NBA Insiders Notebook: More trade talk as All-Star break nears

NBA Insiders Notebook: More trade talk as All-Star break nears

AN ARENA NEAR YOU – Welcome NBA fans to another edition of the CSN Insiders notebook which as you can imagine this time of year, is full of trade talk.

While the next blockbuster move this season in the NBA will be the first, there’s still lots of activity that’s bubbling over into what should be some interesting deals cemented between now and the Feb. 23 trade deadline.

The first deal of this trading season went down over the weekend involving the Portland Trail Blazers sending Mason Plumlee, a second-round pick and cash to Denver for disgruntled big man Jusuf Nurkic (we wrote about him being one of the first to be traded a couple weeks ago), a future first-round pick (it will be Memphis’ 2017 pick) and cash.

This is one of those both-teams-win kind of deals.

The Nuggets are currently in the eighth and final playoff spot out West. The addition of Plumlee who is having a career season, strengthens their chances of sticking where they are or potentially moving up a spot or two as far as playoff seeding.  

Portland (24-30) ranks 20th in rebounding which is an area that Nurkic (16.0 points, 11.6 rebounds per 36 minutes) could help. And he gets a chance to play his way into a meaningful role, something he failed to do with the Nuggets in part because of the emergence of Nikola Jokic whose play has been one of the main reasons Denver is thinking how much their young team would benefit from getting to the postseason now even if the NBA’s most powerful team, Golden State, awaits them. Portland was also motivated to unload Plumlee due to his restricted free agent status this summer, and the unlikelihood that they would re-sign him due to luxury tax concerns.

Meanwhile, the Blazers now have the potential to have three, first-round picks in a relatively solid draft class.

As much as we’re all about trade talk, the story that has the league buzzing is the incident involving ex-New York Knick Charles Oakley and Knicks owner James Dolan which involved Oakley being arrested.

CSN Philly Insider Jessica Camerato details how Dolan who clearly screwed this up (just like he screwed up in hiring Phil Jackson which is another story for another time), tried to change the narrative just days after the incident which Oakley has made pretty clear that it isn’t over.


Can't we all get along?

Days after Charles Oakley was escorted out of Madison Square Garden and arrested following an incident with team owner James Dolan, a familiar face was in the arena in an unexpected setting.

Latrell Sprewell sat with Dolan during Sunday’s game against the Spurs. Sprewell and Dolan have a rocky past, so the pairing was surprising especially after what happened with Oakley.

Former Knicks Bernard King and Larry Johnson were also sitting with them.

"I can't tell you why I haven't been back here, but I'll tell you when I left, I was not happy," Sprewell told ABC, per ESPN.com. "New York is like a second home for me. I love the fans here. The fans have embraced me. There's no place like the Garden to play in. I mean, who wouldn't want to play in the Garden?"

Sprewell played five seasons for the Knicks from 1999-2003. – by Jessica Camerato

Bradley's return remains a mystery

Avery Bradley remains out of commission due to a right Achillles strain injury with the timetable for his return becoming murkier with each passing day. The Celtics maintain that he’s making progress and getting better, but there are growing concerns that Bradley’s injury may render a similar result to what happened with Kevin Garnett in 2009 when he was unable to play in the postseason for the Celtics.

While the two have very different injuries – Garnett was dealing with a knee injury – there is a parallel between the injury taking significantly more time to return from than expected.

Garnett missed 25 games with the knee injury, and was supposed to return near the end of the season. But on the eve of the playoffs, then-head coach Doc Rivers declared that the knee was sound enough to where Garnett could play in the postseason.

“It's not official that he's out for the entire playoffs, but it's official as far as I'm concerned," Rivers told reporters at the time. "I just don't see how. I hope I'm wrong, but I just don't see it."

While the mood isn’t anywhere close to being that ominous regarding Bradley, the longer it takes for him to return the more concern there will be among fans that his injury may be more serious than it’s being portrayed as currently.

Prior to Boston’s game at Dallas on Monday night, head coach Brad Stevens was asked about Bradley’s return which has now been set for some time after the all-star break.

“We met as a staff (Sunday) and every indication is he’s feeling as good as he’s felt, right now,” Stevens told reporters in Dallas. “What that means, I don’t want to speculate nor do I know.”

In other words, nobody knows when he’ll return which has to be troubling for Celtics fans who know a deep playoff run, barring a blockbuster trade, has to involve Bradley in some capacity beyond cheering from the bench. – by A. Sherrod Blakely

Okafor trade coming soon?

Trade talks surrounding Jahlil Okafor have progressed to the point head coach Brett Brown has decided not to play him while they are ongoing. Brown sat Okafor against the Heat on Saturday. That night, a deal was not imminent but talks were progressing, according to a source. 

“There were trade rumors that were happening before the game,” Brown said. “I was aware of those. In those situations, I felt that it was best to not complicate things and not play Jahlil. We talked about it together before the game and I explained to him that this was going to happen for this reason. That’s why I made the decision.” 

Okafor did not travel with the Sixers to Charlotte for Monday's game against the Hornets. They only have one more game after that (Wednesday in Boston) before the All-Star break and trade deadline. 

The Sixers had been involved in previous discussions surrounding Okafor, including with the Bulls and Pelicans. The talks on Saturday were more advanced than those, per a source. – by Jessica Camerato


Milwaukee can't buck bad luck trend

For the Milwaukee Bucks, they can't seem to get it right, through no fault of their own.

One big piece comes back, one goes down--indefinitely.

The day swingman Khris Middleton debuted after a hamstring injury this summer prevented him from starting the year, they lose up and coming star Jabari Parker to an ACL injury--the same ACL he tore his rookie year and threatened to derail his promising career.

Now, he's out for the year and the Bucks have to think long-term about where they go from here.

But now, they have to replace Parker and it could be with the mercurial Michael Beasley in the meantime--as adjusting is something they're used to this year.

"Just going through the process of playing without Khris, we understand how to play without someone," head coach Jason Kidd said to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Now we've got to learn how to play without Jabari. We don't have training camp or time to waste. We've got Friday and Saturday with games. We've just got to be pros.” – by Vincent Goodwill

Korver: 'Who wouldn't want to play with the best players in the world?'

When finding ones rhythm happening to coincide with wanting to stay put, it's no such thing as a coincidence, right?

In the case of Cavaliers' new acquisition Kyle Korver, it's been a few weeks in the making but he's finally located his groove and indicated he wanted to stay with the franchise as he becomes a free agent this summer. It's the same week he connects on 12 of 14 3-pointers in his last three games, including an 8-for-9 masterpiece against the Pacers, scoring a season-high 29 points.

"I mean, who wouldn't want to play with the best players in the world?" Korver told Cleveland.com. 

Or more specifically, who doesn't want to play with the best passer in the world, one LeBron James?

Keep cashing those checks, Korver. – by Vincent Goodwill

Pistons (finally) motoring in the right direction

The Detroit Pistons seem intent on this stop-start process where they can't figure out what they're doing. 

But what if they've finally found their groove?

Sunday night's 16-point fourth-quarter comeback win over the Toronto Raptors was their biggest such comeback win in regulation since moving from Fort Wayne in 1957-58, and more importantly, gives them five wins in their last seven games as they tied the Bulls for the seventh playoff spot in the East.

Stanley Johnson has struggled in his second year but if he and Tobias Harris can find their rhythm off the bench, one wonders if they can do more than take up the rear in the playoff race. Johnson scored 11 and played critical minutes in the win over the Raptors.

“I just have to figure out a way to play my game within the system. Offensively, it’s a little tougher for me,” Johnson told the Detroit News. “Even last year, I feel like I found more shots within the system.”

If the system can find a way to make Johnson more effective, Detroit can be dangerous down the stretch. – by Vincent Goodwill

Pacers remain inconsistent, time for LB to make a trade?

If anybody can get a handle on the Indiana Pacers, call Vegas because not even the experts have a good enough feel for them. 

One week ago, they were on the rise and Paul George had been reasserting himself as a bona fide swingman in the league, on a seven-game winning streak and being downright scary as a playoff opponent.

But since then, they've lost three straight, including a thrashing from the Cleveland Cavaliers and what's probably a little worse, they were beat up on the boards late by the Washington Wizards, causing George to call his teammates out for a lack of toughness--the worst thing a team can be called as a whole short of quitting.

“We got stops. Made them miss shots, but we couldn’t secure the rebounds. We’re not tough enough," George said after a 112-107 loss to the Wizards Friday night. "This has been an issue for us all season long. We’re really struggling and we’re just not tough enough. We’ve got to get grittier. We’ve got to get nasty on these boards. We’re just not tough enough.”

If the answer isn't on the roster, one wonders if it'll cause Larry Bird to hit the phones before the trade deadline. – by Vincent Goodwill

D-Wade: 'You know I got an Oak story'

No matter the walk of life or a person’s status, coming across Charles Oakley means there’s an experience, an “Oak story” that’s embedded in your brain.

As long as you’re not the topic of an Oak story, it’s probably pleasant in some ways.

“Do I got an Oak story? You know I got an Oak story,” a wide-eyed and smiling Dwyane Wade said to CSNChicago.com Friday afternoon.

Wade was a soon-to-be-rookie in the summer of 2003 when he was working out at famed trainer Tim Grover’s gym in Chicago.

“Oak just randomly came in and played. Open gym,” Wade said.

The directives were clear from the regulars to the novices who hadn’t experienced Oakley in his glory in an open gym with no television cameras, no coaches and most importantly, no referees.

“And everybody was like, "Oak is in here today, you shoot jumpers". I'm like, man (screw) that,” Wade said.  “You know me, I'm an aggressive guy, go to the basket.”

“First time I get the ball, I go to the basket.”

From there, Wade’s education on the scrappy big man who didn’t take kindly to high-flying young players coming to his territory began.

“Oak picked me up. I jumped in the air to finish and he grabbed me out the air and said, "don't come in here. Respect.’”

As for the unfortunate situation at Madison Square Garden, Wade stands firmly behind Oakley.

"From an organization standpoint, I thought it was handled poorly,” Wade said. “And I don't condone violence either. I thought it could've been handled better." -by Vincent Goodwill


Wizards' need for backup big man not as great now

With Ian Mahinmi back playing after a couple of setbacks with his knees, the Wizards have a clearer path ahead going into the Feb. 23 trade deadline.

That is they don’t require a big man to stabilize the frontcourt behind 32-year-old starter Marcin Gortat.

Defensively, the second unit has been stable. Before Friday’s game vs. the Pacers, the Wizards’ bench had a plus-9.3 points net rating per 100 possessions in the previous 10 games.

The key decision to be made is whether or not they can rely on rookie Sheldon McClellan or veteran Marcus Thornton for scoring from the shooting guard spot behind Bradley Beal – by J. Michael

Zeller, Hornets suffer yet another setback

Even with Cody Zeller, the Hornets were struggling. He returned from a right thigh contusion after missing seven games, played against the Rockets and had another setback and sat out vs. the Clippers.

His injury occurred against the Wizards, and it appears to be similar to one that Washington forward Otto Porter had a season ago.

Zeller said his entire leg had bruising, according to a report from the Charlotte Observer, “from my knee to my hip.”

Porter took a knee in his quad and there was the actual injury that he played through and then bruising and blood pooling in other areas that didn’t knock him out of action until a few games later.

The Hornets already made a trade to acquire Miles Plumlee for Roy Hibbert and Spencer Hawes. They’ll need Plumlee’s skill set more than ever with Zeller’s situation because he fills the voids that Hibbert and Hawes could not.

“Miles’ strengths fit into what we need,” coach Steve Clifford said. “He can bring physicality, rim protection and versatility in pick-and-roll coverages at the defensive end. I also think that he plays in a very similar fashion to Cody at the offensive end where I think he has a roll game that will allow him to play well with most of the perimeter players on our team.”

Johnson's versatility, Spoelstra's coaching keys to red-hot play by Miami

At $4 million for this season, James Johnson has been one of the NBA’s best bargains and has keyed a 13-game winning streak for the Heat going into Saturday’s game vs. the Sixers.

“I don’t know if there’s another guy in the league — maybe LeBron (James) and him — who can play the position one to five,” point guard Goran Dragic said.

Johnson is on his fifth NBA team. His overall averages are modest but represent career-highs: 12.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 35.6% three-point shooting.

Using him at the five spot has been a matchup problem for everyone, but Heat coach Erik Spoelstra deserves a chunk of the credit, too. The Big Three of James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are gone (technically, Bosh hasn’t been released yet), D-Leaguers have been major contributors and Spoelstra still has them in the playoff picture after an 11-30 start.

“I’ve said it for years, but because I worked with him I'm biased and nobody writes it: but there’s not a better coach in the league than Erik,” Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy, who used to coach the Heat, told reporters recently.

“People discounted him because he had LeBron and Wade and Bosh. Gregg Popovich is one of the best ever, Phil Jackson. But nobody goes to four straight finals. Nobody. He did. Those other great teams have not. But even before he had those guys, he had them in the playoffs. And now look what he’s doing in Miami.” – by J. Michael


Kings remain hard team to figure out

Break up the Kings. Sacramento has won two straight and three out of four this week, including victories over the elite of the Eastern Conference in the Cavs, Celtics and Hawks. Now if they could only beat teams like the Phoenix Suns and Chicago Bulls, they might be onto something. … All-Star big man DeMarcus Cousins sat out in the win over Boston due to league suspension after picked up his 15th and 16th technical fouls of the season against the Bulls. He wound up picking up technical foul No. 17 on Sunday in Sacramento’s 105-99 win against New Orleans. If (when) he picks up No. 18, he will have to serve another one-game suspension. … Ty Lawson strained an adductor muscle against the Celtics and missed Friday’s win over the Hawks. He joins Garrett Temple (torn hamstring), Omri Casspi (calf strain) and Rudy Gay (ruptured Achilles) on the injury list. – by James Ham

D-Leaguer Jones set to star in Slam Dunk Contest

PHOENIX - Rookie Derrick Jones Jr. is set to participate in the Verizon Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star weekend. He’s played in just five games with the Suns this season, but shown a flare for the dramatic in the D-League.  … Alex Len missed the Suns win over the Bulls on Friday after being suspended for leaving the bench during an altercation in Phoenix’ loss to the Grizzlies. Rookies Tyler Ulis and Marquese Chriss were each fined $15K for their part in the altercation. … Rookie Dragan Bender is out 4-6 weeks after undergoing ankle surgery this week.


Where do the Spurs find these guys?

SPURS - Winners of five out of their last six, the Spurs are once again rolling and they are getting a big boost from an unlikely source.

DeWayne Dedmon appears to be getting his sea legs as a starter. The fourth-year big dropped in 17 points, 17 rebounds and two blocks Friday night against Andre Drummond and the Pistons. Since taking over the starting job six games ago, Demon has posted three double-doubles.   

In need of more depth up front with Pau Gasol out of action, San Antonio inked veteran center Joel Anthony for the remainder of the season. – by James Ham

Help on the way for Davis?

Anthony Davis has been New Orleans’ lone hope when it comes to making an impact among frontcourt players, but that may not be the case for much longer. Philadelphia’s Jahlil Okafor is on his way out with New Orleans appearing to be the front-runner.

The Sixers have been negotiating with a number of teams, but the Pelicans appeared to have jumped to the front of the line after the Denver Nuggets – another team the Sixers were discussing a possible trade with – moved on to engineer a deal that netted them Mason Plumlee from Portland in exchange for Jusuf Nurkic.

If an Okafor trade falls through, look for the Pelicans to make a hard push for Brooklyn’s Brook Lopez. The Nets have the worst record in the NBA, but they won’t benefit from having a high pick in this year’s draft courtesy of the 2013 trade they made with Boston that included, among other things, Boston having the right to swap first-round picks in this year’s draft. They may be inclined to move Lopez now and get a lottery pick in return either from New Orleans or potentially from a third party if the potential trade is expanded.

Regardless, the Pelicans have made it clear that they are searching far and wide for ways to give their franchise player, Anthony Davis, some assistance right now. – by A. Sherrod Blakely


Jazz to have jersey patch with charitable twist

The Utah Jazz have always been seen as one of the classier organizations in the NBA, and their latest endeavors will only enhance that image.

Qualtrics, a Utah-based data and analytics research firm will have a patch on the Jazz uniforms for the next three seasons, joining other NBA teams such as the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets and Sacramento Kings.

But the Jazz and Qualtrics are doing something radically different.

Qualtrics will not put its brand logo on the jersey.

Instead, it’ll be a 5 For The Fight logo for at least the first season of the three-year pact.

5 For The Fight is a charitable organization focused on eliminating cancer with $5 donations with the goal being to raise at least $50 million.

“This is the right thing to do,” Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith told USA Today. “As much as I would love to put Qualtrics on it, this idea of raising $50 million for cancer research was something we couldn’t stop thinking about it. The Jazz were open to our ideas and how we wanted to use the patch.” – by A. Sherrod Blakely

Parsons rounding into shape

Other than some Twitter beef earlier with Portland’s C.J. McCollum, we haven’t really heard much from Chandler Parsons this season. Injuries once again limited his impact for long stretches. But the 6-foot-10 wing is relatively healthy now, which could make the Grizzlies a much tougher out once the playoffs roll around.

Memphis signed him to a four-year, $94.4 million contract in part because of his versatility at both ends of the floor. The Grizzlies have been a grind-it-out type of team for years that lacked the kind of firepower in the postseason needed.

Parsons gives them that, while not being a major detriment to what Memphis is about defensively.

Of course the key with him as is the case all the time, is his health.

Injuries have limited him to just 25 games this year while averaging just career-low 6.6 points per game with a minutes restriction of 24 minutes or less.

With 20-plus games left to shake off the rust and improve his conditioning from sitting out most of this season, you can count on the Grizzlies to be one of those teams few want to see in the postseason with the play of Parsons being a factor. – by A. Sherrod Blakely

Durant gets lots of boos and the win in return to OKC

OKC - Kevin Durant stopped by on Saturday night for his first game back in OKC since leaving over the summer. The Warriors throttled the Thunder 130-114 with Durant dropping 34 points and nine rebounds on his former teammates.

Durant’s return was the focus, but Russell Westbrook put on a show as well, scoring 47 points, handing out eight assists and grabbing 11 rebounds in the loss. He also turned the ball over 11 times in an emotional game at Chesapeake Energy Arena. – by James Ham

Jabari Parker unafraid of history, expectations that come with Chicago's homegrown stars: "There's no fear"


Jabari Parker unafraid of history, expectations that come with Chicago's homegrown stars: "There's no fear"

The Chicago sunlight followed Jabari Parker as he walked through the East Atrium doors of the United Center, facing Michael Jordan’s statue before meeting with the media, introduced as a Chicago Bull for the first time.

For his sake, the brighter days are ahead instead of to his back as he’ll challenge the perception of being the hometown kid who can’t outrun his own shadow.

Parker re-enters Chicago as the No. 2 pick in the draft that the Milwaukee Bucks allowed to walk without compensation despite holding the cards through restricted free agency, damaged goods on the floor but not giving the Bulls a discount to don that white, red and black jersey he’s always dreamed of wearing.

“There were other teams but as soon as I heard Chicago, I just jumped on it,” Parker said.

It took a two-year, $40 million deal (2019-20 team option) to get Parker home, along with the selling point that he’ll start at small forward—a position that’s tough to envision him playing with on the defensive end considering three of the game’s top six scorers occupy that space.
It was a dream come true for his father, Sonny Parker, and high school coach, Simeon Academy’s Robert Smith, who both couldn’t hide their joy following the first question-and-answer session with the media.

“This is where he wanted to be,” Sonny Parker said. “His family’s happy, the support is there. All I know is the United Center will sell out every game. He can’t wait.”

“Normally guys get drafted here. He signed to come here. He had a couple offers from other teams but he wanted to come here.”

The biggest examples of Chicagoans who arrived with outsized expectations for this franchise had varying results, but Derrick Rose and Eddy Curry both came away with scars of sorts that had many wondering why any hometown product would willingly choose to play for the Bulls.

The risk seems to far outweigh the reward; the emotional toll doesn’t seem worth the fare. And with the roster makeup not being ideal for Parker, no one could blame him for going to a better situation—or at least one more tailored to his skills rather than his heart.
“I think every situation is different. Derrick was excelling,” Bulls executive vice-president John Paxson said to NBCSportsChicago.com. “MVP of the league in his hometown before the injury. Eddy was just a young kid who didn’t have the savvy Derrick had. I think every situation is different. Jabari is such a grounded, solid person that he’s gonna be just fine.”

“You don’t have to spend a whole lot of time with him to figure out he’s got it together. He knows who he is. Comfortable in his own skin. A quiet guy. Hopefully he’ll thrive here. The goal is it works great for him and works great for us.”

It seemed like he was bred to be a pro—and not just any pro, but the type Chicago demands of its own when a covenant to play 82 nights a year has been reached. If the constant prodding from his father didn’t break his façade, or older brother Darryl doing everything he could to coax emotion from the most gifted of the Parker clan couldn’t do it, two ACL surgeries on his left knee may pale in comparison.

The numbers from Parker’s recent stint with the Bucks don’t bear it out, but Smith sees a player who’s back on track to being what his talent has always dictated he should become.

“Even watching him work out lately, it’s like whoa,” Smith said. “But of course, everything with Chicago period you have to be cautious. With his family and the support system he has, this thing is about winning basketball games and giving back to the community.”

“He’s had that (target) on his back since he stepped on the court at Simeon, coming behind Derrick and being one of the top five players as a freshman and No. 1 player as a junior. I don’t think it’s a huge problem, it can help him a little bit. If he has those moments if something doesn’t go right, he has someone to help him.”

Parker is more known for his restarts than his unique skill set in his young career, but even at 23 years old speaks with a sage of someone 20 years his senior, unwilling to tab this portion of his journey as a fresh start.

After all, it would be easy to envision his career beginning from the moment he left Simeon as a phenom followed by his one season at Duke—having two games where he totaled just 24 minutes with just two points to start the Bucks’ first-round series against the Boston Celtics isn’t typical of a star’s story if he sees himself that way.

“I don’t. I don’t want to forget all the hard work I had,” Parker said. “To forget I hurt myself and came back is to discredit my success. That in of itself is something outside the norm. I want to always remember the setbacks and failures I’ve had in my career so far. I want to use that as a sense of motivation.”

Bringing up his awkward pro beginnings in Milwaukee, where Giannis Antetokounmpo’s ascension to an unexpected strata mirrored thoughts he might’ve had of himself before his injuries, didn’t cause him to growl.

“I’ve never got jealous a day in my life. That’s why it wasn’t hard because I wasn’t jealous,” Parker said to NBCSportsChicago.com. “My journey is my journey. I gotta be proud of that and be patient. I took that and I move forward.”

The mention of his defense didn’t make him defensive, either, as he definitively pointed out the truth as he saw it, that today’s game is far more offensive-minded than the bruise-fests of the previous decades. Telling by his words in subsequent interviews, the best defense is a great offense and when he’s right, there aren’t many who can get a bucket as easily and with as much diversity as himself.

The only time Parker broke serve was at the notion he’d be following in the footsteps of Rose’s perceived failures, the setbacks Rose suffered when his knees began to fail after reaching inspiring heights players like Parker wanted to emulate.

At the podium for all to see, he corrected a question formed around Rose’s “rise and fall”, a sound byte copied and pasted by a couple Chicago-bred NBA players on social media in support of Parker’s words and feelings.

“Derrick had no lows. He didn’t. He still maintained. Derrick’s a legend, no matter what…no rise and falls. Injuries are part of life. Derrick is one of the best icons in Chicago. He accomplished his duty already.”

And later, he wanted to set the record straight again, drawing a line from how the media has presented Rose compared to how the people of Chicago see him, and vice-versa.

“We didn’t turn on Derrick, the media (did),” Parker told NBCSportsChicago.com. “We’re hometown. I speak for everybody, we love our hometown.”

The love of Chicago meant more than the prospect of not being able to live up to a glorious prep past, even though he should be well aware wanderlust can turn to villainy in a heartbeat—or the wrong step.

“There’s no pressure for me,” Parker said to NBCSportsChicago.com. “I’m just happy I get to play with some young guys, and I don’t harp on the negative. Anybody and everybody is gonna have an opinion. I value more my dreams than their opinions.”

And the dreamer steps forward, with a confident gait, eyes wide open and a city hoping it doesn’t repeat the same mistakes of its past.

“There’s no fear,” Parker said. “I haven’t faced any other pressure than bouncing back. I’m back on my feet and moving on.”

“When you struggle more, you succeed more.”

Sports Talk Live Podcast: With Jabari Parker in the mix, are the Bulls playoff contenders?


Sports Talk Live Podcast: With Jabari Parker in the mix, are the Bulls playoff contenders?

David Haugh, Patrick Finley and KC Johnson join Kap on the panel. Jabari Parker is officially a Chicago Bull. So does that make the Bulls a playoff team? And who will play defense for Fred Hoiberg’s young team? Vincent Goodwill and Mark Schanowski drop by to discuss.

Plus with Manny Machado now a Dodger, are the Cubs no longer the best team in the NL?

Listen to the full episode here or via the embedded player below: