Chat with Chad Ford
Ford covers the NBA and NBA Draft for ESPN Insider and also makes appearances on ESPN Radio and ESPNEWS.
Send your questions to Chad now and join him right here in The Show on Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Chad Ford (1:04 PM)
Aloha everyone. Big day in America with the Inauguration of President Obama. Now that the new POTUS is sworn in, let's talk some hoops. We'll start with the NBA and then move to the Draft. Let's roll ...
Orlando is a much better team then Cleveland. ORL does not have one go to guy they have 3 and King James can't maintain this pace all season. Do you agree?
Chad Ford (1:07 PM)
Much better? No. Favorites to win the East? No. But MUCH better than I, or anyone else for that matter, thought they'd be? YES. Magic have a lot of weapons, are playing GREAT basketball at the moment and have a legit MVP candidate in Dwight Howard. I still think Cleveland or Boston wins the East. But the Magic are for real. It took me a LONG time, but I'm finally on the bandwagon.
If you had to pick a player to start a new team, which do you choose? Lebron or Dwight?
Chad Ford (1:08 PM)
LeBron. Because he can take over a game in a way that Howard still can't. But both are superstars and legit MVP candidates.
Anyway Boozer leaves Utah now rather than in the summer?
Chad Ford (1:09 PM)
If he's healthy before the trade deadline? Yes. I think the Jazz will most likely want to sign Paul Milsap over Boozer. He's cheaper, younger and has had fewer injury problems. And there's a great chance the Boozer bolts next summer anyway. If they can get a team interested that has a legit chance of re-signing him (Miami and Detroit come to mind) I think they'd pull the trigger.
Is this Marion/Banks for O'Neal deal going to get done? Is there something better for the Heat or Raptors to pursue?
Chad Ford (1:12 PM)
I think it's a great deal for the Raptors. They get Marion, who is healthy and a better fit, and they get lots of cap relief in the summer. Not so sure about the Heat. O'Neal just can't stay healthy and his contract adds another $20 million plus burden on their payroll next year. Not sure why Riley is going this route. There's a reason that the Raptors, a lottery team, are trying to dump him. If he was healthy? Sure. But who believes he'll stay healthy for the next year and a half?
Chad, is there any way that the Bulls are able to move Larry Hughes' contract before the deadline? If so, who are some possible destinations? Thanks
Chad Ford (1:15 PM)
Yes, but they won't get anything to really help this team. Talk of a Hughes for Bobby Simmons swap doesn't really get anyone excited on either side. Hughes could disrupt some pretty solid chemistry in NJ. And doesn't Simmons play the same position as Luol Deng and Nocioni? If the Bulls are going to make a move that makes a difference., it has to be with Deng, Tyrus Thomas, Noah and Nocioni. Deng can't be easily traded until this summer, so I expect it to happen then. The bigger question is whether John Paxson will be the one making the deal.
Christopher (Phoenix, AZ)
Amare to the Atl for Josh Smith and Marvin Williams. Any chance that can happen? Many of us in Phx are so tired of Amare's cry baby approach to a professional game AND he plays zero D and won't rebound. Thoughts?
Chad Ford (1:17 PM)
The Hawks turned down a deal for Amare in the summer of 2007. Would they pull the trigger now? Would be a good deal I think for both teams. Stoudemire is still a superstar who has struggled with the Suns changing identity. Smith and Williams aren't slouches either and help the Suns rebuild with some youth. However, Smith is a base year compensation player which means his contract is difficult to trade until this summer.
If Joe D wanted to flip AI before the deadline, who might have interest?
Chad Ford (1:20 PM)
Teams who want cap space this summer. Dumars will use him, and possibly one other player (maybe Tayshaun Prince or Rip Hamilton) to get another young star to pair with Rodney Stuckey. The Jazz are an option. Mavs are another.
Jordan (Chino Hills, CA)
Chad, what's your gut feeling telling you about Lamar Odom's future with the Lakers?
Chad Ford (1:23 PM)
I think he stays. It's hard to pick up Phil Jackson's offense mid season. The Lakers are in good shape. They look like they're clearly the best team in the West and as they proved last night, can hang with the best in the East too. Odom isn't perfect, but unless the Lakers were offered a no brainer type of deal, I think they stay pat.
Randy (St. Paul)
Hey Chad, what do you think about the T-Wolves recent success? Is this just a hot streak or are they actually getting closer to being relevant again?
Chad Ford (1:25 PM)
Yes and no. They are playing better and Kevin McHale is proving that he can coach much better than he can judge talent. Al Jefferson is a great building block. Randy Foye looks much better playing the two. But they still need a lot of help. They need a better point guard and a real five. So, this is a step in the right direction, but they need to score another very good player in the draft and make some trades. Their track record in that department is pretty sketchy.
Give me your take on the Pacers. Do they make a move before the deadline, continue to build with young players, or look to sign a big free agent in 2010?
Chad Ford (1:29 PM)
They are in a very good position. They have A LOT of assets. They have big expiring contracts like Rasho Nesterovic and Marquis Daniels. They have young players like Brandon Rush and Roy Hibbert. They have vets they would move like Mike Dunleavy, Jeff Foster and Jarrett Jack. They still have Jamaal Tinsley, a guard who, when healthy, is a legit starting point guard in the league. And they have a draft pick that looks like a Top 10 pick. Package those together in a number of ways and the Pacers could be big players at the trade deadline. Lots of interest around the league in Daniels and Foster. Lots of teams would love some cap relief. I think that a lot of the business in the league could pivot on what they do. Like I said they can facilitate just about any deal out there.
Will Portland move Raef's contract at the deadline? Who could the Blazers possibly target in a trade?
Chad Ford (1:32 PM)
The signals out of Portland right now, publicly at least, say no. But privately I think Kevin Pritchard understands that with Darius Miles contract coming back onto the books, their best chance of adding another cornerstone player is now using LaFrentz's expiring contract and a handful of young players. He'd love to get his hands on Luol Deng and Mike Conley. Not sure the first is possible in February, but Conley is available.
Re: Wolves...sure would look good with OJ Mayo playing with Foye wouldnt they?
Chad Ford (1:33 PM)
Yeah ... that was my point about the ability to judge talent. Wolves have swung and missed too many times. Kevin Love is FAR from a miss. He's been playing really well lately. But OJ would be a better fit for what they are trying to do.
It seems that the only person safe in Chicago is Rose, is that a fair assessment, I think they need to blow up the team and start over?
Chad Ford (1:35 PM)
NOt sure if that is what John Paxson is thinking, but it SHOULD be. Bulls need to blow this up and rebuild around Rose. I know that's frustrating for Paxson and Bulls fans, but the rest of this team just doesn't click. I like Paxson, but it may take a new GM to clean this up. It's hard to let go of players that you drafted or signed.
If you were Memphis, would you trade Conley for Outlaw? Would Outlaw get minutes being behind Gay?
Chad Ford (1:36 PM)
Outlaw isn't a perfect fit for them. They need a shooter or another low post player. Rudy Gay would eat most of Outlaw's minutes.
What do you think makes for a worse GM? Trying to win and just being awful at judging how (Isiah or Mchale), or knowingly settling for mediocrity (Ernie Grunfeld)?
Chad Ford (1:39 PM)
Yikes. Tough words for Ernie. But his moves have been odd. What are the Wizards doing. Even with a healthy Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood, was this team even close to a contender? Wizards are another team that could be due for a front office change and gutting of the roster.
If you're Colangelo would you trade Bosh prior to next summer, or quickly try to build a contender? I'm sure Bosh could bring in a lot.
Chad Ford (1:42 PM)
I'd consider trading Bosh if I was convinced he was bolting, no matter what, in the summer of 2010. I think the chances are very good that Bosh leaves, so yes ... I'd see what I could get. As good as Bosh is, his looming free agency makes him a little tougher to move. Teams won't want to give up everything for a guy who could bolt soon and they need to keep enough good players in tact to convince Bosh to stay. Obviously just about every team in the league would love a shot at him. But I think the Raptors would have to settle for ... cap space, lottery picks, a few young players and maybe one good vet. Though a Josh Smith and Marvin Williams for Bosh move could be something interesting for Toronto and Atlanta.
If i'm Steve Kerr should i just blow up my team and start the rebuilding process
Chad Ford (1:43 PM)
Maybe. Shaq has dramatically improved his trade value. Nash's value is starting to decline. My guess is they are going to make a run at this for the rest of the season. If a few breaks fall their way, they can compete in the West. If they struggle, I see big changes on the horizon this summer.
I was messing around with the NBA Draft Lottery and was wondering if there was any team that wouldn't take Blake Griffin? I had some pretty crazy scenarios play out, including the Knicks landing at #1 and the Thunder getting pushed back to #5.
Chad Ford (1:45 PM)
I can't think of a scenario right now where Griffin doesn't go No. 1. Sixers may be the team that might consider someone else. But right now he's the consensus No. 1 pick. Only player who could catch him, in my opinion, right now is Greg Monroe. But he'd have to really blow up for the rest of the season and in the tournament and then teams would have to have some concerns about Griffin's knee.
How tall do you think Blake Griffin REALLY is? No way he's 6'10. Any chance Greg Monroe might leapfrog him on draft night?
Chad Ford (1:46 PM)
He doesn't need to be 6-10 to go No. 1. As long as he's 6-8 to 6-9, he'll be fine.
Scott M., Madison WI
Gerald Henderson - rising in the draft with his recent play?
Chad Ford (1:49 PM)
Maybe. He was VERY good against Georgetown. Probably his best game of the year against a ton of scouts. But NBA scouts tend to look at all of the evidence when judging picks and Henderson's total resume is lacking. However, if he plays like he did this weekend through the rest of the year, he'll move back into the first round.
Do you think Jeff Teague can be Monta Ellis type PG?
Chad Ford (1:51 PM)
I actually think he has a better feel for running the point than Ellis does. And I think that playing two years at Wake helps his cause. He's risen faster than anyone on our Big Board. A few weeks ago we had him in the high 30s and a potential lottery pick next year. Then he moved to 18 and this weekend up to No. 9 with more and more scouts and NBA execs calling him a lottery pick. Yes there are questions about his ability to play the point, but more and more teams seem to be willing to take the risk.
Adam (Rockford, IL)
Will the play of undersized 4's like Millsap and Maxiell help DeJuan Blair's stock for draft day?
Chad Ford (1:53 PM)
I think so. Add Carl Landry to that list. Ditto Craig Smith and Ryan Gomes. Lots of interest in the toughness that Blair brings to the table. I think he's a likely first round pick somewhere between 20 and 30.
Jackie (Kutte ka lund, NY)
Stephen Curry - any chance he could fall to my Knicks?
Chad Ford (1:55 PM)
Yes. Teams are taking a pretty cautious approach to him. He puts up the numbers, but his shooting percentage and turnovers are causing a little concern.
Do you think all the Wake guys will stick around for another year? They could be incredible next season.
Chad Ford (1:56 PM)
Ideally yes. But the truth is NBA scouts love this team. Aminu is a likely lottery pick if he declares. Ditto for Teague. James Johnson could be a first round pick as well. And Tony Woods has a lot of NBA potential ... but he's at least one more year away.
Chad Ford (1:58 PM)
Gotta run everyone. Have a Happy Inauguration Day. We'll do it again next week.