NBA Chat With Joel Brigham, 5/22/14

Join Joel Brigham this Thursday at 1:00 p.m. ET to chat about all things NBA, from the draft to the playoffs to free agency. Get your questions in early, then be back here Thursday afternoon to take part in all of the fun!

  1. Travis

    Hi Joel,

    I LOVE reading Basketball Insider’s weekly chats. Keep up the good work!
    In my opinion, CHI and HOU have the best assets and potential winning roster to pry Kevin LOVE away from MIN. If you were GM of CHI, what would be your best offer of players and picks? If you were GM of HOU, same question?

    I’ve read some previous chats that suggest the teams give up ALL of their assets to get him minus Rose/Noah and Harden/Howard. But at some point you would be overpaying. I am just curious where you would draw the line.


    • Joel Brigham

      Good afternoon, Basketball Insiders family, and welcome to another edition of my weekly chat! The playoffs are in full swing and obviously chatter about the draft is at a fever pitch. Kevin Love trade rumors are certainly helping to jog interest in the league, and since there are a ton of questions in the hopper this week I’ll nix the usual preamble and delve right into the questions. Here we go:

      I think Chicago’s offer needs to be structured around Carlos Boozer’s expiring deal (essential to match salaries), the two first-rounders this year and the rights to Nikola Mirotic. They’d probably want Jimmy Butler, too, but that just feels like one asset too many, though I get the idea of rolling with Love, Rose, Noah, and Taj and appreciate that it “should” be enough for them, even without Jimmy. I could also see doing Butler, Boozer, Mirotic and maybe one of the picks this year. ALL of the assets feels like too many, particularly since Love isn’t locked in long term.

      As for Houston, I’m less familiar with the salaries of guys, but I’m guessing it starts with Omer Asik and Chandler Parsons. I’d throw in some other assets to appease Minnesota, but I think Chicago has the better package to offer.

  2. Travis

    Hi Joel,

    Could Rondo net Boston a top ten pick in this years draft along with a few other assets? If so, Boston’s young core along with, potentially, two top ten picks in this years draft would certainly provide a great foundation for their current rebuild. If his value isn’t top ten in this years draft, what pick range could Boston net for Rondo? Thanks!

    • Joel Brigham

      Yeah, he’s worth a top-ten pick and quite a bit more. The Lakers, for example, would happily move the #7 (which they don’t want) for a point guard like that to sidle up alongside Kobe Bryant, but 1.) Boston’s not trading Rondo to L.A. Ever. and 2.) The #7 pick is not valuable enough to net you Rajon Rondo. We’re talking Marcus Smart/Aaron Gordon/Noah Vonleh range. Nowhere near good enough for Rondo. If you can’t get a top three pick for this in this draft, I’m not making the deal.

  3. Chris G

    If the same team (The Cavs) can have the #1 pick in the NBA draft lottery three out of four years, then how can anyone argue that the draft lottery’s purpose is to help bad teams improve? Kings have been there 8 years in a row! Meanwhile, the Spurs, who haven’t picked in the lottery since 1997, are consistently near the NBA Finals. The Thunder and Bulls find value in mid- to late first round picks. Could the league institute some rule that a team can’t be in the lottery for more than three years in a row? If a team stays that bad, it’s just wasting quality picks.

    • Joel Brigham

      Hey, somebody has to draft the cruddy players, right? No matter what teams were drafting at what positions, there are always going to be guys that are universally undervalued and overvalued. Let’s look at Anthony Bennett as an example. He was a top five pick last year, no question, so regardless of where he ends up, he’s a disappointment. And Chicago’s success and San Antonio’s success are due in large part to the fact that they’re well-coached. There’s more to it than drafting.

      More than limiting how often a team can be in the lottery, I’m in favor of limiting how many times the team can have the #1 overall pick. The wheel concept is really interesting. If you’re not familiar, give it a read (it’s fairly complex, but awesome). I don’t think a change is coming, though.

  4. Park Barkley

    If you were Milwaukee’s GM and you wanted someone who was going to celebrate being in Milwaukee, who would you go for? The take the best guy available and make him suffer for 5 years doesn’t seem to be a win for either side.

    • Joel Brigham

      So I think you’re referring to some reports that Joel Embiid might not be too interested in playing for the Bucks despite the fact that he could be there at #2 and Milwaukee has liked him for a really long time. Honestly, though, I think of the top three players, Jabari Parker is the least likely to complain about where he ends up. I could also see Dante Exum being content there alongside Giannis because Exum hasn’t had a lifetime of living in the U.S. to understand how dismal things have been for the Bucks at times. I can say, though, that the new ownership is super excited and ready to spend some money to win. They’ll let the smart front office out there build things their way, and hopefully that results in some good stuff. David Morway helped build this current Pacers team, remember, so he’s done this rebuilding thing before. Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker would be a great way to kick things off, and I think things start getting better.

  5. Connor

    Who do you believe that the Sacramento King will try to trade for if they trade the pick as rumored?

    • Joel Brigham

      I don’t think the #8 pick has value until draft day. As it stands, it would take somebody relatively valuable dropping to that spot for them to find a taker. Otherwise, they’ll probably end up using it on another power forward or shooting guard, as has become their annual lottery tradition. I doubt they trade the pick, honestly.

  6. JDC

    Two quick questions! If you are the Cavs.. are you taking a chance on Embiid? I know its early and the workouts and med reports can say he will be OK, but I just wouldn’t take a risk as an organization and new GM after all the questionable picks they have done in the last years. I would go with Wiggins who I think is the more sure thing. Embiid has a bad back and he wasn’t practicing with other full grown men and taking all the physical burden playing 3 times a week or more.

    Also who would you pick with the two 1st s if you’re the Bulls? I like Payne and I’m intrigued by the kind of athlete Lavine is.

    • Joel Brigham

      I’m not a person who loves Embiid. I personally don’t get the hype as a potential #1 overall pick. I mean, I see him as a top-5 guy, no question, because his height, defensive instincts, and overall ability are an awesome combination of worthy of high lottery love. But with the #1 overall pick, I’m not taking a guy I have to wait on. I’m taking a guy that can come in and help immediately, and Wiggins is that for me, on both ends of the floor. It also makes it so Cleveland doesn’t have to spend a lot of money Luol Deng, who is probably bolting town anyway. There’s your starting small forward, amiright? Cleveland always outsmarts themselves, but if they had done the last handful of drafts the way they were supposed to, they’d have Kyrie Irving, Victor Oladipo, Harrison Barnes and Jonas Valanciunas all in their starting lineup right now. I’m just sayin’.

      As for Chicago, I’m really hoping for Rodney Hood. I think he fits the culture of this team well, and the Bulls love their Duke guys. He’s just a smart, hard-working player with a well-rounded skill set that I can absolutely see having a reasonable amount of success in Chi City. Other guys I’m looking at in that range are Nik Stauskas, Kyle Anderson, and maybe Tyler Ennis or Doug McDermott if either should end up slipping for some reason. I think they need to draft at least one small forward in there, and that’s what most of the guys play in that range. Otherwise, take the best player available. Payne’s four months of mono has me raising my eyebrows, and LaVine is all athlete. He didn’t get on the court enough last year for me to know what kind of NBA player he’ll be. Give me more established guys for Chicago, especially since they’ll have to play right away.

  7. Julíán

    If some how Lebron ends in Chicago via free agency, would the Bulls have one of the best defensive teams EVER? Kirk, Butler, James, Gibson, Noah and coach Thibs? they sure would need to get shooting to make it a great great team but on the defensive side.. where would that team rank?

    • Joel Brigham

      Don’t know that Kirk is coming back, but the leftovers there look pretty awesome. LeBron’s not coming to Chicago, though. The Bulls don’t coddle their superstars the way LeBron’s accustomed to being coddled, though it’s hard not to imagine that team (if healthy) winning a couple of championships.

  8. SatBchMagicer

    Good afternoon Joel, have noted across many of this site’s chats, many questions concerning possible scenarios involving Bulls acquiring (or trying) either Love-MIN or Melo-NYC; given you’re a long-time, proven (to me at least) knowledgeable follower of all things NBA in CHI: is there a ‘snowball’s..’ chance that current Bulls ownership/management would actually pursue EITHER of those two ‘marquee’ NBA stars? I ask, because you have consistently pointed out Bulls aversion to ‘plunging into luxury tax pool’, for any reason (as in why Deng no longer a ‘vital’ CHI cog).

    • Joel Brigham

      Yes, they’ll go after both and hope like hell to land one. My big thing about the Bulls is that they just aren’t very good at pulling off huge, risky trades like the ones being proposed right now for these two guys. When they make huge trades, it’s almost always to dump salary (which they are absolutely brilliant at doing, by the way, without sacrificing too much quality in terms of wins and losses). When they dumped Ben Wallace, then later John Salmons. When they dumped Kirk Hinirch the first time. Luol Deng this past year. When have they EVER made a humongous trade to acquire a game changer? The last one I can really think of is maybe Jalen Rose back during the dark ages. It’s just not in their DNA.

      At the same time, we’re past the whole “let’s just see how things look when Derrick gets healthy before we make any big moves” thing, because Deng is already gone and there’s no guarantee that Rose will ever be the old Rose again. If there’s an opportunity to add some scoring, and both Love and Melo would bring plenty of that, they’ve got to go for it. At the very least, they’re giving themselves a decent opportunity to win, and as long as you can keep Noah and Rose, there’s really no trade they shouldn’t at least consider. I said earlier I wouldn’t give up TOO much, and I wouldn’t, but giving up a lot doesn’t scare me if that’s the return. They’ll find minimum guys to hop aboard. Plenty of ringless vets want to play for Thibs. You make a really good team happen here. Just have to see if the front office is willing to take the risk.

  9. Dennis

    So after Cleveland drafts Doug McDermott, what do you think Milwaukee should do with the 2nd overall pick?

    • Joel Brigham

      I think Wiggins goes #1 (God, I hope so, anyway… for the sake of Cavs fans everywhere), and then I like Parker or Exum at #2. Honestly, Exum would be the better fit since Jabari plays Giannis’ position, and that way you could slide Brandon Knight over to the 2, where he’s a more natural fit anyway. At 6’6″, Exum could guard the SG, anyway.

      I’m passing on Embiid for reasons I’ve already explained, but if I’m Milwaukee, my draft board probably looks like this:

      1. Wiggins
      2. Exum
      3. Parker
      4. Embiid

  10. Mac

    In your latest mock draft, you have Tyler Ennis going 7th overall. This is a fair bit higher than projected. What do you like about Ennis and why do you think he will go so high in the draft?

    • Joel Brigham

      That was before the lottery, so things have obviously changed, and while the latest consensus hasn’t gone up yet, I still have Ennis in the lottery I believe. Anyway, the reason for the boost is that he just hit the combine with a ton of confidence that struck me as really interesting. Sacramento has a need at point guard, and Ennis will be the best one when they get around to selecting. I just thought, if it’s home or another power forward, give me the frickin’ point guard. I also like Dario Saric for them. Those two guys–Saric and Ennis–are guys I could see having their stock rise during this process. They’re better than where they’re slotted right now in most mocks. Jusuf Nurkic is another one.

  11. matt from Oz

    Hi Joel,
    now that the lottery is done and the talk of which teams would like to/open to moving their picks is out there, i wondered if you had thoughts on this proposal.

    Pistons s&t Monroe (4yrs/$44m) to Charlotte for their 9th pick.

    Charlotte can pair Monroe with Al Jeff, and Detroit move Josh Smith to PF and take a wing in Doug McDermott, James Young or Rodney Hood as their starting SF.

    Then, Pistons could use cap space to offer Lance Stephenson a 4yr/$40m deal to run and create their offense, with Jennings better suited as a shooter.

    Starting 5 of Jennings, Stephenson, Hood/McDermott, Smith and Drummond would fair well in the East.

    Thoughts? Thanks Joel.

    • Joel Brigham

      I just can’t see Detroit trading one of their best couple of players for a pick that was supposed to be theirs, anyway. And there’s no guarantee that Stephenson would end up there in free agency. Too much risk and too much pride, though the idea is a good one.

  12. Deven

    Can we just give the Spurs the NBA title? OKC is out of sorts right now with no Ibaka and not playing team ball. Plus, Thabo and Collison are non-factors. What needs to change?

    • Joel Brigham

      The loss of Ibaka really hurts. Don’t know what else to say.

      And no, we’re not giving them the title yet… there’s still Miami/Indiana to deal with.

  13. Deven

    Should Miami and San Antonio meet again, who do you got in how many games and why?

    • Joel Brigham

      That said, I’d take San Antonio. Deeper, more rested. Miami’s time just looks up, and San Antonio’s seemingly never is. Spurs in 6, if that’s the matchup.

  14. Randy

    I know it’s a long shot but could you see Exum falling to LA at #7?

    • Joel Brigham

      Not a prayer. He’ll end up Milwaukee, Philadelphia or Orlando. No way he slips past the Magic.

      Best hope for L.A. at #7 is Marcus Smart or Julius Randle.

  15. matt from Oz

    Hi Joel,
    If Embiid gets a clean bill of health prior top the draft, could you see the Bucks taking him over
    Parker (assuming the Cav’s take Wiggins)?

    and if so, would the Bucks possibly look at trade scenarios for Sanders?
    e.g. Celtics send Jeff Green to the Bucks for Sanders?
    Bucks get a solid scoring wing and open up court time for Embiid.
    Celtics get their young defensive center to pair with Sullinger and they could then package their 6th pick with their 17th to move up or bring in another player?
    any possibility?

    thanks Joel.

    • Joel Brigham

      It’s going to be VERY hard to trade Larry Sanders with the year he had last season and the $44 million he’s about to make over the course of the next four years. I think trading Ersan Ilyasova is a more realistic possibility, but either way, if Milwaukee ends up with Embiid they’ll have to move someone out of that frontcourt rotation. I think Embiid, John Henson and Larry Sanders could all coexist, especially as Embiid grows into himself.

      They’re an example of a team that could take a player like that and just go slow with him because they’re not one player away from making the playoffs. They’ve got another lottery or three in them over the course of the next few years, so developing someone like that with promise is a real possibility. I’ve said a million times that I’d take Jabari Parker if it were me (boy, do they need scoring), but I think it’ll really end up coming down to Embiid and Exum.

  16. Roon

    Hey Joel, hope all is well with you! It has been an exciting week in Charlotte! Our beloved Hornets are back and we received a top 10 pick in the draft while making the playoffs. My question is what do you see being the best selection for the Hornets? There is always a player that falls in the draft so barring a slip of either Aaron Gordon or Julius Randle, would Charlotte be wise to select Doug McDermott at 9 (which seems to be a popular pick right now in Mock draft land), or just wait and see if Zeller develops? Or should they go with a 2-guard like Stauskas, James Young, or Gary Harris? Personally, I think Stauskas fills a major need for this team. If we could grab Glenn Robinson III at 24 with our second 1st rounder, I think it would go a long way to improving our bench.

    • Joel Brigham

      I don’t think McDermott and Zeller are redundant at all. McDermott is more of a Kyle Korver type, so he’d a nice stretch four that knocks down some threes for you. That’s about all he’ll be able to do at that level, though, so if you want prolific talent he’s probably not the guy. James Young I love (and so do a lot of NBA teams) and he could definitely help shore up that guard rotation. Bigs are more of a need, though, so I’d be hoping that Aaron Gordon falls. I think there’s a reasonable chance at that, and he’d be just a perfect fit there. Randle I don’t see falling to #9. Gordon could, though.

  17. Chris G

    I am so sick of this Thibs story. Now Barkley calls the Bulls stupid for not publicly saying their coach is under contract. Duh, he’s under contract. Thank you, Captain Obvious. Most guys who win coach of the year get fired the next season. The Bulls give Thibs a well-paid 4-year extension, why? Just so they can fire him one year in or let him walk and be on the hook for $12 million? Luol Deng was traded, but it was for a lot of reasons ahead of “It’ll torque off our coach.” Plus have ANY of the reported stories about Thibs, from the handshake agreement to coach the Knicks to Golden State seeking permission, actually happened? Did Golden State or the Lakers actually ask permission? Is he coaching the Knicks? Or are they just things someone “heard” and reported to rile people up? And while I’m sure Gar and Thibs don’t go fishing each weekend, I doubt their “rift” is to the point that they yell “Jerkface” everytime they pass in the hall. Even one of Hoopsworld’s reporters wrote a detailed piece about what the Lakers would need to do to get Thibs, and admitted in the article it was highly unlikely he’d move. Why is this a story?

    • Joel Brigham


      I mean, it’s a story because neither side has come and out told everyone to shut up about it, but the Bulls have never commented on rumors of any type, and Thibodeau hates questions like that, too. He would have to be VERY upset with his situation there and the package of draft picks would have to be VERY good for the Bulls to consider it. And even then, I think it’s crazy. Just doesn’t seem like much of a chance of him coaching anywhere but Chicago next year.

  18. Chris

    Hi Joel:

    I have questions about the pending coaching hires in New York and Los Angeles. Is it really the reality that such storied franchises as the Knicks and Lakers are at the point where top-level coaches are passing on them? It just doesn’t seem right that either team doesn’t have its pick and choose of top coaches. What direction would you like to see the Lakers and Knicks go, coach-wise?

    • Joel Brigham

      Can we really call Steve Kerr a top-level coach when he’s never actually coached before? And neither of them was after Stan Van Gundy, at least not publicly. That means all of the big name availables are still there, and they’ll do their due dilligence to sort through their candidates. I think with so much personnel change in store, especially in L.A., they need to see what they end up with in free agency and the draft before they can figure out what kind of coach they need. Plenty of guys are excited about coaching in L.A. Plenty are thrilled at the prospect of working with Phil Jackson at Madison Square Garden. Good coaches will be found, just have a little patience.

  19. Frank

    Hi Joel,
    Assume you’re MINN GM and these 3 offers on the table for K. LOVE, 1) PORT: L. Aldridge straight up; 2)GSW:D.LEE,H.BARNES + a future #1; or 3)CLEV: #1, Verajao,T.Thompson & Waiters. Please rank them and would you make the trade for the best offer?

    • Joel Brigham

      1. Cleveland – Best mix of young talent and cap space. Top pick yields you a prolific talent, while Thompson and Waiters serve as solid rotation guys. Andy’s money doesn’t hurt you, either.
      2. Golden State – Lee’s contract wouldn’t be my favorite, but Barnes and Klay Thompson certainly would.
      3. Portland – LaMarcus wouldn’t re-sign in Minny, so it’s kinda pointless to do a trade involving him, right?

  20. Kevin

    Hey Joel,

    Hypothetical… Your Bulls GM, if you could dump Boozer on a team such as LAL who have cap space this off season for the price of a 1st round pick would you bite on it?

    (Cause realistically no one is going to trade for Boozer without other assists attached)

    • Joel Brigham

      No, because I could just use the amnesty clause on him, get the same cap space back, and keep my first-round pick.

  21. Kevin

    Also follow up, if KLove opts into the second year you think Boozer, Mirotic and the Bulls 2 1sts this year are a even trade? Or think you’d be giving up to much

    • Joel Brigham

      I think that’s an appropriate deal. Minnesota would probably want Tony Snell or Jimmy Butler, too, which IS too much, but definitely still within the realm of the possible.

  22. Travis

    Hi Joel,

    Where do you see Deng ending up next year?


    • Joel Brigham

      I’m going to say L.A. or Phoenix, with a slight lean towards the Suns. P.J. Tucker was great for them, but Deng is undeniably an upgrade and the perfect guy to push them over the hump and into the playoffs next year. He’s a great locker room presences for some of those young guys, and he’d have a good coach in Jeff Hornacek and a great training staff to help keep him healthy. Feels like a great fit to me. Lakers, less so, but they’ll have the money, the history, and the good weather to push on him. Guys have signed with teams for much worse reasons than that!

      Alright gang, that’s all the questions in the hopper this week. Thanks for all the good’ns, and I’ll hopefully see you back here next week for more of the same. In the meantime, have a great weekend, and go Pacers!