Chat with Michael Wallace
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, 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 Monday at 2 p.m. ET!
Michael Wallace (2:01 PM)
Thanks for joining me for another edition of the NBA weekly chat. Glad to join you from Indianapolis, where I'm sitting at Bankers Life Fieldhouse between Pacers and Heat practices. Let's get right to your questions and takes.
Where would Bulls stashaway Nikola Mirotic be ranked in this year's draft? Lottery?
Michael Wallace (2:02 PM)
My best guess is easily the lottery, possibly even the top five. The intrigue alone of some of the European prospects tends to add to their draft stock, especially if they're considered elite-level NBA prospects.
Dan (Boston (by way of MN))
Would Oklahoma consider Ibaka and Reggie Jackson plus picks for Love?
Michael Wallace (2:04 PM)
I'm sure OKC would consider it. But I'm also just as certain that Minnesota probably figures it could get a better deal elsewhere.
Jean Claude (Vermont)
Which team has improved more since their NBA Finals matchup last year?
Michael Wallace (2:05 PM)
The Spurs. The addition of Marco and the strides Kawhi continues to make is an obvious sign of that team's development. Miami has pretty much held steady, if not taken a bit of a step back from last season.
Why does Spo hate Beasley? He has to be a better option than Lewis at this point. He treated Beasley like this during the first go round but had to play him because there wasn't much else talent on the roster. Is Beasley's D that bad? pause
Michael Wallace (2:07 PM)
Beasley is the ultimate backup quarterback. He's become as close to a Tebow figure this team has, when it comes to being a polarizing force among the fanbase. But the truth is, there just isn't the level of trust there from this coaching staff in Beasley on either end of the court. Miami's offense is predicated on ball movement and its defense has a strong system approach. Neither is necessarily a strength for Beasley.
Was Greg Oden really hurt or was that just a nice way for Spoelstra to say he was going to make the Heat slow down or worst?
Michael Wallace (2:09 PM)
That was as strange an exchange as I've seen from Spoelstra when the subject after the Game 1 loss to Indy turned to Gred Oden's status on the inactive list. What I know is this: Spoelstra indicated just a couple of days ago that Oden was available for this series, and Oden also said he's ready to go if needed. Then came the talk yesterday that Oden is still working himself back into condition from lingering back spasms.
Joe (Houston, TX)
Hi Michael, what do you think Wiggins trade value is? if you drafted Wiggins who is the best current nba player you could trade him for?
Michael Wallace (2:11 PM)
Among the teams that could land the No. 1 overall pick, my guess is that only the Lakers would consider such a trade. Just about anyone else would salivate over this kid's potential and future. The Lakers are in a win-now mode with Kobe, and would want to land potential free agent veterans. But part of me would still be stunned if they actually went through with trading Wiggins after drafting him, if they're that fortunate.
Thaddeus Young, the Pelicans pick (No.10) and a top 10 protected first next year for K. Love. Who says no? MCW, Free agent, Wiggins or Parker, Love, Noel could be good quick especially in the East. And they'd still have room for a max free agent next year.
Michael Wallace (2:12 PM)
Minnesota says no first in that situation.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who do you think will be the 2013-2014 NBA Champions?
Michael Wallace (2:13 PM)
From what I see, the Spurs are the team to beat at this point.
Hi Michael, what do you make of the Thibs to LA rumors?
Michael Wallace (2:14 PM)
Until there's some sort of extension in Chicago, these rumors will persist with the coaching situation. There is some level of disconnect there between Thibs and the front office to some extent. But this offseason will be crucial for the Bulls on a number of levels.
Martin (Indiana) [via mobile]
Chris Bosh sure had a "terminally overrated" game on Sunday. Oh wait, that was him shooting 0-of-5 from 3? That was him with just 2 (2!) rebounds? Can we finally accept that the Pacers are FOR REAL.
Michael Wallace (2:16 PM)
Chris Bosh doesn't need to struggle in order to underscore the fact that the Pacers are a serious problem for the Heat. This isn't a team that looks up to Miami, despite how the Heat have ended their season the past two years. This is a team that feels it can look Miami eye to eye.
I really struggle to comprehend why some college coaches don't want to coach in the NBA. Coach K even turned down the Lakers after Phil left. And Tom Izzo declined the offer for the Pistons that SVG accepted. And also they're paid too much. Ollie supposedly wants to be paid 7 Mil to come to the big leagues... College coaches get like 2 Mil+ to coach, while Shabbaz Napier is going to bed hungry.
Michael Wallace (2:17 PM)
You raised two completely different issues there. If I'm a college coach, I like the sense of security and control of your program that you don't necessarily get at the NBA level.
Ed (Queens Village)
Who needs to be 3rd scorer for OKC with Ibaka out for playoffs?
Michael Wallace (2:18 PM)
Reggie Jackson and/or Caron Butler
If the Wolves decide they will trade Kevin Love before next season, which situation do you believe Love is more likely to end up with: a team with less assets in a bigger market (like the Lakers, Bulls, or Knicks) or a smaller market like Phoenix or Boston, even though those teams have draft picks, young talent, and cap space to spare?
Michael Wallace (2:26 PM)
Kevin Love is probably done with the up-and-coming rebuilding jobs. He's ready to go to a major market that's in the playoff mix right now.
Spreading the Indiana defense was the thing that hurt them the most in the previous rounds, why did Spo not go for that tactic more often or was it just because shots were not falling?
Michael Wallace (2:27 PM)
He tried. That's why Battier started at power forward and why LeBron was at power forward, with Bosh at center. But the Pacers are ready for this team. They're locked in against Miami far more than they are against any of the league's other 28 teams. This series isn't about gimmicks. It's about getting to your game as quickly as possible and dictating tempo.
Dean (the city)
Warriors all in on landing Love?
Michael Wallace (2:30 PM)
That would seem to be the ideal place for Love to land. But what will it cost the Warriors. It's going to force them to break up their core via a trade. But Love's options would improve drastically if he waits for free agency, where a team might be able to keep some of their assets.
Tavaris (Columbia, SC)
Why everybody overreacting about the Pacers beating the Heat??? They just need to calm down, I still got the Heat in 5 or 6, how about you???
Michael Wallace (2:32 PM)
Nah, I can't see this one going five. I've got Heat in 7 still, but my feeling is that the winner of Game 2 wins this series. Tuesday's game will be just that pivotal.
Do you see the Wizards as big players for free agents like Bosh, Love, Anthony, Monroe, etc. in the next couple years or do they try to keep both Gortat and Ariza?
Michael Wallace (2:36 PM)
No, the Wizards might try to bring back their current guys on short deals, Ariza and Gortat, just to get them through 2016, when Nene's contract comes off the books. Unless Kevin Durant signs an extension before then in OKC, it's very possible the Wizards make a strong push to bring this year's MVP back to his hometown team.
So far I've not seen anything about Chalmers' flagrant. Imagine a suspension would have been announced already. Will he be fined?
Michael Wallace (2:37 PM)
Would be surprised if that play is upgraded to anything that would warrant a suspension.
Charles (San Jose)
Would've been fun to see Bynum vs Oden for 10 mpg.
Michael Wallace (2:38 PM)
Not really. Only someone who loves basketball that's painfully tough to watch would enjoy that 10-minute stretch. Then again, neither of those guys would be able to play 10 minutes at this stage.
Is it too soon to say that the Evan Turner trade was a complete mistake for Indiana? I mean Lance does such a better job of leading that bench crew, it was shown the first half of the season and last night against the Heat. I feel like the Pacers would have been better off without Turner. Or at least if they keep Lance on the court with the bench crew and let him be the second units alpha dog.
Michael Wallace (2:41 PM)
Before this series is over, the Pacers will need both Lance and Evan at some point. It may be an either-or scenario in the offseason, depending on the money Lance commands as a free agent. But for now, the Pacers will need all the players than can get who are capable of putting the ball in the hoop.
Michael, SVG make his first move this summer, with doing a sign and trade with Monroe/singler/kcp for Kevin Love.. we sign Deng..with a starting five of Jennings/draft pick Harris/Deng/Love/Drummond.. can this be a team to get deep in the post season? remember we have SVG as the coach too...
Michael Wallace (2:43 PM)
Is that team getting past Miami or Indiana? Or even the improved Wizards or Raptors? I'll believe it when I see it. Although Van Gundy's coaching style would fit Love's game perfectly, I'm not sure that's the destination Love has in mind.
Michael - In your opinion, would the Kevin Love revelation change the approach for Chicago as far as their expected pursuit of Carmelo Anthony is concerned? I would think that Carmelo would remain the priority regardless, considering their need for an elite scorer and having Taj Gibson at the PF position already.
Michael Wallace (2:47 PM)
Your logic makes sense. But it would also depend on what players it would require to acquire Love. I'm not sure Minnesota would be excited with the kind of package Chicago would send that didn't include Noah or Rose. And Chicago isn't giving up either of those guys.
Martin (Hattiesburg, MS)
I keep seeing that Houston is pushing for KL but, other teams can trump any offer they make unless they offer Harden for KL. Would Houston consider that?
Michael Wallace (2:48 PM)
Could you do a sign and trade withthat sends Love/JJ Barea and Shabbaz Muhammad for Bosh/Chalmers?
Michael Wallace (2:49 PM)
Miami would probably love that. But Minnesota would then watch Bosh opt out of his contract at the earliest opportunity and the T-Wolves would be left without a star player and plenty of free agency cash that most top flight players would bypass.
I think the Rockets are a better fit for Love instead of NY or LA . What is your prediction
Michael Wallace (2:52 PM)
There are a lot of places where Love would be a great fit, but let's be real here. It's not as easy as just adding him without giving up significant pieces that would change the dynamic of your team.
Big Dub (The Man Cave)
Hey Michael, great chat as always. How many years off are the Pistons from contending in the East? What roster moves need to be made in that period to get them there?? Thanks!
Michael Wallace (2:53 PM)
I had them being a middle-of-the-pack playoff team this year. I thought the talent on the roster warranted at least a sixth, seventh or eighth seed. But they drastically underachieved. They need continuity. They need shooters to space the floor for their bigs. Van Gundy's system will create some of the space they need, but they also need a few roster tweaks.
Al (Mission Viejo, California)
Do you think OKC can beat the Spurs without Ibaka? If Parker is half way healthy, there is no one to stop him on the drive and duncan and splitter will own the middle making OKC nothing but jump shooters.
Michael Wallace (2:56 PM)
Ibaka is a huge, huge loss for the Thunder for his ability to protect the rim. They have no other player on the roster with that type of defensive instict and athletic ability to match. Perry Jones III has the potential, but lacks the strength and experience to know what he's doing down there for extended stretches. It's a tough loss for OKC. It's going to take Westbrook and Durant to play like Michael and Scottie, both at MVP levels, to give them any shot in this series.
The Celtics have a $10 Million Dollar trade exception, multiple draft picks in this year's and next year's draft, cap space, and an All-Star point guard in Rajon Rondo. If the Celtics could pull off a trade for Love, do you think they could attract a free agent such as Carmelo or Dirk?
Michael Wallace (3:00 PM)
If I'm the Celtics and I want Love, I'd prefer he wait a year and become a free agent. The Knicks actually set themselves back by giving up so many assets in order to make the Carmelo trade happen, when New York was the destination he wanted regardless. Minnesota would be a tough situation by waiting to deal Love if he's not inclined to sign an extension. Their hand will be forced in that situation.
Michael Wallace (3:01 PM)
Well, that's my time, folks. Thanks for your questions. Let's do this again next week as these conference finals take shape. Until then, take care. Peace-MW