Three-Point Thursdays is our weekly column here at KJG, in which we ask our panel of NBA writers 3 questions relevant to the NBA. Want your question answered in next week’s post? Leave the question in the comment box below or tweet me at @VytisLasaitis
What do you make of the potential sale of the Sacramento Kings? Is it fair to the fans if the franchise ends up moving to Seattle?
Raj Prashad: I love it. Seattle deserves a franchise more than most cities and it would be great to see the Supersonics return. The main reason Sacramento needs this to happen though, is to get the franchise out of the Maloof’s hands. They’ve run the Kings into the ground and while it isn’t fair to the fans, it opens the opportunity for a another team to move in soon.
Jack Maloney: In the past week, the possibility of the Sacramento Kings being sold and relocated to Seattle has become more and more realistic. Nothing official has been released, but it certainly seems that Sacramento is running out of time to keep the Kings in town. Any relocation in sports is disappointing, especially for the fans and city that lose a team. It isn’t fair to the fans, as they have no control over whether or not the owners decide to sell the team. This situation is unique in that Seattle just lost the Sonics a few years ago. Their city and fans are all too aware of the pain that comes with losing a team. Hopefully, the Kings will stay in Sacramento, but if they were to move, Seattle would be a deserving location.
Adam Lowenstein: I will make this short and simple. When the new ownership took the Seattle SuperSonics away from the Emerald City, that was wrong. If the Sacramento Kings move to Seattle, then that would also not be fair because it would just be hurting another fan base. Two wrongs do not make a right.
Robert Krivitsky: While it would be great to see NBA basketball back in Seattle, It is never fair to the fans of the city who is losing their team. At the end of the day, it’s a business and with the Maloofs hemorrhaging money, fans in Sacramento can only hope that mayor, Kevin Johnson, finds a way to keep the franchise from relocating.
Since firing head coach Avery Johnson, the Brooklyn Nets are on a roll. How far can this team go?
RP: Like every other team in the NBA, the Nets will survive through ups and downs. For Brooklyn, their 8-2 record over the last 10 games only proves that they’re starting to figure it out. They have a talented squad and were simply struggling through a lull. They’re the same team that will finish in the top 5 in the East and be a second-round out.
JM: 2013 has been a good year in Brooklyn, as the Nets are 7-1 in the New Year, only suffering their first loss last night against the Atlanta Hawks. New coach P.J. Carlesimo may not be the main reason for the turnaround, but the team has certainly performed much better since he has taken control. It may just be as simple as the team responding to a new leader. For example, Deron Williams, who made it known he was unhappy with Avery Johnson, is averaging 20 points and 8 assists per game since Carlesimo has taken over. With their hot start to January, the Nets are now 23-16, right in the middle of a muddled Eastern Conference. The Nets will certainly be a playoff team, but they aren’t a contender, and will struggle to get past the second round of the playoffs.
AL: Do you remember when P.J. Carlesimo last was a head coach? Well, oddly it was the 2008-09 season, the first year of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s existence after coaching the 2007-08 SuperSonics. However, he has a lot more talent on this Brooklyn Nets team than he did with the Thunder. Carlesimo knows this team after being with them since the beginning of the 2011-12 season. The Nets have had a fantastic start with him against mostly bad teams, so I do not have much confidence in them come playoff time. With a wide-open conference though, they have a decent chance against any team except for the Miami Heat, but I cannot see them going further than the Eastern Conference Semifinals. I am sure everyone would really enjoy a Nets / Knicks first round series.
RK: Following Wednesday night’s loss in Atlanta, the Nets are 9-2 under P.J. Carlesimo. While a weak schedule has definitely been a factor, there is much more to this equation. Carlesimo, who does an excellent job developing guards, has restored Deron Williams’s confidence and has helped get the franchise point guard back on track. While Avery Johnson made it a point to further develop Brook Lopez, Carlesimo appears to be getting more out of the talented seven-footer. Where as Johnson tried to force Lopez to go down-on-the-block, he is now being allowed to catch the ball slightly further out from the basket and take advantage of his athleticism. Another major factor in the Nets recent success has been the decision to explore how deep the team is. In Tuesday night’s victory against Toronto, Carlesimo played twelve guys. Brooklyn has quality bench players and the decision to expand the rotation helps to prevent members of the second-unit from attempting to play outside of their game; it also helps to keep everyone fresh. Another benefit of this philosophy has been the play of Mirza Teletovic, who had 10 points and 4 rebounds while playing 22 minutes in the win against the Raptors. With the improved play of the starters and a deeper bench, expect the Nets to make noise come playoff time.
The Dallas Mavericks are struggling and might look for trades. You are the GM. Do you make any moves before the trade deadline?
RP: NO! Dallas is struggling for a reason– they missed out on key free agents and signed most of their roster to one-year deals. If I’m Cuban, I wait until free agency and put my best foot forward, aka show up to meetings and don’t make the star free agent you’re chasing not feel wanted.
JM: Despite their current 4 game win streak, the Dallas Mavericks have been struggling this year. Their 17-23 record finds them in 12th place in the Western Conference and looking at a spot in the lottery. Since winning the championship 2 years ago, the Mavericks roster has undergone a complete overhaul. It was expected that a big name such as Deron Williams or Dwight Howard would find their way to Dallas, but neither move happened. Now, with an aging roster, the Mavericks have some decisions to make. Recent reports seem to indicate that Mark Cuban will be looking to make some moves before the trade deadline. It would certainly make sense for the Mavericks to change things up as their current roster leaves them stuck in NBA hell – not good enough to contend, but not bad enough to get a top lottery pick.
AL: As Bobby said in his recent post, Mark Cuban is willing to break the bank to improve his 2012-13 Dallas Mavericks roster. If he wants to go for it, he needs to bring his rebounding and defense out of the league’s basement. The Mavs were able to take down the Rockets at home on Houston’s second night of a back-to-back. It was impressive to see them hold James Harden to his worst career shooting performance and move their winning streak to a season-best four games. They could put themselves in a good position to contend for the playoffs if they acquire Marcin Gortat. He would improve their interior defense and add some much-needed rebounding.
RK: If I am Donnie Nelson, I am absolutely looking to make a trade and improve this roster at the deadline. Dirk Nowitzki is not getting any younger and there is a very legitimate possibility the team fails to land a big name in the offseason. While Dallas is loaded with desirable contracts, any deal would have to include O.J. Mayo, Shawn Marion or Darren Collison. The Mavericks need a center that can anchor the defense, which is why a trade for the likes of Al Jefferson doesn’t appear to make a lot of sense. Toronto would love to keep both Kyle Lowry and Jose Calderon, but after seven years, it appears that it is time for Calderon and the Raptors to part ways. If Dallas could swing a deal for the veteran point guard it would certainly be an upgrade at the position and enhance the team’s playoff hopes. Furthermore, Calderon is a free agent at the end of the season, helping to preserve cap space, should Mark Cuban be able to persuade a big name or even big names to come play alongside Nowitzki.