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January 5, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Chad Ford

Chad Ford
  (1:00 PM)

Aloha everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat today. Trade deadline is starting to creep up on us a bit. Also, we'll take a look at what is an increasingly confusing NBA Draft ... let's roll.

sam (bmore)

I remember last year you said you'd take john wall slightly over derrick rose, do you still feel that way?

Chad Ford
  (1:02 PM)

Tough question. Rose is in his third year and has made major improvements every year. He's now playing like a MVP candidate. But Wall was further along than Rose coming into his rookie campaign. If he develops the same way and stays healthy, I think I'd still take Wall. But that's no slight on Rose. He's amazing.

Brandon (Los Angeles)

What are the odds Mayo is traded? Which teams are in the running?

Chad Ford
  (1:04 PM)

He's been available. The recent incident with Tony Allen probably doesn't make a difference one way or the other unless Mayo starts getting more vocal about a trade. Problem is that the Grizzlies are going to want a very high pick or other young talent to get him. No one is getting him on the cheap. Chicago makes a ton of sense from a need perspective, but I don't think they have the assets to pull off a deal.

VW (NYC)

Anything brewing on the Iguodala trade front?

Chad Ford
  (1:05 PM)

Not that I'm hearing. Sixers are playing a bit better. But still think there's a good chance he's gone in February. The Mavs are going to be one of those teams in the hunt now that Caron Butler is down for the season.

Paul (Portland, OR)

How punny...using "odds" that Mayo was traded, when the Tony Allen incident was over a gambling debt.

Chad Ford
  (1:06 PM)

Seems like every fight in the NBA is over a gambling debt ... or a teammate that's dating your wife/girlfriend.

Corey (Germany)

Lots of rumblings today about the Cavs moving Antawn Jamison...any truth to that and if so where?

Chad Ford
  (1:08 PM)

Virtually their entire roster is up for sale. Jamison, Varejao, Mo Williams and Hickson have the most trade value. I think you'll see major changes in Cleveland in the next few months. I actually think the Cavs believed that they had great role players and that without LeBron they'd all step up and become one of those teams, like the Pistons, that played well without a true star. Now they know better.

Tyler (Toronto)

Why does Phil Jackson feel the need to express his opinion on everything?

Chad Ford
  (1:10 PM)

Because we, as the media, feel the need to ask him his opinion on everything. Trust me, Phil passes on most of the questions we throw his way. But he's such a big name, when he does speak, it gets headlines. So we keep asking ...

Dan (NYC)

What sort of player will the Knicks need to go from a "much improved" team to an "elite" team? I'm not convinced Camelo is the answer.

Chad Ford
  (1:13 PM)

I'm not sure there's a clear answer there, because the Knicks really do want a star to pair with Amare. I agree that Melo has some issues. Ideally, they'd love to get their hands on Deron Williams, but he's not a free agent until summer of 2012. So, they could end up just renting some players for another year if Melo falls through. That could happen as soon as the trade deadline. If Melo signs an extension or goes somewhere else with an extension, I think the Knicks will be very aggressive in getting a veteran or two to help Amare. They have Eddy Curry's expiring contract, Anthony Randolph and I even think they'd move Gallo under the right circumstances.

Turk (OKC)

Kristic expiring, the clippers 2012, and James Harden for Daniel Gibson and Anderson Varejao. Who says no?

Chad Ford
  (1:17 PM)

I could see something like this happening. The Thunder have been out there looking for a veteran big man and all the names you mentioned they would look to move. Varejao would be a great addition to the Thunder. And that deal would give Cavs some relief, a backcourt scorer and a decent pick in 2012

Ryan (The General Manager's office)

Rip, tay and Wilcox for Stevenson, Butler, Haywood, Beabious. Who says no?

Chad Ford
  (1:21 PM)

Tough one. Mavs really want to hang onto Beaubois ... but Hamilton and Prince give them two more vets who have gone all the way. Hamilton's deal would be tough to swallow for the Mavs, but they do get out of that Haywood contract. It give Detroit a center ... I think it fits what both teams are looking for as we approach the trade deadline.

Jason (Minneapolis)

Any rumblings of the TWolves making a deal?

Chad Ford
  (1:22 PM)

They are very active. I'm not sure they have any untouchables these days ... including Kevin Love. But unless it's a clear upgrade, not sure that David Kahn is doing much more than continuously shuffling the deck.

David (Chicago)

Chad -- thanks for the note on D-Will's free agency in summer 2012. I've been wonder where he might wind up, or do you think he'll re-sign with Utah? I don't think Utah can put a championship team around him but a lot of teams could really use him.

Chad Ford
  (1:25 PM)

I think Jazz fans have to be a little worried. They've put together a very good team and exceeded the luxury tax to do it. But Utah's a small market and DWill would be a much bigger name in a bigger city. Given some long term injury concerns with Chris Paul, I think the Knicks and several other teams with potential cap space in 2012 will be targeting Williams first.

Isiah (Columbus)

Any idea what MJ could be up to during the offseason assuming the Bobcats continue their disappointing season.

Chad Ford
  (1:28 PM)

Hire a better talent evaluator/cap manager as GM. The Bobcats have made so many puzzling decisions the past few years (I think you can attribute a lot of that to Larry Brown) ... and MJ's track record in this department (Kwame Brown, Adam Morrison) hasn't been great. I know his front office team are all friends, but they haven't been producing.

Josh (PA)

Will the Suns trade Nash? As a fan, I want them to. Build for our future and give the guy who brought us out of a mire a chance to win a championship. He's the Roy Halladay of the Suns...

Chad Ford
  (1:30 PM)

Robert Saver doesn't want to trade him. He is the Suns right now. But if the Suns are going to improve long-term, it's the only choice. Right now, new GM Lon Babby is trying to undo the huge mess he and Sarver made this summer. They've already dumped Turkoglu. They'd move Josh Childress & Hakim Warrick if they could. It's a mess. Nash is too classy to ever demand a trade. But they should send him to a contender and get back a building block in return. If they don't, the Suns, in another year or two are going to be as bad as any team in the league.

Dan (DC)

So Grunfeld gives an extension to Jamison and trades him that season. Gives an extension to Gilbert and trades him as soon as he can. And now gives an extension to Blatche and is looking to move him. He's lost it, right?

Chad Ford
  (1:34 PM)

It's looking that way. But he's not alone. I think it's one of the big reasons the NBA owners are going to be fighting so hard for a new CBA. A number of GMs and owners in the league are no match for the highly skilled agents they are negotiating against. They make so many non-sensical decisions with contracts that they immediately regret. Either NBA owners starting hiring GMs with more management, negotiation and problem solving skills or they the new CBA become basically idiot proof. Stern is opting for the latter I believe.

Mike (CA)

Should the Lakers look to move Artest?

Chad Ford
  (1:36 PM)

Good luck finding a taker for him. If Phil Jackson gives up on the guy ... his next job will be in Turkey.

Danny (Minneapolis)

Will Rubio be in a T-wolves uniform next season, and if so will he be good

Chad Ford
  (1:39 PM)

Wolves are very confident he will be. Other people I talk to in Spain and around the league are equally confident he won't be-- especially because of an early option he has on his contract and the looming lockout.

Miguel (Spain)

I love my countryman Ricky, but to be honest he isnt even looking good against European competition at this point...

Chad Ford
  (1:42 PM)

True. But virtually everyone I speak with think he'll be better in a NBA system. But you're right, I've watched him play a couple of times this year and it looks like he's regressed. He may have peaked early ...

Most Interesting Man (World)

BLAZERS????????????????????? I prefer you chat about them.

Chad Ford
  (1:44 PM)

I think Blazers fans are pretty clear where the team is heading. Andre Miller is on the block. With Brandon Roy out for who knows how long, there's a need there. Batum & Aldridge are the two guys they really want to hang on to. They have more conservative management now ... so you're going to have to be patient.

Kris (Oxnard, CA)

Thoughts on Pop benching the starters with the game potentially still in reach (though it would have taken a miracle) in the fourth last night? Over the years, we've seen him do it before, but perhaps never so overtly.

Chad Ford
  (1:46 PM)

Pop is one of the few coaches that really understands that the season is a marathon and that individual games are pretty meaningless. The guy wins. His teams are always dangerous playoff contenders. But a regular season game doesn't mean much. I think younger coaches would be much better if they realized this.

Dan G. (Cleveland)

What do the Cavs do with the #1 pick?

Chad Ford
  (1:48 PM)

Pray. With no clear No. 1 ... this year will likely be a bit of a gamble. Perry Jones has crazy upside, but he's not dominating and didn't in high school either. Harrison Barnes is a talent, but he's struggled as a freshman. Kyrie Irving was great early, but no one's sure exactly when he's coming back from injury. Enes Kanter is a talented big man, but he hasn't played a game this season. Jared Sullinger has been a stud, but he's undersized for his position and not exactly athletic. There are no sure things in this draft and when that happens teams usually screw up the No. 1 pick.

Klayton (Lexington, Kentucky.)

Do you think that Jared Sullinger will have a problem trying to find a position in the NBA?

Chad Ford
  (1:49 PM)

No. He has to be a 4 in the pros. A number of guys with similar profiles, like Paul Millsap, for example, have thrived as undersized bigs. He'll be fine. Just not sure he's the superstar most teams look for in the No. 1 pick.

Ray (LA)

Any chance Kemba Walker becomes the #1 pick in the 2011 Draft?

Chad Ford
  (1:51 PM)

No. He may win college player of the year, but I think a score first, 5-10/5-11 point guard isn't going No. 1. With that said, he's having a terrific year, has improved in virtually every aspect of the game and has moved himself from a first round bubble guy into the lottery. That's quite an achievement. He's improved as much as any college player I've seen over the past few years. And he's got the heart of lion.

M (Columbus)

If you had the #1 pick in the draft, would you take Barnes, Jones, etc or trade down?

Chad Ford
  (1:54 PM)

When there's no consensus No. 1 pick, teams start looking for needs. My guess is that it happens that way this year. Just in talking to different NBA scouts and executives, they seem to prefer Barnes, Jones, Irving or Kanter based on where they have holes. But teams always draft that way. All things being equal, you draft for needs. So the Kings would prefer Irving because they have a big need at the point. The Cavs? Perry Jones. Etc ...

Jack (Lexington)

Brandon Knight's current draft projection?

Chad Ford
  (1:54 PM)

Mid to late first. Scouts don't think he's a point guard and as a two guard he's talented, but not off the charts talented.

Andy (Buffalo)

With Kyrie Irvings injury, do you think there is a chance he may go back to Duke next year or is he a definite lock for top 5 in the draft

Chad Ford
  (1:59 PM)

I've been told by people in the know that both Irving and Barnes are strongly leaning toward returning to college for another year. If that happens ... the draft is going to get really ugly. Of course, I take everything this time of year with a grain of salt. Typically top players usually say that this time of the year and when things get closer and agents begin telling them how much money they may be risking by returning to school, they change their minds. But in the case of Irving and Barnes, there's some credibility there. Barnes and Irving both like school. Barnes has struggled to adapt this year and the injury could push Irving.

Chad Ford
  (1:59 PM)

Gotta run everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat today. We'll do it again next week, same time, same place.