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April 6, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Chad Ford

Chad Ford
  (1:01 PM)

Aloha everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat today. We'll start with a few NBA ?s and then spend the rest of the hour talking NBA Draft. Let's roll ...

Lance (Pdx )

Hey Chad, Portlandia is pretty stoked with our 3/6 match-up with Big D. We've played them tough all year, we've got 3 defenders to throw at Dirk, and a deep bench. Can we beat Dallas in 6?

Chad Ford
  (1:02 PM)

Sure. I think the Lakers are really rolling right now (a loss at Utah last night not withstanding). But everything else in the West is wide open right now. Spurs are struggling. So is Big D. Teams we all counted out like Denver and Portland look really dangerous. So yes.

Crooks1907 (Memphis, TN)

I'm thinking, I bet either the Nuggets, Blazers or Grizzlies can make it to the Western Conference Finals. These teams are really really good. Call me crazy!!!!

Chad Ford
  (1:05 PM)

It's not crazy. Not the way all three teams have played lately. But I've maintained all year the Lakers will be in the NBA Finals and I'm sticking with it. Too much talent + experience they seem to be peaking at the right time.

Justin (Chicago)

Who will come out of the east?

Chad Ford
  (1:07 PM)

That is the question isn't it. I picked the Heat pre-season and still am leaning that direction. But I'm really impressed with this Bulls team and at this point, it looks like they'll have the easiest path to get there.

Phil ((Not Chicago))

I feel like all the people who get very emotional and worked up about the MVP talk are from Chicago (No offense). Who is the most valuable player chad?

Chad Ford
  (1:10 PM)

I'm going with Derrick Rose. I understand John Hollinger's stat arguement and agree with him that, statistically, Dwight Howard or LeBron James are having the better year. I still think LeBron James is the best offensive player in the NBA and Dwight Howard is the best defensive player. And I also get that part of Rose's appeal is that he's got a great story. But with the Bulls looking like they'll win the East (or at least have the best record), with Rose putting up big numbers and coming through with clutch play night after night, he has my vote.

Rob (Detroit)

Who is your Coach of the Year?

Chad Ford
  (1:13 PM)

Tough call between Doug Collins (done the most with the least) and Tom Thibodeau (great team) but I'm going with Thibobeau.

Barry (Cleveland)

When did being clutch decide the MVP? Steve Nash has won the MVP twice and he has NEVER been clutch. Kobe on the other hand has been the best clutch player in the NBA for a long time and he has only won 1 MVP. This sounds to me like a new format for MVP.

Chad Ford
  (1:15 PM)

There is no format for MVP Barry. That's why we can have these debates. If it's best player ... LeBron and Kobe win every year for the last few years. If it's most important to your team ... it opens up a little bit more. If it's something else (great story, clutch player, who I just really like this year) then you get a myriad of options.

Jesse (Ann Arbor)

Pacers question--What do you see as the Pacers best chance out of mediocrity? Is there any hope for anything other than yet another role player out of this summer's free agent crop? Should they try and trade Granger and Collison for an actual star? I don't think another season of experience is going to do it for this squad.

Chad Ford
  (1:17 PM)

Not sure what they'll do. They have a great young foundation, tons of cap space. Larry Bird and David Morway have put the the team in a great position. But they clearly need to add a star. They have the money to pay one, but there isn't much out there in the 2011 FA market. They could save their cap space and try to trade for one. Or they could package some of their assets. The key is they have the flexibility to do any or all of those things. Few teams have that.

Marty (Dallas)

Hey Barry, who defines 'clutch' anyway? Any statistical metric tells us that Bryant is not even close to the top of the list of folks you want shooting at the end of the game, but Sportcenter highlights have made it look like he is. Let me know the next time they show him MISSING a 'clutch' shot - it won't happen. As for my question, Chad, can you ever remember an MVP discussion with such crazy, almost insane, emotion on the two sides?

Chad Ford
  (1:19 PM)

True on Kobe's "clutchness" and yes Marty it's been intense. Especially when you consider that much like this year's NBA Draft there just isn't a clear MVP this year. Lots of great performances, none that really stands above the pack.

Chaim (New Jersey)

Is it a good move or a bad move to let March Madness influence draft rankings disproportionately?

Chad Ford
  (1:22 PM)

History says that it's usually a bad move. And because of that, NBA GMs deny that it has any effect. But I talked to roughly 20 NBA GMs/scouts as the college season ended and gave a pretty thorough update to our Top 100 ...and it's changed in some significant ways since the tournament. I'm not saying it should, but we try to make the Top 100 reflect what NBA scouts and GMs are saying, not what I think.

Jeff (Cleveland)

Who is the best, legitimate 2 guard in the draft? Excluding the option of playing Barnes at the 2.

Chad Ford
  (1:22 PM)

Probably Alec Burks, Colorado. Great athlete. Wish he could shoot it.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Chad, I saw Harrison Barnes rated in your Top 3. What are you hearing about when he'll decide, and if he'll enter the draft?

Chad Ford
  (1:24 PM)

I've been saying all year that he's leaning toward returning back to school. Ditto for John Henson. Sometimes that changes after the season when agents get in their ears. But from what I can gather, Barnes and Henson both are leaning toward returning. Things can change, but right now, I expect them both to return to North Carolina for another year of college ball.

Marcos (Phoenix)

You have the Suns taking Hamilton in your mock draft even knowing they have like 7 swing players, whats the logic on that? Thanks Chad

Chad Ford
  (1:26 PM)

Same reason I have the Wolves taking another point guard. They really like them! Hamilton's a good fit for the way the Suns like to play.

Dave (SLC)

2 Questions: 1) Is this the weakest Top 10 in history? 2) Will the Jazz be able to parlay their 2 lottery picks into the 1 or 2?

Chad Ford
  (1:27 PM)

1. Sort of. No superstar talent at the top which hurts. But there's some depth there (though if Barnes, Sullinger and Henson all stay in school that hurts).2. I think they'd have a good chance to do that, but I'm not sure why they would. In this draft two may be better than one as there's no clear No. 1 pick int he draft.

ben (champaign)

Why would Jereme Richmond leave now? Does he have any possible first round interest? Seems like a reach to me for him to leave now

Chad Ford
  (1:28 PM)

He should've returned to Illinois. But yes, there's interest. He's a great athlete and NBA scouts fell in love with him when he played for Team USA this summer. The common refrain is that Bruce Weber didn't use him the right way. He'll go somewhere between 20 and 40.

chris (toronto)

Your bet for best pro in 5 yrs --- D Williams, H Barnes, or P Jones???

Chad Ford
  (1:30 PM)

Jones has the most upside. Derrick Williams is the most ready. But my vote would be Barnes in 5 years.

Guanio (Puerto Rico)

Better PG 5 years from now, Rubio or Irving and why?

Chad Ford
  (1:31 PM)

Tough call. Rubio's been awful this year, but most think he'll be much better in the NBA. Irving is a more traditional sort of NBA point guard. He's a much better shooter,quicker and has a more well rounded game. But Rubio does have special floor vision and size.

Nick (Wisconsin)

Chad, I would love to get Jeremy Lamb on the Chicago Bulls, I think he could develop into an awesome SG with DRose. First do you think he will declare? And two if he does do you think he'll last til the last few picks of round one?

Chad Ford
  (1:32 PM)

He's a hot name right now and proof that a great tournament can really help your draft stock. I really hope he stays in school another year. He's not ready for the NBA. But yes, I could see a team like Chicago taking him late in the first round. He'd be a good fit.

Pete (San Antonio)

Kenneth Faried-- will the best statistical (PER and Win Score) player in the draft fall into the Spurs' lap again?

Chad Ford
  (1:33 PM)

I'd be shocked. Too many teams like him. I think he's late lottery to mid first round.

josh (chicago)

Does Utah have to take Jimmer with their second 1st round pick if he's there? I would think he'd be a great fit for that city

Chad Ford
  (1:35 PM)

If you know Kevin O'Connor you know that he's the last GM in the league to pick a player because it would help with marketing. He's avoided BYU and Utah players his whole tenure. If they take Jimmer, it will be because they think he's got a real shot of having a good career in Utah. I do think they're one of the teams that genuinely like him, which is why I've had them drafting him in our Mock Draft.

JP (Baton Rouge)

Does Klay Thompson have the potential to be a Kevin Martin clone?

Chad Ford
  (1:36 PM)

Some real similarities there. He has a huge range on NBA draft boards. Some teams have him in the mid first round. Others in the second. He can stroke it and has a high basketball IQ. I think he's a really good prospect.

Bryan (Dayton)

Chad, not be bring down the current season, but with potential labor problems, are we going to see less underclassman declare for the draft this year?

Chad Ford
  (1:38 PM)

So far the answer looks like a big NO. When you have guys like Laurence Bowers, Kim English, Aston Gibbs, Gus Gilchrist, Orlando Johnson, Malcolm Lee, Jereme Richmond, Iman Shumpert, Greg Smith and Isaiah Thomas already in the draft ... it's pretty wide open.

Dan H. (Cincinnati)

With Bismarck Biyombo having an impressive (and impressive measurements. 7-7 wingspan!) Nike Hoops Summit week. How high could he potentially go if he enters the draft?

Chad Ford
  (1:40 PM)

He's the HOT name among NBA scouts and execs right now. When we first wrote about him in early March, the thought was that NBA teams would be looking at him for next year. At the time only a handful of scouts have seen him. But over the last month, as more scouts went to see him play, he's been rising on their boards. Now that he's at the Hoop Summit, measured bigger than expected and has been dominating in practices ... he's a legit prospect this year. Think the next Serge Ibaka.

Jimmy (SLC)

Is Jared Jefferies a fair comparison for Jeremy Lamb?

Chad Ford
  (1:41 PM)

Wow. That just let all the air out of the Jeremy Lamb balloon.

Jeremy (Louisville, Ky)

T. Jones and B. Knight, going or staying? And what should they do?

Chad Ford
  (1:42 PM)

I hear Jones is likely to come. Knight is on the fence. Both could use another year of school, but both are likely lottery picks if they declare.

Nick (Wisconsin)

Chad is it too early to start hyping myself over a potential 2012 draft? Potential holdovers like Sullinger, Barnes, Henson etc. A great recruiting class in general. Oh and the possibility the NBA removes the 1 and done rule and high schoolers (Andre Drummond) can enter the draft. Its got a ton of potential, even if just the first two scenarios play out, right?

Chad Ford
  (1:44 PM)

Will be better if those guys stay in school. The incoming freshman class has some real talent. As far as the 1 and done rule goes, I don't think it will go away in the new CBA. It may be the opposite. I know the league would love to tack another year onto the early entry rule ... forcing kids to stay until after their sophomore year. The players association won't fight hard if the league is willing to give up something for it. So ... that could have a big effect. If there are no freshmen in 2012 draft ... it will be even weaker than this years draft.

Kim (Dallas)

If the Cavs win the number 1 pick in the draft, should they trade it away?

Chad Ford
  (1:45 PM)

Nope. They need all the help they can get.

Nick (Wisconsin)

Chad, I haven't watched a ton of Perry Jones this year but should I look at him as nothing more then an Anthony Randolph type player?

Chad Ford
  (1:47 PM)

He's more skilled. If his motor ran hotter, he'd be the clear No. 1 pick. I love the talent. Just not sure he'll ever do much with it. The Tim Thomas comparisons are what scares people.

Wes ((Frankfort, KY))

What's the biggest difference between Anthony Davis and somebody like Perry Jones or Anthony Randolph?

Chad Ford
  (1:48 PM)

Davis does have a lot similarities with those two. But the difference is motor. Davis has a terrific motor. He plays HARD. That's what's exciting about him and why he's the odds on favorite to be the No. 1 pick in 2012. Kentucky fans will love him.

Mike (Frankfort)

chad, any surprise name who could move into the first round, or even the draft at all no one thought before the season?

Chad Ford
  (1:50 PM)

Look out for Reggie Jackson of Boston College. He's a big time sleeper. He wasn't in our Top 50 at the beginning of the season. But he's got a lot of fans who think he might be a Russell Westbrook sort of player. Lots of buzz about him right now.

Joel (Salt Lake)

Who does Kawhi Leonard remind you most of? He seems like a tougher Shawn Marion.

Chad Ford
  (1:51 PM)

Not sure he's tougher. Not sure he'll have as good of a career. But he's the right comp.

Bill (Detroit)

Do you see Darius Morris sneaking into the late first round if he declares? Is Andre Miller the right NBA comp for him?

Chad Ford
  (1:52 PM)

Maybe. There's a little Andre there. Scouts really like him. But I think they all wish he'd play another year at Michigan. He just needs more experience.

Rango (NYC)

Where do yoiu see Markieff Morris going? Tristan Thompson?

Chad Ford
  (1:53 PM)

Morris is a mid to late first rounder. Thompson (who claims he's returning to school) would be a late lottery to mid first round pick.

Dave (Chicago)

Is there anyone staying in college that you think is ready now?

Chad Ford
  (1:55 PM)

Jared Sullinger. He is what he is. The two knows on him ... lack of size and lack of explosiveness won't get fixed with another year in school. He's got a high basketball IQ and is very skilled in the post. I think the NBA would be good for him. They'll get him in better shape. He should have a long career there.

Jeremy H (Minneapolis)

Where does Kemba go in this draft?

Chad Ford
  (1:55 PM)

Somewhere between 5 and 13. Not total consensus by NBA scouts on his future. But overall they like him.

Matt (New York)

Where do you see Nolan Smith going?

Chad Ford
  (1:57 PM)

Late first, early second

joe (durham)

what about tyler zeller? who do scouts say about him? he has a jump hook over his left shoulder better than 95% of nba big men right now.

Chad Ford
  (1:59 PM)

They really like him. They see a poor man's Pau Gasol. Runs the floor well. Skilled in the post. Not particularly strong or physical. But he makes plays. He's a mid to late first round pick if he declares.

Chad Ford
  (1:59 PM)

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