Friday 5 with KB: Who's moving at the deadline?
Posted on: January 28, 2011 12:38 pm
Edited on: February 4, 2011 2:32 pm
Posted by Matt Moore
In today's Friday 5 with KB: who's getting moved at the deadline, where's White Chocolate going, and how's Kevin Durant's season going?
1. Guess what, Ken? February's here! Which means it's trade deadline season! Which means you won't get to sleep for a month! Get excited! Okay, give me one guy who if you absolutely had to put money on getting moved before the deadline, you'd put the cash down on.
Ken Berger (CBSSports.com): With cash on the line, I should take the easy way out and say Anthony Randolph, who's either going to be traded to the Nuggets in a Carmelo Anthony deal or to Minnesota for a first-round pick the Knicks can use to replenish their stockpile after the cap-clearing trade with Houston last season. But that's like stealing candy from a blogger, so I'll be a little more risk-taking and say Joel Przybilla. The Blazers are likely to try to shake things up, and Przybilla's size and expiring contract will be in demand among contenders. Once Marcus Camby comes back from his knee scope, Portland will have the green light to explore how much those contenders will be willing to give up.
2. Jason Williams released by the Magic this week. Any chance of him winding up in Miami? And if not, where then?
KB: The Heat haven't had any internal discussions of significance about Williams; despite their limitations, Miami seems content with the point-guard platoon of Mario Chalmers and Carlos Arroyo. The latest, as you know, is that the Grizzlies have serious interest -- especially now that O.J. Mayo has been suspended 10 games for using a banned supplement.
3. Your big feature on Antoine Walker this week showcased the problems with players who squander their money in rather horribly pathetic ways. Is this an issue of personal responsibility only, or one that either the union or the league will feel compelled to act further upon? There have been classes, resources, advisers, all made available to the players and yet we see things like this. Is it foolish to hope for anything more provided to the players to avoid situations like Walker's?
KB: As you point out, the league and union do try to educate players about the perils of mismanaging their money, trusting it to friends or so-called investment gurus, or simply squandering it on an outlandish lifestyle. As in any walk of life, some players listen and some don't. That is always going to be the case no matter how much education is available. That's why I like this idea, and since the CBA is up, it's the perfect time to implement it. Let's set aside a small percentage of the profit when a team is sold and put it in the pension fund for retired players. It would be a forced-savings mechanism and a safety net for players who get into financial trouble -- whether it's their own fault or not.
4. O.J. Mayo tests positive for DHEA, which is a borderline substance, but banned nonetheless, with a previous instance of suspension against Rashard Lewis. A bill failed to have DHEA classified as an anabolic steroid, but the considerations of the substance are all over the place. Any impact of this suspension beyond O.J. Mayo's continuing "worst month ever?"
KB: Just another cautionary tale for players to be aware of what they're putting in their bodies. Look around any NBA locker room and you see five-hour energy drinks in multiple lockers and guys chowing down on horribly unhealthy pre- and post-game meals. Then you have Steve Nash, who won't let a single granule of processed sugar pass through his lips. To each his own -- but beware of the consequences.
5. Kevin Durant drops 47 this week on the Timberwolves, days after an 0-5 performance down the stretch in a loss to the Hornets, which was days after a killer fading 3-pointer against the Knicks. What are your thoughts on KD's season, one with heightened expectations but less press than we were expecting from the superstar?
KB: Well, his shooting and scoring numbers are down slightly from last season, but I think that's more about the emergence of Russell Westbrook as a legitimate scoring option than it is about KD taking a step back. His game is sensational and only growing and getting better. I don't think you'd find too many GMs who'd say that, given the choice, they'd want to start a team today with anyone else. The best way to judge Durant's season so far, and the way he'd do it? Through 45 games, the Thunder (29-16) are five games ahead of where they were last season, when they won 50 games and put a scare into the Lakers in the first round.
Have a burning NBA question you need answered? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or drop Ken a question for the Friday 5 on Twitter at@cbssportsnba .