In addition to our weekly chat, which Chuck Myron facilitates every Wednesday, we have 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 us a line at HoopsRumorsMailbag@Gmail.com. Here are this week’s inquiries:
Does Nuggets GM Tim Connelly’s extension make sense based on his performance to date? — Keith
HR: I really think so. I am a fan of what Connelly has done, but I’m also not a Nuggets fan so my perspective may differ from yours, Keith. I know the Nuggets are 10 games under .500 and I have not been impressed with first-year coach Michael Malone, but Denver is positioned well for the future and a lot of that has to do with Connelly, who took over for Masai Ujiri in 2013. Connelly has acquired three potential lottery-protected first-round picks over the next two drafts after drafting point guard Emmanuel Mudiay in the lottery last summer. It’s hard to argue with that. I strongly believe that when Connelly’s contract is up, this will no longer be a question.
What do you think of a trade that would send Arron Afflalo, Jose Calderon, Cleanthony Early and a pair of second round picks to the Kings for Darren Collison, Marco Belinelli, and Caron Butler? — Keith
HR: The Knicks have two second-round picks they can trade, one in 2018 and one in 2022. From a financial standpoint, the deal works fine. I don’t mind the deal from the Knicks’ perspective much because they need backcourt help and Collison has the potential to provide that for a couple of years. I don’t like the Knicks moving Afflalo, though, because he has proven to be the rare player who is able to produce while playing second fiddle to Carmelo Anthony. Of course, to receive, you have to give. I’m not convinced Belinelli has anything left, but I can say the same about Calderon. The question is, which player would each team want, Collison or Afflalo? I like this deal.
Should the Celtics consider a deal for Ryan Anderson? Could a Jonas Jerebko/Evan Turner/non-Brooklyn first round pick package interest New Orleans, or would Marcus Smart or a Brooklyn first round pick be needed? — Craig
HR: The Celtics really shouldn’t deal Smart at all, especially not for a player they will likely have for only a couple of months. It does make sense for the Celtics to consider a deal for Anderson, though, because although the team has a slew of power forwards, none of them can open the floor quite like Anderson can. I would suggest a swap of Anderson for Jerebko and Jared Sullinger with some picks exchanged as well.