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:
So Tracy McGrady is in this year’s Hall of Fame class, and while I think he deserves it and I am a fan of his game I know some people found it a bit surprising. Out of the recent retirees [2000s era] and active players who aren’t considered obvious first-ballot choices, i.e. Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan, etc., who do you think might be a surprise pick when they are eligible? — Grant Weddle
If you thought McGrady was controversial, just wait until Dwight Howard gets in. He has a similar record of playoff failures, outside of his run to the 2009 Finals, and is a very polarizing figure whose success never quite matched expectations. Even so, he has been one of the top centers in the league for 13 seasons. He is only 31 and appears to have conquered his injury problems, playing 71 and 74 games the past two seasons. He is signed for two more years in Atlanta, then will probably seek another long-term deal, so there’s plenty of time to add to his career totals of 16,652 points and 12,089 rebounds. There will be howls of protest when it happens, but Howard is headed for the Hall of Fame someday. For a more under-the-radar choice, how about Ben Wallace? He played for one of the best teams of the last decade, winning a title in 2004, and was named Defensive Player of the Year four times. He only averaged 5.7 points per game throughout his career, but he was such a defensive force that he has earned a spot in Springfield.
It’s unlikely but with the Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis situation, can you see Dallas trying to tempt the Knicks to trade him as it would give the Texans an heir to Dirk’s throne? What would they have to give up, as it’s unlikely they’d want to give up their 2017 first-rounder as they could have a top PG like Dennis Smith Jr. or Frank Ntilikina? — Chris Hawkins
While Porzingis would be a perfect successor to Nowitzki in Dallas, it’s hard to see how he ever winds up there. First, any rumors about him leaving New York were greatly exaggerated and popped up in reaction to a missed exit meeting last month. Porzingis and his brother have both issued statements saying he wants to stay in New York. Even if the Knicks made him available for trade, a lot of teams are in position to outbid the Mavericks. Any offer would have to start with this year’s pick, along with some future selections, a re-signed Nerlens Noel and possibly Harrison Barnes.
Why is the lottery held in the back and not out where it can be viewed? — HmmmmGood, via Twitter
Despite frequent accusations, there’s nothing nefarious going on behind the curtains. It’s a complex process that doesn’t make for good television. First, each lottery team is assigned a series of four-number combinations. Then there are four drawings of ping-pong balls numbered one through 14. Once the four numbers are in place, everyone has to consult a 10-sheet handbook containing each possible combination to find out who won. It’s much more dramatic to open sealed envelopes on live TV, even if everyone on stage already knows the results.