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!
Is Kobe signing an extension this summer or he will sign a new 3 yr deal after his current contract expires? the new contract is in the range of 3 year, 60 million, player option in last year?
What’s up everyone? Thanks for stopping by and submitting your questions. Let’s get started.
Kobe Bryant’s contract will expire after the season and then he’ll be a free agent. He has already said that he’s not going to take a significant paycut (something that Dirk Nowitzki offered to do so that the Dallas Mavericks could sign other stars), so it’ll be interesting to see how his contract negotiations with the Lakers play out. They obviously want to keep him and I think he wants to stay, but they’ll have to find a number that works for both parties. I’m sure he’ll have no trouble finding a lucrative offer from another team in order to raise the price too. It won’t be anywhere near his last contract, but I’m sure it’ll be a nice deal. It really depends how Kobe looks coming back from injury too. If he struggles and isn’t the same player, that will obviously affect his value on the free agent market. We’ll see what happens, it should be interesting to watch.
Who do you believe will have more regular season wins next year and why: Minnesota Timberwolves or Portland Trail Blazers
That’s really tough. I think both teams will be in the playoff hunt in the Western Conference and I have them finishing right next to each other in the standings. Right now, I would probably go with the Portland Trail Blazers, but just barely. I love the moves that Portland made this summer. I think they filled a lot of the holes that we evident last season by bringing in bench scorers (Mo Williams and C.J. McCollum), shooters (Dorell Wright and Allen Crabbe) and interior help (Robin Lopez and Thomas Robinson). Minnesota will be very good too if they can stay healthy and, like I said, I have these teams neck and neck, but I’d say the Blazers are slightly ahead in my mind.
Do you think that Moe Harkless and Tobias will develop into say a Paul George or Carmelo and what about Nikola vucevich and Victor Oladipo do you think that the Magic will try to get Wiggins Parker Randle or Smart next year and then sign some marquee free agent or wait one more season draft another lottery pick and then try to get a pg like Kyrie or Damian Lillard?
I think Maurice Harkless and Tobias Harris have very high ceilings. I see why the comparisons to Paul George and Carmelo Anthony make sense, but I never like to put superstar expectations on young guys like that. I do think that Harkless and Harris could become very good players though. I really like their game, and they are both great guys who have a good head on their shoulders. They also have an excellent work ethic, which is one of the most important factors in determining how good a player will be. Both of these players want to be great – they want to learn, they want more responsibilities, they want the ball in their hands and they want to reach their full potential. I’m excited to see how they develop over the next few years because their future is very bright.
Nikola Vucevic has a lot of potential as well and he really surprised me last year on the offensive end and on the glass. He needs to get better defensively, but the talent and upside is there. Victor Oladipo can be special too. He has all of the tools to be great and he can dominate on both ends of the floor. It’ll be interesting to see how he fits with this group.
The Magic are going to play their young guys and then if that leads to Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle or Marcus Smart, that’s great. I’m writing the NBA PM today about the Andrew Wiggins sweepstakes, and the Magic will be mentioned in there. As far as going after marquee free agents, that’s way down the road. I don’t even think the front office has thought that far ahead. They’re focused on developing these players and then maybe looking ahead to next summer.
How good do you think the Nets will be? and do you see Deron Williams being a top 3 pg and the 20ppg 10 apg player he was in Utah?
The Nets can be scary good if all of their pieces come together. As I said in Monday’s NBA PM, there aren’t many teams that can say every member of their starting five and their sixth man have played in an All-Star game. I’m curious to see how Jason Kidd will manage all of the stars on that team. I do think his relationship with Deron Williams will help him, and it’ll be good for Deron too. With all of the talent around Williams this season, it’s definitely possible that he has a huge season and reminds people why he was once in the debate for best point guard in the game. I’m excited to watch this Nets team play and find out how good they can be. They may be able to challenge Miami and Indiana.
Why do you think Magic didnt offer the 76ers a contract like Afflalo Glen Davis and Den/Ny pick next year for Jrue Holiday ? He is only 22-23 and he couldve been our pg for the future?
Why would the Sixers do that? The reason they were willing to part ways with Jrue Holiday is because they were able to land Nerlens Noel and a top-five protected pick in next year’s loaded draft. They wouldn’t have traded Holiday for a fringe first-rounder and a bad contract. It would’ve been amazing for the Magic, but horrible for the Sixers.
What kind of coach should one expect out of brett b. of the sixers? is it correct to say that one can expect that his coaching style is similar (if not identical) to greg p. of san antonio and/or mike b. of atlanta? if not, how do their coaching styles differ from one another? thanks for your time!
From everything I’ve heard, Brett Brown is going to be a very good coach in this league. He’s obviously going to lose some games early on since the 76ers are clearly rebuilding around their young nucleus, but he’s someone who the players will respect. He can be intense, but he’s also very personable and he has a lot of energy. I think the Mike Budenholzer comparison is fair. I’m curious to see how both of these coaches fare in the coming years, because they’ve been talked about for awhile. I think this is a very good hire for Sam Hinkie, who is already doing an excellent job for the Sixers.
Chances that Danny Granger is a Pacers for the whole 2013-14 season?
That’s tough. I wouldn’t be surprised either way – if the Pacers trade him or keep him.
If he plays well and shows that he’s healthy but doesn’t fit alongside Paul George and their core, they may look to move him. At that point, he would actually have some value, especially since he’s a big expiring contract and next year’s free agent class is pretty talented. That wouldn’t shock me at all.
However, I could also see them keeping him for the entire season and seeing how far they can go with him on the roster. Then, they could let him become a free agent and give that money to Paul George and Lance Stephenson. The Pacers have made it clear that they can’t pay the luxury tax, so letting Granger come off the books and then using that money elsewhere may make the most sense. If they do trade Granger, don’t expect them to take back any long-term contracts because they have to lock up George and, likely, Stephenson.
How do you think George Hill will go in his 2nd full season as starting PG? More improvements on the way?
Definitely. Continuity and chemistry is very important, especially for a point guard. I think he’ll show improvement in his second full season as the Pacers’ starting point guard, especially since he’ll have the same core around him plus a few more weapons at his disposal (Danny Granger, Luis Scola, Chris Copeland, etc.) He just turned 27 years old so he’s right in his prime. I’m looking forward to seeing what he and the Pacers do this year.
Hey Alex! I appreciate the time you take to answer all the questions you do every week. As a Toronto fan and in light of the recent ESPN season rankings showing the Raptors finishing 10th in the east, would Micheal Beasley be the kind of diamond in the rough signing Masai would look to make? Do you think he would be better suited as a 4 instead of a three? Could he have the same kind of impact for the Raptors that Blatche had for the Nets? Perhaps a chance to get his career back on track in a low pressure environment? Your thoughts? Thanks so much and keep up the great work!
Thanks for submitting the questions and reading! I appreciate it. That’s a very good question. I can’t see Masai Ujiri and the Toronto Raptors taking that chance. At some point, Michael Beasley may be able to salvage his career like Andray Blatche did with the Brooklyn Nets, but I don’t know if a team like the Raptors will give him that chance. Toronto wants to take the next step and make the playoffs this season, so bringing in Beasley would be risky. He hasn’t been very productive on the court and has been described as a team cancer in the locker room, not to mention the off-court incidents that are distractions and bad for the organization. I see what you’re saying, but I wouldn’t make that move and I can’t see Ujiri doing it either.
The Clippers have made some great moves this off season but I worry about the front court. DJ can’t be played much in the 4th quarter and we don’t have much in the way of back ups at the 4 and 5. What do you think??
You’re right, that’s the big concern with the Clippers. They have the star power, depth and coach, and they can beat you in a variety of ways. However, they still have that area of concern down low. They really need DeAndre Jordan to take a significant step forward if they want to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy. That, or they need Byron Mullens to blow up and surprise everyone. I definitely agree with you, I’m worried about that frontcourt too.
What do you see from the Bulls this year and can they survive with no real back-up Center and having Noah play 40 mins a game??
I’m really high on the Bulls entering the 2013-14 season. If Derrick Rose returns, they’ll be back in contention. This is the same team that finished with a better record than the Miami HEAT just two seasons ago, and they have an even better supporting cast now with Jimmy Butler, Mike Dunleavy Jr., Kirk Hinrich and an older Taj Gibson playing alongside Rose, Joakim Noah, Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer. If Rose can return to form, this team will be scary.
I’m not worried about their depth behind Noah. Tom Thibodeau is going to play him a ton of minutes, and then if Nazr Mohammed isn’t getting it done, there are always bigs available during the season (just look at Chris Andersen and Kenyon Martin last season).
How big of a force do you think the Knicks will be this year?
I have them finishing somewhere in the East’s top five alongside the Miami HEAT, Indiana Pacers, Brooklyn Nets and Chicago Bulls. I like the moves that they made, particularly bringing in Tim Hardaway Jr., Metta World Peace and Beno Udrih, and I think Iman Shumpert is going to have a breakout year. However, I’m still not sure if they have enough to come out of the East. Miami and Indiana seem to be the top-tier teams, with Brooklyn, Chicago and New York right below them. It’s possible that the Nets, Bulls and/or Knicks could jump up to that top tier, but I need to see it first.
Do you see the Rockets making any trades to acquire a PF any time this off-season? Does Morey stand pat and wait to trade for another all star?
I’m not sure if Daryl Morey knows that he’s allowed to stand pat at the trade deadline. Take a look at this list of Morey’s transactions. The man likes to wheel and deal. Now that the Rockets have their core in place and are hoping to become a contender in the West, it’s possible that they don’t mix things up in the middle of the season. Then again, I could see them flipping Jeremy Lin, Omer Asik or other assets in order to upgrade at power forward or point guard. Morey may have something up his sleeve, we’ll see.
Who do you think will see most of the time at backup PG for the Grizz and do you think Tayshaun Prince will remain the starter?
As of right now, it seems like the primary backup would be Jerryd Bayless or Tony Wroten, but I won’t be surprised if they sign a veteran. They were pursuing Mo Williams and Beno Udrih before those guys signed elsewhere, and they may still be pursuing a veteran point guard on the free agent market. There are still some notable names such as Sebastian Telfair, Rodrigue Beaubois, Delonte West, A.J. Price, Chris Duhon, etc. And yes, I think Tayshaun Prince will remain the starter.
Do you think the Cleveland Cavaliers will make the playoffs? Do you think Kyrie will stay in Cleveland after this season?
They’ll certainly be in the mix. I just submitted my predictions to USA TODAY and I had Cleveland making the playoffs. I think Kyrie Irving will continue to show why he’s one of the best point guards in the league, Dion Waiters will make improvements and Anderson Varejao/Andrew Bynum will be one of the best frontcourts in the league if they can stay healthy. Jarrett Jack and Earl Clark will greatly improve their bench too. Cleveland will surprise a lot of people this season, in my opinion.
Irving doesn’t really have a choice. Even if he wants to leave Cleveland, he has a team option for next season and then he’ll either sign an extension or become a restricted free agent, in which case Cleveland would match any offer he receives. The only way he could leave the Cavaliers is if he didn’t sign an extension and signed for the one-year qualifying offer of $9,191,949. Then, he’d be able to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2015-16 season. I would be stunned if that happened. He’ll be in Cleveland for awhile. I don’t know if he’ll stay there his whole career, but they should be able to lock him up for the near future.
I see the Lakers not making the playoffs and and winning a high pick in the draft and i see Lebron opting out and going back to Cleveland with Kyrie Irving…mark my words..
Definitely possible. However, I don’t think the Lakers’ pick will be that high. I mean, it’s tough to imagine them not winning more games than teams like Charlotte, Orlando, Phoenix, Sacramento, Utah and Philadelphia. They still have Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol among others. It may be a lottery pick, but I don’t think it’ll be a high pick.
Lots of chatter on the Pistons. Some say they will finish out of the playoffs. Others as high as 4 or the 5th seed. Where do you think they will land?
I have the Pistons making the playoffs as the eighth seed.
Indiana gets their best scorer (before Paul George emerged), add capable shooters in Copeland, Watson, and bring in a former starter in Scola off the bench as well. I think this team has a serious shot to win a title. Thoughts?
I completely agree. I’ve said a few times recently that this may be the year that the Pacers finally get past the HEAT and win it all. That team is going to be very good. I can’t wait to see them play.
Thanks for all of the questions! If I missed you, make sure you to come back next Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET. Have a great week!
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
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