HoopsHype editor Jorge Sierra will be answering your NBA questions in this chat Friday at 1 pm ET. This week, the focus will be on the buyout season.

Andres Robledo @Arobledo3

With the addition of Granger and Glen Davis, do you think the Clippers become favorites to come out of the West?

Jorge Sierra @hoopshype

I don't think buyout players can change the balance of power in the NBA like that, but they do add depth to a team where Jared Dudley has been a bit of a disappointment coming off the bench and a pretty washed up Hidayet Turkoglu was getting 11 minutes per contest. Danny Granger should definitely be an upgrade over the latter. But let's not get too crazy about these players. They became free agents in February for a reason.

If you're interested, we did some research this week about the kind of impact buyout players had in the last decade: http://hoopshype.com/articles/hoopshype/buyout-watch-how-late-season-pickups-fared-with-their-new-teams

As you can see, it's nothing to call home about.

Jamie Williams

Is Danny Granger MORE concerned with winning a championship or minutes?

Jorge Sierra @hoopshype

Based on his decision, it looks like both factored in. He has a realistic shot at the title in Los Angeles and he's expected to get visibility and minutes, which have to be paramount to him considering he's a free agent this summer and we've seen very little of him lately due to injuries.

derak simon

Why are the bulls intrested in jimmer fredette when we have dj augustin, kirk hinrich and jimmy buckets? I think the bulls should go after more defensive players like metta world peace or ronnie brewer to help bolster the sf position. What do you think?

Jorge Sierra @hoopshype

The Bulls are 28th in the NBA in offensive efficiency and second in defensive efficiency, so I'd say it's the other way around: They need firepower. We know Jimmer Fredette can't create his own shot at this level, but he can certainly hit the open jumper. He's making 49.3 percent of his three-point attempts this season whereas Chicago is shooting 34.3 from beyond the arc. I'd say he's a good fit in Chicago.


What's up with Ivan Johnson?

Jorge Sierra @hoopshype

Ivan Johnson recently finished the season with Zhejiang in the Chinese League, where he put up monster numbers – like pretty much every decent American player that goes over there. We're told he's had some private workouts with NBA teams this week and will have some more the following one. He's one of the best free agent big men available, so it wouldn't be surprising to see him back in the NBA before the regular season comes to an end.

Lewis Varona

Your pick for Coach of the Year so far?

Jorge Sierra @hoopshype

No debate it's Jeff Hornacek. Look at preseason predictions, look at the personnel he has and then look at the standings. It's a miracle a team of that caliber is ahead of Memphis, Minnesota or Denver. Even if the Suns end up not making the playoffs, Hornacek is my pick.

Karl Mason

Is Dante Exum destined to be a Laker? He has made it clear that he is a fan of the Lakers. Exum had also made it known that he is a fan of Kobe and even signed with Kobe’s agent, Rob Pelinka.

Jorge Sierra @hoopshype

Very rarely can a player force his hand like that, even if his agent is one big dogs in the business. Remember Yi Jianlian a few years ago. He wanted no part of Milwaukee and ended up a Buck. Teams pick players and that's that.


Is Nikola Mirotic the real deal?

Jorge Sierra @hoopshype

As far as skills, he is. That's been out of a question to me for a while now. He possesses all the tools to become a highly effective stretch four in the NBA. I had some doubts about his competitiveness, though. Mirotic put together a very strong 2012-13 season, but failed to deliver in big games and clutch situations with Real Madrid. It's been totally different this year. He was impressive at the Spanish Cup final vs. arch rival FC Barcelona making every big shot in the book and finishing with MVP honors.

Last time I saw NBA fans so excited about a Euro stash player was with Rudy Fernandez back in the day. That didn't work so well, but I expect Mirotic to do much better.


Will Carmelo stay in New York?

Jorge Sierra @hoopshype

Only Melo knows. If I have to make a prediction, I'd say he stays. But the Knicks are giving him every excuse to leave New York. The team is pretty bad right now and there's very little hope for a turnaround next season with their payroll situation and lack of draft picks.

Paul @Paul__Dawkins

Does Toronto finish with the 3rd seed in the East, or do the Bulls overtake them?

Jorge Sierra @hoopshype

I'd go with Toronto. They don't have a particularly tough schedule. Final six games are against Milwaukee (twice), New York (twice), Detroit and Philadelphia. Those could easily be six wins.

No disrespect to the Raptors, but they may be the worst No. 3 seed I've seen since I started covering the NBA. What they are accomplishing is commendable, but Toronto being so high in the standings is very much a reflection of the sorry state of the Eastern Conference.

Phil McNamara

Will Westbrook's return cost Kevin Durant the MVP?

Jorge Sierra @hoopshype


Kevin Durant has been fantastic almost single-handedly leading the Thunder to the No. 1 spot in the Western Conference, but he's going to need a good version of Russell Westbrook to make a championship run. If Westbrook's return disrupts chemistry too much at the beginning and costs Kevin Durant's the MVP, so be it. The big prize is the ring, not the Maurice Podoloff trophy. And anyway, I think he's going to win it regardless. It would take a big step back from KD late in the season for him to lose it this time. If LeBron and Durant put together similar seasons, voters will go for Durant.


Do you think there's need of a 4-point line in basketball? Will it be someday?

Jorge Sierra @hoopshype

There's been a need for a bigger basketball court for a while now. I can do without the four-point line.


If it's not Miami, which team is the favorite to win the title? Please don't say Pacers.

Jorge Sierra @hoopshype

Then I'll say Indiana.


If they don't win it all... I don't see Durantula waiting and waiting in OKC. Do you?

Jorge Sierra @hoopshype

I can actually see that happening. Kevin Durant has the makings of a one-team player to me. Nobody will argue that the Thunder have been one of the best managed franchises in the NBA during Durant's time there. Superstar Durant has been surrounded with enough talent to have a shot at the title for a while, so he should have no complaints there... and he doesn't look like he has the thirst for the big-city life.

Then again, who knows? People change and situations change.

Kyle Knight

Thoughts on Doc Rivers and the Clippers this year?

Jorge Sierra @hoopshype

Best news for them has been the growth of Blake Griffin. Some people were starting to give up on him having seeing little progress in his game since his rookie year, but he has stepped up. Their record is pretty good considering franchise player Chris Paul has missed 19 games and I think the best is to come.

Like pretty much everybody else, I have a lot of faith in Doc Rivers. He's at his best making in-game adjustments during the playoffs and that's something extra they didn't have in the past few years.

Txoko Burutxaga @burutxaga

What's your take on Lamar Odom signing in Spain with Baskonia?

Jorge Sierra @hoopshype

It's a good match. A player trying to resurrect his career signing with a team trying to resurrect its season. Couldn't watch his first game, but by all accounts it was an underwhelming outing by Lamar Odom. That was to be expected, though. His coach had warned about conditioning problems already. I'm skeptical about the whole thing, not sure if he will be successful there, but personally I'm rooting for him. He's a talented and charismatic player and would love to see him in the NBA at a good level.

Luke Zimmer

Have injuries robbed Eric Gordon of his game and athleticism?

Jorge Sierra @hoopshype

That's an interesting question. I remember watching Eric Gordon at the World Championship in 2010 and thinking he was going to be a bona fide star. A lot of players on that team (Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook) became big names, but Gordon has not and it has not been a matter of talent. Injuries have obviously played a big role, but the trade to New Orleans didn't do him any favor either.

Matt @matias

Who's your favorite player to interview?

Jorge Sierra @hoopshype

I like the toughtful types like Chris Webber, but it would be hard to pick one.

I can give you my least favorite: Sofoklis Schortsanitis.

Gavin Greenspan

Why did the Orlando magic choose to release Glenn Davis

Jorge Sierra @hoopshype

They had no use for him. Also not the best fit for the culture they are trying to develop in Orlando. The buyout made sense for everybody.


Do you think Blake Griffin has propelled himself into a top 5 player and MVP candidate with his play over last two months?

Jorge Sierra @hoopshype

Top 5 player, probably. MVP candidate... That's a reach. Best power forward in the game this season and All-NBA 1st candidate... I think we can all agree on that.

vic perez @vitin03

What do you see in the lakers future?

Jorge Sierra @hoopshype

My crystal ball shows a very old player with a very big contract and a lot of frustration.

That's all for this week. Will host another chat next Friday to answer your fantastic questions. Hope your weekend is better than Kendrick Perkins' jump shot. Bye!