NBA Chat With Jabari Davis 12/31/2016

  1. Jabari_Davis_SmallJoin Basketball Insiders writer Jabari Davis for his weekly NBA Chat session this Saturday at 6 p.m. EST.  Be sure to add your questions and basketball topics or questions in advance!
  1. Rick in Seattle

    My man, while I don’t always agree with your perspectives, I do always listen and respect your opinion.

    I reason that many who watched the nationally televised Mavs-Lakers game last night came away very disheartened by the Lakers second half collapse.

    “To say the Lakers have lost their early season magic would be an understatement!” (LakersNation)

    “We have to figure it out or we’re gonna be the doormat Lakers again!” (Nick Young)

    If you watched the second half of that game, there was very little energy, enthusiasm, poor passing, poor defensive effort, too many unnecessary turnovers, etc etc. Whatever happened to that emphasis on defense that Walton was hammering on in training camp?

    Utah & Dallas were home games that this Lakers team could have and should have won. Watching them lose in the way that they did, was very concerning, if not discouraging!.

    Irregardless (yes, I realize that that’s not a correct word) of Walton’s frequent statements that wining games is not their highest priority, they do need to develop winning habits.

    We are not irrational Lakers fans. We know that rebuilding takes time. We know that their 10-10 start was probably not indicative of their true identity as a young developing team. But, these Lakers really need to demonstrate that they are progressing not regressing!

    In light of Thomas Robinson’s surprising uptick in his game, I don’t see any reason why the Lakers should not begin looking outside at other available players.

    The Lakers are not making the playoffs this year, so its really a good opportunity to take a look around the league and guage their progress. There will be players coming back from overseas, there are some decent D-league possibilities, and there are a few unsigned veterans, as well as some others who may be released prior to January 10.

    Bringing in Motiejunas was an indication that perhaps their front office is seeing the same things. Perhaps he could be signed to a couple of 10-day contracts, to see exactly how he (or some other player(s) can fit in with the current Lakers youth movement.

    You already know my position regarding Deng & Mozgov, but adding some easily available periferal players might just inject some needed energy.

    In that regard, I don’t see a downside to bringing in another veteran defensive wing, or a stretch big like Motiejunas. Their chemistry concerns have already been disrupted by the many injuries they have had, so I just don’t see what the negative would be to taking a look at a variety of available players, particularly in light of all the injuries they have had recently. They might just come across someone like Robinson who surprises everyone.

    But, if this Lakers team continues to play and lose, as it has for the last ten games, the continued losses and discouragement could have a lasting effect on this young team. Remember, wining begets winning.

    • Jabari Davis

      Hello and Happy New Years to all. Only a few questions here today, but I definitely appreciate each of you that did participate. Let’s have a little fun…

      Hey Rick, thanks for joining again and for leading things off for us. I’m glad each of you participate regardless of whether we agree on the topics. That’s what makes these chat sessions so much fun!

      We’re actually on the same page when it comes to these Lakers. Not sure about the Motiejunas thing becoming a reality unless they’re actually more concerned about LNJ’s eventual return than they are letting on. If he’s healthy, then I absolutely think he could help the second unit on the offensive end.

      I’m also starting to get the feeling they might be even more active (behind the scenes) than any of us will ever know. Who knows if something will come of it, but the way things are shaping up, it certainly appears like trying work out deals for additional talent will prove to be an easier path than attempting to lure talent on the free agency market. If we’re being honest, this should have been the approach they maintained from the start. There is a bit of a misconception that they’ve always brought in free agent talent that has circulated over the last few years. Anyone paying even the slightest amount of attention would know that a majority of their talent has come to town via acquisition.

      Not sure they’ll make a move before the deadline, but it would surprise me to see them head into next season without an additional piece of some sort.

  2. Trog

    Andrew Bogut to the Rockets makes way to much sense. Houston is thin at center. Dallas needs to further plummet in the standings to improve draft stock while getting younger. What do you think of this:

    Bogut for Houston’s #1 (likely in the 20-30 range) + Sam Dekker + Corey Brewer (his contract balances out the cash and would also likely been seen as negative value for Houston to get rid of)

    If you think that favors one side or the other too much, care to posit something else that you feel would line up better?

    • Jabari Davis

      Hey Trog, thanks for taking the time to join this week. I actually like the idea of Bogut on that Houston roster, but the reason why I don’t “guess” on deals is specifically because we have no clue of how much each GM values different assets. I know most folks are comfortable just tossing contacts into the trade machine and coming up with a deal, but an overwhelming majority of them simply aren’t realistic. One thing to keep in mind is that teams may be less likely to trade 1st round picks this year given how strong the draft is supposed to be. Another thought could be that while Bogut could be a good fit with this group, part of me wonders if MDA/Morey might prefer to pursue a guy like Millsap IF those rumors of his availability are true? He doesn’t have the size and quite the shot-blocking ability that Bogut brings, but he can be a aolid defender and would add another layer of offensive versatility to their frontcourt.

  3. Lakers Fan

    Hi, Jabari.

    Is there any chance of changes happening in the Lakers? / Nerlens Noel around here ?? Without involving the young core. Sixers need a point guard since Bayless and Rodrigues are injured. Can José Calderón be a way out?

    I ask this because considering the decline of the team the front office may have changed their initial mindset.

    When I talk about exchanges, I mean veterans. Players like Deng, Mozgov, Young, Calderón, Lou and even Tarik or T-Rob. There is the possibility that the Lakers will trade some of these players to add defensive value to the team.

    Our defense urgently needs change. The contracts of Deng and Mozgov may hinder the acquisition of quality players in the Free Agency that will add defensive value. Players like Jrue Holiday, Nerlens Noel, Caldwell-Pope, Serge Ibaka or Tyreke Evans.

    Best Wishes.

    • Jabari Davis

      Hello LF, thanks a lot for joining this week. It’s always tough to answer questions like this because (stating the obvious) of course they need to upgrade the roster with additional defensive-minded talent, but teams aren’t simply going to hand over better players and take back bad contracts in return. I understand why fans might be frustrated by the idea of the Mozgov/Deng deals severely limiting what they can do on the free agency market over the next few years, but other teams aren’t going to hamstring themselves with the deals you (generally speaking) don’t want without also getting a young piece to go along with it.

      In fact, part of me has always felt those deals were made with the idea of packaging what they hoped to be a productive vet with a young piece or two in the event a star player were to become available. I’d hope that plan or idea was something taken into consideration rather than simply giving two vets a ton of money just to be able to say you were able to sign some folks.

      Again, this is solely based upon my opinion (not starting any rumors), but I honestly believe they HAVE to be exploring all options as they are continuing to evaluate talent and progress. That said, I would actually avoid most od the players you listed as I’m not comfortable giving long-term deals to guys with injury histories like that. To a certain degree, injuries in professional sports are somewhat impossible to avoid…that said, I wouldn’t be willing to offer the four-year deals it would likely take to bring in most of the guys mentioned. Also, there is no chance Philly is trading Noel for a package that is centered around Jose Calderón. If you’re trying to get him, then you have to open the discussion about some of the core guys. If that’s the case, if I’m the Lakers, I’m aiming higher than a Nerlens Noel type.

  4. Rick in Seattle

    The Lakers don’t have much to offer in the way of trade assets, in the way of expiring contracts. Calderon ($7.7 mil expiring), Black ($6.2 basically expiring–as 2nd year is non-guaranteed), Huertas ($1.5 mil expiring), and of course the non-guaranteed contracts of MWP & Robinson. Is there anything here that would appeal to other teams around the league?

    Next year Williams & Young will be available (unless extended before then). Both would appear likely to remain where theyr’e at?

    Still some chatter about a Clarkson for Noel trade…

    Any good wing defenders out there that are available?

    • Jabari Davis

      Teams aren’t looking to part ways with top-tier perimeter defenders in general, but they definitely aren’t going to do so for journeymen players and hustle guys that most rosters already have.

      Williams and Young have each played better in this system, but I think there’s too much redundancy there to justify keeping both of them past the end of their current contracts.

      Where is the actual chatter about Noel/Clarkson coming from? I could have missed it, but I have yet to see a reputable source discuss this as in having a source on supposed talks. We conveniently throw these things out (as fans..yes, bloggers and journalists can be just as guilty), but until I see more in terms of actual proof, I don’t get all worked up about rumors. Especially when it comes to the Lakers, as people tend to throw them in any headline or rumor possible.

      Again, if considering the idea of moving one or more of the actual core pieces, I think you can aim higher than Noel if you’re the Lakers. In fact, with Millsap reportedly on the market, I think the front office should be trying to aim for him. Yes, I know the trouble with that could be that a team wouldn’t be willing to take on Mozgov’s deal…but if that becomes the issue then that’s solely on the front office. Same thing with Deng’s deal.