Chat with Chad Ford
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, 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 Thursday at 1 p.m. ET!
Chad Ford (1:00 PM)
Aloha everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat today. Let's roll ...
Why is nobody mentioning ATL in the Dwight Howard Sweepstakes?
Chad Ford (1:03 PM)
Everyone is. They've just been much quieter in doing work behind the scenes. With the Nets out of the picture (at least until Jan. 15 when they can trade Brook Lopez) the Hawks, Rockets and Lakers are the three clear favorites to get Howard. I think the Hawks can put together the most attractive package for Howard if they're willing to throw in Al Horford and Jeff Teague. The question is ... will they give up that much without Howard agreeing to an extension as part of the deal.
Eric (Orlando, FL )
If you were the Magic GM, Would you have taken the Nets offer? People keep forgetting they were going to be late first round picks.
Chad Ford (1:05 PM)
No. The late first round picks were fairly worthless. The big question was how the Magic felt about Brook Lopez. If you think he's a Top 5 center in the league and he's worth $60M, then you have to consider it. If you aren't that high on Lopez ... it's a pretty bad offer. I think Lopez is solid, but not worth that money. I think the Hawks, Rockets and Lakers all have better offers.
What exactly are the rockets doing?
Chad Ford (1:08 PM)
Good question. Right now they are stockpiling assets. Young players, expiring contracts, picks. They are trying to build a package that the Magic can't say no to. Not sure they'll get there, but you can't fault Daryl Morey for trying. If they don't land Dwight, it might be a long year Rockets fans. Then again, if they do land Dwight and he refuses to re-sign in Houston, it could be a long year anyway.
Do you believe that Dwight will walk away in FA next year? Thanks
Chad Ford (1:11 PM)
If the Magic hold onto him all year? Yes. My guess is he'll go to Dallas. They'll have the room and he's made it clear that's his second option after Brooklyn.
What is your overall offseason grade for the Nets? Yes they have bad contracts and will be locked in the luxury tax for a few years... but you can't have a lot of cap space and be irrelevant forever!
Chad Ford (1:13 PM)
I'd give them a B. Look, signing Deron Williams was the most important signing of the summer. That's an A+ To do it, they had to add a lot of overpriced veterans to the roster that hurts their flexibility going forward ... especially if players like Joe Johnson or Gerald Wallace start to decline. That hurts their grade a bit. But overall, it's been a good summer for the Nets. I think they win anywhere between 42-48 games depending on how Brook Lopez looks.
Now that Nash is with the Lakers and the Heat has Allen, do you predict a Laker-Heat finals?
Chad Ford (1:16 PM)
I do think the Heat, sans a major injury, will be back. I think it will be the Thunder vs. the Lakers in the WC Finals. I think it could be the Lakers if Kobe & Mike Brown let Nash be Nash. If Kobe wants to dominate the ball ... then Nash becomes a really nice spot up shooter which will help, but won't put them over the top.
What are the chances cp3 leaves the clippers next year?
Chad Ford (1:17 PM)
Clippers will be able to offer him the most money. Will they? I'm still not sold that Donald Sterling will be a big spender, but they did just pay a lot of money to Blake Griffin. I think the Hawks, Mavs and Knicks could all be very much in the mix for him as well.
Can you explain what the Pacers plans are with these moves. And do you think they have gotten better?
Chad Ford (1:20 PM)
I think they had to match Roy Hibbert. That to me, was the right move. He's overpaid, but most centers in the league are. I think they had to bring back George Hill too ... though again, I think they overpaid a bit. Don't understand why they traded Darren Collison for the right to pay Ian Mahinmi $16M. Mahinmi is a legit back-up center, but he was an unrestricted free agent and I doubt he made anything near that amount anywhere else. Could've signed him straight up and used Collison to get a first round pick back somewhere else.
What did you think of the Knicks offseason? Would have been great to land Nash, but I think the veteran presence of Kidd and Camby will help this team.
Chad Ford (1:22 PM)
Kidd and Camby were awesome in their day, but they don't have a lot left in the tank. Knicks season will hinge on Jeremy Lin. If he's as good as he looked for the month he was hot last year ... and Melo and Amare are willing to share the scoring duties with him, they'll be good.
You forgot about the Pacers getting Gerald Green! How is that not a relevant story? He was playing like a machine at the end of the season (yes, I am a sad Nets fan who has to see him go)
Chad Ford (1:24 PM)
He got very hot on a fledgling team last year. How will he adjust to coming off the bench and being asked to play defense? Just don't think he's that type of player.
Bryan (Springdale, AR)
You really can't ever count out Mark Cuban, can you? The guy loses Plan A, B, & C last week, and pulls out a Plan Cish move that keeps the Mavs competitive and the powder dry...are you as impressed as I am?
Chad Ford (1:27 PM)
Pretty much. Look, the plan was to add Deron and/or Dwight. They came very close on Deron. They may still get Dwight next year. But Plan A didn't work this year. With that said, I like how they recovered. Kaman, Collison, Jones and possibly Brand are very nice consolation prizes that allow the team to be competitive this year and still keep their flexibility for next summer.
Erik (Durham, NC)
Chad, I would argue that besides the Hornets, that the (gasp) Raptors had the best offseason. They got three major upgrades (Valanciunas, Lowry, and Ross). I know some will say the Nets did better, but I think they just became Atlanta - a team that will always be a 4/5 seed and never make it to the conference finals. Thoughts?
Chad Ford (1:30 PM)
I like the Lowry addition. Valanciunas also has the change to be really good. I also like Terrence Ross, though they may have reached for him just a bit at No. 8. In short, the Raptors got better. I'm not sure they're a playoff team, but they're better. However, if the Knicks don't match the Landry Fields contract, that's a major negative in their column. They way overpaid. I was fine with it if they landed Nash. But without Nash? Ugh. B- with Fields. A- without him.
I'm skeptical that my Jazz will return to the playoffs. Last year seemed kind of fluky, and other teams (Warriors, Wolves, possibly Blazers) will only be better. Am I over pessimistic, or are the Jazz headed for the dreaded mediocrity level?
Chad Ford (1:34 PM)
I really liked the addition of Mo Williams. Think he's an upgrade over Devin Harris -- especially the way the Jazz play. Also thought the Marvin Williams move was solid. If Enes Kanter, Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward and Alec Burks all keep progressing ... I think they're still a seventh or eighth seed in a much stronger Western Conference.
We're hearing Batum has signed an offer sheet from the Wolves for 4 years $46.5M. Will they Blazers match? And is that really the best move for them at this point?
Chad Ford (1:36 PM)
I think they should. He's being overpaid. That's what happens with Restricted Free Agents. But he's an asset and is young and productive. Don't think you just give him away to the Timberwolves. If the Wolves do get them, they're going to be MUCH better next season.
In Hollinger's chat today he suggested that another team, perhaps the Heat, would consider signing Darko now that the Wolves have amnestied him. Is Hollinger serious? Darko is done. The Wolves were his last chance, and he squandered it. No other NBA team should bother with him. Your thoughts?
Chad Ford (1:39 PM)
Hollinger is right. Someone will pick him up. Cost is $2M. Even less if he clears waivers. He's still big and he blocks shots. Wouldn't be shocked to see the Kings, Hornets or even the Rockets grab him. They'll have cap space and will have first priority. If he clears waivers, Heat are an obvious fit.
When are the Hawks building a statue of Danny Ferry outside of Phillips? I want to visit it before opening night.
Chad Ford (1:41 PM)
Might be a little premature. But I've really liked what they've done this summer. That team needed a facelift and Ferry's ability to move Joe Johnson for expiring contracts was truly remarkable. Of course, the Hawks have to follow through with the second part which is getting some great players with their cap flexibility. It's easier to deconstruct than to build -- ask the Rockets.
So it sounds like the Bulls are going to match the Asik offer. Is this a dumb move or a really dumb move?
Chad Ford (1:42 PM)
He's overpaid. But so are most of the centers in the league. He got $25 million. Mahinmi got $16 million. Hibbert got $58 million. Big guys are overpaid. Doubt the Bulls really want to lose that asset. When Derrick Rose gets healthy, they are a title contender again.
Reports are Blake Griffin is heading back to LA to visit with doctor's after hurting his knee. Are we one major injury from the commish pulling the plug on future dream teams?
Chad Ford (1:46 PM)
No one is sure how serious the injury is. But yes, this is what concerns NBA owners. Stern is already trying to pull the plug on this ... though the owners could be persuaded to keep these guys playing if there was a bigger financial incentive for owners and players like a World Cup of Basketball.
What do you think of the 76ers offseason so far?
Chad Ford (1:49 PM)
Waiting ... lots of rumblings that Iguodala will be gone too. Depends what they get for him in return. As it stands -- I like the addition of Harkless, Moultrie, Wright, Young -- but losses of Brand and Williams really hurt in short term.
Matt Michael (Detroit, MI)
What are your expectations, if any, for the Detroit Pistons this year? Do you see a potential playoff seed for them?
Chad Ford (1:51 PM)
Probably not quite there yet. Like the addition of Drummond, though he's very much a work in progress. Like the Ben Gordon trade. But they're still a ways away.
Help me understand why the Kings gave Jason Thompson, a career bench player until late last year, 6 million/yr. Did I miss reports that there other teams interested in his services?
Chad Ford (1:52 PM)
Never quite understand why teams work so hard to get rid of bad contracts only to turn around and replace them with more bad contracts. Who were the Kings bidding against exactly?
I'm making my first trip to the Vegas Summer League next week. This is a bucket list trip for me. Any suggestions on how to maximize my basketball and Vegas experience?
Chad Ford (1:54 PM)
Don't go overboard. It's all an illusion ... like everything you see in Vegas. Summer League doesn't tell us much. Nikoloz Tskitishvili once was the MVP of the Vegas summer league. If some young prospect averages 20 ppg over there, don't walk away thinking he's going to be Rookie of the Year.
What do you think about Suns' offseason? In my book Babby have done very good...
Chad Ford (1:56 PM)
What book are you reading? They lost Nash. Hornets will match Eric Gordon. They reached for Kendall Marshall in the lottery. They overpaid Michael Beasley. I do like the Goran Dragic signing ... but doubt he can turn around this franchise by himself.
Why do Denver sign Fournier? Is he ready for NBA?
Chad Ford (1:57 PM)
He wanted to come now. NBA teams all knew this before the draft. He can force the Nuggets hand if he wants. The Nuggets can't force him to play overseas.
Won Joo (Seoul)
Is Goldon State going to play off in the season? Go Warrior!
Chad Ford (1:58 PM)
Maybe. If Andrew Bogut returns to his old form ... they've surrounded him with some pretty lethal shooters. Like their team. Think they could be a sleeper.
Chad Ford (1:59 PM)
Gotta run everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat. Have a great weekend!