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!
I’m a frustrated Cavs fan and wondering if I should be. Cavs had a chance to pair Kyrie with JonasV and HarrisonB, instead of TristanT and Dion Waiters. Would they have been significantly further ahead had they gone that route and wouldn’t it have given them better ammunition for a move for LemarcusA.
Thanks for stopping by and submitting your questions. I’ll try to answer as many as I can over the next hour. Let’s get started.
I don’t think you should be worried. I like what the Cavaliers have done. You can’t blame them for passing on Jonas Valanciunas because there were a lot of questions about him and his future was up in the air due to his contract with Lietuvos Rytas. He’s looking good now, but the Cavaliers fell in love with Tristan Thompson because he had a great workout with them just before the draft and they rely heavily on advanced statistics and the numbers supported the pick. Thompson was rated as the third-best prospect in the class by people like ESPN’s John Hollinger and he projected to be one of the best big men in the league. Thompson was given a statistical rating of 16.21, which takes into account numbers, efficiency and potential. That number put him ahead of bigs like Greg Monroe (15.77), Chris Bosh (15.57) and Derrick Favors (15.51). In fact, his rating was higher than Kyrie Irving’s when he was going through the draft process (15.14). Thompson is still young and he’s looked great at times, so we’ll see if he lives up to that projection.
As far as Harrison Barnes goes, it’s not fair to compare him to Dion Waiters since they are in completely different situations. Barnes is a role player on a playoff team and he hasn’t been asked to nearly as much as Waiters has in his first season. And again, it’s too early to say the Cavs made the wrong choice, let’s wait to see how these players develop.
What up Alex,
In my opinion D12 will sign with the Lakers. Of all the teams: Houston, Dallas, or even Nets, they dont have a Championship type of player like a Kobe or Lebron, and as you know you need a clutch player who can take control of a game when needed. With that being said, what type of player can you insert with Kobe(assuming he’s at least 80%) and D12 that will give you results? Maybe a Iguodala, KLove, Bargani?
Dwight Howard is going to seriously consider all of his options. The Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Mavericks and Brooklyn Nets are the teams that will try to pry him out of Los Angeles. Howard will meet with teams and hear their pitch, and then he’ll make a decision. A few weeks ago, I said that I believe Howard will re-sign with the Lakers because of the extra $30 million and fifth year they can offer, but now I’m not so sure. Howard will definitely go shopping and see what else is out there. He may re-sign with the Lakers, but only if they have the best pitch and long-term plan.
As far as which player I think would work well with Howard, I have to go with Andre Iguodala. They are two of the best defensive players in the league, and Howard has expressed interest in playing with Iguodala in the past.
Hi Alex, Len went from 10th to 26th on Hoopsworld after his injury. How severe is it, and if you are PTLD (who needs a Center) do you take him (or too much risk and/or hope Meyers develops)?
The Consensus Mock Draft will go up soon and you’ll see that he dropped in my mock draft as well. Teams get worried when they see a big man with a stress fracture in his ankle. I like Len as a player, but this is a bad injury for a center to have. Very bad timing.
If I’m the Blazers, I stay away from an injured center. The fans don’t need anymore sidelined draft picks. I’d try to sign a free agent center instead.
What’s up Alex? I think I’m with Shaq. Dwight Howard has no real competition. He should be averaging about 30pts and 15 boards easy. Right?
Yeah, he has the potential to do it. He just has to be in the right situation and he needs to be completely healthy. I watched him dominate in Orlando for many years and there’s no question he can be a monster. He just needs to get healthy and be the alpha male.
should the magic draft noel if they get the 1st pick? mclemore is great but they can get wiggins or parker nxt draft, noel can be their center of the future since vuc best serve as a back-up..
Yes, I think they should take Nerlens Noel. As I’ve said before, they’re collecting assets at this point and Noel has the most upside of anyone in this draft. I’d take him and cross my fingers that he develops into a star.
Hey Kennedy, 3 questions:
1) Did Pau Gasol boost his stock at all in this last month when he played like a triple double player? I’d think the fact he was playing with D-League guards will let teams excuse his playoff performance.
2) Are you buying Lakers saying keeping Gasol is plan A or do you think it’s a smoke screen?
3)Why don’t any NBA websites have Paul George listed at his correct height of 6’10 despite this story (http://www.indystar.com/article/20111215/SPORTS04/112150368/Pacers-George-still-growing?nclick_check=1) coming out 2 years ago about him growing 2 inches over the summer?
1) Maybe. He at least showed that he could still be a very effective player. I was told that the Lakers were trying to increase his trade stock, so it’s no surprise that he went off. They let him play his game and put him in position to succeed. With that said, I think the fact that he’s an expiring contract will increase his stock more than anything. It’s much easier to justify acquiring him when his contract is ending than when it has multiple years left on it.
2) It depends. If Dwight Howard stays, I think they’ll shop him and see what kind of offers are out there. If Howard leaves, they may keep him so that they have at least one very good big man on the roster.
3) They don’t update the profiles very often. I’ve talked to Paul George about that in the past year and he may be even taller now. He told me that doctors had told him that he wasn’t done growing and that he could grow as tall as 7’0. He’s a freak of nature. Next time I see him, I need to bring a measuring tape and get his height.
Nate Robinson has been on a absolute tear this whole season….so with that said, Will the Bulls re-sign him? If so do they have the cap space to do so…..if not what other teams do you see going after him? Also, Kyle Korver is one of the best three point shooters in the league….How come he wasn’t selected to be in the three-point shootout contest this year during all-star weekend?
I’m not sure if the Bulls will re-sign him. I don’t think Robinson will get a huge offer from another team because there are a lot of executives who still worry about his immaturity. He has been much better this season, but I think Tom Thibodeau deserves a lot of credit for that. He has kept Robinson in check. With that said, I think some team will throw the mid-level exception at him. He has been great all season so he’s definitely earned a raise from the minimum deal he’s playing on this season.
Not sure on Korver. He may have turned it down. Some guys plan vacations during the All-Star break and don’t want to cancel plans and fly out just to participate in one event.
Hi Alex! I frequently read your chats which I think are fantastic! My question: in light of his recent playoff performances, is it far-fetched to think that Joakim Noah could be a genuine star at the center position? I’d like to know what you think his ceiling as a player is? I think he remains one of the most underrated players in the league: he plays superb defense, he barely ever takes shots he can’t make, he converts a respectable percentage of FTs at the charity stripe, and his rebounds per minute are comparable to Dwight Howard’s.
I’ve been so impressed with Joakim Noah. He’s a beast. That Game 7 performance against the Nets would’ve been incredible if he was completely healthy. Throw in the fact that he was hobbling up and down the court and it’s just amazing. He could definitely be a star. He’s one of the best big men in the league, in my opinion. When he entered the league, I viewed him as a role player, at best. I never thought he would develop into this kind of player. He has come a long way over the years. He’s great right now and I think he’ll continue to get better over the next few years.
If VDN is out in LA, do you see a new coach helping D. Jordan become a top tier center?
That’s a pretty tough task. DeAndre Jordan needs to keep working. I give him credit for the work he put in last summer, but he still has some developing to do before he can be considered a top-tier center. He needs to get better offensively, improve his free throw percentage and mature. A new coach could help him, but I think Jordan needs to keep working to get there.
Am I just being patriotic for thinking that Bogut will be the difference in this series? He can negate Duncan’s impact and allow Curry to go to work.
Bogut stays healthy (big if) and he’s an all star next yr…..yes or no???
Andrew Bogut will definitely be a difference maker in this series, just as was in the first round against the Nuggets. He’s coming up big for Golden State and they’ll need him to continue playing well inside if they want to pull off another upset. I’m not ready to predict an All-Star season for Bogut, but I will agree that when he’s stayed healthy, he has looked very good.
So far in this playoffs, i feel like Nate Robinson has had the biggest impact and nobody is talking about it…He had a jordan-esque performance against the nets(when he had the flu),and he led the bulls to a game 1 upset against the heat. Am i blowing this up, or is Nate not getting the credit he deserves??? and do you think his performance in the playoffs will guarentee him a big deal this offseason?
People have been talking about Nate’s play on Twitter a lot. I believe he was trending worldwide during each of the performances you mentioned. He’s getting a lot of attention. I’ll have an article on Nate in the next few days so I’ll give him some more credit. In the article, I’ll discuss his future and what he may get in free agency.
So George Karl won his firt coach of the year. How long will it take to get him fired?
I think the Nuggets front office loves George. He may be the coach that breaks the trend.
Is it possible for Chris Paul to sign with the team of his choice for 1 or 2 year contract thats less than his market value, say like he signs for the MLE just so he can sign with the team he wants to play for and how would that affect his future salary and contract options?
He could, but no player would do that. What if he signs a one-year deal for the mid-level exception and has a career-ending injury? He just lost $100 million. It’s the same reason players almost always opt out of the final year of their contract to secure a new long-term deal when they have a player option or early termination option. It’s the smart thing to do.
why did lakers trade Marc Gasol to Pau he is more athletic than her older brother and cheap salary ? he is the nba defensive player of the year ? 2008 draft for lakers not making sense … not a good decision for kuptchak to trade haha
At the time, the Grizzlies were killed for that trade. Marc Gasol was extremely raw back then. Nobody thought he would turn into the player that he is today. Go back and read the articles about that trade. Or better yet, watch this video. Also, the Lakers got two championships out of it.
What did you think lakers will do to their draft pick ? they must not to trade it they need a Point Guard or Small forward that can fill worldpeace lacking on the floor
Too early to tell. They haven’t even worked anyone out yet. I like Nate Wolters to the Lakers though.
One ham and cheese sandwich, tater tots, and a coke please.
Coming right up.
With Del Negro most likely out, who do you think will be the next coach? I don’t know if Sterling will open up his wallet for a top tier coach. Can you see any scenario in which CP3 leaves LA?
He better open his wallet for a top-tier coach if he wants Chris Paul to stay. Donald Sterling needs to spend some money if he wants his team to contend.
I’m guessing that NBA players can’t restructure their contracts like they do in the NFL, but what about players that have an early termination option? For example, could the Mavericks make Shawn Marion a handshake deal (opt out of your $9.3M salary for next year and we’ll sign you for 2 yrs/$12M or 3 yrs/$15M)?
Players can’t restructure their contracts, but they can opt out and sign a multi-year contract with the same team. Richard Jefferson did this a few years ago with the San Antonio Spurs, opting out of a $15.2 million salary to sign a four-year, $38.8 million contract. Teams aren’t supposed to do handshake deals with players or agents, but it happens.
Alex, did you see much of Sullinger this year? Prior to his back flaring up, he looked like a rebounding machine, the type of glue player that every great team needs. What do you think his ceiling is and whom would you compare him to? I’m thinking maybe a smarter Boozer or more offensive Dale Davis.
I’m a big fan of Sullinger. If he can stay healthy, he could develop into a very good player. His health is the big question. I like the Carlos Boozer comparison. In fact, last year, in our draft capsule we compared him to Boozer as well.
Do you see the Jazz turning things over to the young guys (Hayward, Favors, Kanter, Burks, + two draft picks)? Which free agents, including Utah’s own, makes sense this off-season?
Yes, I think they’ll hand over the reins to the young players. I’ve heard that they may target O.J. Mayo this summer. We’ll see.
I’ve read lately that Orlando should try to acquire Bledsoe from the Clips. While that would be great, I didn’t expect ORL to look to FA or trades for a couple more years. Do you think we could swing that without giving up our young pieces?
Easier said than done. While he would be perfect for the Magic, there are a lot of teams that want him. The Clippers aren’t ready to move him either. They won’t deal him until they have Chris Paul locked up. They don’t want to go from having two starting caliber points to zero because they traded Bledsoe and lost Paul to free agency.
If Orlando is able to draft Noel, could he and Vucevic be used together in the lineup?
I think they complement each other well. If Maurice Harkless works on his ballhandling and outside shot this summer, maybe he’ll be able to move to shooting guard. I’ll catch up with Moe soon when he gets to IMG in Bradenton. That’s where he’ll be doing his offseason training. A lineup of Jameer Nelson, Maurice Harkless, Tobias Harris, Nerlens Noel and Nikola Vucevic would be nice.
You mentioned yesterday that D-Rose might suit up for game 3. Is he going to play? If he is not planning to play in game 3, why suit up?
I was told by a source familiar with the situation that Derrick Rose may suit up for Game 3. Like I said in the article, it hasn’t been confirmed or decided, but it’s a possibility. If he suits up, I would be surprised if he didn’t at least play limited minutes. We’ll see what happens. The Bulls could certainly use him with how beat up they are.
After these first two games, who do you see winning the knicks-pacers series, and why?
Entering the series, I picked the Knicks in seven and I’m sticking with it. Since I think it’ll come down to Game 7 in New York, I’m taking the Knicks. Even after that impressive Game 1 showing, I still have my doubts about the Pacers on the road.
Iman Shumpert had the same injury (severity unknown) as Derrick Rose only 1 or 2 days after Rose went down, but right now Shumpert is playing pretty well, which included a vicious head level tomahawk dunk. With the Bulls still not including Rose out, do you think he plays tonight?
He’s not playing tonight. He has already been ruled out. He may suit up for Game 3, as I wrote here.
who do you think Charlotte should take/will take if they get the #1 pick?
Hey Alex – with J.R.’s recent struggles is it now a lot more likely he stays with the Knicks (since he has probably NOT priced himself out of the Knicks range)?
Yeah, if he had a huge postseason he may have priced himself out of the Knicks’ range, but that clearly hasn’t happened. I think his free agency will play out a lot like last summer. I can’t see teams throwing a lot of money at him or giving him a long-term deal.
Whats the story with lotto piick Jonny Flynn? Where do you see him playing next year?
Not sure. He was with the Pistons during this year’s preseason, but he got cut and landed overseas with the Melbourne Tigers of the Australian National Basketball League. He’ll likely try to return to the NBA this year, but we’ll see if he can stick with a team.
Any chance Nate could end up in Portland as Lillards backup? Portland needs bench scoring and someone who can give Lillard some rest.
Makes sense. He could definitely provide scoring off of the bench and we all know Portland’s second unit could definitely use some help. The Blazers will definitely have the money to sign him if they’re interested.
Thanks for all of the questions. I’ll be back next Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET. Have a great week!
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Golden State Warriors
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Los Angeles Lakers
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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