Chat with John Hollinger
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, NBA columnist John Hollinger will stop by to share his thoughts on all of the NBA news.
Send your questions now and join Hollinger Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET!
John Hollinger (2:08 PM)
Greetings from Portland everyone, where it's day two of a whirlwind four cities in four days tour. Was in New Orleans for all the festivities this weekend, now in Portland for Blazers-Thunder tonight, back to the ATL for Hawks-Heat tomorrow, and then off to Dallas for All-Star weekend. Any questions about hoops and WhoDats are game, so let's get started....
What is the Bulls' most likely move before the trade deadline?
John Hollinger (2:09 PM)
Everyone talks about Hinrich, but I think Tyrus Thomas is the more likely departure. The Bulls can't make him a qualifying offer without murdering their cap space, so it makes tons of sense to trade him now and get something in return. Brad Miller could also go if his salary is needed to combine with another players' (say, John Salmons') in a deal to create more cap room for this summer.
Do you really think the Jazz could challenge the Lakers in the West? Do you think that they can get past the Nuggets based upon their recent struggles in head to head match ups with them?
John Hollinger (2:10 PM)
I think it's more likely that they finish third in the West behind those two teams, but at the moment no team is playing better than Utah. Very interested to see how they fare against L.A. later this week.
Tyson (Austin, TX)
Richard Jefferson=Worst offseason pickup?
John Hollinger (2:11 PM)
He's down near the bottom, yes. I railed on Indy for Dahntay Jones, but Jefferson isn't doing anything more than Jones and he cost five times as much.
who says no first to a beasely for collison swap straight up? Also does the collison play make cp-3 any more available?
John Hollinger (2:12 PM)
No way from the Heat's end. I know Miami people are a little down on the guy, but there's no way you trade a talent like that for a 5-11 guard.
Keyur (Los Angeles)
After watching the Blazers play against the Lakers, it seems like they definitely need a center ASAP. Do you have any updates on Blazers and their search for a Center?
John Hollinger (2:12 PM)
They're working on it. The problem is that everybody wants them to give up Fernandez, Bayless or Batum, and that's not happening. Blazers will only make a deal if it involves some combo of Blake, Outlaw and spare parts/picks.
Can the Cavs get Amare for Hickson and ending contracts?
John Hollinger (2:13 PM)
Better question: Even if they could, would they want to? Amare doesn't defend, doesn't mesh well with Shaq and won't get shots in Cleveland. That's why you see Cleveland looking harder at 'stretch 4s' like Antawn Jamison.
Dean Moll (North Royalton, Ohio)
Professor Hollinger, what percentage would you give (using your mathematical brilliance) the Cavs pulling the trigger and making a trade before the deadline?
John Hollinger (2:14 PM)
80% they do something, probably more like 40-50% that they do something big. I keep remnding people that Szczerbiak can be a factor here too as a sign-and-trade, much like Keith Van Horn in the Jason Kidd deal.
you seem to be selling short when you call collison a 5'11 guard! with the way hes playing you can barely tell cp-3 is gone, and isnt that what wade needs a pg incarnate so he can play off the ball?
John Hollinger (2:15 PM)
No, Wade needs to play with the ball and get a point guard who can spot up and guard opposing 1s, and occasionally initiate offense. Collison isn't a good spot-up shooter so he'd be a poor choice for that role. As a forinstance, I think Miami would have interest in Steve Blake (who is also from Miami) if he were available cheaply.
Kevin (Cleveland, OH)
You haven't answered a PER question in awhile. Here's one: Do you ever work on updating the calculation for PER or Playoff Odds? It's not a perfect system, so will you ever work on fine tuning or is this it?
John Hollinger (2:17 PM)
We've fine-tuned Playoff Odds twice in the past two years. I've mulled some subtle changes to PER but the formula is so widespread that at this point it's like turning around an ocean liner; if I do something like that I want to do a once-and-for-all sweep and I'm not ready to go there yet.
OK, ok, the jazz are hot right now. Kirilenko finally remembered how he used to play, boozer is playing for money, and milsap showed us again he can replace boozer. So what do the jazz do next year? Drop Boozer? If so (and I think they will), who do they pick up to become a better team?
John Hollinger (2:18 PM)
I think they'll let Boozer walk and use their midlevel to sign a wing who can shoot, and then use Kirilenko as the backup 4 when Millsap isn't in the game. The potential fly in the ointment there is that they would need Okur/Koufos to be a workable combo in the middle.
Jeremy (Salt Lake City )
Am I dreaming to think Ray "Jesus" Allen could find his way playing for the Jazz with some kind of trade with Brewer and Miles
John Hollinger (2:20 PM)
Yes. The Jazz would go far deeper into luxury tax territory with any Allen trade, and that essentially kills the possibility. Only thing remotely workable is Boozer Korver Brewer, but why would Utah do that?
mike (The U)
sitting in environmental politics class and want to know if my bobcats are going to make a deadline deal? Also will Jordan step up and buy the team?
John Hollinger (2:22 PM)
I'd bet yes on the first, no on the second. Jordan has tried several times to "purchase" a team with other people's money and that tactic has yet to succeed; I see no reason why it would work better in the current economic climate. As for a trade, I expect D.J. Augustin to have a new home and could see either a stretch 4 or a veteran backup PG coming to Charlotte.
Do you see the Warriors making any trades before the deadline?
John Hollinger (2:23 PM)
I suspect they won't, or if they do it will be something minor. I know teams are calling about Turiaf and not getting very far, and I can't see them moving Ellis.
I think it's too early to completely dismiss Tyreke Evans as a PG, it depends entirely on who is playing next to him. He can play the 1 or 2, and I'm curious what type of player at each position you think would be best for Tyreke playing with him..
John Hollinger (2:24 PM)
I think he's more like a Dwyane Wade type in that he can operate as a kindasorta point guard in stretches, but basically needs another distributor in the backcourt with him or the other guys will never see the ball. Thing is, he's big enough to guard most 3s, so playing both Evans and Martin off the ball can work. But I haven't seen Sac try it much.
Imre (Missoula, MY)
In regards to your speculation that the Jazz let Boozer walk, do you think he'd be a good fit with the Bulls?
John Hollinger (2:25 PM)
No, I think he'd be an outstanding fit -- Bulls need a power forward, a low-post scorer, and a screen-roll partner for Rose. Check, check and check.
Aaron (Richmond, VA)
So, what can Joe D do to redeem himself now that he's been officially "outed" by you as overrated?
John Hollinger (2:27 PM)
It's going to be a long hard slog from here, bu the good news is that Dumars faced this situation once before and turned it around with remarkable speed. He needs to focus on getting quality young players and assets and I believe that's what he's doing, but the market for players like Hamilton and Prince has dried up now that the Pistons have lost their mystique.
Storm Sutherland (Cleveland)
Is Z's expiring contract really that awesome? I keep hearing teams would love the cap relief, but it seems we have to throw in 50 other things.Sincerely,Sad in Cleveland<<<< The problem is that the players the Cavs are targeting are good enough that just an expiring contract doesn't get it done -- players like Jamison and Camby command more than that. Hickson is the obvious piece to include, but I think the Cavs are reluctant to trade two bigs for one, even if they can get Z back in 30 days.
The problem is that the players the Cavs are targeting are good enough that just an expiring contract doesn't get it done -- players like Jamison and Camby command more than that. Hickson is the obvious piece to include, but I think the Cavs are reluctant to trade two bigs for one, even if they can get Z back in 30 days.
I still don't get why are the Suns in such a rush to move Amare. Iggy and Delambert will not make them better. If he opts out, can't they do better on the open market?
John Hollinger (2:30 PM)
No. If he opts out they don't have the cap space to sign a comparable player and would be forced to sign whomever was left with their midlevel exception. On the other hand, if he doesn't opt out they're in an equally tight spot -- pressed against the luxury tax with no option to add additional players and facing the likely departure of Frye.
do you see the bucks making any moves? what do you think the bucks chances are of making the playoffs?
John Hollinger (2:31 PM)
We haven't heard much on the Milwaukee front but now that they're back in the playoff chase I would expect them to be active. We've heard Kurt Thomas can be had but I think he's too short to deal with the Lakers' 7-footers - which is really what most of the teams in this market want. Bucks would love to get a wing that can score to replace Redd, but that's easier said than done.
With a lockout looming, do you thing aging fringe contenders like the Spurs & Mavs will be extra-motivated to make a trade to win now?
John Hollinger (2:33 PM)
I don't think a potential lockout materially affects their current planning. Regardless of how far apart the two sides are at the moment, it's not likely that we'd lose a full season, and that's the only scenario in which that type of planning would have any merit.
Steve (Indianapolis, IN)
Any chance that the Murphy to Cleveland for Z + Hickson deal still might happen? If not, are there other teams interested in Troy Murphy?
John Hollinger (2:34 PM)
I expect Indy to hold out for a better deal than that and eventually to keep Murphy. They can't sign a replacement if they trade Murphy because they still won't get under the cap, so they really need to get the replacement in the trade.
David (Baton Rouge)
Is Marcus Thornton the Hornet's long term solution at the 2 spot?
John Hollinger (2:34 PM)
I see him as more of a sixth man, scorer/energy type, like Flip Murray but better. Still not sold on him as a long-term starter.
If Kobe doesnt play in the ASG, does Monta Ellis replace him?
John Hollinger (2:39 PM)
Several western players may not play in the All-Star Game, so we could have three or more injury replacement this week. To me Boozer has to be at the top of the hierarchy, but if they want to get a guard it should be Baron Davis. After those two my list reads (in order) Marc Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Andrei Kirilenko, Tyreke Evans, Carl Landry, Nene, Rudy Gay, and then not Ellis but Corey Maggette. In the East, Josh Smith should be first, followed by Andrew Bogut and David Lee.
Where is Andre Iguodala playing on Feb. 19th?
John Hollinger (2:40 PM)
Philadelphia. I'm highly skeptical of the Phoenix rumor because both teams are looking to cut money so they don't make natural trade partners. I think the Sixers are exploring every option, but that's different from saying they're actively trying to move the guy.
What does Russell Westbrook have to do to get All-Star consideration?
John Hollinger (2:42 PM)
Shoot better. Look, he's a good young player but he's still very inefficient -- 40.8% this year, 39.8% last year, and almost all those shots are 2s.
What's the deal with AK-47's rejuvenation? Have they been playing him at or like a 4/5 more often? I don't get to watch him much, be it seems like he plays much better at anything other than 3.
John Hollinger (2:44 PM)
He's played a bit more at the 4, but really he's playing better regardless of position -- just been more active and been shockingly consistent with the jumper.
Is Orlando finally rounding into form?
John Hollinger (2:45 PM)
We've been fooled before, but if Carter players like he did the past 72 hours they're going to be a handful. Plus, between Boston's woes and owning the tie-break vs. ATL, they've got a pretty good bead on the second seed regardless.
Should the Spurs just blow it up at this point?
John Hollinger (2:46 PM)
I think they want to explore every other option before going that route. They still have a superstar big man and a flexible cap situation, so they could make quite a bit of progress this offseason toward building a younger, more athletic team around Duncan.
Seriously John - one cavaliers all-star? I never miss a Cavs game so maybe I take Lebron for granted (Is he that good that he's the only all-star) but c'mon best record in the league and just one nod?!? How is this possible...btw - three players in top ten in Three Pointers and nobody in the shoot-out either!
John Hollinger (2:48 PM)
I was a little surprised the Cavs didn't get a player in the shootout but they only invite six and Cook had to be one of them... still, I thought they'd take Boobie. As for All-Stars, we need to get away from this "team x deserves Y number of players" mentality -- I've said this before and I'll say it again, this isn't Parliament, so this "representation" stuff makes no sense to me.
Jamie (New York)
the lakers are strong in every position beside the PG. Do you see them making a move?
John Hollinger (2:49 PM)
We haven't heard much from L.A. about any pursuits of point guards, which makes me dubious that they'll be active in the trade market. They have the assets to get a low-level deal done with Vujacic and/or Morrison but may not feel the players they can get offer much of an upgrade.
could Troy Murphy be traded to San Antonio? do they need a guy like him?
John Hollinger (2:50 PM)
Murphy would be great in San Antonio but I have to wonder what the Spurs could offer. I imagine Indy would ask for George Hill, the Spurs would hang up, and both sides would move on.
Steve (Indianapolis, IN)
Any chance that TJ Ford's play since coming back into the rotation in Indy will boost his trade value and convince someone to trade for him?
John Hollinger (2:51 PM)
I highly doubt it. He makes too much for what he offers, he's not an expiring contract, and too many people think he's a selfish player.
I have always been curious about this. What happens if a Western Conference all star is traded to the Eastern Conference before the all star game? Which team does he play for?
John Hollinger (2:53 PM)
I don't believe it's ever happened; when I asked the league about it a year or two ago I believe the answer was that they'd deal with it depending on timing; the impression I got was that if it was a couple weeks out they'd have the player switch conferences and assign a new one from the conference he left; but if it was the day before the game they'd just play it out with his old conference.
Is Jeff Foster out for the season or is he getting healthy enough to be a trade bait?
John Hollinger (2:54 PM)
Done for the year. Move along....
Steve (Los Angeles)
Have you been in other cities for title wins before? And if so, how did New Orleans compare?
John Hollinger (2:57 PM)
Was in San Antonio when they won in '05 and Boston when they won in '08; New Orleans blows both away. For San Anto, I don't think you can compare since it was title #3. For Boston, it was pretty darn exciting before the game, but by the time I left the arena the streets had completely cleared out. In New Orleans, there were still people celebrating when I woke up to leave for the airport.
Is Al Horford really All Star Calliber? I'm a Hawks fan, but his post moves don't look smooth.
John Hollinger (2:59 PM)
His post moves don't look smooth because they're not -- they're really mechanical, although he's become more refined since his rookie year. The reason he made the All-Star team is all the other stuff -- his defense, rebounding, ability to push the ball himself and start the break, mid-range J, etc.
Mark (Clark, NJ)
Would the Nets think about doing a Dooling for Augustin swap? Bobcats get a good, veteran backup PG, and Nets get a young PG as a possible backup plan in case they don't get the #1 pick and they can try to trade what's left in Harris...
John Hollinger (3:00 PM)
That's a sensible idea, but I don't see the Bobcats taking on $3.8 million owed to Dooling next year unless the Nets throw cash or a pick into the deal.
Why isn't Portland playing Pendergraph more, he'll just be a trade asset once the Odenzilla comes back anyways, might as well increase his value, thoughts?
John Hollinger (3:02 PM)
Disagree, Pendergraph is a 4 playing out of position as a 5 because the Blazers lost both centers. I agree on one point -- he's basically battling Cunningham to be the young big Portland ends up keeping, especially if another team demands a sweetener at the trade deadline.
Speaking of championship celebrations...can you imagine the city of Cleveland if the Cavs, Browns, or Indians EVER win a championship?? It would be nuts...
John Hollinger (3:02 PM)
The reason Horford made the All-Star team is the East coaches needed to put a "center" on the roster and didn't want to vote for Lee or Bogut for some reason.
John Hollinger (3:02 PM)
This is also true. Remember, we can't have players on losing teams on the All-Star team under any circumstances. It's for the coaches, er, for the fans.
Fadee Tillman (oakland ca)
Why does Monte ellis not get any love? He is the sixth leading scorer in the nba, yet they still dont give the guy his due respect.
John Hollinger (3:04 PM)
Read today's column. Ellis is the most overrated player in the league.
John Hollinger (3:04 PM)
And on that happy note, it's time to wrap this up. I'll be back next Thursday to wrap up all the carnage from the trade deadline. In the meantime I have to enjoy the fact that hell has clearly frozen offer: not only did the Saints win the Super Bowl, but it's a bright sunny day in Portland. Thanks for all the great questions.