Welcome to the NBA Roundtable! This week we roll with EJ, Joao and welcome Bill Golamb to the team!
Lets hit the court and talk Trade, Who’s going to resign now, The Kings give up and some Lil Wayne, why not?
1. Are you surprised at the lack of moves at the trade deadline?
EJ: Yes I was surprised. There was a lot of smoke and no fire. However, this is the world of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Teams out there will need to make moves because of the harsher luxury tax penalties that will take effect as of next season, but teams were definitely conservative at this year’s deadline. That led to no action. Well, unless you consider Jordan Crawford to the Celtics for Leandro Barbosa as action. Anyway, I did love the acquisition of Thomas Robinson by the Rockets. Once again Darryl Morey proves to be the smartest man in the room.
Joao: Even though I was not expecting elite stars being traded (stay put Dwight Howard and Kevin Garnett!), fact of the matter is that trade deadline activity this year fell really short of any significance. JJ Redick was the only relevant player being moved but he isn’t joining a contender, further diminishing the importance of this year’s trade deadline.
Redick could have given a boost to a contender, but the Bucks sit at just 26-28. Yes, the Bucks will likely make the playoffs but Redick will not turn them into title contenders.
I guess teams are still trying to understand their financial future and the impact of new regulations. On top of that several rumored trades simply did not materialize.
Bill: Somewhat. Given the turmoil behind Billy Hunter’s ousting as head of the NBAP, it may have affected some movement within the league. I did expect a few of the teams that really needed to make a move (my Suns, for sure) to make more of a play but sadly, we were all left disappointed. This is the first trading deadline period in quite some time where no all-star caliber players were swapped on the last day. The only big name that was expected to move, Josh Smith, still remains in the ATL. ONe has to wonder as to how all the drama behind the buildup to the deadline and his subsequent non-trade will affect him, if at all. Dwight Howard was never a real possibility to be moved and Mitch Kupchak made that adamantly clear.
2. What do you think of Cuban’s comments about Kobe?
EJ: I didn’t think much of Mark’s comments. I don’t even understand why the Lakers came out and declared his comments inappropriate. Let’s face facts: the Lakers will not amnesty Kobe Bryant. Mark Cuban even said as much but to paint him as inappropriate for asking a hypothetical question is just stupid. The Lakers are in luxury tax hell for a team that has some serious flaws. Cutting some salary does make sense and the Lakers do have one last opportunity to amnesty someone this summer. In my daily text battles with DJ he did suggest something that makes sense: amnestying Pau Gasol and his $19 million dollar contract next season. I don’t think it will happen but it’s something to keep an eye on.
Joao: Cuban is always the controversial showman, this actually comes of no surprise. He has backpedaled somewhat yesterday saying that he was just using Kobe as an example to educate people on the collective bargaining agreement. If that’s really the case, then I would advise him to use Dirk Nowitzki as an example.
The Lakers have the right to be unhappy about these comments. Furthermore, Kobe is posting an MVP caliber season; despite the terrible season the Lakers are having, Kobe is having one of the best seasons of his career. Talking about amnesty regarding Kobe makes zero sense.
Bill: Not surprised. Cuban will be Cuban, no doubt about that. Cuban has never been afraid to speak his mind when it comes to anything with regards to the NBA and this situation is no different. Would cutting Bryant with the amnesty rule be a wise move for the payroll bloated Lakers? Sure, but we know it’ll never happen. Even though Bryant is still performing at a high level, he’s taking up a humongous portion of their cap space. He is, however, the face of the franchise and has carried the team on his back since the “breakup” and totally deserves that money. It would be intriguing to see just how things would evolve if Bryant were amnestied. My guess it that Cuban would be the very first one in line to sweet talk him onto his team.
3. Chris Kaman, Chris Paul, Ron Artest, Dwight Howard, Manu, Al Jefferson.
Rank them in odds of returning.
EJ: 1) Chris Paul 2) Manu Ginobili 3) Dwight Howard 4) Ron Artest 5) Chris Kaman 6) Al Jefferson
I won’t address each player individually but I will say that it is a lock Chris Paul will be back with the Clippers next season. He is in a top market and it looks like the Clippers finally understand that they have to spend money to compete
Joao: .Chris Paul is a shoe in to return. The Clippers have depth, are young and poised to make a deep postseason run. The development of Blake Griffin alone gives reason for Chris Paul to come back.
Then Ginobili, almost certain to return. He is one of those guys who is linked to the Spurs franchise, until he decides to retire.
I would be inclined to say that Dwight Howard should return. Far from a certainty, but I do believe the Lakers will reach the playoffs and Howard’s stock value around the league has decreased this season. I count on people surrounding him telling that he should return, to improve his image and take advantage of the large LA market. Plus Kobe isn’t going to hang around forever.
Kaman and Metta World Peace are likely gone, good pieces for several teams.
And Al Jefferson is almost certain to leave the Jazz. It has been well documented that Utah’s frountcourt is too crowded. Al Jefferson is the main candidate to leave town, especially because the Jazz love Millsap’s upside potential.
Bill: Paul > Manu > Kaman > Howard > Artest > Jefferson
Paul is pretty much a given as he’s got a supreme collection of talent around him. The Clippers are his very best chance to win.
Let’s face it, Ginobili is going to retire a Spur. The question is at what cost. Will he go for more money or take the more noble route and give the home team discount as others have for that same team?
Kaman is in a good situation in Dallas. Like Paul, he’s got his best chance to win right where he is.
Howard is on the fence. I’m not completely sold on the whole “Lakers are happy” stuff. This is and will be Bryant’s team until he chooses to retire. Will Howard continue to play second fiddle while struggling under D’Antoni’s system? We’ll see… but he could just as easily bolt despite LA being able to offer him more money and more glamour to go with it.
Artest is an enigma, and that’s nothing new. His playing time has dwindled over the past few seasons and will likely continue to do so. He’s not the stopper he once was and is no longer a consistent scoring threat. If he’s not amnestied, I look for Ron to take his game elsewhere so he can get more run.
Jefferson will definitely be gone. I’m surprised he wasn’t shipped out at the deadline. There are several teams that could use his size and nightly double/double. Phoenix could be a good fit for him, but I don’t see that working out as long as Gortat is still around. Perhaps the two will pull a sign and trade?
4. Did the Kings give up on Robinson too soon?
EJ: Absolutely. I did call Darryl Morey the smartest man in the room earlier and he got an absolute steal in Thomas Robinson. I have no idea what the hell the Sacramento Kings are doing. The Kings gave up the #5 pick in last year’s draft for little or nothing. No disrespect to the players the Rockets traded but the fact I can’t even remember their names is pretty telling. In Robinson the Rockets received a player that could be a solid power forward or trade bait in a deal that brings them another star. Count on Morey to make the Rockets a contender real soon.
Joao: I think so, and I am not sure what happened there. Whenever you have a team with no playoff aspirations and you can hand out minutes to a rookie who was the draft’s number 5 overall selection, a very athletic player at that, you simply should not trade him away.
I guess they wanted to get Patterson, a college teammate of DeMarcus Cousins at Kentucky. And while Patterson is an interesting prospect, trading Robinson away will eventually come back to haunt them.
Bill: Absolutely. I don’t think that being drafted by the Kings was the best place for him, but they’ll definitely regret this move. The kid is young, powerful, and has game that’s only going to improve. While the marquee piece in that trade, Patrick Patterson, is a rugged rebounder and can put the rock in the hole, but he’s got a far lower ceiling than Robinson. This move will end up haunting the Kings, for sure. Given the situation with the organization and the impending sale, this move was made to free up additional cash. However, when you’ve got a player on your team who can help to turn things around, you don’t send him off to a conference rival and especially not when he’s a highly promising top 5 pick.
5. If you were Chris Bosh- would you punch Lil Wayne next time you see him?
EJ: Chris Bosh isn’t punching anyone. Yeah, Lil’ Wayne took some shots at him, LeBron and D. Wade but Chris “I take champagne facials” Bosh will not punch anyone. For real. Look up Chris Bosh memes and what do you see? Bosh taking and spitting out champagne in some real porn star fashion after the Heat won the title. So will Chrissy Bosh go after Lil’ Wayne for Weezy telling the world that he smashed his wife? No. No way.
Joao: Lil Wayne said that he was conned by Bosh’s wife. If that’s true, I can understand the anger behind his recent diatribe.
But, any other way you look at it, it was just uncalled for. I am not sure what Bosh should do, but punching Wayne is certainly within the array of possibilities.
Bill: For the reactionary side in me, I’d say yes; for the sensible side, I’d say to let it go. What she may have done with Wayne before she got married (the thought sickens – look at dude!) is irrelevant. What Bosh needs to be concerned with is what’s happening between him and his wife NOW. It’s not like she’s admitting to adultery or anything, so he just needs to get past it if he can or get on with cutting ties if he can’t. Besides, Wayne is a professional runner-of-the-mouth as are so many others in that game, so why let it bother?
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