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:
Who do you think will be awarded the NBA Coach of the Year? Mike D’Antoni of the Rockets, Scott Brooks of the Wizards, Gregg Popovich of the Spurs or who else? — Greg Dizon
For several months, D’Antoni seemed to have the award locked up after taking a dysfunctional team that barely made the playoffs last year and turning it into one of the powers in the West. Putting James Harden into the Steve Nash role and surrounding him with shooters has been a brilliant move as Harden has become the league leader in assists. However, the recent surge by the Wizards, who are now in contention for the top spot in the East, at least creates an interesting race. Some other deserving candidates who will probably get overshadowed by D’Antoni and Brooks are Billy Donovan in Oklahoma City, Erik Spoelstra in Miami, Brad Stevens in Boston and Rick Carlisle in Dallas.
Can you see teams who don’t have any picks in this year’s draft buying in? I’m thinking the Cavs, Warriors, Grizzlies and Pelicans will try find their way in due to the depth of this year’s class. — Chris Hawkins
The first-rounder that New Orleans sent to Sacramento in the DeMarcus Cousins
trade is top-three protected, so there’s a small chance that the Pelicans will keep it. They obviously could use draft help, but they don’t have many assets left to trade for a pick. Of the teams you mentioned, the Grizzlies are most likely to try to trade into the first round. The core of their roster is getting very old by NBA standards, and their first-rounder is headed to Portland by way of Cleveland and Denver. For elite teams like Cleveland or Golden State, a first-round pick can sometimes be a burden by filling up a roster spot with a young player who needs time to develop. Either team may decide to trade into the first round if they find an opportunity and a player they like, but both will probably be content trying to uncover second-round gems.
Will the Clippers sign someone? — Richard Garcia
We can’t guarantee it, but the organization is exploring its options. The latest report has them among the teams keeping an eye on Carlos Boozer
while he wraps up his playoff commitments in China. A story last week linked L.A. to Omri Casspi
, who has been medically cleared after breaking his thumb last month, but that was later denied. With the Clippers locked in a tight race for playoff positioning and a tough first-round series ahead, we expect them to add at least one more player before the season ends.