NBA Rumors Chat With Steve Kyler 6/23/14

Steve_Kyler_Chat_InsidersBasketball 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. Chris G

    If the Bulls do get Carmelo, won’t they be in the same boat as the Knicks now (and, to a lesser extent, the Heat)–few high draft picks and no cap space to add parts around him, Noah, and Rose? I’d almost rather see the Bulls take the Spurs approach of balance–keep what they have, add Afflalo, sign Mirotic, and maybe amnesty Boozer to get back Asik from Houston (who’s only an $8.3 million cap hit, despite his $15 million salary). Add a few shooters with what’s left in cap space, and the Bulls go two deep at every position, without unmovable contracts. Isn’t that smarter?

    • Steve Kyler

      Welcome in everyone. Hope the week was good to you. Still time to get the 2014 Basketball Insiders Draft Magazine — Get your Copy Here.. Our annual NBA Draft Diary will drop on Wednesday along with our final Consensus Mock Draft and our first ever video Mock Draft, so keep an eye out on Wednesday. Lots to get to, so let’s get after it.

      I think the trap in the NBA, especially in the fan base world, is thinking too far beyond the current season. There is a window every team has to win a championship. For the Bulls they need to start exploiting their window now, waiting for tomorrow every season is usually how you miss your shot.

      As for Melo specifically, he wants to win and there is no doubting that Chicago in the same span as the Knicks has won more and become more than the Knicks have.

      I think one of the unsaid aspects of the Melo Knicks debate is his faith in the organization to continue to be aggressive, creative and innovative. Chicago has done really well in finding talent, developing talent and obtaining the proper kinds of role guys. Not sure you can say the same is true of the Knicks. That might change under Phil Jackson, but you’re talking about a known situation versus an unknown.

      As for your scenario — that’s a real second option, but the goal is to go get the best talent possible and in free agency that’s Carmelo.
      I am not sold the Bulls are going to amnesty Boozer, so unless they can trade him, I think the melo hype gets a little moot if the Bulls won’t eat that money.

  2. Charlie

    In your latest mock draft, you have Jordan Clarkson going 19th overall to the Chicago Bulls. But I noticed Kennedy, Brigham and Yannis all didn’t have Clarkson picked in the first round. Questions: Why do you have him ranked higher than most? What type of insider basketball knowledge are you basing this decision?

    • Steve Kyler

      Other than I am significantly smarter than all of them?… Just kidding… Sort of.

      Clarkson has had some really strong workouts, and there is a sense he’s going to get drafted in the first round. I tend to be more aggressive in my Mocks than some of our other guys.

      No one wants to look foolish, so I think some of the other guys tend to play it safe. The reason we do the four-person Mock is to illustrate how different people see the draft.

  3. Dennis

    Why has DeAndre Daniels stock fallen so far in many mock drafts? Almost all of them have him out of the 1rst round after being in for most of the year.

    • Steve Kyler

      He has never been considered a first rounder. In early mocks, I think we started to see him surface at the bottom, but the truth of this draft is that with so many teams holding multiple picks, there are going to be a larger than normal “draft and stash” if those picks don’t get traded.

      I like DeAndre, but not sure he is more than a rotation player at this point and in workouts, he has not shown himself to be more than that, hence the general belief he’ll get drafted in the 30’s.

      I think he could sneak in the last four picks, especially teams that have a need at his position, but going second round seems more likely.

  4. Mac

    The latest rumour of Pau Gasol to Dallas this offseason seems to makes sense. Dallas needs a big and will most likely miss out on all the top-level free agents so may be willing to overpay. Gasol may like playing with Disco up front, reunites with Calderon from the Spanish National team, great coach, and a Mavericks team that did quite well last year considering Dirk started the season with an injury. What did you think about the latest rumour? And if you had to favour 1 team for Pau Gasol next year, who would it be?

    • Steve Kyler

      Dallas is interested at the right price. Pau is going shop for a contender and I do think Dallas is going to get a look. He is also said to like Chicago, Brooklyn and Memphis.

      Keep in mind the LA Lakers could do a sign and trade and get him to a team without cap space, especially if the acquiring team will give up a nice asset as compensation.

      Keep in mind the Lakers could get a decent Traded Player Exception in a Gasol deal, and that would be generating an asset from a guy they are likely losing.

  5. Frank

    The San Antonio Spurs look to be taking Vasilje Micic with their 30th overall pick. Micic is a pass first PG, who can fit a system well versus being an individual talent, and is consistent with the team’s style of picking international players. What do you think of Micic? And do you believe the Spurs are going to go international or domestic with their 1rst round pick.

    • Steve Kyler

      That is far from decided. I like Micic, but not sold he is anything super special in the NBA. He did not play overly well at Eurocamp and most of the teams I spoke with about him saw him as more of a role player than a future starter.

      He is a nice passer, but I would argue that Patty Mills and Cory Joseph offer more long term value at the point guard spot than Micic. The Spurs are also working out Walter Tavares as an option at 30 too.

  6. Randy

    If you were Lebron James, rank your preference #1 to #4 from these pairs of players you would prefer to play with next season (assuming $ is near equal). Team #1 Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, Team #2 James Harden and Dwight Howard, Team #3 Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, Team #4 Dirk Nowitzki and Monte Ellis

    • Steve Kyler

      #1 – Miami… #2 – Miami… #3 – Miami…

      See a trend developing? I seriously doubt LeBron is not in Miami next year. He’s gotten everything the HEAT has promised him. He likes his coach, likes his team president, and likes his owner. He likes living in Miami. He likes playing with his friends.

      He wants to see Miami be as aggressive as they were the first two years and I think they will be.

      I think there it is a profitable narrative speculating LeBron is going to leave, but I think he is staying and I think the three guys there are going to work together to create some flexibility to add a couple of more guys to that squad from the free agent pool.

  7. Julian

    There have been many reports about the Orlando Magic selecting Noah Vonleh with the 4th overall pick. This makes little sense. They loved Marcus Smart last year and most likely would have selected him 2nd overall had he stayed in the draft. One incident with a fan and now we have them taking a stretch 4 with poor metrics (as per article by Nate Duncan) over preventing a Marcus Smart/ Victor Oladipo backcourt for years to come. What is your take on the situation? And who would you select of the two if you were the Orlando GM.

    • Steve Kyler

      Orlando is not basing their interest in a player based on a single anything. The word is that Marcus did not work out well for Orlando – twice. As much as others want to tell you the Magic loved Smart since last year, that’s just not how it worked out.

      The Magic are still very high on Smart, they like Vonleh, although I think word of his workout being “stellar” is a little overstated. The Magic like Dante Exum, they are curious about Joel Embiid and they like Aaron Gordon and Julius Randle too.

      Two names no one is talking about at 4 are Elfrid Payton and Nik Stauskas… both are players the Magic are really high on at the #12, but will likely both be gone at #12. There is a chance that Orlando grabs one of them at #4… or trades out of the #4 to insure they get one or both from the draft pool.

  8. Wendy

    If Joel Embiid falls in the draft… would the Lakers rather he fall all the way to them at 7, or would they rather he get picked up at 4 so they can dispense with all the silly “player development” years?

    • Steve Kyler

      I am not sure how draftable Joel Embiid is for anyone. There is so much unknown and so much risk. Everyone wants to overlook glaring red flags because of his potential as a player, but if he has the kinds of medical issues some say he does, he might not ever see the floor enough to be the player everyone wants him to be.

      I go back to Greg Oden — if you knew what Greg’s injury history would be would you draft him in the top 10 of this draft. I honestly thing Oden might be a best case. The more teams I talk to about Embiid the more I hear the doubt.

      I think if you draft him, you have to do it knowing full well he may never amount to anything for you and are you really willing to waste the pick given what might be on the board.

      I hope he has a full and fruitful NBA career – the kid is a super nice guy, but in this process its risk versus reward and I think there is far too much risk given what else might be there in the top 10.

  9. Deven

    Think the Spurs can repeat next year?

    • Steve Kyler

      Maybe… I think they can keep this team together and will add a few small pieces, but I also think the West is tough and will be tougher next year.

      So maybe on repeat. That would be a special thing if they could get six championships in the Tim Duncan era.

  10. Deven

    What blockbuster trades are you hearing about before the draft? And speaking of the draft, with Joel Embiid out for 6 months, which team will likely take him?

    • Steve Kyler

      Not much on trades… more chatter than substance at this point.

      I do expect a lot of movement in this draft. I would say we’ll see 10-14 transactions during the draft, mostly pick related.

      I have no sense of where Embiid is going to land. I continue to think Boston takes him at 6 if he is there, but I really can’t call it. Its not just the foot. Its the foot, two back injuries, a suspect knee and almost no impartial medical review.

  11. Deven

    Finish these sentences:

    Carmelo will sign with. . .?

    Lebron will sign with. . .?
    Wade will sign with. . .?
    Bosh will sign with. . .?

    • Steve Kyler

      Carmelo will sign with. . . Knicks, they are not out of this at all.

      Lebron will sign with. . . HEAT
      Wade will sign with. . . HEAT
      Bosh will sign with. . . HEAT

  12. TheBossOfHoopsWorld

    Hello there Steve. 🙂 so have you heard anything regarding my Blazers doing anything in the upcoming draft or free agency? I know we don’t have any picks or much cap space, but I just can’t picture us doing nothing.

    • Steve Kyler

      Blazers are not doing anything rash… they are value shoppers. The one thing with Paul Allen is he is always willing to spend at draft time, so I suspect we’ll see the Blazers involved in something around the draft.

      As for Free agency, again, nothing major, they want to add to their bench, so more value you shopping.

      The one guy that could get moved trade wise is Wes Mathews, but I doubt it.

  13. chris bradley

    Do you think Melo signs with the bulls and if so can the bulls get Affalo also

    • Steve Kyler

      Not unless the Knicks or a third team takes Carlos Boozer… As for Affalo, I think that is more of a Plan B if the Bulls don’t get Melo.

  14. Peter

    Hey Steve! Wow this year’s World Cup is highly entertaining! The level of competition is so balanced now, which makes it more fun to watch 🙂 Who do you think will bring home the World Cup?

    Back to bball. Do you see LBJ leaving Miami? If so, where do you think he’ll end up?

    • Steve Kyler

      Have watched exactly zero minutes of World Cup — not my thing. I am in 100% in draft mode, with a nose into free agency and a little bit of dad time before the chaos of the summer consumes me.

      Again… I do not see LeBron leaving Miami.

  15. mark

    What percent chance you think Parker could go #1 to cavaliers? Do you think Milwaukee makes one or multiple draft day trades? What do you think they could get For Henson or knight? Thanks for you thoughts

    • Steve Kyler

      What percent chance you think Parker could go #1 to cavaliers? — 50/50 he is absolutely an option.

      Do you think Milwaukee makes one or multiple draft day trades? — Maybe, they’d like to move Ersan Ilyasova.

      What do you think they could get For Henson or knight? — Not players they are open to moving. Would have to be a stellar deal for them.

  16. Ben

    What is the likelihood that Elfrid Payton is a lottery pick? Is it looking like a lock at this point?

    • Steve Kyler

      Extremely high… Hearing he is firmly on the board at 7-12, so that is likely his range.

  17. Ray

    Steve, What do you think Magic’s position is on Nicholson? He doesn’t seem to have the strenth, rebounding and D in the paint and doesn’t have the consistent 3 point range for a stretch 4. He does have some nice post moves when confident. He’ seems to have back up written all over him maybe a 12 or 13th guy.

    • Steve Kyler

      They like him, not in love with him, would move him if the return were good. For where he was drafted its good value, but they do not view him as a future starter. He’ll have to cement himself in camp and I am not sure he can.

      He has struggled for the last two years to finish the season strong, sort of gets gassed, so there are real reasons why he did not see the floor for long stretches.

  18. Colin

    Good Morning Mr Kyler.
    Do you think it is possible that Chicago’s interest in trading with Orlando has as much to do with acquiring Nelson’s partially guaranteed deal as it does to do with acquiring Afflalo?
    Perhaps the Knicks would be more interested in a deal built around Nelson + Gibson for Melo than they would Boozer for Melo.

    • Steve Kyler

      Very much.

      The problem is Orlando would have to take back about $15 million in salary to make it happen now. Not sure they do that unless they get both of the Bulls picks too.

  19. Randy

    The Lakers are frontrunners for Love? I don’t get it. How’s that possible? Chicago, GS, Boston and Houston can offer much more.

    • Steve Kyler

      I don’t either, and I said as much in the AM… but there is a belief that the Lakers can offer a signed and traded Gasol, the player drafted at #7 and the ability to take back ugly money like Kevin Martin’s in a deal .

      The Wolves don’t seem overly interested in deal built around draft picks and rookie scale guys, so we’ll see.

      I am skeptical.

  20. Randy

    First give me one bold prediction about the offseason. Second, where do you think Embiid lands? I’ve heard he could go as high as 3 or as low as to the teens. Can he kinda manipulate to where he gets picked by not releasing his medical records to certain teams? If it works, I think he lands in LA.

    • Steve Kyler

      “one bold prediction about the offseason”
      — Alex Kennedy writes 20,000 words a week… or none of the guys mentioned as leaving their existing teams actually leaves. Melo, Lebron and Love all stay where they are in July.

      “where do you think Embiid lands?”
      — Most common question I get asked when talking to NBA executives. Spoke with one Western Conference exec about 20 minutes ago, and he was not sure he goes nearly as high as the media are thinking, simply because of how much is unknown at this point.

      As for the medical records — sure, but at this point he needs to get drafted and the more games he plays the less likely he gets picked. You need two teams to compete for you to get drafted, if you hand pick one of them where is their incentive to draft you, they can just jockey their picks to a point where you are cheap enough to risk.

  21. Adam

    Hey Steve, really enjoy these chats – appreciate all of the hard work you put in throughout the year. What are you hearing on the Magic front? Could you see a Chicago trade somewhere along the lines of Afflalo and Nelson for Boozer, Mirotic and the 16? Any chance at all they try and move up from 4 or 12?

    • Steve Kyler

      I would do that deal if I were the Magic. I think Mirotic is a solid prospects.

      Not hearing anything of substance on Orlando moving up. They have the assets to do it.

  22. LA in LA

    Hey Steve what’s up? It’s peak rumor season, so I need your insight on some things:

    1)Rumor has it that Kerr and West don’t want to trade to make Klay the centerpiece of a Love deal. I have to believe there’s more going on than that because Love and Klay are around the same age and Love is clearly better.

    2) Tim Kakawami suggested one reason some people in Golden State are open to trading Klay is because he’ll be making near max, and that would mean all of their starters are making at least $11 mil per year till 2016. So hypothetically trading Klay and Lee + a pick for Love would make them better and save some money.
    Do you think Klay’s contract situation is a motivating factor to trade him for Love?

    3) Do you think my Laker should go best player available, or (if possible) trade down for two lower picks?

    4) Finally, I keep hearing that Mitch once again only wants to offer our free agents one year deals. I understand he’s trying to preserve cap space, but surely Mitch doesn’t think we can ask 9 or 10 guys to all keep coming back on one year deals till we land a superstar?

    • Steve Kyler

      1)Rumor has it that Kerr and West don’t want to trade to make Klay the centerpiece of a Love deal. I have to believe there’s more going on than that because Love and Klay are around the same age and Love is clearly better.

      — I texted my Warriors sources when that Klay for the 7 rumor broke, and was told those talks never occurred. Equally I was told that if Minnesota would say yes, they trade almost anyone to get him – Lee, Barnes and Klay. The problem isn’t not wanting to trade a Warrior player. The Wolves just are not overly interested in David Lee and the Warriors are not overly interested in taking Kevin Martin in a deal. Thats what seems to be killing this. Not whether they would or would not move Klay. For the record, they would rather not move Klay, but if it meant getting Kevin Love they would. Minnesota is the problem.

      2) Tim Kakawami suggested one reason some people in Golden State are open to trading Klay is because he’ll be making near max, and that would mean all of their starters are making at least $11 mil per year till 2016. So hypothetically trading Klay and Lee + a pick for Love would make them better and save some money.
      Do you think Klay’s contract situation is a motivating factor to trade him for Love?

      — I do not think there is nearly the love affair with Klay organizationally as its being made. They like him a lot, but the issue for Golden State is they don’t want Kevin Martin and Minnesota does not seem to want David Lee… that is the impasse from what I understand.

      3) Do you think my Laker should go best player available, or (if possible) trade down for two lower picks?
      — best talent, they have almost nothing in the cupboard.

      4) Finally, I keep hearing that Mitch once again only wants to offer our free agents one year deals. I understand he’s trying to preserve cap space, but surely Mitch doesn’t think we can ask 9 or 10 guys to all keep coming back on one year deals till we land a superstar?
      — One year deals, at higher dollar values means they can re-sign them in 2015 at bigger deals then. Not sure many of those guys will do it, unless its a hefty value this year.

  23. Mark Bruty

    The Oklahoma City Thunder are close to contending however, they still have holes. What do you think the Thunder do with their two first round draft picks? OKC always keep their cards close to their chest, but just what can we expect?

    • Steve Kyler

      I think they can get a solid bench scoring option and a potential future “draft and stash” asset.

      The Thunder usually draft a year a head of their need… so I wouldn’t expect a ton from this draft. Steven Adams was a bit of an outlier, they normally hide their rookies for a year.

  24. jr

    Enjoy your chats. Lakers question.It seems the best thing would be trading back with Philly(7 for 10)and picking up a couple of there 2nd round picks

    • Steve Kyler

      Sure… The Lakers have looked at a ton of move up and move down scenarios. They have been working out a lot of guys more suited for the 10th pick, so that would line up with what they are doing with workouts.

  25. Kevin

    I’ve heard that LeBron James and Eric Bledsoe are close personally. Given the Suns cap space, could they honestly have a shot to recruit Lebron? Maybe appeal to his vanity to win a title in both the western and eastern conference, while helping his “little brother” out?
    How common are close personal relationships taken into account by players in the NBA when entertaining free agency?

    • Steve Kyler

      Relationships do matter… that is how all three ended up in Miami, its how Dwight ended up in Houston.

      I would be beyond stunned if LeBron left Miami for Phoenix. I still believe he stays where he is.

  26. James

    Rumors of the Hornets selecting Dougie “Mcbuckets” makes little to no sense to me. Would you take Kyle Korver 9th in any draft? It seems more plausible to grab a impact 4 like Aaron Gordon or Randle. And then, with its 24th pick try to get a floor spacer. Your thoughts?

    • Steve Kyler

      You like who you like.

      I talked with the Pacers about Solomon Hill going where he went last year and the truth of it, is the purpose of the draft is not to fill some artificial media quota of who should go where. Its about filling your needs with the best players possible and in Charlotte’s case they need an impact scorer and McDermott is exactly that and he can play right away, where the other guys you mentioned have a massive rookie curve coming their way.

      If you believe McDermott is the best option, you draft him, because he’s not going to be there five picks later.

  27. keo

    Is shumpert worth bostons 17th pick…and trade bradley? i think he has potential to be better than bradley

    • Steve Kyler

      I don’t think Boston values him like that… I am sure the Knicks think he’s worth that and more.

      The buyer establishes value, not the seller.

  28. himsay

    Hi Steve. If Carmelo’s deadline for opting out of his contract was today, why isn’t LeBron’s? It’s a c.b.a. deadline isn’t it?

    • Steve Kyler

      Each players contract has a different date specified. A team can put any date they agree to with the player.

  29. dee money

    kyrie irving and kemba walker have qualifying contracts in 2015 do the knicks go after one of those guys and how much money would they need to pay

    • Steve Kyler

      Won’t matter. Irving likely signs a contract extension this summer and I would bet Kemba does as well.

  30. dee money

    if the knicks do go the route of a s&t with chicago for melo is it possible to get both chicago’s picks in this years draft and maybe add a third team where they could get another pick maybe this year or next?

    • Steve Kyler

      Knicks couldn’t get the picks… they’d get the players selected with those picks, as a sign and trade couldn’t happen until July. That is why I think it would be foolish for Chicago to trade those picks now, they;d be better off getting two attractive trade assets that make it easier to force Boozer on someone.

  31. dee money

    if you could only have 2 out of 3 of these guys who would u want: tj warren, zach lavine and NIK STAUSKAS

    • Steve Kyler

      Warren and Stauskas… Not overly high on LaVine. I think he has a lot of boom or bust potential. He is an exciting player, but I think you get more of a proven product with Warren and Stauskas.

  32. Andy

    Dante Exum or Marucs Smart? In terms of teams who need a starting point guard.

    • Steve Kyler

      Dante Exum…I think he has more NBA tools and a higher ceiling. Where Smart might be the better Day One player, but I think his ultimate ceiling is lower.

      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.