Aloha and Mele Kalikimaka everyone. We're gonna talk NBA in the first half and NBA Draft in the second half today. Let's roll...
Any word out of the Raptors camp on what to do with this squad? We beat OKC and Dallas on the road and are 0-2 against the Bobcats...
Raptors are 5-2 since they traded Gay. Kings are 2-5 since they got them. Not helping Rudy Gay's stock right now. They'll keep trying to move more pieces. Kyle Lowry, DerMar DeRozan. Think Jonas Valanciunas and maybe Amir Johnson are the only guys they really want to keep
is giannis from the bucks better thank you expected?
For sure. Every scout I spoke with before the draft thought he was a minimum of 2-3 years away. We all saw the potential, but it looked a LONG way off. He's starting seven weeks into the season and has played very well. Still has a long ways to go, but has the potential to be the best player in the 2013 draft.
Why am I so keen on keeping Lu Deng?
Hard to replace players like Deng. Productive, hard working, terrific person on and off the court. Does all the little things. Not a prima donna. Every coach wants a Luol Deng on their roster. I do think the Bulls should write off the season and actually believe they'll do that through pocket veto (don't expect them to make any trades for short term gains), but I do understand why they don't want to part with Deng.
Should Lakers jus pack it in, try to trade pau? Let kobe rest until nxt season? Let these current guys play for a spot on next yrs squad? Trade/release nash? And focus on lottery and melo?
Yes to trade Pau. Yes to let Kobe rest until next season. Yes for trading/releasing Nash. Yes to focusing on lottery. Not sure Melo is going to solve their issues however. Ask the Knicks.
There is a rumor that I may be traded to the Indiana Pacers for George Hill, Danny Granger, and a 1st round pick... any truth to this?
Lots of Rondo rumors lately. So far all of them have been bogus. So is this one. Pacers are rolling right now, not going to mess up chemistry by trading for Rondo. Not saying Rondo won't be traded. If Ainge can get something for him, he will. Just doubt it's to the Pacers.
What are the chances that the Bulls get the Bobcats/Hornets No. 1 this year? Will there be good wings available in the low teens?
64.1% according to Hollinger's playoff odds. Bulls get the pick if it's between 11-30 this year. Some really good wings out there -- Jerami Grant, Sam Dekkar, Mario Hezonja, Wayne Selden, Jabari Bird -- in that range.
High high are the chances the Grizzlies trade Zach Randolph (especially after the Mayor just announced Dec 27th Zach Randolph Day)? and where would be a realist destination?
They've been trying ... for a while. With Gasol out and the team currently sporting a 1.4 percent chance of making the playoffs (those are your odds Professor Hollinger) it makes a lot of sense for them to go ahead and pull the plug on the season. While I doubt the can be bad enough to have a great shot at the No. 1 pick, still getting a pick between 8-14 should help them tremendously. Lots of depth in this draft.
With Brook Lopez done for the year, would the Nets be interested in an Asik trade?
The issue for the Nets is that they have zero assets right now. They've traded away all their first rounders that they're eligible to trade. The only young player they have that has any value is Mason Plumlee. When they made their moves this summer, they were basically stuck for the next 3 years without much wiggle room. This is what happens when you put all of your eggs in a pretty risky basket.
In your opinion, is this the worst eastern conference ever?
I don't think you even need my opinion. I believe that statistically, it's the worst it's ever been. Two good teams right now. One mediocre one. Rest are flat out bad.
I know you were a big wroten fan prior to the draft. What is your take on his potential now that he is getting solid pt in philly?
Same as it ever was. If he ever learns to shoot, has star potential. Playing well, but that jump shot is still pretty ugly and will limit his ceiling.
How impressed have you been with Jared Sullinger this year?
Super impressed. Remember he was projected as a Top 6/7 player in the draft before the issues with his back popped up in the NBA combine medical exams. He's playing like that right now. If he stays healthy, he does have some Kevin Love to his game.
Do you think the Cavs do anything to further increase their chances of making the playoffs?
They are working the phones trying to add impact players. They are definitely not trying to tank this season (though their record says they are)
What kind of movement do you think the Suns make around the trade deadline? Do they want to sell of more of their veterans or try to make a splash with a big trade?
Not sure the Suns front office knows what to make of all of this. The plan was to tank. They thought they were fielding a roster that couldn't win. It's not like they are playing a bunch of savvy veterans. Eric Bledsoe is a big part of their future, so he's staying. Think everyone else on the team is available. Dragic is the most likely to go. Here the Kings have some interest there.
Kevin Love has put up huge numbers recently, mostly in losses. Despite great stats he has never taken a team to the playoffs. Is there something about his game that just doesn't help his team win?
You David. You. Gonna take Flip a while to recover from the mess you created.
Chad, can someone in Detroit PLEASE step up to Josh Smith and Jennings about they're shot attempts/selection? It makes no sense that they are taking twice as many shots as Drummond/Monroe. Their selfishness is stunting the progress of this team. Your thoughts?
Pistons knew what they were getting when they got both players. That's their track record. Not sure they'll ever change. But you're right, that's why so many were concerned about the fit.
I know its early, but how do you re-draft 1-3 in the 2013 class right now?
1. Antetokounmpo2. Oladipo3. Carter-Williams
Everyone is raving about Marcus Smart's intangibles, but I remember reading very similar things about Michael Kidd-Gilchrist two years ago. Both players both have significant flaws in their game, and for MKG no amount of intangibles has been able to fix those flaws. Are you, or NBA teams worried about overrating intangibles and overlooking issues because of it?
I was guilty of that with MKG and probably have been again with Smart. You love players that play as hard and as selflessly as they do. But you're right. Despite all of the talk about the work Smart did on his jumper this summer -- it's only marginally better and he still is working on his feel for running the point. The thinking is that hard working kids like this with a love for the game will figure it out. I still think MKG will -- especially if he ever landed on the right team. Think Smart will as well. But you're right, there are risks.
Thoughts on Spencer Dinwiddie the other night?
Just saw him in Vegas vs. OK State. Thought he played well, especially in the second half. He's very smooth. Has a good feel on how to get his own shot. Wonder about his athleticism and whether he's really a PG. Both are legit questions and both are what keep him stuck in the late 20s on our Big Board.
Have any GMs thrown out a comparison of Jabari Parker and Glenn Robinson?
Yes, a lot. I think it's probably closer than the Melo comps.
whats up with Dario saric? was a hot name for the draft last year, Is there still as much interest this year?
Playing really well in Croatia. Just spoke with a GM this week that said he'd be a Top 5 player if he was here in the US playing college ball. The fact that he's overseas means he's probably not cracking the Top 7 this year. But he'll go somewhere in the 8-12 range.
Who has a better upside, Wiggins or Joel Embiid?
They are the two players with the most upside in the draft. We've been talking like Wiggins is that guy all year. But the more I watch Embiid, the more I think he's the guy with the highest ceiling. And frankly, lately he's been the best player for KU. He's going to get a lot of looks at No. 1. Risky, but he has sooooo much potential. Teams kicking themselves for not rolling the dice on Antetokoumnpo.
Who's the No. 1 pick if the draft were held today?
No consensus at the moment. Scouts and GMs all over the place. For the conservative GMs, it will be either Parker or Randle. Both guys are NBA ready now and have almost zero downside. Hard to imagine either guy busting at the next level. For the risk takers, Wiggins, Embiid and Exum are the names. They have more upside than Parker and Randle, but considerably more downside as well. Wiggins remains atop our Big Board at No. 1. But Embiid and Parker are both making very strong pushes.
Why do you still have Wiggins ahead of Parker? Parker is a sure thing and could be a 24-7-3 guy in the NBA. Wiggins is very inconsistent and has a lot of risk to him.
Our Top 100 and Big Board are based on the consensus of NBA scouts and GMs I speak with. About 50 people's opinions go into it. Right now Wiggins has a very slight lead. It's all about upside. They feel the NBA style of play will free up Wiggins and think his athletic upside will ultimately make him a better player in the long run. No one is disputing that right now, Jabari Parker is the best prospect. They're trying to project 3 to 5 years from now.
How is James Young not in your top 10? He scores effortlessly and is a fluid athlete. The the scouts who saw Kentucky's scrimmages this summer rated him higher than Randle. Is Kentucky's failure to roll off decisive wins hurting his stock?
He's sitting right outside it. Needs to be more consistent with that jumper. Scouts and our reporters also said Wayne Selden was the best freshman at KU. Not in the Top 2 once the season began. Games > scrimmages.
Zach Lavine is quick and athletic but he doesn't use his ability to attack the basket, instead he jacks up 20 footers all game, what GM actually thinks he is ready for the NBA?
No one thinks he's ready. No thinks Wiggins or Embiid or Aaron Gordon is ready. I think scouts thought the entire 2013 draft class wasn't ready. Ready isn't the most important thing. It's long-term potential. LaVine has all the tools that scouts are looking for. He's, for the most part, produced all year. He had a bad second half against Duke on national TV in front of a bunch of scouts. He was pressing too much and took a bunch of ill advised shots. But ultimately, you can't put too much on one game. Go back and watch the tape. He's a NBA player. Just needs some time.
What do you expect to see Chris Walker when he starts playing?
Great athlete, but from the sound of things, he's still struggling to get cleared by the NCAA and even when he does, it sounds like Billy Donovan won't give him a major role on this team this season. If he decides to declare, teams may have to draft him based more on his high school rep. He should be careful. That didn't go too well for Quincy Miller two years ago.
With PJ Hairstons season in the books where could he go (round and what team could use him)
Hope he goes and plays in the D-League. Really think he has the tools of a prototypical NBA two guard. It's all of the off-the-court nonsense that has hurt his draft stock. If he were to humble himself and go play D-League ball, could move back into the teens on talent. Right now he's a bubble first rounder.
Draft eligibilty question here, why can't PJ hairston sign with an NBA team as free agent considering he hasn't played at all this year? Also, whats his stock right now?
He can't sign with a NBA team until he goes through a draft. D-League is available however. If he does play in the D-League, he's automatically in the 2014 NBA Draft. Glen Rice Jr. went this route last year and it helped his draft stock enormously.
Chad, any reaction to the Zach Lowe article about the "wheel" draft? Do certain teams around the league already support it?
Great, just like everything else Zach writes. He's become a must read for me. However, I still think the solution is an idea I've been writing about for a few years. The NBA should aggregate the record of teams over the past three seasons and then give the 3 teams with the worst record over the past three years an equal shot at the No. 1 pick. It's one thing to tank a season. An entirely different thing to tank for 3 for only a 33 percent shot at getting the No. 1 pick. I think it would essentially eliminate teams being bad for the sake of being bad.
What about Adreian Payne, Chad? Defend the rim, space the floor, has a lot of experience. This guy can make a TOP 15-25 team really, really happy.
If he was 2 years younger, he'd be a Top 10 pick. Age the only thing keeping him in the 20s right now. 15-25 seems like the right range.
Have to run a few minutes early today. Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah. Will be doing this again next Monday, same time/same place!