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 2:30 p.m. ET!
Michael Wallace (2:39 PM)
Thanks for joining me for another week of the NBA chat. Free agency is absolutely crazy. NOt sure I can clear up any of the insanity that's going on right now, but I'll try to have fun trying to do so for the next hour. So let's get right to the questions.
Chris Bosh offered 4yr/$96 million dollar offer. Does he take it?
Michael Wallace (2:40 PM)
All depends on the circumstances. He was as committed to staying in Miami as any of the Big 3, and repeatedly said those three guys were going to stay together, despite all of the nonsense swirling around the Heat. But, as we know, in free agency, things can change quickly.
Bill (Wilmington De)
Do the Sixers do anything significant in FA or just look for role players from other teams?
Michael Wallace (2:41 PM)
They're one of the few teams in the league that needs to take on salary to get to the league salary cap minimum, so you'll see a couple of vets added to that roster to make sure they comply with the cap. But otherwise, the Sixers are looking forward to another season in the lottery. They peddle in hope-for-next-year more than any team in the league at this point.
What are the chances that LeBron, Melo and Wade team up in South Beach? This scenario assumes that Bosh leaves for Houston.
Michael Wallace (2:43 PM)
I'll believe it when I see it. I've said it before and I'll say it again. There is such an appetite to disrupt what's going on in Miami that just about any report can easily gain traction coming from so-called reliable sources.
Which type of player along with retaining Chris Bosh and Dwayne would Miami need to get in order for Lebron to stay?
Michael Wallace (2:44 PM)
Pau Gasol, Luol Deng or Trevor Ariza would be nice. But let's stop kidding ourselves. If LeBron is waiting for either of those guys to save the day for Miami's roster, then he's misguided. This was a Heat team that didn't need much to remain at the level they've been at the past four seasons. Beef up the depth on the perimeter and add a serviceable big, and you're right back where you need to be.
Does Bosh leaving the Heat really hurt Miami's chance of re-signing Lebron? I think it might help; more money to spread to a variety of needs and able to add depth.
Michael Wallace (2:46 PM)
Again, Bosh is the last player who wanted out of Miami after the season ended. I can't imagine that's change much in the past two weeks.
Matthew (Virginia )
Why does the big fish always elude the Mavericks? Why wouldn't someone want to play for such a top notch organization? There's a passionate owner, a two time (one player, one coach) champion in Carlise, and an unselfish superstar in Dirk. Oh yeah, they have cap flexibility and no income tax. Sounds like a no brainer to me. Thanks!
Michael Wallace (2:48 PM)
That's been a mystery to me for some time. I think Cuban sort of jinxed himself by refusing to bring back that championship team for at least one more crack at it a couple of years ago. But since then, they've lost out on Deron Williams, Dwight Howard and a couple of other targets. Still, they've held their own and remain a legit threat in the West if they can stay somewhat consistent with their roster.
Is there any truth to the rumor that the Sixers are interested in taking the salary of Stoudemire and Shumpert from the Knicks? Does this change the free agency outlook if the Knicks can clear enough cap room to make a big signing?
Michael Wallace (2:49 PM)
If the Sixers do that, they will go down as the biggest free agency frauds in league history. I know they have to add salary, but to assist the Knicks in such a way would be a huge windfall for New York and make the Sixers the most despised team in the league. Bank on it.
Michael why arent the Washington Wizards a prime destination for Free Agents to come as they have one of the best back courts in the game and a premier Center?
Michael Wallace (2:51 PM)
Because they just got those things, like, yesterday. Washington is a team that's a year or two away from being able to make a huge play in free agency. Once Nene's contract comes off the books, we'll see where their status stands as a potential free agency destination.
Willie F (Houston )
Do you see Lebron James or carmelo anthony signing this week
Michael Wallace (2:51 PM)
I see both doing so this week. What reason is there to have this thing drag out any longer than necessary beyond July 10?
Jim C. (Boise, Idaho)
Michael, why does everyone assume that the Lakers don't have a good pitch to free agents? If Kobe is healthy (big if, admittedly) then he is basically a top-10 player and he's on a short term contract. They have an intriguing and talented young rookie in Julius Randle and if Pau resigns that's a team that, with one additional superstar, could have pretty dangerous (if a little short in the bench department) foursome. It could at least compete right away and once Kobe/Nash's contracts come off the books, they could bring in another superstar to form a big three with Julius Randle, Carmelo and, say, Kevin Love. It IS a franchise that has a pretty well documented track record of finding ways to build winners.
Michael Wallace (2:53 PM)
I'm not sure where you're hearing that the Lakers aren't an attractive destination. They are. But it's a fragile situation there because you just don't know what Kobe has left, despite two years and nearly $50 million on his contract.
Do you believe that LeBron could be leaning towards returning to Cleveland?
Michael Wallace (2:54 PM)
I'm not buying it. I could be wrong. But on the surface, it doesn't seem to be consistent with what he's been saying all along. Things can change, but I'm not sure about those strong leanings toward Cleveland.
Hi Michael,What are your odds of LeBron leaving Miami?
Michael Wallace (2:56 PM)
I've said 80-20 he stays in the past. I'm sticking with those numbers. The fact that he was so quick to opt out and open himself up to being targeted by other teams created some reasonable doubt.
Mr Wallace, Who is the real Threat to Miami from snagging LeBron James away?
Michael Wallace (2:57 PM)
My guys Brian Windhorst, Stephen A. Smith and Chris Broussard.
Bryan (St. Louis)
I'm a die hard Bulls fan. Are we going to lose out again??
Michael Wallace (2:59 PM)
If Carmelo was set on leaving New York, I felt Chicago would be his best fit. It certainly seemed that way after his meeting with the Bulls last week in Chicago. But Melo wanted to be recruited and continued to tour the country flirting with other teams. That's his right. But the Bulls better dust off that Plan B pretty quickly - if one ever existed.
I love Carmelo, but I say we should rebuild this team from scratch because I dont believe Anthony is worth the Max offer only one I would say is of course is LeBron and nobody else on this FA list is
Michael Wallace (3:01 PM)
Unfortunately, a dozen or so teams in the NBA would say otherwise.
It seems the Raptors are never in discussion for top notch free agents (other then when trying to retain their own). Why is that?
Michael Wallace (3:09 PM)
Because they're in Toronto. I love the city. I can appreciate the international flair and all it offers. But there's something about the north and the cold and the Canadian taxes that chases guys away.
Stephen Robertson (North Carolina)
Why wouldnt Lebron want to go to Cleveland? Look at that roster! You got Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, 2 #1 Draft picks along with a pretty good supporting cast. Do you think Miami has anything better to offer?
Michael Wallace (3:10 PM)
A championship resume. Stability. A bit less disfunction. That would be a start.
Why would the Sixers be considered "frauds?" I don't think they've made any secret that they're simply collecting assets at this point. So if they can pick up additional draft picks by taking on another team's unwanted salary, why not do it? Who cares that it benefits the other team, they are rightly concerned only about their own team
Michael Wallace (3:12 PM)
Philly's fans deserve better. They do.
If the Rockets get Carmelo or Bosh, would it make sense to trade Harden for Rondo? this way Rockets get their playmaker since they will have lots of scorers, Celtics get their go to scorer and Rockets can offer Rondo a deal while hes their FA instead of signing him outright.
Michael Wallace (3:16 PM)
I can't see the Rockets trading Harden. Not now. If they weren't in a rush to dump Omer Asik last year, why would they do so with Harden?
rray (jersey )
who will start in the backcourt for the lakers next year
Michael Wallace (3:17 PM)
Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash. Unless I missed something.
The Bulls take exception to the person complaining about free agents coming to Dallas nobody is worse than the Bulls at this...don't ever forget it.
Michael Wallace (3:24 PM)
Yeah, the Bulls and Mavs are pretty much in the same boat when it comes to big-time free agency hits. The Bulls have overcome it, and the Mavs continue to fight through it, too. Eventually, you've got to believe they'll hit on someone.
Wade is the problem in Miami, not Bosh or a lack of cap space... If Riley is "the man" as they say, he should be ruthless and tell Dwayne and Udonis to take a hike. They need far more than what those 2 can provide. Cheers!
Michael Wallace (3:26 PM)
There's a free agency fanatic for you.
Now that the Spurs have locked up all the most important pieces from last season's rotation for a few more years, what should they be looking for during the remainder of free agency? Any glaring weaknesses to shore-up?
Michael Wallace (3:32 PM)
And that's the thing. There's been relatively no buzz about the job San Antonio has done this offseason locking up the guys that helped them win a title. They destroyed Miami in the Finals, got Duncan to opt into a comfortable $10 million left on his contract and re-signed both Patty Mills and Boris Diaw. They just have to get their key guys healthy (Mills and Ginobili). The Spurs are what's right about NBA basketball. Instead, we're often too easily consumed and distracted by so much of what's wrong with the coverage of the sport.
Michael Wallace (3:33 PM)
That's my time this week from the Orlando Pro Summer League. Perhaps by this time next week, much of the free agency insanity will be over and we can evaluate how teams performed with their initial signings. Until then, take care. Peace - MW.