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 (1:00 PM)
Aloha everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat today. We're a little more than 24 hours out from the draft. So much to chat about ... let's go!
What is your gut on what the Cavs will do, make the pick or trade? Thanks
Chad Ford (1:03 PM)
My gut has trouble digesting food right now let alone figuring out what the Cavs will do. What my SOURCES say is that there's a split between Dan Gilbert and the front office on who to take at one. Gilbert wants Wiggins. Front office wants Parker. Both are open to a trade and of the offers they've received, the Magic's offer of Arron Afflalo, No. 4 and No. 12 is the most enticing. What they end up doing on draft night? I think that's still very much up in the air.
Matt (Believeland, Ohio)
Any chance Parker/Wiggins is NOT the #1 pick and Cavs go with someone else?
Chad Ford (1:06 PM)
Sure. They surprised me with Bennett. Didn't see that coming until just a few hours before the draft. They surprised me with Waiters. Again, didn't hear an inkling about him until the day of the draft. So if a new name emerges tomorrow, I won't be shocked. But Exum is the only other guy I think they could take at 1. Embiid I guess could have an outside shot, but I don't think he's in the mix at 1. He's heavily in the mix, however, if the Cavs trade down to 4.
Brett [via mobile]
Who do you think the bucks select at no. 2? Who helps them improve the most this year?
Chad Ford (1:08 PM)
If Parker is there it's Parker. If Wiggins is there it's Wiggins. I guess there's an outside shot that they'd take Exum over Wiggins, but it sounds like Wiggins has done enough in workouts with the Bucks to convince them he's worthy of the pick.
Any chance the Bucks make a couple moves trading some of their vets on draft day to get back in the lottery?
Chad Ford (1:10 PM)
I don't think they'll trade the No. 2 pick. I'd be shocked. But yes, they'll be very active in trying to get another lottery pick. If they can't get that, a mid to late first rounder is also not out of the question for them. They have a number of players they like in the draft. Brandon Knight and John Hensen are the players teams in the lottery are interested in. Also, there seems to be some interest in Larry Sanders as well. He won't net them a lottery pick, but a mid to late first rounder from a team trying to win now? It's a possibility.
Mike (West Chester, PA)
Realistically, what would the Sixers have to give up to get that top spot from the Cavs?
Chad Ford (1:11 PM)
I don't know they can get there. Not unless they can a three way deal going that moves Michael Carter-Williams and Thaddeus Young for a veteran that the Cavs really covet and then package that veteran with the No. 3 pick. Unfortunately for the Sixers, the Cavs aren't really into Carter-Williams or Young. They want someone who could really lure LeBron.
Nick (Philadelphia, PA)
If you are the Sixers and Wiggins and Parkers are off the board, who would you take at #3?
Chad Ford (1:12 PM)
Exum. All the way. I think he's a better long-term prospect than Carter-Williams and I think, at the end of the day, you don't draft for position when you are team like the Sixers. You draft the best talent and figure it out. They can play together or they can trade Carter-Williams. I know they are looking at Embiid and Noah Vonleh is also a possibility at 3, but I think Exum is the strong favorite to go 3 now.
You recently mentioned the possibility of the Sixers trading MCW and/or Thad Young to the Lakers for the #7 pick. What could prevent this from happening?
Chad Ford (1:14 PM)
The Sixers. The Lakers, I believe, would do that deal in a heartbeat. They could send back Steve Nash's expiring deal and it's a huge win for them. The Sixers however, may want to separate the assets and use MCW to get one asset and Young to get another. This is putting their two best trade chips in the same basket for the No. 7 pick. Not sure if that's enough for them. They're exploring that deal and other deals, but nothing is set.
Josh (St Petersburg FL)
All I have read is how deep this draft is. Is it a good use of assets for the Magic to move up to 1 (two lottery picks and a veteran in Afflalo that might have netted them another at 8-11) to take Wiggins a good use of assets? Is Wiggins THAT good?
Chad Ford (1:16 PM)
I think you need a superstar to build around if you want to win a championship. So you either take those assets and move up to get one or you collect good, but not great players. I think that's why Embiid is so intriguing to Orlando. He allows them to get a potential superstar and still keep their other assets, Afflalo and 12 to move in another deal. But Embid is a risk folks. He's the most intriguing player in the draft if he's healthy. But that's a big if right now. A big one.
How big of a concern is Embiid's injury? Which teams are scared off by it and who is most likely to take the risk?
Chad Ford (1:20 PM)
Really depends on who you talk to. But whoever you talk to, if they aren't the Cavs or Bucks, also don't have his medical records. Those two teams did and both of them were scared off. We can say that's because two other great options -- Wiggins and Parker -- were on the table, but nevertheless, no one knows what else is there. I've heard a ton of rumblings that there are other issues (some small, some big) with his physical. However, it's all heresay until I either see the records myself or multiple trusted sources who have seen the records independently confirm. That hasn't happened yet. Which is a long way of saying, I think, it will be hard for the top 3 teams to take Embiid. I think Orlando, Boston, Sacramento and Philly at 10 are his most likely landing spots.
Patrick (Salt Lake City)
Should the Jazz take Vonleh, Gordon, or Randle? Doesn't seem like they would go for Smart here.
Chad Ford (1:21 PM)
I actually think Smart makes the most sense for them personally. However I think their order looks like this: 1. Vonleh 2. Gordon 3. Randle 4. Smart
Josh R. (Chicago, IL)
What are the chances the Jazz move back in the draft instead of up? They don't quite need another young big, but they could use a shooting guard or a wing.
Chad Ford (1:22 PM)
They didn't dismantle their roster this season to move down in the draft. If they can't move up (and they are trying) I think they keep the pick at 5.
Dustin (Logan UT)
Do you think the Jazz are really willing to part with 5, 23, Favors, and Burks for the shot at Wiggins or Parker? Seems awfully steep...
Chad Ford (1:23 PM)
I think they are, actually. Very hard to lure a star to Utah in Free Agency. This is their best chance to get one. You give up a lot to get a guy you can build your franchise around.
I can't imagine Danny Ainge just standing pat, taking someone at 6, then 17, and then moving on to the next thing. However it feels like things have cooled on the Celtics trading front. What say you, Chad?
Chad Ford (1:24 PM)
Nothing "cools" for Danny Ainge. They are talking with everyone. I think if they keep the picks, they probably move Rondo and Jeff Green this summer. If they can swap the picks for talented veterans, they'd do that. I think it's 24 hours before the draft and the best offers will start to roll in. I expect the Celtics will be as active as any team in the league.
Davis (Cambridge, MA)
For the Celtics.....Aaron Gordon? My heart tells me Noah Vonleh if he is there, but could Gordon really be Griffin vol 2?
Chad Ford (1:26 PM)
I'm having a tough time getting a read. I thought Aaron Gordon was their guy, but there are signals that it might be Marcus Smart here instead. And there's a lot of negativity about Julius Randle coming out of Boston which -- if you know Ainge -- could mean that he's the guy they actually want. Remember Randle was almost unanimously thought of as the No. 2 pick at the start of the season.
Yale (cleveland, oh)
Any truth to these Celtics/Cavs trade rumors? They dont really have anything the Cavs want, right?
Chad Ford (1:26 PM)
I don't think so. Would need a third team that had players.
Seriously though, Chad. If Embiid is available at 6 the Celtics have to take him, right? Right???
Chad Ford (1:27 PM)
I think there's a very good chance they take him if he falls to them.
Why are the Celtics always trying to trade Rondo? Hes a very good young PG and I dont see how getting a younger PG who isnt as good and wont be for years helps their rebuilding process
Chad Ford (1:28 PM)
That's what every other GM in the league asks and why it's been hard to trade him. Everyone is curious why Boston is always so anxious to move him.
The Lakers have no assets and few 1st round picks in upcoming drafts - what deals would you do if you're Mitch Kupchak to gain assets?
Chad Ford (1:29 PM)
It's tough. They have the No. 7 pick and that's really it. That's why I've always believed the Lakers would trade this pick and try to use it to multiply assets. If they can get two starters for it, for example, I think they have to consider it. They aren't wanting a long rebuild in LA. They want out of the lottery now.
Everybody seems to think Randle is a lock to the Lakers. What do u think?
Chad Ford (1:31 PM)
He had a great workout there. He ended up refusing a second workout in Boston after it. He can help the team right now. I think it's a good fit for all parties involved and frankly, could end up being a steal for the Lakers. Marcus Smart is the other strong candidate there.
John Parker (Santa Monica, CA)
If Embiid drops to #7 do the Lakers take him over Randle or Smart?
Chad Ford (1:31 PM)
I don't think so. They can't use their only asset on a guy who won't help them this year and probably not much next year.
Is a Rondo to the Kings for # 8 not enough in return for the Celtics?
Chad Ford (1:32 PM)
I think they want more than that. I think that's part of the hold-up. And remember the Celtics will likely have to take back a player or two that they don't really want.
Joshua (Richmond, CA)
What do you think the Kings end up doing with the 8? Thanks.
Chad Ford (1:35 PM)
They've been very active talking to the Suns, Sixers, Celtics and Bucks. They obviously want to win now. Aren't in love with anything at 8. I think they're the team most likely to make a deal on draft night. If their crowd sourcing gang approves.
Tyler (Kingston, TN)
I know everyone is expecting Stauskas or McDermott for the Hornets at #9, but excluding those two, who would be the next logical choice?
Chad Ford (1:36 PM)
Gary Harris and James Young are possibilities. Sleeper is Elfrid Payton here. But he's not a shooter and he's not a wing.
Do you think the Sixers would be more likely to take the best player available (per analytics) at #10 than simply filling "a need" like a shooter? Given their plan is a long-term one, I don't think they should be too concerned with putting together the perfect starting 5
Chad Ford (1:39 PM)
Right. But the strength of the draft, at that point in the draft, is wings. McDermott, Stauskas, Gary Harris, Zach LaVine, P.J. Hairston, Rodney Hood. The two guys that could shake things up: Dario Saric or Jusuf Nurkic
Does Dario Saric signing a new contract that will keep him in Europe for longer make his draft stock rise or fall?? What are possible destinations or him??
Chad Ford (1:40 PM)
Likely will fall. He was getting strong looks from the Sixers at 10 and Nuggets at 11 if he was willing to come over. Now that he's in Europe for two years, it's a harder (though not impossible) sell. The other teams to watch are the Hawks at 15, the Celtics at 17, the Suns at 18 and the Bulls at 19. Given the contract, he probably is more likely to go in that range.
What will the Nuggets do at #11? They seem to be active in trade talks.
Chad Ford (1:42 PM)
So tough to read. Talking to a lot of teams, but a lot of confusion on what they want. Names I hear here include Saric, Jusuf Nurkic, Zach LaVine and Gary Harris.
Jess (Winston-Salem, NC)
What do you think the Magic will do with #12?
Chad Ford (1:44 PM)
Depends on what they get at 4. If they get Exum, then they'll go with a shooter or a big. If they take Vonleh or Embiid, I think they'll go PG here. Elfrid Payton is a real possibility as is Shabazz Napier I'm told.
Have the Wolves zeroed in on LaVine? What is his ceiling and floor? How long until he can actually contribute?
Chad Ford (1:45 PM)
I've heard that's a real possibility -- especially if Nik Stauskas if off the board. But I also think this pick is still in play depending on what happens with the Kevin Love trade.
Thomas (Richmond, VA)
If the Wolves do not move Kevin Love by the draft, do you think Golden State has the best chance of getting Love since now all of the teams offering picks will be ruled out?
Chad Ford (1:46 PM)
Right. If Flip Saunders waits until after the draft, his options narrow (unless the team he wants to deal with just so happened to draft the guys he wanted). So I think there's more urgency here than people think. I still think the Warriors have the best package. I think if the status of Barnes, Barea and who give a first round pick to who (Warriors want one, Wolves asking for one) gets worked out, this happens. Makes too much sense for both sides.
Kevin ( Phoenix, Arizona) [via mobile]
I'm going to keep this short any news in the phoenix suns?
Chad Ford (1:48 PM)
Suns have been very active. They've talked to the Kings about moving up to 8. They've talked about moving their picks for veterans. Interestingly, they've been talking about point guards with teams which may reflect an uneasiness in re-signing Eric Bledsoe to a huge deal this summer. I'm told that the four prospects they seem to be focused on right now are Elfrid Payton, Zach LaVine, Rodney Hood and TJ Warren.
What is your take on what the Hawks could do at 15?
Chad Ford (1:52 PM)
Hearing 5 names here: Nurkic, Payton, Napier, Kyle Anderson and TJ Warren. The Hawks will shop Jeff Teague hard this summer which may make sense for Napier or Payton.
Who is your dark horse to trade up to the No. 1 pick?
Chad Ford (1:55 PM)
The Celtics. I think the Celtics would love to get up to the No. 1 pick. I think they'd grab Jabari Parker. I think the Cavs would love to clear space to get LeBron plus one friend (Carmelo?) ... If the Celtics took back several bad contracts from the Cavs ... I could see it happening. They aren't the only ones who could do this (Philly will have the cap space to do the same thing), but they might be the most creative team to make it happen.
Chad Ford (1:56 PM)
Well, we're in the home stretch everyone. My FINAL Big Board just landed I see. I'll be doing another Mock Draft for Thursday morning plus live updates all day as info comes in. Should be a wild next 30 hours.