Chat with John Hollinger
Send your questions now and join John in The Show Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET.
John Hollinger (3:15 PM)
Greetings everyone ... camp starts in four weeks, so the doldrums will be over soon. On to the questions ...
I think the offseason moves of the Suns were underated. How do you see Goran Dragic panning out this year for them?
John Hollinger (3:16 PM)
Badly. I don't think he's up to snuff at the offensive end and I'm struggling to figure out why they went through all that to bring over a guy who, at best, won't be ready for another year at least. Liked the Barnes pickup though.
PATRICIA (LA, CA)
JOHN, when can we expect your preseason team evaluations and guestimates of success? Come on, man! We need our fix, buddy.
John Hollinger (3:17 PM)
Working on them as we speak. Usually those drop right around the start of training camp.
Dan (Los Angeles)
John, a lot of people seem to be jumping on the Rodney Stuckey bandwagon as of late. What can he realistically do for Detroit this upcoming season?
John Hollinger (3:18 PM)
Biggest thing will be his progress as a shooter. We know he's big and can get to the hole, and he should cut down the TOs with more experience, but the threat of the outside shot is what wiill be the difference between stardom and pretty-good-dom.
Dave (Lawrence, KS)
What are your thoughts on the Celts chance of repeating? Does losing Posey hurt bad enough to keep them from beating the best the West has to offer?
John Hollinger (3:19 PM)
I don't think losing Posey hurts that much, especially if Tony Allen steps up. Boston still rates as favorites in the East, we could easily see a Finals rematch in fact.
Tom (Toledo, OH)
Who's your pre-season prediction for MVP this year? LeBron? Kobe? CP3? Goran Dragic?
John Hollinger (3:20 PM)
I think we can safely eliminate one of those names. Actualy I think it will come down to LeBron, CP3, and the "surprise guy" -- the best player on a team that massively exceeds expectations.
Where do you project Wade's PER to be this season and do you take into account what he did at the Olympics?
John Hollinger (3:20 PM)
Based stricly off the#s, wade's projected PER was around 22 if I remember right. Based on what I've seen with my own eyes, I'm thinking more like 27 or 28.
Raptor's perimeter D, Toronto
Is Roko Ukic ready to step in as a full time NBA backup? Do the Raps still have a major problem with stopping guard penetration?
John Hollinger (3:21 PM)
Guard penetration is less of a worry if a healthy JO can shut down plays on the back line. I have my doubts about Ukic, but they only need him to play 8-10 minutes.
In other words, Dwayne Wade is your third MVP pick?
John Hollinger (3:22 PM)
don't think the Heat will win enough for his candidacy to really gain traction. Same goes for Amare.
Bull (Washington, DC)
I don't Steve Nash's Suns - when he won back to back MVPs, "massively exceeded expectations". In fact, they underachieved because they never won anything despite having a 2 time MVP leading the charge.
John Hollinger (3:23 PM)
Actually, that was precisely why he won both times. Phoenix came off a 29-win season his first year and won 62, then they lost Amare and won 52ish (going from memory) and he got it again. The second of those two in particular was one of the worst award votes in recent history.
The Donyell Marshall signing clearly makes Philly the favorite in the East now, right? Or should they have just signed Sam Perkins to double the comedic effect?
John Hollinger (3:24 PM)
I liked that move a lot. Philly needed shooting and a backup 4 and all they had to offer was a minimum contract. You got somebody better in mind?
Do you see Mo Williams fitting in better than Larry Hughes did in Cleveland?
John Hollinger (3:24 PM)
Yes. Williams can make spot-up shots, Hughes could not.
Jason ( Sacramento, CA)
Every year a unexpected team gets off to a fast start, who do you think this years team will be that no one expects?
John Hollinger (3:24 PM)
If I expected it, then it wouldn't be unexpected, now would it?
With the likes of Kobe, Gasol, Bynum, Odom, Ariza, Vujacic... I think the Lakers have what it takes to win the championship this year. Do you agree? After all it's basically the same team that went to the finals but we're adding Bynum (real center) and Ariza for 82 games!!!!
John Hollinger (3:25 PM)
It's quite possible, but we have to see what Bynum looks like once the real games start, and remember too that the West is, if anything, an even tougher league than a year ago to win.
Excited about the OKC Thunder? Blah.
John Hollinger (3:26 PM)
Not really, but I bet AC-DC is stoked. They're got royalties out the ying-yang coming their way.
jason (denva, co)
Is j.r. smith the real deal in waiting? i think the 3 year 16.5 million dollar deal may have been the smartest contract the nuggets have inked in quite some time.
John Hollinger (3:28 PM)
Check out J.R. Smith's stats after the All-Star break last year, they're ridiculous. He averaged 15.7 points in 21.8 minutes. Think about that ... if he sees more regular PT he'll average in the 20s easily. yes, he's a knucklehead, but man, what a talented knucklehead.
Don (Washington, DC)
One of those "worst MVP award votes in recent history" was the Tim Duncan vote over Kidd in 2002. Agree?...
John Hollinger (3:29 PM)
No, they got that right. Kidd had a great year, but if he had won over Duncan it would have been a tragicomedy.
It's pretty clear after the Olmypics (to those few that didn't get it already) that Jason Kidd is done. Should the Mavericks consider themselves lucky to even make the playoffs this year?
John Hollinger (3:30 PM)
"Done" is a bit strong. "Declining" is probably accurate. I hated the trade at the time and like it less now, although I still think the Mavs make the playoffs.
Prashant (London, UK)
The worst MVP award vote in recent history has to be Malone over Jordan in 1997, right?! The voters just got bored of MJ being so good...
John Hollinger (3:32 PM)
Not even the worst Jordan vote. Barkley over Jordan (and Olajuwon, who everyone forgets had a monster year that season) in '93 was much worse. At least Malone was the second-best player that year.
Yes Mo Williams can score and spot up...but so can Chucky Atkins! A lot of people seem to be thinking this addition gets the Cavs a title for some reason...aren't people overreacting to the siging a little?
John Hollinger (3:33 PM)
Williams averaged 17 a game with a high shooting percentage -- that's a wee bit better than Chucky Atkins territory. I don't think it gets them a title on it's own, but it sure as heck moves them closer.
Elton Brand (Philly, PA)
You're out of your mind if you think the West got stronger since last season. The East is catching up.
John Hollinger (3:34 PM)
At the very top, it will take more than 58 wins to take the West this year. That's what I meant.
Teddy (Wilminton, De)
What kind of impact do you see Thaddeus Young having this year? How do you like the Rush, Marshall and Ivey Signings? Is this finally the end of the Willie Green era?
John Hollinger (3:36 PM)
End of the Green era seems in sight, yes, although he'll probably see 15-20 minutes off the pine.I love Young and think he'll take another solid step forward, and the three signings were nice for minimum contracts -- Ivey can crossmatch with Lou Williams when the second unit comes in, and Rush and Marshall can be zone busters.
Craig (Pocatello, ID)
What are the odds of the Blazers being a top 5 seed in the west?
John Hollinger (3:37 PM)
Top 5 sounds ambitious-- Lakers, Rockets, Spurs, Hornet and Jazz clearly rank ahead. But a 6-7 seed sounds completely reasonable.
I will spend the next 6 months learning from the master (Mr. Nash) and will be ready come playoff time. You can bet your PER on that!!!!!
John Hollinger (3:37 PM)
Was that the plan with Marcus Banks too?
Are you going to vote Chris Paul ahead of me in the MVP ballot like last year?
John Hollinger (3:38 PM)
If he's more valuable I will. Kobe could easily finish with better stats, more wins and fewer MVP votes than a year ago.
I read some projections on ESPN recently that said Boston was going to win only 55 games after winning 66 last year. Does losing James Posey really matter that much?
John Hollinger (3:40 PM)
That was an amalgamation of all our staff predicitions, so I can't speak for everyone. But between everyone being a year older and not having the crazy intensity of those first two months when the Big Three got together, I think it's inevitable Boston drops some wins.
What can we expect to see from roger mason jr. this season?
John Hollinger (3:41 PM)
A whole lot of 3-point attempts and not much else. He defends and he can handle a little, but he's not looking to drive.
Do you think that the New Orleans Hornets can win the division and actually win the NBA Championship?
John Hollinger (3:42 PM)
I think they're counting way too much on Chandler and West to make it through the schedule unscathed. There's really no Plan B if one of those two gets hurt, and it's not like they've been ironmen in the past.
Noah (Los Angeles, CA)
What happens if the Suns can become a top 10 defensive team under Terry Porter?
John Hollinger (3:43 PM)
Considering the Bucks weren't even a top 20 defensive team under Terry Porter, I wouldn't stay up at night worrying about that possibility.
chris (brooklyn, ny)
Please tell me Randolph to the Grizzlies is still alive.
John Hollinger (3:44 PM)
The leftover turkey in your freezer is more alive than Randolph to Memphis. They didn't want Pau's contract, why on earth would they take on Zach's?
Are the Wizards a Top 5 team if they are healthy?
John Hollinger (3:45 PM)
No. Washington fans keep clinging to the brief interlude atop the East two years ago, but even then their point differential was barely positive.
Homer Simpson, Springfield
Rod (Chicago, IL)
I do not think Spain would win the NBA championship because of defense and front-court depth but if you mixed them in with Argentina do you think a Spain/Argentina team would win the NBA championship?
John Hollinger (3:47 PM)
Yes, they cover each other's shortcomings really well -- Argentina has the wings in Manu and Nocioni plus the toughness with Oberto and Scola. Then Spain has the skilled guards and the low-post guy. Makes for nice team.
John Hollinger (3:51 PM)
By the way, could you imagine the commotion if the U.S. team acted like Spain did at the Olympics? Not just the photo, I'm talking about complaining about the refs after the game -- with their "it was reffed like an NBA game, not a FIBA game" being a verbatim complaint from the 2004 Olympics loss to the U.S., the ugly techs at the end, and Navarro trying to imitate the U.S. traveling at the buzzer. They're getting a free pass and they shouldn't.
pat, (montreal, Canada)
Will Sun Yue play a significant role with the Lakers?
John Hollinger (3:52 PM)
Depends if you consider waving a towel on the end of the bench significant. I expect most of his action this year to come with the D-Fenders.
Wow, you guys are giving us WAY too much credit. Who is guarding Duncan, Shaq, Amare, Oden or Garnett again? Oh yeah Marc Gasol.
John Hollinger (3:53 PM)
He said win the NBA championship, not the Olympic championship. Spain + Argentina against the U.S. would be a virtual coin toss in a one-game situation, but U.S. would still be favored.
Jason (Salt Lake City, UT)
Do you think Boozer will play some defense now that it is his contract year; and if so does it make the Jazz real contenders?
John Hollinger (3:54 PM)
I'd be really worried about Boozer -- his play slipped badly in the second half of last season and the playoffs, and he didn't seem too bouncy in the Olympics either.
Brandon (birmingham alabama)
I think people are underrating Orlando at this point. They where third in the east last year and fixed to of their problems. (Turn overs from back-up PG, and defending SG). True their not traditional, but with Battie to help their front court somee and with peitrus and AJ and Lee... Are they not better?
John Hollinger (3:56 PM)
Not sure they really gained much ground. Battie will help marginally, Pietrus will only be an upgrade over Evans if he can stop fouling on every play, we don't know what to expect from Lee, AJ is a third PG at this point, and losing Dooling will leave a mark.
With all the hype around Rudy Fernandez after the Olympic gold medal game, what should portland expect from him in his first NBA season?
John Hollinger (3:57 PM)
An adjustment. He hasn't had to shoot the 3 from this far and he has to get used to how they call the game, plus he's likely to get torched on D for the first two months or so. I think he'll be excellent, but temper your expectations for the first half-season especially.
John, who is your second round rookie of the year this year (aka the Paul Millsap award).
John Hollinger (3:57 PM)
Gotta be Chalmers. I had him rated in my top 12 and was surprised he fell so far, plus he might be an opening-day starter.
John, I can't find it anywhere...Have the Knicks dealt away any of their 1st rd picks from now thru 2011? Thanks!
John Hollinger (3:58 PM)
2010 belongs to Utah, with no lottery protection whatsoever, as a result of the Marbury trade. Ladies and gentlemen, I present the Isiah Thomas era ...
If Denver is out of the playoff picture by the end of January, is there any chance Melo will be on the move?
John Hollinger (3:59 PM)
Doubtful. Much more likely that Iverson's expiring deal would be the one that's in play.
Sean Singletary (PHX, AZ)
Don't expect to get too much PT, Goran...I'll be learning from Nash too, and then taking all your burn...
John Hollinger (4:00 PM)
Wahoo-wa! We need another UVA guy in the league, so let's hope you're correct.
Harry Manback (Portland, OR)
It seems like you can say "temper your expectations for the first half of the season" with regard to half of Portland's roster. Three rookies being added to the rotation, Roy coming off of a knee injury, an absolutely brutal schedule to start the year...this season has disappointment written all over it.
John Hollinger (4:02 PM)
I agree with your lead-in but not the conclusion. Only way the season will be disappointing is if Blazer fans get deluded about where they are and how much climbing remains. 45-48 wins would be a nice step up, but I'm not sure Blazer fans are on board with that.
Rod (Chicago, IL)
What happened to the big Detroit shake-up?
John Hollinger (4:03 PM)
Been waiting for that myself. Usually Joe D is really decisive with these types of things, so it's surprising it's taking so long.
Do the Jazz need to make a big move to contend? What about trading Kirilenko along with some of their younger guys, like miles, price or brewer?
John Hollinger (4:04 PM)
Jazz are in flux because Boozer and Okur both are free agents after the season, and what makes it worse is that you can't trust anything Boozer says after what happened the last time he hit the market. I think they keep AK, play the year out, and then see where the chips fall this summer. If Boozer goes AK might be much productive playing the 4.
How has it made it this far in the chat without ONE mention of the blockbuster deal of the summer, Ron Artest to Houston? Can Ron-Ron, T-mac, and Yao take them all the way?
John Hollinger (4:06 PM)
I like the deal because Houston really needed another shot-creator -- McGrady visibly wore out in Game 2 of the Utah series from having to do everything on offense. To go all the way they'll still need some breaks -- most notably health -- and perhaps an upgrade at the point too.
john, your earlier comment about the knicks-grizz trade presumes chris wallace is a smart gm...which he is not.
John Hollinger (4:09 PM)
Has nothing to do with smarts and everything to do with dollars -- the owner won't approve anything that adds salary, which is why he had to trade Pau in the first place. And given that he was forced to hold a fire sale, getting Gasol the Younger out of it doesn't look that bad.
John, be honest, how many WNBA games did you watch this summer?
John Hollinger (4:10 PM)
0. I never have time because my offseason is usually busier than the regular season. I did see some of the Olympic games though ... I was amazed how strong Diana Taurasi is. Somebody posted her up and she just muscled the poor girl about 20 feet away from the hoop.
Chris (Broadview Heights, OH)
Why are the Charlotte Bobcats in the league? Do they have any fans or support? Is there any way to ger rid of them?
John Hollinger (4:12 PM)
Best question I've had all day. Bobcats have been seriously minor league from top to bottom since Day 1, and it's about time they started acting like a real franchise. We know there are basketball fans in Charlotte, they just need a better excuse to come to the games.
How many games do you think it is going to take before Mike Woodson finally gets fired?
John Hollinger (4:13 PM)
Depends how they start. His extension is only for two years and he's working for a new GM, so if they start 8-15 or something he could be out mighty quick. But the owners seem to like him so it would take some real underachieving for them to make the move.
John Don't sleep on the Hawks this year. That young talent is finally becoming not so young anymore. Where do you see them finishing in the East this year?
John Hollinger (4:15 PM)
True, but they have no depth at all and they're still a bit small up front. They're going to have trouble matching last year's win total, much less exceeding it, with the health of the starting five being the primary determinant.
Which team do you think has the worst uniforms?
John Hollinger (4:16 PM)
Wizards' black-and-gold ensemble, hands down.
John Hollinger (4:16 PM)
And on that happy note, I'm out of time. I'll be back in two weeks to discuss any more questions, and by them maybe Ben Gordon will even have a team.