In addition to our weekly chat, which Chuck Myron facilitates every Wednesday, we have added a second 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 me a line at HoopsRumorsMailbag@Gmail.com or @EddieScarito on Twitter. Now for this week’s inquiries:
“Now that JaVale McGee isn’t going to be a member of the Celtics, where does he end up playing this season?” — Andrew R.
The pairing that makes the most sense for both sides is for McGee to sign with the Warriors. With Golden State a serious title contender this season, and given the injury histories of Andrew Bogut and David Lee, adding a big with McGee’s ability would be a very wise move from an on-the-court perspective. It’s in the locker room where McGee becomes a risk, with Warriors coach Steve Kerr even making it a point to comment that he doesn’t want to risk upsetting the team’s excellent chemistry. I’m not sure if he was referring to McGee specifically, but probably so. I do think McGee would behave himself for the remainder of the season in Oakland. With him being in need of employment next year, McGee has far too much to lose.
From McGee’s perspective, joining the Warriors would be a wise career move for the big man. Not only would he have the chance to chase a ring with this extremely talented team. But if McGee behaves like a professional and answers the bell when he is on the court for the remainder of the season, then his next contract will get a healthy boost as a result. I should note that Golden State currently has the league maximum 15 players on its roster, so someone would need to be waived in order to add McGee.
“Do you think Brian Shaw will get another shot at being a head coach?” — Curtis
Shaw had a tough situation in Denver, and his old school personality was not a great fit with the group of players currently on the team’s roster. I put a lot of the blame on the players for Shaw getting the boot, but NBA coaches also need to be able to overcome obstacles of this nature. But this was Shaw’s first head coaching gig and I’m sure he learned quite a bit that will help him out in the future. There are a number of coaches who failed at their first job only to turn things around when given a second opportunity. Shaw isn’t a bad coach, he just needs more seasoning in how to manage players.
I do see Shaw getting another shot, seeing how the league loves to recycle. But he’ll most likely need to go the assistant coach route for at least a season or two before he’ll be seriously considered to take over another team. Look for Shaw to possibly end up as an assistant with the Knicks, a move which has already been speculated about by Marc Berman of The New York Post. If Fisher can’t turn things around next season, who knows, maybe Shaw slides into his spot on the bench. It’s the Knicks, so anything is possible…
“Who’s the next head coach you see getting his walking papers?” — Tyreese J.
The answer to this question depends on whether or not you want to include interim coaches to the list. If so, then the Magic’s James Borrego is the coach most likely to be let go of first. But if we are talking about a non-interim coach, then I would have to say that the Hornets’ Steve Clifford would be my pick, with OKC’s Scott Brooks a close second.
Clifford had a great start to his career, guiding Charlotte to a 43-39 record and a surprise playoff berth last season. An accomplishment that is somewhat diluted when realizing Charlotte plays in the Eastern Conference. But his encore isn’t going so well, with the team sitting at a disappointing 27-33. Clifford may get one more season, but his seat is definitely one that could get hot rather quickly. As for Brooks, unless the Thunder make it to the conference finals, I believe the team will bring in a new face and voice to coach the team. Someone who will likely require future free agent Kevin Durant‘s seal of approval to get the job, since OKC won’t do anything to jeopardize its shot at re-signing the forward in the summer of 2016.
“In order, who are the five best point guards in the 2015 NBA draft?” — Jimmy P.
It’s not necessarily a banner year for drafting at the one-spot, seeing as there are only about eight point guards in this year’s NBA draft who are likely to stick in the league. But that doesn’t mean a few teams won’t be able to snag a useful player at the position. As requested, here are my top five…
- Emmanuel Mudiay (China)
- D’Angelo Russell (Ohio State)
- Tyus Jones (Duke)
- Jerian Grant (Notre Dame)
- Delon Wright (Utah)
Out of this group only Mudiay and Russell have star potential, with Mudiay possibly being the best player in the entire draft. It’s hard to tell given Mudiay’s limited body of work, but this player can be something special. The remaining three players on my list will all need some development time, but each could turn out to be an extremely solid pro. I should note that Russell is playing shooting guard in college, but he is projected as a point guard in the NBA.
“How do you rate the strength of the 2015 draft against the way too overhyped class of 2014?” — Kev
While I do think that in a few season’s time the 2014 draft class will prove themselves worthy of the attention they received, the 2015 crop of players is possibly the deeper of the two. The top four players in this year’s draft (Mudiay, Russell, Jahlil Okafor, and Karl-Anthony Towns) all have star potential, and their ceilings could actually be higher than last year’s group of draftees. After the big four is a scrum of about 10-15 players who are relatively interchangeable right now as far as draft position goes. This level of depth is a big reason why I am sweating doing my mock draft this year. Once individual pre-draft workouts begin that will hopefully change a bit, but the second tier in the 2015 draft is quite intriguing, and could end up being superior to last year’s. There should be a number of late first round value picks made this June, which should make for an exciting draft.
Well folks, that’s all the space I have for this week. Keep sending in your questions and I’ll see you back here next Saturday.