Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

November 24, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Chad Ford

Chad Ford
  (1:00 PM)

Aloha everyone. Great to be with you today. Lots of stuff to talk about in the NBA and with so many college basketball tournaments in play (and NBA GMs and scouts out in force to watch them) we'll also talk a little NBA Draft today as well. Let's roll

Ludwig Hasbauer (Germany)

will tyreke be a point or shooting guard?

Chad Ford
  (1:02 PM)

He'll be able to play a little PG, but he's a two guard. I think his quick start gives a lot of validity to the growing rumblings I'm hearing about the Kings being open (but certainly not shopping ... yet) to moving Kevin Martin. Evans makes a lot less money than Martin and appears to have a more well rounded game (ie. he passes to his teammates and plays defense). What he lack is Martin's efficiency. Not sure he'll ever have that. But the overall package is there.

Adam Leibo (Los Angeles)

@chadfordinsider Thanks for doing good work. I know its going to be really tough, but do you think it is at all possible for the Knicks to trade away Curry or Jeffries? Would anyone do it for basketball reasons (because Curry can score in the post or Jeffries is a good defender) or would there have to be an incentive (like Wilson Chandler) in the deal?

Chad Ford
  (1:04 PM)

I think that's why you are seeing Curry getting so much playing time at the moment. Donnie Walsh is praying he starts to play well and that he can then turn around and swap Curry for an expiring contract near the trade deadline. It's really up to Curry. If he can start to put up numbers like he did back in the day ... yes it's possible. He only has one more year left on his contract, so it's not a huge gamble.

jamario (charleston)

If LeBron leaves, will Cleveland stay in the playoffs or not?

Chad Ford
  (1:05 PM)

No way. Cavs are the third or fourth worst team in the East without LeBron.

Tyler (Portland)

Is it time to get excited about Greg Oden or should I hold off for a little longer?

Chad Ford
  (1:09 PM)

I think so. He's got a PER at 22 ... just slightly behind Kevin Durant this year. He's definitely a defensive force. Offensively he's still figuring it out. I know he's had 16, 16, and 24 in his last 3 games, but I don't think he'll keep that up this year. If I'm a Blazers fan I just need 12 to 14 ppg, 10 to12 rpg, 2 bpg and Oden on the floor 25 to 30 min a night. That would be huge. I don't think he'll ever put up the big numbers that Shaq did. But he could be the best big man defender in the league. And frankly, having a 7 footer that can do that will produce more rings than a 6-11 small forward who can score 30 ppg. That was the thinking all along why GMs preferred Oden to Durant. KD is the sexier player and as an offensive player there is just no comparison. KD is great. Oden is aspiring to average. But defensively, Oden could be dominant. KD ... not so much.

Justin Rothstein (St. Cloud, MN)

Are the Timberwolves going to play like this the whole season? or do they progressively get better?

Chad Ford
  (1:14 PM)

I think so. But Kevin Love's return will help a bit.

Roger (Berlin, Germany)

Celtics panic pipe dream trade: Ray Allen for Andre Nocioni and Kevin Martin. Any thoughts?

Chad Ford
  (1:15 PM)

Kings will want more than an expiring contract for Martin ... but they'd welcome the salary relief. Not sure Celtics would be willing to spend that much. The reason Ainge is balking at adding Nocioni for Tony Allen et. al. is because of the long term salary ramifications. Adding Martin and Nocioni would make the Celtics tax payers for the next 50 years.

John K (Boston, MA)

Hey Chad - bigger worry for the Celts - KG's knee or Rondo's inability/unwillingness to improve his shooting?

Chad Ford
  (1:16 PM)

KG's knee by a mile.

Evan (DC)

I know that Ernie isn't going to blow things up until the injuries settle and he can see what the Wiz have, but what kind of trades could you see the Wiz making near the deadline with their boat load of expiring deals (Miller, James, Foye, Crittendon, Haywood = ~26m)?

Chad Ford
  (1:17 PM)

Probably a new home for Gilbert Arenas. For all the talent he has (and he's a Top 10 talent in my opinion) ... is he a winner? I have my questions.

Veronica (Indianapolis)

Just when I was starting to get excited about Pacers basketball again they come up with loses to New York and Charlotte. I'm so confused about this team.

Chad Ford
  (1:18 PM)

Team needs a leader. Granger needs to step up and assert control of the team. And I think the Pacers have to start thinking about dumping Troy Murphy. He's unhappy sharing minutes with Hansbrough and has been sulking a bit. Given that Murphy does two things (rebound and shoot threes) that could help a myriad of playoff teams, I think the Pacers could get something decent in return.

Alok Shah (New York City, New York)

I don't like you.

Chad Ford
  (1:19 PM)

Funny. Cause I really like you Alok.

Freddy (Los Angeles)

How come the Toronto Raptors haven't managed to get much production from their SGs?

Chad Ford
  (1:20 PM)

Because they don't have very good SGs at the moment. DerMar DeRozan may be someday ... but he's not ready yet.

Brian (Las Vegas)

Do you think it's a crime that Blake Griffin is on the All-Star Ballot and Brandon Jennings is not?

Chad Ford
  (1:21 PM)

I'm referring your question to my good friend Marc Stein who made the ballot. In his defense, they make these ballots in like January of 2008. When is the NBA going to realize they can do all of this online and list EVERY player? Not that I want to put Marc out of his side job or anything.

Ben (NYC)

Who in your opinion on are the top 3 GMs in the league?

Chad Ford
  (1:24 PM)

RC Buford. Joe Dumars. Kevin O'Connor.But plenty of young guys like Kevin Pritchard, Darryl Morey and Sam Presti are catching up.However my vote for GM of the Year at this point is the Bucks' John Hammond, a disciple of Dumars who has somehow managed to put a better team on the floor after a massive fire sale. Great scouting has landed them Brandon Jennings, Mbah a Moute, Ilyasova, etc. They are doing more with much less.

JD (NY)

The Nets appear to be headed to Brooklyn. This has to be the biggest news of the day. When does Frank lose his job? Please answer a suffering Nets' fans question. Thanks Chad!

Chad Ford
  (1:27 PM)

It's huge. Once the way to Brooklyn is cleared, it should clear the way for their new owner Mikhail Prokhorov. He's coming with a ton of cash, a new arena and a desire to outspend everyone in the league. Happier days are ahead Nets fans. Just hold on.

Zorro (Austin)

Lots of talk about LBJ/Wade/Bosh, but what about CP3 and Durant in the coming years? Aren't those two more likely than LBJ/Wade to actually change teams?

Chad Ford
  (1:31 PM)

I think Presti is building a winner in OKC that is surrounded with young talent That should keep Durant around. As for the Hornets ... yeah, it doesn't look good. At all. Teams are already calling about Paul's availability. The Hornets are, of course, laughing in response. But if this train wreck doesn't get turned around, they may have to stop laughing. But remember Paul can't opt out until the summer of 2012.

Junior J (Los Angeles )

Have you read Simmons' new book? Do you like it?

Chad Ford
  (1:33 PM)

About half way through. Absolutely love it. Perhaps the best basketball book I've ever read. Simmons is really a genius and he's way more knowledgeable about the history of the league than I could've imagined. Every GM and current player in the league should be required to read the chapter on "The Secret" along with his comparison in the next chapter between Wilt Chamberlin and Bill Russell. Successful companies and teams all get what Simmons is saying. Why don't more NBA teams and players follow the formula he's advocating. If you haven't bought it, do it. Not only is it entertaining (which I expected) but it's really profound (which I didn't expect).

Billy (Indianapolis)

Isn't more like great luck that the Bucks landed Brandon Jennings? The draft is all about luck.

Chad Ford
  (1:35 PM)

Luck that 8 other GMs wiffed on him (I'm giving the Clipps a pass. They should've taken Griffin). But not luck that they did way more homework on him than other teams and found a way to get comfortable. A lot of teams didn't know enough about him. Given that each of them spends more than a million a year on scouting, that's a joke.

Justin B. (San Antonio)

Do you think the Spurs are beginning to find their stride and are finally balancing themselves out?

Chad Ford
  (1:36 PM)

Looks like it. They've been historically slow starters and are working in significant new pieces in the roster. You always gauge the Spurs post All-Star break. I expect them to be very good.

Joe (Los Angles)

What are your early reactions to the Lakers with a healthy Gasol. I think they will go on a huge run. What do you think?

Chad Ford
  (1:37 PM)

They are the best team in the West and with Gasol, they are very complete. Yes, I think they're going on a long run ... especially given the parity in the league this year.

Tim (San Antonio)

Chad what happened to Blair?Pre Season Star only?

Chad Ford
  (1:37 PM)

No rookie on a team with a lot of veterans. It happens.

JKL (Boston, MA)

Who's the future for the Pistons at the 3? Jerebko or Daye?

Chad Ford
  (1:38 PM)

Daye. More interesting question is who is their future at point guard -- Rodney Stuckey or Will Bynum? Bynum has been awesome.

Zorro (Austin)

Marc Gasol is pretty good. So the trade wasn't 100% horrible for Memphis. They got more for Pau than a lot of teams get for stars ...

Chad Ford
  (1:40 PM)

I've got to concede the point. Grizzlies didn't make nearly as bad of a trade as it first appeared. Marc Gasol has been FANTASTIC this year. However, do you REALLY think the Grizzlies thought Gasol had this ceiling when they traded for him? I know they liked him ... but they didn't see this coming. No one did or he wouldn't have slipped to the second round of the draft.

Lance (Pdx )

Which young NBA big man would you rather have? Bynum or Oden

Chad Ford
  (1:40 PM)

Oden. But that's not a knock on Bynum. He's been great this year.

Thomas (LA) [via mobile]

Marcus Camby for Tayshaun Prince. Any chance?

Chad Ford
  (1:42 PM)

I want to say great deal for both teams. Except ... Clippers have a lot of cap space this summer if they let Camby's contract expire. I think Simmons and I are the only two guys who think they have a real shot at LeBron. But if you have ANY shot at LeBron you hold onto the cap room and wait.

Glan (Grand Rapids, MI)

Do you need a silly name like "Zorro" to get your questions answered? I guess "Glan" is just too ordinary.

Chad Ford
  (1:43 PM)

You've figured out how I pick questions. Why would I ever answer a question from someone named Glan. Is that even a real name?

Henrik (Sweden)

Your one suggestion for Ed Stefanski to save a plummeting franchise.

Chad Ford
  (1:43 PM)

Trade Elton Brand.

Matt (Chicago)

Chad: Deng looks good, Noah is playing above expectations... if the ceiling for this team is getting cleaned up by any decent time out west, how do they get better?

Chad Ford
  (1:45 PM)

Need Rose totally healthy. Need a legit scoring option in the post. Probably (no offense Vinnie) need a more experienced head coach. The pieces are there, but the Bulls need to find a way to package a few players (ie. Hinrich and possibly Ty Thomas) to get that low post scorer.

Ariel (New York)

Why woul Bosh leave Toronto? nice nucleus, and a great city. unless he can play with lebron or wade, why would he leave?

Chad Ford
  (1:46 PM)

Great city. Not sure about the nucleus. May have a chance to play with Bron or Wade. If not, may have the chance to play with Derrick Rose.

Bobby (Seattle)

Is John Wall your unanimous #1 at the moment, and do you see anyone else taking over this spot between now and next summer's draft?

Chad Ford
  (1:49 PM)

Yes. He's been atop our board since it debuted on June 28th. I haven't talked to one scout or GM who has a player ranked above him. Though ... thought this was funny. Talked to one GM last week who told me, "Watched that John Wall kid. He's really good. You should probably have him in the lottery." Thanks for the heads up. Glad he's been reading our stuff.

MC Welk (SLC)

Is Ed Davis really a top 5 pick? I don't see it.

Chad Ford
  (1:50 PM)

That's tricky, but for now the answer is yes. It's more about upside than production right now though he's proven to be a terrific rebounder and defender this year. He's still figuring out what to do with the ball on the offensive end. But NBA guys fall in love with long, athletic big men with his motor. I think everyone assumes he'll figure out how to score eventually.

Clark (Durham, NC)

I know you have Evan Turner higher on the board than Xavier Henry, but do you think Henry is the better shooter?

Chad Ford
  (1:51 PM)

I agree Henry is a better shooter. But Turner takes him in virtually every other category. In fact, I think Turner is the most well rounded player in the country and a potential Top 5 pick. Henry also has a good shot of going in the lottery.

Charlie (Louisville, KY)

What do you think lottery teams with good PGs like the Jazz, Nets, and Twolves will/should do if they were to win the number 1 pick?

Chad Ford
  (1:52 PM)

Doesn't matter. You take John Wall if he's the best player on the board. For example, Wall and Deron Williams can figure out how to play together. Wall is an upgrade over Devin Harris and Jonny Flynn. Remember when Portland passed on CP3 because GM John Nash felt his recently drafted PG Sebastian Telfair was going to be a star?

Freddy (Los Angeles)

How high has Wesley Johnson jumped on draft boards?

Chad Ford
  (1:54 PM)

Last week we had him at 18 based on what scouts were seeing in practice ... which was already pretty high considering the guy had taken a year off to transfer from Iowa State to Syracuse. But he was huge late in the week versus both Cal and UNC. There were a ton of scouts in the Garden when he went off against North Carolina. He's now No. 7 on our Big Board.

Mark (Albany, NY)

If the Knicks drafted smarter and had a future backcourt of Eric Gordon and Brandon Jennings do you think that would have been enough for them to land an A+ Free Agent this summer?

Chad Ford
  (1:55 PM)

Ummmm. Yeah.

Andris (Latvia)

If your son got drafted by the Golden State Warriors, what would your advice to him be?

Chad Ford
  (1:57 PM)

Get him a passport. The food in Italy is delicious. The weather is nice. The basketball is good and the women are beautiful.

Aaron (Texas)

Texas Longhorns has a lot of NBA talent on their roster. Who will be the first Longhorn taken in the draft?

Chad Ford
  (1:58 PM)

I'd say Jordan Hamilton. Most NBA ready right now. Avery Bradley will be very good, but he may need another year at Texas. Dexter Pittman and Damion James could also be first rounders this year.

Jason (Orlando)

About the story about the GM making the comment about John Wall: Do GM's really go to places such as ESPN to see what others may think of players in the upcoming draft?

Chad Ford
  (2:00 PM)

I don't know about other places, but they come to the site all the time. Most of the conversations I have with them have to do with how I have a player ranked versus how their team has them ranked. Because I talk to so many scouts/execs they want to see whether their scouts might be missing something etc. So yeah, the come to the site. However, they don't draft by it obviously. It's just another source of information about what other scouts in the league are thinking and seeing.

Brian (Fort Worth, TX)

Cole Aldrich looks slow and limited. Did he make a mistake in not coming out last year? And how far does he drop in this year's draft? I just am having a hard time comparing him to anyone right now that would flatter his game.

Chad Ford
  (2:01 PM)

I've heard some of that from scouts. It's early. He's big. And we know big guys rise. But what's his upside? Even if it's Joel Przybilla ... he's probably a Top 10 pick. Remember there are normally 5 to 7 really good players in any given draft. After that, it's all role players.

Chad Ford
  (2:02 PM)

Gotta run everyone. It was fun. Let's do it again next week.