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NBA Chat With Jesse Blancarte – 1/4/17


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. JimInCyberspace

    Jesse,

    The MVP thing is largely a popularity contest and a condition of circumstance. KD is clearly the best player on the best team. He would have been the best Warrior last year and the year before. Steph’s back-to-back MVP’s ring hollow in many ways.

    Cutting through all the BS, who would you say “You the real MVP” to so far this season?

    • Jesse Blancarte

      Hey everyone, thanks for stopping by for another weekly chat. I hope everyone’s off to a good start to the New Year! Let’s get started:

      Jim,

      As of right now, my MVP is James Harden. I expected him to thrive as the Rockets’ de facto point guard under D’Antoni, surrounded by bolstered three-point shooting in Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon. But Harden has far exceeded my expectations and has his Rockets firmly rooted in the third seed in the Western Conference. He has been extremely efficient despite having a crazy high usage percentage and has been a perfect scorer/facilitator for his team. I love what Westbrook is doing, but I think Harden has the edge for now.

  2. Luke

    What are the chances the bulls target Bledsoe from the suns? Heard hes available they are going young like the bulls. Tyson would make a good role model for portis. What else would the bulls have to include to get the suns to bite Portis for Bledsoe?

    • Jesse Blancarte

      Not sure the Bull’s chances of landing Bledsoe are great. If the Suns proactively seek deals for him, I think they can do better in the trade market for him than the Bulls can match. Bledsoe has a long injury history and still isn’t an elite point guard, but at his best, he’s one of the best defensive point guards and an all-around game changer. I like Portis a lot, and you could have a real conversation when you start mentioning other players like Grant or Valentine. But unless the Bulls give up a lot in terms of picks or other assets, I don’t see them being the team that takes Bledsoe off of Phoenix’s hands in the trade market. You never say never in the NBA though.

  3. keeweekid

    Predict the 3 teams that will end up with the worst records in the NBA based off of current records, how they seem to be currently trending, and “motivation” for losing later on (ala the Lakers).

    • Jesse Blancarte

      Brooklyn Nets, Phoenix Suns and (maybe a stretch here) the Miami HEAT.

  4. keeweekid

    If you Philly does end up with 2 Top 7 picks (LA + their own), what would they do with this? Use 2 picks to trade up to top 1-3, keep both, package a trade for a current player…

    Finally, do you think the Sam Hinkie experiment of tanking for pics is going to show some serious promise for eventual competitive team?

    • Jesse Blancarte

      Depends. If they got the top pick, they are using it on Fultz, unless something dramatically changes before now and draft night. If they don’t get the top pick and don’t love any of the top talent in the draft, they could package it for a star player, some veterans or other future assets. This new front office has shown a willingness for trading off assets and projects for players that can move the needle forward sooner rather than later.

      I think the 76ers are going to be a very good team in the next few years. Joel Embiid is a monster and is better than anyone expected, which I wrote about here. Add in Ben Simmons, Saric, their future assets, like the ones you mentioned and their cap space, and it’s clear this team has the tools to be something significant in the near future. I wrote a while ago that when the 76ers are eventually a good team, we should remember that Hinkie paved the way for that to happen and should get a big chunk of the credit.

  5. keeweekid

    Blazers question:
    Can CJ and Lillard co-exist or are they too repetitive (need ball in their hands) and Blazers should look to move one to get a big upgrade in the front court if something interesting becomes available?

    • Jesse Blancarte

      I’ve thought about whether the Blazers would be well-served getting a large haul in exchange for McCollum. I think they fit together just fine, but it’s not often that a point guard-shooting guard tandem leads a team to a championship. I’m not saying it’s a formula that can’t be successful, but it may be worth considering. My first option would be to try and upgrade the roster without moving either one of those guys and even if a nice deal presented itself, I would still be very hesitant. This team is starting to show some progress now that they have switched up their defensive schemes and are trapping more often, which I covered recently. Besides, neither of these players, even if they are somewhat repetitive, is the problem with this team. Handing out enormous contracts to guys this last offseason is more of an issue.

  6. Anthony Curry

    HI Jessie Blancarte What is the chances San Antonio trading Kyle Anderson and what player u think they would they get Thanks

    • Jesse Blancarte

      I don’t have any reason to think the Spurs are moving Anderson, especially since he’s the starter for Leonard when he’s out of the lineup. Anderson is probably worth more to the Spurs than he anything he could return in a trade.

  7. Sven Lybaert

    Hi Jesse, My best wishes for 2017.
    Would it make sense for Boston and Phoenix to trade Amir Johnson for Tyson Chandler ? Phoenix is rebuilding and could go all in on Alex Len and Amir is on an expiring contract.
    Boston would get a longer contract with Chandler but he fits a need.

    • Jesse Blancarte

      Best wishes to you as well!

      I think Boston has bigger ideas in mind. They have a ton of assets and flexibility to work with, so I think getting Chandler would be a backup option if other things fell through, at best. Chandler simply isn’t the player he was a few years ago. If Chandler were 28-30 years old, that
      s a no-brainer. But even the Suns’ training staff has had difficulty keeping Chandler on the court, so I just don’t see it happening. I think Boston would sooner make a strong play for Paul Millsap than making a small-scale deal like this.

    • Jesse Blancarte

      That’s all the time I have for today. Thanks as always for stopping by for my weekly chat. Be sure to message me on Twitter (@JBLancarteNBA) if you want to keep the conversation going before next week!