Chat with Michael Wallace
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, NBA reporter Michael Wallace stops by to chat about the latest news from around the league.
In addition to writing about the NBA, Wallace is also a frequent contributor to the "Heat Index" and the TrueHoop Network. Prior to working for ESPN, Wallace spent more than a decade covering the ACC, SEC, NFL and the NBA for other publications.
Send your questions now and join Wallace Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Michael Wallace (2:59 PM)
Thanks for joining me for another week of the NBA chat. Looking forward to getting right to your questions and takes. Let's go.
why can't Lebron and KD be Co-MVP this year? why does everything have to be so definite?
Michael Wallace (3:01 PM)
We've had Co-Rookies of the Year before. It would be interesting to see this race between LeBron and Durant come down to the wire. This will likely be one of the closest races we've had in years - at least since that vote when Steve Nash beat out Shaquille O'Neal.
If the Celtics draft Andrew Wiggins or Joel Embiid (great young players who will benefit from a great passer), do you think they extend Rondo and try to build around those pieces?
Michael Wallace (3:03 PM)
The lottery order and draft come before free agency and the summer trade season, so there's a chance the Celtics can hold onto Rondo. He's young enough to be a franchise anchor to build around moving forward. But I just get the sense the Celtics want a completely fresh start for new coach Brad Stevens. The current situation around the Celtics seems to be turning toxic quite quickly.
Joe (New york)
who wins the atlantic?
Michael Wallace (3:06 PM)
For some reason, I've been holding out expectations that the Nets would eventually get on another run and overtake the Raptors. But Toronto has a four-game lead with about 28 games to go, so that should be enough of a cushion to stay ahead and win the division.
Another L for my pistons. After we miss the playoffs and LOSE our pick to the bobcats will Dumars finally get fired?
Michael Wallace (3:07 PM)
If the Pistons miss the playoffs, I can't see any way to justify bringing Dumars back in a leadership role. He's run his course.
Last night a guy on the NBA Coast to Coast show admitted he had "voter fatigue" in voting for Lebron for MVP. How unfair is that? Why can't people just judge each season for what it is?
Michael Wallace (3:09 PM)
I didn't hear that, but if that's the case, then his or her vote should be taken away. I'm sure there are many who feel that way, which explains many of the years Michael Jordan didn't win it. But it's unprofessional to make that sentiment so public, if that's the case. I've always been in favor of taking the MVP vote out of the media's hands and giving it to a select group of coaches, players, league executives and former winners.
I know it's early, but resigning Birdman has to be at the top of the Heat's to-do-list. If of course, the big three all opt in. He just "fits". Your thoughts.
Michael Wallace (3:12 PM)
He does. And it's funny, but I spoke to Andersen today about his comfort level with Miami, and he said the best part about being with the Heat is that they've allowed him to extend his range to the 3-point line, "as long as I get may ass back in there and rebound when I miss." He's fit in from the moment he signed, from the Harlem Shake video through today. He has an option to come back, but he's probably worth more than the veteran's minimum.
Ben Mizrahi (Los Angeles)
Hi Michael, Your recent article "the five truths about the defending champions." It was a great read but, i did not understand your last sentence in the Dwyane Wade section. Since I was born in the late 80s, I don't know who Mark Aguirre and Adrian Dantley were. Can you provide some context, how are they "emerging in Wade?"
Michael Wallace (3:14 PM)
Sorry about the historical reference there. Mark and Adrian were guys who could beat you without being faster, more athletic or - in some cases - even physically stronger than their defenders. They did it by making smart plays, using their body and wisdom and crafty moves around the basket. They had below-the-rim games that couldn't be stopped. Wade is morphing quite well into his 'old-man game'
Supposing a 3rd Miami title. Could you see Bosh leaving in order to assert himself as a #1 guy elsewhere, or does he continue as a unique schematic piece in Miami?
Michael Wallace (3:17 PM)
Bosh wants to be in Miami for the longterm. What will make this offseason interesting is whether the Heat will offer him a max deal for the next five seasons if he opts out of his current contract. LeBron is going to get a max deal regardless of where or when he signs. But Bosh is in a position where he has to maximize his earning power while his stock is at its highest point, which is right now. Of course, he could play it out one more season and opt out the following summer, or play the next two years and earn the remaining $44 million or so left on his deal.
Are the Pacers that confident in their quest to defeat the Heat? The Pacers were in a game 7 with them last year. They bring in a potential chemistry killer and seemingly undesired Andrew Bynum. They trade for Evan Turner. I think they showed their hand too much.
Michael Wallace (3:18 PM)
Or, they bolstered the roster and filled whatever holes they had in order to get over the hump this time around. The Pacers aren't just playing to get past the Heat. They're all in for a title this season. You have to credit Larry Bird for pushing all of his chips to the middle of the table.
Was watching the clips- OKC game on Sunday and it looked pretty much like KD vs The Clips. If these two teams were to meet in the playoffs who do you trust to get off a better shot with the game/series on the line: the Clips Offense or the KD show?
Michael Wallace (3:22 PM)
Right now, the Clippers, only because I can trust Chris Paul to create enough space to make a play for either himself or someone else. I have to see more from Westbrook, who is still working off the rust. But other than that, both KD and Crawford are capable of hitting a game winner over the top of any defense with an incredible shot.
BigCitySid (Harlem, NY)
Who are you expecting more from in the post season, Andrew Bynum or Greg Oden?
Michael Wallace (3:24 PM)
Both sit right now as their respective team's third-string center. Oden is at least in the mix with the Heat, but Bynum showed a bit more rhythm during his stint with the Cavaliers. I'm not sure either one of those guys will make a significant difference over the course of a seven-game series. But there may be one or two games, or more like one or two quarters, over the course of a series where they can have a meaningful impact.
Jim C. (Boise, Idaho)
The Lakers basically have holes everywhere. Assuming that they DON'T end up with the number one pick, is there a "bad" choice between the grouping of Embrid, Parker, Exum, Wiggins or Randle? Most of the chatter I've seen is that any of those five are potential franchise players, but is that really the case? Are all five of them franchise stars?
Michael Wallace (3:27 PM)
If I'm the Lakers, I think Parker is the best fit. Kobe will likely welcome him with open arms because of the respect factor for Coach K. He's also capable of playing inside and out, and would be a decent fit in D'Antoni's wide-open style. That said, I'm not sure if he's the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.
Any thoughts on where Jimmer could end up? I think he has potential to stick in the league but was just in a bad situation for his skill set.
Michael Wallace (3:28 PM)
There was one thought I heard today that suggests Jimmer would be better off signing with the Lakers for the rest of the season, getting all of the open looks in that offense and put himself in the best position to land a better deal on a better team in the offseason as a free agent. He needs minutes right now to prove he can stick in this league.
Calvin (New york)
Knicks 10.5 games behind toronto for first in atlantic, can they catch them?
Michael Wallace (3:29 PM)
Tony (Richmond, CA)
How far do you see the Wizards falling after losing Nene for the season? Are they now in danger of missing the playoffs altogether?
Michael Wallace (3:33 PM)
I don't have the numbers right in front of me, but the Wizards are like 8-42 - or somewhere in that neighborhood - without Nene over the past few seasons. I do think Gortat helps them brace the fall somewhat, but they need another big body they can rely on inside to help offset the loss. The hope is that he'll be able to return for the playoffs. It's really a shame, because every time the Wizards get back to the .500 mark, something goes terribly wrong. They're a solid playoff team, and the comibination of John Wall, Bradley Beal and Trevor Ariza on the perimeter won't let them stumble out of the playoffs.
Every year player A gets over paid because they play DECENT on a bad team. Kris humphries, Monta ellis, Mayo etc. Who will it be this year?
Michael Wallace (3:34 PM)
BigCitySid (Harlem, NY)
Based on their skill set, which of the following young power forwards would you prefer to build a team around: Blake Griffin, Anthony Davis, Kevin Love, or LaMarcus Aldridge?
Michael Wallace (3:35 PM)
Tough, tough, tough call. My initial hunch is to lean toward either Anthony Davis or Blake Griffin. In that order.
Russell S. (Raleigh, NC)
Assuming the Bobcats buy out Ben Gordon, where does he sign? Don't say Miami.
Michael Wallace (3:37 PM)
Ok. Then how about Chicago?
Kev (Austin, TX)
Danny Granger. Lets get to it. The Sixers will buy him out. I honestly believe the Spurs are to be the front runners to sign him, only because they could get him into SERIOUS rotation/minutes. What do you think?
Michael Wallace (3:38 PM)
I agree. I think, of all the contenders, San Antonio and OKC would be the best fits for Granger.
Shouldn't Kyrie do the "mini max" deal that lebron did i Miami?
Michael Wallace (3:40 PM)
I don't get the sense that Kyrie is certain he wants to stay in Cleveland. That's what makes this such an interesting situation this summer. Cleveland still controls his options, at least for next season.
Dwayne (San francisco)
Are the Warriors setting Harrison Barnes back by not letting him grow as a stater?
Michael Wallace (3:42 PM)
And send who to the bench, Klay? Iggy certainly isn't coming off the bench. I don't think Barnes has established himself enough yet to command a starting role on a regular basis. His best role might be as a reliable reserve. He's just got to get his confidence up. He has the size and skill. Consistency has always been his issue.
Why do Bulls fan's expect things to be ok next year? Drose is working with bad knees and we will probably end up with a low level free agent like evan turner.
Michael Wallace (3:44 PM)
I don't think Bulls fans EXPECT much of anything, considering the way the last two seasons have gone. And I don't mean that in a bad way. I'm just saying that many are reluctant to expect anything. They've been rolling with the punches for so long now.
Russell S. (Raleigh, NC)
Where does Metta end up? Somehow, I think he'd fit in great in San Antonio.
Michael Wallace (3:46 PM)
The better question is, what does Metta actually have left? Is there anything there? He's a handful to take in for an established team that's trying to push toward a title.
What are the Cavs chances of getting a top five pick?
Michael Wallace (3:47 PM)
If they miss the playoffs, probably pretty good. Because they seem to land one every year.
Why are people SO obsess with Bynum? He's what the 11th man? Don't they know George Hill's play will be the most important thing for the Pacers?
Michael Wallace (3:49 PM)
I'd say Lance is the wild card. If he consistently plays like an All-Star, the Pacers could be headed to the NBA Finals. They do need consistency from at least one of those two guards. But I think Indiana has enough to get their breakthrough this season. Now, whether they play to their potential is another matter completely.
Marlon (Middletown, NY)
Has the recent arrest of Knicks guard Felton, put the last straw on the camels back forces Melo to leave?
Michael Wallace (3:50 PM)
I don't think Felton's issues will have any impact whatsoever on Melo's offseason decision. Absolutely none.
Do you think Melo is going to have to take the back seat to another superstar in order to be able to at least compete for a ring? If so where??
Michael Wallace (3:53 PM)
That's highly unlikely to happen in New York. So now, you have to wonder how many teams potentially with enough cap space out there are capable of taking in Melo as the second-best player on the team? The Bulls? The Lakers? There aren't many places Melo can go where he would be the clear No. 2 option. He's far, far more likely to stay in New York and wait out a reconstruction of that roster in the next two seasons.
Don (Lindenhurst, IL)
What do the Bulls need besides a healthy Rose to become a legitmate threat in the East.
Michael Wallace (3:54 PM)
A health Rose is enough for which to ask, isn't it?
Kev (Austin, TX)
Recently, the NFL proposed a ban+penalty for the N-word being used during competition/NFL-sanctioned events. Because the NBA is so much more exposed to the fans, do you see them adopting this as a means to curb their own stereotypes?
Michael Wallace (3:59 PM)
I have strong opinions about this topic, but not enough time to express them completely. But I would be surprised if the NFL actually gets this pushed into legislation. And it's not just the N-word that is the focus, although that has drawn much of the attention. It should be all racially offensive slurs. But again, I'd be stunned if this becomes an actual rule of the game.
Michael Wallace (4:00 PM)
That's my time for the week. Seemed like this hour passed along quickly. Thanks again for your great questions and takes. Looking forward to next week's chat already. Until then, take care and peace - MW