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January 12, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Chad Ford

Chad Ford
  (1:01 PM)

Aloha everyone. Thanks for coming to my chat today. Trade talk is really starting to heat up and lots of stuff to talk about concerning the NBA Draft. Let's roll ...

Dante (NYC)

Chad, in your honest opinion, what do you think happens with this whole Carmelo Anthony thing?

Chad Ford
  (1:07 PM)

Who knows. Seriously. There are so many people involved. So many agendas. So many mixed messages. Here's what we know (I think):1. Melo doesn't want to return to Denver2. His first choice is to play for the Knicks3. The Nets have assembled the best trade package for MeloAnd I think that's it. What we don't know:1. Would Melo sign an extension with the Nets? Lots of mixed messages here. Nets have been confident for months that he would. Several reports this week that Melo would. Chris Broussard now writing that he hasn't signed off on it yet.2. Will Melo wait for the Knicks? Knicks don't have much to offer in a trade. Melo's worried about getting hit by a new Collective Bargaining agreement that won't allow him to earn as much money next year if he doesn't sign an agreement. So is he really willing to risk it to play in Manhattan instead of Brooklyn.3. Will there be a darkhorse team that emerges that Melo would agree to join. We know that Houston has been really proactive. Would the Bulls come around again?4. Timing. It appears that Denver was close to pulling the trigger twice, but backed away each time. Is it happening in a day or a week or will it happen in late February.

Cameron (Galesburg, IL)

If the Nets can pull off the Melo deal and get Anthony, Billups, and Hamilton do you see any chance of them getting the 8th seed?

Chad Ford
  (1:09 PM)

Yes, because of the weakness of the rest of the East. Top 5 in the East are pretty strong, and the Knicks look like a lock for the 6th seed. After that it's wide open and the Nets would be in that mix. But do you go through all of this trouble for a quick first round exit? Will it get much better in 2011-12? Heat, Magic, Bulls, Celtics and possibly Hawks and Knicks look like better teams. In summer of 2012 ... Nets won't have a ton of space because of Brook Lopez's cap hold ... so how, exactly do they land Chris Paul. In other words, Melo will add excitement, but I don't see him delivering a title to the Nets.

Alex (Houston)

How serious is Houston in the Melo chase?

Chad Ford
  (1:11 PM)

They are being very aggressive on a bunch of deals. They have Yao's big expiring contract. They have draft picks. They have young players like Jordan Hill, Aaron Brooks, Patrick Patterson, Courtney Lee, Chase Budinger to offer. They have vets like Shane Battier, Kevin Martin and Luis Scola to offer. So they have a ton of assets. How much will they give up for Melo is a big question. Even bigger is getting Melo to re-sign there.

Terrence (Los Angeles)

If this trade is cancelled, how awkward is the situation in Detroit with Richard Hamilton?

Chad Ford
  (1:12 PM)

No more awkward than it's been the past 2 years since Chauncey's been gone. Rip was unhappy with that trade and hasn't been totally happy since. His agent was the one orchestrating the whole thing ... he'll live.

Adrian (Miami, FL)

Are the Nuggets bluffing in saying they'd deal Carmelo to NY? Can the Knicks come up with a better package than NY? Why would Denver do this - dont they come off as young/inexperienced/greedy/spoiled (kroenke atleast)?They're not getting fleeced here, I dont get it

Chad Ford
  (1:15 PM)

A lot of silly stories are coming out of this. Are the Nuggets really going to take MUCH less because they got their feelings hurt because the trade story leaked? Please. No one in Denver, New York or NJ actually believes that will happen. It's posturing because Denver feels like the Nets are using the media to force their hand. But at the end of the day, the Nets have the best offer and it's unlikely another team will trump it. Even if NJ won't take back Al Harrington, this is a great deal for Denver and I believe the best they can get. The bigger issue, again, is getting Melo to sign off on a trade there.

Adam (NY)

Why do people keep saying the Knicks can't offer anything? How is a package of Harris/Favors/Morrow so much better than a package of Gallinari/Chandler/Fields? Has anyone watched the Knicks play this year?

Chad Ford
  (1:17 PM)

Knicks aren't and won't offer all that. I think some combo of Gallinari or Chandler + Anthony Randolph. I don't think they're giving up Fields. Nets are also offering a young big man ... which is harder to find than the perimeter guys Knicks are offering. And the Nets are including multiple draft picks and some serious cap relief for the Nuggets both this season and beyond. Knicks can't do that either.

chris (nyc)

It sounds like you don't like the deal for NJ then?

Chad Ford
  (1:19 PM)

I'm of a mixed opinion on it. I don't think it puts NJ over the top in the East and I'm not sure they'll have enough flexibility to make other moves that will get them there. However, it will improve their team a lot. They'll be a playoff team. Melo adds star power to the mix and the Nets become relevant again. So I understand why NJ is doing it. Only 1 team wins the NBA title each year and you can't blame them from wanting to move out of the lottery and start winning basketball games again.

Ben (NYC)

Why isnt everything coming to a screeching halt and everyone looking at Melo? It's all useless unless he'll sign the extension, shouldnt that be number 1 question to be answered now?

Chad Ford
  (1:21 PM)

I think it's the biggest question left. Nuggets finally seems willing to trade him. They have a good deal on the table. Will Melo accept going to a team besides the Knicks. We're going to find out soon ... whether the Garden and lure of playing with Amare and D'Antoni is worth the risk of not signing an extension now.

David (Tempe, AZ)

This morning on the radio Lon Babby again said Steve Nash won't be traded because he's the face of the franchise, part of the solution, etc... It's so frustrating as a hardcore Suns fan, because I know this team is going nowhere and we may as well start rebuilding now, when we can get an asset or two for Nash. Is there any way Suns ownership puts Nash on the block this year? how about a ten game losing streak? or is Sarver truly that short-sighted?

Chad Ford
  (1:25 PM)

I understand from an emotional level. Everyone in Phoenix loves Nash. He is the heart and soul of the franchise. And he's been totally classy about the entire thing. He's not demanding a trade and has come out publicly stating he's OK going into rebuilding mode. So ... it's not hard to see why Babby and Robert Sarver are taking the stance they have. Sadly, it's the wrong one for the long-term health of the franchise. Nash is, far and away, their best trade asset. There's no one else even close on this team. If they are going to rebuild, they need to use that chip. What I don't think that Babby and Sarver (and maybe even Nash get) is that most Suns fans I talk with are OK with the Suns trading Nash. They respect him. They know he's not forcing his way out. They want to see him have a chance at a ring. And he's not getting one in Phoenix.

Steve (Nashville)

True or False: Karma, Cleveland fans are getting what they deserve for being so upset at LeBron leaving?

Chad Ford
  (1:27 PM)

I don't think Cleveland fans are getting what they deserve (after all they've gone through, they deserve nothing but the best) and I don't think LeBron meant it that way. However, I think we all know that he and Dan Gilbert aren't on the best of terms and I think he feels that Gilbert is getting what he deserves

Chris (Los Angeles)

How great was LeBron's tweet last night??? I love the inner-NWO-Hulk-Hogan in him. You think this could potentially set up Wade as the good guy and the frontrunner for MVP?

Chad Ford
  (1:31 PM)

I think people need to quit overreacting and just tune him out. It reminds me of a certain politician/celebrity that certain people freak out whenever she speaks or tweets. If you don't like him, ignore him. The more attention you give him, the more it encourages him. My biggest feeling is ... who cares? It's gotten old. So many more interesting things going on in the league.

Matt (Orlando)

How good are the new look Magic? Good enough to get through Boston and/or Miami?

Chad Ford
  (1:34 PM)

There's no question that the trade for Gilbert and Turkoglu seems to have injected new life into the franchise. They're deep, deep in the backcourt and wings. But they still need one more big, in my opinion, to be in the Boston/Miami contention. But given all the assets they have, I think Orlando will probably get another big to help.

Dan (Buffalo, NY)

55 points? The Cavs deserve the first five picks in the draft after the performance they've put on this season

Chad Ford
  (1:35 PM)

They've been decimated by injuries ... it's a mess. There was a ton of interest in Anderson Varejao that might have netted the Cavs a great asset, but now he's out for the season. Sorry Cavs fans ... you guys don't deserve this.

JT (Boston)

Are they still the Favorites in the East? They seem to be getting a lot of fire power back over the next month, KG, Perkins and West, but I am not sure if they need to make a deal or not.

Chad Ford
  (1:38 PM)

I don't know if favorites are exactly the right word. But if Perkins is totally healthy and KG is as well going into the playoffs, they are as good as any team in the league. I don't think Ainge will make a deal. As long as everyone's healthy, the Celtics have as good of a shot at a title as anyone in the league and I think they're the one team that will really give Miami fits ...

Jeremiah (Lansing, MI)

Chad, my feeling is that whoever wins the #1 seed in the West is going on into the finals. It would be tough for the second and third seed to get through. For example, if the seeding was 1. Spurs, 2. Mavs, 3. Lakers, the Lakers would have to beat the Mavs and Spurs in back to back series. How important do you think that number 1 seed this year?

Chad Ford
  (1:40 PM)

It's a great point. All three of those teams are very, very tough. I still believe the Lakers are coming out of the West -- especially if Bynum can stay healthy. But Spurs and Mavs are right there and I think the Jazz are a darkhorse.

Derron (New Mexico)

Chad, who's your choice for MVP right now? Seems like one of the toughest races in years.

Chad Ford
  (1:43 PM)

Tough. I love what Derrick Rose and Amare Stoudemire have done for their teams this year. You may hate LeBron, but he's having another great season. Dwight Howard looks great. So did Dirk before he got injured. But I think if I was voting today, I'd go with Dwyane Wade. Wade is not only having a terrific season, but he was really the catalyst that brought in LeBron and Bosh and I think he's the one who's helped figure out how to make it work.

Amin Ajani (Toronto)

Blake Griffin will be the rookie of the year without question if he plays the whole year without injury?

Chad Ford
  (1:44 PM)

Not only rookie of the year. All-Star. One of the Top 5 bigs in the league after his first season. Potential Hall of Famer. You name it. I LOVE watching him play. Why oh why is he stuck on the Clippers?

Brandon (Phoenix, AZ)

Why is Amare getting love for MVP when he never got it in Phoenix? He's putting up the same #'s and the Knicks record isn't THAT GREAT yet he's getting MVP considering? East Coast Bias!

Chad Ford
  (1:46 PM)

Because we all gave Steve Nash a huge amount of credit for Amare's success in Phoenix. Many of us, including me, believed that without Nash, Amare wouldn't be as dominant. Instead ... not only has he been great, but he's made a pretty mediocre point guard, Raymond Felton, look like an All-Star. I think he deserves to be in the MVP race.

Crimson (SLC)

Jimmer from BYU may be an okay college player, but I don't think his game translates well to the NBA. Your thoughts?

Chad Ford
  (1:51 PM)

OK for a college player????? To me he's one of the two best college players in the country along with Kemba Walker right now. He's a scoring machine and just super fun to watch. I see a lot of BYU games and the kid is for real. However, when you start projecting him into the NBA ... it's a bit tougher. Most NBA scouts see him as a late first to second round pick. Lack of lateral quickness is a big part of it. Most of them also see him more as a two than a one in the NBA ... so he's also a bit undersized. I've heard tons of comparisons to guys like J.J. Redick ... to Eddie House ... to Mark Price to Steve Nash ... but I haven't spoken to one scout or NBA exec who has him in the Top 20. They may be wrong. No one had Landry Fields in the Top 20. I sort of think they might be wrong. The more I watch him, the more I think he has the toughness, basketball IQ and shooting ability to find a place in the NBA. If I was drafting I'd consider him with a Top 20 pick, but my NBA friends don't agree ... yet.

Garrett (Fargo)

Harrison Barnes has not been as advertised so far this year. I say 5% chance he declares for the draft. What do you think?

Chad Ford
  (1:53 PM)

Probably right. He's struggling to create his own shot in North Carolina ... still have a long ways to go in the season, but so far a pretty big disappointment and a kid who would likely stay in school if he's not a Top 3 pick.

Charles (Orlando)

Chad, I know it's early, but who do you see as possibly the overall #1 pick in the draft?

Chad Ford
  (1:54 PM)

I think it really depends on who has the No. 1 pick. There is no consensus out there right now ... If team need a point guard, Kyrie Irving is probably No. 1 . If they need a wing/big ... Perry Jones probably gets the nod. If they need a center ... it could be Enes Kanter.

Josh (Denver)

What the opinion of Alec Burks....could he get into the lottery?

Chad Ford
  (1:54 PM)

Great player ... but still lacks a three point shot ... which limits his ceiling a bit as a two.

Kalvis (Indy)

Is Jared Sullinger the best big man in the draft? And if he is, does that give him a shot at being #1 overall?

Chad Ford
  (1:56 PM)

He's the best big man in college basketball right now. But he too suffers from some physical liabilities that probably keep him from going as high as people think he should. He's undersized for his natural position at center ... he's not an explosive athlete. And those two things together hurt him a bit. But he's so strong, makes up for some of his lack of size with a huge wingspan and has such a great basketball IQ that I think he'll be a Top 6 pick regardless.

Steve (Boston)

Danny Ainge was at last night's BC-NC State game. Any idea who he was looking at?

Chad Ford
  (1:57 PM)

C.J. Leslie ... really intriguing prospect ... but probably a year away.

Aaron (Texas)

Is Tristan Thompson one and done?

Chad Ford
  (1:58 PM)

NBA teams like him a lot, but another year at Texas and he's probably a lock for the lottery ... this year a mid to late first round pick.

Mark (Brooklyn)

Kemba Walker a top 5 pick? I can't project how he'll b in NBA

Chad Ford
  (1:59 PM)

No ... I don't think size. His lack of size (he's closer to 5-10, 5-11) hurt. But he's a likely lottery pick. I could see a team like the Suns or Bobcats drafting him in the 9-13 range.

Chad Ford
  (1:59 PM)

OK everyone, gotta run. Thanks for coming to the chat today ... let's do this again next week!