Join HOOPSWORLD’s Alex Kennedy for his weekly NBA chat this Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET. Submit your questions early because this chat fills up fast!
Hi Alex. Miami and OKC are heavy favorites to return to the Finals with Miami likely to repeat. Ponce de Leon is the only coach who could bring these Lakers a title. And that’s assuming he brings along a bench and a starting SF to go along with the fountain of youth.
What’s up everyone? Thanks for stopping by. I’ll try to get to as many questions as I can over the next hour. Let’s get started.
I think you’re underestimating the Lakers. While I agree that the HEAT are the team to beat, I think it’s too early to rule out the Lakers. Remember, this is a team with a lot of new pieces so there’s going to be an adjustment period. Dwight Howard isn’t at full strength and Steve Nash is still sidelined. Give the Lakers some time. In a few months, this could be a very good team once everyone gets healthy and acclimated.
Why did the magic resign jameer, will the magic trade big baby by the deadline?
I don’t understand why they re-signed Jameer Nelson or why they paid him so much. They are paying him $8.6 million this year and next year. The final year and $8 million is partially-guaranteed, but they still overpaid. That’s significantly more than any other team was offering Nelson. I understand that they wanted to bring him back so that they could have a leader in the locker room, but handing over the reins to a younger point guard and having more cap flexibility going forward would’ve been the smarter move.
To answer your second question, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Magic trade away J.J. Redick or Glen Davis at the trade deadline. They were both in Orlando before Rob Hennigan took over as general manager. I think he’ll want to trade them at the deadline to free up minutes for the young players that he has acquired. As I said in my last chat, Hennigan follows the OKC model, which means playing young guys and letting them learn on the job. Trading Redick and/or Davis for another prospect or draft pick would give the young guys more playing time, give the Magic more pieces as they rebuild and cause the team to lose more games which increases the odds of Orlando winning the lottery.
Is James Harden a superstar or does he have superstar potential?
He definitely has superstar potential. He’s an excellent scorer and playmaker, and his best basketball is still ahead of him since he’s only 23 years old. In a few years, I think he’ll be an All-Star and one of the best scorers in the league. The Rockets need to use him correctly and surround him with the right pieces for him to be successful, but the potential is definitely there. Harden is extremely talented.
with d’antoni as head coach of the lakers for 4 years, do you see the knicks(who are doing fine without ball stopper amar’e) eventually trading amar’e to the lakers for gasol? ..nash, amar’e, dhoward and kobe show
I can’t see anyone trading for Amar’e Stoudemire right now. His trade value is at an all-time low. Not only has he had trouble staying healthy, his team is significantly better with him on the bench. Not to mention, Stoudemire is owed $64.9 million over the next three seasons and his contract is uninsured. Trading Stoudemire isn’t going to be easy. I can’t the Lakers, or any team for that matter, giving up a significant piece to acquire him.
Why doesn’t alec burks play at all this season?
The Jazz are focused on making the playoffs rather than developing their young talent this season. That’s why Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson and Randy Foye are playing over Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter and Alec Burks. Millsap and Jefferson are free agents after this season so we may see Utah shift their focus to their younger guys after the season, but until then it seems like Burks will remain buried on the depth chart.
What is trade value for stuckey and prince right now?
Rodney Stuckey has been playing a little bit better over the last few games, but he was terrible to start the season. I’m not sure now is the time to trade him. The Pistons likely wouldn’t get much back for him at this point.
As far as Tayshaun Prince goes, he’s someone who could be moved at the trade deadline. The Pistons are clearly rebuilding and stockpiling young talent. Prince, who turns 33 years old in February, clearly isn’t part of the long-term plan in Detroit. I doubt Prince wants to waste the final years of his career on a lottery team. He’s someone who could still help a contender. He has three years remaining on his contract, which could scare away some teams, but I’m sure the Pistons could find a taker.
not realisticlly but if in finals are met heat and memphis who would you give advantage?
I’d give the advantage to Miami. Memphis would make things interesting because Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol would be able to dominate Miami’s frontcourt, but I think the Heat would win the series because they’re the more experienced team. I’m not sold that the Grizzlies would show up in the big moment, especially after watching them collapse against the Clippers last postseason. Also, it’s hard to bet against LeBron James right now.
How do you think Royce White will do in the DL? What are his chances of playing for the Rockets this year? and how has his anxiety issues been coming along in the NBA?
I think Royce White would do very well in the D-League. He’d be one of the most talented players in the entire league and, as we saw when he was in college, he’s capable of making an impact all over the court and filling a stat sheet. However, I’m not sure if White will ever play a game in the D-League since he isn’t reporting to the team. He is upset with the Rockets and claims that they broke the agreement that the two sides made during training camp. Neither side has provided many details, but both camps seem unhappy. White took to Twitter to express his frustration and the Rockets fined him for missing practice and a session with a therapist. We’ll see how this plays out, but it’s clear that the two sides need to get on the same page and work out these differences.
What do you think of brandon Jennings so far this season I know he been up and down as far as scoring but his playmaking had been consistent and he showing that he can play good defence every night. If he can be consistent do you think he ave 20pts 8.5asts 3.0 stls will the Bucks give him the money he want
Brandon Jennings was upset that the Bucks didn’t extend him and he’s determined to prove that they made a mistake. He’s definitely using that as motivation and he has been playing well. As you said, he’s still somewhat inconsistent and inefficient, but his playmaking has been impressive and the Bucks are winning. I think the Bucks will retain him after the season, they just preferred to go the restricted free agency route because then they could let the market set his value.
Hi Alex, Am having ‘trouble’ understanding P-Jax ‘claims’ of “no terms were discussed(at Saturday ‘sit down’)”, he was ‘awaiting Monday meet’ to ‘proceed with negotiations’, then ‘stunned’ by late night Sunday LAL hiring of D’Antoni; Has Phil since ‘cleared the air’ about what he/LAL ‘honchos’ found to ‘discuss’ for 90 minutes that DIDN’T involve some ‘terms’ for his hiring? SOMETHING must have been ‘broached’ by SOMEONE, unless we are to believe ’1st offer to Phil Jackson’ was all SHOW(‘time’) by LAL ‘powers’ to placate fans. What is your ‘take’ on all this- you previously thought Jackson was ‘best get’ for LAL?
It does seem very strange that they all sat in Phil’s living room for that long without discussing any terms. Eventually, all of the details will come out. Maybe Phil will include everything in his next book.
Hey Alex, what is up with the Pacers offense right now? Can Hibbert and George become what they are suppose to be?
They really need to step up. Roy Hibbert needs to prove that he’s worth the max contract the Pacers just gave him and Paul George needs to take that next step in his development. With Danny Granger sidelined, this is the perfect opportunity for Hibbert and George to take over and break out. Going into the season, I predicted that Indiana would be the second-best team in the East and I’ve been really disappointed with their play thus far.
What do you think of the whole UCLA Shabazz Muhammad situation? NCAA recruiting is dirty business. It reminds me of Auburn and Cam Newton.
I say that as a die-hard Oklahoma Sooner’s fan. Bob Stoops has a pipeline from Bishop Gorman HS to Norman OK.
So, how does Cal stay out of “trouble” at UK? He’s the Barry Switzer of college Hoops? The best “recruiter” around? Switzer convinced a 6-4 tall NFL pure pocket passer in Troy Aikman to come to Norman and run the wishbone?
NCAA recruiting is very, very dirty business. I’ve gotten to know a lot of top recruits over the years and you wouldn’t believe just how dirty it is. I don’t think this will affect Shabazz’s draft stock, he’ll likely still be a top pick next year. As far as Calipari goes, I think recruits are drawn to Kentucky because they see it as a springboard to the NBA. Calipari has gotten in trouble before, but now he has his pick of top recruits every year because he has so many one-and-done players have success in the NBA. He turns down several top recruits every year because he can be picky and zero in on specific guys.
Hello Alex, rondo is hitting some jumpers this year and his assist numbers are off the charts. Why doesn’t he get higher recognition like Chris Paul, d rose and Russell? He makes kg and bass both at least 4 ppg better and opens the floor for the guards constantly. No other pg makes their team mates better to the same extent would u agree?
He can’t take over a game offensively like Chris Paul, Derrick Rose or Russell Westbrook. That’s the difference between Rajon Rondo and the guys that you mentioned. With that said, I think he is underrated because he’s one of the best pass-first point guards in the league. In today’s NBA, most point guards want to score the ball, but Rondo is a traditional point guard because he’s focused on being a distributor and making his teammates better. He needs to have the right pieces around him to be successful, but he’s an excellent floor general and he has really developed into a great player in Boston.
To answer your question, I think part of the reason that Rondo doesn’t get the recognition that guys like Paul and Rose get is because he’s extremely difficult with the media. I’ve had nothing but positive experiences with Paul and Rose. I’ve had nothing but negative experiences with Rondo. It’d be a lot easier to write a piece about Rondo’s greatness if he wasn’t so difficult.
Andy Varejao is killing it lately. As much as I hate it the cavs need to trade him. As good as he is the cavs r just to young to win right now. I was thinking maybe Andy for Jeff Green. Idk if the numbers work. But the cavs get a starting caliber SF and the Celtics get a stud to pair with KG. Thoughts?
I think you’re right. Anderson Varejao has been killing it and the Cavs would be smart to trade him at some point in the next few months. I don’t think the Celtics would part ways with Jeff Green, but Cleveland should definitely shop Varejao and see if they can get a young starter back for him. Varejao doesn’t fit into their long-term plan and if they can get someone to put alongside Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters for years to come, they should do it.
How can anyone defend Royce White at this point? He is acting beyond diva’ish with his behavior now. The Rockets have given him every opportunity and here he is boycotting the team and using his illness as a weapon saying they are mistreating him..he is a rookie being paid 1.5 million dollars to do a job and he is doing everything possible in his power NOT to perform his job instead of doing everything possible to fullfill his obligations. It is truly sad to see someone waste talent and play the blame game when they have been given the opportunity that millions or people dream of
I think we need to wait for all of the facts to come out. If the Rockets did break their agreement, I don’t blame White for being frustrated with them. Then again, if White is upset with his lack of playing time as some reports have suggested, then I don’t blame the Rockets brass for being frustrated with his actions. We’ll what happens next and what details emerge.
Are my eyes deceiving me, or is Nik Vucevic trying to become a double double machine, down in Orlando. This can’t possibly continue, can it? Especially since Al Harrington is due back any day now.
I can’t believe it either. He has been very impressive. The Magic have some talent to build around going forward in Nik Vucevic, Mo Harkless, Andrew Nicholson, etc. That’s why trading away veterans like Al Harrington, J.J. Redick and Glen Davis may be the best move. Let them play and develop.
Hey Alex – Is there another free agent you’d go after at this point to bolster the bench for Los Angeles. I know it would mean dropping a contract or maybe two…but considering they just paid mike brown about 11m to walk away- why pinch pennies at this point if it helps the team?
Or do you think ultimately it will take a pau trade at some point?
There are still several quality free agents available such as Kenyon Martin, Josh Howard and Mickael Pietrus. I’m not sure if the Lakers will pursue any of them – they likely would’ve expressed interest by now – but I’m sure these guys will get signed at some point in the near future.
I don’t think we’ll see the Lakers trade Pau Gasol. They’ve made their big moves, now they just need to get everyone on the same page.
Landry Fields is playing horrible for Toronto. Worst free agent signing of the off season,or do you think he has something to offer?
I thought it was a terrible signing before the ink was dry and my opinion hasn’t changed. The Raptors were trying to take the Knicks out of the Steve Nash sweepstakes by taking away one of their trade chips. The plan backfired once the Lakers came out of nowhere to acquire Nash and now Toronto is stuck with Fields and that horrible contract.
Thanks for submitting your questions. If I missed you, send me your question on Twitter or stop by next Wednesday at 3 p.m. Have a great week!
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