Welcome to the NBA Roundtable, where due to the Sterling controversy kind of took the place by storm, and I (David) apologize for the delay, as always we do have our team going, due to the timing of the Roundtable, we will not be covering the Sterling Mess. Today, EJ, Bill, Sandy and Bill talk about what players on the Wiz and Hawks are worth the 10th overall pick in a loaded NBA Draft, The Bad Boys 30 for 30, and if the Knicks and T-Wolves can get good coaches.
1. Lets say you are the GM of an NBA Team, and you have the 10th pick in the NBA Draft.
The Atlanta Hawks call you, and ask you what players on their roster, you would take for that pick straight up.
EJ: If I had the #10 pick and Atlanta came calling I’d definitely ask for Paul Milsapp and/or Jeff Teague. While this draft is being sold as a deep and youthful draft, I wouldn’t hold onto the 10th pick and risk not getting a player that can help my franchise right now.
Bill: Looking at the roster of the Hawks, I find it hard to say who might be a fair offer for my team. It all depends on positional need, but you can’t always rely on that and sometimes have to take the best option available. As such, I’d say… Jeff Teague. Teague is a solid PG capable of both scoring and distributing, not to mention a decent on the ball defender. Also, he’s only 25 years old. That means plenty of solid production from perhaps the most important position on the floor.
Sandy: I don’t follow the Hawks much unless they are playing the Celtics, but I’d go with Al Horford.
Zach: Alright obviously if a player like Parker, Wiggins, or Emibiid drops down, then re-assessment is required. For now, my “big board” for a tenth pick would go something like: Aaron Gordon, Noah Vonlah, Marcus Smart, Tyler Ennis, and Doug McDermott (in that order). If you are in the west and need to fill the power slot, Gordon is your man. They guy is athletic, skillful, has range, and possesses that Blake Griffin X-Factor. Vonlah, I see a lot of Joakim Noah in him. This kid would be excellent for a team lacking a workhorse center. To be truly excellent, a team needs one guy who gets all the guts, none of the glory. A total workhorse. Vonleh seems to be that guy. Smart is a loose cannon that could spark a team in need of that “all-around” scorer. If you have all defense but no “go-to” guy when the game is on the line, what good are you? Smart is a sparkplug a lot of teams truly desire. Can he keep his mouth shut long enough, though? Ennis (no matter how smug he always looks) is a calm, cool, pass-first point guard. If we can take anything away from Oklahoma City’s situation, it’s that if Ricky Rubio were in OKC, they would have three titles already. A pass-first point is the standard of basketball I enjoy. Ennis is a silent leader who is going to lead some lucky team to new heights. And finally, Dougie. He is a prolific scorer, much like former Jay Kyle Korver. The difference between the two is McD can move a lot better and can create a shot better than Korver ever could. Their defense efforts differ, dearly. And that doesn’t matter one bit. A lot of guys in the NBA can’t play defense. So what? So on to the Hawks, I’ve always been a big Al Horford fan. The problem with Horford and Atlanta is he’s always played out of position. He’s more of a dynamic power than a true center. So what did ATL do when they let Josh Smith walk? Got Paul Millsap. Tit for tat, I guess. Horford is SEVERELY undervalued in ATL and would thrive if he could only be a true forward. If not him, then Lou Williams. He’s a solid sixth man that will provide a breath for starters, and is an all-around centerpiece for the “B” squad of any franchise.
David: I’m looking at AL, All Day I’m trading in a heartbeat. In a normal draft, I could see Teague or Millsap, but in this draft? I think Al is the onlt one I’m looking for.
2. Same Scenario
EJ: Same scenario? I’d definitely ask the Wizards for Bradley Beal. If I couldn’t get Beal, I’ll settle for Otto Porter Jr., Glen Rice Jr., and Kevin Seraphin. Yes, I’d take three young and somewhat unproven players for the price of one because at least this trio has some NBA experience (although Porter and Rice were in the D-League) and I’d be willing to take the gamble that one of them hits faster than whoever I’d select at #10.
Bill: Hmm.. this one is a little tougher seeing as the Wizards have a lot of young talent they’d be unlikely to part with easily. This upcoming draft is pretty stocked though, so I’d take my chances and ask for… Trevor Booker. While a grab of Bradley Beal would be fantastic, Booker is far more realistic. Booker is a pretty solid defender and rebounder when he gets consistent run. Given time, he could easily be a 15/8/2 player and a good anchor on the block.
Sandy: Again I’m winging it here, but Bradley Beal is a decent scorer and is only 20yr old, so think he will improve over time.
Zach: Obviously is the Wiz are willing to part with Wall or Beal, you have to inquire. Getting back to reality, I always liked Trevor Ariza. He played good ball in Houston and might’ve fallen off in D.C. I always thought he was a good defender against star players in limited minutes. If not Ariza then Kevin Seraphin or Nene. What’s not bad about either player? They play hard, grab rebounds, and hold their weight on the offensive side. Case closed, in my book.
David: John Wall. Thats it. I feel as if Beal might be a bust, and I don’t trust Nene for 100 games.
3. Thoughts on the 30 for 30 done on the Bad Boys?
EJ: Although I consider myself a Lakers fan, I actually loved those Bad Boys teams. Back when I was in the 4th grade, which was in 1990, I was given a $1 by my father to buy this poster at a school fair. The poster was a picture of the Bad Boys. It had Isiah, Joe, Laimbeer, Vinnie Johnson, and Dennis Rodman on it. That poster stayed on my bedroom wall until my early 20’s. So, yeah I was a big fan of the Bad Boys, and I really liked that the 30 for 30 gave me an insight into one of the teams that made me a fan of the NBA.
Bill: I thought it was well done. It gave a nice perspective on how the players came together as a team and a family and put that dynamic against anyone. It also explained the shrewd moves taken to assemble that back to back championship squad that was seemingly done in by the expansion draft as required by the NBA. Had they been able to stick together, they very well could have won another title. Michael Jordan would clearly have something to say about that, but you never know.
Sandy: I didn’t watch it, but I can image it was pretty entertaining. Just watching Dennis Rodman would be worth a laugh or two.
Zach: I missed it, but have no doubt it was spectacular. What wasn’t epic about the Bad Boys?
David: One of the best 30 for 30s. I grew up a Lakers fan, and I hated seeing the Pistons on the schedule. James F’N Worthy is my favorite player of all time, and when you got Lakers/Pistons that means Mahorn, Rodman and Bill was going to beat the hell out of Worthy, and not only was that game going to be painful to watch, but it might be 2 or 3 games before I got my guy back. Thats one thing that wasn’t really talked about, if you played the Pistons back to back with a team that Worthy killed, like the Bucks or the Mavs, then you might get half the good minutes you would get if it was a Cavs game instead of the Pistons, you LOVED Lakers/Celtics. But you hated seeing Pistons week. Teams in the East might not have been as bad, since they saw them more often, but playing the Suns or Sonics didn’t beat on you like Motown.
4. Do you think the Knicks job is still a good job?
EJ: The Knicks job will always be a good job. Forgive me a great job. Allow me to be a biased homer when I say this: but there is no City in the United States like New York City. It’s a true metropolis, it’s one of the great global hubs, and there is no fan base more hopeful than Knicks fans. Knicks fans may despise the owner, James Dolan, but the games are always sold out despite increasing ticket prices. The Knicks may have missed the playoffs 9 times in the last 14 seasons, but this fan base always believes that every year is their year. As long as you have that passion behind you, you’d always find someone wanting to become the head coach of the New York Knicks.
Bill: It depends on which “job” is being spoken about, but I can reliably assume it’s the role of head coach that’s the focus of the question. Yes, I think it’s a good job; one of the most prestigious yet aggravating coaching positions in all of professional sports. Few teams are more scrutinized than the New York Knicks, and the coach is always at the forefront of that scrutiny. All that aside, the largest obstacle to overcome isn’t the media scrutiny but the owner, Jim Dolan. If it weren’t for his repeated interference with the team, things could be far better than they are and the Knicks could be turned around more quickly. Now that Phil Jackson is running the front office and supposedly has handed over the keys to the Knicks to him and promised that he’d butt out, everything might get back on track far quicker than ever before. We’ll see. I don’t have any faith in Dolan and fully expect him to be meddling in Jackson’s plans the first chance he gets. He’s got too large of an ego and there’s no way he relinquishes total control.
Sandy: Yes, I hope Phil Jackson picks Steve Kerr, I think he would do a great job, depending on the personnel of course.
Zach: Better question: have I thought the Knicks job was ever a good job? The answer is no. Too many attitudes, too many stigmas that promote an individualistic environment among Knicks players, reps, and fans. Personally, I would not coach that team but as they say, “have at it, Hoss”. Kerr is a penny-crunching mogul who was so much better than his broadcasting gig. The man just has the knack to make things work in the front-office. But will it transfer to the locker room? Time will tell, but if coaching doesn’t work out…teams NEED you in the front office. Don’t go back to TNT when this doesn’t work out, Steve.
David: I don’t see it. If you do a great job, Philbo gets the credit. You do a decent job, and Philbo is going to be looking over your shoulder, Even Frank Vogel who was a coach of the year candidate not that long ago, has been talked about getting fired and replaced by HIS GM. Unless you are TIGHT with Philbo, or an established coach, then no. Lets also keep in mind Philbo is a ROOKIE GM. This isn’t Riley in the Heat, where he has done it in NY (and had input in LA) Philbo never has.
5. Can the T-Wolves land a top flight coach?
EJ: Yes I believe it’s possible because the talent is there. Kevin Love may be making noise about wanting to leave but if the Wolves can land the right coach to convince him to stay, then I think he can finally lead this team to the playoffs. However, point guard Ricky Rubio is the key. He may have underachieved since coming Stateside but Ricky has the talent to be one of the best point guards in the league. Whoever General Manager Flip Saunders hires, he needs to make sure that coach runs his offense through Ricky and Kevin. Pick and rolls, isolation plays, encourage Ricky to drive to the hoop more, but it can work. Also, it’s going to take money. Plenty of money to encourage a top coach to bypass the New York’s, Chicago’s and Los Angeles’ of the NBA and settle in frigid Minneapolis.
Bill: Adelman has long been one of the best in the game. I’m glad to see that he’s leaving on his own terms and has plans to enjoy the remainder of his life spending time with his family. I don’t see him fully stepping away from basketball, but I don’t expect he’ll ever coach again. This loss is a huge blow to the T-Wolves, but life must go on. This young franchise is knocking on the door to the playoffs but can’t seem to get there despite two solid starts in Kevin Love (who’s possibly set to bail) and Ricky Rubio (who I’m still surprised actually agreed to play there). The supporting cast is also quite good and filled with complementary players. So, that said, what’s not to like other than those damned frigid winters in Minnesota? I think they’ve got as good a chance as any to land a top flight coach. Will it be enough? I have trouble seeing how a change in coach is going to make much of a difference, but this team needs a veteran one to make it work. Perhaps they could find gold in the form of a talented assistant on another team’s bench or perhaps a veteran from the college game. Only time will tell, but not everything is cold and gloomy in Minny.
Sandy: Always depends on money, but Doc Rivers might be available for next year, if he doesn’t mind the terrible weather.
Zach: I want to say “doubtful”, but I actually think they can. Flip Saunders, Rick Adelman, and Dwayne Casey have all coached Minnesota. Did they have success? Some more than others, but the success other players speaks more for the situation they were given in Minnesota as opposed to their lack of talent. I think Adelman has shown that Minnesota has the life in them to make a good run into the playoffs. All they need is one more scorer and they would be a solid, solid team. As mentioned in a previous article, D’Antoni would make a great fit away from the spotlight and would seem to have the perfect pieces in place to revive his days in Phoenix. After all, D’Antoni is best served with a HUGE chip on his shoulder.
David: If I’m a coach up for the job, the first thing I do is get in with Kevin Love. and get his mindset. If I can make him stay, then my job is half done. If he leaves, I can’t build around Rubio. That goes for me, you, Pitino, any coach they come up with.
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I don’t mind sharing my ideas. At least that’s what I told Larry Page when I had an idea for a product named…Google. 😉