NBA Chat With Tommy Beer 6/4/17

Join Basketball Insiders Senior NBA Analyst Tommy Beer for a chat session on Monday at 3:00 p.m. EST.

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  1. Omar

    Hi Tommy. Who would you draft if you wore the Lakers with the second pick?

    • Tommy Beer

      hey Omar,

      Well, let me start by saying that I’d steer clear of Lonzo Ball. I wouldn’t be overly concerned with the father issues that will pop up. However, the fundamentally flawed jumper would be a major red flag IMO. I think his floor is relatively high because he’s a tremendous passer with great vision and a high Bball IQ. But I’m just not sure how he’ll score consistently in the pros when he does not have as much of an athletic advantage against his opponents as he did in college. In addition, he’s not a plus-defender and has not shown much intensity on the defensive end. Furthermore, in the biggest game of UCLA’s season, De’Aaron Fox embarrassed him.
      If I’m the Lakers, I narrow my choices down to Josh Jackson, Fox and Tatum and go with best fit and highest upside.

  2. Collin

    Hey Tommy, I think I ask this question for everyone besides warriors fans, is there anything the league can do to help there be a better competitive balance in the league? I believe that while we’ve seen superteans before (celtics, heat, cavs) this is about to go o a whole other level. After the warriors and cavs fall off, teams chock full of highly coveted assets and cap space (suns, celtics, sixers) will then have their turn to rule the league. I think in the 90s having a dominant team was fine, as it drew ppl to the NBA and grew its popularity, but I think if the league continues on the course it’s on, it will begin to disengage fans as they know the have no hope.. Thoughts?

    • Tommy Beer

      Hey Colin,

      It’s a legitimate question, and one we will be discussing all offseason, that’s for sure.
      However, I don’t think there is a solution the NBA can implement to “fix” it.
      We already have a luxury tax and the new CBA incentivizes players to stay with the team that drafted them – but if a great player wants to take FAR less money to join n already great team, how can the NBA ban that from happening? They can’t…

      As an aside, I think us media and fans have to take some of the blame here.
      All players here from talking heads on TV and fans on Twitter is how we only judge greatness by “RINGS”
      So, a player like KD takes far less money to put himself in what he feels is the best position to win a ring.
      Then, the narrative is now that KD is a chump and took the easy way out… But if he stays in OKC and never wins a title, he’s a loser. And if he wins in Golden State, he’s a coward…
      Not sure we should be shocked when players chose to join super teams when they hear that their stats and individual success is meanlingless unless they win as many titles as Kobe or MJ.

  3. Sweet Dee

    With Lebron James going to his 7th straight finals. Has the Kobe vs. Lebron debates stopped? Lebron has 4 MVPs vs. Kobe’s 1. Lebron has 3 NBA Finals MVP’s vs. Kobe’s 2. Lebron has 9 seasons with a PER higher than Kobe’s best PER year. In your opinion, is this debate over and we have officially moved on to the Lebron vs. Jordan comparisons? As there is very little evidence to support a Kobe over Lebron debate (as there may have been just 4-5 years ago)? Your thoughts.

    • Tommy Beer

      100% agree. That debate has been over.
      I simply can not take anyone seriously if they try to claim that Kobe is a better basketball player than LeBron.

      I mean, LeBron averages more points, assists, rebounds, steals and blocks, while shooting a higher percentage from the floor and from 3-point territory.

      Oh and in the playoffs, LeBron averages more points, assists, rebounds, steals and blocks, while shooting a higher percentage from the floor as well.

      Not sure how one would ever start to argue that Kobe is a better all-around player.

  4. JimInCyberspace


    How exciting has the NBA PO’s been for you?

    I haven’t wasted much time with it this year. I’ve spent more time watching bass fishing reruns for the excitement and unpredictable outcome they often times have.

    • Tommy Beer

      haha I gotta disagree Jim

      Yes, I would obviously prefer more competitive games and few blowouts, but I also have really enjoyed watching an all-time great like LeBron at the top of his game this last month – and can appreciate the incredibly level the Warriors are at. Incredible to watch them with full engines gunning

  5. BeeMagic

    Hi Tommy, glad you are in.

    I would like your opinion on this change in the draft, can it work and why would you think not? Apologies for the longer explanation.

    The Draft is one way for NBA trams to get back on track. Tho in its present form it keeps the NBA boring and does not help teams grow or give them a small “chance” to succeed.
    Make the Draft a real game of chance, more suspense, with no reason to tank. Why not let all of the teams not in the playoffs have one ball for the Lottery. Let the playoff teams pick in the order they finish bottom to top. Simple and easy to sell and a more exciting Draft night. Overtime the odds give an even chance to all in the Lottery. The incentive is to get a few years of good picks make a reasonable trade or 2 and realize to succeed you have to leave the lottery and get playoff experience. Now everyone (without a pile of stars) tanks and is desperate to draft the next LBJ, they have no other choice. I’d like to hear your thoughts.

    Thank you,
    R. de

    • Tommy Beer

      I think that would increase the odds of the league becoming “boring,” as you write.
      Could you imagine the uproar if the Warriors won the lottery and got to draft Markelle Fultz later this summer!?!??!!?

      The lottery system is not perfect, but I think it’s probably as good as it’s going to get.
      It gives the very bad teams hope to land a superstar that will turn the franchise around. And while teams have the incentive to lose, there is no guarantee that having the worst team will generate the top pick.

      Speaking in defense of democracy, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was quoted: “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried…”

      I often paraphrase Churchill when defending the current lottery system. It’s not great, but it’s probably better than the other suggestions I have seen/heard…

  6. Virgil

    TB i am all for the knicks trying to get extra picks in the first round, but do you think that they are going to give up the 8th to get lower picks? I hope they take Frank N at 8 and then get 15 or 20 or even 12. to me if they could shed Lee for 12 (det) and something for 20 i would be happy. Now all the talk of PG what is the deal with Randle and Baker i thought they liked their upside to run team. I know Baker is probably off the bench, but Randle?

    • Tommy Beer

      I would be shocked if the Knicks traded the #8 pick.
      There are too many talented players with very high upside in the top of the draft to trade out of the top-10. Especially in a draft that is loaded with point guards, and the Knicks needing a PG so badly…

      I’m sure they will try to trade back into the first round after the #8 pick, but I’m not sure they have the goods to get another pick. Suppose it is it’s possible a team would move for C Lee, but not the Pistons – unless they are willing to let KCP walk…

      I think they Knicks take either French Frank or Dennis Smith at #8.
      Randle and Baker are, at best, career backups. At best.

  7. Virgil

    if Melo decides he wants to stay what then does Phil do? Do you think Melo could go to a contender and truly would he make that much of a difference in say Cleveland or Boston?

    • Tommy Beer

      If Melo decides he is staying, Phil has no choice but to sit thru another season of drama. Melo holds all the power.

      I don’t think Melo is a difference-maker at this stage of his career. He can be a valuable contributor and scorer on a great team, but not the player that takes a team over the top.

  8. Dave

    Tommy, I miss the multiple chats and am glad that you’re still doing them. When the C’s draft Fultz, Ainge will need to trade one or more guards not named Isaiah Thomas. Would Bradley, Smart, or Rozier bring the most in return? What sort of return (for each, if possible)?

    • Tommy Beer

      Ainge can draft Fultz and may wait until February deadline before making a major move. This allows him to get a feel of how Fultz plays alongside IT and Bradley etc.

      In terms of trade value, order would be IT, Bradley, Smart, Rozier.
      Would depend on other teams needs in terms of what they could bring back.

  9. Trogdor the Burninator

    Cuban & Dirk are loyal to each other to death. He’s not going anywhere. However, what if they try and do each other a solid? Dirk’s got two good years left in him, Cuban wants him to get him another title. So Dirk does a sign-and-trade (taking a discount from the $25M option) and goes to the Celtics, where he becomes a marquee name, hailed as the best shooting big since Larry Bird. Although not a 40 min guy anymore, he can be that dominant scoring option to take the load off Isaiah when out there. From the Mavs end … they’re going nowhere right now and a move would allow the Mavs to speed up their rebuild and youth movement.
    So the question … Do you view that as plausible, and if so, what kind of exchange could you envision? Mavs #9 pick + Dirk + Barea for the Celtics #1 pick?

    • Tommy Beer

      No, Celtics would never even consider that.
      Dirk is at the end of the line. He can’t be relied upon to be a reliable player on a championship team. Boston could get FAR more in return for Fultz than Dirk and #9 pick.


      That’s it for me… Have a great week everybody!