NBA Rumors Chat With Steve Kyler 8/12/14

Steve_Kyler_Chat_InsidersBasketball Insiders Publisher Steve Kyler will hold his weekly chat Tuesday at 1:00pm EST. Drop in your questions regarding NBA trades, the NBA Draft, roster moves or questions about your team.

  1. bob

    Do you think the Celtics will make any more moves this offseason? If so what moves? Also when do you think Eric Bledsoe or Greg Monroe will sign with a team?

    • Steve Kyler

      Welcome in everyone. Hard to believe Training Camps open in about 45 days… so the off-season is almost over. There are a lot of questions pending so lets get after them

      I do not think the Celtics are in a position to do much more than they have done. Like most teams they will add some guys for training camp and as Danny Ainge usually does, I am sure he’ll be kicking the tires on trades, but I wouldn’t expect much.

      As for in-season — maybe. I think at some point they have to address the Rajon Rondo situation. I think you use Rondo as training wheels of sorts for Marcus Smart. Allow him to ease into the NBA and then have a heart to heart with Rondo. I think if Rondo doesn’t indicate that he wants to be part of the future in Boston and that free agency in July is just about re-setting the finances; if there is any doubt, you have to trade him.

      I don’t get the sense that Boston “wants” to trade Rondo, but there is the specter of him walking for nothing and that has to be accounted for.

      As for Bledsoe and Monroe — they gain no leverage or advantage in signing now. The longer they wait, the more the idea of signing the Qualifying Offer lingers, there is a chance for a better deal.

      Neither guy got what they wanted, so if you are going to settle for what’s there, there is no rush

  2. Chris G

    Many in the media feel the Cavs are now the best team in the East. I do not. Two of their top three have never experienced the playoffs, none of the top three have played together, their coach is an NBA rookie, and even Lebron (he who is one step away from turning water into wine for all the miracles he can do, apparently) said it’d be a work in process. So, when we’re 30 games in and the Cavs are hovering around .500 (a big improvement from the past four seasons), will they be looked at as a failure because they didn’t meet the expectations the media put on them, even though they have improved?

    • Steve Kyler

      Go back and read the headlines around the HEAT in 2010 – it will be much of the same. Fans will expect the Cavs to win 70-75 games, and they’ll likely win 55-60 games — that means they’ll lose at least 22 games, and every one of them will be treated like an epic let down. That is what comes with expectations.

      But I agree, there is a learning curve for everyone involved. They won’t be flawlessly cohesive from the start and they will be under siege from Media Day and guys are going to handle that differently. The fish bowl in Cleveland just got epically bigger and not everyone is going to be ready for that.

      I think the Cavs will be just fine in the end, but there has been a lot irrational stuff surrounding them since LeBron came back and I am not sure that’s going to change.

  3. Chris G

    What do you enjoy most about your job? Is it the creative side of the writing and video? The interactions with fans? The interactions with sports figures? The travel? The administrative side in creating something like Basketball Insiders that’s been so successful? And, what’s the most challenging part of your job?

    • Steve Kyler

      Interesting question… “enjoy the most?” – having the chance to share a players career with them. I usually come into a guy’s life when he is undrafted and working towards the dream, to see them drafted… to see them start… have success… reap the financial gains and to become names is always something I treasure. When I use the expression “my guy…” I mean that. I get a chance to develop relationships and that’s what I enjoy the most, especially the relationships that are a little deeper than just knowing one another, but when we can share jokes and stories. I am fortunate enough that a lot of guys trust me, which means I get access to things a lot of people don’t and that’s a little surreal at times.

      I am also at a point in my career where my advice is sought, and that’s sort of cool too. Players. Teams. Agents. That is also an interesting part of the job.

      The challenging part is clearly the lack of understanding from fans/readers/followers. That’s frustrating because we try and give you whats going on right now – which means things can and often do change. The NBA is a fluid environment, where things change quickly.

      The fact that I said something on Sunday that changes on Thursday is part of the process. Yet a large number of people can’t grasp that – so that’s challenging. But in grand scheme, I am blessed that people care about what I say and want to be involved in my world and value my work and effort.

      I am always humbled by that. I really don’t take myself too seriously, and the fact that others do is sort of surreal for me.

  4. Cain

    What do you think Indiana does?

    I would try get younger and move Roy Hibbert for CJ McCollum and Thomas Robinson and West for young depth like Ray McCallum and Derrick Williams.

    Then go for Okafor, Towns or Turner in the draft. Freeing up cap space and a lot of potential to develop with Paul George.

    • Steve Kyler

      I don’t think you’ll see the Pacers do anything foolish out of the gate. You bring in the guys you have, you see if they can compete together and if they can’t you start selling off older guys. I don’t think you’ll see Roy Hibbert moved, but I do think we’ll see how much of the load Roy can carry. He is going to be asked to do a lot more, especially offensively.

      I think your idea of looking to future becomes a reality of the existing team can’t compete. But if you remember, everyone thought the world would end for the Bulls when they lost Derrick Rose and they still played hard and were a playoff team. I don’t think Larry Bird lays down, unless it’s clear his guys can’t compete.

      Injury creates opportunity – Solomon Hill, CJ Watson, C.J. Miles, Rodney Stuckey… they will all get a chance to be much bigger parts of the team.

      No D-Rose helped Joakim Noah become one of the best centers in the game… so someone will get a chance. If that guys doesn’t show up, that’s when I think you’ll see the Pacers look at trades, but that would mean falling 10-15 games under .500

  5. Chris G

    Of these four “second banana” players who switched teams this offseason–Love, Gasol, Boozer, and Deng–who is most likely to have a better than career average year, and who is most likely to see their stats drop? I think Boozer’s stats bounce back, and Love’s stats fall (but the Cavs will be a better team). Agree?

    • Steve Kyler

      I think all of them are good fits to their situations. Of the three I think Gasol has the smaller role of the bunch, but I do think all of them have solid seasons.

  6. Kevin

    Was reading an article on Bright side of the Sun that said Phx rejected an offer for Dragic from Indiana that included Hibbert, Copeland, and cash. Do you think they could get the same offer in a sign and trade for Bledsoe? – Given how the agents have said that the relationship has soured, this would give Bledsoe the max he wants, Indiana the replacement they need for George, and Phoenix a big man to say they got something for him. Who says no? Do you honestly think Phx could get any more for Bldesoe given his injury history?

    • Steve Kyler

      Given where the Pacers are today… I don;t think landing Bledsoe is smart, business. There is a reason he is unsigned. There is a reason he didn’t get a MAX offer and I think the only way Bledsoe signs is if its for more than Phoenix is offering, which I don’t think the Pacers would do.

      I don’t put a lot of stock into the “relationship” stuff… it all goes away when he signs his contract.

  7. Jasen

    Steve, who are some potential targets that the Cavs are looking to acquire next offseason with Haywood’s non-guaranteed contract and Memphis’ first round pick as an attractive package? Marc Gasol & Larry Sanders seem to jump out at me

    • Steve Kyler

      Next off-season?… They are not done with this off-season. Way too early to look beyond whats in front of you.

  8. Tim

    Who do you think will be ROY? thanks

    • Steve Kyler

      I think Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker are both in good (or soon to be good) situations where they will get a lot of minutes and touches — ROY of the year is about minutes and scoring and I think both will put up stellar numbers.

      There are a couple of guys I think of as dark horses – Nerlens Noel will be considered a rookie. Julius Randle in AL should get a big opportunity too.

  9. JimInCyberSpace

    Steve, What team wins the EC this season? The Heat are still going to be pretty good, post-LeBron….Cleveland, Chicago?

    Lot’s of new pieces for all three teams…it takes time to mesh?

    • Steve Kyler

      I think Chicago, with a healthy Derrick Rose, wins the East regular season. I think they’ll do what Indiana did last year, get out to a strong fast start… pick up a five or six game cushion and carry that through.

      I think the Cavs will be right there, and I think Washington has a chance to slide into a good spot too. I think Brooklyn and Toronto will slug it out for the Atlantic.

      Miami is an enigma — I think Chris Bosh had to put his game in his pocket for the sake of the Big Three. I think you’ll see more from him, but until we know what Wade is gonna be, hard to peg them. I still think they are a 50+ win team if healthy.

  10. Joel

    Is it just me, or is there something weird about this whole Lebron going back to the Cavs thing? It seems like he wants to be in Cleveland and get a max contract, but beyond that he really doesn’t seem connected to the Cavs–he only recently met the coach, so the style of play he was committing to was still an unknown when he decided to re-sign there. In his pep rally, he even said he came back because it was what his city and state wanted rather than what he wanted. The story is nice, but as time goes on this seems more PR than anything.

    • Steve Kyler

      We’ll see. There have been some interesting theories about all of this — #1 – Akron was were he wanted to raise his kids. This move was a lot about family and lifestyle. He referenced Miami like going away to college. #2 – Its not as much fun to be a mercenary as you think. This was said to me around the draft, that as much as LeBron meant to Miami, Dwayne Wade was always treated better and I think LeBron wanted that unconditional love you get from your hometown.

      I don’t think his mindset on coming back to Cleveland was quite like it was when he went to Miami, where he was going there to get championships.

      I do think you are reading a lot into things that don’t have as much meaning as you are placing them, but I don’t know this was 100% about basketball. I do think this was a lot more about LeBron’s off-the-court life.

      We’ll see if this is where it all ends — I think he’s going to do exactly what he’s said he’d do… re-up after the new TV deal, but he has never done what anyone thought he’d do, so we’ll see.

  11. rich Sterrett

    How do u feel about giving out assists for free throws, .5 for 1 made or1 for both freethrows, its crazy that you dont get anything for setting up someone where the defender has commited a foul, we already use fractions, plus might make pg stats go up

    • Steve Kyler

      There are a lot of stats teams value that don’t get recorded in the “traditional box” score. I don’t think the NBA wants to be in the fractional assist game… but there is something to be said about a pass that results in a score and a lot of advanced stats sources track that.

  12. Mike

    Hi Steve – thank you for your chats! I am curious of your thoughts of Bird’s reported actions since the George injury. Is the Hibbert offer for PHX Dragic a good offer or laughable? I also heard rumors about Greg Monroe if he does trade Hibbert. Is this all fantasy land? I personally applaud what Bird is trying to do given 2014=15 is a lost year.

    • Steve Kyler

      I wouldn’t say its lost yet… but I don’t expect it to be a good season. I think you have to have some vision in this situation. There is a chance to do what San Antonio did when David Robinson got hurt… pick up a lottery pick and bring back Paul George and the bulk of the core and make a run in 2015. I don’t think you sell everything until its clear you have nothing.

      As for some of the trade stuff… I take all of that with a grain of salt.

  13. Keith

    Is it your opinion that the league didn’t screw the Lakers regarding the CP3 deal? If so I would love to hear your perspective. Here are a couple of facts that lead me with the opinion that they did; the league bought the (now) Pelicans creating an obvious conflict of interest. In order to address that conflict they informed everyone that the then GM/President (title doesn’t matter) was in charge and could make deals autonomously. Demos and whoever the President was negotiated a fair deal. Per the league (Stern) they did everything in the manner in which they were hired to do so.
    The timing of the deal was the real issue. There had been a holdout for months negotiating a new cba that would supposedly offer greater competitive balance from small and mid market teams to large market teams. Many of the owners were together when the deal went down and they all went crying (hi Cuban) to Stern asking to rescind the deal.
    Stern folded. Worst move he ever made as Commish. He succumbed to the pressure of the owners to reverse the deal.
    The deal was fair. The deal was negotiated my people he had empowered to make those decisions.
    Sorry for length of this.

    • Steve Kyler

      I am really not going to spend much more time on this, because I have made my view really clear on Twitter.

      Lakers fans feel wronged, and whether there is reality to that, is immaterial to the process.

      When the NBA assumed control of the franchise in New Orleans they appointed a Governor, but in that they also did not define a lot of parameters, namely the ability to take on significant salary. This was completely uncharted territory for the league, and things were made up as they went along.

      When it came time to trade Chris Paul the league did not have a buyer — there was talk that maybe the team would get contracted — so there were a lot of moving parts.

      The basketball Ops guys thought they had authority to trade Chris under their terms and they constructed a deal that was about winning now. The problem was that it would have added about $40 million to the NOLA payroll and while the Ops guys had no problem with it, it would have materially impacted the NBA’s ability to get a good price for the team and more importantly it was added cost to a team losing money.

      Now from here everyone has an opinion — other teams complained, Stern was this or Stern was that… The truth is the Board of Governors gave Stern ownership authority over the club, and when it came time for him to sign off on the deal, he said no.

      This was 100% a unique set of circumstances, and you are welcome to believe what you want… but the facts of the matter is it would have been bad business to take on $40 million. It was not a good return of future talent, which is key in selling a team and that is what Stern had to protect.

      You may not like the timing. You may not like the result, but this action had absolutely nothing to do with the Lakers and everything in the world to do with positioning the NOLA franchise to be sold.

  14. Sam Snead

    What happened to Bill Ingram? I haven’t seen him around lately.

    • Steve Kyler

      While I never like to discuss our internal processes publicly, what I can say is that Bill and I have been together in this endeavor for almost two decades. In that time much of what was built, was built with Bill as a key partner and key driver of our goals.

      As happens in life, things change. Our situation changed pretty dramatically in January when we parted ways with USA Today. We are in a far better place today than we were this time last year.

      In that same vein, things in Bill’s life have changed a lot of the last few years as well. Bill and I had a long talk and we both agreed that it was time for him to step away and focus on his life and things that are of a far bigger priority than what we are doing.

      Bill’s contributions to our team over the years will always be treasured and remembered, but as life often forces – it was time for a change.

  15. Enrique

    Good afternoon,

    What is the Bulls ceiling this year? Do you think that they are legitimate title contenders or are they just a bump in the road for Cleveland?

    • Steve Kyler

      I think the Bulls are far better equipped to hit the ground running. Continuity wins championships, and the Bulls have that by the truckload. They have to stay healthy, but like I said below, they have a shot at jumping out early and if they can stay healthy when the Cavs find their stride, they should have a handful of games as a buffer.

  16. Alex

    Who starts at the 3 for Chicago this year. Many think it will be Dunleavy but i think Doug McD should start. He is a rookie, which doesn’t bode well for him in Tibbs system, but he is a older rookie, very mature and smart player. With him at the 3 and Butler at the 2, Jimmy can take the other teams better wing on D. Leaves Doug to be the extra scorer that the Bulls need. Then Dunleavy can move to a bench role with Mirotic to offer some veteran leadership for that group.

    • Steve Kyler

      For my money I start Jimmy Butler… I think Doug, especially as a rookie, is going to be a liability defensively. The Bulls are a contender, putting too much on a rookie would be a huge mistake.

      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.