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. Hope you all had a great holiday. Thanks for coming to the chat today. We'll cover the NBA in the first half of the chat and do NBA Draft in the second half, so send in your questions now. Let's roll ...
Say good things about my Timberwolves please....
Chad Ford (1:03 PM)
Love Kevin Love. Love Ricky Rubio. That's a very strong foundation. It's the other players on the roster I'm a bit dubious on. Had the team done a better job in the draft the past few years, they'd be the best young up-and-coming team in the NBA right now.
Mike (Orange County)
Does Bynum's performance early in the season push Orlando to make a move before the Lakers reduce any offer?
Chad Ford (1:05 PM)
The way Bynum is playing right now makes it more plausible that the Magic might be willing to do something akin to a straight swap between the too. Up until know they've been demanding Pau and Bynum and asking Lakers to take back Turkoglu. I still think LA is the most likely destination for Dwight Howard if Bynum can stay healthy.
What would make you "dubious" about Derrick Williams? Has anything changed in your evaluation of him since the draft?
Chad Ford (1:06 PM)
I think he's a four. But he's not displacing Kevin Love at the 4, so the Wolves have to play him out of position. I think his chances of succeeding in the NBA go down if he's a three.
Nash -- traded by the deadline?
Chad Ford (1:10 PM)
Suns have balked in the past because 1. They really love Nash and 2. The offers for Nash haven't blown them away. Of course, it's crunch time now for the Suns. If they don't trade him soon, most likely they lose him for nothing next summer. The key will be -- is Nash willing to agree to an extension as part of a trade? Teams won't give up much if they're renting him for 60 games. To me, the best destination for Nash might be Indiana in a swap for Darren Collison. Suns get a young, talented point guard, Pacers get a player who could get them to the Eastern Conference Finals. If Nash would agree to an extension in Indy, I think the Pacers would have to seriously consider it.
The young Cavs are looking pretty good so far. What do you think of Irving and Thompson?
Chad Ford (1:12 PM)
Both look like really good picks. I saw Cavs-Pacers late last week and was really impressed with Irving's ability to get to the basket. He blew a layup at the buzzer that would've won the game for Cleveland. But the key was -- Irving was the reason they were in the game at all. I think he's going to prove that he was the best player in this draft. It's still a bit to early to make a call on Thompson, but I like him.
what do you think about deron williams so far? Is he not trying? Uninspired? or just struggling....?
Chad Ford (1:13 PM)
Great point guards need someone to pass it to. Second best player on the floor for the Nets right now is rookie Marshon Brooks. It's going to be tough for the Nets to keep him if they can't shake things up. If Dwight Howard goes to the Lakers -- I definitely think Williams could bolt this summer.
It is interesting following the Jazz this year and how they are coached. It is obvious they will not be winning a championship this year. Charles Barley said he thinks the young players should just play. Given that, and you were there coach, would you rather have the youngsters sit on the bench and watch veterans like Raja Bell and Al Jefferson or would you rather have them play and learn their lessons on the court?
Chad Ford (1:15 PM)
I think Kevin O'Connor and company are looking for a happy medium. The young players need time ... and, for the most part, they're getting it. But they also need to be nurtured in a winning culture. The Jazz still think they could be an 8th seed in the West and I think they'll go for that. Winning helps players develop too.
Chad, what do you make of this whole Demarcus Cousins thing? Is he done in Sacramento? Can he work elsewhere?
Chad Ford (1:21 PM)
He has talent, tons of it, but this is DeMarcus being DeMarcus. The Kings knew what they were getting when they drafted him so they have very little they can complain about. He would've been the No. 2 pick in the draft if he didn't have these sorts of issues. But character and chemistry matter and that's why most teams would've and still will stay away. He still is tradable, but the Kings aren't going to get a player like Greg Monroe (who they could've taken in last year's draft instead of Cousins) for him. The handling of the statement by Westphal was bizarre. But then again, lots of things the Kings do are bizarre. Sad to see a once well run franchise become the (old) Clippers.
Tim (queens NY)
kyle lowry - top 6 point guard? i think the top 5 is pretty established with rose, cp3, westbrook, rondo, and deron williams in some order. but lowry is having a helluva season and if you look back to after the rockets traded aaron brooks last year, lowry's averages are around 20 ppg, 8 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 steals.
Chad Ford (1:23 PM)
Based off what we're seeing this season ... yeah, I'd put him there. Tough to judge on such a small sample size ... but he looks terrific. Always been one of my favorite players.
With the breaking news on Zach Randolph, who do you think will be stepping up to his position on the bench?
Chad Ford (1:25 PM)
I'm thinking Michael Heisley wishes he wouldn't have vetoed the trade that would've sent OJ Mayo to Indy for Josh McRoberts. His GM Chris Wallace had agreed to deal knowing the team desperately needed depth up front. Now it looks like Marreese Speights is the guy. Too bad. I finally got on the Grizzlies band wagon only to watch injuries derail them in the first two weeks of the season.
What's the Pacers' ceiling this season?
Chad Ford (1:26 PM)
Third best record in the East behind Heat and Bulls. I love what Larry Bird and David Morway have done in Indy and they still have a ton of cap flexibility to get stronger if the right deal comes along.
Admit it, Chad. You and everyone else at ESPN were so down on the Blazers... but for the wrong reasons. A more uptempo offense works, and Brandon Roy would've mucked that up.
Chad Ford (1:28 PM)
I was pessimistic, yes. They've played much better than expected. I had serious doubts about Nate McMillan's pledge to play faster. Every coach says that in the pre-season. Few make good. He has. If Blazers play like this all year, he's hands down the Coach of the Year in my opinion. Few coaches can adjust their system the way he's been forced to over the past few years.
mark holmes (okemos mi.)
best fit for the pistons in next year's draft
Chad Ford (1:29 PM)
Kentucky's Anthony Davis. But then again, I'd say that for all 30 teams. But on Detroit, especially, it would be huge to add his size and defensive abilities next to Greg Monroe.
Why has Norris Cole so overachieved so far in the season? Did anyone see this coming?
Chad Ford (1:32 PM)
He's a four year college veteran. He's more ready than the young players that typically go ahead of him. Second, the fact that he played on Cleveland State instead of Duke hurt his stock. Scouts loved him all year and had he played at a blue chip school, he would've gone 10 to 15 spots higher in the draft. He was my sleeper of the first round and I gave the Heat an A- for drafting him. But he's exceeded my high expectations early on. Great, great pickup for Miami.
Wile E Coyote (MN)
Anthony Randolph for OJ Mayo? Seems like it would help both teams.
Chad Ford (1:33 PM)
I think the Wolves would prefer to trade Beasley ... that opens up more time for Derrick Williams and can move Wes Johnson back to his best position at the three.
Who do you have winning the ROY?
Chad Ford (1:34 PM)
I picked Kyrie Irving in the pre-season. But Ricky Rubio, if he keeps playing like this, will win it.
are you as down on the defending champion mavs as everyone else? seems like they need 20 or so games to get comfortable with the new pieces and for Carlisle to figure out the rotation.
Chad Ford (1:38 PM)
Yes and no. I thought Mark Cuban did the right thing by letting Tyson Chandler and Barea walk. He needs to start rebuilding and next summer is a prime time. I thought Odom was a nice pick-up for the price and I do think veteran teams like the Mavs will pace themselves a bit. But I don't think they're as strong of a team without Tyson Chandler in the middle and I think several teams in the West offer a better case than the Mavs do right now for winning the West.
Stephen B. (OH)
Sorry, Rubio is averaging 9 and 6; nonetheless, Kyrie is playing more efficiently (23ish PER to Rubio's 16ish)
Chad Ford (1:39 PM)
Yes, but the Media pick the ROY and they have a major man crush on Rubio right now. Hard not to when you see him play. He makes everyone better and plays the game of basketball like a symphony.
As a Knicks fan I was worried coming into the season that the pieces on the team just don't fit together very well. I haven't seen anything thus far that changes my opinion...thoughts?
Chad Ford (1:39 PM)
At the risk of thousands of angry e-mails ... agreed. They need help.
Riddle me this- How can Anthony Davis be the concensus #1 pick and a so called sure thing we the guy has no offensive game and isn't even the best player on his team?
Chad Ford (1:41 PM)
Potential + NBA Size NBA Athleticism Crazy Motor Amazing defensive skills = No. 1 pick. The other three guys in contention -- Harrison Barnes, Perry Jones and Andre Drummond -- all have warts too.
Steve - o (miami)
Andre Drummond is better than Davis.
Chad Ford (1:42 PM)
He isn't better than Davis on paper, nor is he in the actual games. He's got a better body than Davis. That's about it.
Guest (Cincinnati, OH)
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Better prospect than Harrison Barnes?
Chad Ford (1:44 PM)
That's a tough one. Kidd-Gilchrist is one of my favorite players because he impacts the game in so many ways because of his energy and athleticism. But Barnes is such a polished scorer. If Barnes played as hard as Gilchrist or was as good of an athlete, he'd be the next Kobe. But until Gilchrist gets a consistent jumper (thought he's gotten much better) I can't find scouts willing to put him ahead of Barnes. Barnes best comp right now might be Danny Granger. Gilchrist is Gerald Wallace.
Meyers Leonard, about a month away til people start realizing this guy is a bonafide top 5 player for this draft?
Chad Ford (1:45 PM)
If he dominates in Big 10 play, you might be right. Like him a lot and have him in our Top 20. But big men rise the closer we get to the draft and Leonard has the physical specs teams are looking for.
Louis (South Africa)
Hey Chad, great to have you back! With the upcoming draft being so allegedly deep, do you think that means it is deep in potential superstars that can become franchise players, or is it just deep in terms of quality role players? Thanks.
Chad Ford (1:47 PM)
I'm not sure there is a LeBron or Dwight Howard or Derrick Rose in this draft. But Anthony Davis, Harrison Barnes, Perry Jones and Andre Drummond could all be all-stars if they live up to their potential. The lottery is also deep with players who could be legit starters on their team. As far as depth goes, I don't feel this draft is quite as deep as last year's was once you get past the 20th pick.
Perry Jones: NBA comparable? NBA position? Best teams for him?
Chad Ford (1:48 PM)
Love his talent. He needs to play for a coach that's comfortable letting him play on the perimeter. If he does, he could be a Lamar Odom type player in the pros.
what are scouts saying about thomas robinson? he is a beast/ concerns about him being a 'tweener'? i say he can play nba PF no problem at all and could play SF too if need be.
Chad Ford (1:49 PM)
He's a NBA power forward all the way. He is a beast, a terrific rebounder, has a NBA body and is an excellent athlete. I don't think he has the skill level to be a NBA small forward. He measured 6-9 at LeBron's camp this summer. That's tall enough to succeed as a NBA power forward.
Who do you think Bradley Beal compares most to in the NBA? Does he compare to MKG or Barnes?
Chad Ford (1:51 PM)
He's struggling a bit. He reminds me a lot of Eric Gordon but hasn't always shown it this season. I think having Kenny Boynton on the team has forced him out of position.
Steve (Tokyo, Japan)
Is Marquis Teague a bust? Compared to cal's other guards, I'm not to impressed with anything about his came.
Chad Ford (1:53 PM)
Give him time. Some were writing off Brandon Knight after the first half of his freshman season. Derrick Rose got off to a slow start too. It's a big adjustment for him. I think fans have been spoiled a bit by Rose, Tyreke Evans, John Wall and Knight. He's not as good of a prospect as any of them. But he's still got a NBA future.
If Fab Melo returns next year, is he a potential lottery pick in 2013?
Chad Ford (1:53 PM)
Perhaps. He's improved dramatically this season and might even be a first round pick this year if he declared. But if he kept up the learning curve? Lottery in 2013 is not out of the question.
King (IL) [via mobile]
Austin Rivers a mix of Wade and Rose, with a mindset like Kobe. Why isnt he higher?
Chad Ford (1:55 PM)
His athletic abilities are NOT even close to Wade, Rose or Kobe. He's got a great basketball IQ and has a killer instinct as a scorer. But he just lacks the quickness and explosion of those three.
Kevin (Kew Gardens, NY)
Chad where have all the Euros gone? When was the last time we had a first round with no foreign players taken. Tomas Satoransky is the first foreigner I see on your or any list.
Chad Ford (1:56 PM)
It's a down year. Last year was great with Kanter, Valanciunas and Vesely all going in the Top 6. Just no really great prospects on the horizon right now. These things are cyclical.
Chad Ford (1:58 PM)
Gotta run everyone. We'll start doing this every Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET all the way through the end of June. See you next week!