Chat with Chad Ford
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, 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 Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Chad Ford (1:00 PM)
Aloha everyone. Thanks for coming out to the chat today. Lots to talk about in the league + we'll do some draft work as well. Let's roll.
Dell (Houston TX)
What's the latest with the Carmelo rumors? And are the rockets close to any deals?
Chad Ford (1:02 PM)
Let's get it out of the way early. No new updates. Likely won't be until we get closer to Feb. 24th. Nuggets aren't getting blown away with any other offers. Melo is sweating becoming a free agent under a new, more restrictive CBA. Nets are still maintaining they're out. Most likely they all come together and make nice on Feb. 23rd.
Justin (New York)
Glad your not in New York where it's snowing for the millionth time this year! What do you make of Carmelo's recent remarks about "being screwed" if he does not sign the extension?
Chad Ford (1:05 PM)
I think he's speaking the truth. He could lose (and this is a bit of speculation since we don't know exactly how the CBA will turn out) something to the tune of $40 million. Could he make some of that up in endorsements ... sure. But he'd rather have all that money guaranteed and then add to it with endorsements.
Junior J. (Los Angeles, CA)
I heard the Clippers might package a deal for Melo? Any truth to this?
Chad Ford (1:06 PM)
Two big obstacles there. One, Donald Sterling would have to open up his checkbook to pay him a huge extensions. Two, Carmelo would have to agree to play for a franchise that's cursed. With that said, I think the Clippers have some intriguing assets to offer Denver ... without having to include Blake Griffin or Eric Gordon in a deal.
The Jazz seem to have lost it and D-Will seems to be in another world on the court lately. Have they begun to tune Coach Sloan out? What changes can they realistically do this year to ensure they make the playoffs?
Chad Ford (1:08 PM)
It's a bit of a head scratcher. I don't think it's Jerry Sloan's fault. I think they need some more help on the wings. Biggest question will be what they can get for Andrei Kirilenko. NJ has some interest, but they aren't doing anything until Carmelowatch is over. Not sure there's another team out there willing to give up a big asset for him. I think Utah may be regretting letting Wes Matthews walk this summer.
Who is the biggest name in your opinion to get traded by the deadline and to whom? (Excluding Melo)
Chad Ford (1:11 PM)
I want to say Steve Nash, though the Suns continue to strongly insist he isn't going anywhere. A number of GMs in the league think Danny Granger might be available if they can give Larry Bird two starters in return. Mo Williams and Zach Randolph both seem to be in heavy rotation right now.
Antwan Jamison (Cleveland)
Is there any team out there that wants me??? Please?!?!, I'm dying here in Cleveland.
Chad Ford (1:12 PM)
Yeah ... you and everyone else on the roster. There's some interest there, but hearing Mo Williams is getting more calls at the moment.
Colton (Salt Lake City)
Chad, how do you see Kendrick Perkins return helping the Celtics?
Chad Ford (1:13 PM)
Of course. Had he been healthy for Game 7, I think the Celtics win the title. Big addition for them if he's truly healthy.
Chad,How do you see the rip/Tay/Kuester/JD soap opera playing out in Detroit? It's really quite embarassing for such a storied franchise to fall into such disaray. I understand the team sale aspect, but really????
Chad Ford (1:17 PM)
It's tough to go from a championship contender to rebuilding. Vets that are used to winning every night especially struggle. Detroit is just in an awkward position. Joe D's hands are tied a bit until the team is for sale, the vets want out, Detroit can't afford to just give them away. Hopefully the team sells soon and there's a way forward.
Chad Ford (1:17 PM)
On a up note, Greg Monroe is starting to improve. He continues to develop, that's a very bright note for Detroit. They desperately need some talent on their front line.
I know the sixers are playing well but watching the games, it seems like it due to the resurgence of Brand, the emergence of Holiday and the bench. Iguodala needs to go... chances this happens?
Chad Ford (1:20 PM)
If the Sixers can make the right deal, I think it happens. But I don't think the right deal has come along. They are winning now, so they aren't desperate. I also think Thaddeus Young could be available. He's a restricted free agent this summer and I think the Sixers feel they can't afford to pay him. Evan Turner is another possibility to be moved ... again if they get the right deal.
Do you think Curry could be had? GS must know they can't play Ellis and Curry in the backcourt together forever.
Chad Ford (1:22 PM)
The general thinking is that Curry is available for the reason you stated, there are some serious defensive deficiencies in their backcourt. But I don't think everyone should just jump to the conclusion it's Curry that would go. As good as Monta Ellis is, I'm told the Warriors are open for the right deal. But it would have to be a blockbuster.
Bob ((Queens, NY))
Do you see the Knicks making any moves/trades before the trade deadline and not necessarily regarding Carmelo? They need another big and a backup point.
Chad Ford (1:24 PM)
They are going to be patient. If they can get Melo on their terms, they'd obviously love to have him. But if they don't, look for Donnie Walsh to have a few deals up his sleeve that give the Knicks vets whose contracts expire before the summer of 2012. They want to be more than just a quick out in the playoffs.
The Lakers are trying to be the third team ever (80's Lakers and 60's Celtics) to go to 4 straight finals. I would say that their defense isn't that great because they are taking it easy, not because they are old. Agree?
Chad Ford (1:27 PM)
I know the Spurs have been great. The Mavs are dangerous. The Hornets have played surprisingly well. And the Thunder are sleepers. But my money is still on the Lakers to make it to a 4th straight NBA Finals. They haven't been awesome this season, but when May and June roll around, they'll be focused and ready to go.
What are your thoughts on the missing piece that would make the Clippers a playoff contender in upcoming seasons?
Chad Ford (1:27 PM)
A new owner.
Hey Chad, KP was invited to spend some Quality time with Larry Legend, big changes coming in Indy?
Chad Ford (1:31 PM)
From what I can gather, Kevin Pritchard approached Bird, an old teammate, looking for some side work. Pacers asked him to scout some NBA players. No official relationship. Doesn't appear to be anything. While I'm sure Pritchard is on the hunt for a new GM gig (and I think he deserves one) I don't think there's anything going on in Indy. The owner is a big Bird and David Morway fan I'm told and he should be. They've done a great job of rebuilding that team in the last three years. They go into the summer with some nice young players and a ton of cap room.
Chad, DeRozan has had a nice month of January. Looks like he's starting to "get it". He's been more agressive attacking the rim and his jumper is coming along. What's your take on his progress?
Chad Ford (1:33 PM)
He's got a ton of talent and I love to see he's getting more aggressive. If he could ever get a rock solid three point shot, I think he could be a very dangerous player in the league. It's great to see him developing.
Aloha Chad, Can/will the NBA do anything to improve the Hornets' roster prior to the deadline (i.e. add some frontcourt depth)? Or is it one-and-done in Nola this postseason?
Chad Ford (1:35 PM)
They're active. Gotta give Dell Demps and Monty Williams some love. Both are doing a good job. The Hornets have some expiring contracts to work with ... but they also have very little wiggle room right now because they have to say under the luxury tax threshold.
chbeyer (Charlotte NC)
What is the chance that a potential contender will make a move to acquire Kevin Love? His a emerging superstar on a team going nowhere.
Chad Ford (1:39 PM)
It would have to be a really good deal for Minnesota. Love has been the most improved player in the league and he's popular in Minnesota. But they know he doesn't want to be there. If they could get two or three good assets for him, they'd consider. But it's going to take a big offer.
I'm addicted to your Mock Draft Lottery Machine ... can you help?
Chad Ford (1:44 PM)
Not really. It's like NBA crack. Especially if your name is David and your from Minnesota. It's the highlight of any season for you guys. Nothing like playing for ping pong balls. Interestingly, it took me 20 plays to get Minnesota coming up No. 1. I think they'd go Perry Jones of Baylor if they got it. But don't count out Kyrie Irving. The Ricky Rubio situation is very fluid right now. They're worried.
Liking the Mock Draft lottery machine this year (as usually), but have one question. Do you think the Clippers would actually take Kemba Walker? I mean with the guys they already have on the team (Griffin and Gordon) wouldn't they want a more pass first point guard (also they have Bledsoe). I guess the Clippers will be in an awkward spot since they have young talent at all positions 1-5?
Chad Ford (1:45 PM)
I do. They really like him. And I think they have a long term objective of getting Baron out if they can. He's engaged right now, but we know it doesn't take much for him to disengage.
Are there any likely franchise players in this draft? I don't have a horse in this race, but I feel terrible for Cavs fans and it would be great to see something good happen to them.
Chad Ford (1:47 PM)
No obvious ones. A few have that combination of size, athleticism and talent -- Perry Jones is the most obvious -- but he's not producing like a No. 1 pick. Other guys are having much better seasons like Jared Sullinger, Derrick Williams, Kemba Walker and Jimmer Fredette, but they don't have the size/athleticism to be considered franchise.
On to the youngins! Leonard vs. Fredette tonite, draft stocks?
Chad Ford (1:49 PM)
NBA guys are watching this one closely. Both Kawhi Leonard and Jimmer Fredette are having huge seasons, but neither are protypical NBA players. Leonard is a bit of a tweener, Fredette lacks the explosiveness that NBA teams are looking for. But you can't ignore what they're doing and the skills the do have. Leonard is long, athletic, has a great motor and reminds me a bit of Shawn Marion. Fredette can shoot from deep, is fearless and has a great basketball IQ. I think both can be very good pros. Looking forward to watching the game tonight.
Nigel (Winston-Salem, NC)
Any teams already looking to move up in the draft?
Chad Ford (1:50 PM)
More looking to move out. Without obvious superstars, I think a number of teams are willing to sell out.
edizz1e (Queens, NY)
This has got to be one of the weakest drafts in the last 10 years right?
Chad Ford (1:51 PM)
I don't want to go that far. It's still too early to that and there is a lot of depth to the draft. But I don't see the next Blake Griffin ... no. Perry Jones is the closest on talent, but he lacks Griffin's energy which is a big problem.
Kyle (Cleveland, OH)
If the 2011 season is locked out, how is the 2012 draft handled? Is their a new lottery with the same teams?
Chad Ford (1:52 PM)
No one knows. They'll have to negotiate that with the players union.
Chad Ford (1:53 PM)
Gotta run a few minutes early today folks. Sorry. I'm out of the country next week, so we'll return in two weeks from the chat.