We have an opportunity for you to hit us up with your questions in this, our weekly mailbag feature. Have a question regarding player movement, the salary cap or the NBA draft? Drop us a line at [email protected] Here are this week’s inquiries:
Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett have both said they do not want to coach, yet Tim shows up at the Spurs’ practice and Garnett at the Clippers’, showing there is hope for them to coach. Do you think one of them will coach in the future? — Michael Thompson
Despite being retired, it’s clear that neither Duncan nor Garnett is ready to walk away from the game. It’s hard to imagine that they want to take on the schedule and duties of a full-time coach, such as watching film, diagramming plays and organizing drills, but they will probably both continue in the league in some capacity. Duncan has a standing offer to be “coach of whatever he feels like” in San Antonio, and Garnett will probably find a similar arrangement where he serves as an adviser but not a full-fledged member of the coaching staff. With more than 2,850 combined NBA games, they have a lot they can teach younger players.
Ben Simmons is down for at least a couple of months, so how will this change the logjam of centers in Philadelphia? Will they look to hold on to all of them, ramp up trade offers? What do you see them doing after this injury? — Ryan Northey
The biggest factor is the always unpredictable health of Joel Embiid. Reports out of Sixers camp have been encouraging, but no one should get excited about Embiid until he at least plays a few preseason games. If he has no more problems with the right foot that forced him to miss his first two NBA seasons, then Philadelphia will have a lot more freedom to trade Nerlens Noel or Jahlil Okafor. Our best guess is they keep everyone together until Simmons returns from the injury, probably sometime in January, to see how all the young talent meshes. That still leaves about a month to make a final decision before the trade deadline arrives.
ESPN released its Real Plus-Minus predicting every NBA team’s record next season. Was there a team who was extremely overrated? How about underrated? — Matt Trapp
We’ll start with underrated. The Clippers are projected for just 46.3 victories despite having all the key pieces back from last year’s 53-win team. That’s way too low. L.A. should be a top three team in the West. Others with curiously small win totals are the Timberwolves at 37.1, the Mavericks at 34.3, the Hornets at 41.0, the Pacers at 38.9, the Hawks at 38.6, the Bulls at 37.8 and the Knicks at 34.7. As for overrated teams, the Jazz will be much improved, but their projection of 47.6 wins seem too generous. Also, the formulas were done before the news broke about Chris Bosh, but even with him the Heat might not have reached 38 wins.