Offseason Recap by Rachel Nichols:
PTI’s Michael Wilbon (Second Half Only):
LeBron thought Kawhi was going to the Lakers at one point and then was asked this follow-up question:
More likely to disappoint: Lakers or Clippers?
“Lakers fanbase. AD playing with LeBron, expectations is extremely high. He has to deliver being in a Laker uniform, being LeBron James’ teammate, I just don’t know how it’s going to fair out when you got Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, great defensive team in the Clippers next door” – T-Mac
“Neither. But more likely to disappoint: Clippers. The expectations are higher. They’re considered the championship favorite in the league. If the Clippers load manage Kawhi and Paul George misses more time, they could be the 4th or 5th seed” – Lowe
Zion out 6-8 weeks with torn meniscus (If he sits the full 2 months, could return the week before Christmas) | Concerns about Zion’s weight overblown?
Pelicans GM, David Griffin spoke about the injury:
“I don’t think he was injured because he’s out of shape. I think he’s in great shape, but he’s too big. Playing at 280lbs, the style of play that he plays is entirely too big to sustain that for 82 games. He has to get to 260lbs or 250lbs. He’s going to have to be on a strict diet” – T-Mac
Impact of Zion’s injury on NBA fans?
“It stinks. But they’re still going to be fun to watch, they’re going to play fast, they’re going to run up and down, and let’s hope they can just hang around” – Lowe
“These guys are going to be well-coached and they’re young. If they come in and play every night and compete, they’ll give themselves a chance” – T-Mac
2003 – Kobe Bryant with the crossover and posterization dunk on Big Ben Wallace vs the Wizards in preseason!
Feeling Kawhi’s new shoes?
“I like those” – T-Mac
Does this snake look good to you?
“Heck no” – T-Mac
“I would eat a snake. It’s food” – Lowe
Surprised MJ doesn’t play pickup anymore? (Per NBC’s The Today’s Show)
“I am. The man has so much love for the game of basketball. He’s just too competitive. I don’t know if I believe Michael” – T-Mac
What would Jokic’s Pokemon power be?
“Nikola Jokic never changes. I never want him to change” – Lowe
Best investment from 2016 draft class?
“All of these guys are going to be future All-Stars, but I have to go with Ben Simmons. He effects the game in so many ways. When he starts shooting the ball, he will be the best player in the game” – T-Mac
“The answer is Ben Simmons. He has the potential right now to impact the game on an all-round basis. He is a hall of fame passer already” – Lowe
How appealing is 2020 free agency market?
“Is a rebuilding team really signing those guys? What’s the market for them?” – Lowe
“Free agency in 2020 is not going to save any franchises. It’s that simple” – T-Mac
MJ saying Steph “Isn’t a hall of famer yet” a bad look?
Via NBC’s The Today Show:
“This is what he does. He likes to tweak. It came off to me in a lighthearted way. He loves Steph Curry as a player. I know this. Michael is tough on people” – Wilbon
“I look at it as: Jordan is old school. Steph is still writing his story. He is a Hall of famer, but I know how MJ is” – T-Mac
“There is sort of an under current among the older generation of ex players who just don’t seem ready to accept Curry as their historic equal” – Lowe
“With his credentials right now, he is a hall of famer” – Nichols
Kerr: Klay is “unlikely” to play this season
“The goal is to come back and play. If he can get back right after All-Star break and he’s feeling 100% he should come back if his team is in a running of making the playoffs. If not, just go away and sit out the whole season” – T-Mac
“The Warriors are very smartly playing down expectations both for their team and for Klay” – Lowe
“You tamp it down. Don’t go the other way. He’s going to wait and see” – Wilbon
Expert predictions for NBA champs on ESPN.com
Who wins MVP this season?
“Darkhorse: Nikola Jokic” – T-Mac
“Giannis. We need to see one thing out of him: About a 14-foot jumpshot. I think the big man [position] is coming back this year not an old-fashioned way, but with a new twist” – Wilbon
“Giannis. But AD is the biggest threat to a Giannis repeat. I think he has a chance to put up like 30 [ppg], 12 [rpg] and 5 [apg] kind of line this year” – Lowe
Who will be rookie of the year?
“Zion yesterday, Zion today, Zion tomorrow” – Lowe
“JA Morant” – Wilbon
“Tyler Herro. He is a bonafide shooter and he’s not afraid” – T-Mac
Which team wins the title?
“Clippers. But I’m worried about that do they have somebody to organize that team offensively on the road, late in games, do they have that guy? But I believe in Doc Rivers” – Wilbon
“Clippers. They’re going to be an all-time defensive team” – T-Mac
“Clippers over Sixers” – Lowe
Who you got: Lakers or Clippers?
“Lakers. AD is going to be too much” – T-Mac
“Clippers. They have to have a crusade mentality as it comes to the Lakers” – Wilbon
“Lakers” – Lowe