Lang Greene is a NBA Writer for HOOPSWORLD covering the Atlanta Hawks and Eastern Conference. Lang’s chat gets started at 8pm EST on Wednesday every week.
Sir Greene, how are you holding up now and days? Few questions for you, who do you see as been the top 3 Hawks scoring options this season? Which teams do you pick as your “breakthrough” in each conference this upcoming season? I pick the Cavs (very impressed with their picks and young talent) & the Kings. As always, thanks for taking my questions. Cheers.
What’s up Hoop Freaks? Rocking the chat while listening to the legendary Roots crew tonight. “Around the world crowds love me, from doing tours, recipient of applause from all of you and yours. Creator of original sounds to send to stores, you take home, to absorb and sweat it out your pores” … it’s go time …
My man … Hawks leading scorers should read like this … Al Horford, Josh Smith and then Lou Williams … I could even live with Jeff Teague at the No. 3 spot. I like Toronto in the East … you have to like what they’re cooking. In the West, I think Minnesota breaks through … pressure is on Kevin Love. He’s been talking big game, let’s see if he has what it takes as a franchise guy.
Right now who has the edge in executive of the year: Mitch Kupchak, who possibly orchestrated one of the best summers ever (with a little help); Danny Ferry for unloading one of the worst contracts in the NBA, or some other GM?
Mitch Kupchak probably will get the nod because he added Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and Antawn Jamison to an already potent unit. I don’t want to discredit the hard work he put into making the Lakers reload on the fly, but your job gets a lot easier when guys WANT to play in your city. Selling Los Angeles to a free agent isn’t exactly like trying to explain credit derivatives to a group of kindergarteners.
I think what Danny Ferry was able to accomplish deserves a huge amount of respect. The man cleared over $90 million (Joe Johnson) from the operating expense sheet for little to no long term debt. The Hawks now have the flexibility to be major players in free agency next summer … or in 2014. Fans around the city have been buzzing with a newfound excitement and enthusiasm.
fantasy question, if harden is traded, wouldbit make sensed for okc to trade him for jj barrea and derick williams? Derwill can play durant back up and ibaka back up while jj can give the scoring and penetration harden is giving right now.. make sense or no dice?Thanks lang!
It wouldn’t be a trade I would consider. At this point, even after his horrific NBA finals showing, you can get much more in the trade market for a guy like James Harden.
Nba news is on the down low right now so Aytt lang battle of the tough guys, fun question for u,who would u wana have as your bigs in your own team if u are a coach, all in their prime , a. bill L and rodman of detroit , b. Celtics version of perkins and big baby or my favorite davis boys of the pacers and why?
These are the dog days of summer bro … the market for fresh NBA news is getting tighter and tighter.
I love these types of questions. For my money I’d go with Bill Laimbeer and Dennis Rodman over the other two groups you named. Most people remember Bill for his antics, but let me tell you … the guy wasn’t just a circus act, he had game. He could hit the 18 footer from all over the floor, rebounded in volume and always connected on a high volume of his shots from the field and free throw line. And what can I say about Dennis Rodman … one of my favorite players growing up. When I started playing basketball I patterned my game after the worm. Rebounds and Defense. I didn’t care about scoring.
I don’t believe Perk and Big Baby deserve to be in this discussion.
The “Davis Boys” are another one of my favorites. The wars those guys had with Ewing, Mason and Oakley were legendary. Think about this … you put the Davis Boys around a guy like Brook Lopez and he might emerge as a top four or five center in today’s NBA. They made life so much easier for RIk Smits on the interior back in the day.
What’s happening? Final rebuttal -
First, to answer your question about KG, yes I do think he did enough to get his number retired, whereas Ray was marginal. KG has had the biggest impact on the Celtics since Larry Bird and Bill Russell. His intensity and leadership changed the entire culture back to winning. Ray didn’t have that impact.
If he left because he lost his starting job, maybe that’s understandable. But he still played his minutes, which were more than Bradley and the team played better. Which is more important! If he left because he wasn’t recruited maybe Boston should have done a better job. However, the key was KG, and every player knew that. Without KG it’s a rebuild mode and Ray isn’t coming back anyway.
If he left because of JET, WOW! Was he really afraid of the competition? Jet fills specific needs. JET‘s role is coming off the bench and to create his own shot which were weaknesses last season. JET was NEVER a replacement for Ray. I didn’t hear JET complain when the Celts traded for Courtney Lee.
But here’s the deal. He was offered 2 yrs/6M by Boston. Miami offers 3yrs/3M. Ray comes back and the Celts offer a trade kicker and/or No-Trade. Ray counters with 3yrs/9M. Yes, as a FA that’s his right, but why would the Celts bid against themselves, that’s stupid. He basically said either sign me for 3yrs/9M or I go to your chief rival for 3yrs/3M. That was payback not a business decision. That was the decision he made.
Now you can dispute the salary figures and other aspects but I’ll bet they’re close or exact (if you listened to Wyc interview). So if those are the facts, then why would the Celts retire his number? And yes he is a Hall of Famer but let Seattle, Milwaukee or Miami retire his number.
My man! It has been great debating with you and I will leave our 7 week war up to the Hoop Freaks to decide who emerged victorious.
I disagree with you on your assessment of Ray’s impact on the 2008 championship team. I will go as far as to say without Ray Allen the Celtics don’t win a title in 2008.
In the 2008 Finals versus the Lakers, Ray averaged 20.3 points and 5 rebounds per game. He knocked down 22 three-pointers (3.7 per game) and shot 53 percent on those long range bombs – while guarding Kobe Bryant. Kevin Garnett averaged 18.2 points and 12 rebounds in the series. He shot just 43 percent from the field in the series. He struggled mightily. For perspective, that season he shot 54 percent from the field. Now I’m not saying he didn’t put in work, but don’t revise history on me and tell me KG was a beast in that series. Ray needed KG … KG needed Ray, for the title. Let’s be honest.
And listen, it’s not about being scared of the competition JET could bring. It is about respect and that’s what you’re failing to get. If your boss tried to fire you twice, then said you were his top priority (after KG) to re-sign, but you see him bring in another guy who you are better than and does the same job (position) as you … please don’t tell me you wouldn’t feel disrespected. Listen, I will carry the flag and go to war for my affiliation like no other, but I’m no puppet who pledges blind allegiance to an executive whispering sweet-nothings in my ear while positioning themselves for life WITHOUT me at the same dang time.
Now, I’m going for the big finish …
The salary talk you reference doesn’t mean a thing. When my contract is up I have the right to go to anywhere I please for the type of money I please. Whether it is LESS money or not … that’s my prerogative. So what the Celtics offered more money? That means nothing. Ever think the reason they offered more money and a no trade clause to Ray was because of how THEY botched the process to begin with? See, a lot of guys mismanage their money so you see them hanging on playing for the check in their last few seasons. Credit to Ray for saving his money over the years so he could tell Boston and the drama … goodbye. He doesn’t need the money.
I mean come on. Let me put this in my world. If Steve tried to fire me 3-4 times here. Then I had a beef with another writer here. Then say Steve demoted me for a writer who wasn’t as good. Then during contract time he brings in another writer in my market before locking me in to a new deal … I guess according to your logic, I should just grin and bear it and not look at ANY options where I wouldn’t have to deal with all that stuff as I close out my career.
See, I’ve had execs look me in the eye and mislead me based on their agenda. Same with the players, so I don’t blindly follow one side over the other. But Ray in this case had every right to pack his bags to go somewhere he felt wanted, respected and appreciated.
Lang, another site’s offseason power ranking put Miama at 5, one ahead of Boston, largely due to the signing of Ray Allen. I love Ray, but last year showed me that his time’s nearly over and that he doesn’t know it. Repeatedly, RA over-dribbles, and he can no longer play even average defense. Miami fans will discover that he’s too weak to guard 3′s, too slow to defend 2′s, and too poor a dribbler to play the point. In fact, how will Miami integrate Ray into a rotation? With Wade at the 2 for 40 minutes a game, where will Ray play? Boston’s signing of Lee and Terry is way better than Miami’s supposed theft of RA. I’m grateful for Ray’s great play for the C’s (except for last year, mainly), but I’m glad that he’s moved on. What are your thoughts? (P.S. I’m with the guy who doesn’t expect RA’s number to hang from the rafters–not in Boston, anyway).
Man, listen. Lol. Ray’s number in all likelihood won’t hang from the rafters in Boston because of politics … but I “believe” it should. While I’m on beliefs, I also believe we should live in a less taxed society with our money free from the clutches of the Federal Reserve … but what do I know / or what does my opinion really matter.
But to answer your question, I’m waiting to hear who are the four teams better than the HEAT right now. I can’t take that preseason ranking seriously. There has to be a caveat in there somewhere, because Miami as the 5th best team is ridiculous on so many levels.
Many people are still high up on the Bulls but forget that their bench, which was a strength last season, has been switched up. Do you think the new Chicago bench will perform as well as last season’s bench? If not, do you still see them contending for a title?
No, I think Chicago’s bench last year was better. But the bunch they assembled for this season isn’t terrible. I don’t think Chicago competes for a title in 2013 … formula is simple … No D-Rose … No title contention.
Hey lang do you thing ny got too expensive on felton and kidd? Why not felton and jerett jack? I feel like gsw got him for a steal and he is todays version if the nybpg legend childs, tough and wont back down.
Expenses aren’t absolute. I think the Knicks compensated Felton and Kidd in a good manner, while I believe Toronto paying 6.3 million per year for Landry Fields was a reach. But … teams will frequently point out they pay / invest by the position not the player … so you can make an argument either way.
They keep comparing kobe to mj,now lebron. mj never lost in the finals. He coudve won 8 or 9 if he didnt retire briefly after winning 3 and he couldve joined the lakers,kings or blazzers not the wizards if only he wanted more ring. No one comes closed to mj not even bird or magic. With me?
Michael Jordan is the best player I have ever seen, but let’s not mythicize the man … his resume speaks for itself in the way we don’t have to slander Kobe or LeBron.
Jordan might have never lost in the Finals, but as great as the guy was, he NEVER was able to get past a PRIME Larry Bird Celtics team … or a PRIME Isiah Thomas led Detroit Pistons team in the Eastern Conference. I also saw a 22 year old LeBron lead a team to the NBA Finals (loss). I also saw a 22 year old Kobe putting in work winning his first title. Keep in mind, Jordan didn’t accomplish either one of those things until he was close to 30.
I tell people all the time, let LeBron and Kobe have their space. They are/were their generation’s best. I personally don’t compare guys until their careers are over. For instance, what if you tried to compare Jordan to Magic Johnson’s after MJ’s sixth season in the league? If you did that in 1989 people would have laughed you off the block and said stuff like Magic has X number of rings … MJ has none. Blah, blah, blah … my point is … if you try hard enough you can discredit anyone.
Along with Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum, who ranks alongside them as the top Centers in the league? Not many options these days but I think I’d put Demarcus Cousin up there. He has a high ceiling and will continue to improve if he matures. What do you think?
The No. 3 spot is wide open. There is Al Horford, Al Jefferson and Marc Gasol all in the mix right now. You could also argue Tyson Chandler deserves some love in the upper tier as well. Then you have up and comers like Roy Hibbert, DeMarcus Cousins, Brook Lopez and the crew …
I think DMC can be a 22/13 guy if he ever gets it right mentally. He is very talented. But talent isn’t the entire equation at the pro level. I think Kieth Smart could be the biggest blesssing for the guy if he listens carefully …
The Hawks made an excellent move this offseason. Got rid of a huge contract and are in good shape to make some moves while remaining competitive. What will be their Ideal next move and who are they aiming to sign with all that cap?
Not sure if Danny Ferry is eyeing one guy in particular with the cap room. My thought is he believes the team can probably build around Al Horford OR Josh Smith … still early though. He told us out in Vegas that the cap room will allow them to participate in trades to bring in talent as well. A lot of guys don’t target ATL as a hot free agent destination, so maybe that will be the route chosen.
hello from the cornhusker state lang!
last week you told me al jefferson would be a great free agent pick up for ATL. so in 2013 al and al on the blocks….what marque name can we put on the wing with all the caproom available?
What about a guy like Kevin Martin at small forward to be the No. 3 scorer … wouldn’t be bad … not bad at all.
What do you know about the raptors’#56 pick Tomislav Zubcic?
Christian … good range on the jumper … questions about his lateral quickness …body needs to develop before he’ll be able to bang in the post at the NBA level.
Hey lang, what’s up brother? I took a lot of heat for a comment I made on bleacher report, saying Lawson is not a max-player nor is he a top-10 pg. I think there are at least 10 PGs I take before him to run my team (and possibly more). Here’s my list: CP3, Deron, Rondo, Tony Parker, Nash, Westbrook, Rose, Kyrie, Wall, Rubio, Curry, Dragic, Lowry.. and I said that I might even put Conley, Lillard and Lin ahead of him also. Am I crazy? Do people really consider Lawson top-10 and possibly max-player??? (sorry if this was posted twice, an error message came up)
Ty Lawson isn’t a max level player. That’s not to say the NUggets don’t max him out … but that is based on the climate the CBA has ushered in more than actual talent.
Lawson is much better than Jeremy Lin. Ty takes Jeremy’s lunch money every day of the week. I would rank Rondo, TP, CP3, D-Rose, Russ, Nash, Kyrie, D-Will over him …
I think he’s in the same tier with guys like Curry, Rubio, Lowry, Dragic, Wall, etc. You can debate their rankings amongst each other, but you’d basically be pulling straws at that point.
What are your thoughts on how the Magic’s new GM handled Dwight’s trade?
On the surface…it seems like Orlando came out on the short end of the stick of all four of the teams involved?
He was in a tough spot as a first time GM. Orlando is saying it accomplished everything it wanted to … maybe so, who’s to say … I do know that he shouldn’t have had to make a deal in a badly leveraged spot in the first place … Howard should have been traded … last season.
Utah sends Big AJ and A. Burks to the rockets for K. Martin and D. Motiejunas, who says no?
Utah … without hesitation.
Hi Lang, a trade proposal: IND sends Granger to HOU for Lamb, White, and Martin. What do you think?
Houston would be giving up too much here for Danny Granger.
DG is a good player, but that’s too much talent to give up for him.
Lang my man what’s up Mr ingram seems to believe that when derrick rose returns if he returns this season that the bulls will reach the east finals even when they lost the bench mob do you think that the replacement bench mob along with and drose back will go far in the playoffs or what
Shout to Bill-Eye. I can’t see it. So much of D-Rose’s game is based on his jump hop in the lane and torque on the knees … I can’t see him coming back THIS season and truly believing its healed to do all the things he once did. Guys will tell you … after major knee surgery, even when the doctor fully clears them … there is still a mental hurdle to overcome. Look at a guy like Gilbert Arenas … his recent struggles after knee surgery I believe is mostly mental.
How many Max players do you see are there in the league? In theory, two per team would make it 46 players. Is Harden a top 50 player in the league deserving max money? Lastly, should a top 50 player be a difference maker for a franchise?
Well here’s the thing … there are difference makers in the league who aren’t ranked anywhere near the top 50. A guy like Shane Battier is a huge difference maker. So is a guy like Danny Green. Same can be said about a guy like Taj Gibson with the Bulls’ bench mob. There are varying degrees.
Harden is a top 50 player, but I don’t think he’s capable of carrying a franchise by himself. But he’s still a difference maker. In my opinion, I believe MAX guys should be franchise players. The LeBron’s, Kobe’s, CP’3, D-Rose’s, etc …
I see alot of similarities in new Raptors roster and the Grizzles roster that made a playoff run two seasons ago. They both have two seven feet front court players, which I think are pretty similar in terms of roles. Both have a solid all around point guards in Lowry and Conley. Two shooters coming off the bench in Ross and Mayo. Only difference I would say is that the Raptors don’t have a SF like Rudy Gay. Do you think the Raptors can be better than that roster down the road in the next 1-2 seasons with the current roster?
Sky is the limit for Toronto. They are building something slowly … like a cake your mom used to cook slow in the kitchen that you hated to wait for … but when it was done … man it was good. I don’t now how Toronto’s cake will eventually TASTE but it SMELLS really good right now.
Hey Lang, fun question. Who out of these hoopsworld writers would you bet on in a 3 vs 3 basketball game and why? Best of 3 game series.
C-Yannis, F-Lang himself, G-Bible
Yannis, Susan and I would drop the hammer on them.
Is Pau Gasol a Hall of Famer?
Yes. Without a doubt. Keep in mind this is the international basketball Hall of Fame. PaU has a good resume. FOur All-Star selections. Two NBA titles. Two Olympic silver medals. Three All-NBA team selections. Rookie of the Year. He’ll get the nod.
Which class of star players do you think Paul Pierce is more closely grouped to:
or a little less..
Vince Carter/T-Mac/Mitch Richmond/Gil Arenas/Glen Rice?
Paul is in the first group. But there are tiers to the first group. LeBron, Kobe, Chuck and Pip are in better seats in the VIP sections at the theater than Reggie, Clyde, Dominique …. who are also in the VIP lounge.
So, I’d say Paul is more in the Dominique, Clyde, and Reggie Miller range. Somewhere in the top 3 of those four.
Vince, T-Mac, Gilbert, Glen Rice will go down as generational stars … but they weren’t quite good enough to be in the “one of the all-time best” class. Though I’d make an argument for Vince.
With all the $$$ Orlando is saving up for next summer, do you think they’ll shell out for 2 max-type players? Or develop their young players & spend their bread after they receive(inevitable) high draft picks to start and produce?
Also what do you think of Harkless & Nicholson? Personally I think they’ll be nice
Pete … while fans are happy with the cap space and potentially landing a top tier guy … my prediction is a very slow build in Orlando which won’t see MAX deals offered to guys in free agency for the foreseeable future.
Nicholson impressed me. He seems like he’ll be a Brandon Bass type … a solid player, fringe starter type.
Who do you think has higher upside.. J Wall or Irving? To me it’s Wall because of his D
John Wall has higher upside … he’s a better talent than Kyrie … but Kyrie is the better player. Kyrie uses his strengths much better than John uses his which is the reason Kyrie is much more consistent on a game to game basis.
What do you think of the job Masai Ujiri has done in Denver? I DIG!!! the moves he’s made since before the Melodrama, and think they’re poised for a big leap. Isn’t it entirely possible they leapfrog Dallas-LA Clip-Memphis into the 4 seed?
Denver has earned my respect in the post-Melo era. But they’ve taken some big risks … shipping Nene for JaVale was one of them. It has worked so far, so we shall see.
hey lang, got a raps q for ya.. do you think this is the year we see Bargs fully break out? pre-injury last season in december and january he averaged 23.5ppg & 6.8 boards. With a full training camp & j-val coming in it’s lookin good, right?
I think Bargnani is who he is … I think he’ll be a solid 2-3 man on playoff contending team before his career is over. Not sold he’s a top guy. He can put up numbers like one … but the wins/losses don’t reflect the improvement. What I like about what Toronto is doing is the fact the team is lessensing the burden on Bargnani having to be a star. I like that and I think Andrea will do well.
will the lakers get another small forward to back up mwp or are they happy with ebanks or better yet why not trade ebanks and blake to get another sf do you see any of it happening
I believe the Lakers are set. If anything they’ll run Antawn at small forward in a pinch if needed.
In your opinion, who wins more games next year? Orlando Magic or Detroit Pistons (easy answer is Orlando, but they will be in full tank mode and looking to trade off assets mid season). Your thoughts.
I say Detroit. I believe the MAgic roster you see today won’t be the one you’ll see come April.
Lang! whats good Man! how’s life going
1. Are the Hawks going to use the D-league to develope it’s own talent
2. Whats the word on Mike Scott from this years’s draft
3. With all the the front office changes whats Dominque roll now
3Q! What’s good bruh?
1. Not sure how they’ll work it under Danny Ferry. The Spurs are a team who utilizes the D-League and since Danny has a San Antonio pedigree, then its certainly possible.
2. I don’t see him being a rotational guy in year one based on what I saw in summer league. But I think he can make the team. He has decent range on the jumper and I can see him being used in pick and pop situations to stretch the floor.
3. From everything I hear Dominique is still in the same capacity as last season. I’ll have more on that in the coming weeks though as I get back into the flow of getting down to the arena.
Lang hope you are well! The Hawks add James Anderson and maybe Anthony Tolliver. It seems the roster may be unbalanced and they may trade for a SF, which Ferry mentions as a possibility. What do you think?
Ferry mentions Korver, Harris and Morrow in interviews so I do not see them being traded. Only ones I can think of to go after are Corey Brewer, Austin Daye, maybe Wilson Chandler….but he has a long term deal.
Mark- I didn’t think of the Wilson Chandler option … that could be something. But Danny has routinely stated he wanted a defensive minded guy on the wing, so Wilson may not fit the mold. I see where you’re going though with the thinking.
Good evening Lang, I’m an avid Magic fan. Do you see Hawks roster as essentially complete for 12/13 at this point? If so, where do you see ATL finishing in East Conf.(think we probably agree they will be 2nd in SE Div.)? If roster ‘not complete’ what might they still be looking for?
I think the Hawks battle for a 6-8 seed as currently constructed. They won’t be bad at all. Just hard to see them advancing past the first round against teams like Miami or Boston right now if they were to land in the 7-8 spots.
Hawks are looking for a defensive minded SF … that is the glaring hole in the roster right now.
Roy Hibbert. Why is he mentioned almost as an afterthought when talking about the best bigs in the game? It could be argued that Hibs has had to put in more work, not being blessed with Howard’s/Bynum’s physical gifts. Where’s the respect?
Love Roy man … but I also watched the guy shrink in the Eastern Conference semis when the Pacers had the HEAT on the ropes in serious trouble. He was so dominant through the first three games … then the next three … *crickets*
So that’s why I have guys like Al Horford and Marc Gasol rated a little higher. I need to see a little more. And speaking of Hibbert … shout out to Jeff Foster who inspired big Roy to put in that extra work on his body to improve his motor.
Hey Lang, thanks for your great work! Do you think Evan Turner will step up in a big way for Philly this year or not?
Pressure is on for Evan Turner. No more excuses now man. They traded Andre Iguodala, an All-Star, so Turner can get more burn … it’s time for him to live up to his draft pick.
Tomislav Zubcic is definitely a 4 than a 3?
He’s probsbly more of a 3, but the bigger threes will take him into the post and force him to go body-to-body … and he’s not ready for that physicality just yet.
Hey Lang! Hope all is good. I have 2 questions for you.
1.) Does the amnesty clause expire or have to be used by a certain time?
2.) Do you see the Lakers using it and how?
Thanks from Lakerland!!!
1. Amnesty can only be used for contracts signed under the previous CBA … so there is a limited shelf life.
2. I can’t see them using it. I believe they’d trade Pau for assets before paying him $20 million to go play somewhere else for nothing in return
That’s it for me tonight Hoop Freaks … hit me on Twitter or send me an-email if I missed you so we can chop it up …
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Kobe Bryant is just days away from returning. ... Should Isaiah Thomas be starting for Kings? ... Sixers learning to manage expectations
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3:00pm - Yannis Koutroupis
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