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December 31, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Tom Haberstroh

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:02 PM)

Happy New Year! Let's get this started ... But first, I want to here your NBA resolutions. Mine? Adding 15 lbs of muscle while also losing 15 pounds at the same time: the NBA Player Training Camp Paradox. Ball's in...

Ted (OH)

Assuming the Grizz want to trade Randolph, what teams do you think would be interested?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:04 PM)

Brooklyn could be a good fit, considering they need win-now talent and they have no choice but to add long-term $$$. Need a third team involved in order to satisfy the Grizzlies' needs though. Paul Pierce, Mirza Teletovic and Bogan Bogdanovich probably won't cut it.

AD (Australia)

Should the Grizzlies trade and blow up the team or sack the coach?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:05 PM)

I'll go with C) Keep Mike Conley, Marc Gasol and Dave Joerger. Everyone else is expendable.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Who do you think will be the Very First NBA Head Coach to be Fired this Season?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:05 PM)

Lawrence Frank doesn't count?

doug (missouri)

what are you go-to metrics for defensive ability?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:08 PM)

I have a menu of metrics that I look at. On-court/Off-court DRtg at NBA.com. I also look at 82games' counterpart PER on the player pages as well as Synergy's defensive per possession metrics. The SportVU numbers are promising as well. I try to consult all of them after watching film to get the broad picture. Never use one as a catch-all, just like you wouldn't just look at PPG for offense.

Adam (OR)

Does John Hollinger usually pick your brain by sending in so many pseudonymous chat questions about the Grizzlies?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:10 PM)

So many questions, too! Must be his coffee addiction...

Katy (Israel)

NBA players (Rondo) rehabbing in D-league, good idea?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:10 PM)

No. GREAT idea.

Kris (Riverside, CA)

What should the Lakers do with Gasol in regards to the Bynum trade rumors?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:11 PM)

Good timing! I wrote on that this morning: http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10220823/nba-why-los-angeles-lakers-think-tanking

sak (il)

Who are your top 5 players in nba? Teams?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:15 PM)

OK, I'll bite. Top five players right now in current state of health: LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Kevin Love, Dwight Howard. Top five teams: Miami, Indiana, San Antonio, LA Clippers, Warriors. As usual, take with a grain of salt. Those will change in a couple hours, err minutes, probably.

Lucy (South Carolina)

Spelling is Bogdanovic....

sak (il)

how is paul george not in your top 5 players?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:17 PM)

He's probably No. 6.

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:18 PM)

New New Years Resolution: figure out the spelling of the Nets' Croatian baller that's currently overseas. I will not rest until I do this.

Aaden (Miami)

What are the possibilities of the Heat signing Bynum..

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:20 PM)

They'll be in the mix for sure. But there will be company.

Eric Bledsoe (Phoenix, AZ)

Would you pay me max money?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:20 PM)

To drive up the bill for Phoenix in restricted free agency? Sure!

sak (il)

are blazers for real?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:22 PM)

Not sold on their defense yet. Ranks 23rd as of this morning in efficiency. Almost impossible to win a title doing that. If "for real" = title contender, I'm not buying just yet.

Andrew (West Va.)

Your opinion of Giannis Ante. ?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:23 PM)

The sky's the limit. And I'm not using that as a figure of speech.

greg (mississippi)

Is Paul George the best 2 way player since '94 Olajuwon?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:24 PM)

Tim Duncan would like a (very polite and cordial) word.

JR (New york)

Chances on Toronto trading Valancuinas?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:25 PM)

Slim to none. And sorry about your brother, Chris.

Kris (Riverside, Ca)

In your opinion, are there currently any available free agents that could help push a contender to the next level?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:27 PM)

Nope. They're on the scrap heap for a reason. Chris Andersen's the exception, not the rule.

Ariel (Texas)

Do players like Melo and Gay realize their volume shooting and poor shot selection actually hurt their teams?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:29 PM)

To be fair, they're too busy counting their money to care. For some, $$$ is more of an incentive than winning.

ray gordon reid (Jesup Georgia 31545)

THE STROH'S BEER>>>>>ASTROS BASEBALL

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:29 PM)

You get me, ray gordon reid from Jesup Georgia 31545.

Russ (Oklahoma City)

The Thunder are not in your top 5? I presume this was a typo?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:30 PM)

Russ, when you're back and healthy, I'll think about saving a spot for you guys at No. 1 on the list. Until then...

Mike (Atlanta)

With Horford now out, should the Hawks sell high on Millsap to get assets for the future?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:32 PM)

That would be my plan. I'm still not over the Al Horford injury, by the way. Probably my favorite team to watch play basketball. Don't count out the Asik-Millsap swap just yet.

Josh (Melbourne)

Which rookie has impressed you the most this season?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:33 PM)

That's easy, but the spelling isn't: Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Jacob (Vancouver)

Maybe you've actually checked this out, but if you haven't, you'll probably never guess which team besides Miami, OKC, San Antonio and the Clippers is in top-10 in both ORtg and Drtg?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:34 PM)

LAC! Right?

Fridrik (Boston)

My current guard situation in the East for the All-Star game: Wade, Wall, Afflalo and Lowry. What is yours?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:35 PM)

In the Ky division, I'll take Kyrie over Kyle.

Norman (NY)

Trey Burke's play is taking Utah out of one of the top spots in the lottery. Any chance he decides to cool things off? Doesn't he want to play with Jabari Parker?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:43 PM)

Great question. The Jazz are 9-11 when Trey Burke starts so I'm finally not looking like a moron for picking them as my sleeper team out West ahead of the season. In my opinion, their improvement has more to do with Jamaal Tinsley and John Lucas III NOT playing more than it does Burke playing. Those two were D-League material. If Burke goes down for any reason, that's a surefire way to get back into the tank mode. I'm guessing you'll see some weird "injuries" from them soon.

Mati (Jerusalem, Israel)

Tom, what's the deal with James Harden? Is he just hurt or is his body language suggesting its more than that? Stats are not too far off from last year (including a slight drop off in efficiency) but he just doesn't look like he's into it...

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:44 PM)

He's hurt. Ankle sprains are brutal for guys who depend on timing and shifting direction like Harden. Better get him healthy for the playoff run.

Frank (Toronto)

Gasol to Cleveland, Bynum to Toronto, Lowry to Lakers in a 3 team deal?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:45 PM)

Not sure why Toronto is in the mix when Cleveland and LA can get what they want together. Also, the money doesn't work there.

Jason (Toronto)

Do you think Bosh will get a max offer? Do you think he is a max player? He might be more important (not better than) to the Heat than Wade...thoughts?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:46 PM)

Yes. Yes. And Yes.

Joey (Illinois)

Is it possible that Phoenix won the Luis Scola-to-Pacers trade?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:48 PM)

That feels like a classic win-win deal to me. Both teams got what they wanted. If Scola can cut down on his turnovers, he'll be a great reserve this postseason.

Jeremy (Toronto)

So what team would like to trade for Derozan?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:49 PM)

Scores lots of points? Loses focus defensively? Expensive multi-year contract? Brooklyn says "Sign me up!"

erich (sf)

Where would list Steph in your rankings? #7-10? #2 PG in league right now?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:50 PM)

Yeah, he's in that range for me. He could move into the top-5 if he shoots 10 3s a game. He's that good. Alas...

Fred (Portland, OR)

How do the Blazers improve their defense without breaking up team chemistry?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:52 PM)

It's simple: winning breeds chemistry. Not the other way around.

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:53 PM)

"This team is terrible, but they have such good chemistry!" - No one, ever.

Jason (Toronto)

If Durant keeps OKC in the running for the #1 seed, could this be the year he gets his MVP trophy?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:54 PM)

Yes. See here: http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/9892747/nba-predicting-kevin-durant-win-mvp-lebron-james-other-awards

self-defeating (Miami)

The Heat rarely go for 2-for-1s to end a quarter. Do you know why that is?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:55 PM)

Shane Battier is working on it...

Jose (CAL)

Wait so the Nets dont have good chemistry?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:56 PM)

The defense is so simple now!

Mike (Atlanta)

I don't get what Asik for Millsap does for Atlanta long term. Perhaps a very minor upgrade due to fit (though I doubt even that, since Millsap is very, very good), but it seems like they would do better to get long-term assets. Asik's contract expires after next year, same as Millsap.

Tom Haberstroh
  (3:00 PM)

Good luck scoring against a Horford-Asik front line. Asik is a top-five defensive talent in the league and moving Horford to the 4, where he doesn't get beat up by 5s everyday, is a big benefit as well.

amin (tabriz)

I want to say happy new year every body specially those who love sports specially who loves basketball.

Tom Haberstroh
  (3:01 PM)

Amen, Amin. And with that, I'm outta here. Thanks for the questions, as always. Have a safe and happy New Year! Keep cool, my babies.