Chad Ford (1:00 PM)
The playoff crunch is on, Iverson and T-Mac could be trade bait this summer, March Madness is underway and that means NBA Draft talk is heating up. Let's get to it.
Allen Iverson (Philadelphia, PA)
Why you be hatin' on Allen Iverson. Allen Iverson just plays hard. Allen Iverson is a warrior. Allen Iverson is a former MVP of the league. Etc...
Chad Ford (1:02 PM)
Allen Iverson is pouting. Allen Iverson is missing more practices. Allen Iverson has missed 22 games this year. Allen Iverson's team is awful. At what point do you cut the cord and go a different direction. Billy King insists that he has no intention of trading AI, but if he doesn't (and if he doesn't get a good deal), he'll be the one out of a job this summer.
kevin - cali
AI a perfect fit with the Griz? And would J. West and Hubbie bring him in ?
Chad Ford (1:03 PM)
I think that the Grizz would have to be one of the front runners to land Iverson should the Sixers put him on the market this summer. They have so much depth and could offer the Sixers several good players in return for AI. As I said in my story on Tuesday, the Pistons, Nuggets, Bulls and Warriors could also make deals that make sense.
Annette (Daisy, OK)
Chad, are the Mavs really this bad?
Chad Ford (1:06 PM)
Ummmm . . . 69 points to the Hawks in the first half. That's flat out embarrasing. They just don't play defense. The Hawks (not an offensive juggernaunt) were scoring at will. If they play like that in the playoffs, they'll be 4 and done.
Chad, you have lost your mind my man. Orlando trading T-Mac?!?! The day it happens Rich Devos becomes the new George Shinn...and this town STILL hasn't forgotten how ownership let Shaq go and traded Ben Wallace (instead of Bo Outlaw) for Grant Hill. If you had to put odds, what do you think about T-Mac actually NOT opting out?
Chad Ford (1:09 PM)
I haven't lost my mind. What I said in today's article is that the Magic may be faced with a tough choice this summer if they aren't able to add some signficant pieces this summer. If they can't, T-Mac likely bolts next summer. Why lose him for nothing? If someone offered the Magic a blockbuster deal, I think they'd have to consider it.
Jeff (Bulls Land)
Its my 30th B-day; So I know CF answers this one! Anyway; for years now the Bulls have been going in a direction NO ONE seems to know. Where do you see them heading and what moves do you see them making in the offseason? Thanks Chad. - Hammer
Chad Ford (1:12 PM)
Happy Birthday Jeff. The Bulls are a mess. Unless they find a way to trade some of their young players like Curry, Crawford or Chandler for a superstar . . . I think they'll continue to struggle. Kirk Hinrich has been the only real bright spot this season. GM John Paxson hates to do it, but he might have to blow this team up this summer.
Hi Chad, looking at the Eastern Conference race, it looks from the schedule and the play of the teams that Milwaukee, Philadelphia and NY will be the 3 teams out. Milwaukee is 1 game above .500, but their schedule is absolutely brutal. Philly is in a free fall and I can't see NY surviving with their horrid defense. Your predictions?
Chad Ford (1:14 PM)
I disagree Carl. I think that the Bucks, Cavs, Knicks and Heat (in that order) will land the final four spots in the East. The late season swoons of teams like the Nuggets and Bucks have hurt the Cinderella stories a bit, but I still think they're having unbelievable seasons.
Chad, watching the Pacers play this season I can't help but see how similar to how Detroit played last season. Grinding out too many games could take it's toll on them in the playoffs, what do you think?
Chad Ford (1:16 PM)
It's possible, but the Pacers have something the Pistons didn't last year, a dominate low post presence in Jermaine O'Neal. As long as O'Neal is healthy, they'll be fine. I think a Pacers-Pistons Eastern Conference Finals would be great!
Nick (Portland, OR)
You're the #1 Seed in the West. Who DON'T you want to match up with opening round: Jazz, Nuggets, or Blazers? Thanks
Chad Ford (1:18 PM)
Nuggets because they're the best team of the three and are very tough to beat at home. However, the real team that no one wants to play in the first round is the Memphis Grizzlies. They scare everyone.
Eileen Simi Valley
Everytime the Lakers would lose all you experts would bury them. How come the Kings are choking again and no one mentions it?
Chad Ford (1:22 PM)
Eileen has posted a variation of this comment about a 1000 times so I thought I'd answer this and get here out of th queue. I don't know who is burying the Lakers. In most people's minds, they're still the favorite. The Kings are struggling to incorporate a still hobbling CWebb back into the line-up, but choking is awfully extreme. I still think we'll see a Kings-Lakers Western Conference Finals. And I still believe that the Kings are going to win.
Chauncey (muncie, Indiana)
Is Minnesota's worst nightmare going to be winning their first playoff series and then being rewarded with the Lakers in the 2nd round?
Chad Ford (1:23 PM)
Almost. Even worse? The T-Wolves fall to a three seed and have to face Memphis in the first round. If they were to lose again in round one, it would be devestating.
D.R. (Arlington, Virginia)
O.K. Chad, tell me the truth. Where do you see Kwame in 2 years? Could he be the next O'Neil?
Chad Ford (1:25 PM)
He looked GREAT last night versus the Kings. The 30 point, 19 board effort was amazing and the funny thing is, you could see how Kwame is capable of that most nights if he just kept active. I think Kwame will eventually be a very good player in the league, but I doubt he'll ever reach Jermaine O'Neal status.
dave (new york, ny)
when are the nets going to get some respect? Pacers have the best record in the league, you know what happens to teams with the best record once the post-season rolls around. Nets are inconsistent, yeah, but their record against the west speaks for itself and they must have the best offense in the east hands down.
Chad Ford (1:28 PM)
You can't count out the Nets. They do have experience and the best point guard in the league. I think the issue this year is that both Indiana and Detroit have much better front lines. The fact that the Nets will have to meet the Pistons in Round 2 doesn't bode well for them.
Hey Chad, is there any talk of a definite number 1 pick yet? Is it gonna be Okafor or Howard or is there anybody else that is going to come out of the woodwork? Thanks for answering my question.
Chad Ford (1:31 PM)
No. I think some teams prefer Okafor and others Howard. It all comes down to a team's stomach for taking on a project. Teams like the Bulls and Suns ,who need to win right away, will opt for Okafor. A few other teams like the Hawks and Magic prefer Howard. Both have the potential to be very good players. Okafor has the potential to be the next Alonzo Mourning. Howard draws comparisons from some to Kevin Garnett. I'd take either.
Hey Chad, in your opinion what should the Celts do with there 3 draft picks? Do you think is a deep draft and realisticaly who could we get? What do you think Ainge's plan is?? Thanks!
Chad Ford (1:33 PM)
The draft is deep with potential, but very short on impact players. If you have the patience to wait, the Celtics could nab a few steals late who just need time. However, with three rookies already on the roster, does Ainge really want to add three more?
Bonzie (Harrisburg, PA)
Mr Insider the NBA Draft is one of my fave b-ball events of the yr(I have everyone on tape since '92-93)! I keep hearing about the HS kids & Okafor, but no shine for Andre Igoudala of Zona? Hes long, can pass, dribble,& defend...the jumper will come in time. If he declares is he a lottery pick?
Chad Ford (1:36 PM)
We've been saying all year that Igoudala is a likely lottery pick if he declares. He's disappointed a few scouts lately with some sub-par performances, but they love his combo of athleticism and passing ability.
james (ocala, fl)
Did you see the Colorado vs Oregon NIT game last night? Luke Jackson and David Harrison played extremely well, and that is even when his teamates did not feel like passing him the ball. How you think he would fare if he put his name into the draft?
Chad Ford (1:38 PM)
Both are late first round prospects. Teams love Jackson's shooting ability and Harrison is one of the more skilled big men prospects. However, Jackson so-so athleticism and Harrison's poor work habits hurt their stock.
With BYU and Syracause playing today, how about a few BYU questions? How good are BYU's chances to win, and where do you see Rafael Araujo going in the NBA Draft?
Chad Ford (1:40 PM)
Araujo is a real sleeper. He's big, strong and knows how to score in the paint -- a rarity in a college hoops center. He's probably a mid to late first rounder. Syracuse's Hakim Warrick got mixed reviews this year. Everyone loves his athletic ability, but still wish he either bulked up or learned how to shoot the jumper.
Chad, with the influx of high school players entering the league at a growing pace, what do you think about a true nba minor league system? Each team gets a team to develop players, teach their system call up players for injuries instead of manipulating the injured list, and getting playing time for the younger kids? Thanks.
Chad Ford (1:43 PM)
I'm all for a real minor league in the NBA. I think it addresses most, if not all of the concerns, about teenagers declaring for the draft. The thing is, the NBA could use the exisisting structure of the NBDL and just allow four NBA teams to feed into each NBDL team. Expand the draft and give teams the option of where to put kids. It would help the kids develop and leave space on the roster for veterans.
Chad Ford (1:44 PM)
I've got to run a little early today folks. Thanks for coming to the chat and we'll be sure to do this again next week.
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