Chat with Chad Ford
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, 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 Monday at 1 p.m. ET!
Chad Ford (12:55 PM)
Aloha everyone and thanks for coming to my last chat of 2013. We will talk NBA in first half and NBA Draft in second. Let's roll ...
Chad, any chance the Cavs could get anything worthwhile out of a Bynum trade?
Chad Ford (1:02 PM)
Perhaps. I doubt anyone trades for him expecting him to be their answer in the middle. However, he has a contract that isn't fully guaranteed until Jan 7. If a team could unload a player to the Cavs to get under the luxury tax, for example, I could see that happening. If that doesn't happen, the Cavs could still use him as trade bait until the February trade deadline, but I think their offers will probably be weaker than they are right now.
Chad, you're the GM of the Cleveland Cavs and you can make any moved you want to fix the franchise as quickly as possible, what do you do?
Chad Ford (1:05 PM)
I think the problem has been that Dan Gilbert wanted "as quickly as possible" this year when he didn't have the human capital to support it. Kyrie Irving is a very good piece. But after that, I don't see a ton of franchise corner stones there. They need at least one more. I think I'd let this team bottom out -- see what you have. Get a Top 5 pick in the draft and then build around whoever that is and Irving. If Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson, Anthony Bennett and Varejao fit, great. If not, can move them too.
Hollinger Playoff's Odds shows the Raptors having 98.4% possibility of making the playoffs, 3rd in the East after Pacers & Heat. Do you think the Raptors will settle on this and continue to push for a playoff berth or do you hear otherwise?
Chad Ford (1:07 PM)
I don't think that's the plan. High-fiving everyone that the team got a high seed in the playoffs with a losing record. I think Masai Ujiri thinks more long term than that. He really has one player, Jonas Valanciunas, that he's really excited about. Toronto isn't a huge free agent destination so, the draft is the way to go about rebuilding. I've said it before, but I think more trades are coming for Toronto.
Mr. Ford the Lakers have now lost their 5th game in a row! What player that could be picked in the lottery be great for them?
Chad Ford (1:09 PM)
Lakers made their first appearance since the beginning of the season on Tank Rank. You look at that roster and it's hard to get excited about anyone on it right now. The team really needs to start over from scratch and with Kobe out again, it might be time to pull the plug on this season, let Kobe rest, move Steve Nash or let him retire, trade Pau Gasol and bring in a young stud to start the re-building process again. I know it's the Lakers, so it probably won't happen, but it's a team that isn't going to be able to piece themselves back into being a contender anytime soon.
Bucks fan here. If the Bucks had the #1 pick, who do you think the would take Parker or Wiggins? I personally want Parker
Chad Ford (1:11 PM)
I actually think they might be leaning, right now, toward Julius Randle. Given the personnel they have on the floor, having a guy that can be a double-double machine and draw a double team in the paint might be their biggest need. But Parker, Wiggins and Embiid will all get long looks too.
Just as I feared. C's are winning just enough to be the Atlanta Hawks for the next 10 years. Talk me off this ledge....
Chad Ford (1:13 PM)
Too early to jump. Wait until the trade deadline. If this team is the same, go ahead and take the plunge. I know what Danny Ainge is saying publicly, but I still think there's a good chance the Celtics end up gutting this team a little more and getting back into the lottery hunt. So funny, it's actually proven to be quite hard to tank in the East. Too much traffic!
Why are the Suns not tanking? In spite of how surprisingly well they've looked against some average teams, they aren't going anywhere this year, right?
Chad Ford (1:15 PM)
Great question. I thought the other shoe would drop any day and the team would keep gutting their roster. But the past week I keep hearing and reading the opposite, that the Suns will try to make a move or two to improve the team now. This is what happens when you waffle on a direction (which the Suns have notoriously done for several years).
Is Trey Burke going to be a 1st tier PG?
Chad Ford (1:16 PM)
Doubt it. Lots of terrific point guards in the NBA right now. But he's playing really well right now and could end up being a second tier.
Jason J (NYC)
Who should the Knicks and Nets draft in the lotte... oh wait.
Chad Ford (1:19 PM)
Exactly. Can't blame either team for trying to go for it. They had enough veterans to justify a run. But they traded away so many assets in the process that if something went wrong (an injury, chemistry issues, etc.) there was very little they could do about it. Nothing wrong with putting a potential contender on the floor, but you always want options unless you are fielding a team like the Miami Heat.
Any chance that after all this tanking, one of the teams with a top 5 pick trades it to get better right away?
Chad Ford (1:20 PM)
Bucks and Cavs seem like the two teams that have owners that would prefer that direction. Watch them close at the trade deadline.
What should the Bulls do with Deng?
Chad Ford (1:21 PM)
I'm a pretty big Luol Deng fan. Think he brings so much to the table. I thought they should've extended him this summer. He wants to be there, the coaching staff loves him and he's the type of guy who does all the little things. It would have to be a pretty special offer for me to let go of him .
Since a Heat-Pacers conference finals seems pre-ordained at this point (not that I am complaining), who would be your dream match up for WCF? I think a Warriors-Clippers or OKC-Houston series would be great.
Chad Ford (1:25 PM)
I think Warriors-Clippers would be most entertaining. But I think Thunder-Clippers would probably field the two best teams right now and would be an incredible series.
If you are Pacers GM do you stand pat hoping Granger can be 90% of what he used to be or do you make a move? A PG is always talked about but the way the offense is ran do they really need a true PG ?
Chad Ford (1:26 PM)
Not sure Granger has a lot of trade value right now. Nor am I sure he poses a lot of value to the Pacers. Hard for him to adjust to coming off the bench -- especially after missing so much time.
Rob Hennigan (Orlando)
Would I be crazy to trade Arron Afflalo this year?
Chad Ford (1:29 PM)
Probably should've traded him for Eric Bledsoe this summer when you had the chance. Now that's the standard and I'm not sure there's a better deal out there, despite the fact that Afflalo has been playing at an All-Star level all year. One deal I think would make sense -- Greg Monroe and Rodney Stuckey for Afflalo and Tobias Harris
Clon (Paris, France)
Could Marcus Smart end up 1st in 2014's draft?
Chad Ford (1:31 PM)
Really doubt it. So much competition at the top and despite the early season narrative after Smart went off for 39 points against Memphis, his shooting percentage isn't much better than last year. He's got to knock down shots more consistently.
Clon (Paris, France)
Who do you rather have for the next 5-6 years: Wiggins or Parker?
Chad Ford (1:31 PM)
Right now, Wiggins. But clearly Parker is much more ready to play right now and would be the runaway favorite for Rookie of the Year in the 2014-15 season.
Brent E (Fort Wayne, IN)
It seems like lately the top PGs in the draft have gone lower than the top players at other positions. Do you see Exum slippping out of the top 5 for similar reasons?
Chad Ford (1:34 PM)
No. Don't see it. There are still scouts and GMs who swear he's the best prospect in the draft. Period. And after the safer picks like Parker and Randle are off the board, he's going to be very popular. Unless he gets injured or works out really poorly, he's not getting out of the Top 5. Way too much talent there.
Chad (Charlotte, nc)
What are your thoughts on nc state's TJ Warren. He seems to have a great midrange and short game along with being a very good rebounder for his position.
Chad Ford (1:35 PM)
Very intriguing. Not ideal size for his position nor is he an elite athlete, but has such a great nose for the ball. Some teams really like him, others are more on the fence. Probably a bubble first rounder in the 20s to early 30s right now.
Chad, it seems like Embiid is lower than expected in mock drafts. Is this just a product of people not seeing him at this point or could he really be in the 8-12 range?
Chad Ford (1:38 PM)
He's a top 5 pick and if a bold GM gets the No. 1 pick, he could go No. 1 overall. Not sure there is a player with more long-term upside than Embiid in this draft.
Salik (Newport Beach)
Outside Wiggins, Parker, Randle, Exum, Smart and Embid, who are the best prospects in your opinion? Who rounds out that top 10?
Chad Ford (1:40 PM)
Aaron Gordon of Arizona, Dario Saric of Croatia, Noah Vonleh of Indiana and Zach LaVine of UCLA round out my Top 10.
What should Mitch McGary do if (when?) he misses the rest of the season after his back surgery? Go back to school or come out and hope to go late first round?
Chad Ford (1:42 PM)
He's in a very tough position. If he had gone to the NBA last year, would've been a late lottery pick. Now? He's going to slide. Not only do back injuries scare teams off (it's why Jared Sullinger slid so far in the draft) but McGary turns 22 in June. If he waits another year, he'd be 23 entering the draft. While that sounds young to most, for NBA scouts, it's like saying you're 50.
Embiid = Bigger Ibaka ?
Chad Ford (1:43 PM)
Think that's his floor. Ceiling higher than that.
Hi Chad, what's your thoughts about Saric? I see a little Dirk/Lebron mix there.
Chad Ford (1:44 PM)
Probably going a little too far there. Those are two superstars. He doesn't have Dirk's shooting ability, nor does he have the strength and athletic ability of LeBron. Those are his two biggest weaknesses. But his basketball IQ is incredible, he is a terrific facilitator and he isn't afraid to take over a game. In a normal draft year, he'd be a Top 5 pick.
Chris (Lexington )
James young and wcs top ten picks?
Chad Ford (1:45 PM)
Just outside the top 10. Young needs more consistency on that jumper and Cauley-Stein needs to continue to show improvement in his offensive game, but both guys have a good shot of going int he lottery.
Could Honolulu support an NBA team?
Chad Ford (1:45 PM)
Yes!!!! Bring one out here Adam Silver!
Outside of Exum and Saric, who are the best international players in this draft?
Chad Ford (1:48 PM)
Mario Hezonja is really intriguing. Another Croatian who is getting limited minutes in Spain right now, but super talented. Jusuf Nurkic of Bosnia and Nikola Milutinov of Serbia also mentioned as potential first rounders.
Is LSU freshman Jordan Mickey starting to get on the radar of some NBA scouts? He should be getting some of the same pub some of the other well known freshman are getting imo
Chad Ford (1:48 PM)
Yes, lots of scouts intrigued, though he's probably better off going back to school for his sophomore season. Too crowded at the top.
Who is your draft sleeper?
Chad Ford (1:54 PM)
Pretty big fan of Wichita State's Ron Baker. Think Arizona State's Jahii Carson could follow in the footsteps of the Kings' Isaiah Thomas.
What's the difference between Saric and Kyle Anderson? They seem to have very similar skill sets, yet Saric is a top-10 pick while Anderson is a borderline 1st rounder.
Chad Ford (1:55 PM)
Saric a better athlete and better defender, more aggressive scorer. But you're right. There are similarities there.
Chad Ford (1:56 PM)
Gotta run everyone. Have a Happy (and safe) New Years everyone. Chat will be moving back to Wednesday next week. Looking forward to it.