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 HoopsRumorsMailbag@Gmail.com. Here are this week’s inquiries:
If Detroit traded Andre Drummond, who would be most likely to trade for him and what would they trade? — Mark Holmes
The Celtics and Trail Blazers were among the teams that contacted the Pistons about Drummond last week. Detroit coach/executive Stan Van Gundy said there wasn’t a “serious discussion” about trading Drummond, but interested teams were definitely calling. Boston has other priorities, with trade talks for Jimmy Butler and Paul George expected to heat up again this summer. Portland could use a dominant center, but the Blazers reportedly ended talks when the Pistons asked for C.J. McCollum, who the Blazers view as untouchable. The Nets may be a team to watch this summer if Detroit wants to get out of the huge financial commitment it made to Drummond with last year’s extension. Brook Lopez has just one year left on his deal at a little more than $22.6MM, and Drummond could be a nice centerpiece for Brooklyn to build around.
What is the likelihood that Phil Jackson joins L.A. now that Magic Johnson is in charge? — Alek Miletic
It wasn’t long ago that Knicks fans were welcoming Jackson as the man to fix the organization. Now they want to push him out the door. Owner James Dolan said earlier this month that he won’t opt out of Jackson’s deal, meaning the Zen Master will remain team president for at least two more years if he wants the job. The Knicks are barely on the edge of the playoff race, Jackson is locked in a power struggle with the team’s star player and the organization recently had an embarrassing incident with one of its legends. Leaving would be the easy way out, but Jackson doesn’t want to be perceived as running away from a sinking ship. Also, Magic Johnson is fully in charge of the Lakers now, so Jackson would have considerably less power in L.A. than he does in New York. We also don’t know how frosty Jackson’s relationship is with Jeanie Buss, who may not want to hire her former fiance’. That might be enough to keep Jackson where he is for two more seasons.
It’s clear that LeBron James is no longer able to claim this title of No. 1 player in the world. He may not even be the best player on his own team [see Kyrie Irving]. So who is? Kevin Durant? Kawhi Leonard? Russell Westbrook? — Michael Brajczewski
It really isn’t that clear. James is scoring slightly more [25.7 points per game] this season than he has since his return to Cleveland and he’s averaging a career-best 8.9 assists per night. He doesn’t have to put up triple doubles every game to prove that he’s still an elite player, and we all know he will ultimately be judged by what the Cavaliers do in the playoffs. Durant, Leonard and Westbrook are all great. You could add Stephen Curry, James Harden and possibly a few others as contenders for LeBron’s crown. But look at it this way. If the Cavaliers had been offered any of those players this week in exchange for LeBron, do you think they would have made the deal?