Chat with John Hollinger
Send your questions now and join John in The Show Thursday at 3 p.m. ET.
John Hollinger (3:03 PM)
Greetings everyone. The buzz is about to sound on the trade deadline and it sounds like we'll have a lot less action than we'd expected.
John Hollinger (3:04 PM)
Technically the deadline is at 3, but sometimes word of last-minute deals is slow to get out, so we could still hear about a few things as the chat is going on.
Does Joe Smith get bought out and go to Boston now?
John Hollinger (3:05 PM)
It would appear that way. OKC can save itself a few ducats with a buyout, and the Celtics and Smith would be ecstatic to join up for the league minimum.
John Hollinger (3:05 PM)
So really, Tyson Chandler's toe did some serious damage to Cleveland's title hopes this week.
Brenton (Boston, MA)
Are the C's getting Nocioni, and who are they giving up.
John Hollinger (3:06 PM)
Apparently not. Deal would have been Allen, Scalabrine, Giddens and O'Bryant (Big Baby might also have been in it). It was about salary neutral for 2009 so Kings didn't feel any urgency to do it -- if Nocioni plays well they might get better offers in summer or next year to unload that contract.
Lou, Brooklyn [via mobile]
Look already how far the Knicks have came. Should've tried to trade Jeffries though, Agreed?
John Hollinger (3:08 PM)
I wasn't crazy about the Knicks' trades, to be honest. Both guys are bad fits with D'Antoni's system. They did them because they're the Knicks and they have the money, and yes they had a hole at the 2 and Hughes fills it, but I don't think this changes their outlook much.
Mike (Staten Island, NY)
Knicks fan here, and I think I liked what happened. Hughes fits D'Antoni-ball (as long as he doesn't shoot too much) and Wilcox gives the Knicks a big-body to bang down low. Wishful thinking or did Donnie do a good job?
John Hollinger (3:09 PM)
Hughes can't shoot or pass -- he's a one-on-one slasher. Tough to see how that fits D'Antoni. Wilcox is a terrible defensive player and can't shoot, although he'll get his points if they use him the way they use Lee in pick-and-rolls.
Kyle (Cleveland, OH)
Did the Cavs do anything?
John Hollinger (3:10 PM)
No, Lots of people asking why; I think when it came down to it Wally was playing well enough that he wasn't just "a contract" -- they needed to think about replacing his production too. The Shaq deal was sexy but always a longshot.
John Hollinger (3:11 PM)
Breaking news from our Marc Stein: Orlando gets Rafer Alston, Houston gets Kyle Lowry, Memphis gets Brian Cook's expiring contract and a first from Orlando. (Correction: Cook goes to Houston)
Matt (Orland Park, IL)
Brad Miller, worth it?
John Hollinger (3:12 PM)
i like what the Bulls did a lot -- they needed bigs who could space the floor and now they have Miller and Thomas. They needed a true 2 who would defend and knock down some shots and now they have Salmons. I think they're poised for a strong finish here and will make the playoffs.
did carter go anywhere?
John Hollinger (3:13 PM)
No, and that's the biggest surprise to me. With the way the Nets are losing money I thought they'd be under major pressure to get rid of him, and a lot of people I talked to agreed with that assessment.
Why would Joe Smith go to Boston when he played with the Cavs last year? Is it possible he'd sign with Cleveland and play there and fill a need as a big off the bench like he did last year?
John Hollinger (3:13 PM)
Smith and Garnett are tight from their Minnesota days, so that's the connection.
Why did Rocket abandon Rafer Alston for several garbage players?
John Hollinger (3:16 PM)
Kyle Lowry isn't chopped liver -- he's a dynamite defender. But he's better in a transition game and struggles in the halfcourt, so that part of the equation is a bit odd. However, now Houston gets $3 million in wiggle room with next year's tax line.
Dan (Chicago, IL)
I think the Rockets won this trade: PG Kyle Lowry is better than Alston.
John Hollinger (3:17 PM)
In a vacuum yes. I still want to see how Lowry fits in there offensively though .. but it wouldn't be the first time they've had success with one of the Grizzlies' role players.
Kyle (pdx, Or)
Why didn't the blazers do anything?
John Hollinger (3:19 PM)
Because Paul Allen likes saving money too. I had somebody out there tell me over a month ago that they were being tighter than outsiders thought and that they might very well hang on to the Raef deal. I think Pritchard was looking for a homerun and if he couldn't get somebody like Sessions or Carter for free then he would just take his expiring contract and go home.
William (Los Angeles, CA)
There was talk that the Heat may try to pick up a backup point guard; any news there? If not, why couldn't the Heat get Lowry?
John Hollinger (3:20 PM)
I'm not sure Lowry was the answer for the Heat ... I think they wanted more of a spot-up guy, and Lowry can't shoot.
Cliff (Alpine, Utah)
Utah did nothing, why?
John Hollinger (3:21 PM)
They were picking at John Salmons just like half the league was, but otherwise I don't think there were many deals that made sense for them. So many of these deals were about money and expiring contracts, and Utah has a bunch of guys on reasonable deals with multiple years left -- so what was there to be exchanged?
Dan [via inert]
If Stein's reported deal is accurate, wouldn't Orlando have been better off just acquiring Lowry themselves? Also, the post says Cook to Houston, not Memphis.
John Hollinger (3:22 PM)
You are correct on Cook, and actually it would have to be that way for the #s to work. So for Memphis it's basically Lowry for a first. Interesting. I think Orlando wanted Alston more than Lowry -- especially given his history with Stan VG.
Ugh, I really wanted the Blazers to get Carter. Any chance that might happen this summer?
John Hollinger (3:23 PM)
Sorry, it was now or never -- with the Raef deal expiring this was their window to do it.
John Hollinger (3:24 PM)
Our Chris Sheridan reports that Boston sent Patrick O'Bryant to Toronto for Will Solomon. I had heard that the Raps were shopping Solomon and they certainly could use a big.
John (Detroit) [via mobile]
Any reason the Pistons didn't cash in their chips? Dumars is kidding himself if he thinks he'll be able to sign any meaningful free agents.
John Hollinger (3:27 PM)
Guess again. Free agents are nice but think about the trade possibilities for a second -- I think he might clean up this summer. If he's way under the cap and the luxury tax number comes in around $70M, then several teams are going to be calling him and basically offering bribes to take their players into his cap space.
So How much does Alston add to the Magic? He's no Jameer Nelson but he seems like a terrific upgrade from Johnson after last night's fiasco
John Hollinger (3:28 PM)
Yes, at both ends. I think he guarantees Orlando reaches the second round of the playoffs, and that added playoff dough is important for a team that just had to borrow $10 million from the league.
So what's next--who will get bought out and picked up?
John Hollinger (3:29 PM)
My Per Diem today is all about the buyouts. Joe Smith moves to the top of the list; Drew Gooden, Bobby Jackson, Jason Collins, Malik Rose are some other possibilities.
AO (NY) [via mobile]
Does the Thunder rescinding the Tyson Chandler trade make things awkward in New Orleans?
John Hollinger (3:30 PM)
I don't think so ... If Chandler had cursed the team on his way out the door then maybe it would be a little weird, but I think the players are actually relieved the trade got overturned. They're not the ones paying the tax, after all.
Uwe Blab (San Antonio, TX)
Did Danny Ferry's stubborn (and completely inexplicable) refusal to part with Wally Szczerbiak for Shaq just cost the Cavs the East?
John Hollinger (3:32 PM)
Were you hoping Shaq could play the 2? And I have a feeling Dan Gilbert might have turned his nose up at paying an added $20-25 million in salary and luxury tax next year (don't have the numbers in front of me).
Hey John, are the Cavs in the realm of picking up any one of those guys that you mentioned? I am sure they would want Joe Smith but don't you think that they would also take Gooden? Or does Mike Brown basically hate Gooden for his opposite of Andy Verajao attitude?
John Hollinger (3:33 PM)
I think they would take Gooden if he was healthy, but I'm not sure he is -- word is he's not coming back any time soon.
Jeremy (Los Angeles)
Any picks up in the Spurs near future? What is the outlook for the Spurs in this summer's free agent market?
John Hollinger (3:35 PM)
A little early for free agent speculation -- it depends in part on whether they cut Bowen and Oberto (both have partial guarantees). As for short-term pickups, I think they'd definitely look at bringing back Rasho Nesterovic if he can reach a buyout deal with the Pacers.
The Knicks traded for more cap relief in 2010 as well as short term needs (a 2 guard who can defend the perimeter and an athletic frontcourt player). Walsh got rid of Jerome James (considered impossible) and freed up more roster spots. It's clear that the Knicks are making improvements. So what's not to like about these two trades?
John Hollinger (3:37 PM)
There was no additional cap relief in 2010 from these deals. Both were almost exactly cap-neutral. I thought they could have used the same assets to get players that better fit their system.
Best trade of the past week? Heat's acquisition of JO?
John Hollinger (3:38 PM)
i would have said OKC getting Chandler but that got deep-sixed by the docs. So yes, I'd go with the O'Neal deal.
Melvin (Pittsburgh, PA) [via mobile]
Why do you think Portland didn't make an effort to get Richard Jefferson? He would have definetly been a good compliment at the 3.
John Hollinger (3:39 PM)
I don't think he's much better than Outlaw at this point in their careers, so why pay four times as much money and kill your future cap flexibility? I suspect Portland only wanted to do that deal if they could steal Sessions in return for taking Jefferson.
So Denver did nothing? I think they could have gotten something for Kleiza and possibly Hunter. Were they active at all?
John Hollinger (3:40 PM)
Guess again. They shopped that exact combination far and wide and couldn't get anyone to bite.
Chip, Phoenix, AZ
Did Nate Robinson to SacTown trade go down?
John Hollinger (3:42 PM)
Heard it was cooking, but haven't seen a report that it actually happened. It didn't add up for me actually -- to save any money Sacto would have been seeing Nate as an expiring, which is a little weird, unless there were extra players in there we didn't hear about.
JB (Portland, OR)
What's the final tally on Sacto's moves? They probably made some decent coin for the Maloofs in the last 48 hours.
John Hollinger (3:43 PM)
Saved 700K next year on the Minnesota trade, saved $10M next year on the Miller deal. That should make up for a few of those 8,000 attendance nights next year.
Im assuming that Richard Jefferson didnt get traded so with him still being in Milwaukee will the Bucks be able to keep both Charlie V and Sessions for the future.
John Hollinger (3:45 PM)
I think that's a really huge question mark. They may have to trade Bogut to somebody under the cap in order to keep both Sessions and Charlie. The only good news is that nobody else has any money either, so they may be able to resign the two at very reasonable dollar figures.
Anything happening with the Pacers?
John Hollinger (3:46 PM)
Apparently not. The Chandler deal was always going to be a long shot -- I'm guessing Indy put Jeff Foster in the deal instead of doing Rasho + Daniels, because they couldn't afford to add so much payroll next year. I'll repeat that that was a guess, by the way.
Jose (Alexandria, VA)
Lakers fan here. Any news about them? They do need a nice back up pg.
John Hollinger (3:47 PM)
I think they're content to play the waiver market. They already have one of the best backup PGs in the league, so that's hardly an area of focus for them. I think they'd like to get their hands on another big if they can; as well as Josh Powell played last night I'm thinking they want more insurance.
So what grades would you give for the Memphis, Houston, Magic deals?
John Hollinger (3:48 PM)
I'm thinking it over ... pretty high grade for Rockets is my initial reaction, but I think there are some extra parts in that deal that we're still finding out about (picks, secondary players and such).
Manny (Dominican Republic)
Your thoughts on Aaron Brooks as the new PG in Houston?
John Hollinger (3:48 PM)
Like him better off the bench -- I think Lowry will be the starter.
Hear anything about Danny Granger injury yet?
John Hollinger (3:49 PM)
Nada. Kind of been swept under the rug today, but if he's out you can pretty much rule out Indy making a playoff charge.
Matt (St. Paul, MN)
How do Sheldon Williams and Bobby Brown fit with the Wolves? I'm bummed we couldn't finish that deal for Kirk Hinrich, we need help at PG. I'm glad we got rid of "Shoddy" McCants though.
John Hollinger (3:51 PM)
They'll take a look at Williams and see if he can help their thin frontcourt; if so they re-sign him cheap, if not they let him walk. Of course, McHale falls in love with all his team's free agents and gives them long-term deals, so that's the only risk. Brown has a guaranteed deal for the minimum for next year; he'll be auditioning for a rotation spot.
J.J.C. (Spring Lake, NC)
So Charlotte finally settles into their current roster. Have they made enough moves for a legitimate playoff run for this season's remainder?
John Hollinger (3:54 PM)
Biggest obstacle for the Bobs is the remaining schedule. They have as road-heavy a final kick as any team in the league, so even though they're playing pretty well and everyone's healthy it's going to be very hard for them to leapfrog four teams in eight weeks.
Chad Ford said the Wizards HAD to get a deal done and yet nothing, why not?
John Hollinger (3:55 PM)
I'm shocked and I think they're delusional. Really, you want to pay the tax to see if Jamison, Butler and Arenas can go 42-40 and finish 27th in Defensive Efficiency again?At what point do you suppose they'll accept the idea that they aren't contenders and never were? It's going to cost them a lot more to make the same kind of deals this summer once they wake up and smell the coffee -- they may end up having to give Butler to Detroit.
The Spurs definitely dropped the ball on the VC trade. Hill and Mason are no excuse for not getting Carter.
John Hollinger (3:57 PM)
Thought it was the right move for them. In that market, you can't compete if you have bad contracts. Carter was too great a risk of becoming a bad contract in the ending years of the deal.
bob (north carolina)
Is the Rockets trade a good trade?
John Hollinger (3:58 PM)
Thinking about how long they've been trying to get rid of Rafer and how little success they've had interesting buyers ... and to get a young PG in return, even one who's kind of rough around the edges? That's a really solid trade.
Do you think that Tmac might be the reason why Rockets gave up Alston for another PG?
John Hollinger (4:00 PM)
Definitely. If Houston still thought it could win the West it doesn't do this deal. Instead they look toward the future with a Brooks-Lowry platoon.
Early grumblings out in Portland is that KP has lost his "golden boy" image today, amongst the fan base. Not a good day for Portland and their fans. Do you agree? Letting Raef walk for nothing is not what the fans wanted. People are mad.
John Hollinger (4:01 PM)
I think the Blazers might have oversold expectations as far as what the LaFrentz contract could reap, but that's about all they're guilty of. They wanted either a difference maker on the wing or at the point, and the deals weren't there to be done once Washington and Charlotte wouldn't play ball. So I commend them for not forcing it.
Chris Laurel Springs
Were you suprised the sixers did not trade andre miller?
John Hollinger (4:03 PM)
For what? There wasn't much available in terms of point guards and shooting specialists, so you're better off just re-signing him at a lower number in a depressed market this summer.
Ben (Chicago, IL)
Do you expect to see Jerome James or Tim Thomas to ever suit up in a Bulls uniform or was this deal just to get rid of Hughes no matter what
John Hollinger (4:04 PM)
Tim Thomas, yes. Jerome James, not even remotely.
Do you think New Orleans have any chance of moving the people they need to like peja, mo pete (Antonio Daniels is on a big deal for a back up PG) in the off season to avoid losing TC again? Or even a worse scenario than that?
John Hollinger (4:06 PM)
It's going to be awfully tough. If it's not TC being traded, it probably has to be a Posey-Wright combo to get them under the tax, and it has to be a deal with a team under the cap. The Chandler physical really boxed them in.
John Hollinger (4:07 PM)
Our Marc Stein reports that Nate Robinson is still a Knick -- the Kings deal didn't go through.
John Hollinger (4:08 PM)
SI.com's Ian Thomsen just reported that the Bulls deal Thabo Sefolosha to OKC for a 2009 first-round pick. That's a great deal for the Thunder, who really needed a quality 2 and defensive stopper to round out their rotation.
John, you seem to be defending the decisions of many GM's. Is there one or two in particular that you think missed a great opportunity?
John Hollinger (4:11 PM)
We don't know exactly what deals were out there, and not a single big star changed hands, so it's tough to know for sure. But I think Boston might kick itself for not getting in on the Nocioni deal earlier and making it a three-way with Chicago. And I think a lot of teams will kick themselves down the road for not pushing harder to get Stoudemire.
Andrew (Portland, OR)
If Jameer Nelson comes back before the playoffs does the Alston deal make Orlando any more competitive for the championship.
John Hollinger (4:11 PM)
Yes -- he's still better than Anthony Johnson.
ETA on OK City making the playoffs....2 years? next year?
John Hollinger (4:13 PM)
I seriously think they might make the playoffs next year, but they need to locate a big man this summer. They have the cap space to either sign somebody or trade for a team that's desperate to avoid the tax.
Update on Stephon Marbury please!!
John Hollinger (4:14 PM)
Crickets. I presume they'll reach a buyout agreement this week, and then we can waste a bunch of time talking about his non-move to the Celtics.
John Hollinger (4:15 PM)
More Sacto money saving: I'm now reading they'll buy out Mikki Moore, who has only $2 million guaranteed next year if he's waived by draft day. I think he's pretty much a spent force, but a few contending teams will likely bid to get him for the minimum.
Dan - Ocala
The only downside I see on the Orlando deal is, does this make it harder to re-sign Turk Next Year? But Ty Lue, and AJ come off the books... and even next year a much better back-up Point addressing some of the depth issues correct?
John Hollinger (4:18 PM)
Looks like they're OK as long as Turk starts at under $10 million next year, especially since they no longer will have the cap hold for the first-round pick.In this market that seems reasonable.
does thabo now start over weaver?
John Hollinger (4:18 PM)
Do you see a team moving cities in the next 3 years? Memphis? What's Toronto's plan after 2010?
John Hollinger (4:21 PM)
I absolutely see that happening. Toronto is very healthy and isn't going anywhere, and Memphis's lease prevents it from going for a few years at least. But Sacramento could be gone as soon as next year if an arena plan slated to be announced next week falls through, New Orleans can become a free agent if the state can't cough up the money they promised when the team moved from Charlotte, New Jersey has some precarious finances and a decrepit building, and Milwaukee becomes tenuous the day Sen. Kohl sells the team.
Isiah Thomas, NY
Sorry I couldn't provide any entertainment this year.
John Hollinger (4:22 PM)
It's just not the same without you. Where are all the dumb trades for me to lambast? I haven't given out a single F.
John Hollinger (4:23 PM)
BTW, we have some confusion on the Will Solomon front -- apparently he's now going to Sacramento, along with cash, meaning somebody paid the Kings to take him (because they sure as hell aren't adding salary) -- not sure yet if it was Toronto or Boston that coughed up the cash.
Follow up to that question what city do you feel is best prepared? Vegas Anaheim Seattle KC St. Louis San Diego San Jose (Kings or Warriors)
John Hollinger (4:24 PM)
San Diego, Seattle and Vegas have no arena, so they're out -- you're not getting a new one built in these economic conditions. The others are the four most solid bets in my opinion.
Is the NBA going to change any rules in the offseason to prohibit players being traded, bought out, then resigned with their previous team? aka McDyess this year.
John Hollinger (4:25 PM)
They already put in the 30-day rule, and I guess they feel that's a large enough imposition.
Another franchise in Canada? Vancouver perhaps? (This time with better owners) or Montreal?
John Hollinger (4:26 PM)
I thought about those two places, but I'm not sure the civic interest level is there ... KC, Anaheim and San Jose all seem pretty hell-bent on getting the NBA.
John Hollinger (4:28 PM)
Folks, that's all the time I have, but thanks again for joining me. I'll have some more grades up on these last-minute deals later today.