With free agency one day away – yikes – I’m staying away from the obvious blog topics, you know, the will he stay won’t he, who can we get if he goes-stays, that sorta thing. Today is all about the mailbag baby – yes, it’s hit the ground running. Kinda. I wasn’t expecting a big response, after all, I don’t send questions to writers on the internet, so why would I expect to get any from you, right? I did get four though...the first four for the mailbag. So in response to my Aftermath of the Draft, posted on Sunday, let's get after it...
Q: Which team outside the lottery won the most on draft night? – Luke, Pittsburgh
A: Three teams outside the lottery struck gold on draft night. The Bulls won huge by getting Hinrich off the books, thus clearing even more cap space to pursue free agents. While they haven’t got quite enough to chase and sign two max deal players, they do have significant room for one plus a complimentary guy, which could turn out to be a plus because if they strike gold and nab a marquee guy – Bosh, Amare – then you have to figure guys will come there for less money to play alongside the Rose-Noah-Deng-Marquee Free Agent X core. I think the Celticsdone extremely well in getting stealing Avery Bradley; he’s got real potential but is a tweener of sorts. He may not have the smarts (just yet) to play the point and isn’t a reliable enough shooter for the two guard, but he can definitely fill in amicably for Rondo 15 minutes a night. Surprisingly enough, the Clippersdid well for themselves. They nabbed a glue guy in Aminu, and two perimeter studs in Bledsoe and Warren. They essentially nabbed themselves three lottery players in the one draft. Warren and Bledsoe along with Eric Gordon give you your backcourt for the foreseeable future, if Aminu brings his defense and improved shooting to the pro game then the Clippers had themselves a great night.
Q: Should the Nets have taken Cousins over Favors or did they worry about his mental issues and weight too much? – No name, no address
A: I don’t know and neither does anybody else, only time will tell. What I will say is that Cousins is a center in the NBA, not a power forward. The Nets have the best young big in the league with Brooke Lopez, they needed a running buddy for him and Favors fits the bill well there. Favors is a lot more athletic than Cousins, but Cousins is more skilled right now in the paint than the former Georgia Tech star. Some people have stated that Favors was also taken as trade bait, I personally find that amusing because Favors has a huge upside and is so young that they would be mad to use him in a deal. Now, if you find out that you could get a LeBron-CP3-Wade from using Favors, you take that deal. I wouldn’t use him for Amare and would have to think about it with Bosh. The one thing I will say about this question is that Sacramento are pretty pleased with themselves right about now, as would you be with Evans and Cousins as your future. They may be a bit on the crazy side, but I love crazy when it has that kind of talent.
Q: Out of the second round, who is the candidate to most likely to be an All Star? – Brian, no address
A: the obvious answer to me is Willie Warren. He screams All Star to me when you see his build, ability and decision-making potential. If he learns a few tricks of the trade from Davis in LA, he could develop into a true floor general for the Clippers, and we know him and Griffin combine well from their time at Oklahoma. I don’t know if he’ll be an All Star, but he has the best shot. Another guy to look for would be Lance Stephenson with the Pacers who has talent but issues and needs work. I love the Devin Ebanks pick for LA, likewise Gani Lawal in Phoenix and the two Heat picks, Jarvis Varnado (shot blocking machine) and Da’Sean Butler, they have a shot at making the roster there, seeing as the Heat have only two players under contract!
And the winner of Question of the Week is…
Q: Using the first five picks, fill in the blanks for – most All Star appearances, Titles, plays with the most teams, MVP’s and league suspensions. – Adam, no address
A: I love this question because it lets me be serious and have fun with it, which sums up my “writing style” the most. Let’s start off with the easiest part of the question, who could win the most MVP awards – John Wall. He’s the only guy I think that could and will win league MVP because he has everything, he can score, is a developing shooter, could be awesome defensively and is very coachable by all accounts. Plus, the game now is all about perimeter guys, so if he wows the crowd enough and brings success to Washington down the road (and if LeBron leaves the Cavs) I could envision him being MVP someday. As for All Star appearances, I’ve already used John Wall as an answer, can I use him again? Wall, Favors and Cousins will all be All Stars at some point I feel, maybe Turner. I have my doubts about Wes Johnson. League suspensions – Cousins, because it’s the easy answer. Plays with the most teams, that’s a hard one to call, Wall could be tempted to leave Washington if the Wizards don’t match his ambition, but I can’t see him having being a journeyman. I’d say Cousins or Johnson. Winning NBA titles is the hardest thing in the game to do, it’s just as hard to predict who will win the most between five guys who haven’t even played a minutes of professional basketball yet. You can scratch off Johnson and Cousins for now because of their current teams, Favors has a billionaire owner who will buy success you feel, Wall and Turner are on teams who fail to deliver year in year out. So if I had to pick, I’d take Wall, simply because I think he’s going to be the best of the lot and will carry a team through situations better than the others.
Next mailbag question: Just one thought that may or may not prompt a few email questions, if LeBron leaves, who do we then go after in free agency, if anyone? Alternatively, whenLeBron signs his extension, who do we chase then? The address is above, let me hear it…