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January 19, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Chad Ford

Chad Ford
  (1:00 PM)

Aloha everyone and thanks for coming to the chat today. Day 4374 of the Carmelo Anthony Trade Watch is underway and it just gets more and more exciting by the day. We'll do some trade talk in the first half of the chat and then hit the NBA Draft in the second half. Let's roll ...

Emanuel (MI)

When can we expect the end to this Carmelo-Drama?

Chad Ford
  (1:02 PM)

I'm thinking around 2015. Really it's tough to say and even the teams involved don't seem to have a great handle on it. One source told me yesterday that it's looking more and more likely that this thing drags out all the way to the deadline ... but trade talks are fluid. There has been a couple of times when the Nets thought it was close to happening. But as it stood late yesterday ... we may be hearing about this for a few more weeks.

josh (sioux falls)

why doesn't melo put an end to the speculation and just say he wont sign with the nets? isn't that pretty much what he is hinting at when he says he wont sit down and talk with the nets? i just don't get why he doesn't say it instead of hint at it?

Chad Ford
  (1:05 PM)

It's a negotiating game Josh. Melo wants 2 things. He wants to sign with the Knicks and he wants a contract extension. But of the two, most league execs think that the extension is the most important of the two. Melo takes a HUGE financial risk if he doesn't get one. So he's got to be careful how he plays his cards. As I wrote in my column yesterday ... that's why the Nuggets hold more cards in this thing than people realize.

Matt (Indy)

One thing I don't get in all this Melo trade talk is why the whole issue of signing an extension right now is so important...? I know it's not set in stone yet, but I thought the new CBA was going to reduce/adjust the current contracts to fit the new parameters of whatever agreement they come to...Am I wrong or is everybody just overlooking this in an effort to conjure up more twists and turns to this plot?

Chad Ford
  (1:09 PM)

It's true owners are looking at that ... but even most of league execs think it's far fetched that owners will get a roll back in salaries and years on existing contracts. However, we are very likely to see max thresholds and the number of years a player can sign a contract for reduced. It's hard to fathom any way Carmelo gets a better deal next summer than he's getting right now. But I think there's a bigger worry in Carmelo's camp. Two league execs told me on Tuesday that they believe the owners are going to push hard for a NFL style Franchise Tag system that allows teams to prohibit one player on their team from moving ... basically in an effort to avoid all of these high profile players from colluding together. If that happens, Denver can just slap a franchise tag on Carmelo and keep him. With so much uncertainty going on right now ... you can understand the desire to get a deal done.

John (Orlando)

I keep hearing that Carmelo will lose money as a free agent, but nobody mentions potential dollars and cents. Any idea as to what might roughly be at stake?

Chad Ford
  (1:12 PM)

No one really knows because we don't know what the CBA will look like. But I've had a couple of GMs speculate that it would likely be in the $40 million range.

ADC (NJ)

If the Nets do not get Melo, what do you think should be their Plan B?

Chad Ford
  (1:17 PM)

Really good question. The Nets have a bunch of assets right now and want to improve dramatically. They pursued Danny Granger at draft time and could pick up the pursuit again. I've also heard rumblings about a Luis Scola & Kevin Martin deal with the Rockets. While those guys aren't superstars like Melo, they help their team and won't cost them as much to get them.

J.B. (PA)

Same question as ADC only insert 'Knicks,' where 'Nets' is. Thank you.

Chad Ford
  (1:18 PM)

I think Donnie Walsh will pursue adding some veteran role players to the team that have contracts that expire in the summer of 2012. The idea would be for the Knicks to be a playoff team this year and next and then in the summer of 2012, try to make a big splash by going after Deron Williams, Chris Paul or Dwight Howard.

Eric (utah)

Any chance the nets and pistons do a murphy for hamilton swap independent of a Melo deal?

Chad Ford
  (1:20 PM)

No. They are only doing it as a way to appease Leon Rose and William Wesley. No Melo ... no Rip. Sorry Pistons fans.

musaib (farmingdale)

i think deron williams and chris paul is more realistic than dwight howard...you really think dwight pursue free agency and actually consider thee knicks if he does...

Chad Ford
  (1:23 PM)

I think all three are seriously considering a move. I think Dwight Howard preferred destination is the Lakers. Both Paul and Williams have been eyeing NY. While it's fun for the trade speculation ... it's a pretty bad situation for the league. If good teams that spend money like the Magic can't keep Howard ... every team is in trouble. That's why the Franchise Tag idea is growing in popularity with the owners. However, it's going to be a serious fight to get it. You think Blake Griffin wants to be stuck on the Clippers the rest of his career?

Justin (Los Angeles)

Chad with you being a big fan of the Clippers are you excited/surprised by their growth?

Chad Ford
  (1:26 PM)

I love that team right now. Just wish they had a real owner and a better coach. Part of the intrigue in watching them is waiting for the train to derail. We know it's coming ... just don't know when. The Clippers have too much good young talent assembled ... Donald Sterling must be racking his brain trying to figure out a way to screw it all up.

Ryan (New York)

Why is there so much talk about Dwight Howard following Shaq and going to the lakers. Whether he goes there or not isn't my questions but rather why his motivation would be to follow in Shaq's footsteps. Did I miss something? These guys don't seem too fond of eachother.

Chad Ford
  (1:28 PM)

Nothing to do with Shaq. Everything to do with it being LA. Dwight Howard may not like Shaq ... but he has dreams of being more than just a basketball player.

Chang (Minnesota)

Where will Anthony Randolph land?

Chad Ford
  (1:29 PM)

The three teams we hear are Minnesota, Indiana and Portland. Of the three, I think Minnesota is most likely to give the Knicks what they want -- a first round pick -- albeit a protected one.

Louis (Texas)

Is the Spurs 35-6 best record more fragile than it looks? Not taking away from their great play but they faced so many key opponents without top players dallas, denver, celtics, la (w/o healthy bynum) etc, they eaked out 3 OT wins and got a few favorable calls at the end of games (Manu travel vs Milwaukee). Are they really dominant or will things even out?

Chad Ford
  (1:32 PM)

I think they're pretty dominant. They've played the 9th toughest schedule to date and sit atop Hollinger's power rankings which isn't based more on objective criteria. Subjectively, they have a great group of vets who have done this before, one of the three best coaches in the league, an amazing front office and some surprising depth. While they're not a lock to go all the way, they are for real.

Mike (Minnesota)

Any chance Tayshaun Prince gets moved before the deadline? Calling Kuester's strategy on Hamilton "buffoonery" suggests he probably needs to go.

Chad Ford
  (1:34 PM)

I think it's pretty high ... but it's a different scenario from Rip. Pistons are willing to give Rip away. They aren't willing to give away Prince. He has a valuable expiring contract and he could really help a contender. Pistons need to turn him into an asset.

TWS (Portland)

Time to blow up the Blazers and start over? Or at least hire a gypsy to remove the curse?

Chad Ford
  (1:39 PM)

Who would've thought that Kevin Pritchard ended up getting out just in time. Wonder if the curse is Karma. Paul Allen and company were pretty shameful in how they treated the guy who built the team ... fired him the day of the draft ... and now the team he built is crumbling right in front of them. The Blazers have so many injuries in issues, I'm not sure exactly what Rich Cho can do about it. They are hoping Andre Miller is a trade chip at the deadline. Believe it or not, they think Greg Oden might be able to get them something too. The two guys they don't want to move -- LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum -- happen to be the two guys with the most trade value. It's a mess.

Travis (DC)

Chad, as a Pacers fan it kills me to say this, but I really think now would be the perfect time to trade Granger. I believe that Rush, George and Dunleavy should be able to make up for his scoring, and we could land a big time power forward. A lineup of Collison, Rush, George, Favors and Hibbert seems better for the next 3 years than what we have now.

Chad Ford
  (1:43 PM)

I sort of agree. I'm a big Danny Granger fan. He's having a rough year, but he's only 27. I think it's partly a flue and partly frustration with his coach. However, if the Pacers could get Favors and one other piece for Granger they have to at least consider it for the reasons you mentioned. But it they don't pull the trigger, most likely they're concerned about taking another step back. Favors isn't ready yet and the team would be very, very young. The goal was to be in the playoffs this year ... and definitely next year.

Nick (Boston)

What could the Suns realistically get if they decided to trade Nash? Seems to me as a Suns fan that I'd rather watch Nash for 2 more years than get a bunch of expirings and a couple non-lotto picks.

Chad Ford
  (1:45 PM)

I've been writing for the last month I think the only rational thing for the Suns to do is trade Nash. But I understand that emotions play a role. The front office loves Nash. He's a model player and teammate. So if they move him, they have to get something good. I think Atlanta is the place to look. I think they could get a Josh Smith for Nash deal.

Martin (L.A.)

Chad, how do you see the Morris twins and Selby working out in the pros? Any scout talk after the big Baylor game?

Chad Ford
  (1:47 PM)

Yes, there were a ton of scouts and GMs at the game and the Morris twins played out of their minds. I think both are first rounders. Marcus has a chance to go in the late lottery. Teams project Marcus as more of a three than a four. Selby is a mid to late lottery guy. Thomas Robinson also projects as a first rounder. Guys still love Perry Jones as well. It's looking more and more likely that either Jones or Kyrie Irving will be the No. 1 pick -- probably just depends on which team gets the top pick.

Reese (Oregon)

What's the best comparison for Perry Jones III? He has a build of Kevin Durant, but skill wise, I'm not sure.

Chad Ford
  (1:50 PM)

He's a bit of an enigma. He's a much better athlete than Durant. But he doesn't have the scorer's mentality of Durant. He likes to be a facilitator more than a dominant scorer. That makes him really tough to project. I've heard everything from TMac to Kevin Garnett. He has the skills of a guard ... but you want to see him take charge. He did a bit in the first half versus Kansas before sort of disappearing in the second half. He's going to have to go to the right system with a coach who's willing to play him at the three.

Doug (NYC)

Any chance Irving stays another year at Duke because he'll miss the majority of this year (even though he may be coming back)? Also for the chance to play with Rivers.

Chad Ford
  (1:51 PM)

There's a strong chance he returns to Duke from what I've been told. But, things change as we get closer to the draft and top players like Irving usually opt to take the jump.

Jason (Ft. Wayne, IN)

Chad. Is JaJuan Johnson flying up your draftboard? I always thought you experts had him to low, because I knew his improvement every year, and his ability to defend has always been a constant. I know he is a tweener offensively (not bulky enough for a post, ballhandling not sound enough for perimeter)..but I truly think he could be a weapon for an NBA team....his touch for a big man is superb!

Chad Ford
  (1:53 PM)

Not exactly flying up ... but improving. Scouts are always a bit more wary of seniors. But Johnson fits the right profile. He's a good enough athlete. He's improved every year. Is showing signs he can play on the perimeter. Has bulked up his body a bit. He's not a slam dunk to be a star in the NBA, but if he keeps working hard he'll make it.

Graham (DC)

Can Kemba Walker make an immediate NBA impact or will he need a learning curve?

Chad Ford
  (1:55 PM)

He's undersized and needs the ball in his hands to really be effective. But he has a huge heart, has the requisite quickness and has improved so dramatically every year that it's hard to bet against him. He might not be instant impact, but he's got a chance to be really good.

Greg (Richmond, VA)

Any draft buzz for BC guard Reggie Jackson? His shooting has been spectacular this season and he fills up a box score.

Chad Ford
  (1:58 PM)

If he keeps shooting like that, he has a NBA future. Love his length and athleticism and he's shown the ability to run the point. The shot, in the past, has been his big weakness. But he's dramatically improved this year.

Daigo (South Brunswick, NJ)

Surprise, surprise. You took a Kansas question as your first draft queation. How about talking about the draft prospects on the team Bill Self dumped to go to Kansas, Illinois? Is McCamey a real prospect? I think he's not focused enough to be a star.

Chad Ford
  (1:59 PM)

That's the question with McCamey. I love his feel for the game and he's been shooting the ball so well this year. But he doesn't have a much pit bull in him. If he was more aggressive and focused, he'd be 10 to 12 spots higher on our Big Board.

Graham (DC)

Where can we expect John Henson to be drafted? Are teams high on him?

Chad Ford
  (1:59 PM)

Yes, most teams love him ... even as they acknowledge that he needs to continue to gain serious bulk. He's a likely mid to late lottery pick if he declares.

Graham (DC)

Who would you take in the top 5 first, Jared Sullinger or Enes Kanter?

Chad Ford
  (2:00 PM)

Kanter.

Butters MacDonald (Frankfort, Ky)

Chad, we've heard what you think of Kentucky's Terrence Jones (lottery) and Brandon Knight (1st round) but what do you think and what are you hearing concerning Doron Lamb? Does he bolt too... and if so, where does he project?

Chad Ford
  (2:01 PM)

He's a late first round to early second round pick right now. Some scouts prefer him to Brandon Knight.

Ricardo (Brazil)

Chad, what can you say about Fab Melo's season right now? For a guy who was projected to be a lottery pick, his poor play is pretty disappointment.

Chad Ford
  (2:01 PM)

He's a few years away. A late second round project at this point.

kenneth(richmond,va) [via mobile]

where does nolan smiths draft stock stand?

Chad Ford
  (2:01 PM)

Late first round.

Chad Ford
  (2:02 PM)

Gotta run everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat. Let's do this again next week!

Chad Ford
  (2:02 PM)

Gotta run everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat. Let's do this again next week!