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!
Hey Alex, always love your chat. If the Nets pick a bigman in draft to either play back-up or alongside Brook/Blatche (if Blatche returns). Who among Gorgui Deng, Steven Adams and Jeff Withey (assuming all 3 are available when they pick) would best fit with the Nets?
What’s up everyone? Thanks for submitting your questions. Let’s get started.
I think Gorgui Dieng and Steven Adams will be gone by the time the Nets are on the board, but I do think Jeff Withey will be available at No. 22. I think that would be a great pick for Brooklyn. He’s probably the most NBA-ready out of all the centers since he’s 23 years old and has plenty of experience. Withey would provide shotblocking and rebounding, and I could see him being a very solid role player for the Nets.
While Houston makes big sense for Dwight, why aren’t we mentioning Cleveland in the same breath? They have everything Houston has, but more suited to Dwight, and they have a killer mental factor as well.
A young All-Star to pair with Howard who is a playmaker to feed him and a floor-stretching shooter… but a better 3 point shooter than Harden and not yet taking up max salary cap space.
A quality veteran big man who can actually play at the 4 next to Dwight as well as playing backup minutes at the 5, unlike Asik who would presumably have to be traded. Varejao, Howard and Thompson would make a terrific big rotation.
Waiters and Thompson have higher ceilings than any of Houston’s young talent barring maybe Chandler Parsons.
AND: whether in Houston or LA, Dwight is the latest in a long line of Hall of Fame big men and champions who he will never overshadow. In Cleveland, Dwight can be the man who brought a championship to Cleveland, the man who did what even LeBron James couldn’t do. Wouldn’t that appeal to Dwight? And also make him a liked public figure again?
Cleveland has a very bright future, but I think Houston is the better destination because they are closer to contending. The Rockets made the playoffs this year and seem to be just one piece away from becoming an elite team in the Western Conference, whereas I think the Cavaliers are a few years away since most of their core still needs to develop. Also, Howard wants to play in a large market.
Jimmy Butler improved so much from year one to year two. Do you think this trend will continue with DRose coming back? I mean it should only make things that much easier for him. I think if he keeps improving his already solid jumper Chicago will have the best and most athletic back court in the league.
I think Jimmy Butler will continue to improve once Derrick Rose comes back. I also think Butler is going to work extremely hard this offseason, which should help him next year. I met Jimmy while he was training for the draft at IMG a few years ago and he’s an incredible kid. He’s a hard worker and he’s willing to do whatever he can to help his team. I wasn’t at all surprised to see have this breakout season because he worked very hard last summer and vowed to make the most of his minutes. He’s going to keep developing because of his strong work ethic and unwavering competitive nature.
Fun question from a purely analytical perspective…for the combine athletes hoping to get drafted go through athletic testing that puts a finite number to their respective tests. Would you be interested to see how players that are still in the league stack up 5, 10, or 15 years later by doing the same tests? I think it would be interesting to kind of gauge where in a players NBA lifespan that they start to decline athletically. Thoughts?
That would be very interesting. Most teams do athletic testing during training camp, but those numbers aren’t released to the public. I would be curious to see how those numbers decline each year that a player is in the league.
Joel’s recent article indicates he believes that the Bulls stay the course in an attempt to be players in the 2014 Free Agent free for all. However aren’t we really all hoping that all these star players opt out? Besides Lebron alot of these stars are going to be way beyond their Prime. As a Bulls fan I would rather see the Bulls maximize some of their Key contributors current value in an effort to trade for some players that will be able to peak with DRose. With all that said, do you see much of a trade Market for Luol, Jimmy, Carlos, or Joakim? And if so, how would you use that Trade Value to compliment DRose(hoping he comes back full strength)?
Most top-notch players opt out or exercise their early termination option because they want to sign a new long-term deal as soon as possible. They don’t want risk getting injured or having an off season in that final year on their contract. They’d rather sign a new deal and take the security that comes with that. It’s possible that they opt out and then re-sign with the same team, but I do expect most of those players to become free agents.
I see what you’re saying though. It’s tough to keep putting off the chance to be active during the offseason, especially when so many teams are doing the same thing. There are a lot of teams that are positioning themselves to be players in 2014 so the Bulls may be waiting and staying the course for nothing, if they can’t grab one of those star free agents.
As far as the trade market for the Bulls, I think Deng, Noah and Butler have a lot value around the league. Boozer has some value, but not a ton. He’ll be more valuable once he’s a $16,800,000 ending contract in 2014-15. The Bulls will do their due diligence and see what’s out there. Right now, it’s too early to tell who the Bulls could target.
Just watched the Cavs win the number 1 draft pick… Would the Cavs rather select or maybe package the pick with Varejao for a better Center since they were also looking at Oden. Irving, Waiters, Thompson, seem to be locks so you’d have to look at a C or SF right?
I’m sure the Cavaliers will consider every possible move. With that said, I don’t think anybody will want to move up and take the top pick off their hands this year. I think Cleveland will likely be the ones making that pick, and I think they’ll go with Nerlens Noel. Some mock drafts have them selecting Otto Porter since he feels the biggest need at small forward, but I think that’s reaching for Porter. Noel has the most potential of any player in this class and I think he has to be the pick.
With the #1 pick in the bag and a roster full of young players and cap space how do the cavs approach the offseason. Dan Gilbert wants the playoffs so I figure they will be aggressive right?
The Cavaliers will definitely be aggressive. They came into last season with playoff expectations. That obviously didn’t work out, but there’s no question that they’ll be pushing for a postseason berth next year. I expect them to be active in the draft as well as in free agency.
Who do you think will be a good fit in Indiana from draft? Tim Hardaway or Shane Larkin maybe?
I think Shane Larkin and Tim Hardaway Jr. would both be good picks. I think Reggie Bullock could be an intriguing pick as well since he could provide them with some outside shooting.
If DH12 comes to Houston. What does that mean to Asik? Off the bench player again. But he’s been great for the Rockets as a starter this season. Do you think he’ll get frustrated?
The Rockets may be able to flip him to another team. The Blazers have been searching for a defensive-minded center who can also rebound. Maybe they can work something out?
Who is most likely to trade for Mavericks pick?
If Magic pick Mclemore with the 2nd pick what is the future for Afflalo?
It’s too early to tell. As the draft gets closer, I’ll get an idea of which team is trying to trade up. Usually, those things start to come out once a team has fallen in love with a player and start making calls to acquire a pick.
If the Magic pick Ben McLemore with the second pick, Arron Afflalo would likely come off of the bench or be shopped.
Alex, what are your thoughts about the Magic picking Michael Carter-Williams at #2? I know the Magic had their heart set on Marcus Smart and they would like a larger PG to replace the Jameer Nelson era. Mclemore seems to be a good pick but what would they do with Aaron Afflalo?
At the combine, Michael Carter-Williams was saying that he thinks he could really help Orlando because he brings athleticism and length to the position, which they haven’t had with Jameer Nelson. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if Carter-Williams goes before Trey Burke. A lot of mock drafts have Burke going higher right now, but while I was in Chicago, I heard from a lot of executives who believe Carter-Williams will be the better pro.
Would the cavs be open to trading the 1st pick? They could give it to a team like the Pistons for a Andre Dummond or to the Jazz for big al?
Like I said, I’m sure they’ll weight their options, but I’m not sure there will be much interest around the league. At the combine, a lot of executives were joking that they didn’t want the top pick this year. It’s hard for me to imagine a team giving up assets for that pick.
If the Thunder had Russell this year could they have taken out the Heat? and what do they now to take the next step to championship?
I think they would’ve made it to the Finals, but I think they would’ve lost again. Miami is playing on another level right now.
They’ll have a chance to draft a significant contributor with the 12th pick. That’s a start. They could also try to add another piece or two in free agency. However, the biggest thing is that Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook must continue to develop and improve. The Thunder don’t need to add a bunch of new faces, they just need to continue making internal improvement and their time will come.
I know it’s early. What lottery teams do you see as most likely to be playoff squads next year?
Utah, Dallas, Philadelphia, Portland, Toronto and Minnesota have the best shots. I think Washington and Cleveland could be in the playoff hunt as well.
Hypothetical one. You win the lottery and 2013 Lebron James is coming into the league this year. You can draft him but when he plays for you he will not be allowed to take more than 4 dribbles or shoot from outside of 12 feet. Do you take him with the number one pick?
Who do I need to ask about the Mock draft selections? I’m curious about the rationale behind some of the picks like:
Oladipo to Bobcats (I don’t think having another offensively challenged or limited guy is smart, should go after Bennett)
Len to Twolves (is this under assumption Pek is gone? Like Love, I think they need a shooter)
2) Howard already hurt his popularity last year with his indecisiveness, surely he doesn’t plan on repeating that this summer with all these leaked stories about where he wants to play? I don’t think his Q rating can take it…
3) I hear neither are fond of it but if CP3 and D12 are serious about winning, teaming up in Atlanta with Horford makes the most sense, right?
1) Steve Kyler handles the site’s mock draft. Direct all of your questions to him. The only mock draft that I’m responsible for is my consensus mock draft that runs every week with my name above it.
2) Dwight Howard doesn’t want any stories to be leaked. He’s very frustrated that his name keeps ending up in the headlines.
3) Yes, that would be a scary team. You’re right though, neither seems very interested.
Hi Alex. Spurs are now 2-0 in this series. Any chance they blow it again?
Before the series, I picked the Memphis Grizzlies in six games. I’m sticking with it.
Why are the Cavs considering trading the #1 overall pick?
That happens every year. The top team always weighs their options and sees what they could get in return for the top pick. However, I’d be surprised if they traded it. Teams aren’t lining up for the chance to select first in this draft.
Look ive been a bobcat season ticket holder before (not the past 2 years)and i have suffered through every game on TV. Why should i care anymore about them? Its been frustrating situation after frustrating situation. Now MJ has gone and changed the name ruining my chance to continue to get cheap lower level seats to whatever game i want. Im sick and tired of drafting mediocre players only to let them walk when rookie deal ends. Talk me out of giving up on the NBA for the season and just watching Duke UNC and NCState next year and pick up right after next years draft lottery if they get a franchise changer
I don’t blame you for being frustrated. That’s a difficult situation and you have every right to be pissed. Hopefully they can bring in a head coach who can get the most out of these players and make a quality draft pick for once. Next year, things should get easier because, like you said, they could bring in a franchise changer like Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle, etc. Maybe you should spend the season scouting those guys.
So what’s the better option for the cavs, take Noel #1 or Porter @ 1, or maybe trade down to #3 and still get Porter and another asset. Honestly I think Porter would b better right away where Noel is more of a project. Also u couldn’t possibly play Noel and Thompson together offensively could u? Ultimately I trust Chris grant to get a good player with out caring what pick, I mean they did take Thompson and waiters who shocked everyone but both ultimately turned out pretty good.
I would take Nerlens Noel at No. 1. I just think taking Otto Porter at No. 1 would be a reach. Noel has more potential and I think he can become a very good player. I’m not sure that trading down will be an option because, like I’ve said, I don’t think there are many teams interested in trading up and taking the No. 1 pick off of Cleveland’s hands. I do think Noel and Thompson could play together.
I have faith that the Cavs will make a big splash in the next 2 years with the No.1 pick, Kyire and company, and the cap space they could do alot soon. they also have alot of cap space for the free agent frenzy in 2014. What do you think about them becoming a contender within the next 3-5 years?
It’s definitely possible. I’ve said time and time again that they have one of the brightest futures in the NBA. They have done an excellent job constructing that team and their time will come.
Now that the rockets will get d12, can they beat the thunder next year?
Will a aljefferson pau gasol tandem create a grindhouse in los angeles ala zbo n mark g.?
Whoa, that’s a big jump. Just because Dwight Howard is interested in the Houston Rockets doesn’t mean that they’re guaranteed to get him. He’s going to weigh all of his options and meet with teams before making a final decision. With that said, if he does pick Houston, I think they’ll become a contender in the West.
Hi Alex. Is Dwight Howard’s interest in Houston a negotiation tactic to get D’Antoni fired? As much as I’d love to see him team with Harden and the Lakers lose one of their poached superstars, this seems spurious to say the least.
No. Dwight Howard’s interest in Houston is him actually loving Houston and the idea of playing there. Trust me.
Do you think Howard will choose his team before the beginning of the signing period? If you had to put your money on it, where will he sign? If LA wants to keep him, should they accommodate him by firing D’Antoni?
No. He’s going to take his time and meet with teams. Don’t expect him to make a quick decision. The Lakers pushed him to make this process as quick as possible, but why should he do that? This is one of the biggest decisions of his life so he’s going to do his due diligence and carefully consider all of his options.
If I had to put my money on it, I’d say he signs with the Houston Rockets.
Firing Mike D’Antoni may be a start, but I’m still not sure that would be enough to keep him.
Any nba ready athletic dudes the lakers can snag in the second round? Can the clippz get ppierce when bought out or will he reunite with bff ray allen in miami?
James Ennis, Myck Kabongo, Nate Wolters and B.J. Young would all be good picks for the Lakers in the second round.
If the Celtics buyout Paul Pierce, I’m very curious to see where he’ll land. L.A. makes sense, but Miami may be tempting as well. We’ll see.
I have spurs in 5.
Lot of so called pundits are rooting for memphis, but i have a feeling that they want spurs to loose but deep down they know memphis will loose.
Why is that?
I don’t think that’s the case. Most pundits don’t root one way or the other.
I picked Memphis in six because I think the Grizzlies are the better team.
Is there going to be any more pick em?
It’s tough in the postseason because there are so few games. Each pickem round would only be a few games.
Who do you think would be options in the draft for the Utah Jazz?
The Jazz should select the best point guard available at No. 14. I think Trey Burke and Michael Carter-Williams will be gone at that point, so I think they should with Dennis Schroeder. I’m a big fan of his game and he could be their floor general of the future.
What do you think the Wizards should do with the 3rd pick? Who are the most likely free agent targets for the Wizards this off-season?
They’ll likely go with the best center or power forward at No. 3. They need size. Their dream scenario would be Nerlens Noel falling to them, but I think a more realistic outcome would be them picking Anthony Bennett or Alex Len.
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Golden State Warriors
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Los Angeles Lakers
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New York Knicks
Portland Trail Blazers
San Antonio Spurs
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