NBA Chat with Cody Taylor 1/20/17

Cody_Taylor_ChatBasketball Insiders writer Cody Taylor will hold his weekly chat at 1 p.m. EST on Friday. Leave him your questions on the All-Star rosters, the trade deadline or anything else about your favorite team.

  1. Deven

    What I love and respect about Kawhi’s game is after a very exciting play, he has no antics. Has he always been that focused? He makes some great plays, he can go crazy, make faces at the camera, but he’s always laser-focused and is always solid. Where did that come from?

    • Cody Taylor

      Welcome in, everyone! I see there are quite a few questions waiting for me so let’s get right to it!

      I remember reading an article Sports Illustrated writer Lee Jenkins wrote on Kawhi last year I believe and it basically documented his journey from high school to San Diego State. The person we see on the court for the Spurs is the same person he was in high school and college. Kawhi doesn’t want the fame or attention. He legitimately wants to win and is serious about it.

      When Popovich first met him, he was quoted in the article as saying Kawhi was “as serious as a heart attack” in that first meeting. Covering the league out of Orlando, I only see the Spurs once a year and haven’t had many dealings with Kawhi but he is perhaps the quietest person you’ll see in a locker room. That’s really how he acts off of the court. It’s amazing.

  2. yoichi kato

    with CP3 out for 6-8wks and Blake still not back how far will Clippers fall? When they get another 2nd rd exit will Doc try to retool the roster by S&T Blake?

    At one point CP3 and DWill were 2 best PGs in the league and some even considered DWill to be a better player than CP. How come DWill fall so far so fast?

    • Cody Taylor

      It’s really tough to say how far the Clippers will fall – if they fall. I think we can certainly all see how they could fall in the standings after losing Paul. They’re currently fourth in the Western Conference but I wouldn’t imagine they slip any further down than sixth. After sixth, there’s a little bit of a drop-off to the 7th and 8th placed teams so that’d be my floor for them.

      Coming into the season, it was well-documented that this season could be the last their core is together. Paul, Griffin and Redick can all be free agents this summer so this team could be much different next season. The reality is, I can’t imagine a scenario in which the team doesn’t want those players back. If they leave, it’d be because they want a change. I think those guys still give the Clippers the best chance to be successful. I don’t know they want to go through a complete overhaul so I’d imagine those guys are back. Of course, this is just me speaking here and not based on any knowledge I have of that situation.

      I think Williams was dealt some bad cards regarding injuries and situations. I think if you look at it, Paul probably had the better track record of staying healthy and he certainly was in better situations than Williams was for the most part. I don’t think it really had much to do with a question of Williams’ drive or anything like that.

  3. Trog

    Hey Cody. I read an article in the Charlotte Observer where the writer was advocating the Hornets to upgrade in scoring over Kidd-Gilchrist.

    Could you see MKG and Wesley Matthews swapping places? Wes has seemed to rebuild his value in Dallas post-injury to a well rounded player and a nice secondary scoring option, while MKG would give Dallas a player seven years younger that fits their small ball, desire for defense, and youth movement they shifted to. Money and contract lengths are pretty similar. Thoughts?

    • Cody Taylor

      Well, I haven’t seen that piece so I can’t really speak to all of the points the writer brought up but I wouldn’t imagine that’d be something the Hornets are looking to do but that’s just my take on it. I think the Hornets knew what they were getting from him. We know he’s not going to be the best shooter on the court and won’t necessarily light up the scoreboard but his defense is what they want. They have capable scorers in Kemba and Batum and even Marvin on some nights so they don’t need MKG to light it up. His defense is what makes him so attractive to teams.

      I think if you’re the Mavericks you’d probably be open to that given the chance to get younger with MKG. From the Hornets’ standpoint, you’re probably pretty set with the lineup you have. They’ve always been a team that has a great defense and good offense. Last year, they were one of a few teams to be ranked inside the top 10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency.

  4. Yura

    Why didnt kings trade gay when he clearly wanted out. Oklahom a boston wanted him. Mow he gets to get paid 20 mill and sit in a suit. Achilles are lack of conditioning stretching. I am sure if this was a contract year he wouldnt quit. Like he did in 2011 playoffs. Kawhi leonard steph curry make alot less but dont quit mid year

    • Cody Taylor

      Let me cool off after reading through the hottest take I’ve read today. Now, let me correct something … this was 100 percent a contract year. He had a player option for next season that he was almost guaranteed to opt out of but now it’s unclear if he’ll do that given the injury.

      I can’t speak for why the Kings didn’t trade him or if that was even a possibility. Also – I don’t think it’s fair to say an Achilles injury (mind you a ruptured Achilles) can be blamed on lack of conditioning. So, let me get that thought out of your head. It sounds to me like you’re not a fan of Rudy Gay but this isn’t all on him at this point. He simply suffered an injury.

  5. Josh Flagg

    Who do you think is going to win the Royal Rumble?
    Shaquille O’Neal has a chance but my money is on The Undertaker.

    What are your thoughts?

    ECW! ECW! ECW!

    • Cody Taylor

      Please don’t hate me when I say the following: I haven’t followed wrestling since being a kid so I probably couldn’t name five guys right now. I’m all for Shaq winning, though!

  6. DC

    If your the Magic, wouldn’t common sense dictate you abandon this foolish win at all costs mad push for the unreachable playoffs and switch gears and try to undue some of the real damage they have done due to their impatience and short sightedness. It’s getting real hard to hang with this team if the FO continues to make these boneheaded moves. Time to tank for a high draft pick, and please, no more past prime veterans. What types of moves and over all philosophy would you suggest to avert this train wreck?

    • Cody Taylor

      I really don’t know what to make of the Magic right now. I’m with you, though. I don’t know what they were thinking with some of these moves but it’s clear it’s not working. The reality is they’ll fight for the eighth seed and, if they get it, will be swept in four games by the Cavaliers and miss out on a lottery pick.

      As much as it would hurt to do it, I say get back on the rebuild they were trying to do and salvage what you can from this roster while you can. I’d really hate for them to trade Gordon or Payton just to return back a mid-level player that might help them win a few more games now. The silver lining with Rudy Gay’s injury now for fans is the Magic won’t be tempted now to trade something for him.

      Also: I wrote on the Magic this morning. Give it a look if you have some time!

  7. Jonathan

    As it relates to Noel trade possibilities, what added value is there in simply being able to get a guy in house for a few months to better evaluate his fit – culturally and on the floor? While the Mavs’ trade for Rondo was a failure, I’d argue there was some value in that they were saved from making him a long-term off-season offer – sight unseen.

    • Cody Taylor

      I think they probably hold onto their guys right now anyways. As much as Embiid is pushing for them to make the playoffs, the reality is they’re probably another year away from seriously being in the conversation so why rush trading a Noel or an Okafor? Keep them around for now and continue to evaluate them as you mentioned. Who knows, maybe Noel’s value or Okafor’s value will go up in that time that they remain in Philly.

  8. JimInCyberspace


    Doc Rivers called it “fake news” saying he’s shocked fans didn’t see the same thing players and the media did regarding Russell Westbrook’s ASG starting snub. Fair assessment I think.

    It’s laughable letting “fans” decide things that have potential contractual $$$ making ramifications for some players. Russ leads the league in PER and scoring not to mention his 3×2 clip, and “fans” still think Steph deserves the nod? I’m truly surprised Klay Thompson isn’t starting over James Harden in this Fan-a-Polooza contest as well.

    The game it self is a circus. As a “fan” I’d much rather watch two time defending ASG MVP Russell Westbrook slicing, dicing, and dunking than Stephen Curry shooting 3’s.

    If I were Russ I wouldn’t even play in the ASG this year. Ya know, get a ‘little nick’ in the last game before the break….sit it out? He wouldn’t have to play with or talk to KD that way as a bonus.

    • Cody Taylor

      Unfortunately, the fans were the driving force for Steph in this case and not for Westbrook. If you’re the NBA, you gotta keep the fans involved in some way and that’s by letting them keep voting for the starters. At least Zaza didn’t make it in because that would have been a travesty. Even though he may not admit it publicly, I’d imagine Westbrook is looking forward to the All-Star game and being teammates with Durant again. It’s like a bad break up. Even though you may not like that person anymore, deep down inside you still sort of want to see them again. I feel like that’s the same thing with Westbrook and Durant. Should make for great TV!

  9. RobFlennigan

    Hi Cody!
    As an insider, are you hearing rumours regarding possible trades with the Magic?

    I feel like they are in a very bad situation as Ibaka will be very expensive in the Offseason and more suited for a Playoff team which currently Orlando is not at all.

    What are you thinking of following plan for the Magic:
    – Trade Ibaka to the Raptors for Norman Powell + Pick
    – Trade Vucevic + Hezonja to the Celtics for Crowder + Zeller

    Let Gordon, Payton and Hezonja play +30MPG and probably lose enough games for another Top5 Pick.

    – Fire Hennigan in the Offseason, get a more experienced GM.
    – Draft a SF like Josh Jackson

    Roster for 17/18

    Still not a Playoff Team, but at least some future.

    • Cody Taylor

      I haven’t heard too many specifics of anything the Magic are thinking about but for some reason, I feel like they would still be making moves geared to help them win now. I’m with you and other Magic fans I’m hearing from, I think they sort of need to get the rebuild back on track because this group they have is not the answer. I don’t mind trading Ibaka to a playoff team and getting some sort of pick or young player back. I know the front office clearly wants to win now but it’s also clear that isn’t happening.

      I wrote about the Magic this morning. Take a look if you get a minute!

  10. JK

    I have been paying attention to the Ricky Rubio trade rumors. Rubio just turned 26 a few months ago and I started to think about the best pg’s that are both younger than Rubio and are in their 5th year or less. Rubio is in his 6th season. The best pg’s and prospect pg’s that qualify are Kris Dunn, D’Angelo Russell, Mudiay, Cam Payne, Andrew Harrison, Jerian Grant, Elfrid Payton, Exum, Smart, Brogdon, MCW, Trey Burke, Dennis Schroder and CJ McCollum (I think CJ will ultimately be best as a pg with his own team). Lillard is in his 5th season, but is older than Rubio. Kyrie is younger, but in his 6th year so they don’t quit qualify. Would you take any of those guys over Ricky? Are any of those guys looking like future allstars? The only one I would take is CJ. We’ve had a bad run of pg’s entering the league the last few seasons haven’t we?

    • Cody Taylor

      Out of those players, I’d go Russell, Mudiay, Payton, Exum, Smart and CJ if you count him as a PG. As you can tell, I’m not a huge fan of Rubio’s. I know he has some flashy plays and makes great passes but I just don’t know that I’d want him as my starter over some of those guys. I think these guys I picked have a huge ceiling and that’s largely why I picked them. Out of those players I picked, I like Russell and CJ the most.

  11. Cody Taylor

    That’s all the time I have for this week. I appreciate all of the questions. I’ll be back next Friday at 1 p.m. EST. For any questions that can’t wait, be sure to hit me on Twitter @CodyTaylorNBA.