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October 31, 1:10 PM ET
Chat with Chad Ford

Chad Ford
  (1:00 PM)

Aloha everyone. Big day in the NBA last night. Bigger day in America today. Great deal today. Go out and vote and get a free question answered on the chat today!

Steve (Detroit, MI)

Hey Chad, What are your thoughts on the trade? I love it because it reenergizes the last-luster Pistons and even if Iverson doesn't work out, then Joe D will have the cap space to make a run at LeBron and Co.

Chad Ford
  (1:03 PM)

I think it was a good deal for both teams. I think it immediately helps balance out the Nuggets. I like a Billups-Smith backcourt better than I like a Carter-Iverson backcourt. I'd like the deal even better for Denver if McDyess stuck around. For the Pistons, I'm not exactly sure whether Iverson is the Answer for the Pistons this year. But down the road the deal makes a lot of sense for Denver. Stuckey is the point guard of the future, the Pistons will have some major cap room and I think Billups is beginning to slip a bit as a player. In another year or two, he may have been untradable.

Jeff, East Brunswick, NJ

Any word on what the Nuggets are doing with McDyess? Will they buy out his contract or not?

Chad Ford
  (1:04 PM)

All indications are that they will buyout his contact. McDyess doesn't want to be in Denver. A buyout would save the Nuggets some cash, but personally I think they really need Dice in Denver to shore up their front line. If they buy him out, obviously the Pistons are the front runners to get him back.

Marcos (Temecula, CA)

The West is stacked yet again, with more playoff teams then there are spots available. Where do you you see these three bordeline teams finishing at the end of the season; Warriors, Blazers, and the nuggets. I think all three will be hovering around that 8th spot once again this year. What do you think, in the playoffs or out? Go Warriors We Believe!

Chad Ford
  (1:06 PM)

I think the Nuggets have probably done enough to secure a playoff spot. I see them as a 7 or 8 seed. As for the Warriors, I don't see them as a playoff team. The Blazers? Without Oden they're hurting a bit more. I think either the Mavs or the Blazers miss the playoffs. Right now I feel like it will be Dallas, but if Oden's injury lingers than I think it will be the Blazerrs that slip.

Ron (Warren, MI)

Should the Pistons wait until 2010 to make a big FA splash?

Chad Ford
  (1:08 PM)

Yes ... if they think they have a realistic shot at either LeBron James or Chris Bosh. To me, Bosh is much more realistic. Dumars almost drafted him ahead of Darko. He fits a need. If the thinks he has a shot, then Bosh is a better fit than any available in 2009. If he does spend the money next summer ... Carlos Boozer, David Lee or Marvin Williams could be the likely targets. Remember, the Pistons could also use the cap space to swing a trade.

Peter (New York, NY)

I was up at 5am to hit the polls this morning. Why is Denver saying that they're going to keep McDyess - is this just designed to lower the buy-out number?

Chad Ford
  (1:10 PM)

Gotta love the 5 am voter. I think everyone is trying to avoid tampering charges from the NBA. Detroit can't pre-arrange for McDyess to be waived (remember what happened with Jerry Stackhouse in the Kidd trade last February?) So ... everyone has to play this cool.

Troy (Ann Arbor, MI)

How is the Piston's starting lineup going to look now? Does rip come off the bench?

Chad Ford
  (1:11 PM)

No ... Iverson and Rip start with Stuckey coming off the bench per Joe D. Stuckey will likely take over the starting job next year.

Keith (Iowa City, IA)

Voted, and back in time for the chat. Great day. I have read that the Pistons will now have room, when Wallace and Iverson go off the books to sign two big free agents, one in 09 and one in 10. How will they have that much $ under the cap, and who can they actually get? Thanks. GO VOTE PEOPLE.

Chad Ford
  (1:15 PM)

They're looking at roughly $21 million under the cap next summer and can get another $5 or $6 million under in 2010. So they could spend $10 million on someone in the summer of 2009 and then have $15-17 million left for someone in 2010.

Paul, NY

Can we stop this LeBron talk? No way he leaves Cleveland to sign with Detroit. Its money or market for LeBron, niether of which Detroit provides...

Chad Ford
  (1:17 PM)

I don't totally agree with this. Relationships matter and LeBron wants to win a title. Joe D has a great relationship with Worldwide Wes ... LeBron's closest advisor and his agent Leon Rose. Rip Hamilton just got a big extension which has to make both Wes and Rose very happy. If they are convinced that Joe D can put together a championship team, I think LeBron would consider the jump. Money and marketing will be big factors, but not the only factors.

Paul (NJ)

Chad with all due respect.. why would they pick up big name free agents in two seperate summers? wouldn't they wanna do it at the same time?

Chad Ford
  (1:18 PM)

Because the big names are available in 2010 ... not 2009.

Cody (Grand Rapids, MI)

Voted bright in early with no lines ! How will the minutes be dispersed now throughout the entire pistons lineup?

Chad Ford
  (1:19 PM)

I think you'll see each guy get 30 in the backcourt. In the front court, lots more Kwame Brown I suspect with McDyess out at least a month.

DJ (IL)

I voted. Chad, what's up with the Bulls offense? Fans here are screaming whenever Gordon is handling the ball and Rose is on the floor. When are we going to see a solid flow. Sometimes it is maddening watching others go rogue (Sarah Palin style) when Rose is clearly the point guard!

Chad Ford
  (1:21 PM)

Derrick Rose is so good, the other guys on the team, and their egos, are going to have to get used to letting him control things. Remember, before this, Kirk Hinrich was their point guard. Egos have always been a problem on the Bulls and that is starting to surface. On the other hand, Rose is still a work in progress. He needs to work harder to get guys like Luol Deng and Tyrus Thomas involved in the offense.

don indy indiana

any word on tinsley trade? dunlevey coming back?

Chad Ford
  (1:23 PM)

They're best shot of trading Tinsley disappeared when the Nuggets traded for Chauncey Billups instead. Miami has some interest, ditto for Golden State. But right now it doesn't look great for the Pacers. I'm a little surprised. When Tinsley's healthy, he's a very good point guard. I know he's rarely healthy, but from all accounts, he worked hard this summer, lost weight and is in great shape. I'm surprised a team like the Heat don't pull the trigger.

Jordan(PA)

I understand its a big trade, but really does anyone believe that LA, NO, Bos, or HOU won't be winning the title this year?

Chad Ford
  (1:24 PM)

The way the Lakers are playing right now, they look like they might never lose a game. I also really like the Hornets. And look at what the Jazz have done without Deron Williams. Kirilenko looks really good in a sixth man role. As for Boston, they're still the favorites in the East though I think Cleveland and Detroit can take the East crown. I'm not sold on Houston.

Mizzz, PDX OR

Voted weeks ago - Mail in vote in Oregon! Do you see Oden recovering from this injury and coming back playing starters minutes this season? I get a bad feeling every time he plays.

Chad Ford
  (1:27 PM)

It's scary now. It was a freak accident that dropped him in game one. But I'm not ready to declare that he's injury prone. The Blazers need him. Even though he looked very raw on the offensive end in that Lakers game, he was a game changer on the defensive end. They need that. And Oden will look better on offense. Bynum was a tough matchup for him on opening night.

Jerry (Grand Rapids, MI)

I voted an hour ago. It looks like the rookies class is really good this year. A number of them are already contributing. How does it compare to last years class?

Chad Ford
  (1:31 PM)

Yeah ... Rose, Beasley, Fernandez, Jason Thompson, O.J. Mayo ... even second round guys like Luc Richard Mbah a Moute in Milwaukee. This was a very deep class. We knew that coming in. But I've been surprised by how quickly Rose has been taking off.

Pete (Philly)

I voted this morning. How good is Thaddeus Young? And what exactly do you think Igoudala's role on these Sixers will/should be?

Chad Ford
  (1:33 PM)

I think in another year or two it possible that Young is the best player on this team. Iguodala and Brand haven't been great early on which scares me a bit. I've had some NBA scouts in my ear this week saying the Sixers are very overrated (I picked them 3rd in the East). It's early, but I may have over projected here. Somewhere Bill Simmons is smiling.

Todd(Toronto)

Chad, I can't vote Im in Canada, but I urge the Americans too... Does Jose Calderon have a shot at the allstar game and Chris Bosh a shot at the MVP if the Raps win 50 games? Why would Bosh leave Toronto if they keep winning and can offer him the max anyways ?

Chad Ford
  (1:35 PM)

Yes to the first question. No to the second. Bosh isn't unhappy in Toronto, but in two years he may feel he has a better shot at winning a championship in Detroit. The tax issue mitigates some of the money he'd lose by going to Detroit.

Yatin (LA)

Mail-in voted last week. How impressive have the Hornets been thus far? Am I being unrealistic to think that Posey (and the rest of the bench) might be able to keep up this level of play all season??

Chad Ford
  (1:37 PM)

Really impressive. I think Posey is turning into a big addition to this team. They needed that toughness and another rock solid three point shooter. I think the Lakers are the best in the West, but the Hornets and Jazz are right there.

Greg, Salt Lake City

I voted this morning. Is there a better bench in the league than AK47, Millsap, Price, Knight, Korver, and Harpring (if he ever gets back)?

Chad Ford
  (1:38 PM)

It's good. Im not sure it's the best ... have you seen the Lakers bench?

Jon (Ann Arbor)

Just voted, lines weren't too bad. As a Heat fan, this situation is killing me right now. Even if we were winning games, it's still so frustrating knowing that one of our three best players is basically just a rental. Am I really going to have wait a lot longer for the Shawn Marion situation to get resolved?

Chad Ford
  (1:40 PM)

I've got to believe that Pat Riley will do something. The good news is that Joe Dumars and the Nuggets being so proactive so early in the season could heat up trade talk. Teams, especially in the West, may feel like they need to match. As for the Heat, I think they'll eventually pull off a deal for Marion ... I still think the Lakers is the most likely scenario ...

Joel (Philly via Ohio)

Stood in line for 1 hour to vote this morning. Thoughts on the early season work of Mo Williams? One defininte plus is that Lebron's minutes are way down.

Chad Ford
  (1:42 PM)

He's been OK. Not great. Rondo gave him fits on opening night. But you're right, LeBron's minutes are down and with the Pistons shake-up the Central Division is there for the taking for the Cavs.

Nick (NYC - I rocked the vote this afternoon)

Isn't it in Mike D'Antoni's best interest to play Marbury? Wouldn't his system run alot smoother with his talents? Wouldn't Chandler, Lee, Randolph, all benefit from playing with Marbury, esp Z-bo if the Knicks wanna get his trade value up.

Chad Ford
  (1:45 PM)

On paper yes. But I think Mike D'Antoni and Donnie Walsh are just trying to implement a new culture in New York ... one that guys like Marbury and Eddy Curry don't really fit in. Randolph probably fits that bill too, but at least D'Antoni can drive up his trade value. One thing I'll say about Mike D'Antoni, he finds a way to make his system work just about anywhere. The Knicks aren't a playoff team, but they've been fun to watch.

Zac (Oakland)

Hey Chad, I voted 30 minutes ago. I am over Nellie. 2 years ago against Utah, he refused to play more then 7 guys and they got tired; last year down the stretch, everybody ran out of gas b/c they played so many minutes; and so far this year, he is running the team into the ground by only using 7 players. Randolph has played a total of 1 minute, Wright is not developing b/c he does not get consistent minutes. If you are not going to play rookies and young players, trade the picks for vets. Is he having a pissing match with the front office or is he that stubborn?

Chad Ford
  (1:47 PM)

Who knows? I'm stunned he got an extension. The Warriors are a mess, and the one guy who's been solid for the Warriors, Chris Mullin, is on the outs. Makes no sense. Warriors should be reloading and rebuilding around Ellis, Biedrins, Wright, Randolph and Maggette.

Matt (NYC)

Absentee voter to FLA. Chad, the magic bench is aweful. Are they going to make any moves or do they honestly believe they can play all year with that crew.

Chad Ford
  (1:49 PM)

Yeah, I'm not feeling the Magic right now. They just have zero depth as you pointed out. Dwight Howard is great. Rashard Lewis is good and Turkoglu is pretty good. After that there's a huge drop off. That's what happens when you blow $100+ million on a good player who isn't going to be a star.

Joel (Youngstown)

Early thoughts on BJ Mullens at OSU? Does he get picked first next year?

Chad Ford
  (1:51 PM)

Right now it looks like he's the slight favorite over Oklahoma's Blake Griffin and Spain's Ricky Rubio ... but the season hasn't even begun yet. So lots of room for changes here. But Mullens combination of size and athleticism makes him the favorite if he has a good year at OSU

Larry (Wilmington)

Hanging Chad.... Which Dukie is worse, Shelden Williams or JJ Redick?

Chad Ford
  (1:52 PM)

Was waiting for the "Hanging Chad" reference on Election Day. Congrats Larry! You are the winner. And for your answer ... Williams.

robert, nyc

Most exciting election ever! I know Barack is a huge basketball fan. Any clue who his team is?

Chad Ford
  (1:54 PM)

Bulls ... he's a Chicago guy through and through. And, in the attempt to be fair and balanced, McCain's a Suns guy

Garry, Irvine, CA

My friends, you betcha I voted! Chad, it's early but the Suns look pretty good, don't you think? I think they can sweep this eastern roadie. Is that bench going to come together?

Chad Ford
  (1:55 PM)

Yeah, they look pretty good. But that's the problem. They used to look REALLY good.

Chad Ford
  (1:58 PM)

Got to run everyone. If you haven't gone out to vote, drop what you're doing and go do it now. See you next week.