NBA Chat With Jabari Davis 8/16/14

Join Basketball Insiders’ Jabari Davis for his weekly NBA chat this Saturday at 4:00 p.m. ET.jabaridavis_Chat Any and all basketball questions are welcome, and make sure to submit your topics in advance for the best chance to be featured in the chat!

  1. Tim

    Hi sir, 3 simple questions:
    1. do u think the pacers make the playoff?
    2. do u think andrew wiggins has a chance to win ROY since he will be traded to Mini and will become the face of that franchise, with an offence focus on him.
    3. do u think Cav makes it out of the east if Love really on board?

    • Jabari Davis

      Good afternoon and welcome to today’s chat session. Outkast’s ‘ATLiens’ is on in the background for this week, so let’s get to it…

      Hey Tim, thanks for joining today. While I wouldn’t be absolutely stunned to see them in contention for one of the final spots if (as a team) they can sort of rally around one another in the absence of their two best players from last season, but I actually think this is a good chance for them to bottom out and add another big piece via the draft while permitting PG to fully recover for a 2015 return.

      I think Wiggins has a really good chance to compete for that award. We know he’ll have plenty of opportunities to shine in Minnesota, and I’m personally looking forward to seeing what a Rubio/Wiggins/LaVine uptempo game might look like at some point. What we don’t quite know is just how Wiggins will respond to the way things happened in Cleveland (once the deal is officially made). Does he use it as extra motivation or does he fold beneath the pressure? I think he’s going to respond, and I believe he’s going to be a phenomenal talent at this level by years 4-5 while showing flashes along the way.

      LeBron/Love/Kyrie are going to be a beast to deal with on a nightly basis. No question about that, but I will say it places an added level of importance on guys like Love/Kyrie to come into the season as strong as possible and stay healthy throughout. They have some other pieces remaining and look as though they’ll have a few veteran guys that know how to win, but if either of those guys get hurt along the way it will leave them with a top-heavy attack similar to what LeBron just dealt with in Miami. I’m hoping everyone stays relatively healthy, because it will be fun to watch them develop and grow together as a unit. I’m also wondering what they’ll look like defensively, as they don’t necessarily have a ton of lockdown defenders.

  2. jamieson welsh

    Please pick a breakout player from each conference. Someone that were all overlooking.

    • Jabari Davis

      What’s going on, Jamieson? Thanks for joining us today. That’s an excellent question, since we often get so caught up in focusing upon the bigger or main names. How about the Toronto Raptors as a whole for the EC? It seems like some are almost disregarding the tremendous season they put together last year. Part of that is likely due to the fact that the conference simply wasn’t very good last year, but part of it is because the Raptors don’t quite get the coverage and promotion they should…like many of the smaller market teams. I expect a big year out of DeMar DeRozan as sort of a forgotten man at times. Put simply, a strong argument could be made for DeRozan being a top-5 small forward in this game coming off his first All Star appearance. I look forward to seeing whether he can take the next step and really establish himself as a developing star, and I’m also looking forward to seeing how Lowry responds to the big contract he certainly earned last season. It seems that some have categorized last year as more of a contract year productivity, but part of me expects Lowry to actually look even better this year as he’s finally found a good fit and system to work within. They have a few other guys in Valancuinas and Ross that I’d also like to see take a step forward, so the Raps will be one of the teams I pay particular attention to this year.

      I’m really eager to see what Anthony Davis and his (finally healthy) Pelicans can do in a tough WC this year. I make it no secret that I think Davis is already the most complete big man in the game, and he’s only getting better as he continues to develop physically and on the court. It won’t be easy in such a deep pool, but I think they can really compete for a playoff spot if they can somehow find a way to stay healthy this year.

  3. Paul

    This curry or lebron thing is dumb. Hearing people say curry is an undoubtably better ball handler is also dumb. It shows how many so called “experts” or “analysts” never actually played basketball. A lot of curry’s shakes are in fact because the players are trying to get back and contests the shot. If curry had lebrons shooting ability youd hardly ever see him cross anyone. Also, lebron almost never gets ripped, that alone is amazing considering hes a 6’9 player who has to dribble higher and exposes more of the ball because of it. That alone make him the better ball handler. People dont understand skills in basketball if you think curry is undoubtably a better ball handler

    • Jabari Davis

      Hey Paul, thanks for your submission this week. I saw that report earlier in the week and pretty much just rolled my eyes. Don’t get me wrong, Curry is absolutely spectacular and one of my favorite players to cover, interact with and watch. That said, it’s exactly the type of answer you would expect out of him. To distinguish yourself as a star in such a talented league, you absolutely have to be as supremely confident as Curry (like the other current greats) is. While I would prefer to have LeBron based upon his size and ability to get a shot of his liking more frequently due to his size and strength, Curry really has developed into a complete offensive weapon in his own right. He’s far from “just” a guy that can shoot from deep, and he actually looks as though he’s continuing to improve. It was really a peculiar question to ask Curry in that even though James is also a playmaker the two players simply don’t make all that much sense to me as guys to compare.

  4. JimInCyberSpace

    JD, the whole Clipper fiasco seems to be solved? Ballmer-ball in La.

    Steve has enough money…no worries about the Salary Cap or financial penalty?

    He paid 2 Billion for the Clippers? I know it’s LA…but they don’t even have an NFL team…for how many years now?

    I wish them well…until they come up against my small market Thunder.

    • Jabari Davis

      Hey Jim, it truly is always a pleasure. I’m intrigued to see what the Ballmer-led Clippers are going to look like as we move forward. With the type of money and resources he’ll be bringing to the table, you’d imagine the finances won’t be too much of an issue…but I’ll also take this time to remind folks of the restrictive nature of the current CBA. While teams are still free to go well over the cap to maintain their own roster, they can no longer simply go out and pay for anyone and everyone on the open market. For example, the Knicks and Lakers would probably have payrolls somewhere in the $100-150M range if they were able to, but the league really went out of its way to limit the big spending from those organizations in an effort to even things out.

      At one point, DeAndre’s contract was a bit of an atrocity, but as he continued to develop and is now coming up as a free agent following next season, I think there’s a good chance LAC will have to pony-up somewhere between 11-13M per season to keep him due to offers he’d likely receive on the open market. They would be able to go as high as necessary to do so if they so chose, but with guys like Reddick and Dudley combining for $11-12M while Blake and Chris are making between 40-44M per as we move forward, that won’t leave an awful lot to work with in terms of surrounding them with additional pieces even as other contracts come off the books. It will be very interesting to see how Doc and that front office are able to get creative over the next couple years.

  5. keo

    What makes coaches great coaches? Sometimes i feel that the players are the reason that make coaches look good…like in 06-07 the celtics sucked under doc then they got kg and ray…eric spol was a mediocre coach with only wade then lebron and bosh came…..and we saw how woodson only looked good because of lebron and kobe

    • Jabari Davis

      Hello Keo, great question and one I’m glad you asked. It’s as simple as this…if you don’t have talent and healthy/available players, you’re not going to win over an extended period of time in today’s NBA. There are definitely guys that are phenomenal when it comes to the x’s and o’s while others are more of personality wranglers or motivational figures, but at the end of the day, coaches are most successful when they have the horses to run the race. I think you meant Mike Brown with LeBron/Kobe, but point absolutely taken. We’ll really get a chance to see what Spo is made of now that LeBron is no longer there, but much of that will still have to do with how healthy Wade/Bosh can stay this year.

  6. steppxxxz

    Its predictable that many are picking cavs top three in east. Id like to remind them…Kyrie and Love never have played post season. Both have injury history. Both are sieves on defense. And just my opinion, but i think its a bad fit for both. LeBron needs defensive help I think. And at least one guy to take load off scoring wise. He’s almost a point guard himself. Irving likes to have the ball. Oh, and who’s going to play D? Seriously, who>? I honestly think Wash, Chi (if rose stays healthy which we all hope) and Toronto are top three. Also….indiana is being written off. Ive noticed over the years that teams often come together when a star goes down. Indiana isnt exactly chopped liver even without PG and lance. In fact, and this is my theory, they may have relied too much on PG especially. Now hill and hibbert and west and …. miles? will have to step up. They will have to play more team offense. Id say they are either a top three, or collapse totally and are out of post season. Thoughts

    • Jabari Davis

      I can always rely upon you to offer a bit of perspective on things in these moments. I see the defensive concerns and definitely think Coach Blatt and that core group will have some things to work out throughout the first half of the year. Ultimately, when you have all that talent together, you’re probably going to win a lot of games by simply overwhelming most teams; but we know you have to generally be able to take it to another level when it comes to the postseason. I’m really eager to watch it all unfold and definitely think the Cavs will be tough to beat if everyone is healthy, but (like you) also respect what the Washington’s, Chicago’s, Toronto’s and even what Charlotte may bring to the table. You’re exactly right in that absolutely NOTHING should be considered a foregone conclusion.

  7. JimInCyberSpace


    Colangelo says KD withdrew from team USA over a “contractual situation”?

    This must mean UA as far as NIKE is concerned? We called it Unauthorized Absence before I retired from the Navy. Article 86 of the UCMJ.

    • Jabari Davis

      Hahaha, while I won’t speculate on the extracurricular activities of Colangelo (referring to your follow-up), I will say that we can rarely take what long-time NBA guys say strictly at face-value. Colangelo has been around the league forever, knows how to play the “game” as well as anyone else, and isn’t going to just come out and say certain things. I don’t think there can be any doubt that the threat or at least thought of injury with that reported UA contract pending had to have played a role in Durant’s decision, and I can’t fault him in the slightest. Btw, thank you kindly for your service!

  8. Tim

    Hope its not too late to submit.
    When is the wiggins trade going down? i have booked ticket to mini and wonder when should i buy a ticket to watch wiggins.

    • Jabari Davis

      Hey Tim, thanks for joining today. I think he’s eligible to be traded sometime after the 23rd, so it wouldn’t shock me to see him moved at some time next weekend or shortly thereafter. It will be nice to have this all done and taken care of so the players can get settled in and in their new cities before Media Day and the start of training camps.

  9. Chris G

    Can players put clauses in their contracts in case of a change in status? As an example, Kirk Hinrich signed with the Bulls two years ago with the understanding he’d been starting one year, then backing up Rose the next, and his contract reflected that. When Rose went out both years, he was called on to do much more than he intended when he signed the contract. When he re-signed this year, could he have a clause inserted that if Rose goes down again and he becomes starter, he gets a bonus of X numbers of dollars for the extra work, or are things like that not permissible with the CBA? Otherwise, it’s like hiring a guy to remodel your bathroom, and after he’s done saying, “Oh, I’d like you to remodel my kitchen, too–no extra money, just since you’re here.”

    • Jabari Davis

      Hey Chris, thanks a lot for your submission. I’ve heard of players having certain goals or markers factored into their contracts, but not necessarily one of such a specific nature like that. I don’t think it would be illegal, but I’m going to have to recommend our resident CAP/Contract experts in Eric Pincus and Larry Coon as they would be able to give you a definitive answer on that particular case. I will say this, if I’m a guy like Hinrich or another dependable backups from around the league, I would certainly want a clause like that if they are in fact legal. Thanks again!

  10. zounds

    After the wolves get wiggens and young for love, how about they go after Josh Smith, who they should be able to get for some of their extra wings. Would look pretty good in a starting lineup of: Pec, Smith, Young, Martin, Ricky… wiggens ROY and 6th man candidate. Seem like a good fit?

    • Jabari Davis

      Hello Zounds, thanks for joining this week. That’s an interesting thought, as I definitely think Smith is better suited to play the power forward (exclusively) at this juncture. They’re currently paying Pek about $12 per and will probably end up maxing Rubio out, but they are actually slightly over the cap already so it would require them putting together a package of players that Detroit would want in return. Easier said than done, as we know most trades that even make it to the discussion or negotiation stages rarely come to full fruition. I do like the idea, because it would also potentially open up the log-jam in Detroit’s frontcourt.

  11. Steve

    Kobe Bryant says that he thinks its not smart of Cleveland to trade Wiggins. He brings up his situation with Charlotte when he was drafted. He says that they should have kept him. All is well about his statement, until he brings up himself and Charlotte drafting him. Did he not basically force their hand to trade him to The Lakers? Seems a bit hypocritical. Could he have seriously forgeten what he did? Yes, he was a kid but still. Whats your take on this?

    • Jabari Davis

      Hey Steve, thanks for joining today. You know, I caught the same wrinkle in Bryant’s story and wondered the same thing. My best guess is that it is a matter of Bryant wanting to offer support to Wiggins and reach out to the younger generation, because surely he remembers the circumstances that surrounded his own draft. I don’t necessarily see it as hypocritical, but there is definitely a hint of revisionist history going on…as folks tend to have as time passes on.