Aloha everyone, thanks for coming today. We'll talk a little playoffs, a little season ending awards and a lot of draft today. Let's roll ...
Whats your Eastern Conference Finals, Western Conference Finals and Finals prediction?
Bulls over Heat in East. Lakers over Spurs. Lakers over Bulls.
How good can the Bulls be next year with a healthy team?
Ummmm ... I think they're good enough to win it all this year. They're atop our Future Power Rankings as well ... so yeah, I'm a little Bullish on their future.
It seems Dwight Howard loves D Rose and wont stay in Orlando for his next contract... can you see a situation where the Bulls would trade Noah to Orlando next year for Howard so Orlando could get something out of losing him?
That would be scary for the East ... and frankly if the Magic *knew* they were losing Howard, a pretty decent outcome for them for a lot of reasons. I'd like them better than Heat. In fact, I think I like the Bulls better than the Heat now.
Forget a 3rd "star" ala Paul, Williams or Howard. How big of a difference would an athletic big and a defensive minded 2 make on the Knicks?
In theory it would be huge. But their coach has never really utilized big men that well. If he was a terrific athlete ... sure. But those guys are just laying around waiting for the Donnie Walsh to call them.
Where are the Jazz on the Future Rankings?
Sliding ... especially as the draft looks weaker and weaker. I'm not sure there are any franchise players for Utah where they're drafting.
Durant's Thunder.. How far can they go?
All the way. They're young. But they're playing with a little swagger right now. They have tons of talent. They're well coached. They have a superstar who isn't afraid to have the ball at crunch time. Love 'em.
Do you see the Knicks giving the Celtics a tough series?
Sure. Celtics aren't playing great right now. Knicks are dangerous. But I still think the Celtics will win the series in 7.
Chad, tell the nation the Pacers can hang with the Bulls and push the series to six or seven!
Might be a stretch. Pacers have a super bright future. Lots of talented young players. A ton of cap flexibility. No bad contracts. A terrific front office. But ... they aren't ready to hang with the Bulls. I think Bulls in 5.
Do you see the hawks possibly making noise in the playoffs? And in the offseason if they lose in the first round again to the Magic?
Possible. Don't love the Magic this year. But the Hawks have been equally to more disappointing. I think Magic in 7.
Chad Ford, do you think the HEAT can win it all this year? I think they've gotten hot at the right time and will continue to get even hotter as the playoffs continue. I think they will plow through Philly and Boston and then beat Chicago in a tough series. Your thoughts?
I like the Heat. They have players who can dominate in big games. They seem to be coming together well. I for sure think they'll handle Philly. Boston also looked pretty vulnerable against them now. Bulls and Heat would be a VERY tough series. So yeah, they could win the East and they could win it all. But I still wonder about them playing team ball.
Die hard GRIZ fan... Can't wait for the playoffs. Give us a leit shot at giving the spurs a run for their money?
The Grizz can beat them. They have a ton of talent. They're playing well right now. But they're also very inexperienced in the playoffs. I think the Spurs will win in 6,
assuming Blazers get Mavs in 1st round can they steal the series since the Wallace talent/swagger infusion?
I think it's the ideal draw for Portland. I'd rather have them over Lakers, Thunder or even Nuggets. Blazers lose to LA or OKC. I think they beat Dallas or Denver in Round 1.
Who is your MVP for this year? Mine is hands down Derrick Rose. Will the Bulls win the NBA Championship or are they still a few players away from another Title?
I picked D. Rose as well -- though hands down is a little much given the debate. Dwight Howard and LeBron James were also worthy selections this year.
Most overrated player this year? My vote: Kevin Love. There's at least 10 non-allstars (maybe in west) that are better talents and have more impact on winning.
I voted for him for Most Improved Player ... so not sure how to answer that. I do agree that his stats are exaggerated on a bad team and didn't really impact the Wolves ability to win games. But what he did on the boards this year was pretty special.
is there any chance that we made a mistake by teaming up with Bosh? I mean what does he offer that other cheaper guys don't?
Remains to be seen. But I do think that if the Heat stumble in the playoffs, we'll see them explore a trade for Bosh. If the Heat can get several pieces and a little cap flexibility in return, probably will be worth it long term.
This seems to be shaping up to be one of the weakest drafts of all time. Who is a player that could be taken late lottery or even later that could develop into an all star?
Have a tough time seeing that right now. Not sure the guy at the top will be an All-Star let alone later in the draft. I do think a lot of the players later in this draft will make the league and a few may become important starters. But I don't see a lot of ALL-STARs in the draft right now.
Lockout or no lockout, it doesn't make sense that this many lottery picks would drop out of the draft. So what is happening?
I think coaches are using the lockout effectively to scare away some prospects. But every case is an individual one. I think Jared Sullinger was coming back regardless. Ditto for John Henson. If Harrison Barnes comes back ... it won't be because of the lockout either. Guys like Perry Jones do seem to have been affected by it. But it's not widespread. Look at all the guys in the draft who are not first rounders.
Do you have an updated mock for us?
Yes. Here it is: http://espn.go.com/nba/lottery2011/mockdraft Perry Jones is gone. Harrison Barnes still there for the moment. Other guy in there that I worry about is Jonas Valanciunas. Keep hearing his contract situation is messy and he may be a Rubio type that's a couple of years away from being allowed to play for the NBA. That could affect his draft stock.
Any news on Barnes? Still leaning towards returning?
He is. But every day that passes without him making a statement has to make Tar Heel fans worry. I think he wants to go back to school and try to win a championship. UNC would be the odds on favorites if he returns. But he's a Top 3 pick this year. Maybe No. 1 overall. That's tough to walk away from -- lockout or no lockout.
Hey Chad,Did you catch Biyombo's game at the Nike Hoop Summit. I saw he moved up on your draft board quite a bit. Loved his game. What are your thoughts? Where would be a good fit for him?
He's long, athletic and plays really hard. Defensively he could play in the NBA right now with the skills and physical tools he has. Offensively he's still raw, there are questions about his age and he may be another year away from actually playing in the NBA. But he'll go high I think. Pistons seem to be a good fit for him.
After Kyrie, who would the Wolves be most interested in come draft day?
Harrison Barnes. I also think you could see them grab another point if they can't get Irving. Brandon Knight and Kemba Walker are both possibilities. They also like the Jimmer.
I just used the lottery machine 10 times in a row, not once did Cleveland get the #1 pick. You guys are trying to destroy that city or what?
The Cavs perpetual bad luck has been programmed into the odds.
That was a joke.
If the Raps got the number one pick would they choose Barnes or Irving?
I have them taking Irving. I think that one is set in stone. I actually think Derrick Williams might be next on their board, then Barnes.
What do you think is the best option for the Kentucky rising sophomores?
Both are likely lottery picks in this draft. Both have freshman coming in who are as or more talented than they are at their position (Marquis Teague at the point), Michael Gilchrist (over Jones). That could be an issue. I do think if both returned, they'd give UNC, Duke and Ohio State a serious run for their money.
Any chance you see the Cavs passing on Irving and taking Barnes or Williams and then with the 2nd pick getting Knight or Kemba?
It's an interesting strategy. Just depends on how much better you think Irving is over Knight or Walker. I think I'd take Irving and roll the dice a bit on the second pick.
Thoughts on Josh Selby?
Mostly sad ones.
Can't stop laughing at the fact that every time I play the Mock Draft and Minny wins they take Irving with the first pick. I know everyone is overly hard on Kahn, but how did he pick 3 PGs in THE 1ST round 2 years ago, trade the best one, and now would be forced to take a PG #1 overall? Is that the only option for the Wolves?
No. If they're confident Rubio will be here next year, they'd probably go with Barnes. But despite all the bluster, I'm not sure he will be here.
Have you heard any update on Alec Burks? We sure would like to see him back in Boulder next year
He's been interviewing agents -- which is normally a bad sign for college basketball fans. But isn't always definitive. Perry Jones was interviewing agents as well. I think he's in.
Travis Leslie reminds me of Tony Allen a little bit, with a better jumper, where do you see him being drafted?
Both are crazy athletes and both around the same size. But Leslie isn't as tough as Allen is. Not sure anyone is.
If there is a lockout for an entire year, how is the 2012 draft done?
To Be Determined. It will be worked out in the new CBA if that happens.
Would Derrick Favors be the #1 pick if he was in this Draft? What is his potential? Dominating defensive big man or more?
I think he would be. Yes.
Perry Jones?. right now does it look like the worst decision to return to school in draft history?
To early to tell. He'd be a Top 5 pick this year. But he's not ready. Of all the guys going early, he's the least ready of the group. So he could really improve with another year in school. But if he doesn't dominate next year (and there are reasons to believe he won't with Quincy Miller coming in and the team still shaky at the point) he could really slide. Big risk, yes. But we won't know for a while if it's a bad decision.
Gotta run everyone. Thanks for coming. We'll do it again next week!