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 to the chat today. We're talking NBA Draft today. Let's roll ...
Jazz fan (Rexburg, ID)
Now that the Jazz are likely without a 1st round pick, do you see them trying to trade into this draft?
Chad Ford (1:02 PM)
They don't need to. They have plenty of young players. They did like this draft and had their targets, but there's no urgency to get back in. They have their team of the future and they can find a point guard via trade ...
Jeremy H (Minneapolis)
If you look at Rudy Gays college statistics in his 2 years @ UCONN and compare them to Harrison Barnes 2 years @UNC they are almost identical. Barnes #'s are actually a little better than Rudy's were plus he has a better motor than Rudy did coming out of college. I just do not understand why Barnes would slip out of the top 5 spots, Thoughts?
Chad Ford (1:05 PM)
Gay slipped out of the top 5 and he was bigger and a much more explosive athlete than Barnes was. But I think you're right in noting that they could be similar players in the NBA. Gay just has the edge in size and athleticism. We have Barnes at No. 6 ... so it's not like he's in free fall on the draft board.
Chad, Outside of Davis, Who do you feel is the best fit for Cleveland between Beal, Barnes, and Kidd-Gilcrest?
Chad Ford (1:06 PM)
All three would be great fits for the Cavs. I'd probably go with Beal, Kidd-Gilchrist then Barnes in that order for Cleveland. A Beal-Irving backcourt would be very, very strong for Cleveland.
I guess this is tough to answer without the lottery happening but who will be looking to move up or down via trades?
Chad Ford (1:08 PM)
I think most GMs see a clear break after the No. 5. I could see a team like Portland perhaps trying to package 6 and 11 to get up higher. I think Brad Beal would make a lot of sense for them.
Andy (New Jersey)
Who do you see as the potential biggest steal of the 2nd round?
Chad Ford (1:11 PM)
I'm intrigued with Memphis' Will Barton. Has a NBA game. Good athlete. Very long. Has a great mid-range game. Rebounded very well for a guard. A lot of talent there. You could argue he was better than Jeremy Lamb this year.
Jeremy (Charlotte NC)
In your opinion, who has the most upside between Rivers and Lamb?
Chad Ford (1:12 PM)
Rivers -- just because he's got that attacking mentality. I'm afraid (I think a lot of GMs are) that Lamb's laid back attitude could stifle him a bit at the next level.
Can the Jazz still get the Warriors pick if the lottery puts the Warriors pick at 8 or later?
Chad Ford (1:13 PM)
Yes. If another team drafting 8 or lower leap frogs the Warriors on lottery night and gets into the Top 3 ... the Warriors would move down a spot to 8 and the Jazz would get the pick.
Who's the best fit for Anthony Davis at the top of the draft? Charlotte, Washington or Cleveland?
Chad Ford (1:15 PM)
He's great in all three places. Would be a huge addition for all three teams and an immediate starter. I still feel like the ideal fit is with the Pistons, but they have just a 1.7 percent chance of landing him.
Will the major struggles of McGee and DeAndre Jordan in the playoffs hurt Drummond's draft stock? They're similar players to him.
Chad Ford (1:16 PM)
Not really, but I think both players are good comps for what you'll be getting with Drummond. You're going to have to be patient. The raw talent is there, but it needs a lot of refinement.
Harper Lashbrook (South Dakota)
Any chance Beal and Robinson both move in front of Kidd-Gilchrist?
Chad Ford (1:17 PM)
Yes. I think MKG, Beal, Thomas Robinson and Andre Drummond are picks 2-5. But the order is far from set. I think most teams will look at need. Once we know the final draft order (lottery is 4 weeks away) we'll have a better feel for what order they go in.
Jorge (New York)
Is their a very good chance Fab Melo or Arnett Moultrie could fall to the Miami Heat also would the Heat take them?
Chad Ford (1:18 PM)
Seriously doubt it. Big guys usually rise, not fall, the closer we get to the draft. Both Moultrie and Melo have been rising on our Big Board all month. Moultrie could end up in the lottery. Melo in the mid first round.
Rob Hartwell (Newfoundland)
If the Raps took Marshall or Rivers 8th would that be a reach? Doesn't make sense to draft best available, otherwise we get stuck with another Ed Davis
Chad Ford (1:21 PM)
I could see either player there. Also Damian Lillard of Weber State. If they go need, all three are possibilities.
Seems like there are some really interesting shooting guards in this draft. What do you think?
Chad Ford (1:24 PM)
For sure. Brad Beal is a top 5 pick. And ... Jeremy Lamb, Austin Rivers, Terrence Ross and Dion Waiters are all in consideration for the lottery right now. Every team has them ranked quite differently. Some love Lamb or Rivers. Others are big Ross or Waiters fans. All four are very, very different. Personally, I'm a little higher on Ross and Waiters. But I think the slight majority of NBA GMs would prefer Lamb or Rivers right now. But yeah, it's a pretty good draft if you're looking for a two
Michael Thompson (Illinois)
Any chance Marquis Teague slips into the lottery? I see him being at least as good as his brother who is a solid NBA point
Chad Ford (1:27 PM)
That's the argument in the pro Teague camp. At the same point in their careers, Marquis is ahead of Jeff. Now that Jeff is starting for a playoff team ... maybe Marquis should be a lottery pick. Not a lot of buzz on him yet. But that could be coming ... The point guard class isn't very strong and the two guys with the most upside Teague and Wroten are sitting pretty low on the Big Board.
Tyshawn Taylor (KS)
I had a terrific senior season and am an extremely athletic PG. Do I not merit at least a look in the mid first round?
Chad Ford (1:29 PM)
NBA GMs and coaches typically aren't looking for turnover machines as their back-up PGs. They prefer steadier players who won't make mistakes. Taylor brings a lot to the table and, yes, at times looks like a sure-fire NBA player. But scouts are having a tough time with the fact that despite playing 4 years at Kansas, he never settled down as a PG. They're willing to overlook it in freshmen and sophomores. It's harder with seniors.
I know you've mentioned a drop off between Davis and the pack, then 2-5,... is there any major disparity between say 6-15?
Chad Ford (1:31 PM)
Not really. May even go a few spots lower than 15. Lots of talented, but flawed prospects after that. Not a ton of consensus among NBA guys about them either.
Which top 5 lottery team has the best chance of being a good playoff team in the next 2-3 years.
Chad Ford (1:33 PM)
Tough call. I'd say either Cavs or Wizards. But leaning Cavs. Obviously depends a bit on who gets Anthony Davis. He'll make a major impact on whatever team gets him.
Andrew (Ocilla, GA)
Watching the Thunder, sometimes I can't help but think James Harden is their best player. He is so capable of putting them on his back down the stretch.
Chad Ford (1:39 PM)
He's not. Kevin Durant is. But he's really, really good and way underrated. On draft night, there were a lot of Harden skeptics out there. We had him No. 3 on our Big Board despite the fact that he didn't really tick off most of the qualities you look for in a draft prospect. He wasn't a super explosive athlete, was a little undersized and just didn't have the pop you normally expect out of a Top 3 guy. But he was just a great basketball player and that shows every night now. Give Sam Presti a lot of credit. He's made so many right calls as GM of the Thunder. A good GM makes a huge impact on a team.
Paul Allen (Seattle)
You say that good GMs make all the difference. I'm looking for one in Portland. What should I look for?
Chad Ford (1:45 PM)
Look for a guy who can build a team and a culture in the organization ... not just a guy who hit a home run or two in the lottery. Should be an executive, not just a scout. Good executives hire great scouts. Bad ones try to do it all on their own. Should be a shrewd negotiator. Very few GMs really are in the same league as the agents they negotiate against. Teams like the Thunder have excelled, in part, by making great trades and signing great contracts. Needs to understand how all of the parts of the organization work together. Look for someone who has a track record of success rebuilding a team. Look for someone who's been mentored by a successful GM or two. It's hard, but that's what the Blazers need. Doesn't need to be a big name (Presti wasn't when he was hired). Just needs to be prepared.
Brett (Saint Louis)
What range do you think Meyers Leonard is going to go? I hate to make assumptions, but I feel like he's almost a guaranteed bust. He's got the physical tools, but after watching him since high school, I don't think he's got the mentality to be an NBA big man. Your opinion?
Chad Ford (1:46 PM)
Could say that about a lot of the younger kids in the draft. Ideally you have both the tools and the mental make-up. But for most of these players, you get one or the other. The question is ... can he mature? Sure. But you've got to be patient with a player like Leonard. He's a 3 to 4 year project.
Paul (LA, CA)
Speaking of GMs ... think Larry will leave the Pacers?Who do you think might take over if he leaves. I'll miss his drafting if he goes, he didn't seem to ever miss in the mid-first.
Chad Ford (1:51 PM)
Don't know. I know there have been reports that he's retiring and I've heard those rumblings too. But also have heard others say he's staying. Bird has earned the right to do whatever he wants. He should be Executive of the Year ... hands down. He's done just about everything right. If he retires ... I'd assume David Morway (if he isn't hired for another GM job) would slide right in. He's been Bird's right hand man and has played a big role in the Pacers success.
More GM talk, how SHOCKED were you the Wizards extended Grunfeld. The reaction in the DC area was uh, less than favorable. Thoughts?
Chad Ford (1:52 PM)
Surprised a little too. I really like Ernie and he is putting the Wizards in a better position to rebuild ... but there have been a lot of questionable decisions along the way. The thing you rarely know about a GM is to what extent their moves are just being dictated by the owner. Most GMs will protect their owners and fall on the sword if you will.
Good GM's make a difference. Having great lottery picks in stacked draft years makes more of a difference. No?
Chad Ford (1:55 PM)
It helps. Sure. But doesn't guarantee anything. Some teams really blow their top picks and do it consistently. Indiana, on the other hand, consistently hit pay dirt in the late lottery and mid first round. Spurs have consistently done well even in the late first round. And ... landing LeBron, Dwight Howard or Derrick Rose doesn't make you a great GM. It just means you got lucky ...
So, in your opinion, who are the best GMs in the league right now?
Chad Ford (2:00 PM)
Right now ... in no particular order: RC Buford of the Spurs, Sam Presti of the Thunder, Kevin O'Connor of the Jazz and the Larry Bird/David Morway combo in Indiana. These guys rarely make mistakes, understand what it takes to win, draft well and make sound decisions on contracts and trades. There are a few other very good GMs, but having owners with deep pockets or lucrative markets help them tremendously. Buford, Presti, O'Connor and Bird all do it in small markets ...
Chad Ford (2:01 PM)
Gotta run everyone. We'll do this again next week.
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