— You ask, we (try to) answer.
A: Living the reality of running a team where your own money is at stake.
For a moment, consider how Michael Jordan the player would have reacted if his general manager would have sold off Tyson Chandler for an expiring contract, allowed Raymond Felton to escape in free agency without compensation, then dealt Gerald Wallace for pennies on the dollar.
But the shoe is on the other foot, and with the Bobcats struggling at the box office, Jordan decided that securing a lower playoff seed was not as important as getting the books in order.
For all the grief Jerry Krause took while trying to manage Jordan in Chicago, I think Jordan the player would have had far less tolerance for Jordan the owner.
What has transpired in Charlotte is criminal. And it's not as if the Bobcats weren't trying to unload Stephen Jackson and Boris Diaw at the deadline, as well.
It is difficult to see much of a future for the Bobcats.
At least with Jordan as the owner.
A: First, Doc didn't make the trade, Danny Ainge did.
And although the deal was a head-scratcher, Ainge's job is to take more of a long view. Few in the league would contend that Perkins actually has more upside than Jeff Green. That simply is not the case. Green is the better player.
The key is how Boston fills out the power rotation. But the Celtics are more versatile now. And it's not as if the Magic stand as the primary competition in the conference anymore.
Now it's about getting past the Heat and the Bulls. That also was a factor.
Ainge has done very well in reshaping the Celtics. It is too easy to doubt him over a single move.
A: Because they saw what the Nuggets went through this season with Carmelo Anthony and didn't want to experience that next season.
And that's a real problem for the NBA. It used to be that the concern was dealing with a lame-duck player in his final season before free agency. Now the clock is being pushed back to doing something with a player the year before the final season of his contract.
Utah got value for Williams, arguably as much or more than Denver realized for Anthony. And if the Jerry Sloan situation didn't play out like it did, perhaps Williams still would be with the Jazz.
The irony is that the league is pushing for shorter contract lengths in the new collective-bargaining agreement. Yet if that becomes the case, teams could find themselves in panic mode shortly after signing players.
The irony is that small-market teams would be better positioned if they could sign star players to lengthier deals and extensions, thereby reducing the periods of stress.
A: It depends. The league certainly will "grandfather" in current deals, but for how long? There is a chance teams would be put on a timetable to get their payrolls within the cap within a certain period of time.
The big-money, big-market teams prefer something closer to the current system. Do you think the Knicks, Heat, Lakers or Bulls are complaining about the events of these past few months?
But the NBA is sort of like the U.S. Senate, with one vote per team, no matter the size of the market or revenue generated. And there will always be more have-nots than haves. So it will be interesting to see whether a coalition of the lesser-half teams winds up running the league and driving change.
A: Uh, yeah. It wasn't as if Griffin wasn't capable of jumping over something more substantial than a Kia. But, yes, I did notice the ad in USA Today in the ensuing days.
Although I don't think the judges took the marketing angle into account, it certainly does raise questions. It's not as if an ad would have appeared with an image of Blake writhing in pain on the hood of a car while trainers tended to a torn ACL.
If the league insists on allowing props, much to the chagrin of DeMar DeRozan, then at least eliminate the suspect marketing angle.
A: Excellent, excellent question.
Collins might well be your Coach of the Year.
The problem is that with all the free-agency, Big Three and Carmelo talk, the 76ers' rise from an early season mess has flown under the radar. This not only is a playoff team, but one poised to push the Knicks for a higher-than-expected playoff seed.
Collins has done a heck of a job of identifying who fits and who doesn't, and management has displayed needed patience in allowing him to sort out the roster.
Although a first-round upset might be asking too much, the 76ers will not be an easy out.
A: I don't think anyone would disagree that Artest has somewhat of an attention-deficit issue. Championship consistency is not as simple as it appears. No, he has not been nearly as much of a presence as last season, but I think that is true of several Lakers.
The good part is that we have yet to see the best of Artest to this point. So if there is going to be a breakout month, perhaps the best is yet to come. If not, at least Barnes is working his way back.
Artest was particularly active in the game at Oklahoma City, especially defensively, so perhaps that is a start.