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:
Two games into the season and Anthony Davis has 95 combined points. If the Pelicans start winning games and make the playoffs, do you think he would be Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year or Most Improved Player? — Will Johnson
Davis might win an armful of awards this season, but Most Improved won’t be one of them. He has always been an exceptional talent. He is just fully healed from the knee and shoulder issues that plagued him last season. Davis has the ability to win multiple MVPs in his career, but he may need a lot of improvement from the Pelicans before that happens. He’s definitely in line for another First Team All-NBA honor this season.
What do you think the odds are of Masai Ujiri finally making a big splash with the Raptors? I’m not sure he has the intestinal fortitude to swing a big deal [Carmelo Anthony forcing his way out of Denver aside]. He hasn’t been able to put a team over the top in his career. Sixty wins is impressive, but it’s not a championship. Do you see any scenarios in which he can finally swing a deal to put a team over the top? And if so, is there a person or people that you think would be smart targets to put them over the top? — Mike Robins
Ujiri never really had a chance to put the Nuggets over the top, so it’s too early to judge him by that standard. The Raptors have an obvious need at power forward, so if a major deal is coming, that’s where it will be. Greg Monroe in Milwaukee is an obvious target. Another is the Sixers’ Nerlens Noel. A longer shot might be Zach Randolph, who has already been demoted to a reserve role in Memphis and is headed toward free agency. Any of them would make the Raptors a bigger threat to Cleveland in the East.
Does Marcus Smart ever have a shot at being an above average starting point guard in Boston or anywhere else? — Kyle Duzinckas
As long as Isaiah Thomas is with the Celtics, he’s going to be running the offense. Smart is very talented, but I’m not sure he has the point guard skills to ever be a full-time starter, let alone an above average one in a league full of stars. But we probably won’t find out until he goes to another organization.