NBA Rumors Chat With Steve Kyler – 4/21/14

Basketball Insiders Publisher Steve Kyler will hold his weekly chat at 10:30am EST on Mondays. Drop in your questions regarding NBA trades, the NBA Draft, roster moves or questions about your team.

  1. dfl29

    In 11 of the past 14 seasons, the ninth-best team in the Western Conference would’ve been a playoff team in the Eastern Conference.
    Do you think a playoff format change is needed?

    • Steve Kyler

      Welcome in everyone… hope the opening round of the playoffs was fun for you. Lots to get to so lets get after it.

      No. I do not think the playoff format needs to be changed for a couple of reasons.

      The NBA, more so than most sports, is really tied to its history. If you change east West… if you alter the format, then you are tossing out some comparative history. This is why I don’t like some of the All-Star weekend changes, especially the Three Point Contest… adding more money balls just skews the history.

      Equally, if we were seeing massive loop-sided eight seed matchups, then maybe… but as we saw this weekend Atlanta beat Indiana in Indy.

      Rating are strong, the basketball is good… I don’t see the need to change anything.

  2. dfl29

    Anti-Tanking Solution?
    a play-in tournament with 16 teams to determine lottery-odds and the last 2 play-off spots.

    • Steve Kyler

      If there were a Tanking problem, then maybe… but whats occurred this year is nothing new… this is how its been for almost a decade… good teams play for the post-season, bad teams play for draft picks and cap space.

      Look at the history of it — this year is not overly worse than any other year, in fact as bad as its been, it hasn’t been as bad as other years:

       2014  2013  2012  2011  2010
      14  Phoenix (.585)  Utah (.524)  Houston (.515)  Houston (.524)  Houston (.512)
      13  Minnesota (.488)  Dallas (.500)  Phoenix (.500)  Phoenix (.488)  Toronto (.488)
      12   New York (.451)  Philadelphia (.415)  Milwaukee (.470)  Utah (.476)  Memphis (.488)
      11  Denver (.439)  Toronto (.415)  Portland (.424)  Golden State (.439)  New Orleans (.451)
      10  New Orleans (.415)  Portland (.402)  Minnesota (.394)  Milwaukee (.427)  Indiana (.390)
      9  Cleveland (.402)  Minnesota (.378)  Detroit (.379)  Charlotte (.415)  New York (.354)
      8  Detroit (.354)  Detroit (.354)  Toronto (.348)  LA Clippers (.390)  LA Clippers (.354)
      7  Sacramento (.341)  Washington (.354)  Golden State (.348)  Detroit (.366)  Detroit (.329)
      6   LA Lakers (.329)  Sacramento (.341)  New Jersey (.333)  New Jersey (.293)  Philadelphia (.329)
      5 Boston (.305)  New Orleans (.329)  Sacramento (.333)  Sacramento (.293)  Golden State (.317)
      4  Utah (.305)  Phoenix (.305)  Cleveland (.318)  Washington (.280)  Washington (.317)
      3  Orlando (.280)  Cleveland (.293)  New Orleans (.318)  Toronto (.268)  Sacramento (.305)
      2  Philadelphia (.232)  Charlotte (.256)  Washington (.303)  Cleveland(.232)  Minnesota (.183)
      1  Milwaukee (.183)  Orlando (.244)  Charlotte (.106)  Minnesota (.207)  New Jersey (.146)

  3. JimInCyberSpace

    Steve, the pending NBA post season coaching carousel, who’s out? I’d be nervous if I were the HC with the LAL or NYK?
    The two biggest markets in the NBA.
    I think at least one will be replaced, probably both? Who’s next in line for those jobs?

    • Steve Kyler

      Well… Mike Woodson was just relieved today… as was his staff. So that is done and not altogether unexpected.

      If the word around the situation is accurate, Steve Kerr will replace him.

      As for D’Antoni… there continues to be talk that he’ll be back. Despite public opinion, Mike has a lot of support within the Lakers front office. Not sure they change unless they can get someone more proven or an obvious upgrade. That is a tough market to coach in and that’s not a situation a lot of coaches are going to line up for – unless the Lakers open up the checkbook. A rookie coach isn’t going to make it there.

      For my money I’d give George Karl a call.

  4. Mr. Macchiato

    There’s one thing I just don’t get.

    How come SO many teams skipped on Dieng? He’s an extremely long big guy who can really score, rebound and block.

    What else were they looking for?

    There’s gotta be some conspiracy here. It just doesn’t make sense.

    • Steve Kyler

      Gorgui Dieng went about where he was expected to go… 23 year old players tend to get dinged, and in Gorgui’s case he was in a draft class that was loaded with higher ceiling guys. Gorgui also had ankle and foot concerns in the draft process, so teams factored that in to.

      He had a lot of fans, but looking back… outside of Lucas Nogueira — not sure he is better than the guys taken in front of him, especially in terms of long-term building blocks.

      Here were the bigs drafted:
      Cody Zeller
      Alex Len
      Nerlens Noel
      Steven Adams
      Kelly Olynyk
      Lucas Nogueira
      Gorgui Dieng
      Mason Plumlee

      No conspiracy in my book, simply a stacked draft, especially with big guys.

  5. Row

    Daryl Morey is an advanced stat lover. A recent rumor I’ve heard is that PG Isaiah Thomas is a stat-lover’s dream, and the money matches if the Rockets can get Lin on a plane to Sacramento. Do the stars align for Houston this off-season?

    • Steve Kyler

      Cash Rules Everything Around Me…

      Isaiah Thomas is headed into free agency… the Kings likely give him the $2.8 million qualifying offer and make him restricted, so trading him would require Isaiah to agree to a deal. Not sure the Kings go for a Thomas for Lin swap.

      So for Houston, is that where you want to spend possible cap money?

      Equally, assuming that because a player rates well on the advanced side, does not mean much in terms of what a team is looking for.

      Its about using those tools to paint a bigger picture.

  6. Row

    It sounds like the Lakers captains are ready to abandon the sinking ship. After a rough season and assumingly a rougher off-season and a top first-round draft pick, how long will this rebuild presumably run the Lake Show?

    • Steve Kyler

      There have been very few teams that have gone from worst to first without having a ton of promising talent waiting in the wings. Those team usually lost a player for a season, got a high draft pick and hopped back into the the discussion. Not sure that is the case with the Lakers.

      I know they believe they can be back in the post-season next year and back into title contention inside the next three… but that means a lot has to break their way.

  7. Deven

    So Coach Woodson is fired? Is Steve Kerr next? That is, being the new HC?

    • Steve Kyler

      That is the word… we’ll see what comes next.

  8. Deven

    What are some of your takeaways from the first two days of the playoffs?

    • Steve Kyler

      Young teams struggle in the post-season…. and LaMarcus Aldridge is a M-O-N-S-T-E-R when he attacks the basket.

  9. Jason

    Steve, if you were Hinkie, what is an acceptable return for THad Young or do you need a veteran leader to allow the young team to develop and mature?

    • Steve Kyler

      I think you need more than one… the problem with Thad is he is not a very vocal guy.

      As for return, I am a big Thad fan. Its rare to see players that play exactly to the their skill set. He doesn’t try to do things he can not do. That is pretty special.

      Like Orlando, Philly doesn’t need to do anything with Thad… its about what they can get back and I am not sure anyone offers a ton for him.

  10. Jon

    Regarding Lance Stevenson, has the Pacers’ collapse effectively written his ticket out of town?

    • Steve Kyler

      I wouldn’t say that, but I would say the Pacers have always had doubts about lance and his future. They know him well. They have invested a lot into his development, so nothing that is going on is new.

      I would say that his future in Indiana has always been tied to cost, when he starts to cost $6-9 million per year, Indiana may not want to be in that business.

  11. Mike

    Would Lance Stephenson be an upgrade over Gerald Henderson for Charlotte? Would the Pacers be open to a sign and trade. They could take back Henderson, a decent SG but a great locker room guy for Lance.

    • Steve Kyler

      Upgrade? — Not sure that’s the word I would use. They are radically different players. So would he make the backcourt more dynamic — maybe. Does he do more in terms of rebounding and defense than Gerald, absolutely, but I think Id rather have Gerald’s offense and his predictability than lance who can lose his cool.

      I worry about guys with a hot head, after they get paid. I am not sure I would go there if I were Charlotte.

  12. Jon

    Do you buy the thought that playing for Thibs wore more tread off Deng’s tires than if he had played elsewhere? Will teams factor this in heavily when deciding their willingness to go four years for him?

    • Steve Kyler

      No… There is no doubt Luol played a lot of minutes, but if you compare his per game minutes to say Carmelo Anthony… the gap is not that great.

      Luol Deng
      2010-2011 — 39.1 mpg
      2011-2012 — 39.4 mpg
      2012-2013 — 38.7 mpg
      2013-2014 — 37.4 mpg

      Carmelo Anthony
      2010-2011 — 36.2 mpg
      2011-2012 — 34.1 mpg
      2012-2013 — 37.0 mpg
      2013-2014 — 38.7 mpg

      I think durability and mileage always weigh into how teams value you players. I think the massive drop off in Cleveland is more concerning than the amount of minutes. When you are paying a guy $16 million and he is a two time All-Star, he is on the floor, especially when he was one of the better defensive players.

      Guys… I am out of time. Thanks for all the questions. Make sure you are following me on Twitter (@stevekylerNBA). See you all next week.