Join HOOPSWORLD’s Alex Kennedy for his weekly NBA chat this Saturday at 1 p.m. ET. Submit your questions early because this chat fills up fast!
Do you think the Thunder are still affected by the lost of James Harden, Alex? That could be a reason they’re playing poorly and are off to a bad start. Thoughts?
What’s up everyone? Thanks for submitting your questions! There’s plenty to talk about today so let’s jump right in.
Whenever a team loses one of their focal points, there’s an adjustment period. Harden didn’t start for Oklahoma City, but he was an important part of that team and had a huge role. Now, they’re trying to get to used to life without Harden while trying to get Kevin Martin acclimated. Give the Thunder some time. They’re struggling a little bit right now, but I think they’ll be alright in the long run. Martin seems like a good fit and he has played well for them. The Thunder are still an elite team and, once everyone gets on the same page, I don’t think there will be much of a drop off, if any, from last year’s team to this year’s team.
What do you like about my Knicks so far?
I love the chemistry. I thought it would take awhile for this Knicks team to come together, but they’ve looked great out of the gate. That’s what happens when you bring in a bunch of veterans who know their role. Everyone joked about the Knicks being old over the offseason, but so far it seems like this is a very good team that’s built to win now. Carmelo Anthony has been great at power forward and the bench has come up big as well. I’m curious to see what happens when Amar’e Stoudemire comes back. Bringing Stoudemire off of the bench may be best for the Knicks, but with Stoudemire’s ego and contract, I’m not sure if they’ll do that.
I wish the Lakers had signed a back up SG this summer so that 17 season veteran, 34-year old Kobe wouldn’t have to play 38.7mpg (thank god Lakers blew out Detroit so he only played 32 min).
No love for Jodie Meeks? When used correctly, Meeks can be a key role player for the Lakers.
Does Brooklyn have interest in Kenyon Martin? Seems like an ideal fit. Nets need more toughness and interior defense, things Martin will certainly provide. PT may be an issue with all the bigs they have, but in order to make a run in this league, their defense needs to improve.
It doesn’t sound like any team has expressed interest in Kenyon Martin. He told Yahoo that he hasn’t received a single offer and that he’d even be willing to sign a minimum deal at this point. I agree that he makes sense for a team like Brooklyn. I’m surprised Dallas didn’t sign him instead of Troy Murphy (then again, he and Mark Cuban have gotten into it in the past). I thought for sure that Martin would’ve been signed by now. He played well last year for the Clippers and he can still contribute for a team off of the bench.
Hey Alex, what do you think the potential of OJ Mayo is in Dallas?
I love O.J. Mayo. I was surprised that Mayo didn’t generate more interest a free agent and when he signed with Dallas, I wrote that he was poised for a breakout season since he would get plenty of minutes and touches with the Mavericks. So far, he has done an excellent job and he’s been a big reason why Dallas has exceeded expectations this season. If he can continue to play at a high level and form a one-two punch with Dirk Nowitzki when he comes back, this Mavericks team is going to be a tough out in the postseason. As far as Mayo’s long-term potential in Dallas, I’m not sure how long he’ll be with the Mavericks. He signed a two-year deal with a player option for the second year. I think Mayo saw this as an opportunity to start for one year, put up big numbers and then test free agency again once his stock was higher. He may opt out after the season and try to get a big payday, especially if he keeps playing as well as he has in the first few games.
What is the deal with Baby Davis taking so many ill advised shots? Granted we dont have any legit go to scorers but him leading the league in attempts and taking that 3 last night killed me. Has JV said anything after the game last night after his horrendous play, also E Moore is impressing!
That’s Glen Davis. He’s going to take ill advised shots. On some nights, his shot will be falling and you’ll love the guy. On other nights, he’ll struggle and drive you crazy. On most teams, Davis would be a sixth man, but in Orlando, he’s the focal point of the offense. That says a lot about the Magic.
I follow you on twitter and enjoy your work on hoopsworld…thanks my man!
My team the sixers are waiting on AB and are struggling to find their niche. I like ET but I don’t think his game is a great fit in Philly. What are your thoughts? I know its early but I think Collins is focused on Jrue/AB being the cornerstones of the franchise. What would Evan fetch in a trade and who do you see available as being a piece on a up and coming team?
I agree that Jrue Holiday and Andrew Bynum are the cornerstones of the franchise. Evan Turner is a very good player, but I don’t think he’s a franchise player that you build around. As far as Turner’s trade value goes, I’m sure there are some executives that would be willing to give up a significant player or pick to acquire him. Turner is only 24 years old and it wasn’t long ago that he had plenty of general managers drooling when he was a stud at Ohio State. We’ll see how he plays once Bynum comes back, but trading him may be best for the Sixers, as you said.
Do you think Orlando will trade Al Harrinton and BB David to make room for Nicholson? JJ Redick is apart of rebuilding?
It wouldn’t surprise me to see Orlando trade Al Harrington, J.J. Redick, Glen Davis and any other veteran on the roster. The Magic want to develop their young players and follow the Oklahoma City Thunder model, which means playing them right away and letting them learn on the job. If they can acquire more young talent or draft picks at the trade deadline in exchange for their veterans, I think Rob Hennigan pulls the trigger. That would free up minutes for the young players, give them more pieces as they rebuild and cause the team to lose more games which increases the odds of Orlando winning the lottery.
Hey Alex, how do you asses the development of the kyrie Irving and dion waiters backcourt? Also how much is Andy increasing his trade value so far this season?
I love the Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters backcourt. Earlier this week, I wrote this article about the duo and I really do think they could be one of the best backcourts in the league in several years. As far as Anderson Varejao goes, he has increased his trade value and I think the Cavs have to move him before the deadline. My sources in Cleveland have said that they won’t move Varejao unless they get something significant in return. Basically, they won’t make a move just to make a move. They love Varejao and what he brings to the team, on and off the court. However, I think they should trade him while his stock is high. I would try to get another young player or draft pick to put alongside Irving and Waiters for years to come.
Which team is the biggest surprise to you so far, Alex? Biggest disappointment? Most analysts thought l.a. would take time to gel, so please exempt them from your response. The lakers get enough coverage.
The biggest surprises to me have been the New York Knicks and the Minnesota Timberwolves. I thought the Knicks would be good, but not this good. I didn’t think the Timberwolves would be this good either. I thought they’d struggle until Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio came back, and then they’d make a late season push for the playoffs. They have exceeded expectations because their offseason acquisitions like Andrei Kirilenko, Brandon Roy, Alexey Shved, Dante Cunningham ans Chase Budinger have come up big.
The biggest disappointments – outside of the Lakers – has to be the Indiana Pacers and Denver Nuggets. Both of these teams looked like contenders entering the season, but they have struggled. I thought the Pacers would be the second best team in the East and I had the Nuggets as a dark horse in the West. It’s still early, but those two teams have been disappointments so far.
How frustrating must it be for opposing teams when the second best point guard in the line up comes from the Clippers Eric Bledsoe 50% of the time? Watching him versus the Blazers makes me realize that he could start for 50% of the teams in the association right now.
You’re absolutely right. The other day, I tweeted that Eric Bledsoe has improved so much and is a starting-caliber point guard. He has really impressed me this season. I think Chris Paul deserves a lot of credit for Bledsoe’s development. Not only does Bledsoe learn from Paul every day in practice and games, Paul worked with Bledsoe over the offseason. When most superstars were doing their own thing over the summer, Paul was working with Bledsoe in L.A. and pushing him to expand his game. He really took Bledsoe under his wing, and it clearly paid off. Now, Bledsoe makes the Clippers even scarier because he can attack second-string guards and make an impact while Paul rests. This Clippers team is loaded with talent. They could be very scary come playoff time.
Fact or Fiction: Phil Jackson will return to the Lakers as the new head coach
Alright, I tried to answer a bunch of non-Lakers questions because I know a lot of you are sick of the coverage. I have to answer a few questions though since it is the hot topic in the NBA.
Fact. I think Phil Jackson will be the next head coach of the Lakers. It sounds like he’s healthy and interested in returning to the bench so I don’t see any obstacles stopping this from happening. It makes a lot of sense. Jackson likes a challenge and this would be the most talented Lakers team he’s ever had. Not to mention, Phil is always looking to add to his ring collection and if this team can realize their full potential, they should be able to win a title. Jerry Sloan and Mike D’Antoni are still possibilities, but I think the frontrunner is Jackson at this point.
If Josh Smith decides he wants to compete for a title while being being the number 1 option, how do you like the fit of the Nuggets making a trade offer. Something like Chandler, Mozgov, Fornier and a pick for Smith. This allows Atlanta to get a nice solid starting SF in Wilson which is their weakest position right now. It also lets them put Horford at his natural PF position which I believe he would thrive in. Mozgov is very solid and they still would have plenty of cap space to fill out the roster. For Denver they can resign him maybe for 13 million if he takes a little discount to compete. A lineup of Lawson, Iggy, Gallinari, Smith and Koufos is downright scary especially with their bench still deep as ever. Thoughts?
That makes a lot of sense for both teams. Get Danny Ferry and Masai Ujiri on the phone. Let’s make it happen.
I’ve been saying for awhile that Atlanta should trade Smith before the deadline because they don’t want to lose him without getting something in return. This makes sense for Denver too because they would have the most athletic team in the league with Lawson, Iguodala, Gallinari, Smith and McGee, not to mention Faried off of the bench. I don’t usually like questions with trade ideas, but this one is pretty good.
well alex, there’s little doubt anywhere that you were the first to see that steps were being taken to right the lakers ship of state. reading hoopsworld, which i do every day, i’ve grown to trust all of you. but, this was one that even eric didn’t see (or under his new job description) wasn’t at liberty to discuss. you gave a lot of us fans who rightly saw that trying to fit square pegs into round holes was doomed from the start. so, i think we all assume phil will be starting his 3rd stint with the lakers, but where would you go with this and why? is there any real reason to consider mike a unless phil says no? or are they really seen as neck and neck for the job?
Thanks, I appreciate the kind words.
I think Phil Jackson is the frontrunner. If they can’t hire Jackson, I think that’s when they’d turn to Mike D’Antoni or Jerry Sloan. It sounds like the Lakers will meet with Jackson today and gauge his interest. I think the two sides will reach an agreement at some point over the next few days.
Any talks of trades during this part of the season?
Teams aren’t really looking to make trades this early in the season. Teams are still trying to get their offseason acquisitions acclimated. Executives aren’t looking to make trades just yet, they’re still trying to see how their teams stacks up against others in the conference. Usually, teams will have an idea of where they stand and what moves need to be made about 20-25 games into the season. That’s when we start to hear some trade rumors and then things gradually pick up as the deadline gets closer and closer.
Do you see the rockets making a trade at the trade deadline or offseason? Do you asik is better being a backup center? Which position do you think they need to change up to help get the pressure off of harden?
It’s definitely possible. The Rockets still have plenty of attractive trade chips that they could cash in prior to the deadline.
I like Omer Asik and I think he’s doing a good job in Houston. He makes them a much better team defensively and he’s been cleaning the glass. He’s still very raw offensively, but he’ll continue to develop. When they signed Asik, they knew that he was going to be a work in progress because he’s only 26 years old and inexperienced. So far, he has impressed the coaching staff and his teammates with his defense and rebounding. I think he’s a starting-caliber center and he’ll only continue to get better as he gets more comfortable and confident.
What’s are your thoughts on the Bucks so far? Inefficiency back court, yet a deep bench! Perhaps beating the Celtics again tonight will make people fear the deer again?
They have been a pleasant surprise. As you said, their bench has been playing well. They were being overlooked entering the season, but they’re a very talented team. I wouldn’t be surprised if they made the playoffs as the seventh or eighth seed in the East.
Thanks for all of your questions. If I missed you, hit me up on Twitter or submit a question next week. Have a great weekend!
Select a Team
Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers
New Orleans Pelicans
New York Knicks
Portland Trail Blazers
San Antonio Spurs
Select a Team
Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers
New Orleans Pelicans
New York Knicks
Portland Trail Blazers
San Antonio Spurs
Despite the Cavaliers' slow start, the team remains determined to end their postseason drought ... Kevin Durant impressed with Thunder's bench
10:30am - Steve Kyler
3:00pm - Yannis Koutroupis
8:00pm - Jessica Camerato
11:00am - Nate Duncan
8:00pm - Bill Ingram
12:00pm - Travis Heath***
8:00pm - Lang Greene
1:00pm - Joel Brigham
3:00pm - Jabari Davis
1:00pm - Moke Hamilton
3:00pm - Larry Coon
8:00pm - Alex Kennedy
11:00am - Susan Bible ***
*** denotes chats that are held bi-weekly