Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

March 16, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Chad Ford

Chad Ford
  (1:01 PM)

Aloha everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat. In honor of the start of the NCAA Tournament this week and in light of the fact that every NBA GM and scout will be on the road looking at the future of the NBA ... I'll be taking ?s about the draft and the NCAA tournament this week. Let's roll ...

Haimona (New Zealand)

In a league where chemistry is so vital, why isn't Evan Turner getting more consideration for the #1 spot? John Wall complains about coaches while Turner has been a model team-mate. What gives?

Chad Ford
  (1:03 PM)

I think it comes down to this. John Wall is an elite athlete. Beyond elite. He has amazing quickness, leaping ability and speed. Those things really matter in the NBA. Turner is an average athlete. If Turner had Wall's athleticism, he would've declared as a freshman. Can you imagine how scary good Wall would be if he had two more years in college. As teams project upside ... Wall comes out on top.

Haimona (New Zealand)

John Wall doesn't crack the top 100 for Hollinger's College PER. Does this point to inefficiencies that get overlooked because of hype?

Chad Ford
  (1:06 PM)

Probably. I thought that was interesting. I think some of the guys on top like DeMarcus Cousins and Evan Turner are having better years statistically. Wall has been turnover prone and is still working on his jump shot -- but remember -- Derrick Rose to rate very high on Hollinger's analytics either. And, I should point out, this new college PER isn't Hollinger predicting who would be the best pros. It's predicting who the best college players are. There's a difference.

mike (dallas)

is ed davis still a lottery pick?

Chad Ford
  (1:07 PM)

Yes. If he declares he's going in the Top 10. A lot of scouts feel that if Davis had a real point guard at UNC he would've had MUCH better numbers.

Mark (Vancouver)

Who can improve their draft stock the most with a good tournament showing?

Chad Ford
  (1:09 PM)

It's the upside guys -- not the proven ones -- who have the most to gain. If Derrick Favors really blew up, he could pass Turner on the board. Guys like Al-Farouq Aminu, Avery Bradley, Solomon Alabi, Ekpe Udoh, Eric Bledsoe and Darington Hobson have the most to gain by a strong tournament run.

Jason (Boston)

Chad, is Andy Rautins a 2nd round pick?

Chad Ford
  (1:09 PM)

Possible. Some scouts really like him. Others not so much.

Cory (Accounting class)

Doesnt it just look like the selection committee accidentally switched duke and Kansas? Duke has easiest road while Kansas has toughest. Duke even gets the play in winner which usually goes to first overall...and now they're covering up the mistake!

Chad Ford
  (1:11 PM)

Yeah ... I don't understand the seeding at all. Was Coach K on the selection committee? Maybe that's part of his reward for coaching Team USA. Was embarrassingly bad. KU got screwed.

Dan (Bay Area)

Can you see Texas beating Kentucky in the 2nd round? they seem to be match up well....

Chad Ford
  (1:12 PM)

That was the other thing I thought was weird. Kentucky was the second best team and got a killer match-up in Round 2 with Texas and a potential killer match-up with West Virginia later in their bracket. Texas is loaded with good players. They've just been really out of synch lately. If they find their groove again, they could win it all. They're the ONLY No. 8 seed you can say that about. So why did Kentucky draw them?

Bill (Indianapolis)

Everyone knows who the top 2 players are but who is the third best prospect?

Chad Ford
  (1:13 PM)

Derrick Favors of Georgia Tech. If Favors had a legit point guard and if he didn't have Gani Lawal taking all the touches down low, he'd be in the conversation for the No. 1 pick in my opinion. GMs love DeMarcus Cousins too -- but he's a MUCH bigger risk because of his immaturity.

Jared (Philly)

What are some of the personality issues that scouts are concerned about with Cousins? With the highest PER in college basketball, it seems like he's a lock for top 3.

Chad Ford
  (1:16 PM)

Two things stand out. He's struggled to control his temper all year. In some ways, his personality reminds me a lot of Rasheed Wallace. He just can't contain himself. Second is that he's had a history (going back to his high school days) of not always giving a maximum effort. I've watched Kentucky play at least 10 times this year and it's come up in every game. As far as a basketball player goes -- he's got everything you want in a post player with the exception of explosive athleticism. Cousins is strong, skilled, has a high basketball IQ and can do everything on the court. But he's not the quickest or most explosive guy.

Mark (Vancouver)

What's the best case/worst case player comparison for DeMarcus Cousins in the NBA?

Chad Ford
  (1:18 PM)

I think he could be a Zach Randolph or Elton Brand type player in the NBA. He's that good. Should be a 20-10 guy. But if he doesn't mature ... he could go the way of a guy like Tyrus Thomas, a great talent, that no one wants to coach.

Greg Monroe (Maryland)

How am I not a top 3 pick? Have you ever seen a big man with my skill set? Have you seen how much I've improved?

Chad Ford
  (1:20 PM)

Monroe is the most skilled big man in college basketball. His passing ability reminds me a lot of Vlade Divac. He has two issues really. First, he's not a great athlete, especially laterally. He'll struggle against the more athletic fours and fives in the league. Second, he's almost too unselfish. He'll disappear for long stretches in games. He's done a better job of playing hard for 40 minutes lately, however. He's a Top 10 pick. I think he'd be a great fit on a team like the Jazz.

josh (glens falls)

residing in the same hometown as jimmer fredette and as a high school teammate... can jimmer move up into the first round with a good tourney performance?

Chad Ford
  (1:23 PM)

Yeah, he could. No point guards in this draft and Fredette's had as good of a season as any point guard in the country. He's got a terrific cross over and can get to the line and he can shoot lights out from behind the arc. He's not an explosive athlete and that will hurt him in both ends of the floor at the next level -- but a lot of scouts like him. He's a guy who could REALLY help himself if he can carry BYU deep into the tournament.

James (Detroit)

If the Pistons get the 2nd pick who do you think they take between Cousins/Turner/Favors?

Chad Ford
  (1:23 PM)

They need a big. Favors or Cousins all the way.

Steven (Indy)

Better fit for the Pacers, Turner or Favors/Cousins.

Chad Ford
  (1:24 PM)

Pacers would go with Turner at No. 2 and Favors at No. 3. Cousins is a bit of a risk for them.

Jay (Hartford)

Two Duke questions: 1) do you see Duke finally getting to the FInal Four this year? and 2) Is Scheyer a late first round pick or does he fall to the second round?

Chad Ford
  (1:26 PM)

Duke has such a cakewalk to the Final 4 -- they better get there. I think Baylor's the only team with any real chance of stopping them in their bracket. As for Scheyer -- I don't see him as a first round pick, but someone will get on his bandwagon in the 2nd round. Just not sure what position he'd play in the pros.

Matt Simpson (Morgantown)

Do you think WVU's Da'Sean Butler and Devin Ebanks will be first round draft picks? (Assuming Ebanks declares)

Chad Ford
  (1:28 PM)

Butler was GREAT in the Big East tournament. Mr. Clutch. But his physical profile hurts his draft stock. He's not a great athlete, he's undersized for his position and he's never been a lights out shooter. He has the intangibles, but so did Acie Law a few years ago. What happened to him? Ebanks, on the other hand, has all the physical skills to be a lottery pick, but he's still struggling as a player. He can't hit shots. Ebanks could be a late first round pick. I see Butler as a second round guy.

JD (VA)

Everyone talks about how majority of the lottery teams would take Wall in a heartbeat. My question is, which lottery team would be the best fit for Wall?

Chad Ford
  (1:29 PM)

Pacers. Desperately need a point guard. He'd be great in Jim O'Brien's run and gun system. Put him on the floor with Danny Granger and suddenly the Pacers are back in business. Then, in 2011, when they have a ton of cap space, they should be able to lure another decent free agent.

Pierre (Sacramento)

Hey Chad Love your work, Not really a NCAA fan, but you do a great job of showcasing how it relates to the future of the NBA. Which college player (except Wall) would improve the Kings the most? How would Evan Turner fit in?Thanks

Chad Ford
  (1:31 PM)

The great thing about Turner is that he fits in just about everywhere. He's so versatile, he can play three positions on the floor. He's a fit with every team in the lottery really.

Jarric (Kansas)

Where do you see Cole Aldrich going in the draft? He doesn't seem to get any press, but he's gotta be the 2nd best big man other than Cousins.

Chad Ford
  (1:33 PM)

He is. Great shotblocker and rebounder. Solid offensive player with a decent jump shot. He's also a pretty good athlete. If he was two inches taller I'd say he'd be a lock for the Top 5. As it stands I think he goes somewhere between 5 and 10.

Matt (State College)

Thanks for reminding those of us who are Hawks fans that Acie Law exists. Why don't you just start talking about Marvin Williams and CP3 while you're at it?

Chad Ford
  (1:33 PM)

You're welcome and I'll just let you go ahead and remind Hawks fans about CP3.

Jon (Newport Beach, CA)

Wouldn't the Jazz love Turner at No. 2 with the Knicks' pick?

Chad Ford
  (1:34 PM)

Yes, but every team would love Turner with the No. 2 pick. I can't find anyone who doesn't like him. The only concern with Turner is about his back. If that checks out OK, he's golden.

Seth (SF)

Hey Chad, how big is the dropoff after the top 4 picks? How would you group the top three "tiers" of prospects at this point?

Chad Ford
  (1:36 PM)

Wesley Johnson is a really good player and is a legit lottery pick. So is Ed Davis. After that there are a lot of interesting guys: Al-Farouq Aminu, Cole Aldrich, Greg Monroe, Hassan Whiteside ... I think that's your next tier.

Jon (San Francisco)

Who is the best big man prospect in regards to defense and rebounding? Is there anyone that could make an impact next year? Or will guys like Hassan Whiteside be hanging out with Thabeet in the D-League?

Chad Ford
  (1:38 PM)

Whiteside is a great rebounder and shot blocker. Reminds me a bit of Marcus Camby. Very raw on the offensive end. He's much more active and athletic than Thabeet. However, he isn't nearly as tall.

Mark (Vancouver)

If Eric Bledsoe declares, where would he go?

Chad Ford
  (1:39 PM)

To the first team outside the lottery that really needs a point guard. I think he's the No. 2 PG prospect in the draft. He still needs a lot of work, but he's got the physical tools.

John (Waseca MN)

Does your inside intel have any information regarding Kyle Singler? You have him as on the fence about the draft. I don't think he's first round material yet, he should come back for year 4 in my opinion. what's yours?

Chad Ford
  (1:40 PM)

He's had a rocky season. He's turned it around the last few weeks with some strong performances, but I think he's proven to scouts that he'll struggle to be a three in the NBA and I can't really seem him being a dominant four. A few scouts like him in the first round but most don't. Go back to school.

jake (chicago)

What about Wesley Johnson, he seems to be a very good athlete with lots of skill that no one is talking about...why?????????

Chad Ford
  (1:41 PM)

They're talking about him. He's one of those rare guys who can average 2 steals and 2 blocks per game. That's impressive. He'll go in the Top 6.

Josh (Dallas)

If you're the GM of a team who needs a big and Udoh and Monroe are still on the board who do you take?

Chad Ford
  (1:42 PM)

Monroe. Udoh is intriguing -- but I think it would be hard to pass on Monroe if he's there past the No. 8 pick.

Brendan (St. Louis)

Where do you see Tyshawn Taylor getting drafted if he declares? He reminds me of Jrue Holiday a bit.

Chad Ford
  (1:44 PM)

Me too. Underrated. Hard for him to do much with Sherron Collins, Xavier Henry and Cole Aldrich in front of him. He could be a late first rounder if he declares. But I kind of want to see him come back to Lawrence for his junior year and take the reigns of the team.

Dave (DC)

Chad, what will the future hold for Greivis Vasquez?

Chad Ford
  (1:44 PM)

He's having a great year ... but his lack of athleticism hurts. He tested as one of the worst athletes in the draft last year at the Chicago combine.

Jesse (Detroit)

Which big man in the lottery is the best fit for the Pistons? Or do they not worry about fit and just take the best available because they are such a mess?

Chad Ford
  (1:46 PM)

They'll take the best player available, but they could REALLY use a big. They are very heavy in the backcourt. I think Favors, Cousins, Davis, Aldrich, Monroe, Whiteside ... those will be the guys getting lots of looks. They like Al-Farouq Aminu too, but he's not as good of a fit.

Jeremy (Memphis)

What about Aubrey Coleman?

Chad Ford
  (1:48 PM)

He can score. That's for sure. But he's an undersized two. Second round?

Greg Monroe again (Philadelphia)

Some of the criticisms of Greg Monroe - "he'll disappear for long stretches in games" - are repeats of the criticisms of Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert, and probably of future Georgetown draft prospects as well.

Chad Ford
  (1:49 PM)

True. But then again, they disappear in NBA games too. One night they look great. The next, not so much.

Mike (Dallas)

What is your final four?

Chad Ford
  (1:53 PM)

Before the brackets came out I had Kansas, Ohio State, Kentucky and Georgetown ... nice that the committee put three of those teams in the same bracket. Here's my Final Four: Kansas, Kentucky, BYU and Baylor. I have Kansas and Kentucky in the Finals. Kansas winning it all.

Chad Ford
  (1:54 PM)

Gotta run everyone. We'll do this again next week and bring back NBA playoff and free agency questions into the mix. Have a great time watching the tournament this weekend. I really think it's the best event in sports. And while you're at it, check out our Draft Blog where I break down the prospects to watch in each conference.