Join senior NCAA and NBA analyst Yannis Koutroupis for his weekly chat at 11 am EST this Friday April 27th. As always basketball questions from all levels are welcomed.
with the Toronto Raptors having their biggest and most evident hole at the SF position who do you think they go with? Harrison Barnes, Perry Jones III or do they go with best available? I also believe that a PG like Damian Lillard would be a step in the right direction for them.
Welcome everyone to this week’s chat. Let’s get right to the questions.
I had them going with Perry Jones III in my last mock draft as the best player available. In theory, they could put him at small forward and have one of the biggest frontlines in the game with Jones, Bargnani and Valanciunas. I have my questions about whether or not he can play the three. My concern is that he’d be too passive and inactive out on the perimeter, but he does have the skills to play there. They really need Barnes or MKG to fall. Perhaps they stretch for Moe Harkless, heard his stock is on the rise. He played primarily the four, but some see him growing into a three.
You see Mark Cuban’s comments about Olympic Basketball? I agree 100%. Give me a product that makes billions and don’t have to pay the workers! U agree?
I never disagree with Mark! He’s by far one of my favorite owners. Kidding. Actually, I kind of have an opposite view on this. Do they deserve to get paid? Sure, there’s a serious argument for that. But, did the Dream Team get paid? Is Spain getting paid? Look at what these guys make yearly in the NBA. If you’re going to tell me they can’t afford to play 6-10 games or whatever it is for free when a lot of them would be working on their games anyway, then I don’t know what they’re doing with their money. To me, winning a gold medal is a priceless accomplishment that makes you a legend forever.
Can u compare the top 5 draft picks in this upcoming draft to modern day or previous nba players
I’m not in love comparisons, but I’ll do it anyway.
Anthony Davis – Kevin Garnett
MKG – Gerald Wallace
Andre Drummond – DeAndre Jordan
Brad Beal – Ray Allen
Thomas Robinson – This one took me awhile to think of, I’m gonna go with Amar’e.
I’m not saying they’re going to be as good as all those guys, of course. That’s just who they could look similar to if they reach their full potential.
Which teams are you most concerned about heading into the playoffs?
Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers. Derrick Rose can’t be 80-90% if they’re going to get to the Finals. He has to be 100%. I’ve been hesitant to jump on the Spurs bandwagon all year. I think things are set up for them to get to the Conference Finals, but wouldn’t surprise me at all if Memphis got them again in the second. I actually think if Utah was a little bit more experienced they’d have a shot because they can really attack them inside. The Clippers really lack playoff experience. I expect the Grizzlies to win that series.
Prediction: What happens to Deron Williams and Steve Nash?
Deron will sign with the Dallas Mavericks and Steve Nash will end up with a contender. I can see Miami being too convincing for him to pass on.
Hi Yannis. In your opinion, why do you think the Bobcats had a terrible season like they did this year and what changes need to be made? New Coach, New Owner, better talent? What are your thoughts?
I don’t think the desire to win was really there, honestly. The culture isn’t what it needs to be there. I don’t know if Anthony Davis fixes everything there. He certainly makes them more enjoyable to watch, though. Jordan is awful. Name one good move he’s made, dating back to the Wizards days. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.
Now that the playoff matchups are set, I noticed a couple of rematchs from the past and from last year. A rematch of Hawks-Celtics (From the first year Boston’s Big Three got together) and Dallas-OKC (This time in the first round). Which of those teams will win the rematches?
I went with Hawks and OKC. Boston could beat Atlanta, but I think that OKC is a lock over Dallas. The Mavericks aren’t going to be able to control the tempo against OKC, and they’ll have some issues scoring against their defense.
Now the playoffs is approaching, who do you think will be a scoring champion in a playoff series?? Crazy question but personally, i want to see who will be a leader and a shocker of a team.. right??
Probably someone from the regular suspects in the regular season: Kobe, Wade, LeBron, Durant. Look for Al Jefferson, Thaddeus Young, OJ Mayo and Ty Lawson to be guys on a lower-seeded team that really play well in trying to help their teams pull off a shocker.
if the kings draft Barnes or MKG or sign a starting small forward in free agency but also keep Tyreke Evans, who comes off the bench Marcus Thornton or Isiah Thomas?
I think either one of those guys can come off the bench and really contribute. It’d probably be Thornton to provide instant offense.
Is Jared Cunningham the biggest sleeper in the draft? Why is he viewed as a second round pick when he seems to have Russel Westbrooks size and Athleticism?
What kind of player can he be in the NBA and whats his potential and upside?
Not in my eyes. I’m not in love with his game, but the talent is evident. He’s kind of a tweener, if he can play point guard then he could end up being a real sleeper but I’m not sure he can. He’s a scorer who has had the green light at Oregon State during a time when the Pac 12 has been lackluster. With that said, he does know how to do some things that could bode very well for him moving forward. He’s good at getting to the free throw line, playing the passing lanes and is an alright rebounder. Big key for him will be defending whatever position he ends up at and cutting down the turnovers. Remember, Westbrook is the exception for shooting guards moving over to point guard. Most of them fail at the transition.
Why don’t you realize how good Austin Rivers is. He is the Only Lottery Pick who gets talked about most about the things he cant do rather than the things he can do. Of course he needs to get stronger and work on his shot selection but the kid is only 19 years old. Rivers is an Elite Prospect which made him the Number 1 recruit in High school. He has Elite NBA ready Ball handling Skills, Quickness and shooting ability. His size isn’t a big deal when 3 of the top 5 SG in the league are “undersized” in Dwyane wade, Monta Ellis and Eric Gordon. I will truly be shocked when its all said and done and hes not one of the top 5 players to come out of this draft.
I went pretty in-depth about Austin Rivers here: http://www.hoopsworld.com/are-rivers-jones-teague-nba-ready
To answer your question here, though, let me start by saying I do realize how good he is. He’s an incredible talent. I just wonder how if he’s ever going to be able to make the changes to his game that he needs to in order to be truly great like a Dwyane Wade is. Rivers is not the explosive type of athlete that Wade, Ellis and Gordon are vertically. Still, he’s pretty crafty around the basket so that may not be too big of an issue. I just look at him as a very frustrating guy to play with. Go watch him on the break in particular. Rivers blatantly misses guys on 3-on-1, 3-on-2 fast breaks because he’s so focused on scoring himself. And he’s prone to settle for tough shots offensively. I also question whether or not he’s going to be able to hold his own defensively at the shooting guard position. That’s going to be the biggest issue for him in terms of size. NBA shooting guards like Wade, Kobe and Joe Johnson will take him to the block immediately and feast on him.
Will Kevin Durrant win the scoring title for the next 5 years? Who are some young up and coming players who could challange him for the next couple of years and why?
Eric Gordon, Marshon Brooks, Marcus Thornton, Monta Ellis, Paul George, Austin Rivers, Harrison Barnes.
It’s very possible, but only because Wade and LeBron play on the same team. If they were on separate teams with a bigger work load, they’d give KD a run for his money. Eventually the Thunder are going to have more offensive options around KD and he won’t need to score like he does, so it’s important to take that into account as well.
Harrison Barnes is starting to get underrated, if anyone thinks he isn’t a top 5 pick just dont know what there talking about. Harrison Barnes is a Elite Prospect and should be the 2nd pick in the draft and i still think he can become the “cant miss Prospect” he was coming out of high school.
He had a few bad games in the tournament which should say to much compared to what he did in high school and 2 years at UNC.
Jacob, here’s a big thing to remember. Just because a guy doesn’t go top five doesn’t mean he’s not a top five talent or good enough to go that high. Sometimes it comes down to positional needs. If only one team in the top five needs a small forward, they’re more than likely going to go with MKG because he’s the better prospect. Doesn’t take anything away from Barnes, that’s just how things could play out.
Now, let me argue your other point. To call Barnes can’t miss to me would require him to bring something unique or hard to find to the table. Does he do that? Not to me. He’s a scorer, a very capable one at that, but what else does he do as well as he can score? Nothing in my eyes. He’s a mediocre rebounder and he almost never passes so I can’t say much about his playmaking skills. He’s an ok defender. Sure, he’s got great maturity – but that’s an asset that means less and less as he gets older. Scorers aren’t hard to find. You know what’s hard to find? Someone who can guard three positions well like MKG, or someone who can block shots like Anthony Davis. They both easily could have averaged the same amount of points that Harrison did had they been featured like him offensively.
And this is the second time people have brought up what a prospect has done in high school. Put that out of your mind. I don’t care if you play at the best high school in the country, the difference in competition is too tremendous to even bother bringing it up.
What kind of player do you see Damian Lilard being at the NBA level? What kind of scorer can he be? Does he have all star Potential?
Would you rather draft him Brandon Knight or Kemba Walker?
I’ve had scouts rave to me about Lillard. I think he’s going to be a solid starter who gets you 14-18 a night with a couple of assists and rebounds. He’s going to have to find the balance between shooting and passing. I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt that he’s not going to shoot as much as he did at Weber State because he’s going to be surrounded by pro-level talent, which he was not at Weber State. It’s pretty close with those guys, I don’t think I could make a huge case to take any one over the other.
Miami minus the big 2 an bosh lose to the wizards by 34, Chicago minus rose and deng thump the cavs by 32. As good as wade and born are, do you think chicagos depth will be too much for them?
No. LeBron will guard Rose late in games and he’ll be stifled again, I think. Don’t ever use meaningless regular season games to form a playoff prediction. It never works.
Best match up of Rnd 1 Playoffs for you?
LeBron v Melo
Randolph v Griffin
Duncan v Millsap
JSmith/Johnson v Garnett/Pierce?
Got any better ones?
Bynum vs. McGee? That one is intriguing to me because I’m a big man guy, but obviously Melo vs LeBron can’t be topped.
If/when dallas beats OKC, will Durant get any blame, or will it all be swept under the rug as usual?
He’ll catch heat. For the record, though, I don’t agree with that happening.
any chance the bulls pick up antwan jamison, jason terry or ray allen for the MLE this summer?
Certainly possibly. Very viable destination for guys veterans like that.
A few nights ago on TNT, Shaq said the best three shooters in the league are Steve Novak, Kyle Korver and Ryan Anderson, in that order. Seems to me he’s a little off the mark on this one. What do you think?
Well, if I needed a three made and one of those guys was shooting it, I’d feel pretty good about it.
Great chats, RAPS. fan. RAPTORS are need a SF,but if they can get THOMAS ROBERTSON AND move BARG. for a SF like RUDY?
or just select a SF?
I don’t know if they could swing a deal like that. I’d just go with a SF.
Yannis thanks for the chat, I hear a lot of people talk bout Jonas V a lot and his potential but I dont hear as much about Kanter, I understand a lot of it is cause Kanters already in the league and Jonas is not yet, but who do you think will be the better player?
You’re welcome, thanks for the question! Jonas has much more potential on the defensive end and has really shined recently. I’d probably side with Jonas right now.
If GS can retain its 1rst round pick at 7, what players should they be looking at in the #7 spot?
They could go in a number of different directions. A swingman makes sense, but I think they can justifiably do just about anything.
Do you the Jazz front line giving too much trouble for the spurs this year? I am terrified of a repeat of last year or are they better prepared this year? Duncan deserves 2 more rings
I don’t view championships as something players deserve. You either earn them or you don’t. Duncan’s earned four, I think he’ll sleep peacefully if he doesn’t win anymore. This Jazz team has some areas they can take advantage of the Spurs in, most notably inside. But, I don’t think they’re experienced or good enough defensively to give the Spurs the same kind of trouble the Grizzlies did. Plus, the Spurs are healthy whereas they were not last year. I’d be more concerned about Memphis, LAL, LAC, OKC – all four of those teams in my opinion can beat the Spurs.
Hey Yannis, Do you think John Hammond and Scott Skiles will be back next season? If Skiles is out, who do you think will be the next Bucks coach?
Quite possibly. If Skiles is gone, I think they should go with Mike D’Atoni based on the guard play they have.
What do you think happens to the blazers this offseason? who do u think they will sign and draft based on the picks they get?
I’ve got five minutes left, nowhere near enough time for me to break down the massive overhaul that is likely to be completed there. It already started at the deadline. I’ll just say this, they’ll look far different.
Hey, Yannis, how are you?
Will Stevie Nash consider the Blazers in the offseason?
And who do you think will be the best fit for the Blazers with their respective picks? I’d love to see Drummond fall to them, this kid can ball!
Greetings from Germany
I don’t know why he would, he’s got to go to a contending situation. I don’t see how the Blazers could suddenly become contenders. Drummond and a point guard would be a good draft for Portland.
Hi Yannis. So the Suns are done for the year and maybe the next few. What is your opinion on the direction they should take. Also who do you think they should draft at 15?
They should go with a forward, small or power forward makes sense to me. Shooting guard is a possibility too.
If you are the Jazz GM what are your moves this summer and draft, you have plenty to work with assuming you get the GS pick with the 8th pick. Plenty to trade is you need to or you can stand pat….what do you do?
Good question. I wanna watch their playoff series before I say anything definitive. I think that’ll say a lot about what needs to happen moving forward.
Who are the best international prospects from this year’s draft ? Do you see one of them going in the lottery ?
Very weak class. Evan Fournier is the only one with a chance to go in the first round. Outside of him, just a bunch of guys who will be drafted and brought over a couple years from now if ever.
Watched the replay of the Artest elbow and I agree with the commentators “that was a disgrace.” You cannot argue it was apart of the celebration as he clearly winds up and Bones Jones elbows Harden in the side of the head. If you were a Lakers fan, would you be ashamed at the actions of Metta World Peace and wish he was permanently off your team? Why or why not.
Let’s not crucify the guy. He was suspended seven games by the league. If a more stern punishment was deserving, he would have gotten it without hesitation. As far as I’m concerned, it’s over with and a non-issue. I doubt we’ll see anything like that from MWP again.
When Steve Kyler was asked if the Toronto Raptors would trade DeMar DeRozan for Tyreke Evans he stated, “Evans value is really low… I don’t think Toronto gives up DeMar for Evans… I think they have the better guy.” Do you agree with Kyler’s evaluation and DeMar is the better player?
It’s a part of my contract to agree with everything Steve says. So yes! On a serious note, DeRozan is the more prototypical guard and easier to play with from a teammate’s perspective and use from a coach’s perspective. So, I can see his logic although Evans may be a little bit more well-rounded.
Rank these coaches in terms of the job they did this year despite missing the playoffs: Kevin McHale, Dwayne Casey, Alvin Gentry and Rick Adelman
Hi Yannis, With regards to your comments on Harrison Barnes, I totally agree w/ you. He is too one dimensional. He reminds me of DeRozan, although he has improved a bit. If I were the GM I would still trade him DeRozan). If Sean May, who was CPOY at UNC, wasn’t successful in the NBA, what makes you think Barnes will be successful.
Well, they’re two completely different players, talking about May and Barnes. And, I was arguing that Barnes was a can’t miss prospect and the second best player in this draft. He’s not, but I still think he’s going to be a stater and a nice second/third option. He’s going to be able to score at a high rate and be serviceable enough in the other aspects of the game.
May had some injury issues and was an undersize power forward who was unexplosive and alligator armed. His weight immediately got away from him early in his career. I don’t think there are any similarities between the two other than the fact that they’re Tar Heels.
Who do you think will be the best big man not named Anthony Davis in this draft?
Thomas Robinson. Wild card: Meyers Leonard.
That’s going to do it for me folks, have a great day! I’ll be back next week at the same time.
Select a Team
Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers
New Orleans Pelicans
New York Knicks
Portland Trail Blazers
San Antonio Spurs
Select a Team
Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers
New Orleans Pelicans
New York Knicks
Portland Trail Blazers
San Antonio Spurs
Danny Granger has the opportunity to really be a difference maker off of the bench for the Indiana Pacers... Kobe Bryant more optimistic going into his second game back from his torn Achilles.
10:30am - Steve Kyler
3:00pm - Yannis Koutroupis
8:00pm - Jessica Camerato
11:00am - Nate Duncan
8:00pm - Bill Ingram
12:00pm - Travis Heath***
8:00pm - Lang Greene
1:00pm - Joel Brigham
3:00pm - Jabari Davis
1:00pm - Moke Hamilton
3:00pm - Larry Coon
8:00pm - Alex Kennedy
11:00am - Susan Bible ***
*** denotes chats that are held bi-weekly