— You ask, we (try to) answer.
A. The risk is relatively minimal for the Clippers and the payoff could be considerable if Odom can regain the form he had two seasons ago with the Lakers.
For all the strides the Clippers made last season, Odom arguably can be an upgrade on both Caron Butler and Kenyon Martin, while the loss of Mo Williams to the Jazz should be offset by the emergence of Eric Bledsoe behind Chris Paul.
The difference with this reunion tour with Odom is the Clippers are nothing like the group he previously left when he signed with the Heat as a free agent in 2003. This already is a playoff team on the rise, and it will be important for Odom to accept his role as a supporting player to Paul and Blake Griffin.
At his best, Odom is a multidimensional talent who should complement Paul and Griffin. At his worst, he is a one-year experiment that the Clippers can distance themselves from soon enough.
While Williams' instant offense will be missed, it's not as if he wasn't considering moving on to a team that could have offered a more favorable role, anyway.
A. Williams certainly had his playoff moments with the Jazz, and there only is so much he could have done with the cast he had alongside with the Nets.
That said, there are no guarantees that he will be as transformative a presence as Chris Paul was this past season with the Clippers, at times lacking the attack mode that Paul, or even a Derrick Rose, possess.
Is he an A-list free agent? Absolutely. Is he a LeBron-level free agent? That remains to be seen, but unlikely.
Then again, it's as if Williams appreciates his limitations, which is why his options apparently come down to trying to get Dwight Howard (or another A-list player) alongside in Brooklyn or going to the Mavericks to play alongside Dirk Nowitzki.
A. The problem with the "red flag" thing when it comes to draft prospects is that those warning flags are raised by team physicians with long-standing ties to teams, doctors who tend to take the long view.
It's one thing to draft a player No. 1 overall and get practically nothing in return on the investment, such as Greg Oden. It's another to select a player midway through or late in the first round, when expectations are tempered with just about any selection.
If the Celtics get even a couple of quality seasons out of Sullinger and the Thunder get the same out of Jones, then they will have received more of a return on their investments than teams with similar draft positions.
To a degree, it could leave the Celtics and Thunder in a similar position to where the Spurs stood with DeJuan Blair, when some said such a selection was too risky, considering he arrived to the NBA without ACLs in his knees. The Spurs got a quality three-year return out of Blair despite concerns about those knees, and now have moved on. Ultimately, it proved to be a sound investment, red flag or no red flag.
Long-term investments are lottery investments. With everyone else, any contribution is considered a bonus.
A. Good question. I can't fathom a better fit, nor someone as deserving of such an opportunity.
What the Lakers did a year ago in summarily casting aside everyone touched by Phil Jackson was disgraceful, seemingly not even considering Shaw's candidacy before reaching out to Mike Brown. Yet Shaw immediately injected his playoff know-how into the Pacers, as assistant head coach, helping push them to the next level under Frank Vogel.
Shaw will be a quality coach, with a concern now that some will bypass him so as not to become associated with someone from the Jackson coaching tree, particularly after Jackson's dalliance with the Magic before Rob Hennigan got the job as general manager there.
Charlotte made a mistake in bypassing Shaw (if, indeed, that's how it played out, before Shaw withdrew his name); Orlando can't afford to make that same mistake.
With a neophyte general manager, the Magic could do far worse than Shaw as the face of their franchise.
And who knows? Dwight Howard might prove to be captivated by Shaw and his engaging personality.
A. The problem for Harris since his arrival in Utah is that he wasn't Deron Williams.
Still, Mo Williams, with his shoot-first tendencies might not be the best option at point guard on a team that is committed to feeding the post.
In the wake of the Mo Williams acquisition, it would not be surprising to see the Jazz attempt to move Harris, something that had been rumored even before Williams agreed to bypass his opt-out and help facilitate the Clippers' acquisition of Lamar Odom.
A. I'm not sure anyone is balking, with plenty of interest out there, particularly from the Raptors.
If anyone is balking, it might be the Suns, who appear willing to sever the final ties from the Nash-Stoudemire-Marion era. To a degree, the Suns do have to get on with their lives, perhaps even taking another look at Aaron Brooks.
As for Nash, he has proven almost ageless. Yet he also has battled back issues for years, and once the back goes, it goes. To that extent, Bryan Colangelo could be taking a bit too much of a gamble for a Raptors team that remains very much in rebuild mode.