Chat with Chad Ford
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN NBA Insider Chad Ford will drop by to talk some hoops.
Ford covers the NBA and NBA Draft for ESPN Insider and also makes appearances on ESPN Radio and ESPNEWS.
Send your questions now and join Ford Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Chad Ford (1:01 PM)
Aloha everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat today. We'll talk playoff battles, Blazers battles, NBA Draft, etc. Let's roll.
Howzit Chad? Yesterday was like Christmas, my birthday and winning a Vegas jackpot all rolled into one when I heard the news that the Warriors are up for sale! As long as the new owner is not named Al Davis, Lew Wolfe or Donald Sterling, I do not care who buys the team, anything is better than what we've had for the past 16 years. Nothing else to add, just wanted to let you know that the sun in finally shining on this fan base after 16 years of the worst owner in professional sports...good riddance loser!
Chad Ford (1:07 PM)
Zac, I think you speak for just about every Warriors fan. Warriors have a lot of young talent. They have a great market. And they waste it every year. If someone like Larry Ellison gets control, things will change in a hurry. And ... if it's true that the Blazers are going to fire Kevin Pritchard -- they can have a great GM too. I think they'll move up about 10 spots on our Future Power Rankings from the sale alone. Another 5 spots if they land Pritchard.
Mark (Corvallis, OR)
What is going on with Blazers organization right now? Is paul allen really not concerned that he will lose a large portion of the fanbase if pritchard goes? He has been such a huge part of connecting the organziation back to the fans and it seems unfathomable he would his Vulcan chronies destroy that!
Chad Ford (1:11 PM)
Madness. Chaos. What was up with those press conferences yesterday? Why trot out Kevin Pritchard, who has no information he can share, and make him go through that. Why does Larry Miller grant a 15 minute interview and then say nothing. It's all so bizarre. I can't speak to the internal warfare going on inside the Blazers. Clearly there are a lot of players involved with a lot of agendas. But from the outside looking in, Pritchard has been a very successful GM. They'll be hard pressed to find a better evaluator of talent, a guy with a better long term vision and a guy with a better relationship with the media and fans than Pritchard.
Is a team going to risk taking on the contract demands and ego of Kevin Pritchard? He is very good, but his reputation makes him sounds like the Terrell Owens of NBA GMs.
Chad Ford (1:14 PM)
I agree he's being portrayed that way. But who are the sources and what's their agenda? I talk to a lot of people in the league. Not everyone likes Pritchard. Some think he's brash and cocky. But none of those guys are throwing him under the bus right now. I think people should be looking at the folks that want his job (both within the organization and from outside the organization). Those are the folks killing him right now. I love the NBA, but there are only 30 NBA GM jobs and some folks would sell their young to get one.
Hard pressed to find a better evaluator of talent than Pritchard? Greg Oden meet Kevin Durant please.
Chad Ford (1:18 PM)
That's a hard one. Unless Pritchard (and the rest of the organization for that matter) ignored the advice of the Blazers medical staff (which I have a hard time believing) and took him knowing he had major medical issues -- I don't know how you can really fault him. I spoke with virtually every NBA decision maker in the league. All of them told me they'd take Oden. This second guessing now doesn't reflect the sentiment at the time. Durant was seen as a very special talent who could average 30 ppg in the league. But Oden was considered a huge defensive presence who could potentially be a factor offensively as well. While many of us felt that Durant was a better basketball player, I don't think there was anyone who was planning on taking Durant ahead of Oden.
I was just wondering what you thought of the state of the Pistons and who you think they might be targeting come draft day? It seems they are destined to be picking in the top 5 in this year's draft. I don't believe they are as bad as their record indicates due to all the injuries they've had (but I could be wrong). Could adding a top 5 pick and getting everyone healthy (maybe also acquiring something for Prince and/or Hamilton) bring them back to respectability?
Chad Ford (1:22 PM)
Detroit's had a rough, rough season. After years of playing injury free ball, they've been knocked around a lot this year. But even if they were healthy, it's hard to see how this team is a serious playoff contender. I suspect Joe D will be making more changes this summer. The lottery will be really important. The problem is, the Pistons really need one of those Top 4 picks. John Wall, Evan Turner, Derrick Favors and DeMarcus Cousins would all be great choices for them. After that it gets pretty sketchy. I have them taking Al-Farouq Aminu right now at No. 5. He's got a lot of upside, but he isn't turning around the franchise.
Jake (VA Beach)
Sheridan mentioned the Bulls as a possibility to tank because of the clause with the Salmons trade about swapping picks. Can you clarify? If they are in the top 11 picks is it protected? Basically, what are the full details?
Chad Ford (1:26 PM)
The Bucks have the right to swap picks with the Bulls as long as the Bulls pick isn't in the Top 10. So, if the Bulls are drafting 11, 12, 13, 14 ... the Bucks get the lottery pick, not Chicago. Yes, it would help the Bulls to have the 10th worst record. But they aren't going to get it. The Clippers have the 10th worst with 26 wins. Bulls have 33 wins. They could lose every game for the rest of the season and I don't think the Clippers pass them.
Chad Ford (1:28 PM)
By the way ... that John Salmons trade is looking really good in Milwaukee right now isn't it. Not only are they making a huge run for a good playoff seed ... but they get the Bulls lottery pick too. Wow. John Hammond has done a great job this year as GM of the Bucks.
Is there anything I can do to stop the Pacers from winning meaningless games and ruining their chance at a top draft pick?
Chad Ford (1:30 PM)
I keep wondering the same thing. Last week they had the 4th worst record in the league, had an 11.9 percent chance of winning the lottery and were in line to land a franchise type player like Derrick Favors or DeMarcus Cousins. This week? They have a 1.7 percent chance of winning the lottery, have the 8th worst record and are in line to draft Cole Aldrich or Greg Monroe. Way to go Jim O'Brien. Rest Danny Granger the rest of the season (if it isn't too late) and give Josh McRoberts lots of minutes. That ought to do it.
Minnesota lands the top pick, they have to take Evan Turner right? That's what seems logical to me.
Chad Ford (1:34 PM)
Evan Turner's getting a lot of (deserved) love right now. He's the best player in college basketball -- hands down in my opinion. But John Wall is a better pro prospect. I've yet to come across a GM who thinks differently. So, it's not that easy. Yes, Minnesota, Utah, New Orleans and Chicago (to name a few) don't really need a point guard. You could also throw Sacramento, Golden State and New Jersey into that mix as well. But teams rarely draft for need with the No. 1 pick. You take the best player and then figure it out. Worst case scenario you swap the #1 for the
Chad, how worried should GMs be about Evan Turner's ball-handling? Nearly 4 and a half turnovers a game, many more in the tournament so far...then again, John Wall tends to mishandle the ball, too.
Chad Ford (1:35 PM)
Turner is playing point guard and is asked to do everything at Ohio State. He won't do either in the pros. No one is that worried. Ditto for Wall.
Most Potential for All-Star type player in the NBA: Cousins or Favors?
Chad Ford (1:36 PM)
Both have the potential. Cousins is more NBA ready. Favors has more athletic upside.
Philip (Bloomington, IN)
I am confused here Chad, I have no clue how people rank Ed Davis so high in the draft. NOrth Carolina stunk this year, and Ed Davis should have carried them to a much better record. I know he hurt himself lat in the year, but come on is size that important to waste a draft pick on Davis in the lottery, he should go early second in my opinion!
Chad Ford (1:39 PM)
It's hard for big men to carry teams in the NCAA without decent point guards. North Carolina's were terrible. If Ty Lawson was still playing for the Tar Heels, I think you'd feel very differently about Davis. Ditto for Derrick Favors. Big guys need to get the ball on offense to score. I'm not saying Davis isn't a work in progress. He's still not a confident offensive player. But he'd look much better if his guards could've ever gotten him the ball in a decent spot. He should've averaged 6 ppg alone on alley-oops.
Eric Bledsoe is shadowed by Wall, I personally like Eric Bledsoe better. He is not as careless with the ball. Do you picture him like Johnny Flynn?
Chad Ford (1:40 PM)
Yeah, he's that type of player. He's now in our lottery for the first time all year. The draft has no point guards after John Wall. A lot of NBA GMs love him.
What do the NBA GM's think of kentuckys daniel orton?
Chad Ford (1:42 PM)
They love him. I actually think it's possible (not likely, but possible) that Kentucky has 5 players in the lottery. Orton is the rawest of the bunch, but he's big, physical, plays defense and isn't afraid to mix it up under the basket. I just had a GM in the lottery tell me they liked him more than Cole Aldrich. I have him at No. 27 on our Big Board, but I'm getting the feeling that I've got him about 10 to 15 spots too low.
Hey Chad, what about my boy Jordan Crawford from Xavier? He is having a great tourney, what does that do to his draft status and do you think he goes pro? Thanks!
Chad Ford (1:44 PM)
Great tournament. Great athlete. A bit undersized for his position. Has a rep of being selfish. But hard to deny the talent. He could crack the first round if he declares, but is probably better off returning to Xavier for another year.
You wrote that Jimmer Fredette needed to perform at a high level against solid competition during the NCAA tournament to boost his draft stock. Were his performances against Florida and Kansas State sufficient to merit 1st round draft consideration?
Chad Ford (1:46 PM)
He was great against Florida. Was so-so against Kansas State. He's going to struggle athletically and that showed against KState on both ends of the floor. But the guy can really shoot and he's a clever penetrator. Some GMs I spoke to think he could be a late first rounder. But most have him in the second round or undrafted.
Preston (Boise, ID)
To put it in perspective Evan Turner compared to John Wall is analogous to comparing Brandon Roy to Derrick RoseDerrick Rose is just so enticing
Chad Ford (1:46 PM)
That's a pretty good comparison.
How much (if at all) do you think the Kansas players hurt themselves with the early upset to UNI? Does it affect Collins, Henry, and Aldrich at all?
Chad Ford (1:48 PM)
It didn't help. Sherron Collins probably took the biggest hit as he shot Kansas out of the game. But he was never a lock for the first round anyway. Aldrich is a mixed bag. Some GMs love him. Some don't like him at all. Henry should really return to KU, but if he declares he goes somewhere between late lottery to mid first round.
Scott (Washington DC)
What's the word on Syracuse's Wesley Johnson and Andy Rautins right now? Can Johnson move into the top 3 discussion with a run to the Final Four?
Chad Ford (1:49 PM)
Johnson is really, really good. Top 3 isn't out of the question. A few GMs like Rautins as a second round pick.
mad house (h-town)
Does Tommy Mason-Griffin have NBA potiential?
Chad Ford (1:49 PM)
I don't see it.
Mark (Cleveland, OH)
Will there be a flood of underclassmen declaring and staying in the draft because of the possible lockout in 2011 and the change in declaration rules by the NCAA pushing the dropout date back to early May?
Chad Ford (1:52 PM)
Unfortunately, yes. I think we are going to see a lot of young people make some pretty bad decisions over the next few weeks. I think coaches wanted this new withdrawal rule thinking it would scare kids away from the NBA. I think it will just cause more kids to make bad decisions. Way to go NCAA coaches. I'm glad they're always looking out for their "student" athletes.
What are your thoughts on Maryland's Greivis Vasquez? Any chance he gets in the first round with teh lack of PG's in this year's draft?
Chad Ford (1:55 PM)
Like him, but he's not a great athlete. Maybe a second rounder. Maybe
Antwuan (LA, CA)
Chad, Terrico White & Craig Brackins both are hybrid players who can play multiple positions and have great skill sets. Where do you see them landing in the draft?
Chad Ford (1:55 PM)
White would be a first rounder. Brackins is on the bubble. He didnt' have a great junior year.
Should Darrington Hobson leave or come back for another year?
Chad Ford (1:56 PM)
Tough. Some GMs really like him. Others don't. He's very versatile. Not an elite athlete. Late first?
Greg Monroe?. would he be there for the bucks with the 10th 11th pick the bucks get from the bulls?
Chad Ford (1:57 PM)
I doubt the Jazz let him slide past No. 9. I like Monroe, but I understand the concerns. Like a lot of these guys I'm talking about they are missing a key element -- either size, athleticism, shooting ability, motor, something. But that's how the draft is every year.
Preston (Boise, ID)
Does Samhan have pro potential?
Chad Ford (1:59 PM)
Maybe. He's got a soft touch and he plays hard. I'd like to see what his athletic ability looked like when he gets in shape. A month or two with Tim Grover could really help his draft stock. He looks so slow right now.
Evan Turner reminds me of Dwyane Wade when he was at Marquette. Am I off base here?
Chad Ford (1:59 PM)
Turner isn't anywhere near as explosive of an athlete. If he was, he'd be the No. 1 pick hands down.
Is Cornell's Ryan Wittman making a case for himself as a late pick? Hes 6-7, got a quick release, and can shoot the lights out.
Chad Ford (2:00 PM)
I like him. Kind of reminds me Jason Kapono. Second rounder? It's possible.
Am I right here. Cole Aldrich = Greg Ostertag Part II. Stay far far away gms.
Chad Ford (2:01 PM)
That's not fair. He LOOKS like Ostertag. But he's a better athlete and more skilled offensively. But he isn't as big as Ostertag was and that's a problem.
Chad Ford (2:01 PM)
Gotta run everyone. We'll do again next week.