1 - The trade deadline is coming. Who will be the biggest star to be traded?
Michael Erler: Jeff Teague, I think, but Dwight Howard would be the dark horse.
Bruno Passos: Gallinari would be an interesting piece to move, given he would be a versatile weapon for a contender or near-contender to throw out there. From what I hear the Nuggets' asking price might be too high, but they're a team that should be looking at what types of forward-facing assets they can get, and any team in win-now mode should at least consider sending an offer their way.
Jesus Gomez: Will Doc Rivers be shortsighted enough to pull the trigger on a Blake Griffin trade? Probably not. I could see Goran Dragic getting moved but it might be tricky. I think Dwight Howard will be the biggest name to change teams.
J.R. Wilco: I'm going to go with Blake Griffin, with a single condition: he'd have to be traded for another star, like maybe Carmelo Anthony. The Clippers have been so much better without Griffin (.782) than with him (.566) and Knicks have been so bad that the contract Carmelo signed last summer is looking more insane with each passing week.
2 - What did you think of Aldridge's and Leonard's performance in the All-Star game?
Erler: I thought both were pretty lousy defensively, but Leonard was impressive on the other end and managed to make some stand out plays even in an environment not set up for him to do so.
Passos: It's really not a game that suits either guy's style or personality, but Leonard was able to at least adjust to the open feel of it all pretty quickly. I didn't think much of Aldridge's performance, but it's almost exclusively a game for perimeter players these days.
Gomez: Leonard will likely be appearing in the event for the next 10 years so it was good to see him adjust to fit the tone of the game. It was funny to see him try to talk on defense when everyone was giving up layups, but he just couldn't help himself. He'll learn. Aldridge is such a terrible fit for the game that I would be grateful if he never made it again if not for the fact that being named an All-Star matters so much to players.
Wilco: Big men excel in the All Star game so infrequently that I was just glad to see LaMarcus score. Kawhi got to do a bit of everything he usually does (midrange, 3-ball, dunk, alley-oop, rebound slam) except play defense -- and he even managed a bit of that. Considering that he scored the basket that gave the West their first lead, and led the West in scoring in the first half -- I was satisfied.
3 - What was your favorite event on All-Star weekend?
Erler: I had zero expectations for the dunk contest but Aaron Gordon and Zach LaVine blew me away. It'd have been nice if they had any competition, it wasn't a deep field, but otherwise top-notch.
Passos: I really enjoyed the new format of the skills competition (along with watching Towns excitedly win it all), but the dunk contest was still the most entertaining. Gordon and LaVine brought the combination of showmanship and athletic ability the event was made for.
Gomez: Saturday was pretty much perfect. Great twist in the skills challenge event with big men being a part of it, a fun three-point contest and a memorable slam dunk contest. If I have to choose one, I'd obviously have to go with the dunk contest but the entire day was fun.
Wilco: I haven't watched the Slam Dunk contest in ages, but watching Gordon and LaVine was so much fun. I thought that there wasn't anything new to do with the dunk and that's why the last few contests were so disappointing. Good dunkers have to be gifted athletically and creatively, and we've just been waiting for a couple of guys like these to show there are still things to be done with the format. -- That said, there were far too many 50's handed out early, which gave the judges nowhere to go once the dunks got better and better. But that's a minor quibble.
4 - Which current Spur will participate in an All-Star weekend for the first time in 2017?
Erler: Leonard should've been in the the three-point shootout. He leads the league in three-point percentage. Simmons probably would be out of his depth in the dunk contest. If Manu retires and Simmons takes over his sixth-man spot and evolves into a 14-4-4 kind of player, I could see him being invited to Rising Stars as an NBA sophomore, even though he'll be 27. If Green starts out hot from three-point land next year, maybe they'll give him a shot to compete in that. It's kind of surprising he hasn't been asked yet, he's forged a reputation as one of the league's best three-point specialists.
Passos: Simmons or Boban in the Rising Stars competition maybe? Either one could be looking at a bigger role next year.
Gomez: I have to assume they asked Leonard to be a part of the three-point contest and he declined. I can't believe they haven't asked Danny Green yet, though. He seems like someone who would enjoy being a part of the festivities, even if I'm not sure his form would translate well to the event. Hopefully he'll get a chance to prove me wrong next year.
Wilco: I'd say it's 50/50 between Boban and Green.
5 - What record do you expect the Spurs to get in the Rodeo Road Trip?
Erler: 6-2 sounds about right. They'll catch a break against the Clippers with Blake Griffin out, and they'll be well-rested against the Kings too. The Jazz game, on a SEGABABA seems like a scheduled loss, with Pop very likely to sit Duncan, Parker and perhaps others. The Rockets game will be interesting. Will the Spurs have their first losing streak of the season? An 8-0 sweep would be interesting because even 7-0 has never been done in NBA history (remember, the Warriors got tripped up in a SEGABABA at Milwaukee for their first loss of the season on the seventh and final game of their road trip).
Passos: I'll go with 7-1, with the idea that they'll either hit a snag in Utah or have an off night somewhere else along the way. It's a pretty friendly schedule overall, and I think the extended rest from the All Star break will help a lot.
Gomez: I'll be bold and predict an 8-0 record. The schedule isn't really that difficult. The game against the Kings takes place after the trade deadline, so they might be thinking about next season or trying to integrate new pieces. If Pop can get everyone some rest that night, then the starters might play against the Jazz. The Rockets' game in the last night of the trip has "trap" written all over it but their defense is so porous that the Spurs should have a chance even if they are not at the their best. If they get past the Clippers, a perfect RRT record could be in play.
Wilco: Everybody's guessing so high, and I can't disagree. Of their next 25 games, the only one the Spurs aren't favored in is against the Warriors. So the Clippers is the only real threat they face. I'll say 7-1, but if they beat both L.A. teams, I can see them taking the last four and setting the all time road trip record.