Welcome to NBA Chat with HOOPSWORLD Senior Writer Eric Pincus. Ive’ got all the questions I can handle. Thanks for the the tremendous turn-out!
Eric covers the L.A. Lakers, Clippers and NBA at large.
If Bynum returns healthy and Kobe falls out of this rhythm of hot and cold shooting nights through the rest of the season, how far do you think the Lakers will go this season? I am a die-hard lakers fan but I am realistic in knowing that Lakers are nowhere on the same level as OKC, CHI, or MIA, but I still am hoping for a 17th banner being raised in Staples Center at the beginning of next season
Playoffs are coming! Today we chat:
Hudson, the Lakers have a lot of potential this year. I could see them beating any team in the West. I wouldn’t necessarily favor them over the Thunder. The Spurs are difficult. The Grizzlies may be the worst matchup. The Lakers give up a lot of leads and have minimal depth but their starting five is so strong, I have to consider them a second-level contender.
Interested in your take on Harrison Barnes. What sort of player could he become in the NBA? Is Glenn Robinson a good comparison?
I’ll be honest, as I always am, to say that I don’t really watch a lot of NCAA. Once a player hits the NBA radar I start to take notice, and have a bit with the tourney and guys like Barnes making their way in. I almost see him as an O.J. Mayo, not in style of play, but a very heralded NCAA player who comes into the league and makes an impact but not a clear, dominant one. Now Mayo is solid – and Barnes has greater upside, naturally since he hasn’t played and thus has no NBA ceiling yet. Let’s wait and see, I look at Robinson as a straight up scorer – first, second and third. I think Barnes can/will do more in the NBA than just be as scorer.
1. Has Ramon Sessions 3-point shooting ability surprised you? Do you think he can maintain this level of accuracy. Seems like he is very comfortable taking that shot when the defense gives it to him.
2. Do you think the Lakers bring back Jordan Hill next year to give him a better look or is he gone after this season?
3. Do you think the Lakers bring back Ebanks next year if both Meta and Barnes return? I think the situation with Meta (return/amnestied) could go either way depending how things go in the playoffs for Meta and the Lakers.
Sessions spent much of the offseason working on his three-point shot. He was hitting a solid percentage in Cleveland and has been far better from deep with the Lakers than I expected. Seeing a player improve is a good sign. Many have potential but few get truly better over time.
I don’t expect Hill back but he could be a cheaper option for depth. I don’t see Ebanks back.
Just read the article about the 5 most likely players to get traded this summer. Why isn’t a Josh Smith for Pau Gasol trade perfect for both teams? The hawks know Smith wants to be moved and if they played gasol at center they could play their other all star Al Horford at his normal PF position. Teague, Hinrich, Johnson, Horford, and Gasol as a starting lineup could do some damage. Why isn’t this a guaranteed thing?
I look at the math. The Hawks aren’t likely to be a tax team moving forward. If they have $20 mil invested in Joe Johnson, $13.2 million in Al Horford, $8.3 million in Marvin Williams and $5.2 million in Zaza Pachulia (the team’s bigger salaries), I’m not sure Pau Gasol at $19 million is feasible. Find a home for Marvin too? Perhaps. Would the Lakers take on an expiring Williams? I’m not sure they do but this is offseason talk – a bit premature.
Brown should be fired asap as he makes a mess of the lakers rotation. Ebsnks and goudelock went from regular rotation players to dnp-coach’s decision.time is running out for his experiments. With so many good coaches around like adelman Why brown?
Actually I don’t see Ebanks as an impact player. He’s improved his shot but doesn’t give anything else noticeable – no rebounds, assists, blocks, steals, etc. I had expected Ebanks to be a strong defender but both the Phil Jackson and Mike Brown set of coaches haven’t seen it from Devin.
Goudelock is similar. He’s not ready yet for major minutes. He can shoot and hit his floater but hasn’t hit a very high percentage and doesn’t do anything else and is undersized to play two-guard.
In a lengthier season Andrew might have gotten more time to find a role but now with playoffs in a few weeks, Brown has chosen to tighten the rotation in anticipation of the playoffs. If I were the coach, I’d do the same thing. I’d be playing the veterans who are flawed but better suited for what’s to come.
Thoughts on Pistons future with Knight, Stuckey and Monroe? Who will be the most important piece?
I actually like the Piston’s trio. Monroe is really solid. Knight will grow into his game and Stuckey has had a very solid year. The problem is the rest of the roster and all the bloated, unnecessary salaries (Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva and even Tayshaun Prince who was overpaid to stay). It’s just going to take some time for the Pistons to get out of their deals and add better pieces. I don’t see it as a one-year fix but I like the starting point with those three.
What do you think MB letting Blake play even he is a garbage?
I give players respect. I would never refer to someone like that really in any area of life. That’s just me.
Blake has not had a good year – or a good two years with the Lakers. Still, it’s a GM issue. Mitch Kupchak didn’t provide Brown with a better backup but he certainly upgraded the starting position with Sessions.
Steve can play the game but in darker times, the worst thing a coach can do when he has no suitable replacement is just give up on a player. I like how Brown has managed Blake. He’s given him more time. He’s let him try and find his game, often with mediocre results – but Mike stuck with him.
Blake was a big reason LA won the other day. He’s showing signs and finding spots where he can help the team. Goudelock, Morris and Ebanks aren’t ready to contribute. Kupchak didn’t add anyone else – so it’s better to give Steve 20-25 mpg so that in the postseason the Lakers can get a solid 15-20 out of him as needed.
Hey Eric. Do you think the Clippers can still overtake the Lakers in the standings, despite losing the season series to them?
The question is Kobe’s shin injury which has kept him out a couple of games. I still have the Lakers finishing ahead of the Clippers, probably by a game or even tied. The Clippers have a heavier schedule and they’ll need to overcome a lot to pass the Lakers.
Is Mike Brown decision that Devin Ebanks filling the spot of injured Kobe Bryant is justifiable enough?
Who among the Lakers bench will benefit the absence of their superstar guard? Who do you think? Thanks Eric in answering my previous one.
I mean, slim-pickings. The Lakers don’t have a bench so when a player like Kobe Bryant is out – not much there. I would like to see Goudelock get a chance but then equally if there’s a moment for Ebanks to show something we haven’t seen, it’s now. So far through two games he’s just confirmed what I’d already figured – he improved his shot but that’s all he has to offer right now. I did like how he scrapped for a loose ball at the start of the game against the Hornets. That’s the kind of effort the team needs to see. Otherwise with Ebanks, if he’s not hitting a shot – I’m not sure how else he’s contributing.
Why does Mike Brown refuse to play Goudelock, even when Kobe is out. I don’t get it. Also, any chance of picking up Rasheed for depth in the front court for the playoffs?
Rasheed was looked at as a possible addition if the Lakers moved Pau Gasol at the deadline and needed depth. That moment has passed. Goudelock is undersized at two as I mentioned and isn’t a point guard by any stretch. I still think long-term Drew can be a contributor in this league and even on the Lakers. In theory you’d want to have someone like Shaun Livingston as a reserve with height behind Sessions which could allow for a smaller two like G-Lock.
Hi Eric, if the Mavericks are done with Odom, why did they not release him? Do they really feel that they’ll be able to trade him after the season?
Why release him? To what end? Why reduce flexibility and take a $2.4 million cap hit on next year’s books when there’s always the chance of something more? Odom is a valuable trade asset given his salary his much, much larger than what’s guaranteed.
So if the Jazz get 2 draft picks, do you try and trade both + Milsap and Harris for Rondo or just draft a PG and SG or SF, and build them and let Milsap or Jefferson walk after next season?
That’s a lot to give up for Rondo – two firsts, Millsap and Harris? I’d use the picks and try to make a less-costly trade. This draft is very 3/4 heavy – so maybe Utah can land a small forward but depending where they pick, you can argue its expendable. I’m not sure if that’s enough for Boston in active players. The pick(s) would have to be stellar.
hello again. i asked previously about why blake is playing the minutes he is while goudlock is playin zip zero. you explained coach cant give up on steve and damage his confidence and than goudlock is more a shooting guard. okay. but why now has coach decided to continue to play glock ZERO minutes with the absence of kobe? i feel bad for glock.
It’s not about feeling happy or sad for a player. Goudelock is a rookie and in the scheme of things, a raw one who has a lot to learn before he’s a ready to be major rotation player. This is actually normal for a regular season it’s just a little more glaring with the shortened schedule. Brown has to get ready for playoffs a little earlier than usual.
who in this draft will fit best with cousins and thornton for the kings??
As I mentioned, I’m not really an NCAA guy until I have to be – normally in May and mostly in June I’ll do a lot more research and have something concrete to offer.
paul george package deal for tyreke evans package deal?? kings get young sf to play with thornton and cousins and pacers get sg
I’m pretty sure the Pacers like George’s upside. We’ll see what comes . . .
Hi Eric, Do you think the Raptors should do a major revamp w/ their scouting dept.?
DeRozan, will never be an All Star. He doesn’t play physical. As for Ed Davis, they should have picked G Hayward. I would rather have Hansborough, who plays hard and better off/def. Just wasted picks one after the other.
I’m curious to see what Jonas Valanciunas looks like next year with whoever the Raptors draft. I’m not impressed with what Toronto has done in recent years. This is a key moment for the franchise to land some key building blocks.
Jason Kapono is the latest in a long line (Terry Teagle, George McCloud, Glen Rice, Vladimir Radmanovic) of “pure shooters” the Lakers have brought in who haven’t panned out; given that this is a preTriangle phenomenon, is it just coincidence or something else? West & Kupchak are tops at judging talent-just mistakes-e.g. not signing Novak-or something else(Novak would, for some reason not be as good with LA).
The Lakers have also been short on monster rebounding power forwards-with Shaq not so much an issue-but wondered whether this was a deliberate decision not to have such players, and why? Thanks for your time and insights.
Perhaps it’s a reflection of Dr. Buss and his quirks. Obviously if the Lakers have Shaq/Kobe for a lengthy period, there’s not a lot of money available for a four. Gasol is one of the best power forwards of the last few years though. As far as shooters? You’d think with the size inside and the attention Kobe draws, it’d be paradise for an open shooter but these so-called aces have yet to make an impact with the Lakers.
It is indeed a curiosity.
Tyreke doesn’t look like the franchise player he was suppose to be his rookie year..my question is how can Boston get a player like him …how would he look paired up with rondo?
It’s very hard for me to anticipate where the Kings go from here. It really is. I’m not sure what Boston would have to offer for Tyreke though . . .
Can the decimated Jazz make the playoffs or do they get to spend the lotto pick?
It’s going to be hard for the Jazz to make it, especially with injury. I still think they should play for it and try, even if that means a lower lottery pick. Realistically we’re talking 13? 14? Unless you think they win the lottery against incredible odds.
I hope you still take Lamar Odom questions. What team would be going after him in the offseason. I see Golden State as a possibility since they can use Dlee at C.Anyways, what is the problem with him?
This is really on Odom. If he is fully dedicated to the sport, he’ll have a chance to play for a team – possibly even a playoff contender. The Warriors make some sense but we’re a long-way off from that. Let’s look at how things restructure around the draft, who wins the title and what the Mavericks do with his final year (likely buy him out for the $2.4 million stipulated in his contract).
Just a fun question if you had to decide between a player with great offense and avg defense or a player with great defense and avg offense which would you choose?
A team needs a few “great” offensive players to win. Beyond that, give me defenders.
What type of player does Tyrek Evans need to play with to reach his full potential? Is he a ball handler or SG or SF or does he need pass first or shoot first PG.
Evans can still be a point guard. He’d actually fit into the triangle well with a little work on his jumper. In the right situation, Evans can still be a major player. I just don’t think Sacramento is it for him.
Andrew Bynum has ONLY played 50, 65, and 54 games in each of the three previous seasons to this one. During those exact same seasons, Dwight Howard has played 79, 82, and 78 games while winning the Defensive Player of the Year award each time. Yet some disillusioned LA fans still believe they shouldn’t trade for Howard as Bynum is almost as good and not half the headache.Is this argument based on serious Laker goggles or can one legitimately make an argument for Bynum over Howard?
Bynum is a better offensive player when is comes to post moves, etc. Howard is sturdier and a better defender. Andrew’s rebounding has climbed significantly and the gap has shrunk. Also, a number of people are turned off by how Howard is dealing with his contract situation – but then a lot of people bothered by Drew’s attitude as well. I would argue in most cases you go Howard over Bynum.
What teams, in your opinion, would be the best first round match ups for the Clippers?
The Bobcats? I actually like the Clippers against Dallas probably more than most.
Your the GM! The 76ers fail to make the playoffs after starting the season so hot…so now what? What 3 things do you do with the team now in the lottery to contend next year?
I’m not sure where the Sixers go from here after a great first half and a positively mediocre second. There’s always the possibility of amnesty (Elton Brand) and cap room although I’m not sure ownership will sign off on playing Elton not to play. That’s a lot of money. Andre Iguodala has had an All-Star season – is it time to move him on – or are the Sixers just a big away from being a contender? Honestly there’s a lot of ways you can go with this re: Philly.
Eric, Steve Blake is driving me nuts! Save for last night, it seems everytime he goes in the game we loose the lead. The opposition isolates him defensively and scores everytime. He can’t buy a shot either. If you were the coach, should he still be playing? Couldn’t Morris do better.
No, at this point Morris is far worse. Give Darius some time but no.
Should I be looking for a new team next year? I feel the amnesty clause tightening around my neck.
Blake or Metta could end up the Lakers’ amnesty. There’s still a lot to be decided and it’s almost always better to try and trade a player rather than pay them as a cut.
Have I earned myself more playing time?
Not in my eyes.
What could I do next year to make this Laker team better?
Wait, Jerry Sloan? I’m confused. I’m thinking Mike Brown is back next year.
Hey Eric, Do you think Nick Young will be able to pull out of this slump and become a valuable asset for the Clippers.
Young is a scoring option off the bench. He’s been solid – not great – but good enough. The Clippers have played very well since he’s been on the team especially with Mo out. It’s about team wins not necessarily individual glory.
Hi Eric. What is your prediction for how the Lakers will do in the playoffs if they land the 3rd seed, vs. if they drop to 4 or 5?
Here’s my take on all 16 teams who I expect to seed – Lakers #3 (http://www.hoopsworld.com/nba-2-predicting-the-final-16).
What was I thinking?
That was one of my favorite NBA moments this year.
In retrospect, would you have done the deal featuring Gasol to the Rockets for Scola, Martin, and Dragic? We could have really bolstered our bench?
Economically I didn’t like that deal at all for the Lakers. Dragic has proven to be better than thought, so that changes the complexion some – but no way was LA taking on all that salary.
Not suggesting the Clippers tank, far from it. But, your article on seedings predicts the Clips will get #5…meeting the Grizzlies (at #4) without home court advantage. Do you think that would be better for the Clips than a #6 seed, thus meeting the Lakers (or Griz) in Rd 1 without home court. How important do you see home court for the Clips in Rd 1?
If I’m the Clippers I try to win every game possible to try and get home court in the first round. If it doesn’t work out, so be it – regardless of final matchups.
Don’t quite know what to make of MWP and his chances of returning next year, but I know there will be hard, cold business decisions made this summer. Expect Sessions to opt out. Lakers may consider trading a dollar (Gasol) for two half-dollars. Productive off season would include some combo of Beasley, Lin, G. Green, Hinrich. Your thoughts?
I expect Sessions to opt out and re-sign. Gasol could stick around in theory, especially if the team wins the title, but economically there’s a lot of pressure for the Lakers to come off his salary. Peace or Blake could be amnestied. That’s not yet clear. Lin isn’t coming. I don’t like Hinrich for the Lakers anymore unless he’s a cheap option in free agency. I wouldn’t want to see LA spend it’s $3 million Mini-MLE on Hinrich. Beasley is possible but he may get more than that elsewhere. Let’s hit the offseason a little harder as it nears. Too many variables today.
I enjoyed the Final 16 article. The Lakers are risking loses while getting Kobe healthy. Are they more concerned with West matchups, or the small chance of home court advantage against the East?
The Lakers would like to keep the three seed and maintain home court for as long as possible. Kobe is resting because he’s hurt. The shin thing is improving but it’s not just a day or two off for Bryant.
where will ersan ilyasova rank in this years free agent power forwards?What will be his salary?
It’s a relatively thin free agent class. I haven’t ranked the players yet but Ilyasova could end up in the $7-8 million range. It’s a little tricky projecting salaries given the new CBA. Team are still adjusting to it. Ersan can play. He’d be a nice addition to a team with a more dominant low-post scorer.
Why has there been limited growth in the area of offense skills for Deandre Jordan this year?
DeAndre is DeAndre. The team knew what they were getting. He has minimal skill offensively and there are so many scorers on the team, it’s not like they’re going to suddenly go to him nightly as a key piece inside.
How do u feel about Jerry Sloan as the next Clippers coach? Think there’s any chance of it?
I haven’t asked around re: future options for the Clippers. I have to think that if they don’t retain Vinny Del Negro that Sloan is at least discussed. He’s not a young coach, so it wouldn’t be a long-term move but maybe something implemented to “win now.” I’m going to say – I doubt it but anything is possible.
Hi Eric, As a loyal Raptor Fan, it seems DeRozan, and Ed Davis, were wasted picks. I see them both as average players w/ no all-star potential. Gordon Hayward, was a better pick and as for Davis, his offense is a big suspect.Just very bad scouting.
I like DeRozan. He’s limited in some aspects naturally but can still contribute. The Raptors need a combination of health and talent – they haven’t had enough of both this year.
Not feeling Del Negros 3 guard sets with our current corp of guards…i think we are a lock-down-2/3-defender who-can-shoot-the-3 away from serious contention…any ideas on who is available this summer who might fit the criteria?
The Clippers have a lot of math to sort through when free agency hits. Does Mo Williams opt out? If he doesn’t it changes their flexibility under the tax. How about Chauncey Billups? Randy Foye? Kenyon Martin? Reggie Evans? I actually like Brandon Rush as a role player on a team like the Clippers – defends and hits the three. It’s still too early to guess moving forward where LAC goes in free agency.
Do you agree, that OKC is the best team right now? They have a nice combination of defense and offense on the court, dont see any team, that can beat them in a best of seven series.
I would argue they’re best in the West and potentially best overall. They still need to prove it and like any team – the Thunder have weak spots. The question is can they overcome them in a series against the best teams (Spurs, HEAT, Bulls – even Lakers)?
Could a trade of Marcus thornton, Francisco Garcia/John Salmons for Danny Granger work for both the Pacers and Kings?
I don’t see Indiana going there.
Is there any indication of how the players feel about Kuester?
He’s a very strong assistant – likeable. He had a bad run in Detroit but it’s not like he had a lot to work with.
why all this tyreke evans trade talk?…if anyone who do you see as better fit then him in sac>>only his third season and still better then most nba guys
From my experience when a team struggles, at some point the fans want to see players go. Evans has tapered off from his rookie year and I think that’s where the Sac fans are.
Lakers should look at the Free Agents and get Delonte West for the mini-MLE, and Lamar Odom for the Veteran Minimum.
Do you agree?
Gasol for Derrick Williams and Beasley and you get these rotations:
Sessions 34 D.West 14
Kobe 34 Beasley 14
Beasley 20 Barnes 28
D.Williams 28 Odom 20
Bynum 34 Milicic (or McRoberts) 14
Can’t do Odom until December. I don’t expect a trade like that with the Wolves but I won’t say it’s not impossible on some level. I wouldn’t give that much to Delonte. I like his game but he just always seems to have random injuries.
Conspiracy theory:Lakers trade Odom to Dallas and Fish to OKC to help destroy team chemistry for both teams for the playoffs. Already at work in Dallas and OKC sliding below SAS.
Uh, yeah – some real X-Files black-oil subterfuge.
How’s it going Eric? What is your true opinion on Mike Brown? It’s easy to say he’s a new coach and it takes time to understand his players and find a rotation that fits, but this is LA. We as fans have a hard time waiting for situations like these to be fixed. I’ve been patient all year for this guy to figure out his team, yet he seems to look lost during games. How hard is it to call one timeout to stop the momentum of the opposing team? We all know basketball rides on momentum and the best way to contain a team is to minimize those stretches throughout the game. Instead of calling a simple timeout, he thinks he’s phil jackson and allows his team to play it out. The old laker team a few years ago could do this ONLY because of veterans like fish and kobe who know phil’s system as good as he does. Bringing in a new system takes time to learn therefore he can’t afford to allow these teams back into the game like he has throughout this whole season. Another complaint I have about him is the lack of adjustments How about change up the defense for a play or two just to throw the other team off? Its little things that he can adjust to doing that will benefit this team. This is just a few things that were on my mind. I’m doubtful in his coaching abilities. Thank God we have Kobe!
That was a long question. I almost didn’t use it it was so long! Mike is a good coach – maybe a very good coach – yet to to prove he’s an elite coach. He has a very easygoing nature and welcomes other people’s opinions. Some take that as a sign of weakness – but it can also be a sign of strength. I’m not going to judge him midseason. I don’t care about the ups and down and battles, etc. I want to judge on result – playoffs, etc.
Also, you really can’t say enough about the limited practice time for a coach putting in a new system both offensively and defensively – with a very thin roster. It’s just not realistic.
The Lakers have the best record in the league for teams who underwent major change. Is that only talent and Mike has nothing to do with it? In other words, when they win it was all players – but when they lose all coach and Steve Blake?
I’m not sold yet on Brown but I’m absolutely not ready to discount him either.
Who’s more likely to upset the Lakers in the playoffs in your mind? And the Clippers as well.
Grizzlies are the toughest against either in the first round.
Do you believe that the Clippers have been running more smoothly with the injury to Mo Williams? Once Mo comes back, do you believe that VDN will run Mo with Nick Young as the 2nd unit and leave Foye in the starting line up?
I like the rotation without Mo Williams. I think he looks for his own shot too much, plays at a different pace than the rest of the team and isn’t a strong enough defender. We’ll see how VDN adjusts to his return. Eric Bledsoe has finally rounded into playing shape after offseason knee surgery and has proven to be a better fit than Williams.
Do the players really disrespect Brown? of is it mostly a media issue?
I would say Andrew Bynum is having some respect issues with Brown. Coming after Phil Jackson, I’m not sure the players have ultimate confidence yet in what they’re doing. A lot of that comes from the lack of symbiosis that regular practice brings.
If L.A. chooses to go in a different direction than Mike Brown, what do you think about Larry Brown or Nate McMillan?
Nate is a strong coach. I’m not sure Larry Brown is the right play at this point (going with your assumption).
This will have to do for the week. Thanks again for participating!
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Select a Team
Golden State Warriors
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The Phoenix Suns are going through a full-scale rebuild after finishing the season as the last place team in the Western Conference.
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