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:
How can James Dolan be so naive? He plans on keeping Phil Jackson after all he has done. He keeps adding fuel to the fire he started about Charles Oakley. Do the Knicks ever have any chance of being any good with Dolan as an owner or is he the biggest issue? — Yaakov Schreier
An old sports adage says, “You can’t fire the owner,” and that’s the Knicks’ biggest problem right now. Fans across the country cheered on Oakley in his confrontation with Dolan, and the former Knicks tough guy has become more popular than ever now that he is banned from Madison Square Garden. MSG crowds have targeted Joakim Noah, Carmelo Anthony and Jackson as losses have piled up, but the real source of frustration is Dolan, who seems badly out of touch and incapable of building a winner no matter how much money he throws around. There have been suggestions that the Oakley incident will discourage free agents from coming to New York, but it may also make a young talent like Kristaps Porzingis think twice about a long-term future with the Knicks.
What trades are the Pistons most likely to make and what kind of package could they get for Andre Drummond? — Mark Holmes
Coach/executive Stan Van Gundy said this week that “everyone is available,” but Drummond is probably less available than anybody else. Detroit should ask for a star and a first-round pick in any deal, but it seems unlikely that Drummond is going anywhere. He’s only 23 and did the organization a favor last year by waiting until the offseason to sign his extension, giving the Pistons more cap room to work with. Reggie Jackson is the first name that comes to mind when discussing potential Detroit trades. A rumor made the rounds this week that the Pelicans were interested in Jackson, possibly as part of a three-team deal involving Jahlil Okafor. Jackson seems like the player to watch as the deadline grows nearer.
There are reports that the Cavs are interested in Jose Calderon and Andrew Bogut. Both are aging veterans. What is the possibility that they go a little younger and call Utah about Shelvin Mack and are they interested in Denver’s seven-footer Jusuf Nurkic, seeing how they really want to move him. — Dayre Dancy
Mack is a real possibility, although one of what seems like dozens for Cleveland as a backup point guard. He helped the Jazz after being acquired in a draft-day deal last season, but he’s on an expiring contract and probably isn’t in the team’s long-term plans. Nurkic would be attractive for the Cavs because he’s still on a rookie contract, but the Nuggets probably want more than Cleveland is willing to part with. The Cavaliers have an obvious need for Calderon, Bogut or almost any big man or point guard, but they may prefer to wait until after the trade deadline and try their luck on the buyout market.