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.
how do you thin the lakers will fair in the first round without world peace and barnes if his ankle isnt ready to go
As we saw in Game 1, the Lakers have a pretty large size advantage. If Devin Ebanks hits shots? They’ll be fine. I’m expecting the Laker role players like Steve Blake, Ebanks, etc. to have a more difficult time in Denver for Games 3 and 4. Overall I see the Lakers getting out of the series and it’s not such a bad thing if it happens to go five or six, so that Peace is back early or in time for Round 2.
Do you think Ersan Ilyasova can play the 3 starting full time in the NBA?
I’m thinking he’s better as a stretch four. Defensively he’s not as mobile as he needs to be as three and as four he’s more in position to rebound – which he does quite well.
Do you think that the NETS will be a success in Brooklyn?
Eventually, yes I do.
What free agents can you see the Clippers making a hard push for this off season? I think they need another SF, who is reasonable to expect with their cap room (assuming Gomes gets amnesty).
Well does Mo Williams opt out? If he doesn’t the Clippers don’t have much spending power and need to closely monitor how they can retain as much of this group without going over the luxury tax. If Williams is gone, the team gains flexibility but what of Randy Foye, Chauncey Billups, Kenyon Martin, Reggie Evans, Nick Young, etc.? I’m not really looking at free agency just yet until we see what exactly LAC has on the roster already – and keeping that core if so desired.
One player I know LA has liked for some time is Ray Allen, although if he’s having surgery this summer is that a wise move?
Is Bynum like Kobe in that once the playoffs start he can put all the distractions of the reg season out of his mind and just focus on winning games? He seems to want to prove he can be a kingpin.
I’m not sure what distractions are around Bynum now vs. regular season. Ultimately the best players raise their game in the postseason. Denver is a very favorable matchup for Drew. I’m sure he’ll play well here – but as the competition inside rises – Bynum will need to adjust.
Just wondering on your thoughts with JaVale McGee.
Where would he need to end up in Free Agency to “grow up” and get some consistency going?
Is Boston a possible suitor? Rondo would get him easy looks, he’s a defensive weapon, and surely would respect Doc Rivers enough to pull the attitude into check.
cheers, from a hopeful Celtics fan.
If McGee had been in a stable situation with strong coaching since he joined the league, perhaps he’d have matured more quickly. He’s a ton of raw talent but he doesn’t necessarily impact a game positively yet (on a consistent basis).
The Nuggets have a lot to decide with McGee, given he’s likely to get some offers as a free agent. His offer sheet is just $3.5 million – I would expect him to get more than that.
With Boston, it really depends how they handle free agency. What’s the right offer sheet to give McGee and then if you overpay, are you investing in a guy who may or may not ever truly get it?
What can you say about Bynum monster game against Nuggets? I think very obvious that he shall retain to the Lakers roster for at least 2-3 years.. Right?
The Lakers naturally will pick up his option for next season at $16.1 million. They’ll likely discuss extension and it wouldn’t surprise me if he got three more years. We’ll see though . . . there’s still a lot that needs to happen before then.
Javale was always been criticize that he is too athletic but he doesnt think have a high basketball iq. But i guess amare top the list by pjnching a glass and getting injured ? Can the knicks not pay him for this action?
From what I understand, Stoudemire is lucky he’s not facing permanent damage. In theory the Knicks can try to void his contract for this but that’s an extreme move and a path I’d be surprised if they pursue. No, that was not a bright thing to do Amar’e.
Would Lakers consider a gasol for bosh trade and is it possible
I would think the Lakers, were they looking to move Gasol, would do so for someone making a more reasonable amount. Budget is a major concern for LA moving forward. The luxury tax penalties get worse over time and Bosh just doesn’t really make sense financially.
How concerned should the Thunder be?
The Mavericks are a threat. They’re not as good as they were a year ago, but they’re still the defending champs. I expect Dallas to win Game 3 and then you have a showdown in Game 4 to see if we really have a series or not.
Most improved coach of the year, Vinny Del Negro? Who do you think deserves that non existing award?
My opinion on Del Negro is still forming. There’s a lot that went right for the Clippers this year and it’s hard to separate Del Negro from the good and only point to the bad as some are want to do. I’m not sure who would accept an imaginary award though.
Hi Eric. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the Clippers comeback against the Grizzlies? And do you think that comeback will give them the momentum to win this series?
On a scale of 1-10? I mean, that was one of the best if not best comebacks in NBA playoff history – so that’s going to be a 10. I’m not sold on momentum though. The Grizzlies probably take Game 2 and then the Clippers suddenly need to win both in Los Angeles to make sure they hold the advantage. I expect a long, difficult series for both teams.
Is it time for Nick Young to shine in the playoffs with Caron Butler out for the rest of the year?
Hmm . . . I’m not sure the Clippers are ready for too much Nick Young-shine. Nick is just right in small doses. He’s a wild card and his trio of threes made that comeback happen. Butler technically is out 4-6 weeks so not for the season if LAC is still playing. The Clippers need a lot from Nick, Simmons, Gomes, Foye, whoever gets the nod at three.
Is Dwight Howard still in Los Angeles? If so, how’s his rehab going?
I’ve heard he’s in Los Angeles but I can’t speak to any insight on how rehab has gone as of yet.
Eric, I just happened to notice on the Salary cap page for the Lakers that Andrew Bynum has a team option for next year. Does LA give him an extension after this season?
As I mentioned earlier – the first step is taking his option. The second is negotiating an extension, which I would expect.
Hi Eric. How do you see the rest of the LAL-DEN and OKC-DAL series play out?
I have Lakers and Thunder in six. That’s my pre-series predictions and I stick with them until proven wrong!
Given Amare’s situation, maybe we shouldn’t have players walk to the locker rooms after games anymore, since they might injure themselves(it was the argument against D-Rose being on the court in Chicago).
I see where you’re going with this but there’s a fine line between playing your players and making sure you win – and ending up like the Grizzlies.
I wanted to know if d rose injury is career changing can he get back to his old self an what other allstar players have come back to allstar level after this type of injury also in gq rose said he wasn’t happy with the fame if he is not the old rise he want have to worry like tmac penny b Roy grant hill etc
We’re not talking micro-fracture knee surgery which can be really debilitating for over a year – but ACL injuries are serious. Some players return at a high level but it’s hit and miss. He may never fully regain his athleticism or he may be fine. We just have to wait and really just hope for the best.
Watching dallas in the playoffs makes me think they can beat any team right now. They are just short of talent. If only mark cuban look at the laker/ spur blue print of winning by staying loyal to your guys and resigning them with tyson and barea with tjem right now i think they win again.now that dwill is 90 % brooklyn bound ,shouldnt be dirk be upset of the way the management gave up on his core group last year for nothing? Thanks for the time
Investing in older players or the “wrong” players because they won a title can be crippling. I’m not sure Dallas made the right choice but I understand and respect it.
Why is it that in recent years the number 2 draft picks have been very disapointing hasheem , turner , and Williams have been bust ..will mkg gave a different impact?
I believe so. Hasheem was predictable. Turner is still developing. I like Williams although he’s still quite young. The past has no real impact on the future in this situation re: MKG.
Kobe Bryant said the Lakers will win the Championship this season. I bleed purple and gold. Should I be excited about this comment? Better yet, should I believe him?
The Lakers have a real chance to win the title this year. I’m not sure they do but there’s plenty to hope for if you’re a Laker fan.
What’s your take on Jordan Hill? Is he a free agent after the playoffs? Should we be getting excited about the potential or is he playing for a new contract?
I was going to write about Jordan Hill for today but then we had the story come up with the legal issue, etc. My main point, which I’ll make in article form at some point in the coming week or two, is that the Lakers can pay hill a starting salary of $3.6 million this summer. If he gets a bigger offer from somewhere else that he wants to take, there’s nothing LA can do about it.
Hill has some talent. He played well in Houston in stretches but is better served in the role he has with LA. I’m curious as well to see if he maintains this level of play, especially with the off-court issue now in the picture.
What does Darius Morris need to work on most this offseason? He seems like a great kid but his ballhandling leaves much to be desired.
Morris can handle. He’s a true point guard. He needs to adapt to the speed of the NBA game given he’s not especially athletic and is quite young re: experience.
I love Bynum’s game. If you were the Lakers GM would you do a straight up trade for Dwight if it were available? What if you were the Magic’s GM?
The Magic, dealing with Howard’s injury and wishy-washy stance on the future, would be better of risking on Bynum’s health at this point. I’m not sure the Lakers are in the Howard business.
Thoughts on our new point guard in his 1st playoff game?
Sessions was solid. It’s a difficult job for him to meld his game with the starters and play at the pace needed to properly feed the bigs. This was my biggest concern when the Lakers traded for him. He’s been better than I thought but he has struggled in many of the ways I expected him to.
what players do you think the clippers will bring back next year and if vdn gets fired what coach would be the best fit
I don’t think the Clippers have a handle on this yet. They key is having Mo Williams opt out so LA has financial flexibility to keep some of their guys. Let’s hit this question again in a week or two. Also on coach, if not Del Negro I don’t have a true short-list from the Clippers. I wonder if a Nate McMillan would work? Also a number of high quality coaches (Scott Brooks, Tom Thibodeau – I may be mistaken but Monty Williams as well) could potentially become free agents.
What is Sasha up to?
Last place he was playing was Turkey. Heard he wanted back in the NBA next season.
You think Orlando might be the 1 team to take on Amare’s contract,Turk/Davis for Amare or Turk,Anderson for Amare?
I don’t really see that going down – but a lot depends on whether or not Howard is there in Orlando or not.
Is Jordan Hill going to miss tonight’s game due to his legal troubles? Also, assuming he probably gets punished with some probation time, does that impact whether the Lakers look to keep Hill in their long term plans? Now that you have had a change to see Jordan Hill for a few games what are your thoughts on him? I see him as a solid rebounder who can finish around the rim and can defend very well by having solid lateral quickness. He seems very good covering guards and small forwards coming off the pick and roll.
The league isn’t going to punish on a charge. You need a conviction first and that could be months down the road. Hill has proven to be a capable fit in the Laker system.
Given Bynum’s recent stellar play, would you still trade him for Dwight Howard?
Less and less and less.
After a minuscule sample size, do you still think the final four will be OKC/SAS, CHI/MIA? Why?
I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up HEAT vs. either Celtics or Hawks. Atlanta may be the under-appreciated team here and while I don’t see them as a true contender, they may be able to get past Chicago without Rose. Boston, if they can get through Atlanta, has a real shot to make it to the Finals.
In the West, don’t discount the Lakers. I’m not even counting out the Mavs just yet . . . but I have Spurs/Lakers in the WCF with San Antonio advancing.
Hey Eric how are you? Do you think Ramon Sessions will be the Lakers lead point guard for a long time? and do you think that will depend on how he does in the playoffs?
I expect Sessions to stay in LA for another contract.
Since Coach Brown has already confirmed Hill will be in the game tonight, does it mean he’ll be in more games down the stretch or is this just a one game deal?
What’s going on Ashley! Thanks for the question.
I was impressed with Brown that he went with the group that was winning vs. the Thunder, sitting Bynum who just wasn’t having a great game. I could see it again be it with Drew or Gasol sitting out.
Ultimately I’d expect the Lakers going with their main horses but if Hill’s pick and roll coverage/mobility is a reason why they can beat the Thunder? Well then someone like Bynum is just going to have to sit for the good of the team.
who wins the LAL/OKC series if both teams advance in the 1st round?
I like that series. Should be a blast. I actually like LA head-to-head still over the Thunder.
What are the chances the lakers re-sign Ramon Sessions, Matt Barnes, Devin Ebanks and Jordan Hill next year?
LA will have limited options when it comes to bringing in new players. They’ll have just the mini-MLE, no first-round draft pick and a number of free agents. As I mentioned, I could see Sessions back as the priority. The rest (Barnes, Ebanks and Hill) are going to be determined by market value.
Am I going to jail? If I do does that relieve my contract with the Lakers and open up salary room?
Players/celebrities are charged with things here and there. Sometimes they are serious and the player has made an egregious mistake. Other times someone is looking to exploit their wealth and try to shake out a few dollars as a nuisance suit.
I can only presume he’s innocent until proven guilty as is the legal philosophy of the country.
It’s going to take some time for a legal case to be heard. I would be shocked if it gains any real steam until after the Lakers’ season is over (be it April, May or June).
There’s no salary relief to be had as he’s a free agent after this year.
Please tell me the Portland Trail Blazers have brighter skies ahead? How do you think we’ll do in the draft and who do you see fitting nicely into our startling 5 next season? Who do you think we’ll sign during the offseason?
Given how desolate the injury front has been – just devastating for the Blazers – the only way to go is up. I’m still doing my draft research so I’ll have more to offer closer to June.
The Blazers have some spending power but I’m not sure throwing money at the problem is the solution. I’m curious to see what the lottery will bring.
Clippers Question: Who replaces Butler in the starting lineup, who backs that guy up in the second unit, and your pick as to who wins game 2?
I have Grizzlies taking Game 2 with Nick Young starting and Bobby Simmons playing a backup role.
who would you say is more valuable to the 76ers over the next 5 years or so? AI or Turner? I hear that the team would listen to trades for AI now. Any chance the Rockets could make a deal for him?
The Sixers came out of the gate on fire this season. They’ve underwhelmed the second half. I’m not sure Iguodala is the long-term answer which would suggest Turner, still on a rookie contract, makes more sense.
The Lakers are potentially matchup nightmare. Kobe says they are a serious contender. But they need more consistency from their thin bench to get it done! What makes him so sure this will happen???
Kobe always thinks his team is going to win. That’s probably the approach a player like Bryant needs to take. LA has size, skill and yet no real depth. Perhaps Hill, Ebanks, Barnes, Blake, etc. will rise to the occasion this offseason. A LOT has to go right for LA to win the title but as I mentioned earlier – they are on the list of contenders in my mind.
Do you think the Lakers go after M. Beasley in the off season? Is that a good move for them?
I’m not so sure they do. Barring a sign and trade the most they can offer him is $3 million a season.
hello dear sir .
i want to ask about the knicks … what do u think their plan to move forward ? i mean last year amare started the season great , but when the melo trade came , his play is down noticebly.
so it is clear that those 2 cant play together . a trade in the future ? a solution ?
I’m not sure there’s a clear answer. The pieces don’t quite fit and yet the team hasn’t been healthy enough to truly find out what they have. Is Mike Woodson the answer or do they go with someone else? Phil Jackson? I will say I’m very curious and I see the Knicks as a factor moving forward. I’m just not quite sure if they ever break through to the elite side of the coin.
What is opinion of Aaron Affalo?? Do you think that he is worth his new contract this year?? He seems to be playing worst than last year..
I’ve been high on Afflalo since he’s been in the league and while yes, I’m a UCLA grad, I try still to be objective. Afflalo is a very strong defender and a capable scorer but he needs to be fully healthy to get the most out of his ability. He started slowly this year while getting healthy/in shape. He’s been a lot stronger the past month or so.
Afflalo is a hard worker. I still like the investment. About $6-8 million is the right figure for him, although the years were a bit heavy on the Denver side.
Who has a better chance to beat the Spurs in the semi-finals – Memphis or Clippers? The Spurs look red hot right now.
The Grizzlies are a tough matchup for the Spurs. San Antonio is playing very well and remember last year they lost to the Grizzlies – but didn’t have a healthy Ginobili.
How are you? Orlando, where do they go after D12 leaves. Who do they get to rebuilt? thanks for your time.
That’s one of those really difficult almost unanswerable questions. I wish I could give more. A few teams I can only scratch my head and say – not sure where they go from here – Magic, Raptors, Kings, etc.
Any interest in Mo Williams from other teams around the league and how likely it is for him to opt out?
This will have to do for the week. It’s great to see NBA Postseason action given how uncertain everything was for so long with the lockout. Let’s chat again next Tuesday.
Al, I haven’t heard of any teams chasing Mo. The Clippers didn’t really shop him and if you really looked around, there weren’t many teams who needed a point guard at $8.5 million with another year on his deal.
Mo sulked for most of the year after LA got Billups and then Paul. At some point, mid-March he began to climb out of it. Once the team played without him – quite well – I think he really humbled.
That said, I do think he’ll opt out and look for a better, long-term situation. I would think that’s what the Clippers want/hope he does as well. It’s not that he’s a help but Eric Bledsoe, who is an emerging defender, really needs those minutes.
The Clippers in theory could trade him if he doesn’t opt out but it opens up a can of worms when it comes to retaining their free agents.
Time will tell and a lot will be determined by what happens over the course of the coming week(s)/month(s) depending on how well the Clippers perform.
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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