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 (1:04 PM)
Aloha everyone, thanks for coming to the chat today. We are going to talk NBA Draft all hour. NCAA tournament is coming, trade deadline is over. It's full on NBA Draft for me for the rest of the season. Let's roll ...
Ed (Queens Village)
If Joel Embiid declares for draft does his stock drop?
Chad Ford (1:07 PM)
The stress fracture is obviously concerning to a lot of NBA teams. Jared Sullinger's back issues a few years ago dropped him about 15 spots. However, he didn't drop until after NBA doctors all got a look at it. It's a wait and see thing for teams right now, but I do think it will make some teams leery of taking him No. 1.
Do you think Embiid's injury increase his chances of declaring for the draft?
Chad Ford (1:08 PM)
I think it may actually decrease them. He was anxious before about coming straight to the NBA. If he isn't healthy, that could push him back to school. He's getting great medical care and would get it either way.
How many teams have Wiggins at #1 on their big board? Are the Sixers included?
Chad Ford (1:10 PM)
If he keeps playing like he did the other night when he dropped 41 points? All of them. With Embiid's back ailing and Wiggins continuing to show signs of picking up his game he's the obvious choice. Even before the injury to Embiid, some scouts and GMs were moving back onto the Wiggins bandwagon. There is just sooooo much potential there and he's showing signs of understanding it. If he takes over for Kansas the next few weeks, he may be the No. 1 pick even if Embiid gets 100 percent healthy.
Grant B (Danville, KY)
Why shouldnt Jabari Parker be the no.1 overall pick. He is the most NBA ready and seems to have all the tools to be a superstar at the next level. IMO he has seperated himself from Wiggins and Embid this year
Chad Ford (1:12 PM)
He might be. He's playing terrific again. He is the most NBA ready prospect in the draft. There isn't a lot he can't do. I think it's his defensive limitations and concerns about his conditioning and elite athletic abilities that are the only things holding him down from being a lock for No. 1. But with that said, teams love him and especially if Embiid moves out of the discussion for No. 1, he could pick up speed.
Nick (Milwaukee, WI)
Tank race question: Do you think the Philadelphia 76ers will win a game the rest of the year? I thought the Milwaukee Bucks were a lock for the worst record and now they are only TWO games ahead of the 76ers for the best draft lottery odds!
Chad Ford (1:14 PM)
We are watching that race closely. There are a lot of meaningless games at the end of the season and there's a chance Philly might pull out one of those. As for the Bucks, they are playing better at the wrong time. I think there's a good chance that they, at the very least tie for the top odds.
With Exum stateside, have scouts gotten to look at him or will that not happen until May/June?
Chad Ford (1:16 PM)
He's working out in LA. Scouts can't take a look until the NBA releases the official list of underclassmen declaring for the draft which happens in late April. He's the real deal and with great workouts he could surprise everyone -- especially if a team like the Magic get the No. 1 pick.
How good do you think the Sixers can be? MCW, Noel, Wiggins/Parker, another lottery pick and tons of cap space...
Chad Ford (1:18 PM)
Have a chance to be great. I know they are big Wiggins fans. If he's there when they are drafting, I think they take him. With that other pick (via the Pelicans) I could see them grabbing a big man like Noah Vonleh. Add a few complimentary veterans and this team will get very interesting very fast.
Jerry (New Orleans)
Should there be a legitimate concern that Exum will force his way to the Lakers?
Chad Ford (1:21 PM)
He's working out in LA. He said he thinks the Lakers are a good fit. That's where it ends. He can't force himself anywhere. Any team can take Exum. His agent could choose to refuse to let him work out for other teams if he wanted, but I doubt that would stop a team from taking Exum. And it doesn't mean the Lakers have him ranked ahead of Wiggins or Parker. It's way too early to worry about this and frankly, even if Rob Pelinka and Exum and the Lakers all conspire to make it happen, another team can step in and mess it up.
Can you see Doug McDermott possibly being inside the top 10 of the draft?
Chad Ford (1:24 PM)
Yes. Some teams have him in their Top 10. They think that not only will he be an incredible shooter in the pros, but he will find other ways to score the basketball. Some teams have him lower and worried that he won't be able to defend his position and will struggle to get good looks against long, athletic defenders in the pros. But the 8 to15 range looks about right for him. It might go up or down depending on how he looks in workouts.
Who do you see coming back for Kentucky? Honestly feel lost all but Randle and Cauley-Stein need to come back and improve their game.
Chad Ford (1:26 PM)
For the second straight year, UK has under performed and this year, they can't blame some of that on a major injury. From what I can gather, most, if not all of them want to come to the NBA now -- including the Harrison twins. Randle is the only clear cut guy. He's a Top 10 pick and probably Top 5. Lots of scouts like James Young. The rest is a pretty mixed bag at this point. But I think you'll see at least four or five in the draft this year.
Best case draft outcome for the Magic (and their two lottery picks) is?
Chad Ford (1:27 PM)
Another combo guard and an athletic big. Dante Exum and someone like Noah Vonleh would be a really good haul for them.
If you were an NBA front office exec who would you pick between Smart and Ennis in the coming draft should they both be on the board? Not which one execs are leaning toward but who Chad Ford would pick.
Chad Ford (1:29 PM)
I have Smart ranked slightly ahead of Ennis both on our Big Board and my personal one. Smart's size and his ability to finish at the rim is the biggest factor. I think Ennis sees the floor a little better and is a better shooter. Both have the chance to be good. Smart, I believe, still has greatness potential if he can ever get that shot to fall.
Derek (Salt Lake)
What do you think the Jazz's top 5 big board would look like today?
Chad Ford (1:30 PM)
1. Jabari2. Wiggins3. Embiid4. Exum5. Randle
If Chad ford was picking number 1 in the draft.. Who you Drafting...........
Chad Ford (1:32 PM)
I really like Wiggins, Embiid, Parker and Exum and think all of them will be great pros. But if I had the No. 1 pick? -- it would be Wiggins. That hasn't changed for me since July 1st.
How likely will one-and-done be abolished in next year draft?
Is staying in Europe a good or bad move for Dario Saric?
Chad Ford (1:34 PM)
If he stays (and there are still questions swirling around all of this) it's probably a bad move. His draft stock is high right now. He needs to come to the NBA to keep developing his game. Teams are really concerned with the fact that he can't make up his mind about what he wants to do and keeps listening to the wrong people. He's hurt his draft stock by just musing about it publicly. If he actually does it, it could be Mirotic all over again.
Denis (Raleigh, NC)
Why is TJ Warren not considered a first round pick? The ACC player of the year is not good enough to be 1st round material?
Chad Ford (1:36 PM)
He's growing on people. He's clearly an amazing scorer. But he can't shoot and he's a classic tweener at the next level which raises all sorts of issues defensively. Hard to come up with a great comp for him at the NBA level which is why there is so much pause. But sometimes you have to let it go. Personally, he'd be a mid first round pick if I was doing the board just on my thoughts, but he's not quite there for NBA scouts.
Sam (Florida )
In your opinion, should the Pistons be in full tanking mode to protect their lottery pick from the Bobcats?
Chad Ford (1:37 PM)
Yes. Bobcats get if it's between 9-30. They are right on the edge of that right now. Pistons need that pick.
Phil (Las Vegas)
What is Aaron Gordon's stock like right now? Seems like he doesn't really excel at any one thing.
Chad Ford (1:38 PM)
He doesn't, but he's such a great athlete, has such a great motor and is willing to do all the dirty work that I think scouts are willing to give him some leeway. He's not a good shooter and he doesn't really create off the dribble. But he helps you win. I think he's Andrei Kirilenko.
Could you please explain what you meant by Mirotic all over again? Did his stock go down when the Bulls drafted his rights? I was (and still am) pretty unfamiliar with his story. Thanks.
Chad Ford (1:39 PM)
Mirotic would've been a Top 5 pick had he been willing to come to the NBA right away. It was the fear that he was years away from coming (if ever) that scared them off. They didn't want a repeat of Fran Vasquez.
If the Harrison twins enter, what is the likelihood of either being a first-round pick?
Chad Ford (1:40 PM)
Right now? Very slim.
Scouts on Stauskas??
Chad Ford (1:41 PM)
Cautiously optimistic. That quick release and range is very appealing, especially when he's shown the ability to handle the ball.
Thoughts on Adam Silver wanting to increase the age limit? Why doesn't the NBA look for ways to expand its own D-League instead?
Chad Ford (1:44 PM)
Been writing about this for the past two days. It's a mixed blessing. Will help some players tremendously, others it will hinder. LeBron didn't need college. Neither did Kobe or KG. But for so many others, it's the best choice. But I don't think the league should be so paternalistic personally. These young men should have the choice and live with the consequences. Better education, a reformed high school system and compensation for them when they play in college would take care of so much. I'd rather the players choose to stay in college because they felt the benefit was equal to or better than the NBA at the moment. The NCAA is broken. High school basketball is broken. Forcing players to stay longer in that system doesn't fix the problem.
If Adam Silver bumps the draft age from 19 to 20, could that gap year potentially be the worst draft class of all time?
Chad Ford (1:44 PM)
Yes. Just take a look at the Mock Draft I did today without any freshmen or 19 year olds. It's ugly from the get go.
Phil (KC) [via mobile]
Do you see the Celtics starting to reign in the veterans minutes at this point to aim at securing the 4th, maybe not likely but maybe the 3rd best odds?
Chad Ford (1:47 PM)
The Celtics, Jazz, Kings, and Lakers are all in this scrum for picks 4-7. There's a big difference between drafting 4 and drafting 7 in this draft. I wonder if all of them will start thinking about how to strategically "rest" players down the stretch.
How much potential does Gary Harris have?
Chad Ford (1:49 PM)
IF he's the shooter he showed he could be as a freshman? A lot. If this year is a better indication of his shooting ability, I'm not sure he bring enough other things to the table to warrant a Top 10 pick
Adam (Santa Cruz, CA)
Has Clint Capela been finding his shot a little over in France? He's already has such incredible physical tools- what's his draft ceiling?
Chad Ford (1:52 PM)
He's a big time sleeper. Next to Exum, I think he's the international player most NBA execs sound really excited about. I wouldn't be surprised if he sneaks into the Top 10 by the end of the year. Especially with all the mess surrounding Dario Saric.
David Bruxvoort (Ames, IA)
It seems like James Young was a ranked a lot higher at the beginning of the season. Is he a victim of the poor play of Kentucky or have scouts soured on him?
Chad Ford (1:53 PM)
Scouts fell in love with him before the season in Kentucky practices when he couldn't miss a shot. He's proven to be a more streaky shooter during the season, but has a smoothness to his game that teams really like. He's a player you draft on potential and I still think he's a late lottery pick, despite some up and down games of late.
Chad Ford (1:55 PM)
He's been, essentially, the exact same player for the past three years. Good defender, but never more than that. However in the past few weeks a number of NBA guys have told me to move him up the board. In the late first round, just finding a dependable, no-nonsense defender who has a NBA body might be worth the pick
Why doesn't Patric Young get more love?
Chad Ford (1:57 PM)
Sorry, that last answer was to a question about Patric Young ... for some reason the question didn't post.
Chad Ford (1:58 PM)
Got to run everyone. Thanks for another great chat. March Madness starts next week. I will be giving a region by region break down of the top draft prospects to watch. Love this time of the year. Have a great week!