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December 5, 12:37 PM ET
Chat with Chad Ford

Chad Ford
  (12:59 PM)

Aloha everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat today. The big question of the day ... can we go a whole day without a NBA coach being fired? We'll do NBA in the first half, NBA Draft for the last 15 or 20 minutes. So let's roll ...

Josh Meyer (Fort Dodge, IA)

What do you think of McHale as a head coach?

Chad Ford
  (1:03 PM)

Here's the biggest reason I like it. It means he's no longer the GM. McHale has been, quite possibly, the worst GM of the last decade. Only Isiah Thomas really rivals him. Now McHale, much like Isiah did before the end, has to suffer the cruelest of punishments, he has to coach the team he put together. Isiah didn't like it and neither will McHale. I actually don't think the Wolves are as bad as their record. They have some young talent. But I've said it before and I'll say it again ... consider just two different moves on draft day for the Wolves. Had they not swapped Brandon Roy for Randy Foye and had they taken Danny Granger instead of Rashad McCants ... do they even have to trade KG? Wouldn't a nucleus of KG, Roy and Granger be a playoff team? Even if they did trade KG, a combo of Roy, Granger and Jefferson doesn't look too shabby. Alas, the Wolves can't get it right on draft night. That's why I wonder why Marc Stein gets so excited that the Wolves might have four draft picks this summer. Who cares if they end up blowing every one of them anyway?

Josh Meyer (Fort Dodge, IA)

Could Sam Mitchell or Flip Saunders possibly be coaching my Wolves next season?

Chad Ford
  (1:06 PM)

I don't see Saunders making a return, even if he was the scapegoat for McHale's poor moves in the front office. Mitchell might be better. But the truth is that I think Glen Taylor is going to make McHale sweat it out for the year. He did a good job as a coach last time. Maybe he can get this team turned around ... However I doubt it. Without a true point guard and a true center ... I think mediocrity is the best Minnesota can hope for.

oscar ill. elwood park

do we have to pay

Chad Ford
  (1:07 PM)

Ummmm ...no. This week only ... we have a special deal running Oscar. Ask a question for free in the chat. Hurry ... supplies are limited.

john paxton chicago

i dont think mchale is a bad GM!

Chad Ford
  (1:08 PM)

That's because you can't even spell your last name correctly John!

John (NY)

Hey! Good to see another one of your chats! Just heard a rumor that Messina has an offer to coach the Raptors next season. How likely is that? I'd love to see some of the high profile european coaches head to the NBA. Haven't NBA teams relied on former NBA role players to coach their teams? Seems like the coaching criteria is stronger overseas right? Cheers!

Chad Ford
  (1:11 PM)

He's a GREAT coach. I've always been impressed with his knowledge of the game and the presence he has on the court. I know Bryan Colangelo knows him well. I think it would be better for him to come in as an assistant for a year to get used to the NBA culture, but the truth is the European pro culture is filled with American players and former NBA players. He has an idea of what to expect. I wouldn't count out Jay Triano. He's a good coach too. But yeah, I think you'll see Messina coaching the Raptors next year ... especially if the Raptors can get some more help for Chris Bosh and Jose Calderon.

Temi. Toronto

Isn't the pace at which NBA coaches being fired getting a bit ridiculous this season? Its getting so ridiculous that I've stopped bothering to know whose coaching where anymore.

Chad Ford
  (1:15 PM)

In some cases, yes. And I think we're just getting warmed up. Marc Iavorni probably would've lost his job last night had the Grizzlies not stunned the Rockets. I think its only a matter of time there. Reggie Theus and Mo Cheeks are also candidates to lose their job. Of the three, Cheeks has been the most disappointing. Much more was expected out of Philly this year. But I do think coaches become the scapegoats in the NBA. Sometimes they lose their team. But usually it's a mix of apathetic players and a front office who didn't put the right pieces together. I"m always amazed that GMs don't take more responsibility for hiring the wrong coach. After you've hired and fired three or four coaches, doesn't some of the responsibility have to be placed elsewhere?

andrew (memphis)

When will Chris Wallace see the light and do the following: Fire Iavaroni, Trade Conley, Move OJ to the point. Who is on the Grizz wish list of coaches? I know we're irrelevant, but please answer a Grizzlies question..we're dying down here.

Chad Ford
  (1:16 PM)

I'm not totally sure Iavaroni is the problem. He's a young coach and he's got a very young roster. I do think they should move OJ to the point and probably find a new home for Mike Conley. I like Mike, but he's playing in the wrong system. What the Grizzlies need is Blake Griffin and a big, sweet shooting two guard. If they get those two, they'll be dangerous soon.

Stan Van Gundy (Orlando, FL)

What's it gonna take for me to win Coach of the Year? If your answer is wearing a tie, then you can keep the stinkin' award!

Chad Ford
  (1:17 PM)

Sorry Stan. When your team plays the easiest schedule in the NBA (Orlando's opponents are playing .400 basketball this year) and you have the most dominant big man in basketball, you're not impressing anyone.

Mike Brown

Why is nobody talking about me for coach of the year?

Chad Ford
  (1:19 PM)

It's not all bad. Mike Brown has been great. Nate McMillan (my pre-season pick for coach of the year) has been special. Mike D'Antoni is proving his chops right now as well with the Knicks. There's some great coaches in the league too.

Andy, Boston

Can Jim O'Brien coach the Pacers somewhere special? He seems to be implementing the same system that took the 01 Celts to the ECF: rely on 3-point shots and individual game outbursts. I'm not surprised that that system works some of the time, but is there any chance that it could bring a championship? Doesn't seem that way to me. So why do it?

Chad Ford
  (1:22 PM)

I think it's a system that fits the Pacers. No one is expecting them to win it all with this team, but they are MUCH better than their record suggests. The Pacers have played the toughest schedule in the league (their opponents average a .642 winning percentage) and it's getting tougher (their last five have been Magic-Lakers-Celtics-Cavs-Celtics). And they've been without their second best scorer, Mike Dunleavy, all year. When Dunleavy gets back and the schedule eases up, the Pacers look like a playoff team to me.

Adam (LA, CA)

Chad, do you see David Lee on the Knicks next year?

Chad Ford
  (1:23 PM)

Tough question. On talent, there's no question he's been a great fit. But his agent, Mark Bartlestein, is going to want a TON of money. If the Knicks spend it on Lee, they may not have the cash to bring in LeBron and another All-Star in 2010. I think the only way he stays is: 1. The Knicks also find a way to move Eddy Curry for an expiring contract or 2. Lee signs the one year tender offer and becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2010. Right now both seem unlikely.

Galen (San Francisco)

Do you think the Raptors should trade Chris Bosh either this year or next so they don't lose him for nothing like T-Mac? Thanks.

Chad Ford
  (1:25 PM)

I think that's going too far. I don't think anyone can see that far into the future and KNOW he's leaving. I think Colangelo is taking the right approach. He's trying to find the right combination to surround Bosh with. If the Raptors are in the same position next year, I think you might see a trade.

Blair (Fort Collins, CO)

I know Chauncey has helped change the culture a bit around here, but the Nuggets can't beat the Lakers... can they get anyone to help them contend?

Chad Ford
  (1:26 PM)

I think you're going to have to be content with changing the culture and being a playoff team. The Nuggets are really out of cards to play at this point. They're good ... but I don't think anyone in the West is catching LA barring a major injury to Kobe.

Jay (Toronto)

Hey Chad, Jerry Sloan has the longest tenure of any coach in professional sports, that's a testament of who he is as a coach. He's arguably the best coach in the league but has never won Coach of the Year (Always a candidate though). What's your take on his 20 year tenure and his chances of winning COY?

Chad Ford
  (1:28 PM)

He should've won it before. The reason he hasn't is because NBA writers always pick the guy whose team outperforms the writer's pre-season predictions. Sloan is a great coach and deserving, but I'm not sure he'll get it this year without some sort of massive pop culture campaign.

Erik Spoelstra (Miami, FL)

Shouldn't I be in the running for COY??

Chad Ford
  (1:29 PM)

Nope. Heat have the second easiest schedule in the league and you have a healthy Dwyane Wade. That just about explains everything in Miami at the moment.

kc oakland

how do you fix the Warriors?

Chad Ford
  (1:30 PM)

Sell the team. When the ownership is messed up ... it's hard to fix anything else.

Edgar,Pontiac,michigan

Are the pistons just inconsistent areare theyjust past their prime this year

Chad Ford
  (1:32 PM)

I think they are adjusting to their first major addition (and subtraction) since the team became a contender. Iverson isn't known as a chemistry guy and Chauncey was. Everyone is adjusting. I think it's too early to make a judgement on the Pistons. But if they're playing up and down like this in June .. then I think Joe D's Iverson experiment would've failed. The good news for Pistons fans is that Iverson comes off the books this summer and Dumars can easily redeem it by turning cap space into another great young player. It's why I love Joe D ... he's almost always one step ahead.

Chris (Rowland Heights, CA)

How can D-Wade not be mentioned as the top MVP candidate right now??? Maybe with the exception of Lebron.

Chad Ford
  (1:33 PM)

He's been great. But if the Cavs keep playing like they're playing right now, LeBron will be the MVP.

Sam (Newark)

How shocked are you that the Nets are 11-8????

Chad Ford
  (1:34 PM)

Yeah, I'm shocked. Devin Harris has been great. Vince Carter is motivated, and they've gotten some nice production from their patch work front line. I'll also be shocked if they keep this up all year.

Jonathan (LA)

Lakers, Celts & Cavs all posting GREAT starts to the season....indicative of 3 truly great teams, or perhaps the league is a little down this year?

Chad Ford
  (1:36 PM)

They're three really good teams. I picked a Lakers-Pistons Finals in the pre-season, but that was before the Iverson trade. After the Iverson trade, I've leaned toward a Lakers-Cavs Finals. But you can't count out the Celtics - espeically with the way Rajon Rondo has been playing lately. We might have to start calling them the Big 4.

Jason (Medford, OR)

Does GM Kevin Pritchard have the perfect situation in Portland right now? Loads of young talent, an expiring contract (LaFrentz), upcoming cap space, and an owner with enough cash not to be too bothered by the current economic crisis. What does Pritchard end up doing, watch and wait or make a move?

Chad Ford
  (1:37 PM)

He's usually proactive so I'd lean toward him making a move. He's got a lot of young talent on that roster and at some point he's going to want to swap some of it for a vet with some playoff experience. But he has to be careful. This team has GREAT chemistry. If he brings in a vet, it will have to be someone who will fit in with this young group. Pritchard values chemistry, so I doubt he'd make a move that would hurt it.

MIke (CA)

Everyone hates on Mayo getting to the line - yet he gets there as much as Rose and more than Beasley - is the media just for a reason to hate him?

Chad Ford
  (1:39 PM)

He's been in the spotlight since 8th grade. He's totally misunderstood as a person. He's held to a different standard. He's having a GREAT rookie season and if he ever gets the chance to be a full time point guard, he could be an All-Star for a long, long time.

Ben (Nashville, TN)

Why is this year considered a down year talentwise? Blake Griffin, Hasheem Thabeet, James Harden, Ricky Rubio, Brandon Jennings at the top and a lot of depth also with guys who can just play like Tyler Smith, Stephon Curry, etc... Seems to be deeper than last year, and Blake Griffin seems currently like he will be the better player between he and Beasley.

Chad Ford
  (1:40 PM)

The only one of those guys who seems like a lock to be a franchise type player is Griffin. Rubio and Jennings also have a chance, but their still very young and unproven. I think there are plenty of NBA players, but ideally, you're not rolling the dice with a Top 5 pick. This year I think you are with anyone but Griffin.

Russell (Boulder, Co

Is anybody going to challenge Blake Griffin for being number 1 in the draft? Who is second?

Chad Ford
  (1:42 PM)

Right now, no. He's the protypical NBA power forward and is putting up HUGE numbers on a Top 10 team in the country. Short of an injury (which is a concern for Griffin) he's the No. 1 pick, regardless of who gets the pick. Second? I still lean toward Rubio, though he's been out the whole season with a wrist injury. I think had he gone to college, Brandon Jennings would've pushed for the No. 2 pick. It's tougher to gauge his talent in Italy.

Paul (Cleveland, OH)

What do you think of UofM's Manny Harris' prospects for the league?

Chad Ford
  (1:43 PM)

He's a great scorer and he's playing much more efficiently this year. Still a second round pick right now, but his stock is on the rise.

Tha D-Train (Alaska)

Good morning chad, Why are most pro scouts down on tyler hansbrough as a pro player? Hes got that killer drive to be good, hes a good finisher + rebounder, hes very active and has a decent midrange shot now. and also Stephen Currys gotta be talked about now as a top 5-10 pick. which team would be able to maximize what he does well? thanks.

Chad Ford
  (1:44 PM)

Hasnbrough is a 23 year old senior who's a bit undersized for his position and isn't a great athlete. That's what's killing him. I still think he goes somewhere between 15 to 25 on draft night because he's so tough and has been so productive in college. But he doesn't have the elite physical tools scouts look for in a Top 10 pick.

Chad Ford
  (1:45 PM)

As for Curry ... not everyone agrees, but most of the scouts I trust have him somewhere in the 5 to 10 range. The question with him has been about playing the pint and he's proving that he can do that.

Justin (Ohio)

Danny Green and Evan Turner will both be top ten players in their draft classes and they'll both be picked about 15 slots to late. Take my advice and be the guy that predicted it.

Chad Ford
  (1:46 PM)

That may be a little much, but you're right, they are both serious second round sleepers right now. Give Turner another month and he may be solidly in the first round.

Brian (SF, CA)

Budinger and Hill have been playing pretty well for a down AofU team. Do you think both could crack the lottery this year, or more towards the end of the first round?

Chad Ford
  (1:47 PM)

All of the drama at Arizona has hurt these kids. They both have a ton of talent. Hill is ranked higher because he's such a great athlete at the four and has been a double double machine this year. If Budinger keeps shooting 60 percent from three, he's a lottery pick too.

Nathan (Boulder, CO)

Difference between Curry and Redick??

Chad Ford
  (1:48 PM)

Curry's a better athlete, a more creative scorer, a much better ball handler and has a better feel for playing the game. To me Redick was a shooter who really relied on Coach K to set him up with screens to get his shot off. I think Curry is only worth a lottery pick if he can play the point and right now it looks like he can.

Killer B (NYC)

Wouldn't mister Curry look good in the PG position for the Knicks next year?

Chad Ford
  (1:49 PM)

Yeah, Mike D'Antoni would have some serious fun with that. He might average 30 a night as a rookie.

Chris (Chicago)

What about Cummard? He is built like Reggie Miller but could he be an AK type player?

Chad Ford
  (1:50 PM)

BYU's Lee Cummard is another second round sleeper. He's a very well rounder, sharp shooting 6-foot-7 skinny guard. Both Reggie Miller and Tayshaun Prince come to mind with him. On the downside, he too is 23 years old and lacks some of the upside of the other player in the draft.

Todd (Lexington, Tn)

30 a night for Curry sorry Chad but he will struggle to get his shot off in the league no matter who is coaching him.

Chad Ford
  (1:52 PM)

Maybe. But Steve Nash has figured out how to do it, and they are about the same build and the same athlete. And both have tremendous basketball IQs.

Nick (NYC)

Who are your top 3 PGs in the NCAA?? Mine are Jonny Flynn, Darren Collison, and Ty Lawson.

Chad Ford
  (1:54 PM)

Here are my top 6 based on NBA potential: 1. Stephen Curry 2. Jrue Holiday 3. Ty Lawson 4. Patrick Mills 5. Jonny Flynn

Todd (Lexington, Tn)

Come on Chad enough with this Curry little man talk besides Griffin you are your top 5 big man prospects?

Chad Ford
  (1:56 PM)

It's a much weaker year for big men. If you take both 4s and 5s it looks like this 1. Griffin 2. Hasheem Thabeet 3. BJ Mullens 4. Gani Lawai 5. Greg Monroe

Doug (NY)

No Calathes on the PG list?

Chad Ford
  (1:56 PM)

He's good, but more of a hybrid. I'm not sure if he'll be a one or a two in the NBA. yet.

Sanchez (Santa Barbara, CA )

Jrue Holliday - best guard prospect to come out UCLA in recent years (is he a PG or SG or is a SG who will forced into a PG role in the NBA)

Chad Ford
  (1:58 PM)

I think Russell Westbrook might be the best since Baron Davis. Holiday has a chance too. He's more fundamentally sound, but like Westbrook, he's more of a hybrid between a one and a two. I think of all of the young players, he is the most likely to stay in school another year.

Grable: (Centreville, OH)

Top 5 Picks in 2009 Draft are : Oklahoma - Washington - LA Clippers - Minnesota - Sacramento-

Chad Ford
  (1:59 PM)

Thunder - Griffin Wizards - Thabeet Clippers - Rubio Wolves - James Harden King - Stephen Curry

Chad Ford
  (1:59 PM)

Got to run everyone ... let's do it again next week.