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October 27, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Chad Ford

Chad Ford
  (1:01 PM)

Aloha everyone! It's great to be back in the NBA chat room. Like everyone, I'm looking forward to the first round of games tonight! Let's roll!

John (BFI - Seattle, WA)

So since I'm mentioning your twitter feed, am I at the top or amongst 5569 other mentions somewhere near the top?But on to basketball! Aren't the Celtics (getting older), Lakers (getting older, crazier and Bynum still hasn't done it for a season) being vastly over rated/praised compared to Cleveland (got younger/better and still have LBJ) SA (added scoring and depth and Manu, albeit aged another year) and Orlando (at worst they stayed the same)...people are saying that Bos v LA is a foregone conclusion, not saying they're not worthy, but it's a 5 team dogpile until someone disproves something isn't it?

Chad Ford
  (1:03 PM)

I think you've got a point. I"m worried about Ron Artest's effect on the team. He can be selfish and unstable. I think it's asking a lot for him to do neither all season. Celtics are very, very good if everyone's healthy, but the word out of Boston is that KG's only 60% and Rondo, despite the public posturing, isn't happy with the summer smackdown that he was put through. I'm picking the Magic to win it all. But yes, the Spurs and Cavs are very legit threats.

Terry Finisterre (Castries, St Lucia)

I like your Twitterdiciton - Magic over Lakers for the chip. Is ORL really MORE flexible than last season?

Chad Ford
  (1:05 PM)

I think they got much deeper. I think VC is an upgrade over Turkoglu but the addition of Brandon Bass, Ryan Anderson and a healthy Jameer Nelson makes them, in my opinion, the most dangerous team in the league ... not only for this season, but for a long, long time.

Chad (Walnut Creek, CA)

I am mentioning the twitter feed... Mr. Ford, I was disappointed with how you misinterpreted the Celtics-Rondo situation on twitter, calling it "ANOTHER hit job" by Doc Rivers. For one, Rondo has responded to the summer "stuff" with remarkable maturity thus far. Maybe Doc and Danny have a better pulse on the situation than your speculation. And two, the Celtics will address many things after this season, and I am sure Ainge will evaluate Ray Allen's situation, Pierce's, and even KG, in addition to Rondo. Perhaps Danny and Doc needed to use a different medium this summer to get through to Rondo, and it seemed like so much of Danny's honesty was taken out of context, and not given equal weight to Danny's praise of Rondo. What we do know is Danny and Doc have called Rondo the best player in training camp, and then you take Doc's recent tongue in cheek comments out of context. What do YOU think their strategy was/is?

Chad Ford
  (1:10 PM)

Can you think of another team who has publicly taken multiple shots at their young, potential franchise player ... even if they were tongue in cheek? Could you imagine the Cavs doing it to LeBron? Or the Hornets to Chris Paul? Or even the Nuggets to Carmelo Anthony? Players are sensitive and I have it on very good authority that Rondo was VERY hurt by what went down this summer. Word's just come in that he won't be signing an extension ... unless the Celtics come up with big time money for him next summer, he's going to find a way to leave.

Jim (NYC)

Chad, love your twitter ( What are the chances the Knicks can move Jeffries to free up more cap space? And would that give them enough room for a second max free agent?

Chad Ford
  (1:12 PM)

They had a perfect opportunity to do it at the trade deadline last February when the Kings offered Kenny Thomas for Jeffries. I love Donnie Walsh, but I still can't understand why the Knicks didn't pull the trigger. I think they'll be VERY lucky, if they can get another taker this year given the economy. But yes, getting Jeffries (or Eddy Curry) off the books would put them in a pretty strong position to land 2 big time free agents. If they can't ... I'm not as rosy on the Knicks future as I was this time last year.

Fer (my office)

Hi chadfordinsider.What do you think about Toronto? In ESPN predictions everybody give them great chances of making the playoffs, but preseason has been really dissapointing... Can Turkoglu really makes any difference or does they destiny depends on Bosh, Calde and Bargnani like last year?

Chad Ford
  (1:14 PM)

I think the Raptors will be an AWESOME offensive team. Bosh, Bargnani, Turkoglu, Calderon and Jarrett Jack can all score. But ... who is going to defend? If they have to play Reggie Evans more than 10 minutes a night they are in trouble. I think they'll be entertaining, but I don't think they've got enough juice to win it all.

Will Juices (Portland) = <3. Are you on board with the expected growth of this year's Trail Blazers? How do you see their PG situation shaking down? I feel Batum and Oden are ready to make the team a defensive threat and hence dangerous when games slow down come playoff time.

Chad Ford
  (1:17 PM)

I think the Blazers are only going to get better. Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge are still young and improving. Greg Oden has taken huge strides this fall and is my early pick for Most Improved player. Rudy Fernandez is getting acclimated. And I think they have the most underrated coach in the league. I know Andre Miller has struggled to adjust ... but I think we all saw that coming. I think he could be an important trade chip for them in February as they try to package together a few pieces for another star. So yes, I'm very bullish on the Blazers. I think only the Lakers and Spurs are better in the West.

Matt (St. Paul)

Does Griffin's injuries kill the Clippers' chances of making the playoffs and/or his chance of getting the RoY award? (both of which you predicted on your twitter feed)

Chad Ford
  (1:19 PM)

Yeah, I'm really disappointed. I think Griffin's toughness and energy are infectious. Baron Davis looks like he's in a better place. Eric Gordon has a bright future. But without Griffin for the first six weeks of the season + the adjustment period that will follow, it's hard for me to see them getting over the hump in the West. It's just too competitive. Suns fans have to be stoked.

Brandon (Chicago)

Love following you on twitter chadfordinsider. 2 part question, first which is more of a mortal lock, your prediction that Thabeet will be rookie bust or the sports guy in tears after celtics lose to the magic in the ECF. Second why is Chicago never really mentioned for the lebron sweepstakes, seems like they will have the cap space, its a big market, and they have oodles of young stars including potentially the second best PG in the league in a couple years.

Chad Ford
  (1:22 PM)

Thabeet, I think is a lock for Rookie Bust this year. Yes, he can block shots and that's important, but he's such a liability everywhere else right now. If Celtics are totally healthy and have plenty of legs left in June (two big ifs) then they can beat ANYONE. So, I'm not as confident about that. As for the Bulls, I think they'll have a shot ... and I'm sure, like everyone else, they'll make a run. But if I was LeBron, I'm not sure I want to play in MJ's shadow there. Frankly ... I think his best option is the Clippers. As for the Bulls, I think they'll land Chris Bosh.

Kenny (Houston)

Tweet tweet chadfordinsider...what makes you think the pacers are a playoff team? And do you think hibbert makes a leap this year?

Chad Ford
  (1:25 PM)

I do. I know I'm the only one, but I like what they did this summer. Hansbrough (who should be back in the next week or so) and Dahntay Jones give them some much needed toughness. Roy Hibbert is looking better and better and could give them a real presence in the paint and when Mike Dunleavy finally gets back ... they'll be deep. I think they'll edge out teams like the Heat, Raptors and 76ers for that last playoff seed in the East.

Mike (Peoria, IL)

@chadfordinsider on Twitter. Since every analyst thinks that the Bucks will be aweful this year. The Bucks think they will be better than people think, but that will still be bad. Since they will be bad with or without Redd, how long does it take for John Hammond to trade Michael Redd if he can find a taker?

Chad Ford
  (1:26 PM)

Bucks will be bad. Not historically bad, but bad. Yes, if Redd is healthy again, the Bucks will try to move him. Lots of playoff teams can use a veteran scorer. But first, he has to prove himself.

brian (philly)

@chadfordinsider : So you think losing Andre Miller is going to kill the Sixers, and keep them from making the playoffs, yet he's so useless for Portland (over Steve Blake no less), that they'll wind up trading him this season? And some team in the league is going to take on the $20M/2 years remaining on his deal (even if it isn't fully guaranteed).

Chad Ford
  (1:29 PM)

Yup. Something like that. He had cache and chemistry with the Sixers. He doesn't in Portland. I'm not confident at all in the Lou Williams as point guard experiment and Jrue Holiday isn't ready yet. I think the Sixers should've kept Miller.

matthew (nyc)

@chadfordinsider: what do you think of the addition of Shaq to the Cavs? Will he miss more or less than 25 games, and does it matter as long as he's healthy for the postseason?

Chad Ford
  (1:31 PM)

I don't get it. Shaq will slow things down. Requires lots of touches. Keeps things out of LeBron's hands. He's slowed down and without the renowned Suns training staff to keep him healthy, I think missing 25 games seems about right. Look, I think the Cavs can be in the Finals based soley on how good LeBron is. But I don't buy the Shaq is going to put them over the top. We saw how that worked in Miami and Phoenix the last couple of years.

Bryan (Xenia)

The Suns were an awful defensive and rebounding team in the pre-season (Like, worst in a decade bad on the boards). Do you think we will see the Suns failing to even meet the modest expectations on 8-10th seed in the west?

Chad Ford
  (1:33 PM)

With Blake Griffin out in LA, the Thunder not quite ready for primetime, the Grizzlies and Warriors fighting over the title of most dysfunctional franchise and the Kings and Timberwolves at rock bottom ... who else replaces them in the West? Getting an 8th seed by default shouldn't win Steve Kerr any GM of the Year awards, but the do still have Amare and Nash.

ash (sacramento)

Hey Chad- What are your thoughts on the Nuggets? seems like everyone is counting them out.. they may have not added anyone over the summer but they were pretty devasted with that loss to the lakers and during that series looked like the better team except for the the clutch. I think they are are a lock for the 2nd round and hopefully can go further. thoughts?

Chad Ford
  (1:35 PM)

Everything has to go right for the Nuggets to repeat what happened last year. Chauncey Billups is getting older ... Nene and Kenyon Martin have a history of getting hurt and J.R. Smith has a history of getting into trouble. Can they avoid all of those traps again? If yes, then they'll be right up there. But I have my doubts and see them more as a 5th to 7th seed.

Andrew (San Antonio)

I know Dejuan Blair had a great preseason, but that was only the preseason. Is he being overhyped or is he the real deal?

Chad Ford
  (1:37 PM)

If his knees can hold up (and that's the reason so many teams passed on him in the draft, he no longer has ACLs in either knee) he is the steal of the draft. While I understand teams not wanting to use a lottery pick on him given his medical history ... why not a late first round pick. Anymore they're only guaranteed for 2 years. Lots of teams dropped the ball here. He's a BEAST.

Jeff (Seattle)

chadfordinsider rules. What are the chances the Spurs knock off the Lakers in the Western Conference if the big three stay healthy all season and R.Jefferson and McDyess have solid seasons?

Chad Ford
  (1:38 PM)

I think they have the best shot of any team in the West. Richard Jefferson gives them an extra dose of much needed athleticism. Antonio McDyess is the perfect veteran off the bench. George Hill is really turning into a nice role player. And, did we mention the beast? My only concerns are the health of Duncan and Ginobili. Age is increasingly becoming a factor for both. But if everyone's healthy ... I think they are very, very close to the Lakers.

Johnny Hazeltine (Las Vegas)

In your opinion, is there any chance Jamal Crawford could emerge as an all-star by playing the sixth man role on this Hawks team this year?

Chad Ford
  (1:39 PM)

Have you actually SEEN Jamal Crawford play?

Jason (Ellicott City, MD)

Will Dwyane Wade continue to carry the Heat or will he have some help? I'm concerned he had to put on a lot of NBA miles to get them to the playoffs last year.

Chad Ford
  (1:42 PM)

He's going to have to put on A LOT more. Beasley will help. Maybe Jermaine O'Neal will show up for a few games, but if the Heat make the playoffs it will be because D Wade carried the entire team on his back. Makes you wonder if Pat Riley isn't better off instructing Wade to take it easy this year, earn a high draft pick and then use all of that money in free agency next summer to land a great free agent. Suddenly the Heat would be instant title contenders. But if he pushes too hard, I'm not sure how much longer his body can handle it.

Liz (Oakland)

Aloha everyone, check out Chad on Twitter The Warriors are a mess. Any word on a possible sale by Cohan? can Stern influance him to get a sale done for the good of the league?

Chad Ford
  (1:46 PM)

I don't think there's any question that the Warriors are a joke and the league isn't happy. There are a number of interested buyers, but Cohan still hasn't committed to sell the team. I think you'll see the league get more and more involved in trying to find a good marriage. It's a great market, they have a lot of young talent, and a change at the top would be welcomed by EVERYONE. Until then, keep an eye on Steph Curry. Don Nelson has been using those Nash references that we were using during the draft. The more I watch him, the more I see him as a Nash type player in a few years.

MD (Dallas, TX)

Just read your tweet and thought I'd send in a question. With the acquisition of Marion, do you think the Mavs are more inclined to offer Josh Howard in trades if he can prove himself healthy before the deadline? Would Redd be an option (again, if healthy)?

Chad Ford
  (1:48 PM)

I do think it gives them the option. I'm not sold on a Howard, Marion, Nowtizki front line and Howard seems like he guy they've had some interest moving in the past. I like the Mavs ... they have a lot of veteran talent. But I just don't like them as much as four or five other teams in the West.

Kraig (Logan, UT)

Chad Ford Twitter is great! Do the Jazz have a chance to contend? Will they move Boozer sometime this year and if yes will it be early in the season or right at the trade deadline?

Chad Ford
  (1:49 PM)

I think they are better than people are giving them credit for. They are deep, Carlos Boozer is motivated to play through the paper cuts this year. They have a great coach. Their young players are getting better. I think they are the sleeper contender in the West. I have them pegged as a 4 seed right now.

Mark (Charlotte)

How excited should Jazz fans be about the NY Knics 2010 Draft pick? How bad will the Knicks be?

Chad Ford
  (1:50 PM)

Super excited. The Knicks won't be the worst team in the league, but the Jazz are going to get a Top 10 pick, probably Top 8 in what's looking to be a pretty deep draft next year.

Jason (Ellicott City, MD)

Who are the top 5 picks in the 2010 NBA draft?

Chad Ford
  (1:53 PM)

I'll do you one better ... here's the Top 10:1. John Wall, PG, Kentucky2. Derrick Favors, PF, Georgia Tech3. Ed Davis, PF, North Carolina4. Greg Monroe, PF/C, Georgetown5. Al-Farouq Aminu, F, Wake Forest6. Willie Warren, G, Oklahoma7. Cole Aldrich, C, Kansas8. John Henson, F, North Carolina9. Donatas Montiejunas, F, Lithuania10. Solomon Alabi, C, Florida State

Dror (Israel)

Never too early to talk draft, right?What's your take on next year's crop? anything stands out?

Chad Ford
  (1:55 PM)

There's a pretty impressive incoming freshman class. There seems to be A LOT of talent at the power forward position. Much weaker than past years at the point guard position. If everyone declared, this will be a much better draft than 2009. In the next few weeks we'll be starting a daily NBA Draft blog that will run all the way through the NBA Draft. So look for that starting sometime in early November.

Bernard (Chicago)

Who's makes the All rookie 1st team this year?

Chad Ford
  (1:57 PM)

Blake Griffin, DeJuan Blair, Tyreke Evans, Jonny Flynn and Steph Curry

Chad Ford
  (1:58 PM)

Gotta run everyone. It was a lot of fun. I'll be back next week and every week during the NBA season on Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET. Until then, check out my ESPN Twitter feed @chadfordinsider