Chat with Chad Ford
Ford covers the NBA and NBA Draft for ESPN Insider and also makes appearances on ESPN Radio and ESPNEWS.
Send your questions to Chad now and join him right here in The Show on Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Chad Ford (12:59 PM)
Mele Kalikimaka everyone. Hope everyone is having a great holiday so far. Lots of NBA and NBA Draft to talk about today, so send in your questions on both.
Brad Miller (Sacramento)
Chad, my bags are packed and my shotgun is in the trunk, where am I headed?
Chad Ford (1:08 PM)
The Kings are going nowhere and Miller still has some size and scoring ability. The Bulls have always seemed like the most legit destination. They need the size and have a few pieces to spare. I think you're gone by the trade deadline.
Chad Ford (1:08 PM)
Sorry for how long that answer took, had an internet issue ...
Chad, with Odom's struggles and the LAKERS hole at their starting SF spot, is there a chance we see them move Lamar (& his expiring contract) for a better fit at the 3 spot like Gerald Wallace, Mike Miller, or Tayshaun Prince? The LAKERS need a better defensive presence to go up against the Pierces & Artests of the league and would still have Powell & Radmanovic coming off the bench in the front court.
Chad Ford (1:09 PM)
They could have Gerald Wallace in a heartbeat. Probably ditto for Mike Miller who's unhappy in Minnesota. Shawn Marion is still another legit option. Personally, I think Laker fans are panicking a bit. They are the best team in the West, even with this mini-slump
Josh (Los Angeles, CA)
Isn't a younger big like Kaman a better fit for Chicago, can a deal be made?
Chad Ford (1:10 PM)
Yes, but Kaman will cost the Bulls something I'm not sure they're ready to give up -- a young guy like Joakim Noah or Tyrus Thomas. Miller won't fetch as steep a price, maybe just Drew Gooden and change.
New York Knicks = Playoff Bound? True or False
Chad Ford (1:12 PM)
Don't count them out. Mike D'Antoni has proven that his system is a winner -- even without Nash and Amare. I still think there are eight better teams in the East than the Knicks. It may come down to whether they'll be able to move Eddy Curry for something by the trade deadline.
Hi Chad, Carlos Boozer has said he is going to opt out, what are the chances someone picks him up this off season other than the Jazz, or maybe a sign and trade?
Chad Ford (1:13 PM)
I'm not sure why everyone is freaking out about Boozer saying he's opting out. Of course he was going to opt out. He'd be crazy not to. And yes, he'd prefer to play in a place like Miami. However, Boozer goes where the money is and the Jazz can offer him the biggest deal. The bigger question to me ... is he worth it? If I'm Kevin O'Connor, I'm not so sure Paul Millsap and Andrei Kirilenko can do the job for much less money. Sign-and-trade is a real possibility.
Michele (Granada Hills, CA)
Will the Raptors make a deal soon? Losing to the Thunder was not good.
Chad Ford (1:16 PM)
It's bad, but what do they do. If they trade Jermaine O'Neal, it will be for cap relief, not to win now. Bargnani is a legit chip, but is what they can get in return (a player like John Salmons) worth it? I don't see anyone really turning this team into a contender right now.
Dean (Stockton, California)
Do you see the Pacers dealing any of their expiring contracts before the deadline?
Chad Ford (1:17 PM)
I don't. They're going to want some cap flexibility this summer and the way Marquis Daniels is playing, they may want to hang onto him. He's been remarkably good for them.
Chad Ford (1:20 PM)
They'd move it, but they need to replace it with someone who can shoot the ball. Wally's actually been solid for them this year and they are on a quest to win a NBA title this season. They don't want to mess up what's going well for them.
How about this scenario: Nets match and keep Krstic then turn around and trade Yi? Play Krstic at the 4 with Lopez at the 5? Does Yi hold any value? Maybe package him with Swift (expiring contract) for a legit SF?
Chad Ford (1:21 PM)
Nope. The Nets aren't keeping Krstic, at least that's what my sources in NJ keep telling me. His contract is guaranteed for three years. They want that cap flexibility and believe Yi has more upside.
Chad, what do you think of the Thunder signing Kristic. I thought he forgot how to play basketball at some point. What is he doing back stateside?
Chad Ford (1:22 PM)
He's big and skilled and was on the verge of an All-Star bid before getting hurt. I haven't seen him play this year, but I'm told he's 100 percent healthy. If he is, it was a great move for the Thunder. They really need him, both now, and in the long term. If he isn't, the gamble won't cost the Thunder that much.
Matt (Lincoln, NE)
Who do you think the Cavs should target? Jamison? Carter?
Chad Ford (1:25 PM)
Cavs love Carter ... but here's the issue. If they swap some expiring contracts for VC, they just ate up all of their future cap flexibility AND the handed the Nets a BUNCH more room in 2010 ... enough to add LeBron, Bosh and more. Strategically, is that a smart move for Cleveland? I don't think so. You think LeBron will be more attracted a team with two young stars like Devin Harris and Chris Bosh or to the Cavs with a bunch of fading stars like VC, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, etc.
"Personally, I think Laker fans are panicking a bit." Have you SEEN the Lakers play lately? They're not even remotely close to the team they were to start the season. What the hell happened?
Chad Ford (1:25 PM)
It's a long season. They'll be fine.
Would Chicago like Curry back?
Chad Ford (1:26 PM)
At this point, I don't think anyone wants Eddy Curry.
david lee for tyrus thomas??
Chad Ford (1:26 PM)
Donnie Walsh isn't stupid.
Chris Mullin (HELP)
Because I have no power whatsoever, let's pretend you are the owner of the Warriors...what would you do to get this thing going in the right direction?
Chad Ford (1:28 PM)
It may be too late. The combination of signing Stephen Jackson to that ridiculous extension and Corey Maggette to that ridiculous free agent deal and then trading for Jamal Crawford and then reupping Don Nelson (who doesn't have the patience to develop his young guys like Brandon Wright and Anthony Randolph) and you're stuck. The chemistry on that team is going to be AWFUL. Monta Ellis coming back healthy, at this point, isn't going to be enough to turn them around.
Derek (Glendale AZ)
With the aquisition of jason richardson, are the suns a legit contendor? are there any other plans to move anyone elso on the roster?
Chad Ford (1:29 PM)
I think they're dangerous again. Richardson was a huge upgrade over Raja Bell and Terry Porter didn't know how to play Boris Diaw. I still see teams like the Lakers and Hornets and think they're better, but the Suns are legit contenders for sure.
Blazers... Don't be your usual hater self, and with that being said, how many championships will they win before the year 2020. My prediction for Dr. Hater himself, Chadwhick Ford: 6. Have you heard the joke about Ford? Ford stands for Full Of Righteous Dischord... Blam-O! West coast has basketball too Fordy!
Chad Ford (1:30 PM)
Now is the time to defend your guy Joe D. You said the Iverson trade was great short and long terms. It still could be great long term but short term it will be a disaster when the Pistons get KO'd in the 1st round. Did Joe D actually think Iverson would work in the Pistons system??
Chad Ford (1:32 PM)
I didn't. Go read what I wrote. I was very skeptical about the short term effects and lowered by prediction on the Pistons from first in the East to fifth in the East after the trade. Joe D was confident the Pistons wouldn't miss a beat with AI. I wasn't. However, I do think that long term, the move will benefit the Pistons. Rodney Stuckey's development curve has sped up and he looks like the real deal. If the Pistons use the cap space this summer to land a legit big man, they'll be set for another five year run at the NBA title.
Darryl in ATL
Early returns on the Hawks are pretty good. Can this team go to the East finals as constructed? Wouldn't a big who can block an occasional shot get them there?
Chad Ford (1:35 PM)
They are finally living up to their potential. However, I think putting them in the same league with the Celtics and Cavs is a little much. Plus their lack of depth is troubling. One injury to their starting five and this team starts to sink.
Thunder, Wizards, TWolves... who has the brighter future or best chance of turning this thing around the quickest?
Chad Ford (1:37 PM)
Well Wizards in the short term. Gilbert Arenas is a huge addition when he returns. Long term, the Thunder have the right building blocks ... a legit star in Kevin Durant, a young talented cast in Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook and lots of cap space. If they can convince a top free agent to come to OKC (a big if) then they'll be in good shape.
Rob (St. Louis)
Steph and David Lee for Iverson!
Chad Ford (1:38 PM)
I think Joe D would do that deal in a heartbeat, but why would the Knicks unless they were locking up AI to a long term deal. Given their cap goals for 2010, they couldn't do it unless AI was willing to play on a big one year deal.
Do we have a prayer at getting a team here in Kansas City?
Chad Ford (1:39 PM)
I wish. My prayers head toward my hometown all the time. Get a team in KC, offer me the GM job and I'll move from Hawaii.
You have insight on overseas athletes -- how common is it to have a legitimate question into an overseas athlete's age like there is with Yi? Is there anything to the Yi story?
Chad Ford (1:42 PM)
Happens all the time. Mostly in Eastern Europe and China. The ages get changed to benefit junior teams. All of the evidence we've had for years points to Yi being born in 1984 instead of 1987. Obviously he denies he or anyone else changed his age. Does it make a difference? Sure, the older you are, the less NBA life you have and the harder it is to gauge your talent relative to your peers. As for Yi ... it makes you wonder a little how much upside he really has left.
Matty Ice (The Burg, PA)
Chris, I am so tired of hearing Tyler Hansbourgh is not athletic enough to play in NBA, He will be a double double guy and a solid starter in the league for years, your opionion?
Chad Ford (1:45 PM)
I don't know about the double double guy. So far, in his four years in college basketball, he's been a double double guy only one year. In fact Hansbrough's pedestrian rebounding numbers (he's averaged around 7.5 rpg as a freshman, sophomore and a senior) are part of the evidence against him. Rebounding is the one number that translates well from college to the pros. His short arms, lack of explosive athleticism also hurt his cause. But don't get me wrong, he'll be a first round draft pick, more likely somewhere between 15 and 25. He'll be in the league because of his toughness and hustle, but I don't see him as a star or even a legit starter. More like a great rotation player.
You sound skeptical of the scouts that are high on Thabeet; are you skeptical?
Chad Ford (1:47 PM)
I'm not skeptical that scouts are high on him. I'm skeptical that he's worthy of a Top 3 or 4 pick in the draft. Defensively, I get it. He can run the floor, block shots and is an improving rebounder. Offensively? I think he's still a mess. And when he plays legit NBA talent like he did last week versus Gonzaga and Josh Heytvelt, he comes up with these 9 point, 2 rebound performances. Scouts love size and Thabeet is a legit 7-foot-3. But I just can't fall in love with him.
Adam Morrison (wondering the desert)
Don't worry Hansbourgh - people said I wasn't athletic enough to be a real star in the NBA and I was a Top 5 pick! Don't let them get you down.
Chad Ford (1:48 PM)
Adam (Rockford, IL)
Which freshman do you think will actually enter the draft? I haven't seen anyone that's ready yet but obviously Monroe and Mullens would be drafted high based on potential.
Chad Ford (1:51 PM)
I agree that no one in the freshman class has really stood out. All of them would be best served by returning to college. However, in the real world, you know some will declare. Greg Monroe sticks out because the draft lacks size and his talent on a good Georgetown team is evident. B.J. Mullens size also helps him, though his production until last night has been very disappointing. DerMar DeRozan already has a NBA body and game. You know Brandon Jennings isn't playing in Italy for two years. I'd say those four are the leading candidates to declare. But again, all four should probably return to school. I worry about all of their ability to go into the NBA and contribute next year. it's just a weak draft.
When's your next draft piece? I predict Evan Turner and Willie Warren are gonna be in the stock up column and Stephen Curry and Hasheem Thabeet will be in the stock down.
Chad Ford (1:53 PM)
It's coming today. Curry definitely hurt his stock with a poor performance versus Purdue. The haters who think he'll struggle to get his shot off against long, athletic guards felt vindicated. As for Turner, he keeps moving up and up the boards. I really think he's a sleeper in this draft who, like Brandon Rush, could find himself in the lottery on draft night.
Brandon Jennings can't "return to school" because he couldn't qualify. Everyone seems to neglect that point and assume he chose Italy over college. He couldn't get in. If I was a GM, that's a major negative for him - especially a PG which is an inteligent position.
Chad Ford (1:56 PM)
It's a good point. And for all of the talk about "life experience" and "learning how to be a pro" that he's getting in Italy ... c'mon. These are the same folks who would've criticized him had he jumped straight to the NBA. Here's my concern. Jennings hasn't been great in Italy. He's shot the ball poorly and despite a few good games, has largely been ineffective. It creates a quandry for scouts. Is Jennings struggling because of the transition from High School to international ball? Or was he over rated in high school? I'm not sure how you answer that.
Ariel (Albany, NY)
Is the 2010 draft going to be better or worse than the 2009 draft? When making trades and getting picks back, does this come into play?
Chad Ford (1:57 PM)
Too early to tell because we don't know who will and who won't declare for the 2009 draft. However, the high school class of 2009 is considerably better than the high school class of 2008. So that will help things.
Younger (Los Angeles, CA)
What about Jrue Holiday? You don't think by the end of the year this guy will be in the lottery?
Chad Ford (1:58 PM)
I think he's already widely considered a lottery prospect by NBA scouts. We've had him in the Top 10 since July. The issue with Jrue is ... will he declare? I've heard he really wants to stay at UCLA and take over the point guard position full time next year.
Do they Jayhawks have any legit draft prospects?
Chad Ford (2:00 PM)
For sure. Cole Aldrich looks like a potential late lottery pick. Sherron Collins is probably a second rounder. But the guy more and more scouts are raving about is freshman Tyshawn Taylor. His speed and athleticism have some scouts comparing him to Russell Westbrook. As a diehard Jayhawks fan who watches virtually every game they play ... I probably have to concur. He's not ready this year, but he's a very good NBA prospect in my mind.
Chad Ford (2:01 PM)
Gotta run everyone. Happy Holidays. I hope you get what you want his year. But more importantly, I hope you give to those who really need this year.