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December 15, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Chad Ford

Chad Ford
  (1:00 PM)

Aloha everyone. Thanks for coming. Lots of stuff to talk about today. Our latest edition of the Future Power Rankings is out. Trade talk is starting to heat up around the league. And we also have some draft updates in our blog today ... So let's roll.

Mike (Canada)

Philly isn't even playing Brand. Ship him to Chicago for Tyrus Thomas & Kirk Hinrich?

Chad Ford
  (1:01 PM)

I'm sure Philly would LOVE that deal. But why would Chicago do it. Yes, the Bulls need a low post scorer badly. But Brand is just a shell of his former self. Do a trade like this and Chicago also wrecks their cap space this summer. I still feel they have a great shot at landing a top tier free agent ... especially Chris Bosh.

Bobcats Nation (Not the road)

How good could the Bobcats be if they would had taken Brook Lopez instead of DJ?

Chad Ford
  (1:02 PM)

Their future would be much brighter. As it stands, they look like a marginal playoff team. But Hollinger and I have them ranked dead last in our Future Power Rankings. Just don't see a ton of hope moving forward -- the Bobcats are playing at their ceiling right now.

Jim Crozier (Boise, Idaho)

Chad, what do you think of Kobe's decision to play through the injury to his shooting hand? Might it not be wiser for Kobe to rest and let the bone break heal early in the season so he is fully healthy for the playoffs and doesn't risk reinjuring/aggravating it?

Chad Ford
  (1:04 PM)

Kobe knows his own body better than I do. But it seems to me that it may be a case of a player overestimating his value to the team. Kobe may be thinking that the Lakers would sink in the West if he took a few weeks off to rest. While I believe they would take a hit, I think the Lakers would be very competitive in the West, even without Kobe.

Brett (Portland)

Aloha Chad....the Blazers are obviously on the hurt right now with Batum, Outlaw, Oden, and Rudy all out. There was a lot of hype and excitement surrounding this team to start the season, but it seems like now everyone is jumping off the bandwagon. Coping with the injuries, this season will be tough, but this team still has a bright future right?

Chad Ford
  (1:08 PM)

Yes. Their future is still bright. But it would be much brighter if Oden hadn't went down. He was starting to look like a legit No. 1 pick before the injury. But now I don't think there's any way to escape the "Oden's injury prone" label. Without Oden, the team is still a good young team, but I don't think they have elite talent other than Brandon Roy.

Travis (snowy Lagrande Ore)

With the Blazers struggling and with the injuries and trying to get used to Miller he could be traded. What should they do? Trade,or stay with it giving it a chance. Who might they trade for? After all its only a quarter into the season. Thanks

Chad Ford
  (1:10 PM)

It's interesting. Miller is obvious trade bait. But I've spoken with a couple of GMs who have called the Blazers inquiring about Miller and I'm told they Blazers told them they weren't ready to trade 'Dre yet. Things may have changed in the last 48 hours ... but this weekend that was the word I was getting. So, I get the feeling they are being patient.

Donnie Walsh (New York)

Johnathon Bender, I just can't let go can I?

Chad Ford
  (1:12 PM)

It does seem like the Knicks are scraping the bottom of the barrel a bit. However, I understand the move. They have nothing to lose (his contract isn't guaranteed) and everything to gain if Bender is healthy. I don't understand why GMs for bad teams don't do MORE of this. Take a chance on guys willing to take non guaranteed deals. Occasionally you might strike gold.

JKL (Boston, MA)

Is there anyone out there that can make a decent offer for Gortat? I understand his frustration with not playin but no way the Magic trade him without getting something to help their playoff run in return.

Chad Ford
  (1:14 PM)

Magic are really deep. That's why they are my favorites to win the East and it also explains why Hollinger and I have them ranked No. 1 on the Future Power Rankings. If they start giving away that depth (Gortat and Bass) I won't like them as much. So, I think they should just ignore Gortat and Bass. Injuries will come and when they do, they'll get their minutes and may even get a ring.

Jesse (Detroit)

Chad, how much do think players take a teams GM into account when looking at free agent destination? Does the fact that the Cavs have done a pretty awful job wih putting talent around LeBron weigh more heavily than the fact that Cleveland is a small market?

Chad Ford
  (1:17 PM)

Guys like LeBron want to win. So I would expand that to front office: owner, GM, coach. They matter. If either or all of those three have a history of blundering ... why join the team. I think that's why so many are pessimistic about Bron joining the Clips. On paper, they have a lot of young talent to surround him with. However, their track record is awful. I think it's why the Heat, Knicks and (maybe) the Nets (new owner, new coach) could make the steal. Cavs owner has been solid. GM has been shakier.

James (Australia)

All these questions seem to be about basketball. What is your opinion on Tiger Wood's situation?

Chad Ford
  (1:18 PM)

I really wouldn't want the media commenting 24-7 on my personal life ... so I'll refrain from doing it on Tiger's. It's really none of our business.

Matt (NYC)

Chad, What can the pacers get for their useful/expiring pieces? It seems like Foster/Murphy and/or Ford's expiring deal should be able to get something useful?

Chad Ford
  (1:22 PM)

Foster has an expiring deal. Murphy and Ford's contracts don't come off the books until Summer of 2011. Foster has some trade value. So does Murphy. Pacers could probably swing a pretty good deal if they included Roy Hibbert in the package. But what's the point? Cap space. If I was Larry Bird, I think I'd gut the team, make a run at the No. 1 pick the next two summers (they desperately need another top tier talent beside Danny Granger) and then add the rest with cap space in 2011.

Mark (DC)

Do you think Leonsis will fire grunfeld if this season disaster contiunes he kept the caps gm after he bought them from polin

Chad Ford
  (1:24 PM)

I don't think this mess is all Ernie Grunfeld's fault. His owner knew his health was failing and he wanted to go for it. I think Ernie would've traded Antawn Jamison, maybe even Caron Butler, at the trade deadline last year, but his owner said no. I'm sure he'll have a plan for Leonsis and if Leonsis likes it, Grunfeld will stay around. However, I do expect major changes coming. From what I can gather, I think they'd move Gilbert Arenas if they could get something really good for him.

JD (VA)

Do you think Denver is good as is to honestly dethrone the Lakers or are there pieces they need to address before that can happen?

Chad Ford
  (1:26 PM)

They're good, but I don't think they beat a healthy Lakers team. Starting 5 is terrific, Carmelo is having a MVP year, but I worry a bit about their bench. Ty Lawson and Birdman are good ... but after that I think it's a bit shaky, especially on the front line.

Curtis (New york)

Hello Chad and thank you for stopping by to chat. Considering today is the first day that many players are eligible to be moved, what team do you think makes the first move, and which player is moved first? also, Which team do you think will make the smartest move to solidify their lineup?

Chad Ford
  (1:31 PM)

I think it's going to be Ramon Sessions. Has value, reasonable contract, isn't getting much run in Minnesota. If David Kahn can pick up more cap relief for this summer or another draft pick, I think he's going to move him.As far as interested teams go: Bobcats, Warriors, Pacers, Rockets, Lakers, Heat and Sixers could all use some help at the point.

Micheal Barr ((Newyork City))

Seasons Greetings EveryoneDo you think the Jazz will move Boozer now or wait until 2010?

Chad Ford
  (1:32 PM)

I think they'll find a way to move him at the deadline. Boozer is motivated (his best chance at a big deal is with the team that has his Bird rights) and the Jazz don't need him. If they can get a future pick or something of value, they'll do it.

James (Boston)

Hey Chad, have you heard anything about a DJ Augustin to Knicks deal?

Chad Ford
  (1:34 PM)

Knicks would love to do it. But MJ is catching on to Larry Brown's ways. Larry hates everyone of his players at some point in the season (remember when he wanted to trade Gerald Wallace when he got there). He'll get over it. Felton is an unrestricted free agent next summer. If they trade DJ ... who plays the point for them next year?

Da Kid (NC)

Where do you honestly think Wade, Bosh, Amare, and Lebron will go next year if you had to make a prediction?

Chad Ford
  (1:35 PM)

Wade - Miami, LeBron - Miami, Bosh - Chicago, Stoudemire - Nets

Blakeley (Edina, MN)

Re-draft 2008 right now. Who are your top 5?

Chad Ford
  (1:36 PM)

1. Derrick Rose2. Russell Westbrook3. Brook Lopez4. O.J. Mayo5. Kevin Love

Nathan (Madison, WI)

Chad, wondering about your thoughts on the Bucks in 1 1/2 years from now. They have Redd's contract gone after next year & Jennings, Bogut, Ilyasova

Chad Ford
  (1:39 PM)

They moved up our Future Power Rankings from 29 all the way to 20. If Jennings can keep playing great all year and Bogut keeps improving, they'll go even higher. John Hammond's done a terrific job in Milwaukee considering the difficult financial circumstances he's faced.

Drew (Wichita, KS)

How big a factor in LeBron's 2010 decision is where John Wall ends up? Could the Nets become the favorites to get LBJ simply by lucking into the number one pick?

Chad Ford
  (1:43 PM)

It might be a factor. Might not. The only team with cap space that I think it would make a major difference for is the Nets. If they got Wall, (and then could package Devin Harris in a deal for a legit PF or more cap space to get another superstar) he might get very interested. Wall-LeBron-Lopez would be a very nice young trio. Add another big time player into the mix (say they got Amare or Bosh) and it would be very, very tempting.

Slick ric (Chicago)

Lebron said john wall's game reminds him of Derrick rose, who does wall game remind you of?

Chad Ford
  (1:44 PM)

Rose is the right comparison, but frankly, I think he's better than Rose was at this point in his career. As hard as it is to believe, he's an even better athlete, plays with more confidence and is more of a vocal leader on the floor. Most NBA guys believe he's the best PG prospect since CP3.

Mel (Honolulu)

I think the 2010 draft class is overrated. You have 1 superstar, and a bunch of solid players. Derrick Favors has been a disappointment so far.

Chad Ford
  (1:47 PM)

Too early to tell. But it's better than last year, for sure. Favors is shooting nearly 70 percent from the field. How is that disappointing? Ditto for Ed Davis. Neither player is featured as the go to guy in the offense. Both have enormous potential. And if Evan Turner's back checks out, there's another potential star. And more and more guys are really warming up to Kansas's Xavier Henry. He already has a NBA body and is shooting 50 percent from the field. Throw in Syracuse's Wesley Johnson -- it's a good draft.

Gabe (NY)

i know how Aldrich is falling on draft boards because he isn't getting as many touches, but he is like a more athletic version of Brook Lopez. Come draft night do GMs really take unproven "projects" over a defensive big man who knows how to really play? Aldrich goes #3-5 or I quit even watching nba basketball--its nonsense..

Chad Ford
  (1:49 PM)

I don't know if he's falling, he's stayed pretty steady at No. 7 all year. However, more and more GMs are questioning the "size matters over everything else" mantra that has plagued the league the last 15 years thanks to Hakeem, Ewing, Robinson, Shaq and Yao. More and more teams are going small, playing up tempo and looking for mobile big guys who can get up and down the floor. So players like Aldrich aren't quite as valuable as they used to be. That said, I'd be shocked if he wasn't a Top 10 pick.

Remo (Brooklyn)

Who does Greg Monroe remind you of? To me he's Brad Miller/Andrew Bogut/ more athletic Vlade Divac.

Chad Ford
  (1:51 PM)

Something like that. He's not a great athlete which hurts his stock. Also some questions about his motor. But he's really skilled. I like him more than a lot of NBA guys do. He's suffering a bit from the same trend Aldrich is getting hit by -- the desire for ultra mobile big men. He'll need to land on the right team.

Ike (Brooklyn, NY)

Is that Harvard kid legit?

Chad Ford
  (1:52 PM)

I've been watching Jeremy Lin for a little over a year and I'm pretty impressed. He does a lot of things well. If he was playing at Stanford (which blew a chance to get him) he'd be in the first round conversation.

Rocky (San Diego, CA)

Wouldn't Xavier Henry be a great option to pair up with Derrick Rose as chicago's backcourt of the future? That dude can rain it from three point range.

Chad Ford
  (1:53 PM)

He'd be a great addition in a lot of backcourts, but yes, Chicago would be good. Then again, Chicago really needs a four who can score.

kevin (la,ca)

chad who has the highest basketball IQ of all times?

Chad Ford
  (1:54 PM)

It's clearly not the person who writes the words "all times"

Freddy (Los Angeles)

Do you see Avery Bradley's ceiling to the like of a Monta Ellis?

Chad Ford
  (1:55 PM)

Way different. Bradley is an elite defender already. Ellis is terrible. Ellis is a terrific scorer and I've yet to see Bradley take over a game the way Ellis can on the offensive end. Right now Bradley's calling card is defense. He's going to have to score a lot more often to crack the Top 30.

d (chappaqua ny)

has there ever been a worst run franchise in the history of sports than the current golden state warriors?

Chad Ford
  (1:57 PM)

Ted Stepien tried in the early 80s in Cleveland. Donald Sterling gets some sort of lifetime achievement award in LA. But Warriors are taking things to new heights this year.

Todd (Lexington, Tn)

Who has more potential Ed Davis or his teammate John Henson?

Chad Ford
  (1:59 PM)

Long term ... Henson. Every scout I talk to is in LOVE with him. But he's sooooooo thin and isn't playing a big role at UNC. I think we're all praying he stays another year at UNC so he can live up to his enormous potential.

Kevin's Mom (LA, Ca)

Come on Chad, give the kid a break. You know what he meant.

Chad Ford
  (1:59 PM)

Kevin went and told his mom. Great.

rYAN (ANYTOWN)

re: Lance Stephenson. His motor and defense seem to be above average, and we know he can put the ball in the basket. Is his 'character' the only thing keeping him out of the first round?

Chad Ford
  (2:01 PM)

Yes, his 'character' is keeping him out for now. It almost kept him out of the NCAA. The talent is obviously there. But until he shakes the "selfish team cancer" rep, I'm not sure he could crack the Top 30. But he's doing a very good job this year at Cincy and from what I can gather, he's been on his best behavior on and off the court.

Kevin's mom's mom (LA, CA)

Son you are a very rude individual. You did not answer my grandson's question and insulted my daughter. HOW DARE YOU!!!

Chad Ford
  (2:01 PM)

This is getting nuts.

Chad Ford
  (2:02 PM)

OK everyone. I need to get out of here before Kevin's great grandmother rises from the grave. We'll do it again next week. Aloha!