NBA Rumors Chat With Steve Kyler 8/26/14

Steve_Kyler_Chat_InsidersBasketball Insiders Publisher Steve Kyler will hold his weekly chat at 7:00pm EST on Tuesday. Drop in your questions regarding NBA trades, the NBA Draft, roster moves or questions about your team.

  1. enchong

    you consider lakers as a playoff team?

    • Steve Kyler

      Welcome in. Hope the week was good to you. We had a few small transactions drop today, which means more and more teams are gearing up for Training Camps, which will start to open in roughly 33 days. There are lots of questions to get to, so let’s get after them.

      Hard to put the Lakers in the top eight in the West until we see how all the changes come together. Can Kobe give them 75+ games? How does Julius Randle adjust to pace and tempo of the NBA game and is Byron Scott the right coach?

      Too much uncertainty to put them in ahead of teams with fewer question marks. I am not ruling them out, because when you have Kobe you have a chance, but they need Kobe to be a lot for them to be a playoff team or someone has to erupt in a very unexpected way.

  2. Aristotle

    Hey Steve,

    Although everyone always expects Team USA to win the gold, there’s been times where they did get beat, such as when Greece did. Do you think they’ve chosen the right team or would you have gone with one of the players they cut instead (or maybe someone completely else)?

    • Steve Kyler

      I don’t have a material issue with the guys they selected. Team USA has a glutton of players to choose from and not everyone cares about the World Cup like they do the Olympics.

      Team USA under the current structure has been really good, because it’s the same system and processes, so I don’t expect a lot of slippage, but I will say there are a few teams in this tournament with really good squads, so it’s not going to be a cake walk by any means.

  3. Aristotle

    Hi Steve,

    Just curious if a Bledsoe for Smith or Monroe would work between the Suns and the Pistons if both Bledsoe and Monroe signed the deals they have been offered by their clubs.

    • Steve Kyler

      The issue everyone seems to be missing is that no one wants to pay Bledsoe or Monroe MAX money, and they both are seeking deals like that… I don’t think the Suns want Monroe at MAX any more than they want Bledsoe at MAX as neither are truly MAX players.

      Both are very good players, but if you’re talking spending $12 million… I think Phoenix would rather have Bledsoe.

  4. Radu

    Hi Steve,
    How do you personally evaluate Mark Jackson’s time as an NBA head coach? Could he have done more with that GSW team? Maybe he overachieved instead? Do you see him as being as successful with a different set of players? Do you believe he will get another opportunity? What kind of impression do you think he made on different GMs around the league watching him over the past few years?

    • Steve Kyler

      I have seen this with a lot of former players turned coaches and I think Mark Jackson falls into this category – they don’t value development time.

      I think Mark did really well considering he had no real experience. He was in a tough situation, as Joe Lacob can be a bit demanding and unrealistic. I also don’t think Mark endeared himself to the people who could and should have defended him, and I think while his players loved him, that’s not who a coach works for and it’s a bit naive to think you are not accountable to anyone because you are the coach and you had a little success.

      I think Mark gets another shot. I think he’ll be better prepared in the next place and he can learn from the mistakes in Golden State, but I will also say longevity in coaching is one part politics, one part skill and knowledge, one part preparation and a whole lot of roster luck.

      I think Mark got two of those right in Golden State.

  5. Joe

    One of the more interesting position battles this year will be for the Oklahoma center position:1]The older declining vet Kendrick Perkins.2]Steven Adams with one year experience,lots of potential and a raw offensive game.3]Mitch McGary a rookie with loads of potential[especially defensively] that likely would have been a lottery pick if not for being injured for most of last year. I think this looks like a time share with no player getting more the 20 mpg. What is your insiders opinion Steve?

    • Steve Kyler

      I think OKC has proven historically that Rookies don’t play a big role. I know they liked Mitch a lot in Summer League, but I think the starter’s spot is going to Steven Adams.

      From there I think you’ll see Perk and Mitch get minutes, but I would lower the bar on what you think Mitch does as a rookie, the Thunder haven’t used rookies heavily.

      I would agree you’ll see time sharing, and a lot of balance at the position because of the way the Thunder want to play in the paint – physicality and deny the rim.

  6. Don

    Josh Davis was a surprise in summer league. Will he be signed by a NBA team?

    • Steve Kyler

      Josh is in a tough spot… he is the kind of player teams want to bring to camp, but not the kind of player team guarantee a lot of money to. He’ll have to decide if he wants to pass on guaranteed money internationally or roll the dice on making a roster from camp.

      I always tell guys it’s easier to take risks and chances when you have money in your pocket, so risking it all to get cut isn’t the smart business move. The only way it makes sense is if a team guarantees you cash.

      It wouldn’t surprise me to see him get a little cash to come to camp, get cut… play for that teams d-league team and get a call up in January.

      Not sure he gets a roster spot from Day 1.

      UPDATE: Hearing Josh Davis may have agreed to a camp-type deal with the San Antonio Spurs, we’ll put his contract details into the system once the terms are known.

  7. Frank

    Hi Steve,
    1) Do you expect the BUCKS to move Ily & Mayo before the start of camp? 2)Will B. Knight be moved to the 2? 3) Will Kendall Marshall be the starting PG?

    • Steve Kyler

      #1 — Unlikely. Wouldn’t get any value for them. They both need to come and play, to be worth something in return.

      #2 — Looks like it. They like Brandon Knight and have talked about him seeing real time at the off-guard spot.

      #3 — Its possible, but I think its more likely that Brandon Knight starts at the point, slides to the two when OJ comes out. I wouldn’t rule it out. Remember Jason Kidd went to Shaun Livingston a lot last year, so he’s gonna play the guy that runs the system the best.

  8. Bathtub Duck


    How’s it going?

    I was curious if you could share with us the simple people what it’s like to be big time.

    I can’t wait for the day you’ll be a GM! You have more knowledge than half of the people who work in the NBA.

    Mr. Duck.

    • Steve Kyler

      Big time?

      Yeah not me… I take out the trash. Cook dinner for the fam. Get up really early and stay up really late. I never have a day off.

      I appreciate the sentiment, but I am hardly big time. A few people have heard of me and that is flattering, but my legs go into my pants the same way yours do.

      As for the GM thing, I am not even remotely interested. I’d gladly work under a good GM, but being a GM in the NBA isn’t overly interesting to me. I am sure once you’ve done the jobs below GM maybe that changes your perspective, but being a GM isn’t something I covet.

  9. Charlie

    Before the NBA draft this year, I took a $150 bet legally on-line that Andrew Wiggins wouldn’t average over 17.5 ppg this year and laughed that I got such good odds. I guess I didn’t consider the Cavs would trade the #1 overall pick. What are the chances Wiggins averages over that number with Minny this year? How safe should I feel?

    • Steve Kyler

      I wouldn’t feel really secure mainly because its hard to average 17 a game and play 80 or more. I always say this about averages — 17.5 a game over 82 games is 1435 points. Thats a lot of minutes and buckets to get there.

      Historically here are the top rookie scorers and their averages:

      Michael Carter-Williams – 16.7ppg
      Victor Oladipo – 13.8ppg
      Trey Burke – 12.8ppg

      Damian Lillard – 19.0ppg
      Dion Waiters – 14.7ppg
      Bradley Beal – 13.9ppg

      Kyrie Irving – 18.5ppg
      Brandon Knight – 12.8ppg
      MarShon Brooks – 12.6ppg

      LeBron averaged… 20.9ppg as a rookie Dwyane Wade averaged 16.2ppg as a rookie.

      Wiggins averaged 17.1 a game in college, not sure he does better than that in the NBA as a rookie.

  10. Dennis

    DeMar DeRozan made Team USA basketball over other SF’s Chandler Parsons, Kyle Korver and Gordan Hayward. I know he doesn’t get much attention in the US because he plays for the only Canadian team. But does this selection give him a little more props? I mean Parsons signed a 15 million dollar a year contract this summer and DeMar DeRozan just gave him a pen and a pad to take notes on how to play the position. Your thoughts on the selection and the recognition in the States that may come as a result.

    • Steve Kyler

      Winning gets you noticed… This happened for Kyle Lowry too. This is why guys leave teams for playoff teams and why guys get pissed when they don;t win, because the fruits come from winning.

      The other part and I have said this for years — DeMar works his ass off.

      Equally, I don’t think you can look at what someone got in free agency as a measuring stick especially when you look at guys like Parsons and Hayward — those guys got $2 or $3 million more because Charlotte and Dallas wanted to steal them from their home teams. Not sure those guys will ever play up to their contracts.

      As for recognition — he was an All-Star, not sure you get higher recognition than that until you win a championship or get into the MVP discussion and he’s not that level of a player.

  11. Mac

    If you were starting a team from scratch, rank your preference #1 to #5 from these bigs: Andre Drummond, Jonas Valancious, Derrick Favors, Larry Sanders, DeAndre Jordan

    • Steve Kyler

      For my money… Andre Drummond, Jonas Valancious, DeAndre Jordan, Derrick Favors and Larry Sanders.

      I think Drummond could be a game changing star… Jonas is really good… DeAndre looked great last year… Favs has to live up to his potential and my guy Larry Sanders needs to get his mind right and get back to being beast mode Larry.

  12. Frank

    Many experts believe teams are more efficient playing a “stretch 4” with the center in the frontcourt for spacing and shooting, arguing the Twin Tower days have become essentially extinct. However, the defending champs this year had Tim Duncan / Thiago Splitter up front, neither of whom can be considered a stretch 4. I’m sure having an all-world, HOF power forward in Tim Duncan helps, but what is it the Spurs do differently than the rest of the league to make this work? How is it they utilize the spacing on offense differently than other teams who claim they can’t have two bigs in the frontcourt.

    • Steve Kyler

      A couple of comments… bigs are an endangered species, there likely won’t ever be another player as fundamentally sound as Tim Duncan, so you have to put him as an outlier and not the norm. equally the Spurs are among the best at finding matchup combinations that cause problems, so again they are an outlier

      As the NBA has evolved the rules to create less and less contact on the perimeter, the need for floor spacing to maximize the rules is more and more important. We are also finding over time that finding a 6’10 shooter is a lot easier than finding a 6’10 power post player. Power post guys are a dying breed, because the rules allow them to be mugged and no one wants to play down low any more.

      Most teams can;t have two bigs in the front court, because most teams don;t have two bigs that should be on the floor together. Its rare to have players skilled enough.

      I think you’ll see NOLA put Asik and Davis on the floor together and that should be an effective lineup. Aldridge and Lopez wok nicely in Portland. So its not unheard of, but having two beast mode-centers is rare because there are not a lot of beast mode centers anymore.

  13. Chris G

    I liked your column today about player health, especially since it seems like Derrick Rose is the only one talked about with potential injury issues (Kobe coming back to full health seems far less likely, considering the Achilles injury). But that brings me to a question: Kobe (among others) have gone to Europe for that platelet treatment on their knees. By a strict definition, isn’t that a procedure that will enhance performance? And if so, why is something like that allowed for players, but taking a performance enhancing medication is not; indeed, it’s considering cheating.

    • Steve Kyler

      Lifting weights is a performance enhancing procedure… the difference is its not a banned procedure.

      PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy) is currently not a banned medical procedure and neither is Orthokine, the procedure Kobe made famous. A lot of the doctors that do these procedures work outside the US for a number of reasons, so its fair to speculate if there is something else being done aboard that can not be done medically or legally in the US.

      I have had trainers I am close with openly ask if I thought guys were getting HGH while doing promotional trips through China, where HGH is a standard rehab protocol there and the NBA currently does not test for it.

      All of these medical processes are thoroughly vetted by the NBA and its medical committee and everything that’s banned is negotiated into the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

      So to address your question… just because something helps you, does not mean its cheating, especially if that option is openly available to everyone, and is recognized are legitimate treatment.

  14. Daryl

    One of my pet peeves is getting dumped up each year by TV commentators who gripe about fans voting for All-Star starters, because they allege we just go for who is popular. Yet somehow the Lakers are on national TV 28 times this year, including Christmas Day, and last year the ABC playoff games in the first round weren’t Spurs and Pacers, the #1 seeds, but Clippers and Heat. If the commentators are so bothered by popularity being rewarded over accomplishment, shouldn’t they talk to their TV bosses and get more Toronto and Portland games on the air, rather than lightweight lottery teams like the Lakers and Knicks?

    • Steve Kyler

      Does not work that way… the guys calling games don’t have anything to do with what their networks chose to carry.

      TV takes the games that will draw the biggest audience and generate the most ad revenue. That is it. That is their business. The guys behind the mics have nothing to do with that.

      I agree they should quit complaining about All-Star voting, but that is low hanging fruit that kills TV time and create controversy and discussion, which is what they are paid to do.

  15. mark

    will the sixers make a run at bledsoe

    • Steve Kyler


      Zero reason for them to pay out a $15 million salary. Bledsoe isn’t part of their plan. Just because you have cash does not mean you should spend it because there is a guy there. You save that money and spend it on the right guy, and Bledsoe is not the right guy for the 76ers.

  16. johnyblaze

    Blazers! Do you see signs of the bench devolping enough to provide some relief and reduce some of the wear and tear on the starting five. I loved the Kaman pick up, with freeman and Robinson they have a nice mix of skills. If Robinson can avoid doing to much he has been solid. I don’t like the wing backups I have yet to put trust in Barton (phenomal athlete, poor decisions), or mcallum (confidence is hopefully up), and Blake’s defense is suffering from age mainly and is almost reduced to spot up shooting. In short are they knocking on the door of elite or stuck I’m the 6,7,8 seed for awhile? Thanks always love your insight. And if dame can add a little better d, look out he went from up and coming to the real deal

    • Steve Kyler

      They are good enough to be in the hunt for home court… they have to stay healthy. I think that is the biggest part, but when you look at the gains they made from first year under Terry Stotts to second year, they are in really good shape.

      I do think they need another guy to break out and for my money its Will Barton.

  17. Deven

    20 years down the line, will the Cavs regret trading Andrew Wiggins?

    • Steve Kyler

      You can’t think like that in sports… 20 years? nah.

      If they win one championship, its worth it. To put yourself in a spot to win multiple championships, and win them now… you have to do that.

      Wiggins is massively overrated as a prospect. I think he’ll be very good, but he’s not a guy you kick the ball down the road to retain. If you can win now, you win now.

      No one involved with the team today will be around in 20 years.

  18. Deven

    What’s the real reason the Clippers shipped Dudley out of LA to Milwaukee?

    • Steve Kyler

      Never fit the way Doc Rivers wanted to play. That is not a secret. He posted career low numbers and never fit and was owed a ton of money the Clips needed to use elsewhere.

  19. Deven

    What will be your best memory of NBA referee, Dick Bavetta?

    • Steve Kyler

      Not sure I have one. I never really talked with Bavetta. Maybe the foot race with Charles Barkely at All-Star?

  20. Deven

    Which free agency class will be better: 2015 or 2016?

    • Steve Kyler

      2016… Kevin Durant… Mike Conley… Lance Stephenson (part 2)… DeMar DeRozan… Chandler Parsons (part 2)… Al Horford… Joakim Noah… Dwight Howard…

      far and away a great class, and we may be in the first year of the new TV deal, which could swell the cap to $75-80 million, meaning a lot of teams could have cap space too.

  21. Stevenj

    Would you trade Terrance Ross plus Amir Johnson for Mozgov and Faried — who gets the better of the deal

    • Steve Kyler

      If I am Toronto – sure, that’s a landslide in their favor… No chance for Denver. They don’t need Ross and they have the better big in Faried.

  22. Ray

    Steve, which super star do you think the Orlando Magic have a realistic shot of signing in the next couple of years assuming our core continues to develop nicely?

    • Steve Kyler


      They are going to have to grow their next big star or trade for him. I doubt a top tier guy chooses Orlando, unless a lot of things change.

  23. Colin

    Now that the Clev/Min/Phi trade has gone down, is there any chance that Minny would consider moving Pekovic? He doesn’t appear to be in their long term plans. Or does the trade for Young mean they are interested in winning now? Pek would look great in OKC next to Ibaka.

    • Steve Kyler

      I doubt it. Pek logged his best year when Love was out. I think he’ll put up significantly better numbers this year than last.

      I wouldn’t rule it out, because Gorgui Dieng looked really good this summer, but given what Pek is owed, there isn’t a scenario that seems likely.

  24. Tre Fowler

    Which rebuilding unit’s core would you rather have in five years, sixers, magic, bucks, or t-wolves?

    • Steve Kyler

      Hmmm… can I vote neither?

      I like what the Wolves have… I like Orlando… 76ers have some promise that needs to be shown… not sure the Bucks have anything yet.

      I think Minnesota could make the playoffs this year if things break their way. Orlando could win 40 games this year too… Not sure the 76ers or Bucks win 40 games combined in the next two years — I am joking of course. They are both in the early stages of a rebuild, so Wolves & Magic within five years… in seven or eight… Philly gets in the mix for me.

      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.

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