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March 30, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Chad Ford

Chad Ford
  (2:02 PM)

Aloha everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat today. We'll do a little NBA & playoff talk at the beginning and then spend a lot of time on the NBA Draft today. Let's roll ...

Jason (Chicago)

Who ends up with the number 2 seed in the West? (Lakers, Spurs, Mavs)

Chad Ford
  (2:04 PM)

I think it will be 1. Spurs 2. Lakers 3. Mavs. I know the Spurs are struggling now and the Lakers are on fire, but with the Lakers 3.5 games out of first, that's a lot of ground to make up in a very short amount of time.

Brad (Cleveland)

How possible is it that the heat lose in the first round of the playoffs, on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being a great chance?

Chad Ford
  (2:04 PM)

Sixers would pose the biggest threat ... but I'd say 2.

steve (berlin)

With all the talking about the Bulls being legit contenders I wonder: Did a rookie head-coach ever win the title? It just doesn't seem possible: the missing experience when things really get tough, the increasing pressure of Finals - which is a lot more than when you are "just" defensive coordinater, right?

Chad Ford
  (2:07 PM)

I understand the fear Steve. But I think no one is really worried about that. Tom Thibodeau knows how to coach. He's been part of a championship team. He's not going to forget how to do it in the playoffs. If the Bulls lose, I don't think coaching will be the issue. But the more I watch them, the more Bullish I am on them making the NBA Finals.

Chad Ford
  (2:07 PM)

I understand the fear Steve. But I think no one is really worried about that. Tom Thibodeau knows how to coach. He's been part of a championship team. He's not going to forget how to do it in the playoffs. If the Bulls lose, I don't think coaching will be the issue. But the more I watch them, the more Bullish I am on them making the NBA Finals.

Anthony (Houston)

what do you think the chances that the Hornets choke without Dwest and the Rockets sneak in the 8th seed and play a beat up Spurs team.

Chad Ford
  (2:09 PM)

Rockets are back 3 games with 8 left to play. That's a pretty big gap to overcome. But it's possible. Rockets are playing great. The loss of West was a big blow. They're really going to need Carl Landry to step up. Remember, the Rockets are just 2 games back from the Grizz. It's not out of the question they catch them too.

Greg (Boston)

What can the Suns realistically get for Nash this summer?

Chad Ford
  (2:12 PM)

A young player and a draft pick. Lots of teams interested ... New York, Dallas, Portland, Orlando, Atlanta, Charlotte, Toronto, Houston, Utah ... there's a pretty big market for him. Not every team will have the assets to offer the Suns what they'd want, but a number of teams on this list do.

Paul (NY, NY)

If the Knicks get swept out of the playoffs, what are the chances D'Antoni is gone?

Chad Ford
  (2:13 PM)

Highly doubt it. I don't think it's D'Antoni's fault the team is losing and more importantly, who would replace him?

casey (indianapolis)

Who do you think makes the playoffs as the 8th seed in the East? Does it matter?

Chad Ford
  (2:17 PM)

It matters to the three teams in the scrum. Doesn't matter to the Bulls. I don't know. Has there been any team more schizophrenic this season than the Pacers? Seriously, one minute they look like an interesting, young up-and-coming team. The next they look like a bunch of lost, indifferent veterans who are just collecting a paycheck. They are the best team of the three, but they scare me. I thought Bucks had the best chance of catching them, but that loss to the Bobcats was a pretty big blow. They play Indy on Friday. If the Pacers win it, I think they're in.

Greg (Boston)

Isaiah for Coach/GM!

Chad Ford
  (2:17 PM)

Mike D'Antoni is looking better and better by the minute isn't he Knicks fans?

Jerry (Chicago)

Which team has the brighter outlook for the future in the east? Bulls, Knicks, or Heat?

Chad Ford
  (2:22 PM)

The Bulls are atop our Future Power Rankings and barring some sort of major injury to Derrick Rose or Joakim Noah, I think they'll stay there. The Thunder are atop for the West. Ditto with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. For those that argue that you can't rebuild through the draft, I think those two franchises would beg to differ. You just have to be smart about the draft, smart about who you pay, smart about the coach you hire and patient about the trades you make.

Jon (Mlps)

What was the worst trade or free agent signing this year?

Chad Ford
  (2:28 PM)

John Salmons, Travis Outlaw and Drew Gooden were all pretty bad. But long term I still think the massive Joe Johnson contract will be the one we'll remember. As far as trades go ... not sure that Jeff Green for Kendrick Perkins trade is looking so great for the Celtics right now.

Tyler (Indiana)

Who do you think has improved their draft stock the most in the NCAA Tournament?

Chad Ford
  (2:30 PM)

Three guys. One Kyrie Irving because he came back and proved he was healthy again. Two, Derrick Williams, who played like a No. 1 pick in the Tourney (not bad for a guy ranked 26 coming into the season). Three, Brandon Knight who's one great game away from moving ahead of Kemba Walker on our Big Board.

Sam (Toledo)

Kyrie Irving. Kemba Walker, Brandon Knight, or Jimmer Fredette? Who would you rank as the best 1-4?

Chad Ford
  (2:31 PM)

1. Irving 2. Walker 3. Knight 4. Fredette. Though I think Walker and Knight going head-to-head on Saturday may decide who goes No. 2. Walker got the best of Knight in Maui early in the season. But Knight has gotten much better as the season progressed. It's a much fairer fight now.

Sammy (Los Angeles)

Seems more than likely to me that Derrick Williams turns into the best player from this draft. Who are his closest NBA comps?

Chad Ford
  (2:33 PM)

People are all over the place with him and what his best NBA comp is. David West seems to be the closest thing I can find to a consensus. But others I've heard include Antawn Jamison, Danny Granger, Thaddeus Young

Dylan (Tulsa)

Chad, can you explain the Mason Plumlee draft hype for me? I've watched nearly every one of his games. He's a decidedly average college player. As a scorer, he's rawer even than Hasheem Thabeet was in college; at least Thabeet could sometimes score on the block against single coverage. He has maybe the worst natural touch I've seen. Yes, he can run and jump, but for all the talk about him being a high-energy rebounder/defender in the NBA, he isn't that great in that role in *college*: he doesn't rebound or block shots out of his area, and doesn't play particularly hard. Oh, and he's 21. Why is he a first-round prospect again?

Chad Ford
  (2:35 PM)

Size + athleticism playing for a major NCAA program = first round pick. Not saying the formula's right. But it's proven to be the case over and over again. GMs have a really hard time saying no to that.

Marc (Montreal)

Chad, your mock draft has the Raptors taking Perry Jones right now (shameless plug). I like him, but he also terrifies me. Do you think he projects as a 3 or a 4? And isn't it most likely he ends up Anthony Randolph v. 2.0?

Chad Ford
  (2:37 PM)

He intrigues and terrifies everyone. He's a better prospect than Randolph. Doesn't have some of the same personality issues, is a better shooter, more skilled. But he's going to have to find a position in the pros (he thinks he's a guard, his college coach thought he was a center), and his motor worries me. He's a really nice kid. But does he have the mental makeup to dominate? But on straight up talent + upside, he's an A list prospect.

Ty (Atlanta, GA)

Will Kyrie Irving leave Duke for the draft Chad?

Chad Ford
  (2:37 PM)

All signs point to yes. I think we'll hear something either this weekend or after the NCAA Tournament ends on Monday.

Trevor (Sacramento)

Could Tyler Honeycutt be a late round steal for someone?

Chad Ford
  (2:38 PM)

Yes. He was ranked in the high 20s in our first Big Board of the year. He didn't dominate the way we wanted him to this year, but he has a ton of talent and NBA GMs know that Ben Howland's players have a great track record in the NBA.

Andrew (NY)

Hi Chad, Malcolm Lee. Does he stay if he gets First Round looks, and does he get any First Round buzz? I feel like he needs to go back for his last year and learn the PG position.

Chad Ford
  (2:39 PM)

Scouts have wanted to like him for the past two years. Unfortunately Malcolm hasn't given them a lot to work with. He's become an elite defender. But offensively he's still a work in progress. I think the most likely scenario is that he's a second round pick.

Dan (Massachusetts)

Do you think Reggie Jackson will leave BC and enter the draft? If so, do you see him as a first round talent?

Chad Ford
  (2:41 PM)

He's exploring his options. He's got a lot of buzz right now as a potential first round pick. He's the type of talent that could really explode in workouts.

Max (Ann Arbor)

Realistic draft expectation for Darius Morris? and do you think he should return to Michigan? If he comes back, we have a SERIOUS team. I think it is a mistake to go.

Chad Ford
  (2:42 PM)

I think he should return to school. NBA scouts like him, but another year in school playing at a high level could put him as a late lottery pick. As it stands right now he's on the first round bubble.

M.J. ((Washington))

Where do you see Nikola Vucevic being taken? How does he compare to the other big men in this class?

Chad Ford
  (2:42 PM)

He's a second round pick for sure. May sneak into the first round. Very skilled big man who I think scouts have really warmed up to the second half of the season.

Mike (DC)

Would Harrison Barnes be the best fit with John Wall of all draft prospects?

Chad Ford
  (2:44 PM)

I think he'd be a great fit in Washington with John Wall. Of the teams picking near the top of the draft, I think that's the team Barnes would want to play for. No one is getting too excited about Cleveland, Minnesota and Sacramento ... thought that could change a bit if the Kings move to Anaheim.

danny (cleveland)

if terrance jones leads his team to a title and really plays well these next 2 games is there anyway he gets taken #1?

Chad Ford
  (2:46 PM)

Doubt it at this point. He's really damaged his draft stock in the second half of the season with Kentucky. I thought he played pretty well the last two games, but he wasn't the same dominant kid we saw in Maui. He lacks confidence, has bad body language, doesn't seem to know what he wants to be. He's out of our Top 10 for the first time this season. A great run in the Final 4 will help, but he's not going No. 1.

Jason Clark (Idaho)

45 minutes into this and no mention of The Jimmer! Realistically, Who do you think he'll be playing for next season?

Chad Ford
  (2:49 PM)

Sorry. Sorry. I think he's got a very good shot of going to the Jazz with their second first round pick. The Suns are an option too. Or he may slide into the mid first round. He should be the 4th or 5th point guard up the board (I think Boston College's Reggie Jackson could catch Jimmer). As far as what sort of pro he'll be. I'm not as pessimistic as the haters, nor as optimistic as the lovers. All depends on him landing on the right team, who uses him the right way and whether Jimmer can evolve his game for the pros. Big ifs, but doable ifs.

Freddy (Los Angeles)

Out of all the prospective international big man, who has the best shot of going #1 overall or in the top 5 for sure come draft night?

Chad Ford
  (2:51 PM)

Valanciunas is the most highly rated. But there are some serious questions about his contract situation. If he can't come play in the NBA for a couple of years, his stock drops. At that point,Enes Kanter or Jan Vesely is the first international player off the board. Both go somewhere in the Top 10, but I doubt either goes in the Top 3. Nikola Mirotic and Bismack Biyombo are sleepers.

Luke (Indianapolis)

Where do you see Shelvin Mack and Matt Howard going in the draft?

Chad Ford
  (2:52 PM)

Mack is a potential second round pick. I love Howard as a college player, but he'd really struggle in the NBA.

Freddy (Los Angeles)

Is there any one player on VCU that ultimately land a roster spot in the league, whether via the 2nd round draft selection, undrafted free agent, or training camp invitee?

Chad Ford
  (2:53 PM)

Both Bradford Burgess and Jamie Skeen have caught the eye of scouts. Skeen is a senior, so he's the most likely to be in the draft. My guess is Burgess comes back for another year.

Robert (Illinois)

As a Jayhawk fan, you had to be ready to puke watching VCU mop the floor with them! They were the last #1 standing and it looked like they had an easy road to the title game. Then they did what Kasas does and choked. Feel bad for Kansas fans.

Chad Ford
  (2:54 PM)

Thanks for the reminder Robert. Really. Nice.

Freddy (Los Angeles)

Better prospect: Tristan Thompson or Trey Thompkins?

Chad Ford
  (2:54 PM)

Tristan Thompson all the way. Scouts love how he attacks the offensive boards.

Chad Ford
  (2:55 PM)

Gotta run a few minutes early this afternoon. Great chatting with you today. My prediction for the Final 4 is UConn over VCU in the Finals. Enjoy the games and I'll see you next week.