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November 22, 8:02 AM ET
Chat with Chad Ford

Chad Ford
  (1:01 PM)

Aloha everyone. Great to be back. Lots going on in the NBA and now that college basketball is in full swing NBA scouts are already starting to chime in on the 2009 Draft. So lets roll ...

Adam (Fairfax, VA)

What's the latest on the Zach Randolph trade?

Chad Ford
  (1:03 PM)

It was held up because the Knicks flagged Cuttino Mobley's physical. I'm sure Donnie Walsh would like to get a little more for Randolph who, despite being a pain in the butt, is a really good basketball player. I think one way or another, the deal will happen. The Knicks first and only priority is cap space in 2010. It's been that way from the minute Donnie Walsh walked in the door.

Little David, Newport Beach

Chad, I'm only in second grade but I feel reporters are wrong that Knicks will keep Lee and Robinson. They need to create as much cap as possible. What are your thoughts on this secondary issue. Thank-you Little David

Chad Ford
  (1:07 PM)

Sophisticated question for a second grader. Everyone is a cap expert these days. The Knicks should have about $23.5 million with a likely cap around $65 million in 2010. That's roughly $40 million in room. That should give them some wiggle room to pay a high first round pick in 2009 and possibly Lee. The problem is, Lee's agent wanted the Knicks to pony up a contract in the $50 million range. If the price remains the same, I think the Knicks will pass. They have a real shot of adding LeBron, Bosh and as my buddy Marc Stein pointed out, Steve Nash in 2010. Even if they don't add any of those guys, they'll be plenty of talent for them to add in 2010.

Will J (Portland, OR)

Chad, where did all these rumors start with Lebron going to New York? Do you really think he'd go there, especially with the players currently on their roster?

Chad Ford
  (1:10 PM)

Players and the people who surround players ... (ie. agents and the entourage). At least that's where I've been hearing it from. I think that LeBron is going to publicly keep smiling and saying the right things. Why would he commit to anything 2 years out? But in 2010, if the Knicks can find a way to surround LeBron with another young superstar, he bolts. Ditto for the Nets if they can get to Brooklyn. If they can't, the Cavs will always be an option. They'll have a lot of cap room too. But the overwhelming chatter among people who know LeBron is that if he can leave and land in a good situation on a big market like New York ... he will.

Chris, Chicago

Stop talking about the Knicks and 2010!!! Pure speculation.

Chad Ford
  (1:12 PM)

Informed speculation. There's a difference. And if he was coming to Chicago ... you'd be loving every minute of it.

Toriano, charlotte, nc

Chad, please tell me there is validity to the rumor the Bobcats & Clippers are discussing a JRich/Kaman deal?!! Great deal for the 'Cats we need a inside offensive presence to start shutting you haters up...well atleast a little

Chad Ford
  (1:15 PM)

It's a better deal for the Clips than the Cats in my opinion. They slide Camby to the five, have Randolph at the four and a great backcourt of Davis and Richardson. As for the Bobcats, I don't see a frontcourt of Kaman and Okafor putting them over the top. Yes the Cats need size, but I'm not crazy about Kaman given his huge contract. That's a $120 million front court in Charlotte. Ugh.

Fernando França Brasil

By everything that we have already seen from Rose, what can we expect from him in the future? Best PG of the league? Second best of all time?

Chad Ford
  (1:17 PM)

I'd say that may be jumping the gun just a little one month into the season. Yes Rose is awesome, but what's the surprise. He was the No. 1 pick in the draft and led Memphis, as a freshman, to the NCAA title game. He's awesome. But unless Chris Paul tears an ACL, he's not going to be the best PG in the league. No. 2? That's a real possibility. And yes, he's the best PG in the East this year and should be on the All-Star team. By the way, no one is laughing anymore at my "6-3" LeBron comparisons anymore.

Rich Auburn AL

I think the worst part of the 2010 free agent sweepstakes is the fact that so many teams don't seem to care about the next 2 seasons because they're so focused on freeing up cap room for Lebron. It seems like nobody cares about the next 2 seasons.

Chad Ford
  (1:20 PM)

That's the glass is half empty point of view. I can assure you that some teams still care. And with the exception of the Knicks, Nets and possibly the Pistons, who really thinks they have a great shot at LeBron. The glass is half full interpretation? Financial sanity is finally coming to the NBA. By 2010, many teams will finally have purged the books of some pretty insane deals. Hopefully they've learned their lesson. The fact that Donnie Walsh was able to pawn off Randolph and Crawford to desperate teams for expiring contracts suggests that not every team has learned from Isiah's mistakes.

Chad Ford
  (1:22 PM)

By the way ... Donnie Walsh has sure been the anti-Isiah. In years past, Isiah was the guy desperately reaching for players like Crawford or Randolph in a pathetic attempt to turn around his team -- whatever the costs. Now Walsh is pawning them off to other unsuspecting chumps.

Ed. Fort Lauderdale

Chad! Any chance we can turn Shawn Marion into a 5 or a 1??? Would love to see Hinrich down here! Thanks!

Chad Ford
  (1:24 PM)

Why? Mario Chalmers will be a better point guard than Kirk Hinrich. How he slipped into the second round is beyond me. He's young and has his ups and downs, but in two years he'll be part of their core. As for the five ... teams don't give away decent ones for guys like Marion (see the Heat giving up Shaq for Marion).

J (NY)

Is anyone going to stop the Lakers?

Chad Ford
  (1:24 PM)

I don't think so. Short of an injury ... they are too good.

Wahleed

You're telling me JAMAL CRAWFORD's deal will make a difference... they signed maggette and jackson, so the warriors don't have room for much anyways.

Chad Ford
  (1:25 PM)

You think a core of Crawford, Maggette and Jackson wins you anything? Ellis and Biedrins and young guys like Brandan Wright are the Warriors best hope. Why waste your time with Crawford or signing Jax to an extension?

Nasir, Philly

If Chicago wants to lose Hinrich and/or Nocioni for 2010, what trade value do these guys have? Is Paxson on vacation? He needs to get with the program.

Chad Ford
  (1:28 PM)

Bulls need to do something. Rose is awesome, but after that ... it's hard to fall in love with anyone on this team. Luol Deng is regressing. Tyrus Thomas can't score to save his life. Noah would be Ok if he had a front court mate who could score. Gooden has an expiring contract and Nocioni has some value around the league. Maybe there's a package there.

Mike (Portland, OR)

Chad, I'm worried... Oden looks COMPLETELY lost out there, he's not playing aggressively, and it looks like his confidence has taken a hit.. How does Nate fix this?

Chad Ford
  (1:30 PM)

Be patient. His rebounding rate is encouraging. He needs to get his legs underneath him. He hasn't played a ton of basketball the last two years. There's definite rust and frustrating moments. But you can see the potential too. Patience.

Don (DC)

What did you think of the firing of Eddie Jordan? I think the Wizards over-reacted big time and will regret it very soon...

Chad Ford
  (1:33 PM)

I don't understand it. Jordan was successful when the Wizards had Arenas, Butler and Jamison all healthy. Two other questions. Does anyone realistically think Ed Tapscott is an upgrade? And ... I love Ernie Grunfeld, but isn't this his fault. He spent all of his money resigning guys that, at best are a fifth or sixth seed and a first round out in the playoffs. I don't think any coach in the world was going to get more out of them than Jordan did.

Dan (Buffalo, NY)

Chad, Mo Williams is a big reason for the Cavs fast start, but does Danny Ferry need to make one more move (Wally's expiring) for the Cavs to be legit title contenders?

Chad Ford
  (1:35 PM)

With LeBron, the Cavs are always title contenders. But yeah, they have more expiring contracts and should be looking for a deal that gives them some more offensive help in the post. Ilguaskas can't keep going forever.

Boston Celtics

No one is going to stop the Lakers short of an injury, huh?

Chad Ford
  (1:36 PM)

Sorry Celtics fans. That was rude. If the Celtics play like they did last year in the Finals ... they have a great shot. But the Lakers didn't have a healthy Bynum and Ariza last year and the Celtics have lost James Posey. Put all of that together and I think the Lakers are better.

J. Geils Band

FREEZE FRAME!!!

Chad Ford
  (1:38 PM)

That was weird ...

Jesse (MI)

It seems as though the Pistons have replaced the Nuggets as the most schizophrenic team in the league. Hamilton has been really up and down since the AI trade, Stuckey has been dissapointing, Maxiell and Amir Johnson have been Inconsistent. is Michael Curry ready to handle this?

Chad Ford
  (1:40 PM)

They've had a lot of stability over the past few years. Adding someone like AI and subtracting Billups and McDyess is a big deal. I think bringing McDyess back will help steady the ship ... but I'm still not sure Iverson makes the Pistons a contender.

Will (Denver)

Professor! How good do the Nuggets look right now? Nene and Billups have turned into the driving force of the team, and it's a joy to watch. How do they fit in the pecking order in the west?

Chad Ford
  (1:42 PM)

I really like the combo of Billups, Carmelo and Nene. J.R. Smith has a lot of potential and Kenyon Martin has been solid. But I worry about depth and struggle to see how they are anything more than a sixth seed in the West and a difficult out in the first or second round.

Jarhett (Sacramento)

How impressed have you been by Blake Griffin in this early basketball season. He has to be your current favorite for No. 1 overall right??

Chad Ford
  (1:44 PM)

He's No. 1 on our big board and averaging 26 ppg and 20 rpg on 75 percent shooting in his first four games. So yeah ... he's No. 1. Given the early struggles of many of the freshmen this year, I don't see a clear challenger to his No. 1 status right now.

Adam (NY,NY)

How are Brandon Jennings and Rick Rubio doing overseas?

Chad Ford
  (1:46 PM)

Rubio had wrist surgery and won't be back on the court until sometime in December. Jennings isn't exactly lighting up the Italian League. In seven games he's averaging 4.9 ppg in 17 mpg. Worse, he's shooting 33 percent from 2 and 20 percent from three. However, when you factor in his age, the culture shock on and off the court and the huge expectations, he's doing OK. He's got to improve those numbers a lot if he's going to be a Top 5 pick, but right now everyone's staying patient.

Carlos (LA,CA)

Chad, Let's talk to some NBA Draft. It looks like the Thunder will get the 1st pick in the draft. Who do you see them going after a 1 or 5. Thanks.

Chad Ford
  (1:48 PM)

I'd say they'd grab Griffin. Hasheem Thabeet and freshman B.J. Mullens are the top big men with potential ... but both are still very raw. I'm not sure OKC wants to keep hedging in that direction.

Ryan

How will Stephen Curry do in the league?

Chad Ford
  (1:50 PM)

Right now, after Griffin, he's the best player in college basketball averaging 35 ppg, 8 apg and shooting 53 percent from the field and 45 percent from three. Now that he's showing his ability to run the point for Davidson, I think he's a legit lottery pick. Given his basketball IQ and tool set, he's got a chance to be real good.

Josh (mpls, mn)

How high does Johnny Flynn project in the draft and among other PGs?

Chad Ford
  (1:52 PM)

I have him as one of the Top 10 PGs in this draft. His lack of size hurts him, but his improved shooting from three has been helping his stock. He's probably a late first rounder right now.

Michael (Tustin, CA)

Where do you think Ty Lawson will be drafted and how effective can he be at the NBA level?

Chad Ford
  (1:54 PM)

Some NBA teams were impressed with Lawson in draft workouts ... before he got busted and then withdrew from the draft. Not every NBA team loves him, but if he leads the Tar Heels to a NCAA title, he's a mid first round pick.

JKL(Boston, MA)

Due to the supposed weakness of this year's draft will teams be more likely to include picks in any trades that occur?

Chad Ford
  (1:56 PM)

Yeah, I'm not blown away so far. We're not seeing the freshman dominating the way they've done in year's past. Muellens, DeRozan and Evans, for example, haven't been great. However, keep an eye on Georgetown's Greg Monroe. He has size and talent and has been good for Georgetown early on.

mikey (chi)

New draft combine, good or bad?

Chad Ford
  (1:58 PM)

Mostly good. I've been a longtime critic of the NBA draft camps. I'm shocked they didn't axe the obsolete and ridiculous Portsmouth camp first. But Orlando was a joke too. Games didn't really tell you much. Most GMs and scouts spent the time talking to each other (and me and other media members). Short of the physicals, I'm not sure what those combine numbers tell you either. But it gives everyone an excuse to get together and gossip. And the fact that it's in Chicago is a BIG plus.

Chad Ford
  (1:59 PM)

I've got to run everyone. Let's do this again next week. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!