Ask Sam Mailbag: 01.12.18

The most realistic trade rumor that I am hearing is the Bulls and Jazz. The Bulls seek a 1st round pick and a contract such as that of Joe Johnson or Derrick Favors. My question to you is why would the Jazz trade a pick that currently sits at #11 for Mirotic? Unless they see him as the ideal pairing with Gobert? Furthermore, why would the Jazz deal away Derrick Favors and a trade pick for only Mirotic? Derrick Favors is a 14/8 starting power forward who was a very high lottery pick and still at only 26 likely has some potential. Would the Jazz be looking to expand the deal to get rid of Rubio in return for Kris Dunn to create a pairing of Dunn-Mitchell in their backcourt.Tom Plonowski

Lonzo Ball and Magic Johnson

Do you think Magic Johnson regrets the Lonzo pick yet? His father has got to be driving him nuts. Have you ever seen a parent like him in all of ur yrs covering the NBA? If MJs dad was doing this we would have all been fine with it but a player like Lonzo? Lonzo just wasnt worth it. Lauri at #2 would have been better.Bob Ding

LaVar Ball shakes hands with President of Basketball Operation of the Los Angeles Lakers Magic Johnson following a press conference to introduce Los Angeles Lakers 2017 NBA Draft picks

Have you ever talked to this guy (Ball's father)? Is he just a straight-up street hustler? If so, can't get real worked up about him. What's the industry saying around this guy..."no story here"? Honestly, with ESPN going slowly down the toilet, have a rough time getting real worked up about them either. The editorial staff, such as it is, makes choices every day. If they choose to go the National Enquirer/NY Post route, they get what they get. Players have sort of a weird mixed reaction. Van Gundys are notorious for Trumpie-esque loyalty to coaches. I like Stan more than Jeff (by a lot) but can't take him real serious when it comes to stuff having to do with NBA coaches. BTW, saw the other day that the original BBB gave Ball's company an 'F' rating. Generally that's earned. Can you remember any other parents like we see now and what impact did it have on the sons career?Mike Burling

Antonio Blakney of the Windy City Bulls shoots the ball.

It seems every Bulls player that is recalled after a stint in the G League is immediately given minutes and they are much more productive than before. It seems the Bulls are evaluating every player to see what they have. Have you noticed anything different this season?Victor Devaldivielso

Zach LaVine poses during Media Day

Pax must be mad that Lavine is set to return.Mike Sutera

Denzel Valentine lays the ball in the basket

Good to see Valentine getting his stuff working. When he's going he's a lot of fun to watch b/c he is one of those right place/right time guys. Dunleavy was the darndest guy for that, but Valentine is showing. Did you realize his dad is a big-shot high school coach? He plays like it...eyes and ears open. He needs to assert himself more. He has such superb touch. He badly needs to play pickup lots with his teammates b/c the more he inhales their games, the cooler the stuff you'll see him do. The game slows down for him ever so much. Pete Zievers

Lauri Markkanen sits during the 2018 draft

After Markkanen was drafted, he put two thumbs up and he was photographed. I remember thinking that pose reminds me of Borat. Not sure if you're familiar with that movie or character played by Sascha Baron Cohen. Later, I read Markkanen said his favorite movie is Borat and he's watched it many times with his friends. Pretty safe to say he did that pose on purpose.Victor Modv