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July 7, 7:14 AM ET
Chat with Chad Ford

Chad Ford
  (1:00 PM)

Aloha everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat today. Free agency so far has played like a soap opera. Still lots of juicy stuff still out there ... let's roll.

Nick (NYC)

With Elton Brand's departure from the Clippers, Zach Randolph's stock just went up. Can you see Randolph going there for maybe Eric Gordon, DeAndre Jordan, and cash? Remember Clips are under the cap so they don't have to match salaries.

Chad Ford
  (1:02 PM)

I think Mike Dunleavy would kill himself. Randolph is very talented, but he's no Elton Brand. Dunleavy loved that Brand was a special person and a great leader and role model for his team. Now with Baron Davis and Randolph ... ugh. I agree the Clippers may ultimately move that direction if they can't get a free agent like Josh Smith or Emeka Okafor or another veteran like Shawn Marion. But I don't think they'll give up Eric Gordon. If they take Randolph, that's payment enough for the Knicks

Drew (Irvine, CA)

Whats the latest with Josh Smith and Emeka Okafor potentially signing an offer sheet with the clippers?

Chad Ford
  (1:04 PM)

Both players will be very motivated to sign. Without an offer sheet in hand, expect the Hawks and Bobcats to lowball Smith and Okafor. The question really is ... will the Hawks or Bobcats match. If the Clippers max out Smith ... there's a chance Atlanta doesn't. Ditto for the Bobcats and Okafor. However, are either of these guys really worth that much money? I don't think so.

Marc (IN)

Chad, has there been any word on contract talks with Gordon and Deng?

Chad Ford
  (1:05 PM)

Problem is ... without teams with cap room offering them an offer sheet, the Bulls can sit back and let the market dictate the price. I think Deng and Gordon will struggle to get the Bulls to pay what they were willing to pay last fall ... especially Gordon now that it sounds like the Bulls want to keep Kirk Hinrich.

Steve, (Corona)

Is Bogut worth almost as much as Brand? $72.5 million for 5 years seems a bit much.

Chad Ford
  (1:06 PM)

No ... the Bucks overpaid. I'm not sure why you overpay a guy in an extension. I'd say 5 years $55 to $60 million for an extension for Bogut.

Juan (Miami)

Chad: Any potential trades involving Shawn Marion brewing?

Chad Ford
  (1:08 PM)

Pat Riley continues to maintain that Marion isn't going anywhere. I think he may just want to hang back and see what he gets out of Marion this year. With Carlos Boozer hitting free agency next year ... that may be the target unless Beasley just absolutely blows up ...

Ryan (Tempe, Az)

With Mario Chalmers turning heads in summer league, what are the chances he is the Heats starting point guard this season?

Chad Ford
  (1:09 PM)

I think Riley will hesitate to start two rookies, but frankly, I think Chalmers is a starting caliber point guard. He was ranked No. 17 on our big board on draft night and may have been a few spots to low. I'm not sure what GMs were thinking in the second half of the draft.

Ryan (Philadelphia)

With Elton Brand now on the team, and Marreese Speights their top rookie...shouldn't the Sixers trade Reggie Evans for a shooter ASAP?

Chad Ford
  (1:10 PM)

They'll try. Not sure there's a big Reggie Evans market right now. They may actually be better off shopping Speights or Jason Smith ... maybe even Louis Williams in a sign and trade. But yes, they need a shooter in the worst way. Would be great if they could find a way to land Ben Gordon.

Peter (Long Beach)

Am I the only guy around that thinks the Warriors will be better in 08/09 than they were in 07/08? (Assuming, of course, that Ellis and Biedrins are brought back). I think Ellis will be far more efficient than Davis was in the lead guard role, and adding Maggette to Nellie's system will really make them able to put some points up. Add in further progression for Biedrins and Brandon Wright and they should be a solid team.

Chad Ford
  (1:13 PM)

Yeah ... you might be it. I agree that Maggette is a good fit in Nellie's system, but the team is overloaded with wings, has no point guard and no legitimate low post threat. I think their long term future is bright with Ellis, Biedrins, Wright and Randolph ... but I think the short term prognosis is a mess. It didn't help that they WAY overpaid for Maggette. The Clippers weren't interested in re-signing him. He's not worth 5 years, $50 million. I like Chris Mullin a lot. But he needs someone else negotiating free agent contracts. Adonal Foyle, Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy now Maggette. But I will give them this. They wisely resisted the temptation to overpay Baron Davis. I think, long term, the Clippers really regret that contract.

Ben, SA

Chad, now that the Spurs lost out on Maggette, do they go after James Posey, maybe JR Smith?

Chad Ford
  (1:15 PM)

Roger Mason. Mason had a great year last year and is 27 years old ... but he's not a long term solution.


How about a sing and trade Childress for Barbosa? The suns get a great wing from ATL that have like 7 and the Hawks get a great six man of the year bench player? THanks Chad

Chad Ford
  (1:16 PM)

Great deal for both teams, though base year issues for Childress will complicate any sign and trade.

Ian (Indy)

Now that the Pacers-Raptors and Pacers-Blazers trades are official, do you think that there are any more deals that make sense out there for Indy? Please say someone is willing to take Tinsley and Williams off our hands. I would have said McHale, but they don't have anything I would want that they would give up (Jefferson). GS - Baby Al (3rd times a charm) for Tinsley and Williams?

Chad Ford
  (1:17 PM)

It actually sounds, believe it or not, that there are teams interested in Tinsley. The Warriors need a point guard. So do the Heat. If a team is convinced he's healthy, they might pull the trigger. I do think a Al Harrington for Tinsley deal isn't out of the question. Makes sense for both teams.

Luke (Toronto)

If Jermaine can stay healthy.... I know, big if. How close is Toronto to the conference finals? Their financial situation is now somewhat grim. Any other plans Colangelo might have to improve the team?

Chad Ford
  (1:18 PM)

They're close, but I'd put Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia and possibly Cleveland (depending on what they do this summer) ahead of them. I do think the Raptors will be better with a healthy JO and dangerous.

Chad (Provo, Ut)

Kevin O' connor keeps saying the Jazz will be players this off season, I just don't see it, are there any rumors you have been hearing, I feel they need to move AK-47 but I don't see anyone taking on that contract?

Chad Ford
  (1:20 PM)

I don't think they'll move Kirilenko, in part, because they feel there's a growing chance they'll lose Boozer next summer. My guess is they'll keep Kirilenko as insurance should he leave. I've always felt he's better at the four anyway.

Kyle (South Bend)

Are the Cavs finished? They have yet to do anything, and noone seems willing to come here amidst an ever improving Eastern Conference.

Chad Ford
  (1:22 PM)

You're never finished when you have LeBron James. He's good enough to single handedly get you deep into the playoffs. They have a bunch of expiring contracts. They'll try to move those guys for some younger talent. We'll see if they get anything worthwhile. Landing players like Pau Gasol with expiring contracts are incredibly rare.


Do you believe the Suns that they had Goran Dragic as the 2 rated PG behind Rose? Can he really be that good? Thanks Chad

Chad Ford
  (1:23 PM)

I like Dragic a lot, but that seems like some hyperbole to me. I think he's more of a very good back-up PG in the NBA. But he was a very nice pick up for them in the second round.

Craig (PA)

Does ESPN answer any Lakers questions? What are your thoughts on LA talking to the Kings about giving up Odom for Artest and Kenny Thomas's bloated contract?

Chad Ford
  (1:24 PM)

Yeah ... we really IGNORE the Lakers. I think the Artest for Odom deal is a real possibility. I think the chances of the Lakers moving Odom this summer are high. Shawn Marion is also another possibility.


What do you think of the peitrus signing. I think he is very underrated and has a chance to expode in orlando

Chad Ford
  (1:26 PM)

I've always liked him, but he's never put it all together. He has all the tools to be a lock down defender and a decent offensive weapon ... but he's never seem to be up to the challenge mentally. This is a great opportunity for him. If he takes it, the Magic will be tough.

Ted, The SLC

'ever improving Eastern Conference.' Ha, that was a good one! Guess there's no where to go but up if you are on the bottom.

Chad Ford
  (1:28 PM)

Not so fast. The West is still far superior ... but I see a number of legit teams in the East next year: Celtics, Pistons, Sixers, Cavs, Raptors, Magic and Wizards for sure. If the Hawks keep Josh Smith and Childress they're in the mix. Chicago and Miami have improved. Ditto for the Bucks who've added a legit 20 ppg scorer in Richard Jefferson. And don't count out the Pacers either. They won't have a lot of stars, but they're solid everywhere now. That's a lot better Eastern Conference than we've seen in year's past.


Chad, will Dumars stand pat with the Pistons and let them try it again this year under Curry or do you see a trade or 2 coming ?

Chad Ford
  (1:29 PM)

I still think we'll see a trade. Joe Dumars is patient. He's waiting for some other chips to fall first.

Jason (Boston)

Chad... 4 years/$17 million for Turiaf? Seriously? That's what an eighth-man who gives you 6 pts, 3 boards, and a lot of tossed towels during opposing free throws gets paid?

Chad Ford
  (1:31 PM)

Agents everywhere have small shrines to Chris Mullin in the back of their offices.

John, (Ventura)

Do you think Brand ever really had intentions to stay with the Clippers? It seems everyone leaves the Clippers right when they hit they're prime. Escept for of course Davis, but he's here to make movies...

Chad Ford
  (1:35 PM)

I think he did. I think it was a combination of the Clippers making some initial mistakes (low first offer, head coach Mike Dunleavy going around his agent) combined with an agent, David Falk, who doesn't like the Clippers and has wanted to reassert himself as a power player in the league. And let's not forget the most important thing. At the end of the day, I do think the Sixers gave Brand the best chance to win a title. The Clippers, even with Brand and Davis, were going to be fighting for their lives in the West. At the end of the day, Brand made the best BASKETBALL move for him.

Jeremy (Memphis)

Shouldn't the Grizzlies go after Josh Smith? If they wait until next year who could they target?

Chad Ford
  (1:36 PM)

I think they're targeting rebate checks now. They'll never be in a better position to steal a player than they are right now. They and the Clippers are the only teams with significant money. They ought to at least try to steal a restricted free agent or two. The worst case scenario is that every offer they make is matched. That leaves them no worse off than they already are. They'll have much more competition next summer with more teams under the cap.

Darryl (Oakland, CA):

After watching the draft my friends and I thought about who would be a bust and we all agreed that Derrick Rose has a very good chance of being one. Bust being realitive to the position he was taken, we think he's got a chance to be good but not great. Was he overhyped just a little bit having not really done that much in college, especially seeing how Jerryd Bayless seemed to be a better shooter and perhaps overall talent?

Chad Ford
  (1:40 PM)

I think it is a risk to draft position over talent ... which is what the Bulls did. However, I would've done the same thing here. Rose has a chance to be one of the three best point guards in the league. I think people are reading way too much into the summer league play. And after watching Bayless a lot, I'd be shocked if he's anywhere close to as good of a player as Rose. I think his lack of position and future injury concerns will limit his upside.

Jeff (Dallas)

Gerald Green. Diop. Tell me does Cuban have anything up his sleeve or is this all Mavs fans have to look forward this summer?

Chad Ford
  (1:41 PM)

Don't forget J.J. Barea!!!! I'm sorry Mavs fans, I think the glory days of the Mavs are fading into the past. I'd put them a top my list of good Western Conference franchise that doesn't make the playoffs this year.

Jack ( St. Paul)

I think McHale has done a pretty good job of re-vamping this whole Timberwolves team, but I tihnk everything he's done this off-season could be over shadowed if Chalmers goes off and Mayo isi n the ROY race, your thoughts?

Chad Ford
  (1:44 PM)

Sure ... they took a risk. Long term, if Chalmers and Mayo develop into what they can be, it will be the nail in the coffin for McHale. But right now those are big IFs. Kevin Love is NBA ready now and ditto for Mike Miller. As for the $2 million in cash and 2 second round picks for Chalmers. That's looking more and more like a steal though remember ... summer league is a very poor indicator of anything.

Jeff (Redondo Beach, CA)

Why do NBA owners think ex-players will be good GM's? You never see that in any other sport.

Chad Ford
  (1:46 PM)

Yeah ... it's a problem. There are great ex players GMs like Joe Dumars. Danny Ainge has done well. You get the drift. But I think they end up passing on better talent because they're star struck. I think ex-players have a prominent place in any organization ... but many of the ones who are tapped to be GMs (or coaches for that matter) make me scratch my head.


Oklahoma City what? Whats going to be their name? And how upset would you be if you were a Seattle fan?

Chad Ford
  (1:49 PM)

It's got to be the Outlaws? Right? I mean they stole the Sonics. It's only fitting. Personally I struggle with some of the other names. Tornados or Cyclones don't seem right. People in the area lose their lives and homes to those things every year. I grew up in the midwest. That's like renaming the Hornets the Hurricanes. A bit too insensitive for my taste. As for colors, black and gold ... sounds perfect for Outlaws.

Jake New York, NY

Do the Knicks really think Chris Duhon is a starting point guard? Is everyone still taking crazy pills at the Garden?

Chad Ford
  (1:53 PM)

He's the best they could do for a two year deal. He's not going to dominate or turn the team around, but he's better than what they had. Remember Knicks fans, the goal is be fun the next two years and be way under the cap in 2010.

Andrew (Albuqueruque)

Do you think the Hornets win the SW division next year? Spurs and Mavs seem to be declining and the Rockets can't stay healthy.

Chad Ford
  (1:56 PM)

Yes, I think they may be the team to beat, period, in the West. They and the Lakers. If they can add another piece at the two ... I know they like Ben Gordon, they'll be very, very tough.


So who has had the best offseason thus far?

Chad Ford
  (1:57 PM)

No question it's the Sixers. They are relevant again in a big way. A very fast rebuilding project. I love their balance between vets like Brand and Miller and young guys like Iguodala, Dalembert and Young.

Chad Ford
  (1:58 PM)

I've got to run everyone. It's been a fun summer. I'm off the next few weeks, but will be back at the end of July. Have fun.