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June 12, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Amin Elhassan

Amin
  (3:12 PM)

Sorry for the tardiness! Lets jump in!

Jim (Orlando)

Your Rob Hennigan, it's time for you to make the 4th pick....Exum, Smart and Vonleh are still on the board....Who would you pick and why ???...I'd take Vonleh, because I think he fits better and is less of a risk.

Amin
  (3:14 PM)

#Your.....I'm kidding! I'd go Exum probably first, I'm intrigued by the concept of he and Oladipo as an athletic interchangeable backcourt. Vonleh would be a close second, and Smart is distant third. I'm not high on him

Chubbard (Texas)

I'm a Lebron James fan but the heat play lazy basketball there's no hustle except for Lebron sometimes. D wade is trash watch how many plays he tqakes off during the game just standing on the court watching and watch how many lazy passes he makes that turn into turn overs his superstar days are over. What a selfish team.

Amin
  (3:15 PM)

I don't think you've watched much Miami basketball

Dan (Philadelphia)

It seems as though the Sixers could reasonably have Wiggins drop to them at 3? If so, is it worth that extra reassurance to give up Thad Young? Wouldn't trading him and 10 for a top 7 pick make more sense?

Amin
  (3:24 PM)

I think trading Young will be an option for them regardless who they draft at 3. Question is, are there any takers?

big boy (la)

Any knowledge on Zach LeVine? Not sure if it's because of UCLA, but could he be another Russell Westbrook? I think when Westbrook was drafted most were surprised at how high he went. Could it happen again?

Amin
  (3:25 PM)

That's pretty much all they have in common: UCLA products who were late risers. Games are not similar. But I agree, I think LaVine will go higher than where he's been projected by many

Ed (Queens Village)

Lakers or Cavs will be next team to name a head coach?

Amin
  (3:25 PM)

Cavs. I think the Lakers are having a hard time finding someone willing to be a sacrificial lamb

Julius (Kentucky)

Amin, how much do you think my stock has been hurt by having a "screw loose"? Think I slip to Philly at 10?

Amin
  (3:26 PM)

Julius, having multiple foot injuries is not the most reassuring look, but I'd argue that your stock was dropping before news of this ijury

Justin (Miami, FL)

After reading all the speculation about Melo going to Miami, I do not think it is realistic for Bosh, Melo, and Wade to take the kind of pay cut it will require. However, Lebron makes so much off the court that I feel a pay cut would be no issue for him. Along those lines, would this scenario work: Lebron opts out, Heat retain his bird rights, and he signs a 1 year deal at the minimum so the other 3 players would split the $50M-$55M in cap space. After that 1 year, the Heat can give Lebron a max deal since they never lost him bird rights. Thoughts?

Amin
  (3:28 PM)

Justin, I wrote about this today on insider. Basically, because of cap holds, the only way Miami can realize that cap space is if they renounce his Bird rights. Obviously then giving him the max would then eat that cap space.

mike (ny)

If the NBA didn't have salary cap like baseball how much would lebron make a year? 50m or more?

Amin
  (3:29 PM)

It's not the salary cap that prevents LeBron from making true market value, it's the individual maximum salary limits.I think he'd make between $30 and $40 million

Drom John (Macon, GA)

Instead of Carmelo Anthony, would not Bledsoe or Lowry be better targets as an upgrade on Chalmers?

Amin
  (3:30 PM)

Perhaps (especially for Bledsoe), but I think it's harder to ask everyone to take a huge paycut to sign one of those guys than to sign Melo

JMS (NJ)

In general, do teams have approximately the same grades on members of each draft class? Do you recall any draft picks that made your team's war room just scratch your heads, not from a fit standpoint but just an overall talent standpoint?

Amin
  (3:30 PM)

Happens all the time. Two words; Hasheem Thabeet.

Zack (LA)

A lot of writers are saying Phoenix can offer up Bledsoe and their 3 picks for Love. I was under the assumption that you can't trade a player that is going to be a free agent (unless it was a sign and trade) in which would have to be after July 1, which is way after the draft? Is there something that i'm missing, or can they trade Bledsoe now?

Amin
  (3:32 PM)

You are correct, Zach, the Suns cannot offer Bledsoe as he is a restricted free agent. One specific scenario that sorta would fit those parameters would be if they sign-and-trade him to Minnesota and then draft the three picks for Minnesota and send their rights as well. Of course, that's assuming Bledsoe would want to go to Minnesota (highly unlikely).

mike (vegas)

Mj and Kobe 11-2 in finals seriesLebron soon to be 2-3 and lucky he's not 1-4.Maybe Lebron is more Wilt or Baylor than Kobe or MJ. Superstar yes, superstar and winner, still ?able

Amin
  (3:33 PM)

Do you want him on your team? If the answer is yes, slap yourself for writing that statement.

Brian (Bay Area)

If K-Love doesn't get traded until after the 2015 season, how likely would a sign n' trade be compared to him just leaving (without Wolves getting anything in return)?

Amin
  (3:34 PM)

Only way Minny would get something in return in a sign and trade of Love is if he wants to go to a team that doesnt have cap space. If he goes to a team w/ space, there's no incentive for them to do a sign and trade. Kinda like what happened to Dwight going to Houston: the Rockets could sign him outright, so why engage in a sign and trade?

Ben (Chicago)

When I look at lists of unemployed former coaches, I see the names of several coaches proven to be pretty good - Mark Jackson, Karl, JVG, Hollins - yet teams still persist in hiring unproven coaches and retreads who haven't fared well at prior stops (and I mean that they are not thought to be good coaches while employed, not that the team is bad; this isn't a definite indication that a coach is bad, but not a good sign). Clearly, each of these skilled ex-coaches carries more baggage (and likely higher salaries) than hiring a new coach, but why do teams take the risky route with a new guy like Fisher or a retread like Rambis rather than go the safe way? The odds one of them is a good coach is so much lower than with the other route, and it's not like the old successful coaches are widely disliked, as far as I know.

Amin
  (3:37 PM)

First, I'd argue Jeff isnt unemployed; I havent heard of him interviewing for a job in years. Then, I'd agree with your point that the carousel is more expensive, and often brings with it the scars of past stops. But in the case of New York, it was clear that they wanted someone with the intimate knowledge of the triangle offense; none of those established coaches offered that.

Cameron (Miami)

Instant Lottery Fix! All teams that miss the playoffs get EQUAL number of ping pong balls. No incentive to suck... problem solved right?

Amin
  (3:38 PM)

Except....you'd get some interesting action at the 8 seeds of each playoff picture. But yes, I think it would be a step in right direction

Dan (Fresno)

Your thoughts on Rashad McCants and the UNC Scandal?

Amin
  (3:39 PM)

I'm shocked that people are shocked

JK (801)

Amin, You are making the best points in the "big 4" speculation - I especially agree with your argument on how the max contract is the major cause. What bugs me about this talk is the competition aspect. Where I play pickup games it's an unwritten rule - you never stack a team - it doesn't prove anything and victory would be shallow. Doesn't that unwritten rule exist in the Association?

Amin
  (3:40 PM)

JK, I think the cardinal sin you are committing is comparing your pickup games (and talent pool of pickup games) to the NBA. Even a stacked team in the NBA faces a tough path to a championship; Miami's playoff runs have all had their moments of extreme doubt, and I doubt adding Melo would eliminate that.

Kelly (Denver)

If Melo joins the Heat and Love joins let's say Houston... the NBA would have 4 to 5 teams with 15 all stars on them. How do teams like the Bucks, Sactown, PHX expect to compete with that?

Amin
  (3:42 PM)

By running their teams more efficiently, in smarter fashion and building teams that can compete. You point to Melo and Love going to those places as a bad thing, but you ignore how mismanaged those three franchises have been in last 5 years?

Donkey Kong (The jungle)

Do you think Melo could even survive the pressure cooker that is life as a member of the Miami Heat?

Amin
  (3:43 PM)

Yes because he's coming from a town where the media is out to get you to a town where the media gives affectionate, one word nicknames to guys like Chalmers and Haslem

Bob (Seattle)

I know 'Melo at $13M is a steal, but if the Big 3 are okay with those discounts, are there smarter ways to spend the hypothetical $20M to get their minutes down?

Amin
  (3:44 PM)

As Ethan Strauss likes to point out, they could wait a year, do the same thing and go after Marc Gasol

Mark (Halifax)

What is the one song that the various arenas play that you wish would never be played again? Do you go with the dreadful but recent Timber? Or do you go with an older song?

Amin
  (3:44 PM)

Timber by far

Drew (New York)

I see so many players in the NBA with the god given tools to be great but they end up just average. Do you feel there are some guys in the league who didn't push themselves enough.

Amin
  (3:45 PM)

Not really. It does happen, but for many NBA players, they arent good enough to change their fortunes. For about 90% of the league, maximizing your potential is all about being in the right place and being used the right way. Look at a guy like Danny Green: can we really say he didnt work hard enough in Cleveland but miraculously changed when he got to San Antonio?

Chief Triangle (Teepee)

If the Spurs blow this (always a possibility), how much of a hit does Pop's legacy take. He already has one asterisk from 1999*.

Amin
  (3:45 PM)

Sorry Phil, I think Pop's place in history is as secure as yours

Dan (LA)

Amin, isn't a more likely scenario than a Big 4 the maintenance of a Big 3 with Melo replacing either Lebron or Bosh? In that scenario who's more likely to go and why?

Amin
  (3:46 PM)

If anything, he'd be groomed to replace Wade

Robert (Bala Cynwyd, PA)

Can you possibly explain what Pat Riley has ever done as a GM to cause you to be so in love with him? He had nothing to do with getting the Big 3 to Miami. The players decided on that. And if it becomes the Big 4, it would be because the players want to do it. Miami has been a place where role players should want to go, and the best Riley can do is Chalmers? Riley has been horrible at getting a supporting cast. Seriously, can you name one great GM move he ever made? And Greg Oden doesn't count.

Amin
  (3:47 PM)

I don't like insulting people who ask me questions respectfully, but you're an idiot if you truly believe this.

Tampa Red (Statesboro )

Are the Lakers just "being patient" during this coaching search or are they one step away from interviewing complete strangers off the street for the job?

Amin
  (3:47 PM)

I think they're being patient. It's not an easy job to hire for: caretake Kobe's last two years, with no roster and a tough Western conference

Sean (Utah)

Why aren't you high on Smart?

Amin
  (3:50 PM)

Wrote about it in my scouting 360 profile with Chad Ford and Kevin Pelton. I think his main advantage has been his size/strength and I'm not sure that carries over to the NBA. He's not especially quick, explosive, or skilled. He can't shoot, and he's not a natural PG. I think he will make a solid pro because he's a good kid by all accounts and hard worker. But not top 10 talent to me

Kris G (Indy)

Regardless if Love is traded, should the T-wolves be looking to move Pek with Dieng quickly becoming a more complimentary defensive presence at the 5?

Amin
  (3:50 PM)

I'd want to move him, but I;m not sure there will be many takers for the $44 some odd million remaining on his deal

mike (Miami)

Amin, can you talk to some sense into these people. 4 superstars aren't going to take half of what they would normally be making to play on the same team. LBJ, Wade and Bosh all made next to no money sacrifices on their last deals, and wont this time. Come on.

Amin
  (3:51 PM)

I dont think any of us can claim to know what they will or wont do. My piece today outlined what they CAN do....

Rick (TX)

RE: Carmelo joining the Heat and presumably all four taking a pay cut ... what would the NBA players union have to say about that?

Amin
  (3:52 PM)

Now that's an interesting question; in baseball, they'd frown on that because they are depressing market values. But since the NBA has individual salary maximums, the market value for really good players is already set, and its not like anyone will tell Bledsoe or Monroe they aren't worth max because Melo and LBJ took less

Josh (Los Angeles)

Given the cap situation going forward (Dragic up for a new contract next year) and ceiling of the current team, could you seen the Suns signing and trading Eric Bledsoe to the Lakers for the 7th pick if someone like Vonleh or Exum were available?

Amin
  (3:53 PM)

If Bledsoe wants to go to LA, he doesnt need to engage in a sign and trade. He can just go as a free agent, since LA has a ton of cap space to sign him outright.

Matthew (Virginia)

It seems like the only team to really challenge the Spurs so far are the MAVS. Do you think it's because Carlise and Dirk are some of the best in the game or something else? Thanks!

Amin
  (3:54 PM)

I think Miami's done a pretty good job also. If Ibaka were healthy the whole time, maybe that WCF turns out differently.

JC (KC)

If the Spurs win, how do you pick a MVP based on what we've seen so far?

Amin
  (3:55 PM)

Tim Duncan has been magnificent, regardless of his age.

Alagie M (New York)

Tom is 0-1 against Bobby Ramos. How does he get back in the series?

Amin
  (3:55 PM)

I'd like to think today's THTV Live was the beginning of the new Tom

Greg (LA)

Do you see the LAK getting a good veteran for the 6th (Afflalo?, Sanders?) or it takes more?

Amin
  (3:56 PM)

If you trade the 6th pick for one of those guys, you really haven't done your homework vis a vis the draft

Hugo (VA)

Do you think the heat will win tonight?

Amin
  (3:57 PM)

Yes

Michael (Chicago)

Teams used to target 1st time head coaches as a way to save money and hopefully find a hidden-gem. Now the market is higher for the unknown than the known, how did this trend start?

Amin
  (3:58 PM)

How all trends start: someone wanted something bad enough they decided they'll pay anything for it.

Rick (TX)

How much luck would you say is involved in getting to the finals/winning a championship? I'm a Spurs fan, so I'll use them as an example - one could easily make the argument that the Spurs were Derek Fisher's 0.4 shot in 2004 and Manu's foul on Dirk in 2006 from getting to 5 finals in a row. On the flip side, if Kerr doesn't go crazy against Dallas in 2003 or if Horry doesn't go crazy in Detroit in 2005, maybe the Spurs only win in 1999 and 2007. Or maybe they tear down the team before 2007... There's a whole lot of luck in there, right?

Amin
  (3:59 PM)

Everyone who is a part of an NBA team knows luck is everything. You pointed out famous examples for San Antonio, but the truth is you can do the same thing for every champ; luck plays an incredible role

Hugo (VA)

Was that just an Anomoly of a game 75% first half shooting? Or is San Antonio figured out how to beat the heat..

Amin
  (4:01 PM)

Yes Hugo, San Antonio has unlocked the secret to shooting 75% against Miami. Except they forgot the secret in the second half

Dallas (Chicago)

Why can't Wade opt in; Haslem opt in; Bosh and James sign 1-year deals at 10; and then Anthony signs max deal. My assumption being that Bird rights would stay for James and Bosh then the next year deal with all 3 with Anthony already set

Amin
  (4:02 PM)

A little something called "cap holds"; i explained it in today's piece I wrote for Insider

Michael (Chicago)

Have you seen the Game of Zones videos?

Amin
  (4:03 PM)

I have. Very funny!

Joe (Toronto, Canada)

Do you think the Spurs will come out aggressive tonight or they are happy with a split in Miami and save themselves for a game 5?

Amin
  (4:03 PM)

They'll be aggressive but I think Miami will be more desperate

Mike (Chicago)

Why no chatter of Bledsoe to Cleveland? Putting an elite defender next to Kyrie would make a huge difference, can just hide him on the weakest guard. And hes a huge upgrade over Waiters obviously.

Amin
  (4:04 PM)

I mean, you're assuming he wants to go to Cleveland!

Bunny (Colorado)

Whats going on with Kenneth Faried's contract? I'm hearing he plans on becoming a star in this league. Do you think thats possible?

Amin
  (4:04 PM)

I plan on winning Powerball this week. Do you think thats possible?

chad (mpls)

i think Justin from Miami was suggesting all 3 players opt-out, then LeBron signs first removing his cap hold and placing a minimum salary. Then the other 3 would sign with the remaining space (probably Wade/Bosh first). In such a scenario, could LBJ resign in 2015 for the max?

Amin
  (4:05 PM)

They'd be maxed out the following year and LBJ wouldn't have Bird rights, so he cant sign for max.

Davis (Boston)

your thoughts on klinsmann saying American teams overpay for what they did in the past?

Amin
  (4:06 PM)

He's right; see the Lakers

Geir (Oslo)

Hi Amin, props for good work.Trade technicality q (not who says no!!).MEM owes a future 1st round pick to CLE with complicated protections, due in 2015 and running to 2019 depending on where they land in the draft (various protections '15-'18, unprotected in '19).People say because of the Stepien rule they cannot trade a 1st rd pick until 2021. This is true in one sense, they cannot trade a 1st rd pick until '21 without attaching complicated conditions. But, is it not also true that they can trade a pick with the condition that it will be conveyed 2 years after the CLE pick has been conveyed, which could theoretically be 2017 and quite likely 2019, i.e. well before 2021? Although they cannot guarantee it will be conveyed until '21, saying they cannot trade a pick before that year is partly true and partly misleading, right?

Amin
  (4:08 PM)

If you want to send a first round pick somewhere when you owe a protected first, you word it so that you send the pick in "first allowable draft", which is legalese for "as soon as the two year wait is fulfilled after you send the first pick"

Jean Claude (Vermont)

If Duncan doesn't retire, what would the Spurs need to do to land Pau?

Amin
  (4:08 PM)

Hire Pat Riley to do the negotiation lol

Chris (charlotte) [via mobile]

As a bulls fan, I have no optimism for next season whatsoever, considering I don't see how the bulls can land melo or love.So please, I'm asking you if you can give chicago fans any glimpse of hope regarding the bulls next season.

Amin
  (4:10 PM)

If Rose is healthy, Gibson/Butler continue to grow, Mirotic comes over and they can draft someone who can help, Bulls should be 2nd or 3rd best team in East

Hollow Man (San Diego)

How much is the signing of Tyreke Evans hurting New Orleans now? They are over the cap and he gets paid way too much. Does he have trade value?

Amin
  (4:10 PM)

Preach....

Shawn (Detroit)

What's bumpin today Amin? I'm sure you caught the "THE84DRAFT" documentary. What were your thoughts and can you think of a draft class that could compare to that year?

Amin
  (4:10 PM)

I'll be honest: it's on the DVR. I need to watch this!

Robert (Brooklyn)

Given Carmelo's age and stated goal of winning a championship, where do you predict he will be playing next year.

Amin
  (4:11 PM)

Probably NY. Chicago if he leaves.

Geir (Oslo)

Amin, with Flip taking almost total control of the Flipperwolves, supposedly against Taylor's wishes, and the Donald on his way out of all our lives (I know, still fraught with ifs), and the KLove divorce playing out in widescreen HD...Has Taylor climbed the heights to become "our" league's undisputed lousiest owner, and his Flipperwolves the most dysfunctional franchise? Or is it simply out in the open now, no longer the knowledge only of insiders?

Amin
  (4:13 PM)

Jim Dolan has "worst owner" crown in a safety deposit box in the Cayman Islands. Robert Pera is plotting ways to pull off the ultimate heist

Clay (Dallas)

Which former college standouts currently playing overseas could make an immediate impact for an NBA club? Daniel Hackett? Richard Hendrix?

Amin
  (4:15 PM)

I think Pierre Jackson and Bo McCalebb would both make nice guards off the bench. I still think Matt Janning can fulfill a role as a shooter who can handle a little

Scott (Westminster, CO)

Is Tony Parker a no-doubt HOF? Does wining another title sway that?

Amin
  (4:15 PM)

He's a HoF'er either way, but I think when you factor in his international resume, he's first ballot.

Amin
  (4:16 PM)

Time to wrap up....World Cup is on! Last few

Chris (Athens, GA) [via mobile]

Better pg? Felton or his coach.

Amin
  (4:16 PM)

Ouch.

Mark (Halifax)

Let's get this out of the way - who ya got in the world cup?

Amin
  (4:17 PM)

I think Brazil will win it all. Then again, they're down 1-0 as we speak

Frank (DC)

Boy the Lakers sure did mess up by resigning Kobe didn't they.

Amin
  (4:17 PM)

Preach...

Scott (Westminster, CO)

Best thing ever would be if the Heatles win their third ring, added Melo, and then DIDN'T win #4...

Amin
  (4:17 PM)

The #hatehard is strong in this one..

Otto (CA)

Is America ready for a black James Bond?

Amin
  (4:18 PM)

AW MAN, THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A SURPRISE! Now everyone knows what I'm doing this summer!

Amin
  (4:18 PM)

Thanks guys! See you next week!