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June 1, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Chad Ford

Chad Ford
  (1:00 PM)

Aloha everyone. Thanks for coming out to the chat today. We'll do a little NBA Finals talk, do some Free Agency stuff and also give a lot of love to the NBA Draft. Let's roll...

brandon (la)

who do you got? celtics or lakers why?

Chad Ford
  (1:04 PM)

Lakers in 7. Both teams have excellent, veteran starting 5s. I think they're basically a wash. Rondo over Fisher at PG. Kobe over Allen at the 2. Pierce over Artest at the 3. Gasol and Garnett are a wash. Bynum and Perkins is a wash. But I think 2 things give the Lakers the edge. One is their bench. Both teams have a good bench, but the ability to bring Lamar Odom as a sixth man helps. And coaching. Doc Rivers has improved as a coach over the years, but Phil Jackson is the man. That outweighs the Celtics other great strength which is chemistry. i think they have had the best team chemistry in the playoffs this year.

Westy (Boston)

Who gets Kobe for the Celtics?

Chad Ford
  (1:04 PM)

I'd put Rondo on him.

Jacob (NY, NY)

If all NBA stars care about is championships and the fame and $$$s that come with it, give me one reason why Wade, Lebron and Bosh won't sign with the Knicks splitting the cap-space and creating a instant dynasty.

Chad Ford
  (1:06 PM)

One, the Knicks can't afford all three. Second, they also care about competition. They really get up for playing against each other. If you stack a team too much, there isn't much in the way of competition. The original Dream Team loved winning the gold, but as far as a basketball experience went, it was pretty dull after a while.

Chris (Broadview Heights, OH)

Is there any chance that LeBron picks up his player option for next season?

Chad Ford
  (1:07 PM)

None.

Dave (Chicago)

In addition to signing a max free agent like Lebron, do you see the Bulls going after a guy like Ray Allen this offseason? The bulls severely lack outside shooting, and it doesn't get any better than Allen.

Chad Ford
  (1:08 PM)

Yes, if they land LeBron that will be a focal point. I think Ray Allen will get a lot of suitors as long as he's willing to take a deal for around the midlevel exception. Just when you think he's moving into the washed up category, he come up with a big game.

Jay (Boonton)

IN your opinion, would Lebron consider the Knicks if it is him Joe Johnson and D Lee? assuming Johnson can't get max.

Chad Ford
  (1:09 PM)

I doubt it ... and remember the Knicks have money for two max free agents. LeBron is one. Johnson and Lee won't fit into the other slot.

Ben (Minneapolis)

Any real possibility of Granger to the Wolves for Jefferson and the #16 pick?

Chad Ford
  (1:11 PM)

No. Wolves would like Granger, but Pacers (and a lot of teams for that matter) are leery of Jefferson's knee. I think Granger would cost the Wolves #4,

Aubrey (Houston)

Do the Rockets' have a chance to get Bosh or any of the other big players?

Chad Ford
  (1:14 PM)

Yes. They'll make an argument. They have a number of smaller assets that they could offer and a guy like Bosh could decide that he wants to play for a more established, veteran team and coach. However, the word I've gotten out of Bosh's camp is that none of the Texas teams are on his short list at the moment. That could change, but right now Houston, Dallas and San Antonio all look like long shots.

Eric (Orlando)

Will Vince Carter's expiring contract be worth anything next year? As I see it, the Magic have too many "faders"- skilled guys who don't thrive in the limelight. I'd take a couple more Barnes, Reddicks and Williams instead of $17m for Vince....

Chad Ford
  (1:16 PM)

Sure, anything is possible. A number of teams will be looking to cut payroll. But keep in mind two things. One, Carter's contract is guaranteed for $4 million in 2011-12 season. Second, his value after that terrible playoff series is at an all time low. Not sure the Magic could get much value back.

Craig (PA)

Chad, rumors are flying that no matter what the outcome of the finals Bosh will be a S+T to the Lakers for Bynum. If true, have the Lakers just grown tired of the injuries or does Bosh elevate LA to another level?

Chad Ford
  (1:18 PM)

As I wrote last week, they almost had a deal in February. So it makes a lot of sense from the Raptors and Lakers stand point. Bosh is an upgrade over Bynum given Bynum's injury history. And Bynum is the best talent the Raptors are going to get in a sign-and-trade. The thing I don't know ... does Bosh prefer the Lakers to the Bulls, Heat or Knicks?

Stan (Phoenix)

Percent chance that Dirk comes to Phoenix? How would Dirk instead of Amare change the Suns in theory? Better or worse?

Chad Ford
  (1:20 PM)

10 percent? I think the odds are overwhelmingly in favor of the Mavs resigning Dirk. Put it in the 80 to 85 percent range. But if they can't, the Suns, as Marc Stein just wrote about on ESPN.com, will have to do some maneuvering to get far enough under the cap to sign him. As far as style of play goes ... given the Suns run and gun offense, Dirk would be great.

Ryan (Los Angeles)

Chad, do you think if the Bulls would be willing to move Noah and Deng for CB4 IF it meant LeBron was coming next? I would think both CB4 and LeBron plus Rose makes the Bulls a title contender next season, yes?

Chad Ford
  (1:21 PM)

Word out of Chicago is that Noah is off limits. But if it was really a chance to get Bosh and they could move Deng as part of the deal, I think they'd HAVE to consider ...

Damon (Louisville)

What do you see happening in Miami? Does Wade stay? Will any other max guys come to play with him?

Chad Ford
  (1:23 PM)

It all depends on how successful Miami is in recruiting a top free agent. If they can convince 'Bron or Bosh to come ... Wade prefers to stay in Miami. If they strike out on those two, it gets more interesting. Boozer or Stoudemire would be big upgrades .. but are they enough to put the Heat over the top in the East given the injury histories of both players. I think the Bulls and Knicks become very attractive options for Wade at the that point.

Sherlock (VA)

Any chance for the wizards becoming a player in the free agency?

Chad Ford
  (1:24 PM)

Getting John Wall helps tremendously. I think they could make a run at Rudy Gay.

Greg (Cape G)

What would you say the chances are the Spurs would trade Tony Parker? And have you heard anymore or anything at all about them trading up in the draft to get Favors?

Chad Ford
  (1:28 PM)

I believe they're open to it if they can get two young assets in return. I think San Antonio understands that if they don't start rebuilding now, it could be two late. If they could get two high picks or one high pick and a young player, I think they'd do it. One scenario floating out there is Parker for No. 10, Troy Murphy (in the last year of his contract) and Brandon Rush

James (Detroit)

Chad, I feel like the Pistons have to make a move up in the draft to get either Favors or Cousins even if it means taking on a bad contract . If you want an elite big man you pretty much have to draft one and there's a big drop off after those two. Can you see any potential trade scenarios with the teams in the 2-5 range for Detroit?

Chad Ford
  (1:29 PM)

Pistons can offer No. 7 plus either Tayshaun Prince's expiring contract or perhaps one of their young assets like Jerebko or Austin Daye to get up there. They are talking to teams. Cousins really interests them as does Favors.

Brian (Richmond, Ky.)

Patrick Patterson is working out for the Heat, according to his Twitter account. Think Miami's a good fit for him?

Chad Ford
  (1:30 PM)

Perfect if the Heat remain a veteran team. He's one of the players in this draft who's ready to come in and play immediately.

Matt (Philly)

Based on various local radio interviews, Stafanski seems to have indicated the Sixers are leaning towards Turner? Yet, you have them taking Favors in your mock draft. What indications point to that? And aren't the Sixers better off getting Turner and playing him with Iguodala or even trading Iguodala and rebuilding around Turner?

Chad Ford
  (1:33 PM)

I've heard Turner. I've heard Favors and I've heard Cousins to the Sixers. They need a center more than they need another wing player. However, Turner would be very hard to pass upon. The thing to keep in mind is that I think Doug Collins will have a bigger say on this pick than the local media is letting on and I hear Collins would really like the Sixers to take another big. To me the best case scenario for Sixers is sending 2 to Minnesota for 4 and 16. They'll get either Cousins or Favors at 4 and pick up another nice asset in the mid first round.

Tim (Charlotte, NC)

Who will be the better pro: G. Hawyard, X. Henry or L. Babbitt?

Chad Ford
  (1:36 PM)

I think that's the exact question both the Clippers and Jazz are asking right now. Hayward has the most upside, but he's also the furthest away. Henry already has a NBA body and is probably the best shooter of the three -- but he's a bit one dimensional. Babbitt has really exploded up the charts the past month thanks to great athletic measurements, NBA readiness and ...??? I like Babbitt, but I'm not sure he's worth a Top 10 pick. But more and more GMs seem to be convinced he is. I've heard Hayward may have the nod in LA. I have the Jazz taking Greg Monroe in my mock, but I wouldn't be shocked if Babbitt ended up there.

Jack (Poland)

Hi Chad. In you opinion what skills translate very well from NCAA to the NBA - blocking, rebounding, defense, one-on-one moves, speed, toughness, shooting? And based on this why are you so high on Cole Aldrich - hi is mechanical.

Chad Ford
  (1:39 PM)

Rebounding seems to be the statistic that translates best from college to the pros. In today's NBA, speed also seems to carry over well. As for Aldrich, I think you're confusing me with Bill Simmons. As for his high ranking in the Top 100 -- that's based on my conversations with NBA GMs and scouts. Not my personal opinion on his value. I like Cole, but I wouldn't have him ranked quite as high as my colleagues in the NBA do.

BM (New Hyde Park)

Do you see a guy potentially being drafted in the 2nd round that stands out as a potential steal in the NBA draft this month?

Chad Ford
  (1:39 PM)

Jordan Crawford, Xavier.

Rob (Santa Monica)

Chad - Vasquez, from Maryland - is he a 2nd rounder with potential to make a rotation? Is he a case where basketball IQ can make up for some alleged athlecism issues?

Chad Ford
  (1:41 PM)

Maybe, he's a player. But he's a bad athlete. He's very slow laterally. The question is not whether he can score or facilitate at the NBA level because I think he could The question is ... who does he guard?

Norman (NY)

What makes Luke Babbitt any better than Kyle Korver who wasn't a 1st round pick?

Chad Ford
  (1:44 PM)

Babbitt's a better rebounder and mid range scorer. And Korver, based on his production in the NBA, should've been a first rounder

Eddie (Chicago)

Does Paul George out of Fresno State remind you of Trevor Ariza? How has his stock been rising?

Chad Ford
  (1:45 PM)

He looks like him (and Rudy Gay too), but they're different players. George is very smooth and can really shoot it. Ariza was a better athlete and a bit more rugged on the defensive end. I think Wilson Chandler on the low end, Rudy Gay or Joe Johnson on the high end.

Anthony (Hawaii)

How is the 2011 draft shaping up? Is it stronger than the 2010 class?

Chad Ford
  (1:47 PM)

Way too early to tell. My Top 10 is filled with freshman. Always a gamble. Lots of talent in the incoming freshman class led by Harrison Barnes, but ask again in January.

Tim (Charlotte, NC)

Why is no one talking about Xavier Henry?

Chad Ford
  (1:49 PM)

I'm a little surprised at that as well. He dipped quite a bit in Big 12 play at the start, but he's got a NBA body, he has a NBA skill (he can really shoot it) and he probably would've had much better numbers if he didn't play on such a stacked team at Kansas. He tested and measured better than expected at the Draft Combine. I still don't think it's out of the question that he goes in the lottery ... possible Top 10.

Jeremy (Tampa, FL)

Is there any precedent for players who were HIGHLY unproductive in college becoming stars in the nba? Why is everyone so high on Daniel Orton? He averaged 3 pts and 3 rebounds against college players.

Chad Ford
  (1:52 PM)

No real precedent for a guy like Orton unless you want to consider him sort of like a red shirted high school player and then comparisons to guys like Andrew Bynum are apt.

Fesum K. (D.C.)

Is trading the Wiz no. 1 out of the question and is there any chance for Amare to end up in Washington?? Can team afford both guys?

Chad Ford
  (1:55 PM)

I think the odds are less than 1 percent that the Wizards trade the No. 1 pick. It rarely happens and Wall is a good fit in Washington. As for Amare, yes, they Wizards will have cap space to sign a max or near max free agent. I think Amare would prefer Miami or Chicago.

Ryan (Los Angeles)

Chad, with all your sources make your FA predictions as of today. Where will LBJ, Wade, Bosh, Amare, Boozer, Joe Johnson, Rudy Gay and David Lee be playing on opening night 2010?

Chad Ford
  (1:59 PM)

LBJ - Bulls. Wade

Chad Ford
  (1:59 PM)

Gotta run everyone. We'll do this again next week!