NBA Chat With Alex Kennedy 1/29/14

Alex_Kennedy_Chat2Join Alex Kennedy, Basketball Insiders’ senior NBA editor and writer, for his weekly NBA chat at 3 p.m. EST. Any basketball-related questions are welcome. Submit your questions early because this chat fills up fast!
  1. Aj Martinez

    Should the Sixers trade or keep evan turner, Thaddeus young and spencer Hawes? If so, who would be worth trading for other than additional first round picks?

    • Alex Kennedy

      What’s up everyone? Thanks for submitting your questions. From now on, I’ll be hosting my weekly chat every Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET so I look forward to chatting with all of you at this time every week. Let’s get started!

      I think Philly should at least trade Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes before the deadline since those two will be free agents this summer. They might as well get something back for those players now rather than potentially losing them for nothing over the offseason, assuming they aren’t part of the 76ers’ long-term plan. Thaddeus Young may get moved at some point too, but they could always decide to trade him over the summer or next season, since he’s under contract for next year. Trading all three before the deadline makes sense if Philly wants to try to lose a few more games to compete with Orlando and Milwaukee for worst record in the league, which really should be their goal at this point. It’ll be interesting, Philly is definitely a team to keep an eye on in the coming weeks.

  2. Kristian

    Hey Alex, I have been really enjoying the unexpected success of the Trailbrazers this year. Great young core, but unfortunately I think they will be outplayed by the more experienced teams such as the Thunder and Spurs. So my question is, what move should they make before the transfer window closes to ensure they have a better chance to making the conference finals? I understand some veteran experience, but who should they target?

    • Alex Kennedy

      I don’t necessarily think the Blazers have to make a trade before the deadline. I think a big reason for their success this season is that their players have developed chemistry and fit together nicely. I don’t think it’s necessary to make a trade just to bring in someone with more postseason experience. It’s possible for a team to make a nice postseason run without being full of experienced veterans. Also, trading for a veteran would mean that they have to give up someone, which doesn’t make much sense. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.

      If they really want to add an experienced veteran so badly, they can sign a free agent with a ring like Richard Hamilton, Shannon Brown, Lamar Odom or Andrew Bynum. I recently wrote about all of the free agents who are still available. Check out that article here.

  3. Mike

    Isaiah Thomas is an ELITE Point Guard

    5’9 Isaiah Thomas has to be the most underrated player in the NBA and should be the front runner for MIP. Thomas is averaging 20 PPG on just 14.6 FGA on 46% and nearly 40% from 3 to go along with 6 assists. He Dropped 38 on the pacers last night just a few days after he had 38 against the thunder. His 22 PER ranks 17th in the league and he gets to the FTA 5.6 times per game which is 4th amongst all point guards. He’s played at an All Star Level this season even in the crowded west. He obviously wont make it because of the competition at his position and his team record but he deserves honorable mention. I don’t ever hear anybody talk about Thomas but I think its time to consider him one of the better point guards in the league. Quite honestly I don’t think he’s that far from Damian Lillard. Obviously Lillard is the better player but its WAY closer than most might think, and actually Thomas has the better stats and analytics.

    Besides the Hype how exactly is Damian Lillard better than Isaiah Thomas? You can go by any stat or analytics and Thomas has him beat.

    • Alex Kennedy

      You’re preaching to the choir. I’m a big Isaiah Thomas fan. In fact, I’m going to drop an article in the next few days about how Thomas, and other recent Mr. Irrelevants, exceeded all expectations since entering the NBA.

      I got to know Isaiah when he was doing his pre-draft training out at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas. He’s ridiculously underrated and I think he has a bright future in the league. I think Damian Lillard is a really special player too and is a big reason for Portland’s turnaround, so I wouldn’t go that far. But I do see what you’re saying about Thomas being overlooked. He’s used to it though and it motivates him.

  4. wenz

    in your opinion who should make the all star reserves?? looks like the locks are likely: bosh, noah, wall, hibbert (east) and lillard, aldridge, paul, howard, harden (west)… who fills the rest of your spots???

    • Alex Kennedy

      East: John Wall, DeMar DeRozan, Roy Hibbert, Chris Bosh, Arron Afflalo, Lance Stephenson, Joakim Noah

      West: LaMarcus Aldridge, Dwight Howard, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, Anthony Davis, Tony Parker, Dirk Nowitzki, James Harden (Kobe Bryant’s injury replacement)

  5. Dennis

    After trading Rudy Gay, the Toronto Raptors had a deal in place to send Kyle Lowry to the New York Knicks for Ray Felton + a future first round pick. However James Dolan rejected the trade (many believing he did not want to get fleeced by Masi Uriji again – see Carmelo Anthony and Andrea Bargnani). With Kyle Lowry averaging 23 points, 8 assists, and 5 boards since the Gay trade, do you think the Knicks and their fans are disappointed they pulled the plug? Would you have personally made that deal if you were in charge of NYC?

    • Alex Kennedy

      I’m not sure if I would’ve made the trade. I really like Kyle Lowry’s game, but he’s going to be an unrestricted free agent this summer. Is renting Lowry for the rest of the season really worth giving up a first-round pick? I don’t think so, especially when considering that the Knicks have moved so many of their picks. If it’s true that James Dolan was worried about Masai Ujiri ripping him off again, as has been reported, that’s ridiculous. But I understand wanting to keep one of the few picks they still own.

  6. Nasteedunx

    How long has the NBA required a team roster minimum of 13 players? And specifically, why has the NBA not yet expanded the All-Star rosters to 13 since then? Should there not be 8 reserves by now? 12 All-Stars on each team continues to seem like an arbitrary number.

    • Alex Kennedy

      The NBA switched to 13-man active rosters during the lockout shortened season and the league liked it so much that they decided to make it a permanent change. As for why the All-Star roster hasn’t been switched to 13 players, that’s a great question. Steve Kyler and I were just talking about this the other day. I think it’d be smart. Two less “snubs” each year and the chance to showcase two more top players. It seems like a no-brainer.

  7. Jason

    Alex – best of luck with the new site. With the Suns being buyers and armed with picks and Okafor, can the Sixers make a deal with them for Young? What pick would you expect back or who are other suitors for Young or Turner?

    • Alex Kennedy

      Thanks, we appreciate it!

      The Suns are definitely looking to be buyers at the deadline. Their picks and the Emeka Okafor contract, which they intend to trade, means that they have to be considered when talking about some of the top players who could be moved at the deadline. They have said that they want to land an All-Star talent, but who knows if a player of that caliber will actually be available. They may have to settle for someone a notch or two below, which means they could definitely be a potential suitor for someone like Thaddeus Young. He’d be a great fit with that team and they’d achieve their goal of strengthening their roster for a postseason push. Philly and Phoenix could make this a very interesting deadline. Both teams are very active.

  8. Eddy (From Lithuania)

    Hi Alex

    Does it make sense for the Knicks to trade Carmelo? If they trade him they will tank and allow the Nuggets to draft very high.

  9. Josh

    Alex- Love the new site. One thing I noticed, the articles/rumor updates, etc. don’t have dates on them. Maybe put them in the heading so the reader knows how current the info/article is.

    Anyhow. Who are my Suns gonna get at the deadline? Here’s my list of candidates:
    Jeff Green, Demar Derozen, Pau Gasol, Aaron Afflalo, Gordon Hayward. Can you think of anyone else they might be targeting and who do you think is the most likely.

    • Alex Kennedy

      Thanks! We appreciate the feedback. I’ll talk to Steve about possibly getting the date/time added to the rumors. If you, or anyone reading this, want to drop us feedback in the future, send an email to web@basketballinsiders.com.

      That’s a nice list and all of those players would really help the Suns. DeMar DeRozan is a really interesting one. He’s been having a huge year for the Raptors and will likely be an All-Star this season. But it seems nobody is safe in Toronto right now as Masai Ujiri tries to put his fingerprints on that team. If the Suns could land him, that’d be an excellent move.

      Arron Afflalo would be great for them too. He’s quietly having a huge year down here in Orlando, and the Magic would have to consider moving him if they were offered a first-round pick. Rob Hennigan loves Afflalo, but he also wants to get his hands on as many draft picks as he can.

      Jeff Green is an interesting one too, especially since Ryan McDonough worked in the Boston Celtics organization for so long before taking over as the Suns general manager. Outside of that list, I think Thaddues Young is another possibility too, as I mentioned earlier. Should be a fun deadline for you and your fellow Suns fans!

  10. Christopher Walder

    What do you see as the ceiling for Terrence Ross of the Toronto Raptors? Was his 51-point outing a mirage or is it a sign that Toronto has something really special on their hands?

    • Alex Kennedy

      I think Terrence Ross can be a very special player. I spent a lot of time with him during the pre-draft process when he was training out in Los Angeles. Watching him go through his workouts, I was blown away by his athleticism and skill set. I don’t think his 51-point game was a fluke. He’s the real deal and he could become a star, if he continues to work hard and is put in position to succeed.

  11. ross

    Do you think Anthony can be thé best player in thé NBA by 2016

    • Alex Kennedy

      Anthony Davis? It’s definitely possible. He can impact a game in so many ways and he’s so far ahead of the curve. Normally, it takes young big men a few years to get adjusted to the NBA game because it’s more physical and they’re facing much tougher competition than ever before. It’s tough for a kid to match-up against men every night. Davis, on the other hand, is dominating and making it look easy. It’s crazy to think that he’s only 20 years old. By 2016, he could be scary good. It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s one of the best players in the NBA by then.

  12. Jack

    As good as Indy and Miami are in the east, who has the best shot to knock off one of the 2 and shock the world? Wiz could pose a threat. Brooklyn?

    • Alex Kennedy

      I’ll go with Brooklyn since they’ve looked much better in recent weeks and we all know that Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett tend to elevate their games in the postseason. With that said, I don’t know how much of a shot I give them. Better than other teams in the East, but still a super duper long shot. Miami and Indiana are so much better than the rest of the East this year that I’d be stunned if a team outside of the top two represented the conference in the Finals.

  13. Anthony

    Alex, I have read a few places where people speculate that the suns might have interest in Jeff Green. Do you think there is any truth to this or is it just empty internet speculation? Do they really want to add his contract?

    • Alex Kennedy

      I don’t know for certain, but it makes sense. The Suns are buyers and Jeff Green fits their style of play. Also, like I said earlier, Ryan McDonough’s Boston Celtics ties could mean that he does have some interest in Green. We’ll see.

  14. Jack

    Is this a playoff or bust 2nd half of the season in Minnesota ? Is KLove gone if they don’t make playoffs?

    • Alex Kennedy

      He’s not literally gone if they miss the playoffs because he’s still under contract for next season. With that said, I think it’s playoffs or Love becomes even more unhappy and possibly demands a trade. He’s at the point in his career where he wants to start winning and making postseason runs. If he can’t do that in Minnesota, he’ll want to go somewhere else.

  15. Adam

    How committed to winning this season are the bobcats? Do they look to add a player at the deadline to make noise in the playoffs at the expense of MKG Biyombo or picks along with Gordon? Who could they go after?

    • Alex Kennedy

      I’ve heard from rival executives that the Bobcats are going to be buyers at the deadline. This is an organization that is tired of losing games and they’d love to make the playoffs this year. This is their opportunity, with the Eastern Conference being wide open. I’d be surprised if they decided to pack it in and tank the rest of the season. I get that there’s an incentive to lose so that they can keep their draft pick rather than giving it to the Bulls, but that didn’t affect their decision-making when they signed Al Jefferson over the offseason and I don’t think it’ll affect their decision-making at the deadline. They want to win.

  16. Jason

    If your the Sixers, who are you targeting in the draft with your pick and hopefully the Pelicans pick in the 8-10 range?
    Can we get Parker/Wiggins with our pick and Gary Harris or Vonleh with the Pelicans?

    • Alex Kennedy

      Michael Carter-Williams
      Evan Turner
      Andrew Wiggins
      Noah Vonleh
      Nerlens Noel

      Damn. It’s definitely possible. Sam Hinkie is the man.

  17. Anthony

    Who gets back to the finals first Nets, Lakers, Knicks or Celtics.

    • Alex Kennedy

      I’ll go with the Celtics. They embraced rebuilding and have done a great job of stockpiling draft picks. Either they’ll be able to flip those picks for good players or they’ll be able to draft talented pieces in the coming years. I like what Boston has done.

  18. Enrique

    Who was your favorite team growing up?

    • Alex Kennedy

      I was a big Orlando Magic growing up because they were the closest team to me (I grew up in Tampa). To be honest though, I was a diehard Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan first. My entire family is full of Bucs fans so every Sunday we’d all watch them play, whereas there weren’t many basketball fans in my family. I had to find that on my own.

      Thanks for all of the questions! Sorry if I missed you. I’ll be back next Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET to hold my next chat. Have a great week!

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