Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

December 15, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Chad Ford

Chad Ford
  (1:04 PM)

Aloha everyone. Sorry we're running a few minutes late. The link to the chat disappeared there for a minute. Lot's to talk about ... we'll start with NBA and then move to the NBA Draft a little later ... let's roll ....

Kevin (Toms River, NJ)

Chad, The Nets are about to get two more first round picks and another expiring contract. What do you see them doing with all this cap space and picks? Will we be seeing a big trade in the future? If Melo gets traded to the Knicks and is not a free agent, who would be the next big free agent next year?

Chad Ford
  (1:08 PM)

The Nets have always believed that: 1. They are offering Denver the best package for Melo. 2. Melo would resign with them if they traded for them. The issue for them has been Denver being unsure about what they want to do. Now that the Nets have the ability to sweeten the package, I think you could see a trade. I know Melo's preference is to play in New York with the Knicks. But I'm not sure he'll turn down an enormous amount of guaranteed money from NJ to wait them out. The Nets will get assurances from Melo before they pull a deal, but there's no question they are trying to push forward.

marxster (montreal)

Chad, wouldn't the Knicks be better off looking for a big man and a backup point guard instead of focusing on Melo?

Chad Ford
  (1:10 PM)

If Melo goes to NJ, it may be a blessing in disguise for the Knicks. As you look at their team as currently constituted, I'm not sure there's a ton of value added by Melo. Defensively, the Knicks get worse and their flexibility to add anything else goes away. I know he's a big name and that matters in Gotham, but from a basketball perspective, I'm not sure I love Melo in NY. With that said, the Knicks really, really want him and the Knicks are far and away, Melo's first choice.

Danny (New York, NY)

What do you think of Derrick Favors' progress so far?

Chad Ford
  (1:12 PM)

He's further along than I thought he'd be at this point. He has a chance to be the second best player in the draft behind John Wall. If Denver can get him, it's a coup for them. If you think about what other teams got for their superstars in trades, Denver comes out of this pretty good. I wouldn't hesitate if I was the Nuggets. Melo is leaving. I think NJ's offer is as good as it will get. I don't think the Nuggets will be a playoff team without Melo (then again, they're dropping like flies in the West), but they'll have a nice young core + veterans to work with.

Andrew (DC)

Would you make the rumored Nets trade for Melo? As a Nets fan, I think it'd be a pretty bad trade, giving up too much, especially Favors.

Chad Ford
  (1:14 PM)

Now that's a different question too. The Nets clearly want a star to market around and Melo would help in that department. He's also a big upgrade to what they have at the 3. The problem is giving up Favors. They don't have a lot of other great options at the 4 and he's much cheaper and has a huge, huge upside. I understand why the Nets would do this deal (they'll win more now and draw more fans) but I think long-term it could be a mistake.

Gus (New City, NY)

Chad, Wouldn't it be more prudent for the Nets to use their boatload of picks on actual players coming out of the draft and build their team that way? Giving them all away for 1 or 2 players seems way too risky to me. Thanks

Chad Ford
  (1:16 PM)

Maybe. It's hard to build a team without a sufficient number of talented veterans. Look at all the young talent teams like the Clippers and Wolves have. They don't really win you basketball games. The other problem is Avery Johnson. He wants to win now ... not 3 years from now. He has a large voice in the organization and given their slow start, he's ramping up the pressure.

Michael (Irvine, CA)

is this the all "Melo to NJ" chat??? do you see the Lakers using the exception at the deadline? over the summer? or not at all? what would they target?

Chad Ford
  (1:18 PM)

Don't think they'll use it. It saved them money and that has mattered to Jerry Buss in the past. Unless there's a no brainer out there for them, I think they'll take the cash savings and call it good. They have enough talent to win a title.

Austin (Houston, TX)

Do you like the Rockets move to get Terrence Williams?

Chad Ford
  (1:20 PM)

I understand where Daryl Morey is coming from. Williams is clearly a versatile talent. He's also very immature and has been since his Louisville days. I'm sure Rick Adelman is going to love him. It's a calculated risk ... but don't see it paying huge long term dividends. Williams can go off on any given night, but most nights he hurts more than helps.

John (Madison, WI)

Who are the "December 15th eligible" players you feel are most likely to get moved before the deadline?

Chad Ford
  (1:25 PM)

LeBron James ... just kidding. Frankly, there isn't a lot of desirable names on the list that teams would be willing to trade. LeBron, Wade and Bosh aren't moving. And the guys teams are willing to trade, don't have huge trade value. The significance of the date is that it just puts more trade eligible players into the system. Given the CBA rules for trades, it's tough to match up salaries. The more players teams can include in trades, the better ... especially for teams like the Nets, Heat, Bulls and Celtics who signed a big number of players this summer. The date helps facilitate trades, but the players themselves won't likely be the headliners.

jeff (jax)

is Orlando stuck in no mans land. They have an incredibly deep and talented roster but lack that one dynamic wing player. I just dont see how they are going to get this player. Melo was there only shot. I dont see anyone else good enough. Maybe K Martin?

Chad Ford
  (1:29 PM)

They've painted themselves into a corner. They've thrown a lot of money at guys and have a lot of depth. The problem is, with the exception of Dwight Howard, there are very few teams out there that want any of their players at the price Orlando paid let alone trading a dynamic wing player in return. Vince Carter is an asset as an expiring contract, but lots of teams have big expiring contracts right now too. This is sometimes the downside of having an owner who's willing to pay anything (see the Knicks) ... you can get players, but if they don't work out, you can't get rid of them.

Rashard Lewis (Orlando)

Should I start wearing a ski mask and holding a gun on the 1st and 15th of every month?

Chad Ford
  (1:32 PM)

Lewis is exhibit No. 1. The Magic dramatically overpaid for Lewis ... well over the market at the time. The reasoning by Otis Smith was that they wanted to show him they wanted him and if he delivers a title, who cares. OK, but he's now 31, makes $19.5 million this year, $21 million next year and is guaranteed between $10 & $17 million on his contract in 2012-13. He has an 11 PER, under the league average. Everyone but the Magic saw this coming.

Drew (Chicago)

How dumb was Orlando for matching the JJ Redick deal?

Chad Ford
  (1:33 PM)

They kept him off of the Bulls and that was part of it. The Bulls are desperate for another long range gunner. I think the Magic knew that if the Bulls had him, they'd be behind Chicago in the standings.

rick (iowa)

What do you think the ceiling is for the bulls this year?

Chad Ford
  (1:34 PM)

NBA Finals. I really, really like their team. Obviously the Celtics & Heat will be just as or more competitive for that spot, but the Bulls could be there.

Disco (Chicago)

What's with Batum? Nate called him a zombie on the court, why is he so unmotivated?

Chad Ford
  (1:36 PM)

I'm scratching my head on that one too. The kid has enormous talent. Kevin Pritchard was turning down offers for high lottery picks for the guy last spring. I don't think the Blazers can give up on him now ... but the team is in a quandary.

Mikey (South Loop Film)

Mayo to Chicago is there any chance that happens and what would that do for the Bulls?

Chad Ford
  (1:38 PM)

I think Mayo is available and he'd be a good fit in Chicago thanks to his ability to shoot the ball ... but what would the Bulls be giving Memphis in return? They aren't giving the guy away, won't take on Luol Deng's contract and Rose, Noah and Boozer are untouchable. Not sure that Taj Gibson and a first round pick is going to be enough for Memphis.

Ben (North of the border)

Does PHX hang on and make the playoffs? Do they have another run in them like last year?

Chad Ford
  (1:40 PM)

I'm not in love with their team. So out of balance. They've actually played better than I expected, but if they do make the playoffs, they're getting swept in the first round. Not sure what kind of victory that would be. The team needs to fundamentally change. If Nash goes down (and given his age, it's happening sooner rather than later) they could be the worst team in the league.

Aaron (Orchard Lake, MI)

With 3 ejections in the first quarter of the season rip hamilton is clearly begging to be traded...is anyone going to be willing to take the last 2.5 at 13 mil per off our hands?

Chad Ford
  (1:43 PM)

Pistons have been close on a few things with Rip, almost landed Tyson Chandler this summer ... but he's not helping himself right now. I think Charlotte is one of the few teams out there with genuine interest.

Nick (Oak Brook)

Is Donald Sterling a complete joke or is it just me?

Chad Ford
  (1:43 PM)

You're about 20 years late to the party Nick.

Mike ((Connecticut))

How high can Kemba Walker get in the draft? Could he be the #1 pick?

Chad Ford
  (1:45 PM)

No. He's too undersized. But he's moved his way into the Top 10 which is a major deal considering where scouts had him last year.

Lee (Fargo)

Can Perry Jones play center? I think he could be a great compliment to Love and Darko as a 3 man big rotation. He would cover up a lot of Love's defensive shortcomings.

Chad Ford
  (1:47 PM)

He's more of a 4 ... but a lot of scouts love him. I definitely think he'd be Minnesota's choice if they had the No. 1 pick for the reasons you mentioned. Believe it or not, a slight majority of scouts still have Harrison Barnes at 1. Kyrie Irving and Jones are getting plenty of attention there too. If things keep going the way they're going for Barnes ... my best bet is that Jones will be the No. 1 pick. I'll see him in person next week at the Diamond Head Classic. Hoping to get better feel for him then.

Disco (Chicago)

Should Harrison Barnes even come out if he continues this poor play?

Chad Ford
  (1:48 PM)

He actually likes school and will absolutely stay there if this continues. I've been told by people close to him that he was considering returning to school even before the slow start.

Sam (LA)

How surprised are you by Tyler Honneycutt's play this year? Is he lottery worthy?

Chad Ford
  (1:48 PM)

Borderline lottery. I like him a lot. Very complete player. Reminds me a little of Shane Battier.

rick (iowa)

Does Kyrie Irving have the same ceiling as former number 1 picks Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans?

Chad Ford
  (1:49 PM)

He got off to a great start before hurting his toe. He's out indefinitely which is a little scary. But if he returns healthy and leads to Duke to a title, he has a very good shot at the No. 1 pick overall and should be a terrific NBA player.

Disco (Chicago)

Who's a mid major or small school player high on lists?

Chad Ford
  (1:50 PM)

Kenneth Faried, Morehead State

Nick (Portland, OR)

Hi Chad. Is it just me, or is this shaping up to be a pretty weak draft?

Chad Ford
  (1:51 PM)

Too early to tell, but no clear No. 1 is usually not a great sign.

Michael (Indiana)

The Pacers need another inside threat. What do you think of the prospects of drafting hometown boy JaJuan Johnson

Chad Ford
  (1:52 PM)

Have you seen JaJuan Johnson play? In the NBA I wouldn't call him an "inside threat"

Disco (Chicago)

Kanter reminds you of....

Chad Ford
  (1:53 PM)

Andrew Bogut a bit ... we should be hearing word any day on his NCAA appeal. Would be good if they let him play.

Dane (Salem, OR)

What do you think Kentucky's Terrance Jones needs to work on to ensure he's a top 5 pick next year in the draft?

Chad Ford
  (1:54 PM)

Consistency. The tools are there. When he plays hard, he's awesome. Just need to see a little more of a consistent effort.

VW (NYC)

Whose the biggest sleeper PG in next years draft?

Chad Ford
  (1:55 PM)

Jimmer Fredette. He can really play. He works his way into the first round on draft night is my guess.

Disco (Chicago)

Could Sullinger go #1? He's dominated some games already

Chad Ford
  (1:56 PM)

Like him a lot. But the fact that he's pretty undersized for his position and isn't an explosive athlete hurt his ceiling a bit. Still, he's probably a Top 5 pick. If Paul Millsap and Kevin Love can do it, so can he.

GMac (Portland)

Do you think Demetri McCamey is a legitimate 1st round pick? Who do you compare his game to?

Chad Ford
  (1:57 PM)

For sure. Maybe lottery. A poor man's Deron Williams.

VW (NYC)

Whose the best international prospect in this year's draft class?

Chad Ford
  (1:58 PM)

Enes Kanter & Jonas Valanciunas. Jan Vesely and Donatas Montiejunas are also legit lottery candidates. And Bojan Bogdanovic also could end up there.

Chad Ford
  (1:59 PM)

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