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March 2, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Chad Ford

Chad Ford
  (1:00 PM)

Aloha everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat today. With no trades on the horizon, what are we going to talk about? Playoffs? Summer 2010? Draft? I'm sure we'll think of something. Let's roll.

Jason (Orlando)

Despite everyone's love affair with the Cleveland LeBrons don't you think they are STILL a piece or two away from a title? Also, who is coming out of the east since it WON'T be Cleveland?

Chad Ford
  (1:02 PM)

Unless Shaq isn't ready to play at full strength by the second round of the playoffs, I still think the Cavs have a leg up over the Magic, Celtics or Hawks. So no, I don't think they're a piece or two away from the title. But losing Shaq and Z hurts a bit.

crawford (dallas)

One team I was surprised with on your rankings was Portland. I was on the bandwagon last year, and I know they are darlings, but do they really have top 5 players talent? Is B-roy THAT GOOD? We know Aldridge has had his struggles, Fernandez has been underwhelming... Curious your thoughts if they should be more of a 9/10 range. They have middling money/market/draft ratings, very strong management (I think I agree....), but am dubious of top 5 players. Your thoughts?

Chad Ford
  (1:05 PM)

I think it's a valid point. I think we're a little higher on Roy and Aldridge than you are. I also think Batum has a really nice future ahead of him. Oden, if he can ever get healthy, is also a big asset. And Fernandez and Bayless are both young players with some upside. Great coach. Great front office and owner. I think that warrants them in the Top 5 -- especially when you consider they're already playing well.

Marco (NYC)

Please explain to me how Cleveland's Management rank is 15th in the league?! They have the reigning coach of the year, a GM who every year executes amazing trades that amount to highway robbery, and their owner is one of only a handful in the league willing to spend to improve his team. 15th?! Really?!

Chad Ford
  (1:08 PM)

I think we'll know in July. If they keep LeBron (especially if he signs a long-term deal) the ranking goes up dramatically. If they don't, it sinks. I think we hedged our bets in the middle. Love Mike Brown, but he's not a Top 5 coach in the league. Other than the Jamison trade, what other trades has Ferry made that amounted to highway robbery? The owner is a good owner and he will spend. I just think it's a bit more nuanced than you're making it out to be.

Jim (Boston)

Chad, what happens to Cleveland's future ranking if Lebron resigns for, say, 5 years?

Chad Ford
  (1:09 PM)

Top 3

Jake (MIT)

You gave Golden State a 2/200 in Management? Isn't that a bit high?

Chad Ford
  (1:10 PM)

Hollinger and I each gave them 1 out of 100. I guess we could've given them a zero. If they sell the team and clean house with coaching and management, they'll jump up significantly.

crawford (dallas)

We could debate these all days...but correct me if I'm wrong, that's the point of the article! How do you feel about Utah at six? Does that "feel" about right? If I was gambling on teams likely to win a title in next 3 years they wouldn't make my top 10.

Chad Ford
  (1:12 PM)

It's one that raised some eyebrows. Felt a little high. I think some of it depends on what happens with that Knicks pick they're getting. If they can add a terrific young talent (John Wall, Evan Turner, Derrick Favors) to the roster ... they'll be scary good with a great head coach and GM. Kevin O'Connor, in my mind, is the most under rated GM in the league.

Roger (MN)

According to TrueHoop and Kahn, Rubio is expected to begin the 2011-12 season. Your response considering you've a.) openly stated Rubio won't play for the Wolves and b.) speculated on countless Rubio trades to NY and LA, to name a few.

Chad Ford
  (1:16 PM)

What else is he going to say? "We drafted Rubio without having any idea whether he'd play for us. We then proceeded to destroy any chance that he'd play for us by taking Jonny Flynn on pick later. That scared him from even considering coming to the NBA for two years. Now we are just hoping and praying he changes his mind, decides that Minnesota is a terrific destination for him and he comes in the summer of 2012." Which do you think is closer to the truth?

Jay (Orlando)

Why doesnt Dwight get the respect Lebron gets? If you are building a team you cant go wrong with either of them.

Chad Ford
  (1:19 PM)

I'm a huge Dwight Howard fan. I picked him to be the MVP for this year in the pre-season. But look at his box score on Sunday. The guy can be Superman on any given night. But he should be Superman EVERY night given his ridiculous physical gifts.

Steve (World Greatest City)

You really ranked NY the 4th Market? You have to be kidding, right?

Chad Ford
  (1:23 PM)

NY may be the world's greatest city, but NBA players look for more than that when judging market. Weather is a huge issue for a lot of players. So is state income tax. Finally, the Knicks are no longer a premium franchise. They've sucked for too long. I'm not saying they're the Clippers, but ... they're not that far off these days.

mark (cleveland)

LBJ is about to win his 6th consecutive player of the month award, why have the MVP conversation anymore, it's over, no?

Chad Ford
  (1:23 PM)

It's over

Curtis (AZ)

After the Knicks performance last night, when are people going to figure out that D'Antoni rode Steve Nash's coattails to a phat contract in NY?

Chad Ford
  (1:25 PM)

Why is everyone so down on D'Antoni. He has no point guard. No center. His best player is David Lee and then ... Gallinari? Wilson Chandler? If he was coaching the Nets right now, they'd be a 25 win team. But there's only so much you can do. Knicks fans need to chill. Walsh recruited D'Antoni knowing that players love to play for him. He's one of the Knicks biggest selling points to LeBron and company this summer. Give him some talent and he'll make it sing.

Jason (Sacramento, CA)

is anyone really a threat to take the Rookie of the Year award away from Tyreke?

Chad Ford
  (1:27 PM)

Steph Curry and Darren Collison are trying and playing better than Tyreke right now. But Evans had a HUGE lead on both players. I don't think either can close the gap in the next six weeks barring Evans falling off a cliff.

Garrett (CA)

How many years will it take to get the Kings back in playoff contention?

Chad Ford
  (1:28 PM)

If they land John Wall in the draft ... next year.

Fred (PHX)

D'Antoni will never make anything "sing". Run and gun teams don't win championships. You need defense in the playoffs and he's never heard of that word before.

Chad Ford
  (1:30 PM)

Where's Professor Hollinger when you need him. I know that this myth will never be shut down, but by virtually every credible statistical measure, the Suns weren't a bad defensive team. The pace they played at gave the illusion they were bad, but they weren't.

Dirk Nowitzki (TX)

Where do you see us end up this year? percent of championship?

Chad Ford
  (1:31 PM)

Mavs have a legit shot. As I look over the West, I'd put them No. 2 behind the Lakers. Over on the East, I'd say Cavs and Magic are better. No. 4 out of 30 is still pretty good odds.

Kyle (Elmhurst)

Realistically, who do the bulls land next summer. Your best guess...

Chad Ford
  (1:33 PM)

I think they have a really good shot at DWade. If they can't get him, my guess is they land Joe Johnson.

jack (chicago)

Do you see Derrick Rose being a top 5 player at some point? Top 7? 10?

Chad Ford
  (1:33 PM)

Yes.

Sal (Michigan)

Do you see Dumars trying to dump Tayshaun this summer? His expiring should be a nice incentive for teams needing to shed salary. If so, what could we get?

Chad Ford
  (1:34 PM)

Yes. I think he'll try to move him for a big. I still don't think it's out of the question that he moves him to Utah for either Boozer (in a sign-and-trade) or Millsap. He'll have other options. If Prince had been healthy all year and playing well, he could've moved him in February.

Matt (State College)

As someone who has watched the Hawks religiously since the (ugh) 13-win season, I have to say that I feel people are vastly overrating JJ if they think that he can step in and be the 1-A player. While he is worth every penny we are paying him now, the teams like the Knicks/Clips that may end up dropping a max deal on him when Lebron won't come simply don't seem to be aware that he is good, but not great. I've watched enough iso-Joe to know that--your thoughts?

Chad Ford
  (1:36 PM)

I actually agree. There are going to be a LOT of mistakes made this summer by the teams who cleared cap space and didn't land LeBron, Wade or Bosh. GMs and owners will feel pressure to spend and they'll overpay Johnson, Rudy Gay, David Lee and Carlos Boozer to name a few. I think they'd all be much better off waiting a year, letting a new, more owner friendly CBA kick in and then signing guys. But I doubt it happens.

Ben (NYC)

Andray Blatche = young KG minus the intensity?

Chad Ford
  (1:38 PM)

Minus the intensity and maturity. KG was always remarkably mature for his age. Blatche just hasn't been. But he's proving right now he's a talent. And even though the Wizards are a bad team, he's helped them win some games. It's been the one upside of all the trades in February.

Charles (Toronto)

Do you give the Thunder any shot at signing Bosh?

Chad Ford
  (1:41 PM)

I do. I think they'll have a compelling case. They're close to his home. Offer two young superstar quality talents to put him with. Have a great owner, GM and fan base. If I was Bosh, I'd play for them over any team out there short of some sort of Dream Team hook up with LeBron and Wade in Miami. I don't know what Bosh will do. He may stay in Toronto. Chicago and Miami will both be tempting. NY too if LeBron came. But if he values winning a championship, I think he should run to OKC.

Jack (Dallas, TX)

Any reason why Kevin Durant doesn't get the respect like LBJ, Kobe, and Wade? How would you rank Durant? Top 5 players in the NBA?

Chad Ford
  (1:43 PM)

He's in my Top 5. 1. LeBron 2. Dwight Howard. 3. Dwyane Wade 4. Kobe Bryant 5. Kevin Durant.

Mike (Charlotte)

Your thoughts on the Bobcats future under Jordan?

Chad Ford
  (1:44 PM)

He can't be worse than Bob Johnson. I love MJ. I think he wants to succeed. If he decides to put all of his time and energy toward it, I think he can. If he decides to run the team from the golf course, he'll fail.

Drew (Dallas)

What would YOU, Chad Ford, like to see happen this summer? Where does LBJ, Wade, Bosh, John Wall, ect go in your perfect world?

Chad Ford
  (1:47 PM)

I don't worry about LeBron. He's already in a good situation. I think he's fine staying in Cleveland. It's Wade that I worry about. He's so talented. Would love to see him in a winning situation. If Miami can't recruit 'Bron or Bosh, I hope he goes to Chicago. I'd like to see Bosh in OKC. As for Wall ... would love to see Larry Bird finally get a break in Indiana. Add Wall to that Pacer team and suddenly they are very interesting. Without him, it's going to be another ugly year.

Chad Ford
  (1:47 PM)

What I don't want to see ... is 'Bron, Wade and Bosh on the same team. It won't be any fun to see a team win 75 games and crush everyone for the next 4 years. I like some parity.

Alex (Cleveland)

The Sports Guy talked about the upcoming draft class a bit last week when he did his chat. I'd like to hear your thoughts on the debate over who should be the #1 overall pick, Wall or Turner. Wall has been the favorite all year, but Turner is quietly putting together a POY campaign despite missing almost 2 months with a BROKEN BACK. Not only is Turner averaging nearly a trip dub every game, but he's also been at a high profile program for more than just one year, and has no background issues which are somewhat questionable when it comes to Wall.

Chad Ford
  (1:51 PM)

I covered some of this on my Draft Blog today. Evan Turner is the best player in college basketball. However, John Wall will be the better pro. The biggest reason is that Wall is a much better athlete and plays a position, point guard, that has such a huge impact on the game. Wall may be the best athlete I've ever seen. Get him in the NBA game and I don't think anyone will be able to guard. him. I think Turner will be great ... some sort of Brandon Roy-Scottie Pippen hybrid. He'll be a do it all guy who will be a leader on and off the court. But he's not super explosive, still lacks a credible long range jumper and a few GMs are nervous about the long term ramifications of a broken back.

Josh (Baltimore)

How split do scouts seem to be on the Cousins vs Favors debate?

Chad Ford
  (1:53 PM)

Cousins is more NBA ready. Most teams think he can be a full time five. He looks like a for sure 20-10 player in the league. Favors is much more athletic. His upside is tremendous and unlike Cousins, he doesn't have nearly the character concerns that Cousins has. It's a tough call. I'd say the split is 50-50 between the two. If you can be a little patient, Favors is your man. If you need help now and aren't worried about Cousins becoming the next Rasheed Wallace, then he's your guy.

Alfred (Austin, Texas)

Chad, love the chats. Do you think the T-Wolves would consider taking Turner with the 1st pick in the 2010 draft over Wall if Rubio is coming over?

Chad Ford
  (1:54 PM)

I still believe all 30 GMs would take Wall No. 1 -- even a team like the Hornets with two great point guards. You take the best player and then use trades to work out the rest.

Todd Parker (Lexington, TN)

I think Hashaan Whiteside has more upside than Cousins and Favors am I crazy?

Chad Ford
  (1:55 PM)

I don't think so. He has a chance to be a better rebounder and shot blocker than either guy. But offensively he's behind both of them. I think he's a Marcus Camby type player. I think he goes somewhere between 5 and 10 on draft night.

Rob (Chicago)

what do you think of James Anderson of OSU? He has good size, athleticism, is a willing defender and is a spot up shooter. He seems like he would be a great fit next to D. Rose?

Chad Ford
  (1:57 PM)

He's growing on everyone. He's having an amazing year and proving that he can score taking the ball to the basket too. He's not an elite player at any one thing, but he's good and just about everything. I agree he'd be a nice pick for the Bulls in the mid first round.

Freddy (Los Angeles)

Should Ed Davis stay another year at UNC or he is now regretting not entering the draft last year?

Chad Ford
  (1:58 PM)

I think he probably declares. He's a lottery pick this year despite a so-so season. If he comes back next year and doesn't dominate, his stock slips.

Drew (Dallas)

Everyone is predicting John Wall to go gangbusters and instantly make whatever team drafts him instantly better. I'm not sure I see it. Athleticism is a bonus but the best point guards in the league aren't athletic, rather they are heady guards that make good decision. Wall's decisionmaking at time is at best questionable.

Chad Ford
  (1:59 PM)

I think Wall will mature in his decision making. The raw abilities are there. He sees the floor really well and is unselfish. The one attribute that really sets Wall apart is the killer instinct. How many times has he taken over a game in the last few minutes when Kentucky really needs him. That's one of the reasons scouts love him. Star players do that and Wall has proven as a freshman he can and will do it.

Chad Ford
  (2:00 PM)

Gotta run everyone. See you again next week! Don't forget to check our our Future Power Rankings and my updated Draft Blog!