Chat with Chad Ford
Chad Ford (1:02 PM)
Hey everyone, lots going on today. The playoff race is red hot, the McDonald's game last night highlighted the best young American talent and I spent some time with David Stern yesterday talking about age limits and turning the NBDL into a real minor league. Let's roll.
Ryan: (Syracuse, NY)
I hope to God that interview with Stern wasn't some April Fool's prank. I'm foaming at the mouth about the NBDL possibilities. Seeing international talents combined with some talented domestic kids sounds unreal. How realistic do you think this NBDL route is compared to the proposed age limit?
Chad Ford (1:07 PM)
It wasn't a prank. It sounds, from his comments, like the league has been mulling this for a few months as an alternative to an age limit. I can tell you this, from the GMs who have called me today, there is a lot of support on that end. Still waiting for the unions response. That will be the biggest obstacle. They'll want assurances that veterans won't be demoted to the minors and that young kids won't be stuck there forever.
Rob, Sioux Falls, SD
Loved your interview with Stern! Realistically, how soon will or could a minor league system be implemented? How soon until my beloved Cavs are shipping down their draft picks for seasoning?
Chad Ford (1:08 PM)
It has to be collectively bargained. That probably means the 2005-06 season at the earliest. Stern commented that they'd like to expand the NBDL to as many as 15 teams. I think it would take a little while to get it there.
Chad, Would each NBA team have its own minor league team, or would they be sharing teams?
Chad Ford (1:09 PM)
If the league does anything, it will be an extension of the NBDL. I don't think teams would own the teams. Instead the league would run it the same way it does now. The only difference is that two or three NBA teams would feed into one designated team.
Rob (Portland, OR)
If the NBA does develop a real minor league system, do you think that High School kids will end uip there for a few years? What do you think the impact on college basketball will be?
T.J. (Tucson, AZ)
Hey Chad, do you think because of the creation of a minor league system in the NBA, that they will increase the number of rounds in the draft?
Chad Ford (1:15 PM)
I think more young kids will end up there, obviously that's the point. As far as the draft goes, I think teams would like the number of rounds to increase, but again, that would have to bargained.
The Raptors finally fired Glen Grunwald. What GM's are out there who you think can really go out there and get the big man and point guard to make the Raptors a legit team
Chad Ford (1:17 PM)
I've heard rumblings that the two guys they like are the Spurs R.C. Buford and the Pistons John Hammond. I doubt Buford leaves San Antonio. He just took over GM duties from Gregg Popovitch and is in a great situation. Hammond turned down the Blazers head gig last year and is widely considered the best candidate among the assistant GMs in the league. He has a relationship with Kevin O'Neill and he's been tutored by the best in the business, Joe Dumars.
Matt (Havertown, PA)
With the firing of Grunwald, does that basically lead to the raptors firing kevin o'neil and trading carter?
Chad Ford (1:19 PM)
Not necessarily. I think team president Richard Peddie believes that O'Neill deserves another year. Trading Carter will be a very tough decision. He puts fans in the seats in Toronto. Attendance would plummet if he was gone.
Chad, interesting column by Howard-Cooper yesterday regarding CWebb's unhappiness in Sacremento. Any shot the Magic bring him in where he should've started out anyway in exchange for the overall #1, Gooden and Grant Hill?
Chad Ford (1:21 PM)
No one's taking Grant Hill. If they offered McGrady, I think the Kings would listen. I don't think Gooden and their first rounder would get it done. I honestly don't think the Kings will trade CWebb. With Vlade getting older and hitting free agency, they can only afford to move him if they can get another good to great power forward in return.
Fact or Fiction-- Hubie Brown will be named Coach of the Year? Thanks
Chad Ford (1:22 PM)
Fact. I think he may just edge out Jerry Sloan. My heart is with Sloan and the amazing things he's done with Jazz. My head is with Brown and the even more amazing things he's done with the Grizzlies.
Do you think AI, Tmac, and Kobe are all going to change teams in the off season?
Chad Ford (1:23 PM)
There's a chance all three could be gone. How weird is that? AI and Kobe make the most sense. I just don't know if the Magic can afford to dump T-Mac.
Wes (Montrose Co)
If the Nuggets miss the playoffs and end up drafting around 13th will there be a big man or strong defending two that could help them?
Chad Ford (1:26 PM)
Look for them to go for a defensive minded two. Andre Iguodala and Sergei Monya will be the two guys I think they seriously consider.
Rob, Sioux Falls, SD
Chad, you presumably saw the McDonald's game. Anything jump out or stand out that you didn't already know? Besides J.R. Smith, anybody else make a name for themselves amongst the scouts? And what about J.R., is this guy an NBA'er?
Chad Ford (1:28 PM)
J.R. was amazing. I wasn't sure whether it was J.R. or LeBron sinking those full court shots in the Powerade commercials. Smith is a big time prospect. He's 6-6, has a 44 inch vertical and can shoot the lights out. Until last night, however, the word was that he was absolutely going to attend North Carolina next year. Now . . . he was impressive.
Rob, Sioux Falls, SD
Chad, is Josh Smith a Darius Miles clone? Last night everybody was oohing and aahhing over his slams and block, but I was more interested in whether this kid has game besides his obvious gifts. Does this kid have the tools to one day be a great player, or is he your classic AAU baller with hops and height, but not a game that translates into greatness?
Chad Ford (1:29 PM)
He gets compared to Miles quite a bit. He's got a better body and has a better jump shot (though he didn't show it last night). But he's not the ball handler that Miles was. I'm not sold, but scouts claim he's a top 10 pick for sure.
Sebastin Telafair's game didnt impress me too much lastnight, why is he considering going pro?
Chad Ford (1:30 PM)
I think Telfair is very talented, but I don't think he's ready. He needs a year or two of college. However, he did what he had to do last night. Everyone know he can score big time. It was nice to see him pass the ball. No one wants a 5-11 two guard.
Do Robert Swift or Randolph Morris have what it takes to develop like a Jermaine O'Neal in the NBA or do they seem like young versions of Calvin Booth and Loren Woods?
Chad Ford (1:32 PM)
Swift has impressed me in both of the all-star games he's played. He needs to get stronger, but he's much more aggresive around the basket than I had heard. Morris is very skilled as well. Both could use a year or two of school. Right now, Swift is the most likely to declare for the draft. The word is academic issues may make him ineligible to play at USC.
Rob, Sioux Falls, SD
Chad, who is Mile Ilic and Sergey Lischuk? I have now recently heard they are 1st rounders, but have not a clue why they suddenly jumped out of nowhere, and what their games are all about? Help!
Chad Ford (1:33 PM)
We wrote about Lishcuk last week as a sleeper at the power forward position. He's a 6-10, power forward from the Ukraine who's older (22) and more experienced than a lot of kids in the draft. He could maybe be a first rounder, but more likely he'll go somewhere in the second. Not sure who started the Ilic rumor but I talked to his agent Marc Cornstein today and he said that Ilic will not be in the draft.
What's the deal on Big Al Jefferson? Yea or Neigh on the draft? I see him in the early 20's maybe to Boston with one of those 2 picks.
Chad Ford (1:35 PM)
I think he's a sleeper. The dude averaged 42 points per game this year! C'mon. He already has an NBA body. He's just not a great athelte. Scouts like him. He's a 15-29 range guy.
MC Welk (SLC)
Would you rather have Childress or Fernandez, Varajao or Araujo? How low will Chiriaev slide?
Chad Ford (1:36 PM)
I'm a big Josh Childress fan and think he'll be the first to go on that list. I'm pretty sure he's a lottery pick. I also love Rudy Fernandez, but he's 18 and a little raw still. I'm told he won't be in the draft. Araujo will probably be drafted next. He's a mid to late first rounder. Varejao is on the bubble? Chiriaev? Who knows. Some scouts still like him. Others don't get what the fuss is all about.
Chad, watching the SportsCenter piece on Mario Austin, Bill Duffy came off as a total a**. Is he really this bad? What is going on?
Chad Ford (1:40 PM)
I can only speak from experience Brody, but I've always regarded Duffy as one of the most ethical agents in the business. I think the piece took the story a little out of context. If you understand the drill with second round picks, what happened to Austin happens to almost all of second rounders and undrafted kids. The difference is that Duffy got Austin an unbelievable deal in Europe. Most kids who go over there to play don't get half that. If I'm Austin, I'd be thanking Duffy, not killing him on TV. Austin had eligibility issues at Mississippi State. He tested poorly in front of NBA scouts. It wasn't Duffy's fault he slid into the second round. Duffy got him a good deal. His lung collapsed. It's sad, but the agent isn't always at fault.
Chad Ford (1:42 PM)
Sorry folks, I've got to run a little early today. I'm heading to the Final Four and Nike Hoop Summit in San Antonio. Next week we'll talk from the NBA's first draft camp of the year in Portsmouth, VA.