March 2011 Mailbag



Every month Pro Basketball Draft attacks NBA and draft questions from our readers. Questions can be submitted via twitter @probballdraft or via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Riley (Round Lake, IL): Is Derrick Rose the MVP?

PBD: Yes, D-Rose is clearly the MVP. He is the man on the #1 team in the East. Playing at another level right now.

Mike (NYC): Are the Knicks a threat to the Heat in the playoffs?

PBD: Yes, the Knicks have the star power and player friendly offensive system to knock off the Heat. I wrote 2 months ago about this possibility. At the time without Anthony I thought the Knicks would fall just short but now I will take their Big 3 over the Heat’s. Chauncey is proven, Anthony and Stoudemire complement each other better than Wade and LeBron.

Emily (Columbus): Why no love for the Buckeyes? Jared Sullinger is the best freshman in the country and OSU has the best team.

PBD: My feeling is that Kansas is the deepest and best team in the country and will upset the Buckeyes. I also feel Duke with a close to 100% Kyrie Irving is capable of beating Ohio State, who will have to knock off Kentucky, and either Syracuse or UNC.

As for Sullinger, I think he is polished, smart, and productive but I have questions about his conditioning and endurance. He will be blocked a lot in the NBA.

Ramon (Houston): Is there any center the Rockets can draft to replace Yao? Is he done?

PBD: I wouldn’t rule out Yao. Ilgauskas went through a similar stretch and returned to be an All-Star. Yao was better than Z before the injury and might be after as well. The Thabeet trade could be a decent shot blocker and rebounder but he will never be Yao and will have a hard time living up to the expectations of a #2 pick. More likely the Rockets will consider Donatas Motiejunas, Tyler Zeller, or Aaric Murray but will not be a in a position to take the top center Jonas Valanciunas.

Cam (Akron, OH): Are the Cavs better off with Baron Davis and the Clippers lottery pick?

PBD: Loved this trade for both teams. From Cavs perspective this deal lands you the top player in the draft that was productive in this system before. Cavs also have another top 10 pick. Imagine if the Cavs select 1 & 2. Cavs can address 2 holes on a team full of them. This trade helped expedite the rebuild but don’t expect instant results.

Paul (Minneapolis, MN): Please tell me Kurt Rambis and Kahn are gone after this season.

PBD: I think Rambis is on the chopping block and David Kahn could be there too. Also, I expect coaching changes in Miami, Lakers, Milwaukee, Sacramento, Houston, Orlando, Indiana, and possibly New Jersey.

Ty (ATL): Every expert says this is a weak draft but there have to be some stars right?

PBD: History has shown that each draft produces between 10-15 starting quality players. There may be 1-2 franchise players and 3-4 all-star caliber players. In this draft I feel Irving, Perry Jones, Valanciunas, and Barnes have the tools to be All-Stars and there may be 1-2 more.

Izzy (Charlotte, NC): If there is a lockout what happens after the draft?

PBD: There will be no trades after July 1, nor will there be any free agency, nor will there be a summer league. If the lockout drags out into late August than you can anticipate part of the season will be lost.

Roberto (Chicago): Who cried? Had to be Queen James and Ru-Paul, right?

PBD: I think it was reprehensible that Coach Spoelstra revealed that and drew more attention and criticism towards the team. I originally thought Mike Miller who had a rough game and Chris Bosh were the culprits but I also now think Dwayne Wade may have been very emotional because he learned that he no longer controlled the Heat and was the #2 to LeBron. Either way when players are this emotionally fragile it doesn’t bode well for their postseason chances.

Rex (L.A.): Who does Kyrie Irving compare to?

PBD: I have maintained that Jay Williams is very similar in game and style. Irving is bigger and more athletic than Chris Paul but not as natural of a facilitator as him. Irving is an explosive scorer but not as explosive as John Wall nor as big as Derrick Rose. My guess is that in the right system Irving is an all-star in 2-3 seasons behind Rose, Williams, Rando, Paul, and maybe Wall. Keep in mind depends on which conference he is in.

Eddie (Denver): Gun to your head – Who wins it all this year in NCAA and NBA?

PBD: Kansas and Lakers.

Thanks for taking the time to read this mailbag and submitting questions. You can continue to submit questions via twitter @Probballdraft or email them to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .