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 (1:01 PM)
Aloha everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat today. We will be talking NBA Draft all hour today. Let's roll ...
how much did napier improve his stock with the run in the tourney?
Chad Ford (1:05 PM)
A lot actually. He's a four year senior, so the scouting report on him is pretty secure. But with PGs, teams want to see your leadership abilities. Being a winner, rightly or wrongly, helps. Napier's leadership, clutch shooting all have improved his stock much the same way it did for Kemba Walker a couple years ago. I think he goes somewhere between 25-40.
Alex T. (Sony Pictures Studios' Stage 10)
And the answer is "I improved my draft position the most during March Madness"
Chad Ford (1:07 PM)
Shabazz has a claim. So does Wichita State's Cleanthony Early. UConn's DeAndre Daniels also helped his stock. Ditto for the Harrison twins and Dakari Johnson for Kentucky. I think Alex Poythress also reminded us all why we loved him so much as a freshman. So much athletic talent there.
Hey Chad, great work. When all is said and done, who do you see leaving of the Kentucky underclassmen?
Chad Ford (1:10 PM)
Julius Randle and James Young are, for sure, gone. I would say Willie Cauley-Stein too, but his comments the other day indicated he might not be a sure thing to leave. The Harrison twins have wanted to leave all year according to multiple sources around the twins, but their draft stock made them iffy first rounders. While they improved their stock, I'm not sure it's to the point that they are clear first rounders. Andrew probably has the most claim, but he's not a lock. Another year at Kentucky would help. Dakari Johnson would be a bubble first rounder as well. Ditto for Poythress. I think there's a chance ALL of them are gone. There are certainly rumblings that direction. But the only three that really make sense right now are Randle, Young and Cauley-Stein.
Are NBA scouts more enamored with Isaiah Austin's athleticism and length or scared of how soft he plays?
Chad Ford (1:11 PM)
Both, but lean toward the latter.
Jose (New York)
Who is the better prospect Gary Harris or James Young and who would you rather take ?
Chad Ford (1:13 PM)
Most scouts have Harris ranked ahead of Young. Young has the size advantage. Harris is a better athlete, better defender. Both have been streaky shooting the basketball but have the potential to be good shooters. I think Harris, if he declares, goes between 8-15. Young is 12-18.
Ka (Milwaukee) [via mobile]
Is Andrew wiggins more suited to play shooting guard or small forward in the nba?
Chad Ford (1:16 PM)
Can play both, though most scouts have him slated as a two guard at the next level. Really position is about what you can guard. Offenses vary in the NBA. Wiggins can guard NBA two and threes no problem. Reminds me of Paul George that way.
If Joel Embid receives a clean bill of health does he jump back to No. 1?
Chad Ford (1:17 PM)
He might. For some teams that need a big. Guys his size with his agility and ability to both score and defend don't come along very often. But bad backs scare the crap out of NBA GMs -- especially those drafting with the No. 1 pick.
Dave (New York)
Weekly update on Jabari Parker (and now Rodney Hood)? It has seemed for some time that Parker is at least considering returning to Duke, but Hood has been viewed as a sure thing to go pro... yet he's been quiet and I was surprised to see him down to 22 in your latest Big Board. Are both of those guys still giving it thought?
Chad Ford (1:19 PM)
Keep hearing strongly that Hood is coming out. Parker is still in decision mode. Such a tough call for him. He's going to be a Top 3 pick and play big minutes right away wherever he's drafted. But he loves school, wants to win a title for Duke (who has an awesome incoming freshman class) and he isn't just a young man that is all about the money. I wouldn't be shocked if he returned to school, though I still think the odds favor him declaring for the draft.
Nick [via mobile]
Will Adrien Payne be a lottery pick?
Chad Ford (1:21 PM)
If he was 19 or 20. For sure. Top 10. But he's already 23 years old and didn't have a dominant season until this year. That hurts his stock quite a bit. I think he's more in the 15-25 range.
Matt (Los Angeles)
Who do you think leaves from the Arizona and where do they get drafted?
Chad Ford (1:23 PM)
All signs point to both Aaron Gordon and Nick Johnson leaving. Gordon is a lock for the Top 10. Johnson is a bubble first rounder but it sounds like he wants to leave. The interesting question will be with Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. He's played well enough to be a lock for the first round. But with another year, he could be a lottery pick. With super recruit Stanley Johnson heading to Arizona in the fall, will that affect his decision? They play the same position.
If Jarnell stokes develops a consistent 15-18 footer between now and the pre-draft combine, where does he land?
Chad Ford (1:26 PM)
He had a great tournament. The analytics guys all love him. He's a 20 year old junior which makes him very young for his class. He has the sort of body that will allow him to clear space in the NBA and he can be a beast on the glass. As much as the 15-18 footer would help, getting in a little better shape might be the biggest thing he can do. Teams worry he's undersized and lacks the explosive athletic ability to dominate.
Mike (San Francisco)
On Nik Stauskas- any thing he can gain by coming back or has this year put him as high as he is going to go?
Chad Ford (1:28 PM)
He's going to go somewhere between 10 and 20. I don't know that he gets much higher than that by returning to Michigan for another year. I think he's likely gone.
Whats your opinion of UL Lafayette's Elfrid Payton? Could he play his way up to top 20 pick?
Chad Ford (1:30 PM)
I'm a big fan. NBA guys are a little more on the fence. Some really like him, some aren't sold. He can't shoot and that's an issue. But I think he brings so much else to the table. He's in the 25-40 range right now. But I'd consider him in the mid to late first round personally.
Nick (Philadelphia) [via mobile]
Think Jahlil Carson is a starting NBA PG?
Chad Ford (1:33 PM)
Perhaps. Another player that scouts are all over the place on. Can really score and a great athlete. But so small.
Is Tyler Ennis a better pro prospect than Trey Burke?
Chad Ford (1:34 PM)
Probably. That's the take I get from most NBA scouts. I think the analytics support that as well. But it's debatable.
Cameron (Toronto) [via mobile]
Would you consider Dante Exum a risk?
Chad Ford (1:40 PM)
Yes and no. The less information you have, the more a risk a player becomes. So in that sense, he's a risk. Many GMs won't have ever seen him play live and only on tape. On the other hand, he has incredible talent. Size, length, athleticism, basketball IQ. Can score and pass. How that translates from FIBA Under 19 play and Australian high school basketball to the NBA is a guess. But he seems to have all the tool (though he needs to improve that jumper). I'm not sure any GM has the guts to take him No. 1 -- especially with Wiggins and Parker and Embiid on the board. But they might. Lots of talent there.
If Wichita St. hits the three at the buzzer to beat Kentucky, are any of them other than Young and Randle coming out? These decisions are so fleeting.
Chad Ford (1:42 PM)
Exactly which is why I think the idea that the Harrison twins or Johnson's stock has risen might be a mirage. They played well and it did help them. But as far as where they go? I don't think any of them got a huge bump.
Is UCLA's Kyle Anderson a 1, 2, or 3 in the NBA?
Chad Ford (1:43 PM)
He's a 4.
Russell S (Raleigh NC)
The biggest knock I've heard on TJ Warren is that he's a tweener and doesn't really have a position. Is there any truth to that, or is it just nitpicking? If you can play, you can PLAY no matter what your position. Thoughts?
Chad Ford (1:44 PM)
It's about who he guards. I don't see him guarding NBA 3s or 4s. That's the issue. Also the lack of a credible three point shot hurts him at the next level. But you're right, he does know how to play and is one of the greatest scorers in this draft.
Kyle LA [via mobile]
Besides Clint Capela, who is another international prospect to watch during the Nike hoop summit?
Chad Ford (1:49 PM)
For this year's draft? Not sure there's another first rounder there. This team is young and has some intriguing prospects for down the road. Capela is the only potential lottery pick on that team. But he's a very promising one and I know NBA scouts are thrilled to see him there. Damien Inglis is the other guy who might be able to make his mark with a great game. 16-year-old Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk is the guy everyone is super excited about. But he won't be eligible for the 2014 or 2015 draft because of his age.
Is Embiid declaring at his press conference today?
Chad Ford (1:52 PM)
He has a press conference at 2 pm ET. Typically you have press conferences when you are leaving, not staying. Though Marcus Smart bucked that trend last year. But with Embiid I wouldn't be surprised either way, though I think he's been leaning toward declaring for the draft.
You think there's a chance Noah Vonleh gets picked before Aaron Gordon?
Chad Ford (1:54 PM)
Yes. And perhaps ahead of Julius Randle too. Those guys are 5, 6, and 7 on my Big Board and depending on the team, they rank them in different ways. They could end up having some epic head-to-head workouts with possible Montrezl Harrell as the fourth big man or Clint Capela. I like them all. Very different players. Each has unique strengths and weaknesses.
If Jahlil Okafor was in this draft class where would you rank him?
Chad Ford (1:56 PM)
I've been trying to figure that out. There are NBA scouts who believe he might be the next Tim Duncan. If that's true, he should be No. 1 this year. I tend to think we engage in too much hyperbole projecting these young high school guys and to me, Duncan, a Top 10 NBA player all-time, are virtually impossible shoes to fill. But he's the heavy favorite to be No. 1 in 2015 and would surely be a Top 3 pick in this year's draft. Excited to see him live at the Hoop Summit this weekend.
Chad Ford (1:56 PM)
I have to run everyone. Make sure to tune into the Nike Hoop Summit on Saturday on ESPN to see all the top future players for 2015!