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January 9, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Amin Elhassan

Amin
  (3:03 PM)

Let's get this show on the road!

Sal (Sac)

Demarcus cousins has outplayed Duncan, Davis, Dwight(twice), Aldridge, and both gasols when going against them this year. He is averaging 23.5 and 11.5. I know the kings have only one 11 games, but how in the world could he not be an all-star???

Amin
  (3:06 PM)

I think there are three things working against him: 1- Sacramento's poor overall record. 2- His reputation as an entitled malcontent. 3- The elimination of C position from All-Star ballot. For what it's worth, if the Kings were winning I think he'd be a shoo-in

Keanu (Honolulu)

Amin, will the Bulls still make the playoffs because it looks like Thibs ain't tanking?

Amin
  (3:07 PM)

At some point, it won't matter because the roster is depleted and injury ravaged. That might tick off Thibs in the short run, but he'll have a better roster to coach in the future.

Candy (Slippery Rock)

Do you think the Bulls will make any more moves this season?

Amin
  (3:08 PM)

I think they will continue to look to pawn guys for assets. Mike Dunleavy has a reasonable deal and can help a contender, so I wouldnt be surprised if we start seeing him being shopped.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Has an NBA Game ever been Cancelled due to Extremely Cold Weather?

Amin
  (3:08 PM)

I don't know but it was -11 in Minnesota last night and they still played!

Jeremy (NJ)

knicks and nets have both looked better recently. with most teams in the east trying to miss the playoffs (with a couple others potentially joining them), what chance do you give each of making the playoffs?

Amin
  (3:10 PM)

I have always thought they'd right the ship and make it to the playoffs because the East is so bad and filled with teams wanting to move in the opposite direction. The Nets are in 8th place as of today, so technically they're in the party now

Jason Kessler (Philadelphia)

Amin, thanks for the chat. With the recent play of Thad Young, what do you think the Sixers can get for him? There were some recent rumors of PHX interested or GSW talking Barnes. Have you heard anything? Finally, do you think Hinkie moves Turner and Hawes as the deadline approaches?

Amin
  (3:11 PM)

I think the biggest issue surrounding Thad is his contract: 3 years and $28 million remaining (including this year). I think Hinkie wants to move those guys, but it takes 2 to tango

Jake Klipp (Milwaukee, WI)

Thanks for taking the time to chat Amin. I've seen projections showing Parker or Randle to the Bucks, and it's easy to see how they would fit in. The team wouldn't have to change much. I'm interested in how you seeing Embiid or Wiggins fittin in with Milwaukee? Obviously if they drafted the C they'd have to move Larry Sanders. Just looking for some insights. Thanks!

Amin
  (3:13 PM)

Thanks Jake. I would say that first off, I wouldnt be surprised if Milwaukee tries to move Sanders regardless. Even if they don't, Embiid brings an element of offensive prowess to the Bucks front line that isn't there already. He's a skilled back to the basket guy with use of either hand, and a pretty good passer. He'd make them better. Is he a better fit than the two wings? Remains to be seen

Stephen (Bangkok, Thailand)

In your opinion, would most GMs rather have Jrue Holiday or MCW?

Amin
  (3:13 PM)

Depends on where in the lifecycle their teams are. For a team looking to win now, Holiday is more seasoned and a better shooter. For a rebuilding team MCW is considerably cheaper with room for growth.

Omarvls (N.Hollywood, CA)

Amin, Is D.Wade back? I mean on his 3rd game in 4 nights he puts up 22pts 8reb 8assists on 60%

Amin
  (3:14 PM)

Did he ever go away? (Other than injuries of course)

Bill (NY)

What do you think of a Deron Williams for Brandon Jennings & Josh Smith trade? Could a trade like that that help both teams?

Amin
  (3:14 PM)

Bill, you might be new to these parts. If you follow me on Twitter (@AminESPN) you'd know that I do not entertain hypothetical trade suggestions

Charles (San Jose)

While as a Suns fan it's nice to have Barbosa back, should he really be playing ahead of Goodwin? This team isn't a contender, and unless Goodwin is dogging it in practice isn't it better for his development to get 10 mpg?

Amin
  (3:17 PM)

I think fans mistake playing time for development. Goodwin has a lot of opportunity to get better as a player without necessarily being in games. For the Suns, trying to make a playoff push requires some veteran play (not to mention shooting ability), and Barbosa brings that. Besides, his presence can help as a mentor to Goodwin, since Barbosa was also once a young skinny rook with an unrefined game

Ciscoskid (Folsom, CA)

Better fit for the Warriors, Hinrich or Miller?

Amin
  (3:18 PM)

Hinrich's deal expires this year, Miller has another year (although you can buy him out for $2mill). Contracts aside, Hinrich is a better defender and a better shooter. Captain Kirk it is!

Phillipe (Bronx, NY)

Hey Amin, thanks for answering my question last week! Am I crazy for considering a serious nomination for Isaiah Thomas as Most Improved Player this year? Or did he just luck out with a favorable situation in Sac? Really happy I drafted him in fantasy.

Amin
  (3:19 PM)

Thomas is definitely one of the names, and in another year might have won in a landslide. But the improvements by Bledsoe, Plumlee, Hayward make it tough

david (Los angeles)

If you were the Lakers gm how would you move going forward?

Amin
  (3:21 PM)

They;ve certainly painted themselves in a corner. Moving Pau should be a priority, and acquiring a 2015 pick would be important as well. Going into free agency, if they cant get a young restricted FA, I'd continue to play it cool and keep the payroll flexible.

Sean (Nor-Cal)

My buddy thinks Patty Mills is better than Isaiah Thomas and that Mills would be more efficient than IT2 given the same opportunity. I think Mills is an average player in a great system. Help me out!

Amin
  (3:22 PM)

Mills is definitely benefiting from being in a perfect situation. But that's also a skill: being able to subjugate your game for the good of the team. Thomas has a carte blanche to do what he wants on court, so gives more opportunities. From a scouting standpoint, Mills is a much better shooter while Thomas is a better penetrator and finisher at the rim.

Jim (ND)

Which big man has the most most offensive potential: Drummond, Valanciunas or Kanter?

Amin
  (3:25 PM)

I'd take them in the order you listed. Drummond has incredible physical gifts and is a quick learner. JV has great agility and mobility and a nice back to the basket game. Kanter is smaller than either of those guys, not known for his defense and a bit of a space cadet offensively

Ricardo (NY)

Hey Amin,There's this "myth" that big men who like to shoot 3s are soft, but I watched Channing Frye yesterday and he looked like a very decent defender. Moves his feet, holds his position, doesn't foul. Love shooting 4-20 was more than just an off-night. Is this a recent improvement or has he always held his own on D?

Amin
  (3:26 PM)

You're absolutely right Ricardo. Frye has been an underrated post defender for the Suns for years (he drew the main defensive assignment of guarding Duncan in the playoffs back in 2010), and has a very good IQ on either end. He's also one of only eight players in the NBA with a DRB% > 18% and a 3P% over 37.5%.

Jacob (NC.)

You believe P.Patterson will overtake Amir as the PF in Toronto?

Amin
  (3:27 PM)

I think they are good complements to one another, Johnson as a roll man and Patterson as a pick and pop threat

Ash (Chicago)

Hey Amin...who says no, JUST KIDDING! What is your take on Drose saying he doesn't recruit anybody? I feel he comes across as arrogant and wanting to be the only star on the team...Wade recruited heavily and was welcoming and open, that is part of the reason Bosh and LBJ went there. Who knows, if Rose had been more welcoming, maybe LBJ would have came to the bulls. Shouldn't your franchise player be helping build a good atmosphere to attract the best players? I feel Drose is a bit full of himself and the humble kid story line is not fully true...am I over reacting?

Amin
  (3:28 PM)

I don't think it's arrogance, I think he's a shy guy who is not comfortable with that kind of conversation. It would be out of his nature to be a salesman. Besides, it's the general manager's job to solicit talent!

Evan (Portland, OR)

If you're Neil Olshey, do you believe Thomas Robinson can be a part of the Blazers' future or do you trade him and a couple spare parts for, say, Harrison Barnes?

Amin
  (3:28 PM)

If you don't like him, what makes you think teams are lining up to get him?

Andrew (West Va.)

Hey Amin! J.Butler to get a lot of run for Bulls now but can he improve on the 3's and overall FG%? Thanks

Amin
  (3:30 PM)

Well, he'll definitely get his attempts up! the odds are against a significant increase in his %s; rather, they will probably drop because he's going to have to shoulder a bigger load of the offense than he ever has before. Also, the lack of offensive threats for teammates will make it easier for defenses to key in on him

Rick (Cleveland)

What do you expect Deng's impact to be for the cavs?

Amin
  (3:32 PM)

For this year? I think it will be pretty significant. He's a calming force to a young and volatile roster. He's a spacer who plays well coming off screens, giving Kyrie a bona fide target to hit. He's an excellent wing defender. But ultimately, Deng is a pro's pro, and the hope is he can influence the young Cavs to take a more serious (and smarter) approach to the game

Mark (Halifax)

Is there anything that can be done to fix the Pistons? I mean, I thought they were a guaranteed playoff team in the east before the season. I guess they aren't out of it due to the east being terrible..

Amin
  (3:33 PM)

You're never truly out of it in the East but the Pistons are experiencing the problems I talked about during the offseason: they have NO shooting! I suppose adding shooting would help, but it's not like shooters are readily available on the trade or FA market

Mike (Toronto)

Thanks for chatting Amin.Would you characterize DeMar DeRozan as generally underrated, overrated or properly rated?

Amin
  (3:37 PM)

Thanks Mike. I'd say he's properly rated but overpaid. I think we all know what he does well and doesnt do well, and could imagine some sort of success for him but not at that price tag.

Steve Urkel (Chicago)

About a month or two ago, before the Rudy Gay trade, you mentioned how much you liked Terrence Ross as a prospect and now he's been an important part to the Raptors success since he plays some nice defense and can't seem to miss from the corner 3 right now. What's the next step you would like to see him take to become an even more effective player?

Amin
  (3:38 PM)

Expand to Above the Break 3s; start putting the ball on the floor vs hard closeouts; develop a post game to take advantage of his size

Ben (Columbia, MO)

Is Gerald Green legit? He's been amazing this season but is this something he can keep up?

Amin
  (3:38 PM)

I've been a skeptic but he has played tremendously. Kudos to Hornacek for putting him in a position to be successful and not demanding too much of him

Brian (FTL)

I read the insider article about how Bynum fits (or doesn't) in Miami. I have two questions. 1.) Do you think it makes sense for Miami to sign him and 2) What does Miami need to do to sign him (they have 15 guaranteed contracts). Can they just cut Anthony?

Amin
  (3:40 PM)

1- I don't, because I don't think they need an offensive post presence, and Bynum isn't a defensive stalwart. Plus Miami plays a high tempo, very aggressive style and Bynum runs contrary to that. Finally, I think that if Oden can help, they should focus on developing him. 2- They can cut Anthony, but they;d have to still pay his salary and the tax on it, for this year and next

Luiz Gomes (São Paulo-Brazil)

Are Mike Budenholzer e Jeff Hornacek the main contenders in run for COY?

Amin
  (3:40 PM)

I'd throw in Terry Stotts, Steve Clifford and Frank Vogel in there as well

vic (no cal)

Do you think that NBA teams should use the D-league more to develop 1st round talent that is otherwise sitting on the bench? Or does the practice time and NBA-game environment cancel out any perceived benefits of playing more minutes against inferior competition? Your thoughts?

Amin
  (3:42 PM)

I think if every team had a 1:1 relationship with a D-League team, we'd see more use, because you are assured that the coaching and training staffs are using your playbook and your philosophies. Still, there is value to practicing and being around the NBA team....ideally, you'd be like San Antonio or OKC, able to have your guy practice with the NBA team then go down to D-League to play in games

Aaron Schaffner (Frankfort, KY)

Do you see yourself ever getting to the point where you don't have to look up how to spell Antetokounmpo?

Amin
  (3:42 PM)

True story: once I learned it, never needed to copy and paste or look it up again. Probably took me about a week of typing it

Adrian (Canada)

Salary cap luxury tax question. Hypothetically, if Miami dumps J. Anthony to a team with cap room, and signs Bynum rest of the season for 3 mil. Does only a portion of the 3 mil count for luxury tax purposes? And all of Anthony's salary would count on the other team's cap?

Amin
  (3:43 PM)

If they trade a salary away, the salary is removed from their books. If they sign a player midway through the season, the salary that appears on the books will be the prorated version

Rick (Cleveland)

Rank these 4 in order: Kyrie, Lillard, Steph and Wall

Amin
  (3:48 PM)

Today: Steph, Kyrie, Wall, LillardAll said and done: Kyrie, Steph, Wall, Lillard

Daniel (Atlanta)

Amin,any idea at all when we'll see Rondo playing for Celtics?

Amin
  (3:49 PM)

i think they are rightfully taking their time with him....no rush to bring him back

Wayne (Hawaii)

Any chance the Knicks consider trading Carmelo Anthony and starting over?

Amin
  (3:49 PM)

I think there's a faction that would like to do that, but the owner is so invested in Melo I doubt it will happen

vic (no cal)

Any thoughts on Doug McDermott's chances of being a good NBA player? Floor: Adam Morrison. Ceiling: Keith Van Horn. More likely: Matt Harpring. Thoughts?

Amin
  (3:50 PM)

I think he'll be a very good NBA player. The league is much more conducive to shooters and places a greater value, and I think he's a better shooter than any of those guys you named

Mike (Long Island) [via mobile]

Hey Amin. So how about those Suns? From tankers to 7th seed and with an impressive win last night. They also have 4 first round picks up their sleeves. What do you forsee as their plan of attack for the future? Are they going to make moves this season for a playoff run? Or will they save their picks or even make moves later on?

Amin
  (3:51 PM)

Without foreshadowing too much, I think you should tune into ESPN later today for a fairly big piece of news regarding the Suns

Wayne (Orlando)

Why would we wait to Move Aaron Affalo? I don't think his value can get any higher?

Amin
  (3:52 PM)

I think you have to consider teams wary of his contract and making not-so-appealing offers.

Chip (Cleveland)

Hey Amin, I saw you say on twitter that you think the Cavs gave up too much for Deng. I just don't see how 2 late second round picks, a heavily protected 1st round pick and protected swap is too much for a 2-time all-star? Especially when the Cavs are still loaded with draft picks (4 potential firsts over the next 2 years)

Amin
  (3:53 PM)

Two "late" second round picks? Not sure we know Portland will continue to be awesome. "Heavily protected" first? It's top 10 protected in 2015 and 2016. I think you have to avoid rationalizing yourself into liking the deal before you can properly evaluate

Ed (Queens Village)

Should NBA playing regular season games on neutral court? Last month game in Mexico City got cancelled and they will play game in London next Thursday.

Amin
  (3:53 PM)

I think foreign trips on neutral courts are better suited for preseason, but I understand the financial ramifications of doing it in-season.

Ryan (Fla.)

T.Jones going to be up/down for Houston all season or you think he levels out at some point?

Amin
  (3:54 PM)

I think that's who he is....he's better suited off the bench, but because he has to play so many minutes we are seeing his inconsistency

Peter (Seattle)

I heard about the Knicks shopping JR, but are there really any takers? His value has to be a all time low right now.

Amin
  (3:54 PM)

I think I read they did it to "scare him straight"

Kris (Pittsburgh)

Do you think Kobe needs to come back. If the Lakers play at this rate, they might end up having a top 5 pick. They can either use it or ship it for an all star. Your thoughts.

Amin
  (3:56 PM)

I'm the guy who said they should have amnestied him! I really don't see a point of Kobe coming back, risking further injury and perhaps jeopardizing the status of the pick. The Lakers dont own a 2015 1st so they need ot make this one count!!

John (Hawaii)

If you could pick one player to start a franchise with today, who would it be?

Amin
  (4:00 PM)

I'll give you his address: 601 Biscayne Blvd, Miami FL. That's right.......Mario Chalmers!

Messiah (Toronto)

Are the Raptors the 3rd best team in the East?

Amin
  (4:00 PM)

Sadly, yes. But we have to keep an eye on Cleveland (w/ Deng acquisition), Brooklyn and NY

Sal (ATL)

It seems that Shawn Livingston's explosiveness has returned. Thoughts?

Amin
  (4:01 PM)

To be honest, Sal, it's been back for last couple of years. He's on a high profile team now, so we notice it more

Sean (Tucson)

Not a lot of people talk about Aaron Gordon when talking about power freshmen in the draft, he is the best defender out of all freshmen in the land (Per an ESPN article today), does defense not matter in the NBA?

Amin
  (4:02 PM)

Nope,it doesn;t matter at all. The NBA does not care about defense at all. College is the only place in the universe where defense is revered.

Amin
  (4:02 PM)

[sarcasm off]

Brian (FL)

Scary team to face in round 1 of the playoffs - Washington or Brooklyn?

Amin
  (4:02 PM)

Washington. I'm more scared of things that move!

Ethan (NYC)

Do you think Minnesota's horrible record in close games is all bad luck? Or is there something intrinsic about their team that is making them consistently bad in close games?

Amin
  (4:03 PM)

There's definitely a non-insignificant amount of bad luck at play. But they are a poor executing team in end of game situations, and rely on too many non shooters.

Abdul (Houston)

James Harden is averaging 25 PPG, 5 Assists and 5 rebounds on 44% shooting and is only 24 years old. Safe to say he's the best guard in the league????

Amin
  (4:05 PM)

Shooting guard? Yes. Guard? There are a couple of other names I like more

Lucky Luciano (NY)

First of all, hats off for the Obama impression on THTV yesterday, that was awesome! I wanted to ask you a question about the GSW. Jackson usually puts Thompson on the opposing team's best guard. Is that mostly to "hide" Curry or does he rate Thompson as a good defender? From what I've seen he tends to reach in and foul a lot, doesn't seem to have great defensive principles.

Amin
  (4:07 PM)

Thanks Charlie. Part of it is because it allows him to hide Curry, something we did with Nash in Phoenix. He is so vital to their ability to run offense that you dont want to wear him down on the defensive end (especially as he;s not that great there anyway). I disagree with your assessment of Klay, I think he is a pretty good defender as long as he is guarding someone who is actively involved in the play. If you ask him to check a Danny Green, he struggles to stay engaged

Wacky One-Sided Trade Guy (Wonderland)

LET MY PEOPLE GO!!!!!!

Amin
  (4:07 PM)

HAHAHA!

erich (sf)

Do the warriors have the best starting five in the league? And will the bench be their fatal flaw?

Amin
  (4:08 PM)

I think the Heat and the Spurs have the best starting 5s, but the Ws are right up there. I think once Ezeli gets back, they get a huge boost, but probably need one more guard off the bench

Dan (IN)

Reading in to Paxon's comments post-Deng trade, he mentions the need for the Bulls to acquire more playmakers. Considering the age of their core (mid-late 20's) Do you think their plan is to aggressively go after Melo this summer? What other plan would you have considering their situation?

Amin
  (4:08 PM)

I can't see how those comments would lead you to the conclusion "Melo"!

Michael (Chicago)

If Nikola Mirotic were in this draft and were to sign immediately like any NCAA player how high in this draft would he go?

Amin
  (4:12 PM)

I think he'd be a top 7 pick

Nick (Oregon)

Blazers defense is not so good. A lot of people are of the opinion that we need an Asik type of defensive presence. I don't see it that way. Our bigs are pretty good on that end. Another athletic wing or defensive minded PG seems more like the right way to go. All of our guards are mediocre to awful at defense outside of matthews and batum. What do you think? I'm imagining you responding in your Obama voice to all these questions BTW.

Amin
  (4:12 PM)

My fellow American....haha, just kidding. I agree with you in that they could use better perimeter D. But the assumption is an elite defensive big like Asik could alleviate that need.

Chu (OKC)

Bledsoe injured! You tease, Amin. Sad.

Jo (Africa)

Taking into account the "fairly big piece of news regarding the Suns", do you think that they're playoffs team ahead of Denver, Minnesota and Dallas? If they don't think they are, shouldn't they just forget about the "fairly big piece of news" and get ready for the offseason instead?

Amin
  (4:14 PM)

There's a TrueHoop TV episode that should be out soon about this, but to summarize, I think the Suns will take a wait and see approach. They are 8 games above .500 and the teams behind them out of the picture are all at .500 or lower. If the Suns dont slide (they've been 4-4 without Bledsoe this year), no need to panic

Adrew Bynum (Homeless)

Who wants me on their team? and WhY?

Amin
  (4:14 PM)

Nobody wants you ADREW....but there might be a couple of takers for your relative ANDREW

Tin Foil Hat (Houston, TX)

Amin, love the chats. Are the Rockets keeping Omer Asik out for a near-future trade? As in, pouting unprofessionalism would kill his trade value more than would a wink-wink "not-painful, but-keeps-swelling-up" knee issue?

Amin
  (4:15 PM)

Two reasons why Asik has yet to be traded. 1-he's hurt. Nobody wants to deal pieces for a guy who cant play (if you are competing for this year). 2- The Rockets are waiting for closer to the trade deadline to get best possible offers

Amin
  (4:16 PM)

Time to wrap it up gang..

Brint (Wichita)

Are you really that high on Mario Chalmers?

Amin
  (4:17 PM)

Yes, Brint from Wichita, I truly believe that if I could pick ONE player in the WHOLE NBA to build a franchise around, I'm picking none other than MARIO CHALMERS. Related: I have this bridge in Brooklyn I'm looking to sell. Interested?

Hater (Schadenfreude)

As a Bulls fan I hope Houston has to eat that final year of Asik's contract.

Amin
  (4:18 PM)

I see no better way to end this chat than with a gem of a #hatehard comment from a commenter named Hater. Bravo!

Amin
  (4:18 PM)

Thanks everyone! See you next week!