Welcome to Questions Goorjian , where we get to the bottom of what you’ve always wanted to know about the NBA but were too afraid to ask. Not really, it’s mainly just a bunch of talking rubbish. I pose a number of questions, and collate everyone’s answers together here. Sounds easy, right?
At the round table today we have Ryan Spears (GSW), Jarrod Cotton (BOS), David Ashman (DEN), Troy Goostrey (IND) and Jesse Cotton (ATL).
Which team(s), besides your own, are you most looking forward to watching on League Pass next season?
Ryan Spears: Atlanta – Collins and Trey, even if it is a car crash. Boston and Philly – should be battling it out in the East for supremacy. Maybe even Phoenix, some good new players. I always like Minnesota, but they don’t seem to get that much better. I may even watch Chicago this year. So…. everyone.
Jarrod Cotton: Philadelphia- The improvement of the two stars and Fultz’s shot. Also Z.Smith is meant to be a leaper. To see if they’re the real deal.
(Dallas close second)
David Ashman: Best team I’m looking forward to will be Orlando with you guessed it Mo Bamba and Aaron Gordon in the frontcourt. Don’t know about their starting point guard prospects but at least they’ll have some big dunks and blocks coming our way when we watch their games. Phoenix would be my other pick but I expect everyone to be picking them as the team to watch so go someone in the east.
Troy Goostrey: Philly (obvious), Boston (keen to watch Tatum grow alongside Kyrie and Hayward), OKC (no bad feelings for PG-13, keen to see him do well and Westbrook is always worth a watch!), Utah (Donovan, Jingles, Steiffel Tower, et al) and Sacramento (the youth – Fox, WCS, Jackson, Giles, Bagley, and co, they need to move Z-Bo on though!)
Jesse Cotton: Phoenix – Intriguing young nucleus of Booker, Jackson and Ayton.
Denver – Jokic is a good player to watch and now incorporating IT will be interesting to see.
Philly – Will be good to see what Fultz can do and how/if Ben Simmons improves.
Dallas – Only if Doncic is as good as advertised and the team is him and Dennis Smith Jr. Not if the team is Harrison Barnes.
PS – Really? Jeff Teague fits in that picture?
Where is the best fit for Carmelo Anthony, and how would you make it happen?
Ryan Spears: GS, why not.
Jarrod Cotton: Lakers- Carmelo is past it and the Lakers have historically signed over the hill free agents, (Greg Evans) perfect match.
Oklahoma City will buy him out, so money isn’t the priority, will sign for not much.
David Ashman: Best fit for Carmelo Anthony is Denver. They need a great defender and he is looking to retire soon so why not finish where you started. But being serious for a second, who wants him anyway? I’d give Mitch Creek a go over Carmelo.
Troy Goostrey: Lavar Ball’s JBA league. If LiAngelo can attempt 54 shots in a game, Melo would put up at least 70! Hawks should cut him and he can just go and play there.
Otherwise to stay in the NBA, hopefully he goes championship hunting in GSW and helps blow up that locker room too.
Jesse Cotton: The best fit for Melo is the bench!
If he gets bought out, which is most likely, I want him in Houston or the Lakers, because I already don’t want those teams to win.
Here’s some potential trade ideas that work salary-wise, but won’t happen:
Carmelo and Steven Adams to Miami for Whiteside and Bosh. This is basically a Whiteside for Adams swap in order to get rid of Melo. Plus, old people all end up moving to Florida right?
Carmelo back to Denver along with a 1st round pick for Millsap. Millsap is a forgotten man in Denver, and Lyles showed flashes last season. Start him in a timeshare with Melo, with signing IT they’ve already given up on defense. Actually they’ve always had a defense phobia, that’s why they let Matute walk. OKC with Westbrook, George and Millsap could do some damage.
Where is the best fit for Kawhi Leonard, and how would you make it happen?
Ryan Spears: Depends what he wants to do. Can’t read him at all. Don’t know how to fit him into the cap for the big teams. I would like him to stay in SA.
Jarrod Cotton: Charlotte- In the East with Kemba under Jordan would be fun. Southeast division needs another playoff contender, and the Hornets are in limbo. Charlotte use to have one of the highest attendance rates in the league before they were moved. This move (as long as he stays) could put them back on the basketball map.
David Ashman: Best fit for Kawhi is Minnesota as if they lose Butler, he will fit in with a young core of players and provide that defense that they will miss if Butler goes. Otherwise any other team in the East could do with a Kawhi, the teams in the East would trade their best player for Kawhi. That’s how you would make that trade happen.
Troy Goostrey: Philly. An experienced All defensive, all star wing like that would tip them over the edge. Massive upgrade on Ro-Co. I’d include Covington and Fultz, maybe Amir Johnson if more salary balance is needed plus some draft picks. Unlikely though as they can just wait for him to become a FA. But I think Philly is where I’d like to see him most.
Jesse Cotton: I originally would’ve liked a sign and trade with New Orleans for Cousins, but that’s off the table now.
He needs to either go to a team he can lift from playoff-worthy to potential contenders, or to a team he wants to go to (Lakers/Clippers). Otherwise he’s a one year rental.
The problem is, I can see it dragging out a long time, and the longer it drags out, the less the Spurs will get for him.
Trading with Philly might have originally gotten a package around Fultz but now probably will only get something like Saric, Covington and Zhaire Smith.
Minnesota would be an interesting trade partner as their core doesn’t look so stable – straight up for Butler? Thibs wouldn’t do that surely. Maybe for Wiggins though. But I don’t think Kawhi stays there long term.
Indiana would be a good fit, not sure what they would give up though.
Who would you take – John Wall and Bradley Beal, Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, or Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan?
Ryan Spears: Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum – less injury project than John Beal, and could progress further in the playoff with equally talented teams than Kyle DeRozan.
Jarrod Cotton: Wall/Beal- they should be a lot better as a team. If there team had the number one seed in the East, people would be talking about Wall as a (Westbrook level) and Beal could be a (Klay level). I think maybe I answered for the negative on this point. Talent is there, maybe defensive commitment/attitude isn’t. I still have faith that this is the best backcourt.
David Ashman: I would take John Wall and Bradley Beal. A great combination of speed, strength, shooting touch and overall defense. The results in the East speak for themselves however they just need some help at forward/centre and they could go to east conf finals this year.
Troy Goostrey: Lillard and McCollum.
Lowry is overrated and as good a DeRozan is, the lack of a consistent 3 ball in todays game makes him suffer.
Wall has too many turnovers and I’m not sold on Jennifer Beal besides his ability to score.
Lillard and McCollum are my vote.
Jesse Cotton: I’ll go with Lillard/McCollum. They have had success in a tougher Western Conference with the least amount of help, and are both around the right age to be entering their prime.
Wall/Beal could be the most talented duo, but chemistry issues between the two limits their potential.
DeRozan has impressed me in the way he has worked on and improved parts of his game each season, but I always underrate him. Lowry is on the decline though, and getting paid a lot.
How would Shaq in his prime fare in today’s NBA?
Ryan Spears: Very well. The shooting big men can’t defend him. He will get a bunch of fouls of the opposing team. Just have to hope that the 3 and four have poor shooting nights or his 3 and 4 can help out or switch.
Jarrod Cotton: Less dominant/Different- I think he would have a different game and body type if he was drafted today. Young Shaquille size and agility would be his peak in today’s game. Instead of hitting the weights like he did, cardio based workouts only. Always hard to compare eras but I think Shaq would’ve shot the ball more as a kid watching Duncan/Nowitzki, so his range would’ve probably been better (never great). Lob pick and roll scorer would be better today without the big guys clogging the middle back in the day. He could dribble so that would be an asset today more so than late 90’s. After all of that free throws are the bigger problem today than back then.
David Ashman: Shaq would be still dominant but overall free throw shooting would still be his Achilles heal. He has more speed than any other big man I have seen so until another big dominant quick proves this now (ie AD or a KAT) then he would go OK in today’s NBA.
Troy Goostrey: I think he’d still average 20-10. You look back on his prime, say late 90’s and into early 00’s, and he was still a very mobile 7-footer. It was only later on in his Miami days and after where he got more overweight and plodded along. He’d have been forced to keep his fitness in todays up and down NBA and I think he would have. He was a generational big fella, so he’d have still made it today
Jesse Cotton: With the plethora of 3-point shooters which would no doubt be surrounding him, Shaq would have so much room that he would be unstoppable, and defenses would not be able to play small-ball at all.
Imagine guys like Draymond and PJ Tucker trying to contain Shaq 1-on-1!
On the other side of the coin though, Shaq would not be able to defend the stretch 5s. He would have to stay as the slim Orlando Shaq instead of big post-Lakers Shaq to not get exposed too much by the shooting bigs. His best defense against them would be fouling them out at the other end.