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February 9, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Chad Ford

Chad Ford
  (1:02 PM)

Aloha everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat today. Lots of fun stuff this week. All-Star game this weekend. Trade deadline is really heating up. Lots of draft stuff to discuss. Let's roll.

Bradley (Ontario)

Have you heard anything about the Mavs other than the possible Caron Butler deal? If that were to go through, wouldn't it make more sense for them to go after Haywood too? They really need to upgrade at center.

Chad Ford
  (1:04 PM)

I think most people in the league believe the Mavs are the most likely to deal. The three names I continue to hear are Butler, Iguodala and Kevin Martin. They have some expiring contracts they can move. The problem for Dallas is that they don't have a lot of moveable talent. They aren't moving Dirk. Mark Cuban has said they aren't moving Beaubois. Their first round pick this year is going to NJ. That means they have to find a partner willing to take back expiring deals. Surprisingly, GMs seem less willing to do that than I thought they would.

Adam (East Lansing, MI)

What are the hold-ups to the rumored Amare/Gordon/Wilcox/Iguodala deal? How likely in your opinion is it that something of this sort actually happens?

Chad Ford
  (1:06 PM)

I can't imagine Philly wants Ben Gordon's huge contract. That seemed like A LOT of money when the Pistons signed him this summer. Why would they trade Iguodala (a better player in my opinion) for Gordon (who has a pretty ugly contract)? I do think the Suns are very hot for Iguodala. I do believe the Pistons will be active trying to get their hands on a big. So two out of the three parts make sense. But Ben Gordon to Philly? I don't think so.

gregg (cleveland)

you've long been a proponent of ferry building the team with younger assets so...do you think it's wise to move jj in a package to get jamison? what about iguodala? jj looks like he could be turning the corner into a high-level running mate for many years. he's still only 21!!

Chad Ford
  (1:09 PM)

There's no easy call here. Danny Ferry is trying to win a championship. Adding Antawn Jamison or Troy Murphy would help the Cavs on that end. He's also trying to re-sign LeBron James. Long term, trading for those guys doesn't help the future prospects of the franchise. It's a short term move. I doubt Hickson is a long term answer, but he might be. In certain spurts, I'm really impressed with him. Other times not so much. The question is ... will winning a NBA championship this year guarantee the Cavs that LeBron stays? If yes, they have to do it. If no, I think they should be trying to move their expiring contracts for younger players.

Rick (Evanston)

Your trade column (top 20 properties) discussed Jphn Paxton as "dreaming" of a lineup that included LeBron and Bosh. But that's never going to happen, and reminds us Bull fans of 2000 when they "dreamed" of Duncan and Kobe and settled for Ron Mercer and Eddie Robinson. Shouldn't we set our sights a little lower for possibly David Lee and Joe Johnson? And we could get Iguidala in a heartbeat if we take Brand, who is the low post power forward we have lacked since . . . Elton Brand. What's wrong with a lineup of Noah, Brand, Deng, Rose and Iguidala?

Chad Ford
  (1:12 PM)

I think Jerry Krause had as much to do with that than anything. Also having to compete with Orlando played a part. Players love the warm weather and golf courses. But this summer? I think Chicago and Miami are the two top player destinations. New York is just a mess. Ditto with NJ. Miami will be very attractive. But I think Chicago would be as well. But even if LeBron, Wade and Bosh all say no ... Joe Johnson and David Lee would be an upgrade from what they have now -- just not earth shattering. And if New York is out of the running for the same guys, they may outbid Chicago for both Johnson and Lee. So ... I guess Chicago could be even worse off than in 2000. They could end up with nothing.

Storm Sutherland (Cleveland)

What's Stoudemire's deal? Opting in? Optine out? Will this weekend set up whether he stays or goes? Who's in the lead for him? What's up with his eye?

Chad Ford
  (1:19 PM)

He has an Early Termination Option this summer. Which means he can choose to terminate his contract if he wants. I know he's been saying publicly that he might choose NOT to terminate his contract. However, I highly doubt that he's seriously thinking about it. From what I've been told, that was a move to scare off Philly and other teams who might be trading for him as a cap relief asset. Stoudemire has no desire to play for a losing team that will just dump him in the summer. He wants to win. So, take it for what it was, a warning shot fired across the bow of Philly and other lottery teams. There's no way he gives up a guaranteed long term deal this summer for something that could be worth much, much less a year from now. As for his eye, I think it will be fine.

Chad Ford
  (1:19 PM)

Sorry folks, having issues with the chat machine again. Apparently it didn't like my last answer.

J Smith (Stony Brook, NY)

What's the deal with the Knicks. 32 games to go, do they make a move? What would help? Cap relief? A player with heart?

Chad Ford
  (1:20 PM)

Doubt they do anything. Nate Robinson is the best hope they have of a trade. But they want to preserve that cap space.

Josh (Lancaster, PA)

Gerry Callahan wrote the following in today's Boston Herald:"As we know, the Celtics have no shot of getting under the salary cap and bidding on the big free agents this summer, so it makes no sense to hold onto Allena??s contract. Ita??s just a more valuable commodity for another club, a team that is angling to make a run at Bosh, Wade, LeBron, whoever. They need the contract. The Celtics need young legs. Ainge has nine days to find a match."Do you agree?

Chad Ford
  (1:23 PM)

Yes. I think they should move Ray Allen now. If they don't, they'll go through the same long rebuilding process they went through when Larry Bird and McHale retired. Given the new restrictions that are coming in the CBA, now is the best time to swap. I'm not sold that Kirk Hinrich or Kevin Martin are the right guys. But they need to do something. Kevin Garnett just isn't himself. Ray Allen doesn't have a ton left in the tank. Sheed's been awful. Paul Pierce and Rondo can't do it by themselves.

Frank (Cleveland)

Recent chatter says the Cavs stay pat at the deadline unless something blows them away... do they need to make that move to take the 'ship?

Chad Ford
  (1:25 PM)

I don't believe it. I think that's classic posturing at the deadline. Washington and Indiana are asking for A LOT for Jamison and Troy Murphy. I think this is Cleveland's way of saying "If you keep asking for so much, we may not do anything." Problem is, no one believes it. Danny Ferry has been pretty aggressive the past few weeks. They really want to add a stretch four. I think the Cavs will cave and do something. Given Washington's reluctance to trade Jamison, I think Troy Murphy is the most likely candidate.

Younger78 (Cali)

Can you tell us briefly regarding these expected new CBA restrictions?

Chad Ford
  (1:29 PM)

The owners are going for the jugular. Not only do they want shorter contracts with smaller max amounts, the killer was asking the union to agree to retroactively go back and adjust current contracts to conform to the new deal. That means that not only will free agents take a big pay cut, but so will players with existing contracts. That's hard ball. They also are moving towards a hard cap that means that salary cap exemptions like the mid-level exception, etc that teams over the cap use to sign players with every year will be gone. I've been through two CBA negotiations covering the league. This one feels much more extreme. The problem for the players is I don't think they have a strong enough union to withstand David Stern's assault. The NBA, I believe, is probably heading for a lockout in 2011. When it's resolved, it's going to look significantly different.

Max (L.A. )

Chad what can bulls realistically get for Thomas do you think?

Chad Ford
  (1:31 PM)

Not a lot. He's a restricted free agent this summer. Has been difficult to deal with for years. He'll want more money than he's worse. Who gives up a significant asset for that? It's a shame. I love Tyrus Thomas' game when he's focused. It's funny. When the Bulls drafted him, they were right on the talent. But wrong on the person. Which, if you read any of the stuff we wrote about Thomas before the draft, you could've guessed. Wonder if we are in for a repeat with DeMarcus Cousins. Amazing talent. But he has issues.

Travis (Portland)

Do the Blazers make a move before the dealine?

Chad Ford
  (1:33 PM)

Not a big one. I think they'll see what a package of Steve Blake and Travis Outlaw gets them. But it sounds like they aren't moving Batum, Fernandez or Bayless.

Sam (La Jolla)

Chad, why would Joe Johnson leave the Hawks for no extra money with a worse team?

Chad Ford
  (1:34 PM)

You assume the Hawks will pay him the same amount of money that the Knicks would. I don't think Atlanta will be able, financially, to meet what the Knicks could do.

mendel (fl)

does the meteoric rise of darren collison make CP-3 "available for the right price"? what does NO say if riley calls with an offer of beasely, Expiring's and our 2 first round picks?

Chad Ford
  (1:35 PM)

Mendel. Wake up, you're still dreaming.

Griff Brown (Orlando)

Does it look like Orlando will make a trade before the deadline? Its been said many teams are intrested in J.J. and Bass is unhappy?

Chad Ford
  (1:38 PM)

The Magic have been active. They are worried about Cleveland and they should be. If the Cavs make a move, I think you can bank on the fact that the Magic will respond. The same holds true the other way. If the Magic make a move, I think Cleveland will up the ante. Right now they're both in a standoff. Trade deadlines are always tough to get kick started. But once a contender makes a deal, other contenders suddenly get much more motivated.

Mr. Moohead (Florida)

Chad for gods sake put one of my questions up.

Chad Ford
  (1:38 PM)

Your wish is granted.

vnzla81 (indianapolis)

is TJ Ford going anywhere?

Chad Ford
  (1:39 PM)

Highly doubt it. He's an expiring contract next season. His trade value will increase dramatically next year.

Brock (SLC Utah)

Utah is playing phenomenal, but dont they usually have a stretch like this every year? With that said, is now the time to move some of their players? And if so, who?

Chad Ford
  (1:40 PM)

They'd move Boozer if they got an offer back for a starting two or three. But right now it sounds like most offers are for expiring contracts and some cap relief this season. From what I can gather, Kevin O'Connor is standing firm that he wants an asset for Boozer. If he can't get one, he's going to keep him.

Drew (Candler,NC)

With the way Miami is playing right now is it fair to say Wade will be in Chicago next year?

Chad Ford
  (1:42 PM)

No. They'll have a lot of cap room this summer and Wade should be able to stay plus lure one of his friends to join him in Miami. I really think of the three superstars available in free agency this summer he's the least likely to move. If Miami can't get LeBron or Bosh, they will get someone talented to help out.

ben (washington dc)

Are the Wizards going to void Gilbert Arenas' contract? It seems like they need to decide that before they figure out what to do at the deadline.

Chad Ford
  (1:44 PM)

No. I don't think they will. Instead I think they'll try to find a trade partner. It won't be easy, but it will be easier than trying to void his deal. Believe it or not, some teams still have a lot of interest in Arenas. I think they'll find a taker this summer.

Craig (PA)

Chad, can we talk about the champs? What will the Lakers do: make a trade (major or minor), wait for a vet to be bought out, or just get healthy? I think all they need is a healthy team, seeing as Bynum and Artest are still gelling into the triangle.

Chad Ford
  (1:45 PM)

They need a point guard in the worst way. I think Hinrich is the only point guard available right now that makes a ton of sense for them. I'm still bullish that the Lakers make this happen.

Jeff (Oakland, CA)

Any explanation of why the Warriors dumped Speedy Claxton's $5.2 million expiring contract while they could have cut Devean George and Hunter?

Chad Ford
  (1:47 PM)

Because they are the Warriors. They heard that Donald Sterling might be looking to hire Isiah Thomas and didn't want to lose their title as most dysfunctional franchise in the league. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Mark (Vancouver)

Is Evan Turner the consensus #2 pick, or do Wesley Johnson, Favors, and Cousins all have a decent chance?

Chad Ford
  (1:48 PM)

He's moved into the position of consensus No. 2 right now. He's been amazing. I do think that both DeMarcus Cousins and Derrick Favors could go two as well.

Keyan ((Rockville))

Draft question.....I knew Cousins would sky rocket up your draft board. Watching him play reminds me of Charles Barkley minus the ferocity but plus about 6 inches. He seems really skilled to for his size, you think hes the chance to be a top 2 pick behind Wall?

Chad Ford
  (1:50 PM)

Yes. He could end up being No. 2. A lot is going to have to do with the draft interview process. On talent, he's the No. 2 pick all the way. But teams are worried about his personality and will dig into that carefully. Remember, guys like Tyrus Thomas and Michael Beasley were also beasts in college. You need talent to succeed in the league. But you also need maturity.

Marc (Charlotte)

Am I dreaming that Ed Davis will be back in Chapel Hill for his Junior Year?

Chad Ford
  (1:52 PM)

Not unless he's assured that the Tar Heels will have a real point guard next year. For all the hate that has come Davis' way, remember, if Ty Lawson was his point guard he'd be averaging 20 ppg for the Tar Heels, they'd be national championship contenders and we'd be talking about him as a potential No. 2 pick. Give a talented, athletic big man an awful point guard who can't give him the ball and an undersized front court mate who thinks he's Tyler Hansbrough (yes, I'm talking to you Deon Thompson) and there's only so much Davis can do.

Paul (Cleveland)

How do you feel about Greg Monroe, he's been real impressive the times I've seen him. Is it still a motor and desire issue with him? Kid has some big talent.

Chad Ford
  (1:55 PM)

I've always been a fan. But NBA GMs have been less so. The issue is both motor and a lack of elite athleticism. However, he's one of the most skilled big men in college basketball. Has a high basketball IQ. He's unselfish. And as the season has worn on, I think he's looking athletic enough (I think he was out of shape early in the season which made him look slower than he actually is). I don't know if he'll be a superstar, but I think he's a Top 10 pick. I doubt he gets past the Jazz (who own the Knicks pick). He's a good player for their system and Jerry Sloan will get him to play hard.

Skinny Pete (Michigan)

Am I crazy or is this a really top heavy draft? After the top 10 I don't love anyone.

Chad Ford
  (1:57 PM)

I don't think there are 10 players I love in the draft. But there will be a lot of rotation players from 9-20. There's depth there. But only a small handful of guys you love: Wall, Turner, Cousins (on talent), Favors (on potential), Wesley Johnson.

Mark (Vancouver)

Why isn't Pat Patterson getting more credit? He's extended his range to 3 (shooting 40% from there), and he's been fine with sacrificing some of his numbers for the greater good of the team. Where will he be drafted?

Chad Ford
  (1:59 PM)

He'll be a lottery pick. Somewhere between 9 and 13 is my guess. That's three for sure lottery picks for the Wildcats. Eric Bledsoe could be a fourth. And if he got more playing time, Daniel Orton might possibly be a fifth. Lots of talent on Kentucky.

Chad Ford
  (2:00 PM)

Gotta run everyone. We'll do it again next week! Check back later today for my NBA Draft blog where I break down the top international prospects for the draft.