NBA Chat With Jesse Blancarte – 1/18/17

Join Jesse Blancarte, BaskJesse_Blancarte_Chatetball Insiders’ senior NBA editor and writer, for his weekly chat on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. ET. Any and all questions regarding the NBA in general are welcome.

  1. alex kaykin

    Raps. fan. Would it make sense for Raptors to sign Bosh when he is released, even if he sign consent from any liability that a team would be fully protected ?

    • Jesse Blancarte


      I am still bummed out that Chris Bosh is out of the NBA. I think fans have already forgotten just how good of a player he is. Having said that, I can’t see a team signing Bosh, unless a credible doctor or team of doctors says that he is somehow cured of his condition. Even with waivers and liability releases, I can’t see any team taking on the risk that Bosh could have an on-court, life-threatening emergency. Maybe a team that is one piece away will do it (though I highly doubt it). The Raptors would LOVE to have his services. But the risk simply outweighs the rewards unfortunately.

  2. Luke

    What would it take Chicago to pry Okaflor from the Sixers? Bulls need more scoring and Lopez just doesn’t cut it. Chicago said they wanted to go younger a few months ago and gives butler a solid offensive player to grow with. Line up of Butler Wade Gibson Oklafor and either rondo or Williams gives them decent mix of offence and defence.

    • Jesse Blancarte

      Hard to say since the 76ers, from most reports, are interested in moving Nerlens Noel rather than Okafor. Okafor is a very, very skilled offensive center, but back to the basket centers who can’t anchor a defense or shoot from beyond the arc are becoming less and less valuable. The Bulls have some nice young pieces to play with, but I think they would only make an enticing offer if it was for Noel. I think they would value his athleticism and defensive presence more than Okafor’s offensive impact.

  3. 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?

    • Jesse Blancarte

      I can’t speak for Kawhi, but I agree that his humility and no-nonsense approach to the game is a breath of fresh air. At least since his high school days, Leonard has turned to basketball as a sort of refuge. His father was tragically killed when Leonard was in high school, and yet Leonard still played in his school’s game the following night. Not too long after, he was asked about the situation and his decision to keep playing:

      “Basketball helps me take my mind off things, picking me up every day when I’m feeling down,” Leonard said.

      Considering those terrible circumstances and how he responded, it’s clear how much the game of basketball means to him. With that in mind, I think it’s safe to say he takes his approach to the game very seriously and isn’t too interested in the theatrics of it. That, and playing for Gregg Popovich has a way of keeping a player’s attitude or ego in check.

  4. JimInCyberspace


    So, the Warriors break ground for their new San Francisco arena with a synchronized backhoe dancing routine that Simon Cowell would be proud of. What do you think the collective Dub nation is smoking these days?

    On a serious note…lots of East Bay folks see this as the latest/last slap in the face by a Warriors organization that never embraced being the “Oakland Warriors.” What are the chances the Golden State Warriors will be known as the San Francisco Warriors once again?

    • Jesse Blancarte

      I’ll say one thing about the synchronized routine: they went all out on that one.

      I haven’t looked into that question really, but I doubt they change the name. Their brand is as strong as ever and I don’t see the purpose in making that change.

  5. Aristotle

    Hi Jesse,
    Rubio…hell of a contract to trade, when he’s going for approx $13.5m over the next few years. Do we see him going back to Spain by any chance?
    Other than Kings, Magic, Bulls (due to Rondo issues), and Nets, I don’t see too many teams interested in losing players for him

    • Jesse Blancarte


      He may go back to Spain at some point, but I think he’ll want to lock in at least one more big contract in the NBA before doing so.

      I think you might be surprised by what teams may be willing to give up for him. He’s one of the best defensive point guards in the league, is a dynamic passer, and has developed some nice offensive moves to offset his lack of shooting. His shooting is still a big issue, but in the right system, I think he would be able to overcome that. That, and his salary is a bargain at this point considering how much role players are getting paid these days.

  6. JKFargo

    The Rubio trade rumors have come out again. Woj reported before the season Rubio would be traded after 20 games and Dunn would get the pg job. It didn’t happen and now he reports Rubio is being shopped. People say that the pg spot in the NBA is better than ever, but when I look I don’t see a lot of good young pg’s. Who are the best pg’s in the NBA born after Rubio? Really, how many guys are younger and better than Rubio at pg in the world? I got Kyrie Irving as the only guy I can say is clearly better than Rubio. He’s in his sixth year the same as Rubio and he has actually played in more career games. Are there any pg’s who are in their 5th season or less that are better than Rubio? What are the odd’s Dunn or Jones ever is as good as Rubio? Even if they ever are as good, it may take years for it to happen.

    • Jesse Blancarte

      I too am a bit skeptical that Dunn will ever be as good as Rubio. I like Dunn, but I just am not sure that he will ever make quite as big of an impact as Rubio does on both ends of the court.

      I am not particularly good with players’ ages, so I can’t really say how many point guards younger than 25 years old are better than Rubio. However, there are a ton of top-notch point guards in the league and a decent amount of second-tier point guards who are worth pursuing in trades or via free agency. I’m a fan of Rubio’s as well, and I do think that he is currently being undervalued. But I do think the Timberwolves are seriously considering moving him for some more pieces or assets and are confident that Dunn is their answer at point guard. I don’t necessarily agree with that idea, but I do think that Rubio is very much in play in the free agent market. If a team can snatch him for a below-market offer, that would be a nice addition that could pay off in a big way.

  7. TMR

    What is your view of D’Angelo Russell? I see little progress over last year. Any chance he develops to All-Star level talent? His play this year has been underwhelming to say the least.

    • Jesse Blancarte

      He is as inconsistent as you would expect a point guard his age to be. But there have been some flashes this season where you can see just how good he could be down the road. I think when you keep Russell’s long-term potential and relative lack of experience in mind, it’s easier to be excited about his future. However, he is one of the young faces of the LA Lakers, which means he will be under a lot of scrutiny and pressure. I think he is a bit limited because of his lack of elite athleticism, but I think he has the amazing vision and the countermoves to keep defenders off balance. My advice, don’t get too caught up in his inadequacies and appreciate his potential. In a few years, he could be a top-level point guard. Though, he does have some maturity issues he needs to address along the way as well.

    • Jesse Blancarte

      That’s all the time I have for today. Thanks for participating in this week’s chat. Be sure to stop by again next week at the same time for my next one!