison Barnes. Also will have the room mid-level to use.

Tsuf Bechor (Tel Aviv)

Who do you think is better next season Golden State or the Clippers?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:12 PM)

I would say the Clippers, but still a lot of moving parts.

Kelly (Jacksonville)

How long is it going to take you to get used to saying Pelicans?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:13 PM)

I think I only mistyped it once when I was doing my trade grades.

Tim (San Fran)

Could the Warriors still be shopping David Lee for picks or to bolster their bench and play Barnes at the 4 like in the playoffs?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:14 PM)

Definite possibility. Not sure you'd want to have Barnes at the 4 full-time.

Casey (Utah)

What will the Jazz get back for this trade?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:14 PM)

Presumably some picks. It's also possible Barnes or Thompson is involved, given Warriors need to shed more salary to make full reported Iguodala offer.

Brett (Altoona)

Can't forget that in terms of FG% that GSW had a very good D. Now with Iggy in the mix they could be an elite D for at least a year until Bogut comes off the books.

Kevin Pelton
  (4:16 PM)

Will be interesting to see how Bogut-dependent their defense is now. No Ezeli much of the year, and no Landry for smallball alongside Lee. But a backup lineup with Green-Iguodala-Bazemore is legitimately scary defensively.

Jason (Toledo)

What kind of return could Pau Gasol net the Lakers in a trade? If Dwight leaves and the Lakers get nothing in return, do you see the Lakers trying to move Gasol before the deadline?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:16 PM)

Like $50 million in salary. That's the return.

Bob (Seattle)

Do you think the D12/GSW was all just a smokescreen by GS to figure out with whom they could dump Jefferson, Biedrins so they could get Iggy? Clearing out contracts in the hopes that D12 chooses you seems a bit risky

Kevin Pelton
  (4:16 PM)

Interesting theory.

Steven [via mobile]

Just saw a video by windhorst saying lakers could pair Howard and Lebron. Do you think certain journalists write these articles strictly got sensationalism

Kevin Pelton
  (4:17 PM)

That's entirely possible.

Alex (Santa Cruz, CA) [via mobile]

We're almost to 2! Keep it going! Three years from now , who's better: Harrison Barnes or Klay Thompson?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:18 PM)

I'd rather have Klay. Just not sold that Barnes is an efficient player -- though playing the four may change that.

Yaner (San Fransisco)

Kevin, The way that Barnes and Thompson played in various games against the Spurs I am not sure that Andrea is a better pick up for them. Your thoughts?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:18 PM)

Have to see exactly how the particulars end up, but I think it's important to be careful assigning too much importance to one series.

Brendon (New England)

If Howard does go to GS, are they front runners in the West?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:19 PM)

In that scenario, the Warriors would have virtually no depth. So they would need to lure a lot of cheap free agents to make up the gap on Oklahoma City in particular.

Chris (San Jose,CA)

Why would the Warriors sign Iguodala and be out on Howard? It seems like the perfect scenario to package 1 of the 2 with bogut and picks to LA.

Kevin Pelton
  (4:19 PM)

That's how I read it.

Kevin Pelton
  (4:20 PM)

And Woj retracts, then reports Brandon Rush to Utah.

Kevin Pelton
  (4:20 PM)

Stunning the Warriors could pull that off without either Barnes or Thompson. How valuable are those first-round picks?

Jerry (Oakland)

Did Barnes get paid too much?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:20 PM)

(This is Matt, not Harrison). No, I think given how underpaid he's been in recent years that's a fair deal.

Alex (Santa Cruz, CA) [via mobile]

What are your thoughts on how much Evans got? As a Kings fan, I'm glad we didn't match but also wouldn't be surprised if he surpassed that contract.

Kevin Pelton
  (4:21 PM)

I think that's an appropriate response. It's a fair contract, but getting Vasquez back was nice return.

Mitch (LA)

Is Lopez an upgrade over Hickson at center in PDX?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:21 PM)

Yes. Weaker rebounder, but much, much better interior defender.

Mitch (LA)

Does matt barnes signing mean landry is out for Clips?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:24 PM)

Most likely. They only had their mid-level to use, and spent about half of it on Barnes. Landry would have to take a paycut from last year's paycut to go to L.A.

T (Toronto)

With every mention of Rudy Gay, you subtly imply that Batum's better (at 7M/yr less). So my question is -- why do you hate Raptor fans?!?!

Kevin Pelton
  (4:26 PM)

Shouldn't the question be why Bryan Colangelo hated Raptor fans?

Colin (SLC)

How disappointed are Jazz fans going to be when they find out the third player is just Brandon Rush?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:26 PM)

And has to renounce Millsap, unless he unexpectedly has already re-signed at a lower price point. I guess it's up to the kids now.

Marques (S.F)

If anything doesn't the Warriors trade make them a better contender to land Howard.. A core of Curry, Iggy, David Lee and either Barnes or Thompson has to be better than Houston's core of Harden Lin, Asik and Parsons. Also does the signing of Iggy mean that if the Warriors are able to do a sign n trade that Barnes leaves and not thompson?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:27 PM)

Could still do either player, I'd say. I prefer Houston's core to Golden State's, but I'm not Dwight Howard.

Kelly (Jacksonville)

So Spurs trade Neal for Belinelli - net positive or negative?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:29 PM)

Net negative on the court, but sounds like Neal is going to command more money and Belinelli is a decent replacement.

Rex (Texas)

Do the Spurs have any money left?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:30 PM)

Still have their mid-level left to spend.

Eddie (Fresno)

Looking at Geoff Petrie's last few years, he made some horrible decisions, most notably on Chuck Hayes, Salmons, Jimmer, and Thomas Robinson. Do you think he was acting on is own, or that the Maloofs financial troubles and their objective to drive fans away from games so they could move were more likely the reason for such horrible moves?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:30 PM)

No, I don't think there was any kind of Major League scenario at play. I think the lack of financial resources from the Maloofs didn't help, but also that the game may have passed Petrie by to some extent.

Rex (Texas)

Kevin, The Spurs could pick up a guy like Landry? This would make them even better. Your thoughts?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:32 PM)

Kind of a superior offensive DeJuan Blair? Could make some sense. I think someone else will probably value Landry more.

Mitchell (AB)

As a Raptors fan, I have to agree with your assessment of Colangelo. Do you think the Pistons would still want to trade for Gay if we asked for future first rounders instead of expirings?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:33 PM)

No, because a lot of the value to the Pistons would be dumping those contracts and maintaining some cap space. I think the more likely possibility would be a counteroffer of expirings + a pick or two.

Fed (Dallas)

Do the Warriors still try to move Barnes or Bogut? Could the Cavs be in play in a three-team sign-and-trade that sends Dwught to Golden State?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:35 PM)

As I read it, they'd have to move David Lee to get far enough under the cap to sign both Iguodala and Howard outright. So I think more likely we're looking at a sign-and-trade if Dwight picks Golden State.

Colin (Delaware)

Why isn't Thomas Robinson an asset anymore? It seems like he's become a hot potato

Kevin Pelton
  (4:37 PM)

Part of the issue was Houston's desire to clear cap room for the Dwight Howard pursuit. But part of the issue was also how ineffective Robinson was as a rookie. There are people who believe he can still be a very good player in the right situation. I think he's a role player talent at this point.

Alex (Utah)

No picks for the Jazz?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:38 PM)

Woj reporting "multiple" picks to Utah, including 2014 first-rounder.

Jonathon (Austin, TX)

Spurs are most likely spending part of their mid-level on Belinelli, no?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:39 PM)

Not sure if they could fit him in their bi-annual exception off the top of my head.

Jim (Chicago)

Michael Redd is a guy who has not officially retired, although after 3-4 years of basically inactivity you could argue he already is. Why does a guy with his shooting prowess not have a job? Will he get some interest this off-season?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:41 PM)

Shot 31.8% from 3 two years ago, now that much older. Not seeing it.

Alex (Home)

I'm confused. What did GSW get in the Jazz deal? I know they signed Iggy, but in the trade don't they have to take back some money to make it work?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:41 PM)

No, because Utah is under the cap. They get Kevin Murphy, who will presumably be waived.

Rob (Cleveland)

So if GS traded Bogut + Barnes they wouldn't be far enough under the cap to sign Howard outright?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:42 PM)

Not quite by my math. Need $20.5 million and that clears $16.9. Might be a little more wiggle room after Iguodala, but I don't think so.

Mike (Minnesota)

People make fun of Dumars in Detroit all the time, but it seems people praise Ainge a lot for being great at his job. Their resumes seem awfully similar to me. Dumars just had his big run earlier than Ainge did. Would you agree?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:43 PM)

Which part of Ainge's resume is similar to signing Charlie V and Ben Gordon?

Logan (Colorado)

Unfortunately, now that Andre Iguodala is gone, what are some players that would be good fits that could replace him for the nuggets?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:45 PM)

They'll probably get in on O.J. Mayo, but with only the mid-level to offer Iguodala's production is going to be hard to replace.

Far north (Toronto)

Do you think Rudy Gay opts out of the final year of his contract? How does that affect his trade value?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:47 PM)

I'd say it's 50-50. Better long-term deal vs. likely less money in the first year. We saw Monta Ellis opt out with a similar dilemma. Question is, does that help or hurt his trade value? I'm not sure.

joe mcginniss (Washington, District of Columbia (US))

Jarret Jack now free ... wise pick-up for Clips as Paul backup?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:48 PM)

No way he signs for the remaining part of their mid-level exception. Jack will likely get the full mid-level exception from someone, which also probably rules out Indiana for Pacers fans asking.

Jose (CAL)

Wow Denver offered a 5 year deal did Andre just want to leave

Kevin Pelton
  (4:49 PM)

Curious whether the management instability over the last few months drove him away or he was just that excited to join the Warriors core.

John (San Jose)

Couldn't Andre Iguodala be in the Trade and Sign deal now for Howard between GS and the Lakers? Would that be additional leverage?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:50 PM)

No, free agents can't be flipped like that.

Logan (Colorado)

Would Monta Ellis be a reasonable replacement for Iggy in Denver? I heard he is willing to take a deal with less money to be on a contender though i'm not sure Denver qualifies as a contender...

Kevin Pelton
  (4:51 PM)

Going from Iguodala to Monta Ellis defensively ... ugh.

Gates (DC)

Considering the reversal of some of the bottom-tiered playoff teams and contenders for the playoffs - and their own improvement - the Wizards are likely to make the playoffs. Do you think this will be enough to justify Ernie Grunfeld being kept as Wizards President?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:51 PM)

Since Ted Leonsis seems to be in no hurry to make a change there, I'd say probably yes.

Evelyn (CA)

Who has more value out there, Jennings or Ellis?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:52 PM)

Jennings if only because of age.

Marques (S.F)

I thought you could not trade back to back draft picks? With Utah having the Warriors pick this past draft would they not be able to get a pick until 2015

Kevin Pelton
  (4:52 PM)

Past draft picks don't matter to that. So they can trade 2014, 2016 and 2018.

Nick (Los angeles)

What do you think the Jazz plan is now that they've given up their cap space and the ability to resign Milsap? Get as many ping pong balls as possible while developing the young guys?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:53 PM)

Pretty clearly. Note that they can re-sign Millsap if he agrees to a deal smaller than his cap hold, but that seems unlikely.

Kevin Pelton
  (4:54 PM)

Also had a few people question whether Utah could use amnesty. Their only eligible players are Favors and Hayward, which is to say no.

nik (pdx)

Landry to the Pacers? seems Clips and Dubs won't be able to afford them now due to recent signings and the Bucks are not contenders (and have too many PFs already)

Kevin Pelton
  (4:54 PM)

Could make sense on a one-year contract if he's really committed to winning.

Ron (Texas)

With Iguodala taking GS out of the Howard Sweepstakes does that just leave Houston and the Lakers?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:55 PM)

Golden State very much still in it.

Matt (Sacramento)

With respect to Monta, from his comments to the press it just sounds like he has unrealistic expectations about his earning power.

Kevin Pelton
  (4:55 PM)

So do nearly all NBA players!

Gary (Sacramento)

Opinions on Ben McLemore are very diverse....some pointing to perennial all star and others saying bust. Where do you think his career will take him?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:56 PM)

Somewhere in between. I think there are some indicators that are worrisome in terms of projecting him becoming a star, but he's a great shooter with good size and athleticism. It's hard to see him being less than a useful role player.

Dan (WI)

Any guess what the Jazz are thinking?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:57 PM)

Stockpiling future picks while keeping their cap clear for next summer and giving their young guys space to grow. I think they took on too much salary for not enough return, but they'll benefit from those picks.

Lon (SLC)

Earlier you said the Jazz get around 40 wins with Milsap. Know what is your prediction?

Kevin Pelton
  (4:58 PM)

Low 30s. I still think the young players are talented enough that they won't be near the cellar, but it looks like the bench is going to be craptastic.

Nathan (Denver)

In regards to Ainge: Jeff Green, Jason Terry, Courtney Lee were all signed to terrible contracts by Ainge. Not as bad as Gordon/Charlie but still.

Kevin Pelton
  (5:00 PM)

Big difference between signing those guys using exceptions and spending hard-earned cap space on total busts. Terry's contract proved movable, and so is Lee's; the Pistons had to give up a possible lottery pick to be rid of Gordon. Jury still very much out on the Green contract, BTW.

Jules (Irvine)

Is Utah banking on some injury to GW players (Curry?) next season so the picks goes higher? I don't see GW's pick going any higher than 20. I heard it's a deep draft, but really?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:00 PM)

Well, it's about the package of picks, but right now you'd have to estimate all of them will fall late in the round.

josh (SLC)

so, not that many free agents were clamoring to get here but i suppose this take the jazz out of the running for signing pretty much anybody, right

Kevin Pelton
  (5:01 PM)

Would only have about $8M left.

Allen (Houston)

Does Bogut + Barnes Thompson clear enough room for Howard in GS? And wouldn't it make them less appealing since those two are some of the pieces that attracted him in the first place?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:02 PM)

It would be close enough to make it work, I think. But yes, dealing both of those guys would seem to hurt their chances even with Iguodala.

Charles (San Jose)

Neither Biedrins nor Jefferson would be eligible for amnesty?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:02 PM)

Can't amnesty players received in trades, no.

abc (abc)

Can Utah buy out Jefferson? Did you count correctly Warriors cap space when saying that Bogut + barnes still not enough? If information about trades was correct they got ~12mil under even with Iguodala deal.

Kevin Pelton
  (5:03 PM)

They might be a couple of million under the cap after Iguodala, but certainly not 12. Possible it's close enough that Bogut + Thompson would do the trick.

Trent (Orlando)

jazz are reported to get the 2014 and 2017 first rounders from gsw. that would mean that bought each pick for 12 million each. how is that a good deal when the t-wolves sold the 26th pick this year for like 2 million?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:05 PM)

Generally, late first-rounders are valued around $3 million. The Timberwolves also got a future second-round pick and got Malcolm Lee off their books. But yeah, it's hard to justify a $12 million valuation. Even if you figure that the Jazz weren't going to do anything better with the money, they had the leverage here.

Joe (utah)

How receptive would Jefferson/Beans be to a contract restructuring?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:06 PM)

I could see buyouts but I doubt they're leaving much if any money on the table. Neither has much more value than the minimum to another team at this point.

John (FL)

The part where Ainge traded the two best Celtics of the decade for pennies is similar to Joe signing Charlie V and BG

Kevin Pelton
  (5:07 PM)

You mean where he traded two guys on their last legs for three unprotected picks? I understand the sentimental issues with that deal, but there is zero comparison between it and the Pistons' free agent spending.

Lon (SLC)

What are we missing here. Kevin O'Conner and Dennis Lindsey have shown they know what they are doing. Is there potentially more to this than we are realizing right now?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:08 PM)

I guess they're really committed to their youth plus next year's draft.

Gavin (Alaska)

Brandon Rush isnt worth nothing! 3-D is so in right now!

Kevin Pelton
  (5:08 PM)

True, Jazz might be able to flip him for something of value at the deadline.

Eric (Hermosa)

How could GS unload all those salaries without taking any players back?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:10 PM)

Because they sent them to a team with cap space to take them in.

Andrew (Utah)

So basically the Jazz plan is to have around 30+ million in salary space next summer to work with, with picks somewhere around 10 and low 20s and an improving young core?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:11 PM)

In general, the plan is fine. It's just that in isolation it seems like the Jazz could have done better in this deal. I figured at least they'd get three first-round picks.

Gavin (Alaska)

Jazz have got to sign Favors, Hayward, and Kanter to extensions lets not forget. All possibly 10 million +/year.

Kevin Pelton
  (5:12 PM)

Kanter isn't up for another year.

Marc (Sacramento)

Couldn't the Lakers blow the DH to Warriors plan up by just simply saying we won't sign-and-trade for you to go there?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:13 PM)

Looks like the Warriors could get close to having enough money by dealing Bogut + Thompson somewhere, so no. Lakers may no longer have any leverage.

Austin ((Houston))

Per Stein, Dallas just informed that Howard will not sign with them. Soooooo, does Dallas shoot for Pekovic and Smith, or sign a bunch of one years and hold out for next year? The free agent class of 2014 doesn't look all that impressive unless you think the Heat are going to break up.

Kevin Pelton
  (5:15 PM)

Yes, and it doesn't seem like LeBron would seriously consider Dallas next year anyway. So I would take my chances this year if the values are good.

Adrian (Greenville)

I'm trying to better understand the finances of the NBA, considering what Brooklyn's doing. Is there actually a "hard" cap? Can teams spend pretty much whatever they want, as long as they're willing to pay luxury and repeater taxes?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:17 PM)

Yes, but their options are limited if they're over the cap and particularly if they're over the luxury tax. The Nets didn't actually add much salary in the short term with their deal; they just used it much better.

Eric (Hermosa)

I thought there was a rule that salaries have to be within 3 mil of each other?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:17 PM)

The rules about matching salaries only apply to teams over the cap.

Ben (IL)

Does the salary floor have anything do to with the Jazz deal? Obviously acquiring assets is the main goal but getting to the salary floor means that they don't have to sign a free agent to a long term/big money deal.

Kevin Pelton
  (5:20 PM)

Certainly a factor, although there are multiple ways to deal with that, like signing free agents to big one-year deals. The difference is those would have entailed, um, being better this season.

Malcolm (Raleigh, NC)

From the looks of the salaries GSW have left, they need a third team to lake on David Lee's contract in order to get Dwight. Any idea of which third-party teams are interested?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:22 PM)

Not necessarily, depending on sign-and-trade/dumping Bogut's contract.

Kevin Pelton
  (5:22 PM)

Why are so many people saying Dwight to Houston? Am I missing something here?

Paul (Colorado)

Does the Iggy signing change who you believe wins the Dwightstakes?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:23 PM)

Seems to improve Golden State's chances tremendously, but who knows what Dwight is thinking.

Mike (Houston)

Since GS traded 2014 and 2017 first round picks, doesn't this mean they can't trade another first rounder with Bogut and Harrison/Thompson because of the rule against back to back draft picks?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:23 PM)

As I understand it, yes.

Deric (SF)

Moving to Seattle and want in on some basketball games. Are UW men's bball tickets hard to come by?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:24 PM)

You should be fine, as they rarely sell out. Good tickets are a bit tougher to find.

Morten (Oslo (Norway's Ballard))

I assume it is raining in Seattle now or just too much NBA action?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:24 PM)

LOL at Norway's Ballard. Has cleared up a bit but yeah, tied to me computer until/unless we hear something on Dwight, I think.

Kevin Pelton
  (5:26 PM)

Latest from Woj is down to Lakers/Rockets, but Iguodala deal may change that. Not that anyone is particularly surprised.

Samuel (Orlando)

I know your WARP ratings weren't kind to Oladipo but is there a grain of salt in there that us Magic fans could take solace in?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:29 PM)

Sure. He's an excellent defender, which will always be undervalued in one-number ratings, and if his improvement as a junior is legitimate he can be a good offensive player too. The range of possible outcomes is wide with these projections.

Richard (Napa)

With Howard likely out the door, what are the chances now that LA looks to deal or amnesty Gasol in an attempt to either tank or free up room from signing M. Ellis, Milsap, or Bynum?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:29 PM)

It's not realistic that the Lakers would sign someone else. The benefits from moving Gasol would be strictly financial/draft.

Mike (NC)

Do you know if there are any new indications of a team moving to Seattle in the near future?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:30 PM)

Milwaukee is the only team in jeopardy of moving at this point, I would say, but it's really premature given the process of trying to get a new arena built there. Expansion is a more likely outcome for Seattle returning to the NBA at this point.

Distraught Nuggets Fan (Denver)

Do the nuggets have any chance of signing someone like OJ Mayo or is he going to sign with the bucks? How much money do we have available to sign a Free Agent now that we don't have Iggy?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:35 PM)

I'm not seeing a likely scenario where the Nuggets will have more than the mid-level in cap space, so it probably makes sense to use that and keep Mozgov's Bird Rights. That will make Mayo tough. Dorell Wright looks like the best option at this point.

Bob (Seattle)

Is a healthy, productive Danny Granger more valuable to the Pacers off the bench, starting (w/Stephenson off the bench, I guess) or as trade bait?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:36 PM)

Probably starting because it will be difficult to trade him for value before he comes back.

Charles (San Jose)

With Jim Buss being a huge Bynum fan, is it possible he returns if Howard goes elsewhere?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:36 PM)

It's possible. Lakers could offer the mid-level if they're willing to dip into their 2014 cap space. For Bynum, perhaps they would.

Jeff (Boulder)

Let's have some fun here: How would a team be if they were composed solely of the top 12 picks in this year's draft? What type of record would we be looking at? High 20's? Mid 30s?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:38 PM)

I have them combining for 16 WARP, so about 26 wins as a very rough estimate.

Kevin Pelton
  (5:39 PM)

They'd have a great shot at Wiggins!

Tye (Portland)

The general consensus after all of these move in Free Agency is that the gap between the good teams and the bad teams has gotten considerably bigger. Is this a true assessment?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:40 PM)

Haven't crunched the numbers as far as projections, but that's definitely my impression. Today increases that even more.

Mike (Memphis)

Are the grizzlies just going to sit back and let all the teams in the west leapfrog them?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:41 PM)

As opposed to doing what? Signing Dwight?

Matt (Utah)

So, are the Jazz looking like they'll be a poor man's 2012-13 Portland Trailblazers; meaning that they'll have a pretty good starting five but will be a wreck off the bench?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:42 PM)

Plus a rookie point guard!

Gregor (NYC)

is tanking getting more blatant every year, or does it just seem like that because we talk about it more?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:42 PM)

As I defined tanking several hours ago, I don't think it's getting more blatant. I think more teams are aggressively tearing down and rebuilding. But actual tanking only happens with protected picks and loaded drafts like this year's.

Evelyn (CA)

Should Lakers offer Oden rather than consider a return to the migraine called Bynum?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:44 PM)

I'd say there's a better chance Bynum is healthy and productive this year than Oden, not that it's saying much.

Nick (Dallas)

If you were Mark Cuban and the Mavericks, what would you do?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:45 PM)

I would probably make a run at Jennings. I think him and Josh Smith are the best values left on the market among starters.

Jules (Irvine)

"actual tanking only happens with protected picks". Are you talking about GW and Barnes?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:46 PM)

Was also a factor in the Mark Madsen game referenced earlier.

tim (aberdeen)

Saw that ty lawson was unhappy with iggy leaving. George Hill and Granger for Lawson work?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:46 PM)

He tweeted he's unhappy. He also just signed a four-year extension. He's not going anywhere.

David (NYC)

What happens to Carl Landry now that Barnes re-signed with the Clippers? Is his opt-out looking like a bad move?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:47 PM)

I still think he'll find near-mid-level money somewhere. Plenty of options left.

Bob (Seattle)

Is there any real limit (other than GMs not caring about what happens after they're gone) on how far into the future a swapped first round pick can be? Could GS just toss a 2030 pick into a trade (for some reason)?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:50 PM)

No, there's a seven-year limit. So 2020 is the most distant pick that can be traded right now.

Josh (Texas)

Would the NBA ever let a big three like LeBron/Wade/Bosh go to the same team again? Example: Like if Durant, Carmelo, and LeBron all wanted to team up at a reduced price?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:50 PM)

The league has no power to stop such a move other than changing the general cap rules.

James (SD)

What is Warriors next move w/ or w/out Dwight?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:52 PM)

Either way they'll need a backup center and a backup PG. They'll have the room exception available.

Mark (Baltimore, MD)

I still can't believe that Golden State chose Iguodala over Dwight Howard. Why not just wait out his decision or is he in contact with them?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:52 PM)

The only effect this has on their Dwight pursuit is that they can no longer offer a first-round pick. So I think this is much more trying to swing Dwight's decision than choosing Iguodala over him.

Frank (Denver)

I feel like we're getting close with some of the roster happenings out West. IF D12 signs with Houston, how do you rank the top 6 in the West? I think it's OKC, SA, LAC, Houston, GSW, Denver, with some pretty big gaps between top 4 and the rest.

Kevin Pelton
  (5:54 PM)

You don't have Memphis, which I would slot in fifth at the moment. But you could probably order 2-4 or 2-5 in any order and I'd buy it.

DizzyWarriorsFan (Oakland, CA)

The reason the Warriors were able to trade their 2014 first round pick is that they managed to get back into the first round this year at the last moment.

Kevin Pelton
  (5:55 PM)

True, but not relevant. The rule only applies to future picks; once the draft is over, it doesn't matter.

James (SD)

Dont Warriors have Ezeli at backup center?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:56 PM)

Out several months after knee surgery.

Jake (Cleveland)

Does Cleveland offer bynum a lot of money for a year plus a team option like the Clark deal?

Kevin Pelton
  (5:57 PM)

Probably not because if Bynum does work out you'd be stuck choosing between him and cap space next summer.

Ned (NY )

Sam Amick- Dwight to Houston

Kevin Pelton
  (5:58 PM)

Still waiting on confirmation, but looks like we have our decision.

James (SD)

Can the Warriors still resign Jack and/or Landry?

Kevin Pelton
  (6:02 PM)

In theory, yes, but they'll only have the $2.7 million room exception to use in free agency.

Peter (Seattle)

Does Lin still figure in Hou's plans, or will they look to PatBev?

Kevin Pelton
  (6:03 PM)

I'm sure they'll consider a Lin trade, especially as a way to clear space to sign a four to complement Dwight, but I don't think it's a must.

Peter (Seattle)

Do the Lakers try to execute a sign and trade with Houston? What would they ask in return, and would Dwight sign outright to keep as many assets as possible?

Kevin Pelton
  (6:03 PM)

The Lakers are unlikely landing spots for Asik/Lin, so we'd probably be talking about either Terrence Jones or Donatas Motiejunas, if anything. The Rockets do need to move one of those two teams to clear the max space, as I read it.

Deric (Denver, CO)

Lakers plans for this season? Keep Gasol, let him go?

Kevin Pelton
  (6:04 PM)

If I had to guess, keep him. But that's strictly a guess.

Jace (Utah)

The Jazz look like they're committing to the youth, but what are the chances Ty Corbin actually gives guys like Kanter, Favors, Burks, and Burke the starter's share of minutes?

Kevin Pelton
  (6:05 PM)

The alternatives are Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson. This is happening, whoever coaches the team.

Peter (Seattle)

Assuming Howard has made his decision, what's the next major domino to fall. What should we have our eye on?

Kevin Pelton
  (6:05 PM)

Probably Josh Smith. Brandon Jennings will clear up the PG market to some extent.

Steve (Santa Fe)

How much time do the Laker's have to do a sign and trade deal if Howard bolts? What are the rules?

Kevin Pelton
  (6:06 PM)

Until Howard actually signs, so at least next Wednesday.

Ryan (Oakland)

Unless the Rockets offered Lin/Asik, why wouldn't the Lakers deal to GSW to get back more talent in Barnes/Thompson & Bogut? Just because they are in the same division?

Kevin Pelton
  (6:07 PM)

Because Dwight has to agree to the deal.

Stuart (Richmond, VA)

If Golden State does not get Howard, does GS still have a no 1 pick for 2014 to pick a big with?

Kevin Pelton
  (6:07 PM)

No, that was part of the Utah deal.

Kevin (Brooklyn, NY)

Lot of folk in the media KILLED the Knicks for not matching the offer to LIN. Looks like that was a GREAT decision 12 months later!

Kevin Pelton
  (6:09 PM)

I wouldn't agree with that. For one, Lin has more value to the Knicks than the Rockets. Additionally, the Knicks can't claim fiscal responsibility and then make the Bargnani trade.

Eric (Houston)

Let's talk Kevin McHale and D12. Good match, great match?

Kevin Pelton
  (6:09 PM)

Greatest match?

mike b (houston)

What next for hou? Lin/Asik for Josh Smith and Dantay Jones? Then get nest pg available with exception money. Jack?

Kevin Pelton
  (6:10 PM)

Seems tough to deal Lin/Asik together to a relative low-income club given their 2014-15 salaries.

Brian (Bay Area)

Isn't Howard's game not the best fit for Houston's offense. PnR's yes, but pure post-ups??

Kevin Pelton
  (6:10 PM)

I'd say, given the shooters around him, it's as good a fit for Houston as any. It's more how much the Rockets can sell him on pick-and-rolls instead of post-ups. Make sense?

Kevin Pelton
  (6:12 PM)

And maybe it's not over?

Jake (Cleveland)

Prediction time. Does cleveland make the postseason?

Kevin Pelton
  (6:12 PM)

Yeah.

Kevin (Houston)

Any chance Houston pairs D12 with Asik, sometimes sharing the floor together? Size is hard to replace even with D12.

Kevin Pelton
  (6:13 PM)

I think it's possible. If Asik can play with Greg Smith, he can play with Dwight.

Carl (Portland)

How much value does Asik have on the open market? What would Portland have to give up to get Asik (is that even possible anymore)?

Kevin Pelton
  (6:14 PM)

It might still be possible, but it's not something that would make as much sense at this point because it would mean giving up a core piece in all likelihood.

Eric (Memphis)

Do you believe Lamarcus Aldridge is on the Blazers come opening night? If not, where you believe he will land?

Kevin Pelton
  (6:14 PM)

There's no indication the Blazers are considering trading him.

Terrence (Los Angeles)

Isn't that Orlando offense all over again? Didn't he want to get away from that?

Kevin Pelton
  (6:15 PM)

He might not have liked it, but I don't think he left *because* of the offense in any sense.

Kevin Pelton
  (6:16 PM)

As Bradford Doolittle wrote earlier this week, Dwight's ideal offense does not exist: http://t.co/hST4u4EY5M

Joe (Atl)

Apparently DH12 to Houston is not final, still deciding. SMH

Kevin Pelton
  (6:17 PM)

Sounds like this is basically semantics.

Will (Tucson)

I think Miami would love to see a Houston team with Dwight come out of the West next year. Do you agree?

Kevin Pelton
  (6:17 PM)

With their center rotation? I think they'd much rather see Oklahoma City.

Brett (Altoona)

Would Josh Smith to the Rockets even be possible from a salary cap standpoint?

Kevin Pelton
  (6:18 PM)

As Golden State has taught us today, anything is possible under the cap. It's a matter of what you have go give up.

James (Miami)

Hey Kevin, so to me I don't think the Heat should have to pay luxury tax this season or the next, I think its unfair because they brought the big three in before the new CBA.

Kevin Pelton
  (6:19 PM)

The luxury tax existed in the old CBA, and plenty of other teams built their core under the old CBA. Should they also be exempt from the repeater tax?

Kevin Pelton
  (6:20 PM)

Alright, I think it is finally time to write. Thanks for chatting and stay tuned for my Insider piece on what comes next for the Rockets.