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January 12, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Chad Ford

Chad Ford
  (1:00 PM)

Aloha everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat today. Trade deadline rumors are really starting to heat up. We'll do a quick survey of the hottest ones around the league. Also we'll take a few NBA Draft questions at the end. Let's roll.

Jeff (Toronto)

Odds Bosh will really be traded at the deadline or in the summer? We are all praying he stays for his career -- great talent, better person.

Chad Ford
  (1:03 PM)

I think it's up to 50-50 at this point. Obviously the Raptors won't give him away. They are going to need to recoup a very significant piece to trade Bosh. If they can't get it, they'll take their chances this summer in free agency. That's why the Lakers Andrew Bynum rumor is so interesting. I think it's a trade that really works for both team. Bosh would be terrific in the Lakers system. And I think Bynum would be great for Toronto. They could move Bargnani to the 4 and I really don't think it would set them back. Given that Bynum is under contract for the next 5 years ... how does either team say no to that? It too good of a deal NOT to happen. The question is ... will the Lakers make the offer?

Noah R (Miami,Fl)

I hear alot of LBJ AND Bosh joining wade in miami... seems crazy to me but i would be happy just one of them. Unless we can afford to resign wade and sign both big men... i just hope wade stays...

Chad Ford
  (1:05 PM)

I think Wade is staying in Miami. I think Bosh, most likely leaves Toronto. It's LeBron that I really have no idea about. You can make good arguments both ways. I continue to hear the Bosh and LeBron want to play together so ... Miami could make it happen, but they'd have to really gut their roster to do it. Bulls could make it happen too if they can move Hinrich and Salmons for expiring contracts before the deadline.

dylan (alaska)

i saw the reports of twolves offering al jefferson for danny granger, then david kahn saying that was un true. if the report was true, as a pacer fan im glad they didnt do it. would it have been a fair trade to you?

Chad Ford
  (1:09 PM)

Both sides claim there were no offers. I doubt there was. Teams rarely make offers. Instead they talk in "what ifs" and "who do you like on my roster" and "I might have interest in your player" types of things. That way both sides can say no offers were made and can also claim they aren't shopping anyone credibly. I'm not saying that's the case with the Jefferson-Granger talks. But that's been my experience. And yes ... I can't imagine the Pacers making that deal. Granger is the guy they are trying to build around.

Bill (Washington, DC)

Chad, you're the GM of the Detroit Pistons. What do you do with this current roster? What a mess!

Chad Ford
  (1:11 PM)

Clearly the Pistons need some size. They are, like every team, exploring things in trade talks. Rip Hamilton is virtually impossible to trade because of his contract. So Tayshaun is the guy. I'm told they don't have any specific deals in the works, just talking to teams. But my gut says Tayshaun will be gone by Feb. 18. The Pistons have a lot of young small forwards. They desperately need a big.

Greg (Chicago, IL)

Chad I think you shold be the GM for the Bulls, what do you do?

Chad Ford
  (1:13 PM)

Thanks Greg. I think that too :) I think their priority has to be Summer of 2010. They'll already have roughly $12-14 million in cap space. I'd put a high priority on trading Kirk Hinrich and John Salmons for cap space. It will hurt the team this year ... but would open up a lot of room to make a run at a combo of LeBron, Wade or Bosh next summer. If they can't land those guys, there's still talent out there like Joe Johnson and Amare Stoudemire. If they can add any of those guys to a core of Derrick Rose, Luol Deng and Joakim Noah, they are going to be awesome. Patience! Oh, and call me Jerry!

Michael (Jersey)

Chad!! Please throw a loyal Nets fan a bone in this season of our discontent. You seem to have a good handle on what the front office's mindset is. Can you elaborate on your comments yesterday that the Nets would move Harris in the right deal? What type of return would we be looking at? Thanks!

Chad Ford
  (1:17 PM)

The gist of what I wrote about yesterday in True Hoop is that the Nets are seriously rethinking their 2010 summer free agent rebuilding strategy. If they can't land LeBron, Wade or Bosh (and I think the odds are pretty long) they could end up in a bad place having to overpay for a player or two who won't put them over the top. So, they're looking at all of their expiring contracts and beginning to explore whether they could get good players or prospects now for them. In addition, I think they'll move Harris if the right deal comes along. Brook Lopez is the only untouchable right now. I wouldn't be surprised if the Nets and Knicks end up reversing course and using their expiring contracts now instead of this summer.

Mitch (LA)

Chad what are you hearing about the Knicks? any moves coming up or do they wait for the summer?

Chad Ford
  (1:19 PM)

They've been trying to find a home for Eddy Curry and Jared Jeffries, but so far, no luck. I think the plan is still to go into the summer of 2010 with lots of $$. But it could change. Knicks are in the same boat as the Nets. No LeBron, no Wade and no Bosh = no savior. Yes, players like Joe Johnson or Amare Stoudemire would be nice additions. But they wouldn't put the Knicks over the top in the East.

Neil (Agoura Hills)

Please answer this question @chadfordinsider. Why wouldn't a team like the Wizards or T-Wolves, that is rebuilding and isn't landing a top FA this summer, rent out its cap space for next year and steal prospects? The Knicks would give Jordan Hill, Tony Douglas, AND Danilo Gallonari if someone took Jeffries AND Curry in a heartbeat. Sounds like a steal for one extra year of salary.

Chad Ford
  (1:22 PM)

I'm not sure the Knicks will go that far. Yes, it would put them WAY under the cap. But cap space isn't a guarantee that they'd land good players. In fact, if you were LeBron, would you really come to a team that has NO talent. The cap adds up pretty quickly if you start signing max players. But the strategy for the Wolves and Wizards is sound. It's a way to level the playing field a bit with teams like the Bulls and Heat which are huge free agent draws.

Jeff (Los Angeles)

You really think that the Lakers would get rid of Bynum for Bosh? Even if Bosh fits well in the triangle, Drew is young, healthy and should be the starting center for the west in the all star game

Chad Ford
  (1:24 PM)

I do. Bosh is better. Hasn't had nearly the injury problems that Bynum has. And he's a better fit in the triangle. Lakers would be unstoppable with Kobe, Gasol, Bosh, Odom, Artest. Unstoppable.

Mike (Akron)

Hey Chad, so do you think the Cavs need to make a trade? They obviously aren't going to give up Z. Thats obvious, I think that if they would, they would've traded him to G-State for Capt Jack. But last year you could argue Cavs needed to make a trade because they were poor against the better teams. This year, they are 8-3 against the top 5 teams. So, do you really think they make a trade? Do they really need to? Thanks Chad!!

Chad Ford
  (1:26 PM)

They'd give up Z. No question. They just want to give him up for the right guy. I think they'll definitely make a trade at the deadline. I think they're first priority is getting Antawn Jamison. If they can't pry him away from Washington, they'll push hard for Troy Murphy.

Bill (Indy)

Why don't the Cav's trade Z and Hickson to Indy for Murphy and then pick Z back up after the Pacers buy him out?

Chad Ford
  (1:27 PM)

Cavs can do that if Pacers waive. But there's a waiting period. I think Pacers will probably want more (and can command more) for Murphy that just Z and Hickson.

Xander (Philly)

As the season progresses and he plays better, is there an evolving market for Sammy Dalembert? I assume Brand is still untradeable.

Chad Ford
  (1:29 PM)

Not really. Kings showed the most interest. But now that they just blew $2.8 million on Hilton Armstrong, I doubt they keep pursuing Dalembert. I don't see any scenario where the Sixers are able to trade Brand ... unless they're willing to swap him for Rip Hamilton. Bad contract for bad contact.

nick (boston)

I know that Cory Maggette's contract is wretched, but shouldn't some team take a chance on a guy who can get 20 PPG in his sleep? Maggette could be what Jamal Crawford is to the Hawks for another contending team.

Chad Ford
  (1:31 PM)

I'm a little surprised there isn't more interest. Maggette is underrated. His contact isn't great, but he produces. I think the Warriors have mismanaged this (shocking, I know)

MC Welk (SLC)

Boozer to the Pistons for Prince: saves the Jazz $4 mil and gives them 2 lanky expirings (+AK) for next year.

Chad Ford
  (1:33 PM)

I think it's something to keep an eye on. The teams have spoken in the past. Detroit really needs a big. Jazz could plug Prince in at the three and move Kirilenko back to the 4. Probably a deal that makes sense for both teams.

Shawn (Beaverton)

@chadfordinsider, Is there anything that the Blazers can do this year to salvage their season? Or should we wait until next year and try again when everyone is (hopefully) healthy?

Chad Ford
  (1:36 PM)

I think Kevin Pritchard is being patient. He has a good young team. Injuries have devastated it this year. No need to hurt the long-term future of the team for a quick fix. If a great deal comes along, they'll do it obviously. But I don't think they are desperate either.

Stephen (Sac-town)

With Martin's return on the horizon, how do you see him and Tyreke working out? What about basically getting Hilton Armstrong for free? Thanks!

Chad Ford
  (1:38 PM)

I'm skeptical. But the Kings sound like they're optimistic, so let's see. Before K Mart's injury, I didn't think they played well together. Everything is clicking so well right now, I'll be surprised if the Kings don't at least gauge Martin's market value. Paul Westphal has done a really great job of developing their young guys. Not sure exactly how Martin fits into the picture. And one more thing, you didn't get Armstrong for free. He costs you a little over $1.5 million for the rest of the season. That isn't free and I don't think he's worth it.

Keyan (Memphis)

Memphis gets no respect in the NBA can we at least get one question answered here Chad? Who is the "Real" team of the future between the Thunder and the Grizz. I see the Grizz having better overall talent and MUCH better big guys. Durant is great, and there are some nice pieces there but Gasol, Randolph and Thabeet to go along with OJ, Rudy, Young and Conley? We are better right?

Chad Ford
  (1:41 PM)

Durant is a superstar. Russell Westbrook is the second best player on either squad. After that Grizz have a nice run with OJ, Gay (if the Grizzlies re-sign him), Conley and Gasol. But I'd take two great players and a great organization over a bunch of good players and a very questionable organization. So yeah, I like the Thunders future better. But I get your point. Grizzlies have a lot of potential if Michael Heisley doesn't mess it up.

Daran (Birmingham, AL)

Rip Hamilton's horrible contract for Jose Caldaron's horrible contract...............Det needs a true PG...............possible?

Chad Ford
  (1:44 PM)

Doubt it

Joe (NY)

Can we just come to grips with the fact that the Spurs just aren't that good anymore?? they can't beat good teams and aren't a great defensive team anymore. I think they are a one and done playoff team. Your thoughts?

Chad Ford
  (1:45 PM)

I think they are better than that. I agree that some of the luster has worn off. But Tim Duncan's having a really good year. Tony Parker is in his prime. They have some solid role players and they have a terrific head coach. I think they could trip up the Lakers in the West. Unlikely, but possible.

Doug (Cincy)

Other than John Wall (not realistic at this point) are there any players in next years draft that can help the Pacers immediately?

Chad Ford
  (1:47 PM)

Wall is the only surefire star we've identified right now. But give it more time. Lots of intriguing prospects including Derrick Favors, Ed Davis, Evan Turner and Wesley Johnson. Remember, last year every GM was talking about the 2009 NBA Draft as a 1 star draft. But with the emergence of Tyreke Evans and Brandon Jennings ... and the recent stellar play of Stephen Curry ... it's looking better and better. But right now Wall is the only sure thing superstar.

Freddy (Los Angeles)

Let's talk draft now: who is the better prospect amongst the following: Robbie Hummel, Kyle Singler, and Gordon Hayward?

Chad Ford
  (1:48 PM)

Hayward is the only guy I'd take in the first round.

James (Detroit, MI)

Who are your top 5 players in the draft as of now?

Chad Ford
  (1:48 PM)

1. John Wall2. Derrick Favors3. Ed Davis4. Evan Turner5. Wesley Johnson

Jon (NYC)

This is shaping up as the weakest draft I can remember for PGs. Are there any other decent first round prospects at point besides Wall and Warren?

Chad Ford
  (1:51 PM)

No. And I'm not even sure we can put Willie Warren in that position. Other than Wall the best point guard prospect in college basketball has been Jon Scheyer. But I'm not totally sold he's a NBA player.

Freddy (Los Angeles)

Is Charles Garcia the biggest sleeper in this draft?

Chad Ford
  (1:52 PM)

I don't think so. Lots of early hype. He's talented, but has a lot of issues and has leveled off a bit as the season has progressed. He's never cracked our Top 30 and I don't think he will.

Tom (Columbus, OH)

Do you think Evan Turner has come back early enough in the season to re-claim his spot in the lottery of next years draft?

Chad Ford
  (1:53 PM)

For sure. He looked a little rusty in his first game back, but looked really good versus Minnesota this weekend. Obviously teams are going to take a very close look at his MRIs when they do his physical. Back injuries are scary. But assuming everything checks out, he's a lock for a Top 5 pick and could go as high as No. 3.

Chad Ford (New York)

Bynum for Bosh is a trade that is nearly impossible to pull off... You're a hack Ford...

Chad Ford
  (1:55 PM)

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=yjmpygz

John (Seattle)

Do you see Klay Thompson rising up your draft board as the season goes on? I know he isn't a crazy athlete, but he can score in a lot of ways, and he's still very young.

Chad Ford
  (1:56 PM)

Like him a lot. Reminds me a bit of Rip Hamilton. He's been a bit up and down, but he's probably a first rounder if he declares.

Danny (Dallas)

Draft Question Chad... Now that the Longhorns are a #1 team, will Damion James finally get enough spotlight to increase his draft stock? He's injury free thus far, and is averaging a very strong double double while only being 6' 7". I understand he could be considered a tweener, but a lot can be said about willing yourself to succeed. I can see him as a Udonis Haslem type. What do you think?

Chad Ford
  (1:58 PM)

I think teams like him, but no one loves him. He's a late first to early second round pick

Phil B (pdx)

what do you think about demarcus cousins and where he will end up in the draft?

Chad Ford
  (2:00 PM)

Think he's a Top 5 player in the draft on talent. But he scares everyone with his attitude. If I were him, I'd stay another year in college, prove I can be mature on and off the court and try the draft in 2011. If he declares this year, someone will for sure take him in the first round, maybe even the lottery, but he has the talent to go much higher.

Josh (Dallas)

So how much is Ekpe Udoh's draft stock rising?

Chad Ford
  (2:01 PM)

He cracked the lottery for the first time on our Big Board last week. Very interesting. A different player who doesn't fit any particular model.

Chad Ford
  (2:02 PM)

Gotta run everyone Let's do this again next week. Check out my latest draft blog later today, an upcoming podcast with Bill Simmons and later this week we'll debut our Trade Watch tracker.