Chat with Chad Ford
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, 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 Monday at 1 p.m. ET!
Chad Ford (1:00 PM)
Aloha everyone and thanks for coming to the chat today -- my first of the 2013-14 NBA season. We will talk both NBA and NBA Draft (the college season starts in 4 days). So let's roll ...
Deven (New York, NY)
Are the Sixers for real?
Chad Ford (1:03 PM)
Yes and no. They have four NBA players -- Thaddeus Young, Michael Carter-Williams, Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes. The rest of their team is beyond shaky. However those four are all playing out of their minds right now. Carter-Williams looks like he's running away with Rookie of the Year honors. Turner is finally playing like the No. 2 pick. Hawes has a ridiculous 30 PER and Young has been his usual above average self. If they keep playing this well? SCHOENE was right ... they're closer to a 25-30 win team than the 16 wins we projected.
John (Austin, TX)
Two part question: 1) is Brett Brown the greatest coach in NBA history? and 2) should the Sixers fire him before he screws up all their plans for this season?
Chad Ford (1:04 PM)
I don't think they'll fire the coach. I think it's more likely that the Sixers might try to sell high on Young, Turner and Hawes while they have the chance. If they could net them more high draft picks ... they have to consider. The only two untouchables on that roster are Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel.
Hey Chad, what happened to the Suns not being able to win a game in the West? Have you watched any of their games yet, and has your take on them changed at all? (this coming from a guy who thought you were close to right on, and is worried the Suns will lose out on the best 2014 talent now)
Chad Ford (1:06 PM)
Yes, I said before the season I wasn't sure the Suns could win a game in the West and they go out and win their first two against Western opponents (Blazers and Jazz). Eric Bledsoe has been great and in those first two games, Miles Plumlee played out of his mind posting back-to-back double doubles and a 24 PER. To put that into perspective ... Plumlee only had 3 double-doubles in his last two seasons at Duke. Of the two (between Phoenix and Philly) I think the Suns are more likely to come back down to Earth on their own.
Brandon (New York)
Do the Sixers or Suns even still want Wiggins?
Chad Ford (1:07 PM)
Their GMS do. It's the coaches and players that don't give a damn. They're young and they have a chip on their shoulder. The players all think they are better than Wiggins right now. Tough for a GM to stop that ... short of making more trades to make the team even worse.
Isn't it worth mentioning that the 1991 Bulls started 0-3 and won the NBA Championship? Why do the first 3 or 4 games of a season matter and why are people over-reacting to them?
Chad Ford (1:09 PM)
Why is everyone over-reacting? That's what we do for a living!!! Remember the Charlotte Bobcats started the season 7-5 last year before going on an epic 18 game losing streak. Not sure there are meaningless games in the NBA, but if there are, they happen in late October and early November, when veterans are still getting their legs for the season.
Elijah (New York)
Will the Boston Celtics try to tank if they continue to do poorly?
Chad Ford (1:11 PM)
They're No. 1 on Tank Rank this week, though they too have been playing hard. I think, despite his public pronouncements to the contrary, Danny Ainge would trade Rondo, Jeff Green and any other Celtics vet if he thought he could land a transcendent player in the draft and get another valuable asset in return. So yes ... if this continues, the direction for Ainge will be pretty clear.
Cameron (Estero, Florida)
Can the Jazz keep this up? #rigginforwiggins
Chad Ford (1:13 PM)
Not sure. They're 0-3 but have been playing hard. Alec Burks, Enes Kanter, Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward all look really good. Once they get a point guard back, they're going to win some basketball games.
Early thoughts on Houston?
Chad Ford (1:16 PM)
Looks like this Dwight Howard-James Harden combo is going to work out just fine. Should compete for the Western Conference title.
Wolves started 3-0. Are they overachieving or this is how good they are when they are healthy?
Chad Ford (1:18 PM)
Kevin Love looks like he's off to a MVP type season and Ricky Rubio is playing the best basketball of his career. Those two alone, if they can stay healthy, mean big things for the Wolves this year.
Thoughts on Victor Oladipo through his first 4 games?
Chad Ford (1:20 PM)
He looks like he has a chance to be a star. He's got to cut down on the turnovers, but it's easy to see why so many scouts thought he'd be special. Plays so hard (and so athletically) on both ends of the floor.
Chris (Broadview Heights, OH)
What's going on with Anthony Bennett? 3 games and no FG's?
Chad Ford (1:22 PM)
He missed the summer, rehabbing from that shoulder injury. He's really out of shape. He's just winging it out there right now. Most of this is correctable. But the weight concerns me a bit -- it shows a lack of discipline that concerned a lot of GMs coming into the draft.
Nick (Chicago )
Thoughts on Derrick Rose?
Chad Ford (1:24 PM)
Thought he looked phenomenal in the pre-season. But he's been pressing at the start of the season. It's just taking his body a while to adjust to playing at this level every night. Both he and the Bulls are going to be fine.
max (new york)
Is the improved play of Lance Stephenson for real? And could this possibly vault them past Miami?
Chad Ford (1:25 PM)
He's for real. Has always been one of the most talented players in his age group. Maturity was the issue and the Pacers have done a great job of bringing him along. He's going to make a lot of money next summer -- and yes, I think the combo of him, Paul George, Roy Hibbert, David West and George Hill are good enough to win it all this year. Wish I would have gone with my gut and put them as the favorites in the pre-season poll.
Cole (Salt Lake City)
Since Gordon Hayward didn't sign a contract extension and will become a restricted free agent next year....How many offers will he get? Will Jazz match them? Would Jazz trade him away? Thoughts on this subject
Chad Ford (1:29 PM)
Thought it was a low risk move for the Jazz. Hayward wanted a near max extension. Little upside for the Jazz to do that now. If he has a breakout season, they'll gladly pay next summer. If he doesn't they'll get him at a discount. The bottom line is that Hayward is a restricted free agent next year. If the Jazz want him, they keep him and I doubt he costs them much more than what he was originally asking for.
The Bucks, ugh. Any thoughts on their situation?
Chad Ford (1:30 PM)
Solid talent. Confusing identity. Brandon Knight has been injured and Larry Sanders is in a major funk right now. I really think they should be tanking, but understand that owner Herb Kohl is forbidding it. Might end up with a Top 10 pick anyway. I think I speak for all of us when I say I want to see more Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Obviously, MCW is #1, but who have been the best 2-5 rookies you have seen so far?
Chad Ford (1:33 PM)
Oladipo. Vitor Favererani. Steven Adams has been solid. But you can see why none of them, with the possible exception of Oladipo, looks like they have a shot right now of catching up to MCW. MCW not only has the talent, he has the ball in his hands 35 minutes per game. Not sure there is another player in this draft class that will get that type of opportunity to control his destiny.
Strictly FUNDAMENTALLY, who's better, Wiggins or Jabari?
Chad Ford (1:35 PM)
Jabari. Fundamentally, he's the best player in the draft. He could play all five positions on the floor. Scouts have been very bullish on him lately after seeing him in some scrimmages for Duke. Not sure his senior season, thanks to an injury, gave us a complete look at his potential.
How good can Dante Exum be?
Chad Ford (1:36 PM)
Crazy talented. A number of GMs think he might be the best player in the draft. Yes, better than Wiggins and Julius Randle. Would love to see him play some college ball, however, to be sure.
Is Kentucky's freshmen class one of the best of all-time (on paper)?
Chad Ford (1:38 PM)
Yes. I have seven Kentucky players ranked in our Top 30. Julius Randle could be the No. 1 pick. Andrew Harrison and James Young also are looking like potential Top 10 picks. Willie Cauley-Stein, Alex Poythress, Aaron Harrison and Dakari Johnson all look like potential first rounders. Cauley-Stein and Poythress, by the way, also appear to have lottery type talent. Another, Marcus Lee, could end up cracking it by the end of the season. I think a minimum of three, maybe four, are selected in the lottery.
Mike R (Boston)
Could Kansas really have three top 10 players drafted this year?
Chad Ford (1:40 PM)
For sure. Wiggins has the inside track on the No. 1 pick. Joel Embiid is the best center prospect in the draft and should go somewhere between 2 and 7. Wayne Selden could end up being the leading scorer for this Jayhawks team -- a classic power wing. They're going to be good.
Is the Champions Classic this year in Chicago the greatest single day NBA scouting event ever?
Chad Ford (1:42 PM)
Maybe. Kentucky vs. Michigan State. Kansas vs. Duke. Four teams ranked in the Top 5 playing on the second week of the college basketball season? As many as 9 lottery picks and 14 first round picks on the same floor on the same night? Every GM in the league is going to be there. I'll be there too filing a Stock Watch report. Not sure I've ever been more excited to see a night of November college basketball.
Marcus Smart probably would have gone #2 last year. You think he can still go that high or will these incoming freshmen push him out of the top 5?
Chad Ford (1:43 PM)
I do. He's not as sexy as players like Wiggins, Randle or Exum, but he has a toughness and leadership aura around him that every coach would want to have. If he improves his jump shot and handle, he's a Top 3 pick. Even if he doesn't, I don't see him slipping out of the Top 10.
You've had the Magic in Marcus Smart's corner for awhile now. How does the play and potential of Oladipo affect their approach to Smart and the draft in general?
Chad Ford (1:44 PM)
Put Smart and Oladipo in the backcourt together and you may have the best defensive backcourt in the NBA someday.
What is your take on Noah Vonleh? Think he will be a first round pick if he decided to leave after this year?
Chad Ford (1:45 PM)
On pure talent, he could be a lottery pick. But he's very raw and many scouts expect it to take a couple of years for him to reach his potential. Nevertheless, he's No. 21 on our Top 100 right now.
Shuler (South Carolina)
Is Aaron Gordon a Blake Griffin clone? How good can he be
Chad Ford (1:47 PM)
Yes. But he's smaller and that's what concerns NBA scouts. He's trying to make the transition to the three this year. Lots of scouts doubt he can make the transition.
James F. (Texas)
Do scouts really feel like James Young of UK is really good enough to be a Top 5 pick? Or is that just Coach Cal being the great salesman he is known to be?
Chad Ford (1:49 PM)
Not sure Top 5 pick is right. And yes, Cal has been selling him hard. But he really does have all the tools to be an excellent NBA wing. Just a bit of a late bloomer. If he's the second best player on the Wildcats this year (pretty sure Randle will be the alpha dog there), he's going to be a Top 10 pick.
any sleeper prospects no one is talking about?
Chad Ford (1:54 PM)
Florida's Chris Walker might be the very best athlete in the draft, but he's ineligible to play during Fall Semester and he's making a position change. That's hurt his stock a bit. Wisconsin's Sam Dekker has many in the analytics crowd fired up. Keep an eye on a young point guard from Kosovo -- Kenan Sipahi and a young big man from Denmark -- Rasmus Larsen. Both are getting a lot of buzz right now from international scouts.
Do you think people should settle down with hyping this year's class so much? With rumbles of Wiggins being a disappointment in practice, Parker's middling athleticism and Exum's inability to shoot it seems like there's plenty of concerns all around with the Top 5.
Chad Ford (1:57 PM)
It's about potential Ben. Anthony Davis was too skinny and didn't dominate the game at the beginning of his freshman year. Andre Drummond was passive at UConn and lacked basketball IQ. People killed a young Derrick Rose at Memphis early in the season when he got off to a slow start. Have to look a little deeper at players and try to project what they could become. All three of those guys -- Wiggins, Parker and Exum -- have a terrific work ethic and either have elite athletic tools or extraordinary basketball skills. They're all going to be really good I think.
Is there any player in the draft who possesses such a unique skill set that it is impossible to compare him to a current NBA player?
Chad Ford (1:59 PM)
Since this is coming from Croatia -- I'm assuming you're talking about Dario Saric -- a Point 4. We've had point forwards who play the three position -- but Saric is really a power forward with a terrific handle and court vision. The closest comp I can come up with is Boris Diaw and I think Saric is better than him at the same age.
Chad Ford (2:00 PM)
Gotta run everyone. Excited to be back chatting with you. We'll be doing this on Monday for the next couple of weeks at 1 pm ET, before moving back to my normal chat time of Wed at 1 pm ET. See you next week!