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:
What’s wrong with the Knicks? How do you improve defense? Are these players good together? — Ron Cromartie
The answer to all these questions is that it’s too soon to tell. The Knicks went through a lot of changes over the offseason, with a new coach and three new starters added in Derrick Rose, Courtney Lee and Joakim Noah. It’s going to take more than 13 games to determine if all the pieces fit and the defense can get better. It looks like the talent is there to be a playoff contender, but the fans and the front office are going to have to show patience.
The Raptors definitely have a need at power forward in order to stand a chance against LeBron’s Cavaliers. The rumors are all about trading for Nerlens Noel. With Aaron Gordon playing bench minutes behind Serge Ibaka, would it be possible for the Raptors to package a few players and picks, like Terrence Ross and Pascal Siakam and a pair of future draft picks, to obtain Gordon and Mario Hezonja? — Todd Clarke
It’s nice to see fans thinking big, but it’s unlikely that Orlando will part with Gordon. He’s only 21, he’s still on his rookie contract and the Magic still view him as a future star. They traded for Ibaka in an effort to win right away, but Gordon hasn’t slipped out of their long-term plans. The package you propose should be more than enough to land Noel or Greg Monroe or some other power forward who becomes available as teams slip out of playoff contention.
Caboclo was sent back to the D-League again this week as the Raptors embarked on a nine-day road trip. The Brazilian small forward came to Toronto with a lot of hype, but he hasn’t produced anything to justify it. He has appeared in just 14 NBA games between last season and this one and has just 13 points, so he has concerns much bigger than Carroll’s contract. Caboclo will have to prove himself in the D-League before he get a real shot with the Raptors.