Aloha everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat today. Sorry we had so many technical difficulties last week. Hopefully things will go smoother today. Lots to talk about. We'll spend some time on the NBA and then spend the second half on the NBA Draft.
Has Toronto lost all chance at retaining Chris Bosh this off-season?
No. But close. If he can pair up with LeBron or DWade in either Miami, NY, Chicago or NJ, I think he will. Personally (and I've been saying this for months) I think the best fit for him is in OKC. The Thunder would be AWESOMe with the addition of Bosh.
Chad, after watching the Lakers implode I am convinced they are one and done in the playoffs.......any thoughts?
I'm not. Yes, they're struggling right now and Laker fans have a right to be concerned. But this also may just be evidence of a veteran team coasting a bit until the playoffs. They know that's where they need to expend the real energy
Follow-up to Ben in LA; should the Lakers lose in the playoffs, what do you see as their biggest objective during the off-season?
Point guard. They need an upgrade there in the worst way.
Could teams, like NY, add something outrageous to a contract offer to LeBron to try and sway his decision? For example, could a team offer LeBron a share of the team or executive position after he retires?
No. Not allowed.
Chad: Four teams at 50-27 in the West. Who comes out on top with the #2 seed?
Dallas, Utah, Denver, Phoenix in that order
Do you think the Magic make any moves this off season with the free agents out there? Dwayne Wade would be a monster with Dwight Howard and he wouldn't have to move that far.
They don't have any cap space. They're only hope to change things up is to make some trades.
If the Cavs reach the Finals.....is there any team that you can comfortably say will beat them in a 7 game series....other than the Lakers?
No. And any more, I'm not sure the Lakers will beat them either. The irony is that the East may be the tougher road for them. Magic and Hawks in particular more dangerous right now to Cavs than No. 2-6 in the West.
Chad, you're a Darko fan from way back. Is he worth keeping for the Wolves? And whom do you trade, Big Al or Kevin Love, and whom might they get for him? Should we be optimistic up here?
He's playing the best basketball I've seen him play for a long time. I know the Wolves coaches are very optimistic, but we'll see. I wouldn't pay huge dollars for Darko. He may need the incentive that a short contract provides. But if they can lock him up, it gives them more wiggle room to see what they can get for Al Jefferson this summer. If they can land Evan Turner and then get another piece for Jefferson, Wolves could be much better next year.
Could Cuban (or Dolan) offer LeBron his own TV show as added incentive? Even for free, a weekly LeBron show on HD Net would be pretty big incentive wouldn't it?
I think they could do something like that as long as he's not compensated for it. But Dallas is a player for LeBron. It would have to be via sign-and-trade, but i know he's interested in playing for Cuban.
Chad: What's your thoughts on the Jazz resigning Boozer?
I don't see it. They can't afford to. This year they're paying the luxury tax. But I don't see them doing it 2 years in a row.
Will the Lakers regret Kobe's extension? $30M at 34, he already seems to be taking it easy on his legs.
It was a lot of money and yes, I doubt he's earning $30 million in three years. But what are you going to do? If the Lakers didn't give it to him, the Knicks or Nets would've this summer.
Given Amare's performance after the ASG, do the Suns come closer to giving him what he wants? And after all the trade talk, do they even have a chance anymore?
Maybe. Team is playing well. They seem to be a very tight group. I think it will depend on what they do in the playoffs. If they go deep and Steve Kerr thinks that they are a piece or two away from a championship, I could see them paying Amare. If the fizzle out in the first round? My guess is that he's going somewhere else. I think he's eyeing Miami or NJ.
Please tell me that if Donnie Walsh can't get a top FA (Lebron, Bosh, Wade) that he has enough sense to not get us stuck with Carlos Boozer and JJ for the next 5 years... Also what do you think is the true ceiling for Danillo... how good can he be.. is he a third best on a championship team? Thanks Chad
I think Walsh's instinct would be to wait until 2011. Boozer and Joe Johnson aren't bringing home a trophy. However, Mike D'Antoni may not be that patient. Coaches can't stand losing, even when there are greener pastures awaiting. If Walsh decides to wait until 2011, he may have to let D'Antoni walk.
As a Pacers fan, should I be excited about the way they are playing down the stretch as a positive for next year or disappointed that once again they will be picking around 10th instead of 1-5?
Disappointed. If they are this good, they should've been playing like this all year. Now, Jim O'Brien has basically killed the Pacers chances of getting a franchise type player in the draft. They were a 4th seed several weeks ago. Now their 10th. That's a huge, huge drop in this draft. At 10, the Pacers will get a nice player. But not a franchise changer. That's what they needed.
You seem down on O'Brien. Who should the Pacers hire instead?
Brad Stevens of Butler. He's young, has a great basketball mind and most importantly for NBA coaches, he doesn't over coach. He has a great game plan but then backs off and lets the players execute. He'd be a very popular pick and could give the franchise a much needed boost of energy.
Please tell me that clown Kevin Pritchard will be gone. What has he actually done since he was promoted? Blew the #1, failed to capitalize on RLEC, made a mess of Roy's contract talks, and now Rudy will be gone. I would much rather have Trader Bob or Warkentien.
This has to be someone from Paul Allen's Vulcan group. No one who knows anything about basketball would say this. If you don't like Pritchard, fine. But he's been one of the best performing GMs in the business the past few years.
Is Rubio worth waiting 3 years? How good could the a Rubio/Turner backcourt be?
It should be 2 years. One more year in Europe and he has an out from his contract. The way he's been playing lately? I'd say yeah, he's going to be worth the wait. He's getting big time game experience in Europe, getting stronger. When he comes to the NBA, he has a chance to be a star.
How would you have ranked that finish last night if that ball had gone in? Best. Ever. IMO
Yes. Best ever. Was disappointed it didn't go in. Not because I was a Butler fan. But because it would've been one of the great all time stories for basketball. What a game.
Who helped themselves the most in the final four in terms of draft stock? Does anyone have lottery type potential?
Kyle Singler was impressive. I'm not sure how high he'll go because of his performance there, but he played well enough over the whole tournament (and the last month of the season) to get a look in the first round. Gordon Hayward has a chance at a late lottery pick. Nolan Smith helped himself a lot too.
Do Singler and Smith stay on for one more year and a chance to repeat at Duke? I am pretty sure that Duke will be stacked next year with Kyrie Irving and Seth Curry joining the squad and should be the favorites going into next season.
Smith says he's staying. Probably a good idea. I hear Singler's people are already talking to agents. I think he's gone. Duke will be fine without him.
Hey Chad, Out of the big 3 for Duke, who's game translates better on the next level? Nolan Smith a 1st rounder?
Mason Plumlee is the best draft prospect they have.
Hey, Chad. Can a team with a solid, young point guard (say NJ with Devin Harris for example) REALLY consider passing over John Wall if they land the #1 overall pick in the draft?
No. And no one would. I've spoken with someone from every front office in the lottery. All of them would take Wall. The only two possible exceptions are the Jazz and Hornets because of Deron Williams and Chris Paul. Wall is a better prospect than some other solid point guards like Harris, Jonny Flynn, Steph Curry and Brandon Jennings.
Remember when the Blazers decided to pass on Chris Paul because Sebastian Telfair looked so promising. Exactly.
Looks like Orton is in the draft for good...What do you think is the eariliest he could go in the draft? Is it possible 5 Wildcats go in the lottery?
Yes. It's possible. I've been writing for weeks that NBA GMs are very high on Orton. I wrote today in the draft blog that the Thunder (who have 2 first round picks) are his floor. They'd take him with one of their picks. But they're drafting in the early 20s. He could go a lot higher than that. Top 10 isn't out of the question. Crazy for a guy who averaged 3 ppg. But you know how gaga NBA GMs get over size.
Is Greg Monroe really going to go back to G'town? I'm a huge Hoya fan and think they will be a Final Four team if he's back, but why in the world would he do that? Especially with the uncertainty surrounding a possible lock-out another year from now...
He's a different kid. Very humble. Likes college. Wants to keep improving. I think it wouldn't be an awful idea. But if he declared, my guess is that he goes somewhere between 8 and 14.
Mr. Ford, I was really impressed with Brian Zoubek's performance in the Final Four. This guy can really rebound, plays hard and has four years with one of the best programs. Is he worth a second round pick? Today, my answer would be "Definitely!".
A lot of scouts are coming around to the same conclusion. Again, size trumps about everything in scouting evaluations. He can't jump, has been very injury prone and isn't going to score 20 points in a game. But he rebounds and is a big body. Second round isn't out of the question.
Ed Davis of UNC in or out?
Probably in. Waiting for word on his wrist. If it's healing properly and he can workout, he'll be in. If they need to put it back in a cast, he may have to put the NBA off another year.
What's Da'Sean Butler's draft status looking like now?
Oh boy. I feel terrible for the guy. Has done everything right. Stayed in school. Improved his game. Was a team leader every night. But that torn ACL, along with a sprained MCL and a serious bone bruise are going to set him way back. No draft workouts. No draft combine. No summer league. No training camp. Very few teams would use a first round pick on a guy with that prognosis. Just look at how they passed on DeJuan Blair last year and he was able to play.
What kind of player will Jan Vesely be?
I'm not sure who he is exactly. He's a very good athlete. Bouncy. Tough. Still figuring it out on the offensive end. Can play three positions. He's a bit unique. Should be a lottery pick.
You mentioned late lottery for Gordon Hayward as a possibility? Would you advise him to leave or stay in school and try to get stronger?
He's probably at the peak of his draft stock. Played well on the big stage. He has a lot of tools. He does need to get stronger, but he's very tough. The thing that confuses me about him is his jump shot. He's a good shooter, but he's struggled all year to get anything to fall. Not sure what that says about his future. I always thought he could be a Mike Miller type player or a tougher version of Mike Dunleavy. But his shot will have to start falling for that to happen.
You mentioned earlier every team in the lottery but the Blazers and Jazz would take John Wall. Does that include the Bulls?
Yes, Bulls too. But remember, all of them could end up taking Wall too. Because of Wall's scoring ability, you could pair him in the backcourt just fine with Rose, Williams and Paul. He was just fine playing all year with Eric Bledsoe, another point guard, at Kentucky.
What are your personal feelings on using statistics when scouting college players. How important is it, and what information do you find yourself relying on when developing opinions on players.
It's not an exact science yet, but it can be persuasive. I respect what John Hollinger's been doing, for example, with the draft. Last year he correctly predicted that Ty Lawson would be much better than his draft position. He also had Tyreke Evans and Stephen Curry very high based on the stats.
No mention of Coach K? I take it you think theres no chance hes leaving?
Sure doesn't sound like it. He's been pretty definitive that he wants to stay at Duke. With Kylie Irving coming in and Mason Plumlee expected to start getting serious minutes, Duke could repeat again next year. They'll be good.
Who are some of the players in the Portsmouth Invitational this weekend that can really put themselves in the draft discussion?
Like just about every year of late, it's a very shaky group. Da'Sean Butler was the headliner, but he's out. There isn't another player in my Top 60 in the camp. However there are a few interesting players including Ben Uzoh, Marquis Gilstrap, Jeremy Lin, and Omar Samhan. But for the most part, this is a NBDL and European scouting session.
Gotta run everyone. I won't be chatting for the next few weeks as I head overseas. Will see in you in a few weeks.