Join Joel Brigham this Thursday at 3:00pm ET to chat about all things NBA. There’s plenty to talk about now that rosters are essentially assembled, so get your questions in early and be back here Thursday afternoon to take part in all the fun!
Hey Joel! hope all is well. I’m curious what you think of the Grizzlies this upcoming year. I think last year was a disapointing finish for them as they lost in game 7 to the Clippers as I feel the Grizz are a better team (still do). Do you see a healthy Grizz, with the additions of rookie Tony Wroten, Jerryd Bayless, wayne ellington and finally Darrell Arthur returning, a team to wrecken with and possibly contend? Also it seems as tho were all forgeting Zach Randolph was out a while and really wasn’t the same last year.I feel this team is underated going into this next season and in my opinion could scare even the best of squads in next years playoffs. Thoughts? Am I way off here?
Good afternoon, HOOPSWORLD Citizens, and welcome to another edition of my weekly chat! 3:00pm ET is going to be the new time for me moving forward, so get used to meeting with me a little bit later than usual.
Okay, with that out of the way, let’s get down to business and answer some questions, starting with the always entertaining (and slightly disappointing, at least last year) Memphis Grizzlies…
I don’t know that I see this team as a championship contender, particularly under a new ownership that could look to break loose some of the massive contracts the Grizzlies already have on the books. There is, after all, a reason Rudy Gay’s name keeps popping up in trade rumors, and if at any point over the course of the upcoming season he gets moved, I think that means a big hit to Memphis’s title hopes.
There are good pieces there. There really are. But despite the undeniable talent of guys like Randolph and Gasol and Gay, none of them are really top-tier superstars. I really like this team, with tons of sneaky good players to spread around (Arthur, Tony Allen, Josh Selby), but they’re a cut behind the Lakers and Thunder, and that’s not going to change for at least a few years. Longer in OKC’s case.
Hey whats going on in indy…from looking at the roster we seam a little thin at SG. George is there (Great)but from what ive seen from the Rookie guard in the summer league I see not 1 GOOD reason not to bring back Barbosa…I loved Lance stevenson at cincy but Barbosa is proven and I would think work well especially if an injury were to occur to DGranger,(slide george to his natural position) the man can flat out score and is a team guy a true vet…nothing crazy just a 1year deal…also not sold on Hill as the Franchise point he did great filling in for T. Parker a couple seasons ago but I think hes more combo than anything but still an asset also you trade collinson for mahimi (a guy who was a free agent)and bring in Augustine a the same player as collison who is making more money collinson was at the end of his rookie deal I know donnie walsh is a smart man but I cant see where this makes sense..your thoughts
Augustin can be better than Collison, but you’re right, not by much. As for Barbosa, I’m with you, and I’ve been saying exactly that for quite a while. The problem with him is that he’s arguably the best free agent left on the market, and the Cavaliers still have a little bit of money to spend. Until they either make it clear that they won’t be spending that money, or spend it on someone else, Barbosa is probably going to hold out hope he can get more than a minimum offer. If Cleveland dries up as a possibility, I don’t see a whole lot of situations better for him than Indiana, though I’ve been told Lance Stephenson will get a bigger role this year, one way or another. Leandro might want a bigger guaranteed role somewhere else, but will he get that at this point?
everybody says that wizards wont made playoff so what is missing them they have top 3 east centar in nene star in wall and solid mix in veterans and youth?
Everybody doesn’t include me. I’ve been saying that Washington looks like a 6-7-8 seed this year ever since they made the Rashard Lewis trade. Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza didn’t get enough credit last year because they played for a bad team, and obviously Nene is a huge help. Rookie Brad Beal should be, too, and if there was ever going to be a breakout year for John Wall, this would be it. Good young players on the bench, too, and some of the best uniforms in the league. I’m going to enjoy watching these guys on League Pass this year, and I think they’ve got as good a shot as any to sneak into the bottom half of the playoff picture this spring.
Hi Joel. Stan Van Gundy speculated about Derrick Rose leaving Chicago if the Bulls don’t create a superteam to match Miami and LA. A.) Do you see Derrick making such a demand – “superteam or I leave”? B.) Would Jerry Reinsdorf, who values $ far more than championships, make a Jerry Buss-like chase for superstars to appease D-Rose? Short of Reinsdorf selling to someone with deep pockets who cares about titles, this seems to be the Bulls’ best hope in this new environment.
For starters, Reinsdorf is not selling the team. Regardless, I don’t know what Stan Van Gundy knows about Derrick Rose that I don’t, but my experience working with the kid are that he wants to win a championship for his hometown city of Chicago. He didn’t lobby for LeBron James or Dwyane Wade or Dwight Howard when he had the opportunity to convince either guy to come play with him here, so I can’t imagine him telling Bulls ownership that he wants another superstar or he’ll bolt. Van Gundys are entertaining because they say whatever is on their mind, but that also leads to some occasionally stupid comments, like that one.
I really like Paul George, OJ Mayo and Ty Lawson. How do you think their seasons will pan out? Any All-Stars in the bunch?
I like them all, too, but probably not this year. Lawson’s got Steve Nash, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, and Tony Parker to compete with, so I wouldn’t count on him. As for Mayo and George, I just don’t see them making that big a leap this season. Both will be very good career players, but neither great.
There have been a lot of complaints about big market teams (that is code for the Lakers) being too dominant but I think the hardest part about winning isn’t market size or weather, but getting a legit superstar, of which there are so few. OKC, Spurs and Heat are all bottom 15 market teams that are legit contenders. Even though the NFL is a QB league, teams can go deep without a superstar if the team is well built. That really isn’t the case in the NBA. Also it can’t just be a superstar, it is almost always a hall of fame player(s) playing at HOF level.
Agree or disagree?
Agreed, but the complaints about big markets are that they’re more often able to afford these Hall of Famers, and more of them at the same time. It’s frustrating for small market teams to lose their big guns to LA and New York just because the current home town is no fun. OKC was lucky to draft their superstars, who they’ll keep now that they’re good so early, but if OKC hadn’t drafted Durant, what free agents would have ever want to come play there? Get unlucky in a draft, and you’re stuck in mediocrity forever. San Antonio got lucky in the draft, too, and Miami might be small market has an owner with fat pockets that bumped into a perfect storm to get that championship team.
And I’m the Bulls fan saying all this. I get both sides of the argument, but whatever. I just want to watch good playoff basketball when the time comes, and last year we got plenty of that.
Hi Joel. Do you think Mark Cuban is overreacting about this whole Jason Kidd spurning the Mavs for the Knicks thing? And the fact he won’t have his jersey retired?
If you’re asking do I think he’s way too upset about this thing, then yeah, I do. But by saying he’ll never retire his number, he’s not really making too big a statement because why would they have done that anyway? He played like 6 seasons there, none of them in his prime, and he was really only a small part of that championship team’s success. I don’t know that his number was going to get retired anyway.
As for him leaving Dallas the way he did, I can see why Cuban was upset. If you ran a business and one of your favorite employees told you he was not entertaining other offers, but then bolted for a new job somewhere else at the last minute, you’d probably be a little upset, too. Cuban’s a cool dude but says some crazy stuff sometimes. He’ll get over it, and so will the general public, soon enough.
Do you know anything about Jacque Vaughn, the new head coach of the Magic? Because I don’t.
I know he played a lot of NBA basketball over the years, but Steve Kyler would be the better guy to answer that question. I’ve heard for a while now that he’d be in the conversation for some head coaching jobs eventually, but I mean, he was playing like a year ago. I have no idea what kind of coach he is. I guess I’ll be waiting and seeing right along with you, Deven.
considering SA is trying to trade blair and PHIL needs another somewhat decent quality PF…what do you think about d.blair to PHIL for moultrie and cash?
I don’t think Blair’s knees are going to hold up a whole lot longer, so I think they stay put and take their shots with the rookie. I think Moultrie is one of the real sleepers of this draft, anyway. Give him a shot before you go trading him to San Antonio!
Can Josh Smith lead ATL? Or will Big Al be there allstar
Al Horford has more of the leadership personality, so he’s the guy I’m going with as the emotional and spiritual leader of the Hawks this year. Josh Smith has grown up a lot over the years, but he’s still pretty open to getting moved I think, and I’ve never heard anything like that from Horford. He’s the franchise cornerstone for now, and he’s the guy I’d rather have in my young guys’ ears.
Do you think Kyrie will be the next best nba pointguard?
This is kind of a vague question, but to say he’s THE next best NBA point guard is a little presumptuous. Chris Paul is the best. Deron Williams, Russell Westbrook, Tony Parker, Steve Nash, Rajon Rondo, and a healthy Derrick Rose are all better than Kyrie right now. That said, he’s still only like 20 years old, and I could absolutely see him playing on the same level as a guy like Rose or Westbrook eventually. I’m looking forward to watching him for a really long time, as long as he stops punching walls when he gets mad. Great young player, but not in the league’s upper crust just yet.
We all know Mike Brown is staying but this is just a hypothetical question. With the new additions of the Lakers what coach would be best suited to handle and make sure they live up to their true potential? Doc Rivers, Greg Poppovich, Phil Jackson?
Phil would be best for it, but that man’s body is absolutely broken down at this point in his life. Ever step he takes looks painful, and that’s not an exaggeration. Despite that, nobody has had more success balance the egos of modern superstars better than the Zen-Master, and I don’t see any reason to believe he wouldn’t be just as awesome with this group. If you can get Jordan, Pippen, and Rodman to play nice, he’d be fine with Kobe, Nash, and Dwight.
Since the Bobcats are going nowhere this year, do you think they should trade for Jimmer Fredette (don’t give too much) and have Michael Jordan tell him that the team is his so he can get inspired to play like he did in BYU?
Barf. That is absolutely not the direction the Bobcats are headed. Their backcourt rotation is pretty well set with Sessions, Gordon, Henderson, and Kemba, who I imagine they’ll rotate all around at various points this season. BG is a best case scenario for Jimmer, but BG is already there. You’d be hoping Jimmer caught up, and I’ve never bought into him doing that. I just don’t think he’s a great NBA player and probably never will be.
In general, I’m pleased with some of the baby steps the Bobcats took this offseason. Biyombo’s a cool kid who really improved a lot, and Kidd-Gilchrist should really add a lot to this team immediately. And obviously the backcourt is better than it was. They’ll miss the playoffs, but they won’t be historically bad again. And they certainly don’t need Jimmer Fredette.
True or false: If Derrick Rose’s name is on the All-Star ballot this year, he’ll be voted in as a starter by fans even without playing a game? If not, who takes his spot (assuming Wade is voted in)?
Probably true, especially now that Jeremy Lin has moved to the Western Conference. I could see Deron Williams getting the vote, but I don’t think Rondo or Kyrie or J-Wall have quite the brand recognition to get voted in for the East as a starter.
Assuming the East keeps three point guards, by best bets are D-Will, Rondo, and either Kyle Lowry or Kyrie Irving.
Can Boston win the 2012/13 championship??
Probably not, no. I mean, they’re in much better shape than I think any of us expected them to be. A year ago this team looked old and uninspired, but Garnett has more gas in the tank, apparently, and getting guys like Courtney Lee and Jared Sullinger helped to keep this team somewhat young and relevant while they make one last pitch. Miami is too damn good, though, and I just can’t imagine any Eastern Conference team wiping them out of the playoffs with the roster they’ve put together.
I will say this, though–kudos to Danny Ainge for keeping Rondo, Pierce, and Garnett together despite having a perfect opportunity to start rebuilding. Even if Boston loses to Miami in the ECF again, they’re more competitive know than they could have been had the Celtics opted to cash out the veterans for a fresh start. Keep the core together while they’re close for as long as you can. I like how the C’s built their team this summer, but they aren’t necessarily contender. Outside of Miami, LAL, and OKC, I don’t really see anybody else winning this thing.
Hi Joel. If you’re the Bulls’ GM, what would you do in this situation? Jerry Reinsdorf wants to win titles as much as Jerry Buss, but he knows Chicago is a distant 3rd choice behind LA and NYC for free agents. What kind of incentives, contract terms, ownership stake, etc… do you advise Jerry to offer free agents for them to pick the Bulls over all other teams?
It doesn’t matter, because it’s not Jerry Reinsdorf’s style to offer those kinds of incentives. It’s “Come play here or don’t,” and for those that can never understand why the Bulls aren’t a bigger draw for free agents, that’s exactly why. The organization has run a certain way for years and years, and Reinsdorf is not agents’ favorite guy to work with. They’re just always going to have a hard time signing the big guys. It’ll be a lifetime of consolation prizes for any Bulls fans born after 1998.
Masa Ujiri for Exec of the year and it’s not even close. Turns Nene’s big contract in to up and coming McGee, and essentially trades Aflalo+Harrington for one of the leagues best all around players in Iggy. Runner up has to be Kupchak but I don’t think anyone expect any less out of the Lakers brass.
Ujiri is legit. Thing you’re not mentioning is the fact that he re-signed both Afflalo and Nene without having any real intention of keeping either guy long-term, but both were apparently good enough to command interest elsewhere. That means the Nuggets kept their assets and cashed them out for better stuff, and that’s the way good GMs operate. Is Danny Ferry not in the consideration? He traded like the worst and most untradeable contract of all time this summer. I think he deserves some votes, too.
The 2013 free agency doesn’t seem very impactful with Howard, Paul and Bynum likely staying. With playoff teams such as Dallas and Atlanta having significant cap room, do you think a major free agent will move?
Not 100% sold Chris Paul stays. It will depend on how this season goes, but it’s not impossible to devise a situation in which he sees greener pastures. Can’t see Dwight leaving L.A., and Bynum loves it in Philly so far. But I mean, there’s James Harden. There’s Monta Ellis, Josh Smith, Ty Lawson, Manu Ginobili. Some stuff could happen, so don’t count out next summer just yet. It should be plenty of fun, and there are always trades!
thunder has been held up as the model of how to build a championship contender from ground up. Not to take away from anything the organization do, however, isn’t it just simply dumb luck that Portland got the 1st overall pick and they were stuck with the 2nd overall pick? If they had gotten the 1st overall pick (which they will very likely use it on oden), thunder will not be the same team it is. how much does “luck” has to do with building a championship team (again, not to take anything away from the great thunder organization).
Lucky on Durant, yes, but skill on guys like Westbrook and Harden. When KD was drafted, it was the only move they could’ve made, but with the other two there were a lot of other options, and in fact at the time people really questioned those picks. Westbrook was extremely raw and totally unproven, while Harden came from a smaller program and really seemed like more of a role player than a standout star (which, if true, would’ve been a huge waste for the #3 overall pick). Instead, both guys are gold medalists and huge, huge studs. They’ve had opportunities to spend cap space on bad fit guys, but didn’t. They’ve had opportunities to make pricy trades, but didn’t. They found Serge Ibaka. They gambled on Perry Jones III. Durant was luck, but just about everything else was cold, hard skill. Give Presti some love, T. The man deserves it.
Do you think the Bulls have a chance if Rose comes back in January?
Don’t count on January. This is the first season of a HUGE contract for Rose, and the team is not going to fart around with this kid’s knee. They want him 100% before he’s back, which is why I think the best-case scenario is him coming back early March to play for a month en route to the postseason. If they’re far out of the playoff picture, though, I don’t think it’s totally crazy for Derrick to just sit the whole year out. Honestly, that might be the best thing for him anyway.
I think Bulls fans should keep their fingers crossed about the long-term health of their franchise player rather than worry about a season in which they would’ve have won a title anyway, even if Rose was healthy the entire time. They’re gearing up for some financial flexibility in 2014. If D-Rose is healthy by then, I’ll get my hopes back up. For now, though, I’m just writing this season off the Bulls. I’m a de facto Pacers fan until Derrick’s back.
Okay, so that last part is an exaggeration. I’m still rooting for the Bulls this year, but I’m going to have to watch some more Pacers games to root for guys I like and actually see them win.
Joel how come people love kobe even tho his percentage is not really good? Iverson wasnt given a chance no more to play in the nba. He can score like kobe, is it because of his attitude and practice ethics?
Hey Joel! Hope all is well. If you were the Lakers owner do you retire Derek Fisher, Byron Scott, and Michael Coopers jersey? If so in what order? Thanks from Lakers Land!
None of them. If it were up to me, I’d only retire a guy’s jersey after he was inducted to the Hall of Fame. Role players have no business getting their jerseys retired, so be selective. Go look at Dallas’s retired numbers, just for fun. There’s a couple guys on there you won’t believe. I think you need to be GREAT to take a guy’s number out of circulation forever. Boston deserves to have as many as they do, but even a couple of theirs could be wiped off if you really wanted to debate it. I just would like to see that honor reserved for absolute legends. And Brian Scalabrine.
Alright folks, that’s my hour. I’ll see you back here next Thursday for more of the same!
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Select a Team
Golden State Warriors
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Los Angeles Lakers
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San Antonio Spurs
The Indiana Pacers looked good, but inexperienced in their Game 1 overtime loss. That all changed very quickly in Game 2... Toronto Raptors look like they've found their new GM, and he's a good one...
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