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 (1:08 PM)
Thanks for joining me for this free agency eve special edition of the NBA chat. Let's get right to your questions and takes.
Ruskin (Bismarck) [via mobile]
Many people viewed Orlando trading away Aaron Afflalo as the first shoe to drop. What could be the second? They aren't yet a super attractive destination for a marquee free agent. Plus, they have some good young players that just need some time to develop. Could they possibly be a facilitator for a bigger trade for other teams? Also, what value does Jameer Nelson have? Will he be traded and Elfrid Payton take over as starting PG? Thanks!
Michael Wallace (1:10 PM)
Yes, I would think a move now has to be made with Jameer. He's been there in Orlando for his entire career, and there's a lot of goodwill equity built up there. So I'm sure he will at least have some say in where he ends up. But there is a lot of interest in his contract, particularly because a large part of it isn't guaranteed for next season.
Ed (Queens Village)
I feel Nets did not get enough for Kidd. At least they could of tried to get a 1st rounder in return. Your thoughts?
Michael Wallace (1:11 PM)
Perhaps they valued Kidd even less, and didn't think he would command as much. If he doesn't want to be there and hasn't built up enough leverage or power, sometimes it's best to just let him walk and go out and get a veteran coach that would perhaps be a better fit for that roster.
Kevin Duong (GTA) [via mobile]
"The Bucks start here. The team! Not talking about the money (I swear)!" - Jason Kidd at his introductory press conference. Have you ever seen anything like this in all your years of reporting? How many millions & years do you think Kidd gets? Safe to say a lot of the good vibes from drafting Jabari have washed away with this? Lastly, Larry Drew deserved better than this!
Michael Wallace (1:13 PM)
What it tells more, or reminds me, more than anything is of the cutthroat nature of professional sports. Larry Drew got hosed. Completely. Obviously, it's hard to defend him with the way the team performed last season. But it was his first year, and everyone knew things were going to bottom out in Milwaukee before they got better. It's unfortunate how it played out for a decent man and coach.
Drom John (Macon, GA)
Would Deng be a good fit for the Hawks?
Michael Wallace (1:15 PM)
Yes, the Hawks need a more natural small forward who is a proven veteran. You can't continue to play that small ball style and expect to win on a regular basis. He would stabilize that lineup, with Horford and Millsap up front. I like the position the Hawks are putting themselves in with the flexibility. The question now is whether they can get a top-tier free agent, or several really good ones, to go there and stay.
HI Michael, happy to see that Larry Sanders is seeking help - do you see him ever being a top 15 player at his position going forward or have we seen the best of Larry's career. thanks
Michael Wallace (1:16 PM)
Larry Sanders reminds me a lot of former No. 1 draft pick and Maryland star Joe Smith. All the potential and athleticism in the world, but obviously lacking something to put it all together. We've seen Sanders struggle with some issues off the court. The Bucks wanted to build around him moving forward. That idea certainly didn't last long.
Hi Michael, do you see Cole in Heats uni next season, instead of Lowry I think the Heat need more Wing D & Rim protector.. you can start the season with Lebron, Wade, Nappier,
Michael Wallace (1:20 PM)
Yes, I think so. But it depends on the response Pat Riley gets from the free agents who are atop his board entering Tuesday. The Heat will only go so far in terms of protecting Cole's $2 million salary slot. It could easily be dumped somewhere if that exra money is the difference between getting and losing out on a quality upgrade in free agency.
Is there a bigger snake in the NBA than Jason Kidd? If I were Prok, I'd eat the balance of Kidd's contract and reassign him to the same role Lawrence Frank currently has.
Michael Wallace (1:22 PM)
That coaching situation in Brooklyn has been odd from the getgo. Look at it this way, if you don't like what Kidd did, you haven't lost much. If you are a Kidd supporter, then now he can go and develop with a roster commiserate with his experience.
What do you think of the recent trades from the Mavericks? Good moves?
Michael Wallace (1:24 PM)
I like what Dallas is doing. It's almost as if Cuban is finally starting to realize his combination of money and Dallas as a major market is not as strong when it comes to recruiting tools as one once thought after winning that title in 2011. He's got to piece together some things and go with several good free agents instead of one marquee name outside of Dirk. But there is plenty to like about what Dallas is doing. And keep in mind, they gave the Spurs more trouble, by far, than anyone in the playoffs.
Hi Michael, if the Bulls fail on Melo will they turn their efforts to Love or just move onto another FA like Gasol?
Michael Wallace (1:27 PM)
They have no control over the Love situation, although it will be interesting to see what transpires if they don't get Carmelo. Do you fold up shop, maintain your cap space situation and make a run at Love next season when he's free and clear? Or do you have to have an immediate Plan B and make something happen this offseason? It's pretty much a Melo-or-nothing scenario for the Bulls, it seems.
Travis Houston tx [via mobile]
If we land Lebron James what will happen in Houston rooster after we get ride of Lin.will we lose Parson and how will harden and Howard think of this new addition?
Michael Wallace (1:28 PM)
I certainly don't think that's happening. But I do admit that it would be a very fun roster to watch, because LeBron is such a great facilitator. But again, LeBron has given no indication he's leaving Miami or is even interested in hearing full-fledged pitches from other teams. That could change. Free agency is tricky like that, though. Very much so.
Mark (Cary, NC)
Good afternoon Michael, with the drafting of Marcus Smart - most people think the Celtics should trade Rondo. Isn't the market a little dry for Rondo? The Knicks have nothing for Boston and will run the triangle. How about Rondo to LAKERS for Steven Nash and #7 Randle?
Michael Wallace (1:32 PM)
I'd still like Rondo to Pacers in sign-and-trade for Lance. But that Lance-Smart backcourt could implode if not careful. I'd also like a Rondo-to-Sacto potential play if it could be worked out. But Ainge is always capable of making a move few see coming.
Ed (Queens Village)
If Jason Kidd does not return to Nets. Should they approach another first time head coach or go veteran route?
Michael Wallace (1:37 PM)
I'd go with a veteran. There are so many options out there. I'd start with Lionel Hollins and work my way then to Jeff Van Gundy and George Karl.
Can't see jr smith being in phil's plans? Would you class him as very difficult to move? How do you see that situation playing out?
Michael Wallace (1:39 PM)
JR Smith would be almost impossible to move. But there's always a team willing to take on that kind of scoring. Charlotte needs a scorer and shooter like that. Sacramento would be a crazy, yet absolutely intriguing fit. They would almost become like the old Oakland Raiders of basketball.
Are Jimmer's NBA days done?
Michael Wallace (1:40 PM)
No. He's a shooter. He's cheap. There will be a spot for him at the end of someone's bench for at least another couple of sesaons.
Rich (New Jersey)
Hi Mike - With Dwayne Wade & Chris Bosh joining LeBron James in opting to of their contracts and Udonis Haslem said he won't pick up his $4.6 million option, will all 4 be back with Miami with reworked deals or move on to other teams for more money?
Michael Wallace (1:42 PM)
I can only go by what those guys are saying for themselves on the record. And, to a man, they've all talked about doing whatever it takes to stay together in Miami as long as the front office took the necessary steps to continue to improve the team. That places the ball directly in Pat Riley's hands right now. I never got the sense that they all want to get away from this situation. But again, in free agency, strange things tend to develop in a heartbeat. Just look at the Jason Kidd situation.
Harrisburg pa [via mobile]
Where do you think lebron james is going
Michael Wallace (1:43 PM)
To Ohio to chill out at his Akron home for a few weeks. Then, in a few months, back to Miami to start training for next season.
Joseph (New York)
With the chances of Carmelo Anthony coming to New York increasing, will the Knicks look to make another big deal in trying to find another household name as persuasion for Melo?
Michael Wallace (1:45 PM)
Financially, New York was always in the best spot for Carmelo. But if he truly wants to pursue his options and is looking for best fits for next season, then Chicago will be tough to resist. The good thing about the eve of free agency is that all the speculation and rumors are about to end and the real news and facts are about to develop.
Deven (New York, NY)
Give your prediction on who the Heat will sign, not including the Big Three.
Michael Wallace (1:47 PM)
I have no clue. I know who they'd like to land. But so much is in play right now, it's hard to predict what other guys are going to do. I would guess that, from last season's team, they would bring back Haslem, Andersen and Ray Allen for certain.
Michael Wallace (1:50 PM)
He won't be least-known for long. But I had to go and check the list. The only other name that jumped off the page in terms of low-profile would be Chauncey Billups.
Kawhi Leonard is the least-known finals mvp ever.
Michael Wallace (1:50 PM)
He won't be least-known for long. But I had to go and check the list. The only other name that jumped off the page in terms of low-profile would be Chauncey Billups
Leslie (forest hills)
I like what the magic were building pre draft and their potential. I was hoping for them to comeout with exum and hopefully trade aaflalo with #12 to moveup to 7-9 to get gordon/vonleh. That would've been an a+ draft for me and looking back, it looks very attainable. Gordon to me was like when okc drafted Westbrook, very talented but a semi project. What do you think they should've done and what grade do you give them.
Michael Wallace (1:52 PM)
I'm still trying to figure out why they essentially gave away Afflalo. You would think they could have gotten more for him. The Gordon pick was interesting. I have to see how that works out. They seem to have a couple of players in that same tweener position already on the roster.
Michael, if the Suns offer Gordon Hayward the max (4 years $63 million) please tell me the Jazz are not going to match. Hayward on a winning team at best would be the 3rd or 4th best player on that team. Where do you see our situation with him and what is he worth in the open market?
Michael Wallace (1:55 PM)
Keep in mind, Phoenix has made a similar play before when they tossed all that money at Eric Gordon, only to see New Orleans match the deal. I really loved what Utah did in the draft. I think they were one of the undertold stories of the draft. But that said, Hayward has built up a strong following with the Jazz faithful, and they have indeed been faithful and patient during this difficult rebuilding process. Still, I don't see Hayward as a $15 mill-plus a season player just yet.
Ryan (The D)
Who do you see making a run at Monroe and should Detroit look to sign and trade him or resign him? Seems limited athletically to me so I would like them to pursue a stretch 4.
Michael Wallace (1:59 PM)
I don't see Monroe as a great fit for what Van Gundy wants to do in Detroit. But he's took valuable to allow him to walk away without getting something in return. He might work in New York, with the Knicks having dealt Chandler and really having no desire to keep Dalembert around. Washington could also be a landing spot if Gortat gets away in free agency.
Michael.. now, here is what I think could happen if SVG gets on the phone with Lebron people!!! He could offer in a sign and trade of Monroe/Bynum/future second round pick for Lebron.. we sign him to 4 years 70 million.. we could have a starting lineup of Jennings/KCP/Lebron/Smith/Drummond.. now Michael is this a title contender.. I am sure we have a enough money to get Morrow from New Orleans..
Michael Wallace (2:01 PM)
And on that note, happy free agency, people. Hope abounds - for at least another few hours. That's my time for this week. Thanks for hanging out the past hour. Wishing your team the best as things play out over the next few days. Take care, and let's assess what takes place when we chat again next week. Until then, take care. Peace - MW