Welcome to the NBA Roundtable:
This week we have EJ and David going at it like Hakeem and Ewing on the block about the week’s free agent moves. Enjoy!
EJ: Yes, Chicago would be the favorite in the East with a somewhat healthy D. Rose. Rose, Noah, Butler, Gasol, and Taj Gibson are all good players to base your team around and if Mirotic can adjust to the NBA game, then look out for these Bulls. They’d have to be the favorite over a Cavs team that might have LeBron back but is still pretty young overall.
David: How did the Lakers not even get a second round pick here? The Bulls must have been asking for the world here. I do think with the breakup of the Heat, they do move to the front of the line, Unless Indiana brings back Lance, then odds are pretty good that the Bulls are in the East Finals even without Rose, with Rose? Even at 75% they become a 60 win team.
EJ: Not sure where Houston fits in the Stephenson equation, and the Lakers should be considered as an option, but he SHOULD sign with the Charlotte Hornets. It feels like I’m always talking about Lance, and constantly defending the Brooklyn boy, but as much as he’s a headache, I think it’s one Michael Jordan can work with. Lance is talented. Last season he proved he’s a triple double waiting to happen, and if he can finally channel his passion for the game productively he can be a multi-time All-Star. Adding Stephenson to the Hornets roster could go a long way to ensuring that last season’s playoff team wasn’t a fluke.
EJ: Rajon Rondo. Not a great shooter, but a hardnosed defender and that’s typically what Phil Jackson values at the point guard position. Rondo isn’t long for Boston because Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens are opting for the slow rebuild, so Rondo is going to leave after next season (assuming he isn’t traded to a better team than the Knicks, of course) and New York is a place he needs to consider.
David: I don’t think its going to be one big one, but let me throw one at you: Damon Lillard. You also have Marc Gasol and Klay Thompson plus Aaron Affallo. get 2 of those, plus some good drafts, and Melo might be in the mix.
EJ: If you asked me this question right after the Rockets announced they weren’t going to match Parsons, I would have said yes, but as of right now I am very content with their decision. The Rockets are trying to add the marquee name and once Bosh decided to stay in Miami, it made sense to sign the cheaper Ariza and keep some cap flexibility going forward. The Rockets are in a position to lure Rondo, LaMarcus Aldridge, or Kevin Love next off-season. With Howard and Harden in the fold, eventually one of the targets they pursue will say yes to the sales pitch.
David: I think the Rockets blew this offseason, letting Parsons walk without getting Bosh was a major error. It almost seems like since Howard came aboard, the Rockets have made error after error.
5. With Deng, are the Heat still a threat?
EJ: They are a playoff team, certainly. They can likely advance to an Eastern Conference Finals depending on how the playoff matchups shake out but a title threat? No. Bosh understands he needs to elevate his game, and I think he will now that he’s the focus of a team and not the third wheel but since we have no idea what we will get out of Dwyane Wade going forward, you cannot call the Heat a threat.
David: I think it depends on Granger. With Bosh/Wade/Deng and more coming, I can see them getting a top 4 seed. Keep in mind the SE is a hard division, and going to get worse.
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