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. I'm in Lahaina, Maui for the Maui Invitational. Great championship game tonight between Syracuse and Baylor. I'll take NBA questions in the first half followed by NBA Draft in the second half. Let's roll.
Bulls fan...you have to blow this team up, right? They aren't built to win without Rose this year. Trade Deng, amnesty Boozer offseason, bring over mirotic...am I missing anything?
Chad Ford (1:06 PM)
That would be the prudent thing to do. Unfortunately, I'm not sure that's an easy sell in Chicago right now ... especially with head coach Tom Thibodeau. No way he's not pushing his players to the edge. Only way it would work is if they let him walk as well. That's a tough thing to do ...
What kind of deals would you expect to be available for Rondo?
Chad Ford (1:08 PM)
Totally depends on how he looks when he gets back on the court. If it's the old Rondo, I think Ainge may be able to get another young player or draft pick for him. He's not going to get a star, but that's OK. Ainge is looking for assets. I know Ainge and company keep saying they won't trade Rondo, but if they get a good offer, I'm pretty sure he's gone. You have to say that to keep up his trade value.
What do you think of Kobe's new contract?
Chad Ford (1:12 PM)
It's awful. Sentimentality is going to kill the Lakers. His play won't warrant that much money, it allows them to only add one more max contract to the roster next year while losing Pau Gasol, and just as important -- it means the Lakers aren't going to take advantage of a great opportunity to tank the season and try to land a top player in the draft. Short term thinking kills franchises. I know it's LA and will always be a top destination for marquee players. But the Lakers are a mess right now.
Deven (New York, NY)
Who got the better end of that Wolves/Kings trade? And will Derrick Williams be a good fit for the Kings?
Chad Ford (1:14 PM)
Liked the deal from the Kings perspective. He was the No. 2 pick in the draft. What did they really have to lose? They aren't competing for a playoff spot. I'm not sold on Williams as a three, but he's already an upgrade over what they've been playing with. As for the Wolves, I understand it and Mbah a Moute is a terrific defender. But that means the Wolves wiffed on THREE of their four Top 6 picks in the David Kahn era. That's unprecedented. If they had just hit on one more ... they'd be a serious contender in the West right now.
Thoughts on Paul George and the Pacers this year?
Chad Ford (1:17 PM)
He's a Top 5 player in the NBA right now. My order would look like this. 1. LeBron 2. Durant 3. CP3 4. Anthony Davis 5. Paul George.As for the Pacers, I think they or the Heat are bringing home a NBA title this year. Just hope they can stay focused with absolutely zero competition right now in their conference.
True or False John Wall can be the best pg in the league
Chad Ford (1:20 PM)
Not while Chris Paul is still in his prime. I'd also take Tony Parker over him right now. But in a few more years? Yes, he has that potential. But then again, so does Steph Curry, Russell Westbrook, Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving and Michael Carter-Williams. And don't forget about Rajon Rondo and Derrick Rose when they are healthy again. So many great PGs in the league right now.
Chad Ford (1:21 PM)
Oh and don't forget Marcus Smart and Dante Exum are coming next year. Both players are special!
Kevin Love is the best PF in the NBA...Do you agree?
Chad Ford (1:22 PM)
I'd take Anthony Davis over Love right now.
The two highest payrolls in the NBA are Knicks and Brooklyn who are the third worst and fourth worst teams in the NBA by record. Also they BOTH don't have their picks for next year right? How insane is that? insane or INSANE????
Chad Ford (1:25 PM)
Look. Everyone wants to win a championship. The Knicks have historically tried to buy one and let other teams worry about building from the ground up. The Nets have decided to copy that model. The problem is, they bought the wrong players at the wrong time in their careers. But I'll say this for the Nets. At least they have Deron Williams and Brook Lopez. They have semi-young anchors. The Knicks? Iman Shumpert is the closest thing they have and he's on the trading block.
Jaz fan (Utah)
Did the Jazz make a big mistake taking Burke over MCW?
Chad Ford (1:29 PM)
Maybe. It's pretty early to tell anything. Burke has been injured. He needs some time. The Jazz selected Burke, in part, because they felt like they needed a point guard who could shoot the basketball and thrive off the pick-and-roll. Those were legit reasons to pass on Carter-Williams. With that said, Burke was undersized and not an elite athlete like Carter-Williams. Nor did he see the floor as well or defend as well. The draft is tougher than most people think. Very rarely are their clear answers.
Derrick B (Milwaukee)
Should the Bucks just throw in the towel? Should they just go ahead and have a fire sale?
Chad Ford (1:33 PM)
Yes. I can't think of a team that has a better justification to tank than the Bucks. They aren't luring young stars to Milwaukee via free agency. They need to build through the draft. There are some nice young pieces there already. Antetokounmpo, John Henson ... maybe Brandon Knight, Larry Sanders. They need a Top 5 pick as badly as any team in the NBA right now. Wish their owner Herb Kohl could see that.
Parker = Melo, Wiggins = ?
Chad Ford (1:34 PM)
The closest comp I hear from NBA guys is Paul George. Same freaky athlete and great size for his position. Maybe most importantly (and the point I think most of the national media and fans are forgetting) he has the potential to be an elite perimeter defender like George. He can help you on both ends of the floor.
Would Orlando be wise to draft Marcus Smart at the top of the draft or will every team be looking at Wiggins or one of the freshman?
Chad Ford (1:37 PM)
I think Smart will, for sure, be in the picture for Orlando. He's going to be worthy of a No. 1 pick and that's their biggest need. Not sure there will be a consensus No. 1 pick this year. Might come down to need given the talent at the top. I could see Jazz leaning Jabari Parker. Ditto for Celtics. Bucks leaning Julius Randle. Cavs and Sixers leaning Andrew Wiggins.
Kentucky's highly touted freshman class has been disappointing in spots (except for Randle) Which freshmen would NBA GM's being willing to take in the first round today?
Chad Ford (1:40 PM)
It's early and there is so much talent on the team that it's hard for any of them to put up the numbers they would on a team where they were the focal point. Remember, Anthony Davis' numbers in November? Everyone was questioning whether he was worthy of the No. 1 pick. Randle has clearly been impressive. I still think James Young and Andrew Harrison will be lottery picks. It might be another year for Aaron Harrison, Dakari Johnson and Marcus Lee however.
Nik Stauskas has been great to start the year, how high is his ceiling in this draft? mid to late first?
Chad Ford (1:42 PM)
Exactly. He cracked our Big Board this week at No. 29. Great shooter. Getting to the rim this year. Good size for his position. Just wish he was a better defender.
What is Aaron Gordon's NBA potential? Is he an NBA 3 or 4?
Chad Ford (1:43 PM)
Scouts love him. But I do think there are legitimate questions about what position he plays and how he scores in the NBA. He plays so hard and with such athleticism, it's hard not to fall in love. But Michael Kidd-Gilchrist did the same thing at Kentucky, everyone fell in love (including me!!!) and he's struggled to make the transition to the NBA. That's the only reason he's rated a little lower than the other guys on our board.
I believe Doug McDermott is the best player in college basketball right now. Why is he not in the lottery in any mock drafts thus far?
Chad Ford (1:45 PM)
Best player in college basketball doesn't always equal best NBA prospect. Just ask Jimmer Fredette. McDermott is great and I think he's finally convinced NBA scouts that he has a role to play in the NBA as a shooter. But his physical limitations and the fact that he's stuck in-between positions limit his ceiling. He's No. 20 on our Big Board. Think he falls somewhere between 15 and 25 on draft night.
Kendall (Spring Hill, KS)
Any chance Isaiah Austin stays another year?
Chad Ford (1:46 PM)
He's probably going to have to stay all four years at this rate. Great size, athleticism and skill. But zero toughness and a body that won't hold up in the NBA.
Only concern i have with Randle is his height...seems awfully short for a dominant PF. Any concerns there?
Chad Ford (1:47 PM)
He's very long and a good athlete. If Elton Brand and Zach Randolph can dominate in the NBA, so can Randle.
Jordan Bachynski, where would he be picked in this draft? Averaging a double-double and 4 blocks a game.
Chad Ford (1:48 PM)
He's intriguing. He's already 24 years old which scares the crap out of NBA people. (You're old if you are 21 or older in the NBA draft). But at his size and with his mobility, he's going to get a look in the second round.
Name one player in college basketball that is flying under the radar who could end up being drafted in the upcoming draft lottery?
Chad Ford (1:51 PM)
Chris Walker of Florida. Hasn't played yet for Florida because of eligibility issues. May be the most athletic player in the country. Also, lots of scouts very high on Syracuse's Jerami Grant (son of Harvey Grant). Also a great athlete who is starting to get a feel for the game.
Who is your draft sleeper this year ...
Chad Ford (1:53 PM)
Myself and a lot of NBA scouts are very high on Wichita State's Ron Baker. He's sitting in the 40s on our Big Board right now, but the more I watch him play and the more I talk with scouts, I think he ends up as a potential first rounder -- especially if scouts are convinced he can play the point in the NBA.
Rodney Hood is good...How good?
Chad Ford (1:55 PM)
Trying to figure that one out. Has been incredible for Duke so far with the possible exception of the KU game. But Andrew Wiggins had a lot to do with slowing him down. He's got great size, can play two positions, can shoot the basketball and is just so smooth. Not a great defender, but everyone says he's a hard worker. I have him at No. 11 on my Big Board. Could go Top 10.
What role do you see Dario Saric taking in the NBA? Do you see him as a traditional 4 with above-average shooting and passing capablities or carving a more unique role in the vein of Lebron James and Magic Johnson
Chad Ford (1:58 PM)
Scouts love him. He's been in our Top 10 since July of 2012. He could have been a lottery pick if he came out last year and should be one this year, despite how loaded the class is. He's averaging 13.8 ppg in Croatia right now -- which is really good for a 19 year old in a pro league. I think he's a "point-4" in the mold of Boris Diaw minus the spare tire around his waist. While he has a great basketball IQ, the LeBron/Magic comps are way too much. He's good, but not that good.
If you were a gm, who would you take if you had the #1 pick at this point?
Chad Ford (1:59 PM)
Wiggins. Highest upside. Very little downside. Plays on both ends of the floor. I love Parker, Randle, Exum and Smart. Love all of them and would be happy with any of them with the No. 1 pick. But I think in 5 years, Wiggins will be the transcendent talent from this loaded draft.
Chad Ford (1:59 PM)
Gotta run everyone. We'll do this again next week.