Join HOOPSWORLD’s Alex Kennedy for his weekly NBA chat this Saturday at 2 p.m. ET. Submit your questions early because this chat fills up fast!
hi alex, love your chats.keep up the good work. my questions are how do you like the trades made by the lakers? are they a much improve team than 2 days ago? with what they have now, will they be able to go deep into the playoffs? personally, i would have wanted them to have beasley for deeper bench. also, if beasley becomes UFA this summer do you think the lakers can sign him? will beasley be interested to join the lake show? thanks.
What’s up everyone? Thanks for stopping by and submitting your questions. It was an interesting week in the NBA and there’s plenty to talk about. Let’s jump right in.
Thanks Karl, I appreciate the kind words. I really like the moves that the Lakers made. I’m a big fan of Ramon Sessions and I think he’s going to improve their offense with his ability to attack the basket and playmaking skills. I think he’s going to thrive as the starter in Los Angeles. I was also impressed that they were able to dump some of their bad contracts. They had to give up two first-round picks, but I don’t see that as a big deal. The Lakers are clearly a team that wants to win now so bringing in contributors is more important than drafting and developing prospects.
Michael Beasley would’ve been interesting in Los Angeles, but I still think the Lakers did a good job on Thursday. As far as Beasley signing there this summer, it won’t happen. The Lakers already have $63,833,666 committed in salary next season. They won’t have the cap room to bring him in.
Where do you think D’Antoni lands next? How about Washington or Portland?
I’m sure Mike D’Antoni won’t be unemployed for long. He’s a respected coach and any team with a vacancy will have to consider him this summer. Washington and Portland are potential landing spots for D’Antoni since they’re each being run by an interim head coach.
Orlando could be a possibility as well, if they decide to fire Stan Van Gundy. Let me make this clear: I don’t think the Magic should fire Van Gundy. But I won’t be surprised if it happens since they’re willing to whatever it takes to keep Dwight Howard happy, which could include handpicking his coach.
Wasn’t the whole point of the Blazers day yesterday to clear cap (namely Wallace – who is going to opt into his contract next year) and pick up potential lottery picks? Everyone’s bashing the moves, but the Blazers will have a ton of cap room next year, two lotto picks, an open GM position, and an open coaching position… Could be a very good summer for Portland.
Andrew, you hit the nail on the head.
The Blazers wanted to clear cap and acquire draft picks, and they did exactly that. They realized that they weren’t going to contend as currently constructed so they started to rebuild. It looks bad because the team lost Gerald Wallace, Marcus Camby, Greg Oden and Nate McMillan all at once, but it was the right move. The Blazers want to surround LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum with talent and they’re now in position to do that. I was very surprised that the New Jersey Nets’ pick was only top three protected. As you said, Portland may have two lottery picks in one of the best draft in years. They’ll also have plenty of money to throw at free agents. This could be a very short rebuilding period the Blazers. They may be a playoff team again next year.
For more on what’s next for Portland, check out this great article by our own Jason Fleming.
Good Morning Bro! Luv the Laker moves they made yesterday! A lot of folks around these parts don’t like that we gave up 2 first round picks in these deals but we got younger, and better. With where the Lakers pick, do you think they would do much better in the draft then getting Sessions and Jordan Hill????
As I said, I like the moves. Ramon Sessions can contribute right now. Jordan Hill is a low-risk, high-reward acquisition because he can play some minutes off the bench and then, if things don’t work out, the Lakers don’t have to pick up his option next year. Also, nobody is talking about Christian Eyenga, but he’s a guy with a lot of potential too. Mike Brown drafted him when he was in Cleveland and he really likes his game. The Lakers would’ve had a late first-round pick anyway. I think trading the picks to bring in a starting point guard and dump contracts were the right moves.
Hey Alex, great piece on my Blazers last week…
I like to hear your take on a few things. With the Blazers in rebuilding mode, is there a key free agent this summer you think they can land? And who should they draft with the Nets pick. And would D’antoni be a good fit, we have a young team that would like to run. Maybe Jerry Sloan? Thanks!
Thanks, David. Here is a ranking of the 2012 free agents by position. There are some good names on that list and Portland has put themselves in position to be active this summer. As far as the draft goes, they may be able to pick Andre Drummond. I’d love to see him next to LaMarcus Aldridge. Mike D’Antoni may be a good fit, but I’m sure they’ll weigh their options this summer.
With Dwight Howard off the market, Is Deron Williams a lock for Dallas? And who else can the Mavericks sign if Deron decides to go to the Mavericks?
I think Deron Williams will sign with Dallas Mavericks this summer. As we learned with the Dwight Howard drama, things can always change. However, I’ve been told that Deron wants to play in Dallas and I think the Mavericks are confident that they’ll land him.
Hey Alex, Do you think my spurs would go after greg oden after he clears waivers???
Greg Oden isn’t healthy enough to join a team this season. He’s sidelined indefinitely after undergoing his third microfracture surgery. He may return to the court eventually, but he’s not an option this season.
I am a Nets fan and after the dwightmare, i concluded my belief that you are (were through the whole process)one of the persons to listen to. Congratulations!!
So, my question is: do you think the Howard-to- nets story has come to an end, or do you see him wanting to go to brooklyn again in the summer if the magic fail in the playoffs?
Thanks Arthur, I appreciate the kind words. With Dwight Howard, you never know what is going to happen. I wouldn’t rule any possibility out. If the Magic have a postseason collapse, Howard could change his tune this summer and start this process all over again. Howard’s decision to opt-in certainly made things more difficult for the Nets, especially since Deron Williams won’t opt-in, but I wouldn’t say the Howard-to-Nets story has come to an end. This saga has many more twists and turns and anyone who says they know what’s going to happen is lying to you.
Hey Alex! What teams do you think are willing to sign Terrence Williams?he show signs of potential and flashes of becoming a very good role player,can a title contender sign Williams,perhaps? Thomas Robinson is a rebounding,defensive machine!i feel like he is Kenneth faried4.0 ,but with a better offensive arsenal.where do you think Thomas ranks as far as the lottery regards?
Terrence Williams still has a lot of potential and he can be a contributor, as you said. Some team will sign Williams because he has so much talent and coaches think they can help mature and tap into his potential. I love Terrence, but he has a bad reputation around the league. I thought being sent down to the D-League would be a humbling experience for him, but he didn’t change his actions. Maybe being waived will help him grow as a person and a player.
I’m a big fan of Thomas Robinson. He’s going to be a stud in the NBA. I think he’s a top five pick.
Hi Alex, I think if Fisher is bought out he could be a great fit and help to Orlando (not a fan of Duhon). Do you think he would consider the Magic and would the team even try to get him?
I’m not sure if Orlando would be interested. I do agree that he’d be a better back-up than Chris Duhon and he’d be great from a leadership perspective as well. I just don’t know if the Magic want to pay for another point guard.
Hey. Where do you see Derek Fisher ending up and do you see Miami doing anything to get a big? (Bought out player? Fesenko? Rasheed?)
The San Antonio Spurs just lost T.J. Ford to retirement and could use a veteran point guard. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Spurs sign Derek Fisher. I’m sure a couple of contenders will give Fisher a call.
If Chris Kaman or Jermaine O’Neal are bought out, the Miami Heat will pursue them. If they aren’t able to sign a bought out player, they may take another look at Rasheed Wallace. They already worked him out once so they do have some interest. We’ll see if they make a move.
Lou Williams is leading the Philadelphia 76ers in scoring this season. Without looking it up, who was last player to his team in scoring without starting a single game?
That’s a tough one. Jason Terry almost did it in 2009, but he was the team’s second-leading scorer. I honestly don’t know. Who was it?
The example of Nene Hilario is the perfect illustration of why teams should always resign their good players. There was a debate in Denver this offseason over whether they should shell out a big contract to Nene. They did, then in the first year were able to trade him for a great young bigman in Javale McGee. If they cheaped out, they would have lost Nene for nothing. Theory: Cave into contract demands (for quality bigs) as other teams will always take a flyer on them. Even if they don’t work out it allows you to acquire assets and picks later using them as trade bait. Agree or Disagree with this premise?
While re-signing their players worked out in this case, I’m not sure that’s the right move every time. Denver was able to move Nene, but every year we see players get paid and then fail to live up to expectations. While some get traded, most end up sitting on the same roster and becoming ugly contracts that the team can’t move.
Can you explain the Cavs trading Sessions for Walton? Kapono was waived this morning, Walton is due $6.1 million next season which is outrageous for a poor efficiency/producing SF. All this for a low-mid 20s draft pick? I understand Kyrie is the future, but seriously?!
The Cavaliers knew that Ramon Sessions was going to opt-out after the season so they wanted to get something in return for him. Sessions wanted to be a starter and we all know that wasn’t going to happen in Cleveland. The Cavaliers are trying to stockpile first-round picks and, honestly, it’s not a bad strategy given this draft class. Cleveland will be able to draft several quality prospects to put around Kyrie Irvin or they’ll be able to package their picks together to move up or make a big trade on draft night. They know that his draft is loaded with talent, which is why they were willing to take back Luke Walton’s contract for another pick.
What do you think of Jonas Valanciunas? Is he the favorite to win ROY next season?
I’m a huge fan of Jonas Valanciunas. If it weren’t for his contract situation, he likely would’ve been picked even higher in last year’s draft. By drafting him fifth overall, the Raptors got a steal. Scouts rave about him and say that he has the potential to be an elite player. I’m really looking forward to seeing him in the NBA and it’s possible that he could win Rookie of the Year next season. He’ll definitely have the opportunity to play right away, which means he’ll have a shot.
What players are you anticipating to become available via waivers? Rashard Lewis? Kamen? any others?
Rashard Lewis won’t become available. If anything, the Wizards will wait until after this season and amnesty him.
Chris Kaman, Derek Fisher, Jermaine O’Neal, Shawne Williams, Boris Diaw, Marquis Daniels, Brian Cook and Ronny Turiaf are all players who may be bought out.
Any chance that Ryan Anderson is used as a sign and trade piece this off season?
That’s definitely possible. The Magic understand that they need to make changes to keep Dwight Howard in Orlando. Anderson is one of their most attractive assets so moving him this summer could be an option.
What is your opinion of Eyenga? Will he get any PT with Lakers? What is his contract situation?
Christian Eyenga will be sent down the D-League, but I think he’s a player to keep an eye on going forward. As I said before, Mike Brown drafted him when he was in Cleveland and he’s a big fan of his game. Eyenga is only 22 years old and he still has a ton of potential. I don’t think he’ll get much playing time this year, but he may emerge as a contributor down the road. Eyenga is under contract next season and then he has a team option for 2013-14. The Lakers will have some time to develop him and monitor his progress before they have to make a decision on him.
Is it time to Fear the Deer?
I’m very excited to see their backcourt in action. I’m not sure if they’ll be able to make a postseason run or anything, but they’ll definitely be fun to watch. I will say that landing Ekpe Udoh in that trade is huge for the Bucks. Monta Ellis is the big-name acquisition, but Ekpe is going to be a very good player down the road.
Hey Alex, Orlando did a great job being patient with Dwight, and its great that he ended up staying, but they didnt do what they said they would do and bring in a star to surround him with. With all their bad contracts and limited cap space, how realistic is it that either in this off season or within the window of one year they can figure out a way to get one or two stars in Magic uniforms? Is there any way to bring in a star through free agency AND keep Ryan Anderson and JJ Redick?
The Magic tried to bring in a second star, but that’s easier said than done. They pursued a number of players including Monta Ellis, Josh Smith, Steve Nash and Carmelo Anthony. However, they didn’t have the trade assets to get anything done. When Orlando was trying to convince Dwight to opt-in, they kept telling him that they just needed more time and that a second star would be on the roster soon. They’ll definitely try to make a splashy move around the draft or in July. As you said, it’ll be difficult given their cap space and limited assets, but the Magic better get creative.
Who Would you rather Build your team around Landry Fields or Marshon Brooks?
Who has more Potential and who do you see being the better player in the Future?
I would build my team around MarShon Brooks. I think he has more potential and is capable of being a first-option on offense. Landry Fields is a great role player, but he’d be very difficult to build a team around.
I’m out of time. Thanks for submitting your questions! If I missed you, ask me your question on Twitter (@AlexKennedyNBA) and I’ll try to respond. See you next week!
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Golden State Warriors
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The Philadelphia 76ers are a team to watch as the NBA's trade deadline approaches. ... Reactions to Kobe Bryant's return and what it means for L.A. Lakers.
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