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February 19, 5:51 AM ET
Chat with Chad Ford

Chad Ford
  (12:00 PM)

Aloha everyone. Lots of stuff to discuss. Rumors are flying like crazy. We'll try to get to the bottom of everything in the next hour or so. But be patient. I have to take calls if they come. That's the deal. Let's roll.

Kyle (Cleveland)

Will the Cavs have a new player at 3:01 P.M.??

Chad Ford
  (12:02 PM)

The biggest rumor out there right now has the Cavs discussing a trade for Shaq with the Phoenix Suns. Sources have confirmed the talks. The Cavs sound interested in a deal that would send Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic back to Phoenix. The Suns would obviously prefer that Wally Szczerbiak be in the deal. Either way it gets the Suns under the luxury tax threshold next season.

John from Panama City, FL

Do you think Portland has a deal in the works right now, or will they stand pat?

Chad Ford
  (12:04 PM)

I was told by a Blazers source that chances are, as of 11:30 a.m ET, the Blazers won't do a major deal. Their talks with the Nets, Bucks and Bobcats aren't totally dead, but there's been little movement right now.

Gustavo Freitas (Uberaba, Brazil)

Hey, Chad. What?s up? I was wondering. If Shaq goes to the Cavs for Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic, who will be the power forward? And then. Who?s going to go to the bench: Shaq or Z?

Chad Ford
  (12:07 PM)

Yeah, it's a bit of an odd pairing. What's really interesting to me is I've been told they had a chance to get Carlos Boozer. Now, I know Cavs fans hate him for screwing the team in 2004. But he's a MUCH better fit than Shaq. This is crazy.

Dave - Boston

Celtics get anything done?

Chad Ford
  (12:09 PM)

We keep hearing all morning that the Celtics were talking to the Kings about a deal for Nocioni. The Kings can move him again as long as they don't package him with other players on their roster. The Celtics would send back Scalabrine, Tony Allen, Glen Davis and Patrick O'Bryant. However, a Celtics source says there's nothing happening there. A Kings source, however, says it would be a possibility. I wonder why the Celtics WOULDN'T do that. Nocioni would be a great piece for them.

Benny the Bull

Bulls/Nets VC for Ty Thomas, Hughes, and a draft pick. why doesnt it get done?

Chad Ford
  (12:11 PM)

Because the Bulls need help in the front court, not the backcourt. Right now it sounds like the Vince Carter talk is pretty cool. Rod Thorn drives a hard bargain and has resisted giving up more assets in a Carter deal.

Will (Los Angeles, CA)

So do the Suns REALLY want to keep Amare or are they just acting like they don't want to so other teams can keep offering more for him. Just because the Suns had two "big" games against the Clippers don't mean they will do it against the Lakers, Spurs, Nuggets, etc. I mean, even with a better roster they had last year they couldn't get deep in the playoffs.

Chad Ford
  (12:15 PM)

Good point. I heard last night that they had talked with the Grizzlies yesterday about an Amare deal. They need to clear about $7 to $9 million in room next year to avoid the luxury tax. However, if they can make the Shaq deal, they don't need to move Amare for 2 reasons. One, they'll get the cap relief they need. Two, Amare will be MUCH happier with Shaq not clogging the post.

JAY NY

Do you see the knicks making any moves.

Chad Ford
  (12:16 PM)

Donnie Walsh is talking to everyone. But he's one of the calmest GMs in the league. He doesn't panic. He takes his time. He feels like if the Knicks don't get the right offer now, they will later. I don't think David Lee gets moved. But ... Jared Jeffries and Nate Robinson are good possibilities.

Mike (Detroit, MI)

Are the Pistons in on anything or are they just buying their time and cap space for free agency?

Chad Ford
  (12:20 PM)

Talked to them today. Nothing is cooking. They'll go into free agency with a bunch of money. They should be the top free agent destination. Carlos Boozer is a possibility if he opts out. Or they could go after a restricted free agent like David Lee or Marvin Williams.

Matt (Cleveland)

Is Jason Richardson being thrown into the talks with the Cavs?

Chad Ford
  (12:22 PM)

Haven't heard that ... though it would make things more interesting for the Suns. They'd save more room that way. Take this for what it's worth, but one source who's familiar with what the Cavs are thinking is saying the Cavs are leaning against doing the Shaq deal. Doesn't mean it won't happen, just trying to relay the latest info.

Matt (MN)

Any news of the Timberwolves? Or are we just waiting for the lottery?

Chad Ford
  (12:24 PM)

They made a small trade today of Rashad McCants and Calvin Booth in return for Shelden Williams and Bobby Brown. It's a good trade for the Wolves. They are also talking to several teams about Jason Collin's expiring contract.

Bulls Fan

Can we trade Deng to the Blazers? Can we get Rudy Fernandez in return?

Chad Ford
  (12:25 PM)

Deng is a base year compensation player which makes him very difficult to trade. But I do know the Blazers like him a lot and would give up a number of assets to get him. But if I were the Bulls, I wouldn't do it.

Mo Camden, NJ [via mobile]

Are the sixers looking to move Andre' Miller's expiring contract, if not are they going to make any noise?

Chad Ford
  (12:26 PM)

I don't think so. They feel like they can make some noise in the playoffs with Miller at the helm.

Bill (New Orleans)

Any chance the Hornets still make a move with Chandler?

Chad Ford
  (12:27 PM)

They are talking to teams. They feel like OKC way over reacted to Chandler's turf toe issue. The question is ... do they have enough time to make a deal. A team would have to be pretty sure that Chandler is healthy to make another deal for him.

Matt (Denver)

It seems like the Nuggets have been pretty quiet. Is there any chance that they use those trade exceptions they have or are they like every other team that needs to cut rather than add salary?

Chad Ford
  (12:28 PM)

They've talked to a few teams about adding another big. They're using Linas Kleiza as the bait. But I doubt anything happens. They don't have enough expiring contracts to really make something happen.

Steve (Toronto)

Any trades for Houston Rockets?

Chad Ford
  (12:29 PM)

They have spoken with a lot of teams about adding another guard now that TMac is out. But I think it will be a small deal ... not the bigger deals they were working on earlier in the week with Vince Carter and Baron Davis. Their best trade bait is Ron Artest's expiring contract. But I'm told, with TMac out, they'd prefer not to move it. Instead, Carl Landry may be the bait.

Dan (PA)

If you had to guess, what will be the ESPN.com NBA cover story at 3:15pm today?

Chad Ford
  (12:32 PM)

Shaq either way. Either as a big trade or as the trade that didn't happen. I'm pretty skeptical that the Cavs would pull the trigger on the trade, but you never know.

drewsky, DFW

Are there any Mavs rumors out there...seems unusually quiet in Big D...maybe TOO quiet??

Chad Ford
  (12:34 PM)

They've been in the mix for a lot of deals, but nothing has turned for them. Wouldn't be surprised if they do something. They are offering Jerry Stackhouse and could get a player back to get some depth.

Alex (Chicago)

Anything else up John Paxson's sleeve?

Chad Ford
  (12:35 PM)

Yeah, I know the feeling. Two trade deadline deals in a row and both are pretty underwhelming. I don't see how Brad Miller and John Salmons dramatically change the equation in Chicago. I thought they should've moved Hinrich to the Wolves while they had the chance.

Steven (Oklahoma)

Shaq to Dallas- is it possible?

Chad Ford
  (12:36 PM)

I don't think so. Mark Cuban is willing to take on money ... but that's basically $40 million for a year of Shaq. Even Mark isn't that crazy.

Jaxon (Utah)

Any talks on the Jazz? O'Connor always seems to be very quite come trade talks. I just wish they would do something. They need a big inside presence.

Chad Ford
  (12:37 PM)

They've quietly looked at possibilities for Boozer, but the Jazz will have options this summer too.

Vic, Philadelphia PA

Chad, any chance the Sixers move Dalembert today?

Chad Ford
  (12:38 PM)

They've tried ... and tried ... and tried. Nothing is happening.

Manny (statesboro ga) [via mobile]

Any news of the hawks in trade talks.

Chad Ford
  (12:39 PM)

No ... they're still the Hawks

Modesto,CA

Chad, I had read previously that Warriors had been active in discussion with a few teams. Have these talks continued or are the Warriors finished with all discussions.

Chad Ford
  (12:39 PM)

I don't think anything is cooking with the Warriors. They tried to get Amare. Would love to get Bosh. But aren't going to gut their team for anyone else.

Peter, Toronto

Has Bosh been mentioned anywhere in trade talks or was it purely rumours?

Chad Ford
  (12:40 PM)

I don't think the Raptors have offered Bosh to anyone. I think lots of teams have called the Raptors, but it sounds like Bryan Colangelo is really firm that he won't trade him today.

Jay (Indianapolis, IN)

Chad, will the Pacers sit idly through the afternoon, or do you see Marquis Daniels and/or Rasho Nesterovic moving?

Chad Ford
  (12:43 PM)

They're in a tough position. With all of the injuries and with Jamaal Tinsley sitting around they can't really afford to have the same budget as the Knicks. Not in that market. They may have to decide to let those contracts expire and get their cap situation under control. I know it isn't sexy, but it's good management. If they can get a future pick or a young player for Daniels or Nesterovic, I'm sure they'll do it.

Mark (Los Angeles, CA)

While we are talking crazy trades...what about the Knicks trading Stephon Marbury and Jared Jeffries for Shaq and...well anyone making about over $600,000 according to the trade machine. That gives the Suns the cap relief they want next season plus a serviceable center. They have no love for Marbury, but they can use him or not - he's gone by the end of the year either way. He'd probably be happy to play anywhere, let alone a playoff team. The Knicks have to pay Shaq for two years, but he's still off the books in 2010, they've moved Jeffries so can possibly keep Lee and/or Robinoson, and they are rid of Marbury's contract. The Knicks also have a shot to make the playoffs and bring some excitement to the Garden.

Chad Ford
  (12:48 PM)

Because ... it would cost the Knicks $30 million in salary and luxury tax penalties. The days of James Dolan blowing huge amounts of cash are over. Donnie Walsh can't do that just to get Jeffries off their books. If they'd take back Eddy Curry ... that would be different.

Joe (Grand Rapids, MI)

Chad, the Lakers up to anything? Seems like they would try to get a back-up big so they don't have burn out Gasol and Odom before the playoffs begin.

Chad Ford
  (12:49 PM)

I don't think so. They have a pretty good team as it is. I think they stand pat.

Carlos, Virginia

Are Spurs close to a deal?

Chad Ford
  (12:51 PM)

I don't think so. But then again, they are the hardest team in the league to read. Nothing leaks out of there.

Brian (Washington, DC)

Chad, word is the Wizards' need to do something to get under the luxury tax and to be able to afford their lottery pick next year, you any moves (even minor) happening to help them today?

Chad Ford
  (12:52 PM)

Yes, I reported that this morning. I'd be shocked if they didn't do something. They are talking to the Knicks, but doesn't sound like there's anything imminent there.

Da Bulls!!!!!!!!, Chitown, IL

Any chance of the Bulls moving Larry Hughes before 3:01?

Chad Ford
  (12:57 PM)

They've had talks recently with the Knicks about several different scenarios. They also explored some scenarios with Houston I'm told.

Riley (Philippines)

What should I do? Stand PAT (pun intended) or find another piece?

Chad Ford
  (12:58 PM)

Heat have been searching for a PG, but it seems like nothing has come from it.

Ryan (Portland)

After a week of dealing with the Blazers, if a deal doesn't get done does, Pritchard run the risk of hurting their ability to talk to teams in the future. Do they look like they are just collecting information?

Chad Ford
  (1:01 PM)

I think that's a nice way of saving face. They were trying to do a deal. Didn't get what they want. Talked up the value of Raef LaFrentz relentlessly. Then don't do a deal. I love Kevin Pritchard. But all of the deals he's made so far have been low risk/high reward for the Blazers. This was the first time he had to stick his neck out there. Adding Vince Carter or Richard Jefferson was a higher risk scenario. I sounds like he didn't want to roll the dice.

Adam (Medford, MA)

Any updates on the Celtics and Nocioni? Or anyone? Does Danny manage another amazing deal?

Chad Ford
  (1:02 PM)

I don't think so. Celtics insist they aren't trading for Nocioni. Interesting because i think the Kings would do the deal.

Jr providence , RI [via mobile]

If u was the cavs GM , would u do the shaq trade?

Chad Ford
  (1:02 PM)

No.

Tommy: Loudonville, NY

What is the current status on Vince Carter talks?

Chad Ford
  (1:03 PM)

Quiet

Mike Fitz, MIT, Cambridge

Are there any gm's that simply will not answer your phone calls? Sounds like the Spurs don't like to talk, but do any Gm's truly dislike you?

Chad Ford
  (1:08 PM)

Yes. There's a few that hate me. It's tough. Sometime you have to call it like you see it which means you have to criticize a GMs moves. Some have thin skin. It's tough to get a phone call returned when you call the guy the worst GM in the league.

Jeff (MD)

Isn't Pritchard starting to get Paxson syndrome? A few years ago, Chicago had all the young talent and were reluctant to make a trade. Seems Portland is following the same path.

Chad Ford
  (1:09 PM)

It's an issue in one sense. GMs have a way of falling in love with their young players. That leads them to overvalue their own talent. They become afraid to let them go because they think they may just be another year away from stardom. Thus ... you see the Blazers reluctant to include Nicolas Batum in a deal even though he's given them little sign that he can be a great NBA player. It's tough when you're so close to the situation.

Chris Wallace (Memphis)

Ah, now I remember why I never return your calls....

Chad Ford
  (1:13 PM)

Exactly

Frank, Ohio

What news is coming out of Cleveland? Shaq ... Boozer ... Jefferson ... Carter? Anything?!

Chad Ford
  (1:14 PM)

It's kind of quiet right now. But that's not unusual. When it gets to crunch time, our phone calls normally don't get returned. Teams are on the phone with each other. The clock is ticking. Calling reporters to give updates isn't the top priority. I actually think the quiet is a sign that there are a lot of teams talking trying to see if something can happen. Patience.

Chad Ford
  (1:16 PM)

Hold on for a second, have to take this call

Derek from Detroit

IS IT THE KNICKS MAKING A DEAL????????????

Chad Ford
  (1:22 PM)

Yes. Bulls and Knicks have agreed to a trade. Larry Hughes for Tim Thomas and Jerome James. I'm told it's waiting for league approval.

Chad Ford
  (1:24 PM)

Sorry guys, I've got to run. I have to write this story for ESPN.com. Keep checking back on the site over the next few hours. I'm sure there is more to come. Great chat today, over 10,000 questions. Wow.