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.
The Jazz have been up and down, as you would expect with a young team.
Where do you see their play?
Playoffs or ping-pong balls?
Time once again to chat! Playoff races starting to narrow. Let’s dig in:
I still think the Jazz have a very real chance to make the playoffs. The trick is getting through that home and home against the Spurs – and beating the Suns (twice) and Rockets when they meet again (going off memory but I think have that right).
This is a sold team with some young parts. They could certainly use a lottery pick but if you’re 14 or if you’re 16 but make the playoffs? Gotta go playoffs.
Hi Eric. Based on what he said in the interview on the Dan Patrick show, Is Steve Nash ready to leave Phoenix to join a contender this summer?
The comment by Nash was – he won’t say if they don’t improve – but that he expects them to improve. I think Steve will look at the options but I would not be shocked at all if he re-signs in Phoenix.
After watching Bynum’s antics the past few weeks. I have to believe the Lakers will have only two starters left next season. Kobe and Ramon. I really believe this team has no chemistry. The bench is horrible and it seems like the team is not buying into what Coach Brown has to sell.They can barely compete with the scrubs in the NBA. Your Thoughts?
Hmm, a petulant young star who doesn’t necessarily mesh with his teammates and doesn’t listen to the coach . . . I remember when that was Kobe. I wouldn’t overstate things – Lakers though flawed are a top five team right now in the NBA.
Yo eric just wana thank u for being one of the guys who answers alot of questions! Anyways,is the bynum im the man and i dont care attitude done or we shall expect more of those? Can brown control the manchild? Thanks man
Andrew is putting up career numbers. He’s an All-Star. The Lakers are winning more than most teams. Certainly Bynum needs to mature. I don’t think there’s any doubt he’s made some questionable choices. Then again – speeding tickets and illegal parking aren’t exactly felonies. Bynum certainly cares about what he’s doing – he just has a different approach to it than many. The way he expresses it needs a little work. He’s got a little Chris Kaman honesty in him which can hurt more than help.
With the beating the lakers got from the thunder is there any game plan u think they shoUld do to beat them? The uprise of the thunder in the last game started when the second unit played. I dont thin metta barnes n blake should all play together at the same time.whats your take? And is the big kid bynum injured again?
The Lakers fell apart against the Thunder but it’s one game. I’m not going to over-think it. I know that the Lakers can win some games against the Thunder in a series. I’m just not sure they can win four. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to see because I expect that to be great basketball.
Can mike dunlevy jr be a laker next season? He kinda plays like odom with a better outside shot. And do u think mitch would address the bench woes this off season? But before that how far do u predict the clipz n lakers be on this years playoffs
Dunleavy would have been a great triangle fit but now I’m not sure. He’d help off the bench as a shooter and glue player but there’s something to be said for the rugged toughness LA has at the three. He’s someone to think about but remember the Lakers have minimal spending power. I could see both LA teams getting to the second round. Beyond that we’re going to have to see more than what we’ve seen to think WCF.
Sup Eric. Can the LAL get Beasley off the free agency this summer? And sign Odom for min. vet. if Dallas won’t give him a contract. What would be the scenario?
Odom can’t be signed by the Lakers, even if bought out by the Mavericks. Because of the new rules, he can’t be signed by LA until mid-December (never mind that they won’t go there anyway). As far as Beasley, unless there’s a sign and trade with the Wolves, the most LA can offer him is $3 million a season. If he’s interest, then sure.
Who would the Lakers likely to sign this summer? Who will be gone?
It’s far too early to anticipate free agency but I could see LA retaining Matt Barnes at the right price. There’s a reasonable chance that Ramon Sessions opts out. Naturally he’d be a priority. I’m skeptical that Jordan Hill returns. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if Troy Murphy was retained for cheap. Darius Morris will be restricted and I could see him back for another look as well.
What aboout Jason Kidd to Miami next year? I think they need a guy like that.
He’s older and slower but he’s still Jason Kidd.
Have you noticed that every time PaulP steps in against LBJ he looks foraward to overmach him and apart from their last 2 games every time LBJ steps against IND he destroys Granger? Weird, ha
Different players play each other differently. We’re talking different body types and styles of play.
1. Who do you think in the Clippers are going to be amnestied for the next season?? Is there a possibility for the LA Clippers that they will entertain offers regarding Chris Paul next season?
2. Is Josh McRoberts a good substitute if Bynum injury will be aggregate? How the Lakers affect their bid to the playoffs in terms of their rotation?
If the Clippers were to use amnesty, it’d be on Ryan Gomes. I don’t anticipate the Clippers shopping Paul. They intend to keep him long-term.
McRoberts is a hustle player. I’m not sure how skilled he is. Short-term it looks like Troy Murphy gets the start over McRoberts if Bynum is out with his sprained ankle.
I’m not worried much about the Lakers’ rotation yet. I see Mike Brown as a coach still searching for the right combinations. Given there’s no real practice time at all this season, he has to see what things look like in game situations.
As a Bobcats fan, I am definitely intrigued by what Anthony Davis brings to the table defensively. His instincts are off the charts. However, his offensive game definitely leaves something to be desired. My question is this, is Davis more of a Ben Wallace big man where offense will never be a major part of his game. Or do you see him developing an offensive game as he continues to adjust to his body? I mean 6 points in the National Championship? SIX points? Just seems to me that the Bobcats would have redundant players is Anthony Davis and Bismack Biyombo.
He’ll be a better offensive force that Ben Wallace. You’re going to be fine with Davis if he comes. He’s a tremendous talent and games are won on the defensive end far more than offensive anyway.
So Durant had another bad shooting night last night in a big game…looks like Spurs will finish 1st out West but with the way the media makes it seem you’d think OKC was the automatic 1st seed. Please remind me what makes durant better than a kevin love or tony parker or even russell westbrook outside of the fact the media has anointed him this year’s nba golden boy.
Durant is tremendous. I’m not concerned about what others have to say about him. I can only write from my perspective. Like any player, he has flaws in his game but he’s a relentless scorer – and that in and of itself – places him amongst the best in the league. What Love is doing this year? You can argue there’s no one putting up better numbers. The Spurs and Parker are doing it as well and as usual, they fly under the radar. That’s just the Spurs and their personality.
We’ll see come playoffs if San Antonio can get past teams like the Grizzlies, but they play the Thunder well.
Do the Lakers have any assets worth packaging with Ramon Sessions over the summer to go after Goran Dragic? If it was even agreeable for both sides to do so, would it be a significant upgrade over Sessions?
Dragic is a free agent. No, there’s no reason to go for Dragic over keeping Sessions.
Bynum goes down with the ankle injury and Pau proves he can still put up the all star level numbers. If Pau kept the numbers up for the rest of the year, is it enough to boost hiss stock to the point that the Lakers can get an All Star in return for Pau this summer or is Mitch and Jim just shopping for parts to fill in all the holes in LA LA Land??
It becomes a matter of economics with Pau. If he’s your third option, can you pay $44 million for your top two and then pay Gasol $19 million? The new CBA all but says “No you can’t.” The Lakers may be able to get away with it a little bit longer but when summer hits, and unless the Lakers win the title, I could see Gasol back on the block. LA would want back a younger power forward on a rookie contract with tremendous potential. They’d also like depth. I look forward to seeing what happens but obviously now the focus is on winning now with this group.
I Jus read what durant said about westbrook, let’s face it this duo is great but I don’t think it will win them a championshipunless westbrook decides to get everyone involved. My question is let’s say they to become champions and durant is finals MVP….will this build an even more tension between the two since westbrook believes he’s better?
I believe the Westbrook/Durant issue is overblown. The Thunder are a team built around three scorers (with Harden off the bench). Both Russell and Kevin have to pour it on to work and sometimes, when the defense is loading up Durant, that has to be Westbrook. I like the Thunder as they are and think they have a real, real chance to win a title this year.
Fact or Fiction: Clippers will be a top four team by season’s end and have home court advantage in the first round.
I have the Clippers projected as fourth in the West after the Thunder, Spurs and Lakers. They have a real chance to catch the Lakers. The Grizzlies below are a threat, which could drop LAC to fifth. Wednesday night LA vs. LA is a big one.
What date can the Lakers begin to trade players for future draft picks in the 2012 draft or trade players for players that have been picked up in the draft ???
The Lakers can start trading the moment they’re out of the playoffs. Usually the deals don’t get triggered until closer to the draft itself.
EP, the Lakers need some reliable scoring from their bench to have a chance in the playoffs. Any chance they pick up any free agents? Why didn’t they pick up Arenas? It seems the risk would be very little if it did not work out.
What’s Arenas doing in Memphis? The Lakers don’t have a lot of bench scoring but then they’ve never (over current run) had a lot of bench scoring, even when they were winning titles. I don’t see any free agent answers right now.
I’m a big Lakers fan but I don’t think they have enough to win a championship this year. What do you think they can realistically do (if anything) over the summer to put themselves in contention next year?
The Lakers are actually pretty close to title contention if healthy. They’re maybe an outside shooter who can slash a bit (a better Matt Barnes) away – and a solid reserve guard behind Sessions/Kobe. We’ll see if LA tinkers or makes major changes because of economics this summer.
Who do you see the Clippers trying to bring back next year out of the players that are only signed through the end of this season.
I could see the Clippers looking at a player like Ray Allen but if that doesn’t happen, there could be interest in Randy Foye, Chauncey Billups, Reggie Evans, Nick Young, Kenyon Martin and even Bobby Simmons. Martin has an interesting personality, I’m not sure yet if he fits long term. I don’t see how LA can pay for everyone so it may come down to whether or not Mo Williams opts out and leaves, which would free up a lot of spending power under the tax.
I know you keep tweeting that Clippers are stabilizing and I also find it interesting that the Clips are doing so well without Mo but do you see the Clips eventually catching and then eventually passing the Lakers for 3rd in the West?
And Memphis beating OKC, you see that as a bad day for OKC or a good preview for a playoff series between the two?
And last question, you think these LeBron not showing up in the 4th quarter jokes are getting old?
The Grizzlies are going to be tough for anyone this postseason. They’re not always consistent but they are well built. As I mentioned, I still have the Lakers finishing ahead of the Clippers but that may all come down to who wins Wednesday night.
Where do you think Deron Williams will end up next year? I’m thinking he will end up in Dallas or even Portland could be an option? Your thoughts ….
I’ve thought Dallas for some time now.
Deron’s comments make it seem he already has one foot out the door. Is him going to Dallas a done deal?
I don’t like the concept of a “done deal.” There are no done deals until there really is done deal. So many things can get in the way from injuries to trades to whatever. There’s a good chance the Mavericks, with a max slot, are able to sign Deron Williams. I would argue they’re the favorite but I don’t think it’s worth over-stating anything.
I keep hearing how much the Clippers are missing Billups leadership on the court. Does CP3 not bring that leadership by himself?
I realize he does not have a ring like Billups but He has been on Olympic Team and on All-Star team etc.
A team needs more than one decision-maker/leader. Defenses can load up, wall-off, etc. At some point the ball is going to get out of Paul’s hands – and that person needs to make the right choice. Otherwise it’s Chris trying to do too much, playing right into the hands of the defensive schemes. Sometimes his talent alone is enough but long-term the Clippers need the right people on the floor alongside him. It seems like they’re finding a groove right now with Mo Williams out. We’ll see if that holds.
What do you see happening to Tyreke Evans this summer? Why is he playing Small Forward and what position should he be playing. Will the Kings go after a PG, SG or Small forward in free agency or the draft?
5’8 PG, 6’4 Shooting Guard and 6’5 small forward is way to small for the kings.
Boy is it hard to figure out where, what, who and how with the Kings. It really is.
Ever since Mo’s injury the Clippers are playing better. Was Mo the problem in the Clippers recent struggles
No but I put some of my thoughts into it this afternoon: NBA @ 2: Clippers Winning Without Williams
Hi, in your opinion, what could the Lakers do in this offseason with Artest and Pau, trade Pau and amnesty Artest? and what it would be possible to get for Pau, thanks
I touched on this earlier re: Pau. It becomes about adding depth to the roster with more economically appropriate pieces in the new CBA. As far as Artest, there may not be much trade value for Metta if the team isn’t willing to take back ugly contracts in his place. Amnesty is a real option he’s preparing for. Equally, if Peace still finds ways to contribute this postseason and Steve Blake struggles, perhaps the amnesty hammer swings the other way.
the spurs have made small moves but the right one’s to better their team for a playoff run, how far do you see them going assuming everyone’s healthy?
The Spurs always have a real chance to win the title when healthy. The problem the last few years has been staying healthy when it matters most. I’m not sure this is the best Spurs team we’ve seen over the past decade-plus but they have some real potential.
I saw an article about available free agents out there currently including Posey and (??? Bulls SG from last year??).
Are these type of players washed up? Seems like they could have added depth to a contender…..
I think you mean Rasual Butler . . . I’m not sure they have enough to offer at this point. Posey may have more because he was a very strong defender in his day, but I haven’t seen him for some time re: conditioning, etc.
Eric, I haven’t seen much written about it. But, it was quite obvious that Andrew Bynum was “dogging it” before he injured his ankle. Reminds me of the days when Kobe would intentionally not shoot. What is going on with Bynum?
I don’t see Bynum as dogging it. He was focusing more on his offensive game than defense, which is an issue and a balancing act for a young kid. From my perspective, Bynum has been told what he needs to do since he came into the league at 17. Now that he’s an All-Star and making a name for himself in the league, I feel like we’re seeing a defiance from him as he’s spreading his wings, etc. Let’s not overlook where the Lakers sit in the standings. How much is real emergency and how much is just business as usual during a standard Laker season?
I’m bummed out about the Blazers. It all fell apart this year.
What type of player could they get, possibly, with two lottery picks?
Maybe Rondo? Anyone else might want to trade a star for good draft picks?
I’m not really worried about the Blazers. They have a lot of nice components. LaMarcus Aldridge is one of the best forwards in the league. The team has cap room, picks, etc. There’s a lot of possibilities ahead. This year has been a letdown, without question. Let’s see what the team can come up with over the summer.
Hey Eric, help me understand something. Why do they say ‘he puts up good numbers on a bad team’ like it doesn’t mean as much. If you’re the one good player on a team, don’t you draw the defense and become it’s focus, therefore it’s harder to score/rebound? For example, if everyone knows Kevin Love is the #1 person to score and rebound for the Twolves, they double him and box him out like crazy because they’re not very worried about everyone else. If you’re Miami, the defense has to focus on DWade, Lebron, Bosh, etc. Shouldn’t someone get more credit, not less, for being a good player on a bad team?
To a point, but then in a game where you’re losing by 15-20 most of the way, are you really facing doubles at that point? You end up seeing a lot of garbage time where the stars are going against second-line defenders, etc.
how do you like answering the same question over and over
I don’t mind answering questions, there are certainly repeat from week to week. I figure that not everyone read it the first time so it’s news to them if they’re still asking . . .
If you were coach Brown would you play goudelock over Blake? and why?
The problem is that Goudelock is not a point guard. While he was able to get some points off the dribble and even run some pick and rolls a bit for Troy Murphy, really Goudelock is a two-guard. The question I see is – can Mike Brown get G-Lock some more minutes to rest Kobe? That’s a piece I feel is missing. As far as Blake behind Sessions, I don’t see a better option for the Lakers (not G-Lock). If Mike Brown can get a solid 15 mpg from Blake in the playoffs cause he plays him a shaky 25 mpg now? That’s probably worth it. Give up on Steve now? Get nothing later with who in his stead?
Hi Eric, can you please explain the difference between buying out a player and waiving him. I don’t understand how Boris Diaw can be bought out but J.J. Hickson is waived. What is the best course of action for a team?
Both were bought out and waived. A team may waive a player and pay them their full salary, which would technically not be a buy-out. Often if, in the case of Diaw, a player will reduce their contract from say $9 mil to $7.5 million (estimating) and then get to go play for a playoff team like the Spurs? That is good for the player and now the Bobcats would have saved $1.5 million which is a decent return. I’m not sure how much Hickson gave back to the Kings but he gave some.
There has been a lot made about Lamar and Derek leaving this year and there was speculation that Kobe wants them back next year. Its hard for me to believe the Lakers bringing back Derek as it would cause the same problem they avoided by trading him after getting sessions. But I could see Lamar coming back for our mini exception as our backup big. He wants to be in LA and he burned all the bridges with the Clippers. Thoughts?
The Lakers have moved on – organizationally – whether Kobe has or hasn’t. I don’t expect the Lakers to even consider either for a return.
I’m worried KMart is not happy with his minutes and role. This was apparent during the Blazers game. When pulled to allow Blake back in, he yelled something (couldn’t make out if it was a four letter word), body language clearly showed how upset he was, and didn’t even turn his head to look at any of the coaches as he passed them headed to the bench. It looks like Bobby Simmons and Tre Tompkins were his sounding board which allowed him to vent a little and maintain composure. What’s your vibe coming from KMart? Do you think he returns next year if the Clippers could afford him?
If there’s someone who the Clippers don’t bring back, I can imagine it’d be Martin with his surly personality. I haven’t really heard anything concrete to say he’s out definitively but that’s the sense I get after this year.
Good that u are giving a glimmer of hope to bynum. I as a fan is almost on the verge of giving up. But reading your comment made me feel i guess he just needs to mature. More power to the lake show. Win or not. Lakers all the way
As I noted earlier, Kobe had some legitimate maturity issues to deal with as well as he went from a bench player to All-Star to starter, etc.
Given your answer to Pete earlier, do you see the Nuggets packaging together Faried and other strong pieces in a move for Gasol?
I can’t see any reason for the Nuggets to move out of a nice, young, cheap player like Faried to take on the heavy contract on Gasol. I’ve been wrong before but I don’t see the sense in that.
Although I read Mike Brown’s comments on why he doesnt play Goudelock. IMO it doesnt make sense because when he plays steve blake minutes he produces way more than steve black does. I think the problems start and end with mike brown with the bench somewhere in the middle. What’s your thoughts on his rotations?
This will have to do for the week. Once again, thanks for contributing. If I missed your question, we’ll do it all again next Tuesday.
Goudelock has shown some real flashes and that shouldn’t be ignored long term. The reality is that he’s shooting 39.4% from the field (poor) and 36.2% from three (solid but not overwhelming). Andrew is no point guard, averaging about as many turnovers as assists in his almost 11 minutes per game. He’s not a rebounder. He doesn’t produce steals or block shots.
Andrew is a scorer and over time he may become a valuable piece for the Lakers as a reserve behind Kobe. I’m not sure he’s fully ready for the role people are projecting on him.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to downplay the stretch where G-Lock really helped when Blake was hurt – he found a way to contribute. As I noted earlier, I’d like to see him get some time behind Kobe.
The Lakers need depth and Blake hasn’t exactly flourished either. I’m just not sure there’s a true answer this season.
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Golden State Warriors
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The Los Angeles Clippers, determined to keep free agent Chris Paul, won't bring back Coach Vinny Del Negro.
11:00am - Bill Ingram
3:00pm - Stephen Brotherston
3:00pm - Alex Kennedy
8:00pm - Lang Greene
10:30am - Steve Kyler
1:30pm - Joel Brigham
11:00am - Yannis Koutroupis
3:00pm - Larry Coon
11:00am - Susan Bible
5:00pm - Derek Page