Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

April 20, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Chad Ford

Chad Ford
  (1:05 PM)

Aloha everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat today. We'll talk playoffs and then NBA Draft in the second half. Let's roll ...

Jesse Hardt (Houston)

Do you think New York will even win one game at this point? Even with that monster performance from Melo they couldn't get the win...

Chad Ford
  (1:07 PM)

Melo's performance was epic. But there was no Amare Stoudemire or Chauncey Billups on the floor. I think the Knicks have played the Celtics really tough and home court does mean a lot in the playoffs. I think this is looking like a 7 game series to me if Stoudemire is healthy.

Ty (Detroit)

Even in a loss did Carmelo FINALLY prove that he needs to be the man in NY? There is no way Amare+4 carries the Knicks the way Melo did last night.

Chad Ford
  (1:10 PM)

There's some truth to that. The playoffs are emphasizing the importance of having a star player who can single handedly take over a game when your team needs it. Look at the performances by... Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, Derrick Rose, Chris Paul, LeBron James That's why the Knicks went out and paid so much to get Melo. There are 10 guys in the league that can get their shot off against any defense. Melo is one of them. At this time of the year, he's worth the money.

Josh (Indianapolis)

Can we agree that the Pacers have made the Bulls look really bad?

Chad Ford
  (1:13 PM)

I don't see it that way. I think the Pacers are much better than people have given them credit for. They're deep, balanced and play really, really hard. They're just young, lost a lot of focus under Jim O'Brien and they lack a true superstar to take over in the 4th Quarter. They should be up 2-0 on the Bulls -- but that's not because the Bulls have played poorly. If Pacers could find a way to get a true star who could get his own shot ... they'd be title contenders in the East. Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of talent in the FA market or in the trade market to see exactly where that guy is coming from.

Chris (Atlanta)

Hawks have to be pleased getting the split in Orlando and making it close in Game 2 without Horford for the most part. How do you like their chances the rest of the series?

Chad Ford
  (1:14 PM)

I think the Magic are the better team. But with that said, I don't trust either of them. I wonder if there's a way for both teams to lose the series.

dc (dc)

Lets be honest, the NBA playoffs demonstrate the importance of having a star player than can get enough whistles to get 20pts from the line.

Chad Ford
  (1:14 PM)

Exactly.

LeBron, Chris and Dwyane (Miami)

Shhh. We're quietly dismantling one of the experts' sleepers while other 'contenders' struggle. With Chicago and Boston seemingly heading toward extended battles, has the door ever looked this wide open for the HEAT?

Chad Ford
  (1:16 PM)

If the Heat keep playing like they're playing right now and the Celtics and Bulls keep playing like they're playing ... yes, the door is wide open. But we're only 2 games into the playoffs. Things change. Let's see them on the road.

Kentucky Dadburn (Boston)

Do you think the Spurs will lose the series to the Griz?

Chad Ford
  (1:18 PM)

I don't. I think the Grizzlies have put together a very dangerous team. But I think having veterans and a veteran coach who has been through this many times pushes the Spurs on top. With that said, the Grizzlies future is looking very, very bright ... isn't it. That is unless Zach Randolph quits being on his best behavior now that he's got a new fat extension.

Anthony (New York)

Zach Randolph has been great, but why would Memphis lock him up for so much money right now? Their only potential competitor on the open market would've been the Nets, and they may stand pat so they could make a move for Dwight Howard. I don't see once free agency begins, especially under a new CBA, anyone approaching anything near that offer.

Chad Ford
  (1:21 PM)

Classic Grizzlies. Even when they are doing the right things on the court, they're sabotaging their future off the court. It makes no sense for a couple of reasons. 1. A new collective bargaining agreement will almost certainly lower the amount they could've offered Zach saving them money and/or years. 2. The only team with cap space that was a threat for Randolph was the Nets and I'm told they have zero interest. 3. The Grizzlies are forking out a fortune right now (Rudy Gay, Mike Conley, Randolph ... Marc Gasol on the way) for a team that's an 8th seed in the West. Gotta love Michael Heisley.

Junior (Quahog)

If the Thunder swept the Nuggets, it wouldnt be a shocker. If the Nuggets won in 7 games, it wouldnt be a shocker. How does that happen?

Chad Ford
  (1:23 PM)

Two really well matched teams. But again, I'm going with the star power in OKC. Nuggets to me are the Pacers of the West. Lots of depth, balance and young energy. But the Thunder have Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and in the 4th quarter you need that guy who can get his shot off. Thunder have two of them.

dre (from my couch)

Is today a must win for the Lakers?

Chad Ford
  (1:25 PM)

Close to it. You don't want to be down 2-0 and then go on the road. The Lakers problems at the point (an issue they've tried to ignore or tape together) are screaming out right now. But I still like the Lakers in this series. I still believe Kobe has enough left in the tank to will the Lakers past the Hornets.

Paul (Boston)

The Blazers were the trendy pick to upset Mavs. After losing the first 2 in Dallas, where do you put their chances?

Chad Ford
  (1:27 PM)

Those were two big wins for Dallas. Confidence has been a major issue the past few years. Dallas pulled off two big home wins and I think the Blazers are in some trouble. I picked Portland, but thought it was a toss up. Right now, two games into it, it's hard to bet against Dallas.

Kyle (almond, ny)

How close to contending do you think the Pacers are? I really like their young pieces. Everyone they have is still young.

Chad Ford
  (1:35 PM)

They need more help on the boards. A long athletic rebounder would help them a lot. And they need a guy who can create off the dribble and get his own shot. Down the road, Paul George may be that guy. But that's probably another year or two away. What's crazy is all the talk that the Pacers need a front office change with Larry Bird and David Morway's contracts up. It's nuts. They've done a terrific job of building a team with middling draft picks, smart contracts and an eye toward depth and chemistry. Few GMs resumes will stack up to what they've done.

miser (ct)

chad,I think Rick Adelman would be the perfect hire for Joe D in Detroit...thoughts??

Chad Ford
  (1:37 PM)

He's going to get a lot of looks. Lakers (if Phil's gone), Detroit, Indiana. He's so respected. I'm a bit surprised Houston pulled the plug. I look at the Rockets weak roster and I see they won 43 games in the West and I think they must have a helluva coach.

John (Austin)

Chad, is the Rockets job a good job? Morey seems to really be a high-maintainence GM to deal with.

Chad Ford
  (1:38 PM)

The word is that they've been in hot pursuit of Mike Brown. Makes sense if the Rockets feel like they need to start emphasizing defense. But Houston won't be the only guy after Brown. Detroit and Indiana will also be in play.

Will (NC)

Where do you think the 3 UK players that declared would be drafted if they decide to stay in?

Chad Ford
  (1:39 PM)

Brandon Knight goes somewhere between 5 and 10. Terrence Jones between 5 and 12. Liggins is a potential second round pick based on his defensive abilities. But most likely he goes undrafted.

Krish (Memphis)

I am surprised that more top prospects have not declared for the draft without an agent and plan on getting drafted high without signing with an agent. If there is a lockout, they go back to school. If there is a season, they have been lottery picks. Sounds like a win win for a Harrison Barnes or Perry Jones; why has no one explored this?

Chad Ford
  (1:41 PM)

No time. May 8th is the deadline to withdraw. They can't talk to NBA teams until April 25th. Virtually every team in the NBA won't commit to you in early May. In other words, the testing the waters option isn't much of an option. Will get even worse next season thanks to the NCAA.

Jeff (from dre's couch)

In several instances the mock lotto draft has Cleveland taking both Irving and Knight. Is this a case of best player available or some other notion?

Chad Ford
  (1:42 PM)

It's a problem with the mock draft machine. The technology isn't advanced enough to know who they drafted with their first pick. Most of the time the Cavs get Derrick Williams. When they do win the lottery and get Irving, the machine doesn't know. I don't think the Cavs will take two point guards.

fred (minny)

hi chad, can a guy like harrison barnes change his mind now and enter the draft. it seems like this draft is so bad that guys could get a nice bump in their draft position if they have potential.

Chad Ford
  (1:43 PM)

Yes, he could. Players have until April 24th to declare. But I don't think that's going to happen. Barnes has been leaning that way all year. He wants to win a NCAA title and I think UNC has the goods to get that done.

Sean (Boston)

Does Reggie Jackson stay in the draft or return to Chestnut Hill? Don't know any BC fans that actually think he'll be an early 1st round pick.

Chad Ford
  (1:45 PM)

He might return. But a number of NBA GMs and scouts really, really like him. It's not unanimous. A few GMs never even scouted the kid this year. But for those that did, they see him as the 4th or 5th best point guard prospect in the draft behind Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker and Brandon Knight. He's going to look really good in workouts.

JD (NY)

Where do you see Kawhi Leonard going? And what type of pro will he be?

Chad Ford
  (1:46 PM)

He's probably a late lottery pick. Reminds me a bit of a young Shawn Marion. I really like him.

Shawn (Rochester, MN)

Is Alec Burks coming to the NBA? If so, what do you think of him? Seems like one of the few good wings in this draft.

Chad Ford
  (1:48 PM)

Sounds like he's coming. He's been very deliberate in getting info. But he's the No. 1 ranked SG on our Big Board. If he were a good shooter, he'd be a Top 5 pick. He's got great athleticism and can really get to the basket. I have him going No. 10 to the Bucks in my latest mock

Michael (Philly)

is this going to be another foreign dominated draft like the year the Nuggets took Skita 5th? Wasn't that draft a disaster?

Chad Ford
  (1:51 PM)

Could be. We have five or six potential lottery picks among international players. It's been a long time since there's been that much talent here. But two concerns. One is that the international players are rising because the college draft is weak. Two is that there are some major contract issues among players at the top. Jonas Valanciunas and Nikola Mirotic, in particular, have contracts that mean they're unlikely to come for at least 2 more seasons. Very few GMs want a Ricky Rubio or Fran Vasquez situation on their hands.

Josué (Puerto Rico)

Terrence Jones seems like a classic Suns player. Long, athletic and can play multiple position. Will he last to 13 or can they trade up? thanks Chad

Chad Ford
  (1:52 PM)

Very true. But I don't think he lasts that long. I have him going No. 9 to the Bobcats in my mock.

Jeremy (Rochester, NY)

Enes Kanter dominated Jared Sullinger at the Nike Hoops Summit last year. When it's all said and done do you think we'll look back and view him as the steal of the draft?

Chad Ford
  (1:53 PM)

He's the big question mark. Ton of talent. But he lacks elite athleticism and hasn't played in a year. That's scary. Workouts will be huge for him. But I think he'll end up going high.

Brad (San Francisco)

The Jimmer: late lottery pick or will GMs get scared and let him drop to the 20s?

Chad Ford
  (1:55 PM)

Too early to tell. We're eyeing two teams in the late lottery ... Jazz at No. 12 and Suns at No. 13 for Jimmer. If both teams pass ... he could be in for a slide.

Nick (Wisconsin)

Can Bismark Biyombo keep rising in the draft? Is this a Nene situation again where he goes from unknown all the way to a top 5 pick?

Chad Ford
  (1:56 PM)

Exactly. That's what's happened.

bakedziti (baltimore)

With potential lottery picks dropping out of the draft like flies, where does this leave the Wizards? If they luck out and can land Williams, they have a pretty solid, young, athletic core of Wall, Crawford, Booker, Williams, and McGee. Who do you see the Wiz taking if D. Will is off the board, and can they pull off a Clippers-style breakout year?

Chad Ford
  (1:57 PM)

Wizards don't need Kyrie Irving. So if they don't get their hands on Derrick Williams, I wonder if they won't try to move out of the draft.

Chad Ford
  (1:57 PM)

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