— You ask, we (try to) answer:
A: First, the Nuggets won't just "give" Carmelo Anthony away. Unlike with this summer's free agents, Denver still controls the situation. If Carmelo wants his extension, wants it now, wants it before a new collective-bargaining agreement is reached, then his representatives will have to work with the Nuggets on an agreement that benefits both parties.
Or Denver can trade Carmelo to a desperate third party that might risk acquiring him without a new deal in place.
With potential trade partners such as the Kings, Clippers or Nets, the Nuggets should be able to get something tangible in return.
However, this also could stand as somewhat of a moment of truth of the Nuggets. Do they instead use the opportunity to get below the luxury tax, essentially make this a money deal?
To a degree, Carmelo's frustrations can be appreciated. Although Karl's illness was unforeseen, the Nuggets are not the same without George at 100 percent. Denver did not look good at all at the end of last season.
But there also is a greater issue at play here, namely players seeking brighter vistas in terms of media markets and marketing opportunities. For a league that has previously thrived in markets such as Sacramento, Portland and Salt Lake City, that has to be a huge concern.
If Denver is not big enough to satisfy the hunger of a star, then what about Memphis, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Charlotte?
Should the Nuggets fold on this one, the hopes of more than one franchise could be in the balance.
A: Of all the lengths the Nuggets might go to to make a Carmelo deal work, I can't fathom their handing him over to an arch-rival, which is why a trade with the Clippers would seem to make more sense than to the Lakers.
The Nuggets would need young talent and quality draft picks in return if they do, indeed, opt to start over. The Lakers have little in that regard, save, perhaps, for Andrew Bynum.
Then again, the Lakers fleeced the Grizzlies for Pau Gasol, so you never know.
The only way I could see the likes of Anthony or Paul getting to the Lakers would be to play out their contracts, then force the hands of their current teams in free agency down the road.
A: I was surprised how swiftly Phoenix moved on Hakeem Warrick in the immediate wake of losing Amare Stoudemire. No, he is not the answer.
But I am a big fan of Robin Lopez. After so many years of making compromises at center, it appears the Suns have their answer there.
So what will the Suns do at power forward? What they've done with their offense for years: Get creative.
I could see Hedo Turkoglu there, instead of someone such as Channing Frye. By playing Hedo are the four, it opens minutes for Grant Hill and Josh Childress to join Jason Richardson in the perimeter rotation.
Playing Hedo or Dudley or some other undersized option appears the only way for the Suns to go. With the energy of Lopez, it just might work.
The Suns have ample talent to make it work. And creativity long has been a hallmark of the franchise, even as management and coaching staffs come and go.
Q: Why, oh why, do the Lakers keep Walton? Nice guy, but will never matter in the Lakers depth chart. Let him retire and keep him in the front office.
— Alan, Portsmouth, R.I.
A: But, uh, it doesn't work that way. Re-signing Luke was not exactly an exercise in forethought, with three more seasons on his deal. But now the Lakers have to live with that deal, unless progressive injuries allow for some type of salary relief down the road.
The difference this season is the presence of Matt Barnes, allowing for continuity with a lockdown forward at small forward when Ron Artest is out of the game.
The lesson with Walton is how good teams manage to survive bad contracts. His cap presence certainly hasn't held the Lakers down these past two seasons.
A: With A.I. such a polarizing figure, I can appreciate such concerns. But how can anybody be certain of where Iverson's game stands, considering how little it has been on display these past two seasons?
I guarantee this: If Allen Iverson were willing to take a non-guaranteed contract and avail his services to any team, he would be in somebody's camp this fall.
So, to a degree, some of Allen's absence has to do with Allen's approach.
Of course, he also has the right to decide when and where and if he plays. But that is not the same as being blackballed.
A: My point was that the Hornets, in my view, could have extracted greater value, perhaps not waiting an entire season, but at least until the desperation by contenders became more acute.
Ariza is a nice player, a functional player, but not one with nearly the upside of Collison. If he was, Houston would not have been so quick to move him for the likes of a Courtney Lee.
Q: Can the Heat get the wins record in the new season, after the King coming?
— Bansir, China.
A: They certainly think so, as does Jeff Van Gundy.
A: I think they'll be right there. Based on these past two questions, clearly, the non-domestic animosity toward the Heat is not as pointed as it is stateside.