Welcome to NBA Chat with HOOPSWORLD Senior Writer Eric Pincus. I’ve got all the questions I can handle. Thanks for participating!
Eric covers the L.A. Lakers, Clippers and NBA at large.
Eric,I went to watch the Clippers I thought looked great but I think need still need to make a move or 2.I like Billups playing with Paul but they should also sign a real shooting guard as backup like Deshawn Stevenson.I also think they should get a backup center? I heard DeAndre gets into foul trouble easily.
A couple of days in the books – NBA back on – let’s chat:
Ryan – the Clippers have one of the best rebounders in the league mending from an ankle injury. He should be available soon to help on that end. LA will be smaller behind Blake/DeAndre but that’s what this team is. Barring someone truly worthwhile, they’ll hold. Team right now doesn’t have interest in another wing player.
Why cant we have Bynum?Is there any team we can get into talks with along with the lakers to possibly to bring Bynum to the Rockets or is D-Howard all the talking the lakers want to do?
The Lakers aren’t moving Bynum – unless they’re getting a top-5 player back. The target would be Howard.
HiEric! I appreciate your answer to my question on you last chat.. What are the chances of Gilbert Arenas playing for the Lakers? As much as I don’t like his attitude, the Lakers really need somebody to spell for Kobe; and Agent Zero should still have some gas left in his tank to light up the score boards. Plus the fact that he may be able to help us land Dwight Howard. I think that with someone of Kobe’s caliber in the team, Arenas’ off-court and locker room antics could be held in check. What’s your opinion?
The Lakers seem happy to develop Andrew Goudelock for now. As it is players like Matt Barnes and Jason Kapono aren’t in the rotation. The Lakers also want to work in Darius Morris. I don’t really see the fascination with Arenas. He’s not someone who, in my estimation, helps long-term.
Eric . . . Chauncey Billups amnesty is +2M is that for this year only or the remaining years of the contract?
There are no remaining years on the contract.
Let’s talk hypothetical, how good would the clippers be had they made the following moves:
1) Trade a second round pick to Miami for Dejaun Cook and the 17th pick which became Bledsoe (via Thunder)
2) Held on to Baron until this summer
3) Traded the #1 pick in 2011 draft to Phili along with Kaman for Holiday/Iguodala/Vucevic
4) Dealt Holiday/Minny 1st pick/baron davis(salary)/Aminu/and their 2012 first(they would still own it b/c they wouldn’t have dealt it for Bledsoe) for Chris Paul.
Far worse. And you’re assuming moves that weren’t available to the Clippers. Obsessing over a lost pick in 2011, a weak draft? When the team has Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups and Caron Butler? I don’t get it but I’ve found some Clipper fans who won’t let that go. I don’t get it.
During the Bulls game, the Lakers really surprised me on how scrappy they were and showed signs of being a focused defensive team in the future. Are the Lakers in any talks with anyone n hopes to add another player other than D12 or their sights are squarely focused on Howard?
Who in the league is an available franchise player? One that can truly make a significant difference over what LA already has? Chris Paul – oops. Dwight Howard, yes. Deron Williams? Perhaps. Not many. Lakers aren’t going to be chasing Luke Ridnour, y’know?
Hey Eric! Unfortunate loss for Lakers in the last seconds, but they showed great effort defensively after the half vs Chicago. Your thoughts on how they will be once Bynum returns and if there is any more word on personnel movement/acquisition?
Lakers will be a lot better with Bynum but still flawed. To a point, patience is the only answer. If the approach is title or fail, it’s going to be a painful stretch until LA gets the formula re-figured.
Eric . . .the Clippers need to deal Mo Williams ASAP and somehow get O.J. Mayo long term solution at the 2 spot (I would argue just as good as Eric Gorden)next to CP3 Billips back up both 1 and 2.
At this point the Clippers would rather have Mo Williams than O.J. Mayo.
After seeing the Clippers vs GSW its obvious that the Clippers need size. Would a Mo Williams to Sac. for Thompson/Hickison/Garcia?
Clippers aren’t going to get those three for Williams. If you want one, LA would rather keep Mo for now. Perhaps HIckson might be worth that given his upside. Thompson is a nice player but LA really likes the three-guard lineup (plus Randy Foye).
Do you think the Magic are waiting for Bynum’s suspension to be lifted? With Lopez out, how do you think the Magic proceed with the Dwight Howard situation?
That’s part of it. They’re also waiting to see if they have any chance to keep Howard – to see if Lopez can give them other options – to see if things don’t change somehow, in some way. The rush is Dwight’s not Orlando’s.
With the injury on Lopez, the Lakers clearly in front for Howard. When will the Lakers trade for Howard? To whom?
If there was a trade today, LA probably has the most viable package built around Bynume (with no Gasol) but the timeframe doesn’t appear to be until after All-Star Break, by then the Nets predict Lopez will be healthy although I have my doubts.
Will the Lakers be a solid team if they trade Pau and Bynum for Howard?
Eventually, sure. Right away, they’d be awfully thin. In a vacuum, you might say that deal makes sense but all factors need to be considered, including true market value for Howard based on what other teams are offering – and what Dwight is blocking by way of other suitors. It’s in Dwight’s best interest to be on his new team before the deadline so that he can opt out this summer and sign a new five-year deal. If he leaves for a team via free agency next summer, he’ll make some $25-30 million less. If the Magic think he won’t leave that money on the table, perhaps they gamble. If he wants a trade, he better make it clear to Orlando he’s going to Dallas or New Jersey for less unless they move him.
Bad start for the Lakers. Possible 0-3 when they play the Jazz. Any trade talks for the Lakers to improve the team?
Most teams are trying to get a feel for what they have before drastic changes come into play. I’m thinking LA has a real shot of starting 0-3 or worse even.
The Lakers shoots poorly behind the arc vs the Kings and they clearly have a problem on PG vs Bulls. Should the Lakers sign Arenas to address PG problem or Redd for 3pt shooting?
Arenas and Redd aren’t real solutions. The true answers take time either in player development or trades that can take months to execute.
Is the Ebanks on the starting lineup a good choice or they will be better with Barnes?
I like Ebanks there. His below average rebounding (so far) will be hidden once Bynum returns.
Why Darius Morris inactive? injured?
He’s just not in the rotation yet. Coach Brown is going with experience (Fisher/Blake) and is using the rookie Andrew Goudelock, already a player showing strong defensive instincts, rather than the more offensive-minded Morris.
Are the Lakers serious about keeping Derek Fisher as their point guard or are they just letting him embarrass himself so that he might retire on his own? Surely this team cannot be what they intend to field for the entire season.
Let’s say the Lakers make a rash move to replace Fisher but in doing so, harm their chances as players like Howard or Deron Williams? There’s a time to act and a time to prepare to act. Now it’s the latter.
what if miami gets kenyon martin after he comes back to usa….. can he be an impact in miami? or al jefferson is much needed in miami?
Martin may help some team (Miami, etc.) in the playoffs but he probably won’t be able to sign until March. Would he help? He’s a well-above average defender. I’d think so.
Every time phil jackson retires it leaves the team roster in shambles with no true point guard or player who can create their own shot (other than kobe) because the roster is tooled for a now defunct triangle offense.
Does the Laker front office realize this? Are there things in the works to improve the roster and save the season?
The issues have nothing to do with Phil Jackson – but rather the efforts made to chase (successfully) multiple titles. Obviously the Lakers know where they need to improve. But it’s like losing weight. If you’re at 300 and need to get to 200, you can’t just do it because you want to. Hacking off a limb would help in technical sound (poundage) but where does that leave you?
This season seems eerily like the season kobe demanded a trade. Do you see kobe demanding a trade if things do not start to click offensively and defensively?
Lakers seem to be playing in a haze. For stretches they seem lost while in smaller stretches they seems great defensively. How long before the team either implodes or starts getting mike brown’s system?
Brown hasn’t installed his system yet. I wrote over the summer that the Lakers were going to have a very difficult transition to start the season with short camp and midstream roster moves. Opening on a back-to-back-to-back? Time to step back and think a little more rationally about the situation. Losses can produce negative emotions for the fans (and the players) – all teams know this – but there are inevitable stretches where that can’t be helped.
Laker trade rumors seems to have dried up when the season started. Are the lakers still actively trying to trade for an upgrade at point and center (under secrecy – which is a good thing) or are they down for now?
As I mention, most teams aren’t making big moves until they see what their needs are. Two games isn’t enough data. In a typical season, it takes over 20 or more. How many moves typically happen in November/December vs. Jan/Feb? You’ll see historically more in the latter.
Kobe seems to be reverting back to the 1 on 5 kobe because he doesnt seem to trust his teammates and/or the new offense. Its leading to a lot of turnovers and bad shots. What point guards can the lakers realistically trade for that kobe will trust and defer ball handling duties to?
Problems all around on many levels. Mostly players don’t know yet – instinctually – what to do. That’s not going to happen for some time.
In your opinion should laker fans be worried about the current laker squad? A new system , new coach, trades that make zero sense other than cost cutting? Is this the kwame brown years again? Or are we laker fans jumping the gun?
Gun jumped. Not that there aren’t real concerns. I have Lakers in the 4-7 range this year.
My new years wish is that the Lakers acquire a top 5 point guard. Who is your top 5 point guards that the Lakers might be realistically able to get via trade?
Top five point guards? I’ll list six: Derek Rose, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Russell Westbrook, Steve Nash and Rajon Rondo. Rose, Paul and Westbrook cannot be had. Deron may end up on a new team after the season but is unlikely to be traded before then. New Jersey thinks they’ll be able to keep him – right or wrong.
Rondo was available for Paul and if you want to argue that he might be for Gasol? I’d say, doubt it. LA won’t do Bynum for Rondo. That leaves Nash who is nearing 40 but there’s a reasonable chance he not only doesn’t demand a trade – but that he re-signs to finish his career in Phoenix. He’s probably not worth Gasol given his age.
That’s your top five. So far Stephen Curry isn’t available either. At some point you get down the list to a player like Brandon Jennings and while he’s obviously better/younger than Fisher, what would it take to get him? He’s not enough value back for Gasol.
When the opportunities aren’t there – you save your bullets.
Hi Eric,Happy New Year and wishing you all the best.We have seen two games and while I would agree,the Chicago game was a give away.The Lakers played some very good defense in the second half,giving themselves a good chance to win that game.Last night game showed yet again the glaring need for a GUARD.A penetrating guard who can make plays for himself and others.Fisher can’t keep up with the speed at that position and Blake is not very consistent.Do you know if the Lakers are bringing in any guard help.Agent Zero would really be an upgrade at that position and he is still available.Your thoughts.Thanks!
Agreed on a lot of levels until you got to Agent Zero. Opportunity is the issue on the true fix. If I’m the Lakers, I’d be trying to develop Goudelock (and Morris) and wait to see if this core can make it work with Bynum/Gasol – until something REALLY worthwhile comes along.
what’s the risk at this point of starting morris at PG? can he be any less effective than fish or blake? whether he scores or not, as a ball handler and young with speed, he’s got to be as good as any of the lakers other options
Morris over-dribbles, needs to learn how to defend and prove that he can hit open shots. I’d like to see LA develop him but with so many other concerns, I understand why that’s not a priority.
Do you think the Cavs will trade Varajeo, Sessions or Jamison this year? Do you think we can get a 1st rounded for any of them?
I don’t see anyone giving up a valuable first for any of those players. I would say LA would consider something like their Dallas pick and a trade exception for Varejao, but is that the kind of move the Cavs want to make? Certainly they won’t deal their starting big man until they have decided playoffs are out and its’ better to develop some younger pieces. Two bigs LA can get for their Odom trade X – Varejao and Paul Millsap. The hard part is finding the right sweetener. I wouldn’t consider either players throwaways for their respective teams.
dear eric, the small market owners want me to share my revenues, then influenced a veto on a trade that would’ve brought more revenue to share with them. now my team looks old and slow. what should I do? thanks.
The veto was about reselling the Hornets, not stopping the Lakers. David Stern and the league needs the Lakers and their profit – so they can get their revenue sharing. It was unfortunately – and arguably an abuse of power in how it went down. At a minimum communication between Stern and the Hornets’ management was significantly flawed. The Lakers and Rockets took it on the chin and are scrambling to recover, but do you really think LA won’t find their way out of it?
Where do u see dwight howard landing? Lakers or Nets or Orlando?
If he’s trade during the season and Lopez isn’t healthy, I don’t see another destination that works other than Lakers. That said, Orlando may gamble he re-signs . . .
Can u help laker fans with the lakers thinking? Its obvious that they are seeking a premiere point guard (because of failed cp3 trade) but who else are they looking at? Common sense says deron williams but is he actually available?
If the Nets don’t get Dwight and are still in limbo? Williams may up and leave.
If dwight goes to the Nets or remains in orlando what will the Lakers next superstar target be?
Not an easy answer. Deron stands out as the next top player potentially available.
I noticed mcbob got injured last night. Whats his status and will he play tonight versus utah?
Supposedly he’s playing tonight.
Any truth to the milsap to the lakers rumors?
Do you have linkage to a real “rumor” other than what I’ve written multiple times that’s he’s an obvious trade x target for the Lakers given his salary and the Utah logjam in the front court.
i know its much too early to place value in the knicks adding jeremy lin, but i honestly feel that its a great fit for him. after seeing new york’s first game, they just did not look like a normal D’Antoni ran team with a smooth offense. i think Lin helps them and will get a legit chance to play with shumpert out for two weeks. your thoughts?
Lin may fit D’Antoni’s style.
is eric gordon looking like the best young shooting guard in the league right now? who would you consider to have that title? i’m only counting shooting guards, not combo guards either in their rookie deals or under 26.
He’s certainly one the best young two-guards. The Clippers did not want to let him go.
Assuming the Lakers probably won’t get Howard or Williams, do you see any way to upgrade this team?
Through the normal route – player development – trade acquisitions when the moment is right. There are rarely any shortcuts.
You correctly predicted the pau gasol trade, can you please give us your guess at what big trade is up next for the Lakers?
I see LA waiting out the Howard situation and looking closely at Deron – which is really what most of the league on some level will be doing. It’s not really complicated. How many “best’ players in the league are there and how many come up as available?
Is Pau Gasol still on the trading block? Who would they part with gasol for? A superstar pg or look to acquire multiple young talent for him?
I would look at Kevin Love although I know the Wolves want to retain him. I’d look at Deron Williams or Rajon Rondo – but I’m skeptical those two (or Love) become available for Pau who is now over 30.
if the lakers were offered monta ellis and andris biedrins for bynum and steve blake/luke walton, should they go for it? factoring in andrew bynum’s health history as well? can ellis succeed kobe as the lead guard for the lakers?
They won’t do that.
Are the lakers holding onto gasol for a specific reason? Is he the trading chip they believe will net them a all star point guard? Is bynum preset for a dwight howard trade?
Trading Gasol for pieces like Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, Goran Dragic and the like do nothing really for the Lakers long-term. Martin is overpaid, injury-prone and he’d be a backup to Kobe. Scola is over 30. Dragic is an average point guard. What’s the point on dealing Gasol for less when he’s still one of the best big men in the league?
Any truth to the report that kobe asked management to look into getting nate robinson and seeing if hes healthy?
I have heard no such thing. I’d be very skeptical.
Would the lakers consider getting steve nash or is he too old ?
Naturally depends on price.
Wouldn’t it be practical / realistic to project the Lakers to be worse off than they were a year ago?
They’ve lost two important rotational players, the greatest coach in the history of the game and Kobe is already banged up on top of the fact he continues to regress.
Eric, give me your sleeper picks that could be battling for an 8th spot in both the West and the East.
Denver, Golden State, Phoenix . . . I know it’s tempting to say Hornets or Wolves but I don’t buy it. I’m still going to say Rockets on the outside as well.
Have u trademarked “lobcity.com” yet? Because if u dont i will.
There was a report during the cp3 negotiations that the lakers offered gasol for several golden state warriors players
Was there any truth to that? Why would they do that? Were they trying to flip the gsw players to new orleans for paul?
Can they revist these talks? Perhaps for curry or ellis?
The Lakers wanted pieces like Steph Curry, Dorell Wright and just about everyone else they could ask for. That’s not happening and while some variation may be revisited, let’s see if Curry can stay healthy on that ankle first.
Is there a rift between Mike and Matt? He’s gone from starter to third in the lineup.
No rift whatsoever. Ebanks won the spot and Brown was clear that whoever was left out would be behind Metta and his minutes.
There have been some real questionable “charge” calls in the first few games of the season. Have the rules changed? What do you think of it?
The referees have new points of emphasis. I’m fine with it. The players will adjust – so will the officials.
Which will come first. Clippers winning a championship or Kobe playing with a legitimate PG?
with the magic needing a create your own shot scorer could they possibly got after mayo?
Mayo can play but I don’t see him as a game-changer.
What is your opinion of Reggie Evans? Can he guard centers? Do the Clippers still need to sign another backup center?
Evans is a better rebounder per minute that Blake Griffin. Defensively Reggie puts in a lot of effort but isn’t nearly as gifted on that end of the floor as some might think. LA’s defense will be a work in progress but few teams will be able to keep up with the Clippers’ scoring power.
The Lakers should be 2-0 right now. The point guard position is killing us. Any word form Mike Brown if he is still tinkering with the point guard spot or planning on staying with Fisher during crunch time?
I predicted the Lakers to start 0-5, I’ve since amended that to 1-4 with Bynum returning a game earlier.
Bigger surprise: KIngs or Lakers last night?
I wasn’t surprised at all by last night’s game. Not in the least. It went almost exactly as I expected – although I can’t say I would have thought World Peace was the reason LA had a shot to win.
Are players being being paid less this year b/c of the shortened schedule?
yes – they’re getting 80.5% of their salary (66/82).
Deandre Jordan plays awful defense the way I see it. Running around swatting at everything leaving the baxket unguarded and opponents unboxed for easy baskets. Blocks aren’t good defense when a high percentage result in points for the other team. Is there any hope of getting him to settle down and play some fundamental D?
Actually Jordan is a much, much improved overall defender. He certainly has a long way to go, but I don’t agree that he’s awful at all.
Gasol + Dallas pick for Jefferson & Devin Harris?
I haven’t thought of Harris as a true impact player for a number of years.
I watched Andre Drummond last week vs. Fairfield and I was amazed at his athleticism on the defensive end and in transition. Is there any way this guy isn’t the 1st pick taken in 2012 draft?
A lot of hype. I have yet to watch him play but I look forward to it.
I have heard a lot of hype around the Dallas Mavericks 0 – 2 start. But not so much on the Laker front (a team with the exact same record). Any reason to be concerned for Laker fans?
The Mavs getting blown out at home was a concern but I don’t pay much attention to a couple of early losses frankly.
the lakers have a more viable package around bynum with no gasol? wow!! who else they going to give up i dont think orlando wants anyone but those 2
It may not matter in the end what Orlando wants. If Howard leaves for Dallas or New Jersey in free agency, they get nothing. There’s no more incentive for a player to push for a sign and trade. The money is in getting a trade before the deadline, opting out and signing anew. Extensions pay less – so do extend and trades. When it comes down to it, if Howard makes it clear he’s leaving – then the Magic need to recoup on their asset, whatever they can.
Did I show the Clippers last night that I was the future? Did they make a huge mistake trading me away?
Any word on whether the Clippers were still looking at DJ Mbenga, or atleast another big to fill out their roster? And do you think Trey Thompkins could crack the Clippers rotation?
I like Mbenga personally from my time covering him with the Lakers. I’d love for LAC to sign him for my own reasons. BTW – LA is very high on Thompkins.
Is the Dallas 1st round pick, acquired in the LO trade, unprotected? Are there any other strings attached to it?
I believe it’s lottery protected. I expect Dallas to easily be a playoff team and thus see LA having two picks in next year’s draft – if they don’t move them first.
Lakers better rebuilding for future rather than a title this year like making a trade. As presently built no title in la? Yes or No.
The long-term future must be considered. If it was only about winning now, they wouldn’t have dealt Lamar.
Bynum key to present and future. If he plays well and stay healthy and dominate maybe lakers say they don’t need howard or magic really start to like bynum and may like the lakers trade better than nets. Your thoughts?
I don’t see Bynum ever becoming the player Howard is already. I like Drew. He’s talented and if healthy, a very good player. Just not Howard good.
I’m not opposed to the Clips keeping Mo Williams, but once
Bledsoe is back, Foye needs to go. Your thoughts??
How quickly does Bledsoe get healthy enough to play at his full level? I really think this is a throwaway season for Eric. If he’s up and at full strength before the trade deadline, then perhaps the Clippers think about some changes but I don’t anticipate much.
I don’t think fans are asking so much for a trade but we cant believe you and lakers coaches actually believe fisher is better than Morris or Blake? I’d like to hear that incredibly story you could tell to make me believe fisher should be out there instead of our other options…
Fisher right now is better than Morris and frankly after Game 1, I’d agree but after Game 2, Blake wasn’t quite as impressive.
How much do the Clippers appreciate getting Reggie Evans for veteran”s minimum?
They love the potential at the price.
Did title hopes really go out the window when they traded odom? You have the lakers 4-7. How much higher would you have them with odom? Thanks
With Odom, probably 2-4. That’s not a big enough difference frankly, considering with LO I didn’t see a clear #1 and favorite to win a title. If you’re not #1, does it matter that you’re #2 or #7 or #30? It depends on the goal and time-frames ahead. There’s no easy answer but if LA lands Howard and uses the Odom trade exception to fill in what they gave up to get him, wouldn’t a few difficult months be worth it – even if it cost the season?
Gasol, in his first year with the Lakers, didn’t lead to a ring but it did the next two season.
ok first off i been a huge fisher supporter… but i can’t support his lack of court vision and tripping on himself… at what point does addition by subtraction take place?… i rather see blake start and morris back him up…
At some point, there’s no question, the Lakers need to move on from Fisher. In the moment right now? There’s going to be a sizable learning curve with the rookie and Blake needs to show he can do more every night – not just once in a while. I liked Steve through the preseason. He has a chance to really take away Fisher’s minutes but that’s on Blake.
What are you thoughts of the Clippers picking up Keith “Kiko” Benson? He was just released by the Hawks. I think the Clips could use a back-up big. What are your thought?
Don’t know much about Benson, but you’re not the first person to ask that. Like I said, don’t see LAC making any other moves just yet but if things don’t progress as they hope (especially when Evans joins up), then we’ll see.
Although phil is a great and the best coach.. I was not totally against a coaching change. But I say considering the lockout and the cramped training camp and schedule. We really needed phil one more year. Your thoughts?
This was going to be a transition year, regardless. The Lakers true window was the year they lost in Boston followed by the two rings. Last year was one too many and I understand why LA stayed the course. Now with Phil or without, it’s time to think of the future. I would think given what it took for the Lakers (under Jerry West) to get Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe – through the rebuilding years and subsequent championships under Mitch Kupchak, the organization has earned a little bit of trust from the average fan (Jerry and Jim Buss inclusive). Apparently after two games, I’m finding that’s out the window for a number of folks.
Thanks everyone for participating. Fun chat. Quite Laker/Clipper heavy – more so than usual. Let’ s do it again next year . . .
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After a slow start to the season, the Memphis Grizzlies are remembering how to close out teams in the fourth quarter.
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