NBA Chat With Alex Kennedy 7/8/14

Alex_Kennedy_Chat2Join Alex Kennedy, Basketball Insiders’ senior NBA editor and writer, for his chat at 3 p.m. ET. Any questions are welcome. The earlier you submit your question, the more likely that it will be answered because these chats fill up fast.

  1. Logan Whitson

    when should we expect a decision from Melo, James and Pau. what chance do u give the Thunder of getting Pau if Melo goes to either Chicago or NY

    • Alex Kennedy

      What’s up everyone? Thanks for submitting your questions! I’ll try to answer as many as I can over the next hour. Let’s get started.

      I wish I had an answer for you. We’re all waiting on these guys right now, and nobody is really sure what their timetable is. It could be today, it could be a few days from now. They are all kind of tied together, so we just need one of them to announce and then I believe the other dominoes will start to fall. But when will that first decision come? Your guess is as good as mine.

      I do think that the Thunder are seriously in the mix for Pau Gasol, along with the L.A. Lakers, Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks and San Antonio Spurs among others. OKC has clearly made Pau their priority, as he has now heard recruiting pitches from Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Scott Brooks among others. But again, it really depends on what happens with Carmelo. There has been some talk that Gasol wants to play with Anthony, so he could follow him to Los Angeles, Chicago or New York, depending on what happens.

      All I know is that these next few days are going to be very interesting.

  2. knickfan

    You must get tired of all the lebron and Carmelo qustions.
    So im gonna ask something ive been wondering about.

    If a player with an NBA contract gets sent down to the dleague for a couple of games, does he still get paid the same he did when he was playing nba games?

    • Alex Kennedy

      The LeBron/Carmelo questions do get a little bit old, especially when I’m doing radio shows and having to repeat the same answer over and over throughout the day, but I do enjoy all of the rumors and fun that comes with free agency. This time of year is awesome and so exciting if you’re a basketball junkie. I love it.

      If a player gets sent down to the D-League, they continue to make their normal NBA salary since they are there on assignment and not under a D-League contract.

  3. Radu

    Hi Alex!
    I heard the Magic are signing Channing Frye to a 4-year deal worth $32 million. Can you confirm that deal?
    And if so, what are your thoughts on it? I think it is shockingly bad! Frye is soft as a feather, has no defense, no rebounding, horrible court movement and awareness, doesn’t pass… I’ll be honest, I think the only thing he ever does is shoot 3s and even those seem to work for him once every 4 years or so… I cannot believe the Magic offered him that much money. There could not possibly have been another team bidding against them, not at those numbers. And 4 years?! That contract is going to be a cap killer in 2 years.
    How come the Clippers got a much better version of Frye in Spencer Hawes for a lot less money?

    • Alex Kennedy

      Yes, Channing Frye is coming to Orlando on a four-year deal worth $32 million. I don’t hate the move, and I understand it. Rob Hennigan really wanted to add a stretch-four and they felt that Frye’s shooting was needed considering the other pieces on the roster. They really needed offense and shooting, which is why their last two moves have been Ben Gordon and Frye. Frye is also an excellent guy, who is the perfect veteran to have in a young locker room like Orlando’s.

      In regards to Spencer Hawes vs. Channing Frye, when you’re a contending team like the Clippers that plays in Los Angeles, free agents are going to come to you and sacrifice things to join your team. When you’re a rebuilding team in a smaller market like Orlando, sometimes you need throw in some extra money to get a deal done.

      These moves tell me that Orlando is going for the eighth seed in the East next year. After two years of tanking or, ahem, “focusing on the young players,” it seems like that the Magic want to take that next step. They realize that the East is wide open and are bringing in vets who may be able to help the team sneak into the postseason next year. We’ll see how it plays out.

  4. Chris G

    Is there a media bias (specifically ESPN) against Chicago? All the print I read suggests Melo’s decision is between NY, Chicago, and LA, but to watch TV lately it seems it’s a two horse race between NY and LA (or maybe Miami). Add into that the “insider” tweet last week about Rose being shocked that Melo was in Chicago, and it almost seems they’re going out of their way to either minimize or discredit the Bulls. As I just a homer or is there something to that?

    • Alex Kennedy

      I just think there is so much coverage of the teams in New York and Los Angeles that it sometimes seems like the other teams get pushed aside or ignored in comparison. I do think that the L.A. pitch really intrigued Carmelo though, which is why we’re now hearing the Lakers being mentioned as a serious contender for his services. I don’t think that’s the media creating a story out of thin air or anything.

      As far as the story about Derrick Rose being shocked that Carmelo Anthony was in Chicago, I have no idea what that was about. I reported what I was told and stand by what I wrote. K.C. Johnson then wrote a great column, breaking down that Rose’s participation was planned out weeks in advance and that he and Carmelo spoke for 20 minutes. So I don’t know where the “Rose was surprised to see Carmelo” or “Rose wasn’t involved in the pitch” storylines came from or why that was put out there. Beats me.

  5. jack swanson

    Hi I heard a rumor that the knicks trade amare and shump to philly to unload contracts, would that help them be able to get a max player like kevin love? or just the midlevel?

    • Alex Kennedy

      It would get the Knicks to around $35 million in guaranteed commitments for this season (before re-signing Carmelo Anthony), but I’ve heard that they are also trying to trade Andrea Bargnani, which would obviously free up even more cap room. It certainly seems like Phil Jackson is trying to unload contracts in an effort to make some splashy moves this summer, rather than waiting until the summer of 2015 to start making moves.

  6. Jamani

    will Rudy gay have a breakout season and will he ever get a killer instinct like Kobe or Durant?

    • Alex Kennedy

      I thought Rudy Gay played well in Sacramento and it wouldn’t surprise me if he had a big season in 2014-15. He’s entering a contract year, which is when a player is always on breakout watch, and it seems like he has every opportunity to succeed with the Kings. He gets plenty of touches, the team is up-and-coming and he fits in well with their pieces. I don’t know if he’ll ever have that Kobe-like killer instinct that you mentioned, but not many guys have that. Kobe is an alien, so it’s tough to compare him to anyone. My big thing is that I’d like to see Rudy step up as a leader for this young Kings team. He hasn’t really been that leader throughout his career, but maybe this is the year that he matures and steps into that role, much like we saw Kyle Lowry take that step with the young Toronto Raptors last year. It obviously worked out for Kyle in his contract year and he was rewarded with a career-year, winning season and lucrative contract. That’s the kind of year that I’d like to see from Gay.

  7. Jim

    I’m excited to hear all the hoopla of LBJ returning to our Cavs! I want to know which parts will be added after LeBron comes our way to finally put us over the top? Go Cavs!

    • Alex Kennedy

      Whoa, whoa, whoa, slow down. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. It seems that Cleveland is in the mix, but I don’t think it’s a certainty that he’s returning to the Cavs. I still think Miami is the frontrunner here. I could be wrong, but I just see him staying with the HEAT for two or three more seasons and then going through this process again a few summers from now. Maybe then he’ll join the Cavs, once Kyrie Irving, Andrew Wiggins, Dion Waiters, etc. are a little bit more experienced, but I’m not ready to predict LeBron to Cleveland right now. By the way, you’re a pretty greedy dude! Landing LeBron isn’t enough?! You want to know what OTHER players the Cavs are going to land too? Haha, I get the excitement, but I’d temper your expectations a bit.

  8. Devin Booker

    Would it make more sense for the heat to let Bosh go, and sign guys like pau, deng, and ariza?

    • Alex Kennedy

      I don’t think so. I’m a big Chris Bosh fan. I think he’s incredibly underrated and a big reason why that team has been so successful in recent years. He’s such an important part of what they do on both ends of the floor. I’d keep Bosh. Dwyane Wade… now that’s a different story. I get that the organization wants to be loyal to Wade and everything, but removing loyalty and the “lifetime achievement” aspect of this contract from the equation, I’d rather use that money to put better players around LeBron and Bosh. I can’t see Miami doing it because they love Wade, but to answer your question, I’d part ways with Wade before Bosh (especially considering Wade is a part-time player this point in his career and so limited due to injuries).

  9. Mike

    With the rumors that the Bucks are looking for a PG. What are the chances that they offer the max to Bledsoe? Would the Suns match a max contract?

    • Alex Kennedy

      According to reports, it’s something that has been discussed. I just can’t see Phoenix letting Bledsoe walk though. Ryan McDonough has said on a number of occasions that the Suns will match any offer that Bledsoe receives, because he played very well last year, showed flashes of brilliance and it’s pretty clear that his best basketball is ahead of him. The organization loves him and doesn’t want to see him leave. Also, it’s never smart to let an asset like that get away. The smarter thing to do would be to match the offer sheet and then trade him later if things don’t work out, for whatever reason. That way you at least get something back for the asset, instead of receiving no compensation back by letting him walk to Milwaukee.

  10. Roon

    What do you see the Charlotte Hornets doing this offseason? We have an abundance of cap room but none of the major stars are looking at Charlotte as a legitimate option. There is a lot of talk that Lance Stephenson is a viable candidate to sign with the Hornets. Clearly, he is an upgrade over Gerald Henderson (would Hendo have any trade value?) but I am not sure Stephenson would push us that next level. I would love to see us target Chandler Parsons, but I am afraid Houston would match anything that Parsons gets. I guess another option would be Luol Deng, but is he worth pushing MKG to the bench and hindering his development? Thanks AK!

    • Alex Kennedy

      They have expressed interest in Gordon Hayward and may be making a lucrative offer to him soon. Lance Stephenson is also an option, as you mentioned. I’ve heard that Charlotte is weighing some trade options as well. They were working the phones on draft night and very active, and could still be looking at a number of trades that could upgrade the roster.

  11. Chris

    Just curious, why wouldn’t the Magic use the 8M from Frye and the 4.5M from Gordon to go after someone like Parsons for 12M per year? Maybe they tried this and Parsons wasn’t interested? Talk me off the ledge here…

    • Alex Kennedy

      Parsons probably wasn’t interested, especially now that there are reports surfacing that he may get a max offer sheet from the Dallas Mavericks. The chance to make max money on a win-now team is hard to turn away from.

      I agree that the money could’ve been used elsewhere, particularly the Ben Gordon contract. I just don’t know who they were bidding against there; I don’t think teams were lining up to give Gordon that deal. I understand the Frye deal because, like I said, a team like Orlando is going to have to overpay a bit to get someone like Frye, who was coming off of a very good season and was receiving a ton of interest from around the league.

  12. keeb

    With the deafening news(noise) about Lebron, Carmelo, Bosh and Wade is there anything being heard concerning some of the top RFA(Monroe, Hayward and Thomas)?

    • Alex Kennedy

      Those guys are basically waiting on LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, just like we are. The teams that have significant money to throw around like the Lakers, Mavericks, Cavaliers, Rockets, Bulls etc. aren’t going to move on and make other moves until they know that they’re out of the running for the superstars. That means guys like Monroe, Hayward, Thomas, Parsons, etc. are just staying patient and hoping for decisions soon from LeBron, Carmelo and Co.

      Keep in mind, it always takes a little bit longer for restricted free agents to get signed because teams don’t like to lock up their money for the three days they have to wait while the players’ respective team decides whether to match the offer sheet. Those are three days where your money is tied up and you could potentially miss on unrestricted free agents. That’s why we usually don’t see RFAs start signing offer sheets until later in the process, once teams aren’t too concerned about that three-day window where they can’t do anything.

  13. keeb

    Would you go over or under on Lebron/Melo making a decision by cob Thursday 7/10? I’m definitely going over on this one, thinking decision by 8/10 at best…

    • Alex Kennedy

      I have no idea. I think Carmelo Anthony is probably closer to deciding, since his meetings are over and he has heard all of the info he needs to hear. With LeBron, it really depends how he wants to proceed. He is supposed to meet with Pat Riley tomorrow. From there, he could re-sign and end this very quickly. Or, he could schedule meetings with teams and drag this thing out even longer. Remember, LeBron has yet to meet with any teams – his agent Rich Paul is the only one who has had any kind of interactions with teams. If LeBron wants to bring the finalists in and have some face-to-face meetings with other executives while he weighs his options, we could be in for a wait.

  14. CC

    What is holding up a Kevin love trade to golden state?

    • Alex Kennedy

      There are a couple of problems. First of all, I’ve heard that ownership doesn’t want to give up Klay Thompson. Also, Golden State isn’t crazy about the fact that they’d have to take back Kevin Martin’s contract. Finally, it would essentially be a rental since Love will hit free agency next July. That’s a big risk, and a lot to give up, for what could amount to one year of Love in Golden State.

  15. Bryan

    In all the free agency talks why are the Phoenix suns always discounted in the scenarios? They pose a better situation than most and all arguments against can be answered.

  16. Deven

    If you were Bosh, would you accept Houston’s max offer or take a discount to stay in Miami?

    • Alex Kennedy

      I would probably take Houston’s max offer. I think that’s a really attractive situation. He complements their pieces so well and Houston’s window to contend is wide open. I also think Bosh would get more credit for that team’s success than he gets in Miami, where he’s criminally underrated and overlooked. It also gives him the chance to go back to Texas, where he’s from. Not to mention, he doesn’t have to take a pay cut, which is important since this is likely the last max deal that he’ll be able to sign considering he’s 30 years old.

  17. Deven

    Why isn’t Phoenix being mentioned in this Lebron-Melo talks?

  18. Shane Henderson

    Why hasn’t Portland Trail Blazers been shopping Lamarcus Aldridge? No way he resigns next year, right?

    • Alex Kennedy

      Last summer, LaMarcus Aldridge was disgruntled and wanting out, but it seems like he’s happy now. The fact that the team has a long-term plan for success and was able to make a postseason run seems to have calmed LaMarcus down. At one point toward the end of the season, he was openly talking about inking an extension with Portland and finishing his career there. A lot can obviously change between now and next summer, but for now it seems like the relationship between LaMarcus and the Blazers is pretty good and there’s a shot that he stays.

  19. Victor

    Whats your gut feeling with Rondo? Do you think teams like Rockets and Mavs will be pressing the Cs to trade him after the dust settles on their Lebron/Melo destinations?

    • Alex Kennedy

      Once LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh are off the market, I think the attention is going to shift to Kevin Love and Rajon Rondo. The teams that missed out on LeBron, Melo and Bosh will want to acquire those guys to make their splashy move, and it’s possible that both players are moved this offseason. The fact that Boston drafted Marcus Smart and then expressed serious interest in Isaiah Thomas when free agency started, it certainly sounds like Rondo could be available. But yes, to answer your question, I definitely think teams like Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, etc. will try to pry Rondo out of Boston once the dust settles.

      Thanks for all of the questions! Follow me on Twitter (@AlexKennedyNBA) and keep checking Basketball Insiders’ free agency diary for the latest news and rumors. Have a great week!

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