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December 29, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Chad Ford

Chad Ford
  (1:04 PM)

Aloha everyone. Hope you all had a great holiday. Looking forward to the New Year ... lots of great trade talk coming in the NBA! Might be fun to start looking back at the last decade as well. I got the ball rolling this morning with my Top Draft Busts of the Decade and tomorrow I'll have Top Draft Picks of the Decade. Send in yours now ... let's roll.

Eric (Indy)

With the Pacers on a bad losing streak, how soon will Bird make a move? Any chance they take McGrady's fat contract?

Chad Ford
  (1:06 PM)

I believe them when they say they won't fire Jim O'Brien. Bird is a pretty loyal guy and I think he's far more disgusted with the pathetic effort of some of the players than he is with the coach. Two guys who have some trade value are Troy Murphy and Jeff Foster. Both have only one more year left on the contract after this one. Murphy can really spread the defense and Foster is a very good post defender. I could see the Cavs making a serious run at Murphy and a number of teams in the West challenging the Lakers make a run at Foster. A lot of those teams lack a player to guard Pau Gasol. Blazers would be a great fit. So would Jazz

Adam (Toronto)

Do you think a Rip for McGrady would make sense? Detroit gets back into the 2010 fa bonanza and Houston gets a pretty good 2 who can score and defend.

Chad Ford
  (1:10 PM)

If Rip's contract wasn't so horrible ... maybe. What Darryl Morey has to ask is what's better ... another piece this year or waiting until the summer of 2010 when they should have about $8 million or so under the cap. So unless the perfect person comes around, I think the Rockets are better off waiting TMac out.

Chad Ford
  (1:11 PM)

Sorry everyone, I'm having a lot of trouble uploading my posts this morning. Be patient.

BOB (Cleveland)

Any chance the the Rumors of the Cavs trading for Kevin Martin are accurate?

Chad Ford
  (1:13 PM)

Not quite yet. The Kings are still convinced Tyreke Evans is a point guard and the he and Kevin Martin can play together. I don't see it. Both are scoring guards who need the ball in their hands to be effective. I think they'll eventually relent. I don't think Martin's a great fit for Cleveland. He doesn't play any D and isn't a big need. Minnesota might be a better fit. Last week I talked about a potential Martin for Rubio swap. Here's another idea. Martin for Al Jefferson.

Jon (Newport Beach, CA)

Can Simmons' proposed AK-47/Martin trade become a reality?

Chad Ford
  (1:14 PM)

I think Jerry Sloan would kill Kevin Martin. He wants defense.

Matt (Indianapolis)

In your top draft bust of the decade you mentioned Greg Oden fairly high. This is only his third season in the NBA. Don't you think it might be a little early to call him a "bust"

Chad Ford
  (1:16 PM)

I mentioned him No. 9 on a list of 10. And I said in the story it's probably premature. However, he's had two season ending injuries in three years in the league. Meanwhile Kevin Durant is lighting up everyone. At some point you have to ask whether the Blazers made a mistake and I think the answer, in the short term is a big yes. Long term? If Oden recovers, can stay healthy and starts living up to his potential ... maybe. But KD now has a huge head start.

Jeremy (Rochester, NY)

Since it seems he's impossible to trade, do you see the Knicks buying out Eddy Curry at the end of this season?

Chad Ford
  (1:17 PM)

No way. Next year he WILL be an asset as an expiring contract. This year, trading Curry may be Mission Impossible.

Gary (Sacramento)

Jerry Sloan doesn't make trades for the Jazz. Don't you think their desperation for a SG might lead them to consider making the trade for Martin?

Chad Ford
  (1:18 PM)

True, but Kevin O'Connor has always done a good job of bringing in players that fit into Jerry's system. When he hasn't followed that rule, he's regretted it.

Matt (NY)

Greg Oden makes sense but how on earth can you mention Jordan Hill as a bust? He hasn't even been in the league for half a season yet and not even Jennings people thought he would be a lottery pick so you can't fault the Knicks there. Its way top early to make any reads of the long term impact of any player drafted this year.

Chad Ford
  (1:20 PM)

Simple. The Knicks desperately needed star power and a dynamic point guard to run Mike D'Antoni's system. Instead they drafted a very solid power forward who's ceiling is probably something like Dale Davis. The Knicks played it safe when they needed to gamble a bit. Had Jennings been in NY, their pitch to LeBron and company would be much more compelling.

Dave (Chicago)

Chad -- speaking of draft busts, has there ever been a worse 1st round of a draft than the class of 2000? I count 17 uber-busts, a small handful serviceable guys, and the top 2 players (KMart, Hedo) are at best 3rd bananas. What happened in 2000?

Chad Ford
  (1:21 PM)

It was just awful. Michael Redd, who was drafted 44th, turned out to be the best player in the draft. Kenyon Martin and Mike Miller were the only starters in the Top 10. It was just a bad draft. Whenever one misses, you can't blame the GMs

Rafael (Oklahoma)

The Thunder have a young core of Durant, Westbrook, Green, and Harden. What do they need to add to become contenders in the West?

Chad Ford
  (1:27 PM)

Time and and a serious defensive presence in the middle. If Sam Presti can afford to keep this core together, they're going to win a lot of basketball games. And how about stealing Eric Maynor from the Jazz. That deal shows the importance of not only having cap room, but knowing when and when not to use it. Thunder could've blown it this summer and overpaid a guy. Instead they pick up another excellent asset and still have room next summer.

Jamie (Utica, NY)

Hey Chad. Whats the deal with VDN in Chicago? Is Broussard accurate in saying that they have already decided to fire him? Any word on who they are trying to hire as his replacement?

Chad Ford
  (1:31 PM)

I don't know whether they have or haven't decided to fire him ... but Vinnie knows his days are numbered. It was a shaky hire to begin with and the Bulls are going in the wrong direction. But the better question is ... who's better? All of the names being mentioned ... Avery Johnson, Jeff Van Gundy, Sam Mitchell etc. have had their fair share of problems too.

jeff (jax)

What moves do you expect the Magic to make? Who is more valuable to trade Gortat or Bass? I say trade Gortat. bass can play a little center when need be and can hit the mid range jumper, which is lacking in Orlando.

Chad Ford
  (1:32 PM)

I think they should do nothing. They added Bass and Gortat for depth. They are one big injury away from needing those guys to play a lot of minutes. Stick with the plan. As we get further into the season and playoffs, depth means a lot.

Jeffrey (Ottawa)

Who are the Wizards more willing to trade Butler or Jamison? If Cleveland were to trade for Jamison would it be better than losing Butler?

Chad Ford
  (1:34 PM)

I think the Wizards would prefer to move Jamison but Butler is a better trade asset. He's younger and only has one year left on his contract.

Ozzy (Toronto)

Doesn't Bargnani belong among your Top 10 draft busts? They took him ahead of Brandon Roy, Rudy Gay and Rondo, all superior players.

Chad Ford
  (1:36 PM)

True ... but at least he's a legitimate NBA player. Most of the guys on the list, with the exception of Marvin Williams, did absolutely nothing.

AK (Portland)

Is Portland deepest team in the league? I mean, 6 injuries to rotation players, and they're still winning. (except last night, but they always lose to Philly)

Chad Ford
  (1:37 PM)

I think depth is part of it. But I think the other thing is that the expectations have seriously lessened. I think the Blazers choked a bit on the pressure they faced coming into the season. I also think that when you have a lot of depth, chemistry issues can arise. They've all been alleviated at the moment.

Murph (Hoboken, NJ)

You called Jordan Hill the best player available in the draft when the Knicks drafted him, yet you already jump down their throat, that doesn't bother you at all?

Chad Ford
  (1:41 PM)

Yes, I've made my fair share of mistakes judging the draft. I thought Darko would be a star. I leaned toward Emeka Okafor over Dwight Howard after watching him in a terrible workout. I thought Marvin Williams would be a star. I could go on. But it doesn't change the fact that when I had to write an article about draft busts I had to pick the worst picks, regardless of whether I agreed or disagreed with them at the time. The draft is crap shoot and hindsight is always 20-20.

Austin (connecticut)

What is going on with the Celtics? They play championship caliber basketball in a win in Orlando w/o Pierce, and lose two straight against sub-500 teams.

Chad Ford
  (1:42 PM)

It's a long season. Celtics were on a road trip. Veteran team. Sometimes you lose focus. I never get too caught up in what happens from game to game. It's larger trends that you need to be on the lookout for in the league.

Andy (Denver, CO)

Did you consider putting Minnesota's pick of Rubio on your list?

Chad Ford
  (1:44 PM)

Yes. However if he comes over in the next two years and plays well, he will be just fine. If he pulls a Fran Vasquez and stays in Europe for the rest of his career, he'll be near the top of the list.

John (Memphis)

How about a GRIZ question!?! Will they keep this up? What is their ceiling this season and into the future? Z-Bo for MVP!!!!

Chad Ford
  (1:45 PM)

Grizz are playing really well. Zach Randolph has been terrific and he's been on his best behavior. I'm not sure that they are a playoff team this year. But with another year under their belt (assuming the keep Rudy Gay this summer) they could be.

Doug (NYC)

How 'bout a sneak peak of the Top Draft Picks of the Decade. David Lee in there somewhere?

Chad Ford
  (1:46 PM)

LeBron, Wade, Tony Parker, Michael Redd. See if you can guess the 4 categories.

Marc (Charlotte)

Why is Marvin Williams a bust? Because he's unselfish, a great team player, and does what is asked of him each and every night?

Chad Ford
  (1:48 PM)

Is this Marvin's mother? He's not a bad player. But compared to Chris Paul, especially when the Hawks desperately needed a point guard and already had two young wings in Josh Smith and Josh Childress ... yeah. It was a bust for the Hawks, not necessarily for Marvin ... though I will say this. In high school the kid looked like he was going to be a superstar.

Jeff (Cleveland)

First overall, best non-first overall, best late-first round, and best second round

Chad Ford
  (1:49 PM)

Jeff takes the prize for guessing the four categories we ranked the top draft picks of the decade.

Evan (Toronto)

Sac papers said TOR looked into trading for Kevin Martin. Since he and Calderon's salaries line-up one-for-one, SAC could use a PG to pair with Evans and Jarrett Jack's defense has supplanted Calderon in the starting five in TOR doesn't that swap have legs?

Chad Ford
  (1:51 PM)

Makes sense. I think Sac could use a point guard and Kings have had an infatuation with international players. And Toronto could use a scoring 2 guard. And to top it off, they get to add one of the league's worst defenders to one of the worst defensive teams in the league. Perfect! I'm still a little skeptical though. From everything I hear out of Sactown, Geoff Petrie believes Evans is a PG.

Justin ((Atlanta))

Carlos Boozer was a greater 2nd round pick

Chad Ford
  (1:52 PM)

Tell that to Cavs fans.

Dave (San Francisco, CA)

Chad, there's been some worry down in LA about whether UCLA's disastrous season could mean Malcolm Lee will bolt after the season. I know he had some considerable talk coming into the season, and Howland has a great track record of sending players to the NBA, but is his a name you expect to be in the draft?

Chad Ford
  (1:54 PM)

From what I can gather from people close to Lee, Lee will bolt UCLA for the Draft. Despite a so-so year from him, someone will take him in the first round based purely on upside.

Sachikevious (Greece)

Couldn't your Top Bust list just be renamed the Warriors Draft History? Todd Fuller, Mike Dunleavy, Ike Diogu, Patrick Obryant...I could go on and on....Steph Curry?

Chad Ford
  (1:56 PM)

Wow ... some bitter fans. Warriors also drafted Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson, Monta Ellis and Anthony Randolph.How about the Suns for worst drafting team. After drafting Amare in 2002, they were on a record bust, passing on Luol Deng, Andre Iguodala, Rajon Rondo, Rudy Fernandez, etc ... for cash mostly.

Freddy (Los Angeles)

How wary are teams now to select European talent on draft night considering a potential bust similar to Darko?

Chad Ford
  (1:59 PM)

Still pretty wary. I think that explains why guys like Omri Casspi slipped as far as they did. Casspi was a talent, but he wasn't put up huge numbers in Israel. In 2002, any international guy with a pulse could get drafted. Now it's much, much harder.

Joe (Allen Park, MI)

Odds the Pistons land the #2 pick and draft Donatas Motiejunas over Derrick Favors?

Chad Ford
  (1:59 PM)

Zero. See Darko Milicic over the other guy Joe Dumars really liked in the draft, Chris Bosh.

Marshall (Minneapolis)

Chad, don't you think that draft busts from Europe face more undue criticism than draft busts from the US?

Chad Ford
  (2:03 PM)

Probably, but it has a lot to do with context. During the early part of the decade, teams were draft high school kids with zero fundamentals. NBA GMs and coaches became tired of drafting players who didn't have the basic skills of the game, so they started looking to Europe. Those kids were drilled in the fundamentals and were really appealing. However, the problem was that most of them didn't have any real game experience at the highest levels. So after a couple of years of drafting international guys and watching them bust, the judgement got pretty harsh. I was there for all of this, traveling with these scouts, falling in love in the same workouts. I overreacted. I think the course correction has happened both in our draft coverage and in NBA war rooms. We may be leaning a little bit too much the other direction now, but I understand why.

Chad Ford
  (2:04 PM)

Gotta run everyone. We'll talk again next week as we begin to gear up for the February trade deadline. Have a Happy New Year.