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 (1:03 PM)
Aloha everyone, thanks for coming to the chat today. We'll do NBA Draft all hour ... let's roll ...
I have been reading from more and more sources that the Cavs are turning their interests with the first pick (should they keep it) from Noel and focusing on Oladipo, Len and Porter. But I do not see anyone mentioning McLemore. What do you think the chances are of the Cavs drafting McLemore with the first pick?
Chad Ford (1:06 PM)
I don't get the feeling as strongly in the mix as others, but to be fair, the Cavs have been very tight lipped. Oladipo, Porter and Len are all in the mix and it appears to me that the momentum right now is heading toward Len and Oladipo ... but again, I'm really reading the tea leaves here. The Cavs haven't decided who they are taking, still have workouts and interviews to do and if we hear anything definitive, it will probably be a day or two before the draft.
What would it take for the Wolves to move up to 4 to take McLemore, assuming he's still there?
Chad Ford (1:07 PM)
Of all the teams in the draft, McLemore's best fit is Minnesota. Fits a huge need, doesn't have to be the alpha dog and has a terrific point guard to help put him in scoring positions. It's in both of their best interests to find each other.
I've seen a few reports suggesting the Wizards might be leaning towards drafting Anthony Bennett over Otto Porter b/c of his greater upside. Two questions, 1) what makes Bennett potentially better than someone like Rodney Rodgers, and 2) is Porter's updside actually that low? He's only 20, big, long, athletic, and can score inside and out. Seems like people are selling the guy short based solely on comps to guys who were doing similar things when they were SENIORS (ie. Battier). Thanks.
Chad Ford (1:09 PM)
I think Porter and Bennett are the two guys they are debating between (though if Noel slipped to 3, he'd be in the mix too). I don't get the impression they are leaning towards Bennett yet. But they do really like him. As far as upsides go, I do think people are underestimating Porter because he wasn't hyped out of high school and plays a more understated game. I think he's got a very bright future and would have no problems with the Cavs taking him No. 1.
Any word out of the hermit kingdom that is Orlando about who they are leaning towards? I'm in love with the Oladipo pick personally.
Chad Ford (1:11 PM)
Nope. They've been pretty secretive. I think Oladipo, McLemore and Noel are the three most likely picks for them. I think by now everyone knows I have a man-crush on Oladipo. He's my favorite player in the draft so ... yeah, I think that's who Orlando should take.
Chad, Have you been hearing anything on the Bulls?
Chad Ford (1:13 PM)
They've been quiet, but it's pretty clear that they are targeting shooters by looking at the guys they've brought in. Karasev (though I think he's off the board there), Crabbe and Bullock are the top options.
Lamont (Oak City)
Think the Thunder will try to move up?
Chad Ford (1:15 PM)
The Thunder are one of the most opportunistic teams in the NBA. Wouldn't surprise me at all to see them try to swap next year's pick for a second lottery/mid-first round pick this year. It sounds like virtually every team in the lottery is open to moving their pick this year.
Jake (Portland, OR)
Have the Blazers lost interest in Caldwell-Pope after seeing his workout compared to McCollum's?
Chad Ford (1:19 PM)
No. Workouts are pretty small part of the overall picture. Just not sure that Caldwell-Pope gets past the Wolves at No. 9
Dan (San Diego)
Reports are that Shabazz Muhammad has had strong workouts with the Suns and Kings. Is his stock rising?
Chad Ford (1:20 PM)
Heard the same in Sacramento and happy for Shabazz. He's a hard worker and I think that's going to show in a workout setting. Just not sure where he lands yet. He's got a lot of ground to make up.
Any truth to Giannis Antetokounmpo moving up into the late lottery after his performance against Turkey this week?
Chad Ford (1:23 PM)
First of all, props for spelling his name correctly. Second, too early to tell. NBA scouts that were there were impressed, but all of them stressed he's still a major project that is going to take years to develop. I think the Hawks, who have two first rounders, are a potential destination. Don't think he's in the lottery ... yet.
Dan (San Diego)
Any word on Jamal Franklin? Is he working out? If so, how is he doing? Where does he get drafted?
Chad Ford (1:24 PM)
Yes. He worked out for the Knicks and Nets. Heard he had a great workout in NY ... made his first 28 shots which is pretty special. He's been working a lot on that jumper. If he can convince teams he can shoot the basketball? He's going to move up. To me he's a smaller version of Kawhi Leonard.
Any rumblings on the Bucks' direction? I know they supposedly don't issue promises, but how enamored are they with Larkin?
Chad Ford (1:28 PM)
They are looking at point guards. They like Larkin though I think his workout wasn't as strong as I originally had heard. Schroeder was just OK. Not sure they get a starting caliber PG at 15. Might have to move up to do that. Better chance of getting a shooter, but if they re-sign J.J. Redick that might be moot.
Richard Parker (atlanta, ga)
How has the stock of big men Gobert, Zeller, Adams, Dieng, and Plumlee been doing through the workouts? Who's rising and who's dropping out of that group?
Chad Ford (1:31 PM)
Zeller has worked out well. Sounds like Adams and Plumlee have been solid. Dieng, I don't believe, has worked out yet. Gobert seems to be dropping based on the conversations I've had with teams. I'm having a hard time finding a home for him right now.
Thoughts on how high the Cavs need to go up to get Karasev?
Chad Ford (1:32 PM)
Trying to figure that out right now. I have him going to the Cavs at No. 19 in my mock, but feedback I'm getting is that he's got a team higher on the board that will take him. OKC, Dallas, Utah, Milwaukee and Atlanta are also possibilities. They all like him.
The Kings had Burke, Carter-Williams, and McCullum in for workouts. Of the three, who do you like the best and which one is the better fit for the Kings?
Chad Ford (1:35 PM)
First, without a GM, it's really tough to figure out what they're going to do. Mike Malone is really the only guy right now. Heard none of the three really wowed in workouts. Think Carter-Williams is probably the best fit there ... but given what is likely to be a major roster overhaul (again a big assumption since there isn't a GM in place to confirm this) I think they HAVE to just take the best player on the board regardless of position.
Any word on who Detroit might take at 8? I'm hearing mcw or pope can cheeks influence the selection of a pg or sg?
Chad Ford (1:37 PM)
I think PG or SF are the two main options and unless Otto Porter slides to No. 8 (which I think has about a 0.5 percent chance of happening) it's probably Carter-Williams, McCollum and Muhammad in that order.
Think Ledo's game translates to the NBA, or don't we know?
Chad Ford (1:41 PM)
Yes. He has a lot of off-the-court challenges that could certainly keep him from living up to his potential. But as a player, he has one of the highest upsides of anyone in the draft.
Better prospect out of college...Beal or McLemore?
Chad Ford (1:42 PM)
could allen crabbe be a lottery pick?
Chad Ford (1:43 PM)
Teams like him, but hearing his name more in the late teens to 20s.
B Mand (Sarasota, FL)
If Oladipo and Mclemore are gone, who do the Suns take at 5?
Chad Ford (1:43 PM)
Haven't heard much about Tony Snell...how is he working out? What is his range?
Chad Ford (1:44 PM)
Lots of teams intrigued. Goes somewhere between 22 and 35.
Andrew (San Francisco)
Lot of talk about Mike Muscala out of Bucknell. Whose game do you liken his to?
Chad Ford (1:44 PM)
Not sure who is comp is ... sort of a poor man's Pau Gasol. Getting looks in the first round as high as 21.
steve (battle creek, mi)
How far is burke dropping? Does he get past the pistons at 8?
Chad Ford (1:47 PM)
I don't think "dropping" is the right word. He's in the mix at Orlando, New Orleans, Sacramento, Detroit, Dallas and Utah. So he could go 2 or 14. Mocking this year's draft has been as close to impossible as I've ever attempted.
#1 pick and #31 pick for Kawhi Leonard and #28. Who says no?
Chad Ford (1:47 PM)
Steve Urkel (Chicago)
Has Archie Goodwin's draft stock dropped him into the 2nd round?
Chad Ford (1:48 PM)
He has some teams in the first that are looking, but right now odds are he's a second rounder.
Who do you like most out of Crabbe, Bullock, Hardaway, and Karasev, and why?
Chad Ford (1:49 PM)
For me? 1. Karasev 2. Bullock 3. Crabbe 4. Hardaway ... think Karasev has the best mix of elite shooting and high basketball IQ. But all four have a chance to be NBA starters someday. It's one of the strengths of this draft.
Charles (San Jose)
Kawhi Leonard would be the #1 pick if he was in the draft?
Chad Ford (1:52 PM)
NOt saying that. Just saying there's no way the Spurs would trade Leonard for the No. 1 pick. He's too important to what they do.
Any update on Saric?
Chad Ford (1:54 PM)
He has until Monday to officially withdraw and continues to lean in that direction. As of right now, seems like there's a 90 percent chance he's out of this year's draft. They are talking to 2 or 3 teams that might be willing to draft him in the lottery and leave him in Croatia for another year, but even if those teams would agree to that, it's possible Saric might still withdraw.
What kind of buzz is Tony Mitchell getting with his freakish athletic ability?
Chad Ford (1:55 PM)
Watch the Knicks at 24. Think they like him a lot.
Aidan Wright (Syracuse)
Who has the greatest potiental in this draft?
Chad Ford (1:57 PM)
Pure potential? Noel and McLemore. But both players have serious questions that could keep them from getting there. Players like Oladipo, Porter and Bennett feel more like sure things.
Expand on serious questions surrounding McLemore?
Chad Ford (1:59 PM)
Just his mental make-up as a player. Will he be aggressive? Will he push through bad games? Is he tough enough and driven enough to reach his potential?
Chad Ford (1:59 PM)
Gotta run everyone. We'll do this again next week! Draft is getting close! Have a new Big Board and some cools stuf with Jay Bilas up right now ... enjoy.