With the NBA trade deadline behind us, CBS Sports Radio asked a trio of NBA insiders to stop by Tiki and Tierney for a rapid-fire session Friday morning.
Buckle your seat belts, NBA fans. This was one fun, fast, basketball-friendly segment.
First up: the Miami Heat, who acquired Goran Dragic just before the deadline. Before dissecting that, however, let’s get an update Chris Bosh, who has been hospitalized and may have a blood clot in his lung.
Is there legitimate concern for his life?
“There’s legitimate concern for his health,” Bleacher Report Heat writer Ethan Skolnick said. “My understanding is he’s still hospitalized and that they’ve run some tests. The most that I can report at this point is there is serious concern about him having a blood clot – or multiple blood clots – in his lungs. We’ve seen this before in the NBA.”
Nets forward Mirza Teletovic and Cavs big man Anderson Varejao, for example, have had similar conditions. If Bosh does have a blood clot, he may need to shut it down for the year.
“Clearly you can see where this may be going, but there isn’t anything official yet from the (Heat),” Skolnick said. “So it’s really cast a huge cloud over everything in Miami considering they had a very positive day yesterday with the Goran Dragic acquisition. And then obviously everybody is concerned with Chris’ health – and not just in basketball, but his future in general.”
If Bosh is out for the year, do the Heat (22-30) – even with Dragic and Dwyane Wade – have enough to hang on to the final playoff spot in the East?
“I don’t know if (they do),” Skolnick said. “I really don’t. Chris is so important with everything they do on the court. I think it’s going to be tough. I think it’s going to be tough for the Heat right now. They went from a situation where it looked like they could actually be a player in the Eastern Conference playoffs once they got there, to a team that may struggle to get there at this point.”
The Suns, meanwhile, lost Dragic to the Heat and Isaiah Thomas to the Celtics but got guard Brandon Knight in return.
“It could have been really ugly, losing those pieces and not getting anything back,” Suns Radio analyst Tim Kempton said. “So being able to get Brandon Knight and losing two quality guards in Isaiah Thomas and Goran Dragic – it could have been ugly. I don’t know if we’ve gotten better, but we didn’t take that far of a step back, either.”
Still, the Suns (29-25) just lost their best player and are ninth in the Western Conference. Are they conceding this season?
“I think you’re still pushing to make the playoffs after last year’s success,” Kempton said. “You don’t want that ebb and flow. You really always want to be going in one direction in any sport. You want to be going up. You want to be ascending toward a championship. But right now, it’s a situation where you have all these daft picks, (and) you have the Oklahoma City Thunder, who got stronger. Your idea is to still make the playoffs, but it’s definitely going to be a tough task with the way other teams changed.”
Dragic, 28, averaged 16.2 points, 4.1 assists and 3.6 rebounds for Phoenix this season. He was the Suns’ best player and easily a fan favorite.
“He played hard, he played hurt, he cared about winning – and it showed in his play,” Kempton said. “I’m sure right now the fans are disappointed and a little bewildered at the direction of the franchise right now.”
And, finally, we’ve got the Oklahoma City Thunder, who parted ways with Reggie Jackson and Kendrick Perkins and added D.J. Augustin, Enes Kanter, Kyle Singler and Steve Novak.
Jackson was a solid player for Oklahoma City – he averaged 12.8 points, 4.3 assists and 4.0 rebounds this season – but he was becoming a problem in the locker room.
“We saw . . . some comments from Russell Westbrook, who did not throw anybody under the bus, including Reggie Jackson,” Oklahoman columnist Berry Tramel said. “But he did say, ‘You know what? If he doesn’t want to be here, he shouldn’t be here.
Anybody that doesn’t want to be here, move on down the road.’ That’s a case of a guy just not being happy and the Thunder saying, ‘We don’t care how you play. If you’re not happy, we’re not going to have you around.’ The chemistry issue was much bigger than what we thought. It really was.”