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January 18, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Chad Ford

Chad Ford
  (12:59 PM)

Aloha,Thanks for coming to the chat today! We'll cover the NBA in the first half of today's chat and we'll tackle the NBA Draft in the second half. Let's roll ...

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Who is the worst NBA Team so Far this season?

Chad Ford
  (1:01 PM)

Wizards and I don't think it's even close. Terrible chemistry and a weirdly built team. If I'm Ted Leonsis ... it's time to make some changes at the top and then everyone but Wall and perhaps Vesely is on the trade block right now ...

Chad (Sacramento)

The Jazz... second best record in the West. Playoff team or will they fall off.

Chad Ford
  (1:02 PM)

I've maintained for the past few months that I think the Jazz can be a 7th or 8th seed in the West. I don't think they'll maintain this torrid pace ... but I do see them as one of four teams who will compete for those final two spots in the playoffs. That's been the plan in Utah all along and why the veterans are still getting the bulk of the minutes.

leroy (alabama)

Is Kevin Love a Max player? Do you think he is a player you can build around or just a complimentery player.

Chad Ford
  (1:05 PM)

I think he's worthy. In hindsight, he should've been the No. 2 or No. 3 pick in the draft behind Derrick Rose and arguably Russell Westbrook. How amazing would the Heat be right now had they taken Love over Michael Beasley? They could've had Love, Wade and LeBron ... saved the cash on Bosh and brought in another talented player to their core.

Iman (Shumpert)

Knicks offense is offensive. Trade Melo to Nets for DWill. Makes sense for both. Nets get star under longterm contract (DWill is going to walk because they are not getting D12) and Knicks get elite PG which is their greatest need. Wing scoring they can find elsewhere. PG and C are hardest positions to fill. Thoughts?

Chad Ford
  (1:06 PM)

I'm not sure a move like that is totally out of the question for either team. If Nets don't get Dwight Howard, trading D Will is a real possibility and the Knicks love him. Adding Melo would give them a (tarnished) star name to build around that's already locked up to a long-term deal.

Brendan (Pittsfield, MA)

Chad - what gives w/Howard not wanting to go to Chicago. It has to be all about his ego and the fact that he'd never be the biggest star there right? Last week he says that Monte' Ellis is a great competitor and would love to play w/him but he has no desire to play w/the 23 yr old reigning MVP on one of the elite teams in the league? If he goes to Chicago they'd have to be considered favorites to win it all (depending on what they gave up). What's going on in that head of his?

Chad Ford
  (1:08 PM)

Baffles me. Howard + Rose in Chicago would be awesome. A deal for Noah for the Magic makes a lot of sense. Just goes to show you that as much as players talk about winning, there are a lot of other factors that take precedence. Frankly, long-term, there's no better fit for Howard.

Brett (Altoona)

Are the Heat better without Dwayne Wade?

Chad Ford
  (1:09 PM)

No.

Ed (Saginaw, MI)

Hi Chad. The Pistons are pretty horrible too. Can you tell me why the new owner decided to keep Joe Dumars as GM? I mean, he hit alot of home runs back in the day but, lately alot of misses. Also, why don't they amnesty Charlie V? He's horrible (another Joe D mistake).

Damon (Santa Cruz)

Who do you have pegged for the ROY? Stats point to Irving, right? Or will the Rubio hype win it for him?

Chad Ford
  (1:13 PM)

Kyrie has had better stats and his team has a better record. But the Rubio stuff isn't hype. Watch the kid play. He's for real. Right now both players are playing well enough to deserve it. I think we're all just going to have be patient and see how this pans out. Sometimes rookies struggle to maintain early season production. They get tired and defenses start taking away what they like to do. How they adjust to the fatigue and more advanced scout reports will likely be the deciding factor.

Travis (Dc)

As a Pacers fan I have struggled with the idea of trading Granger...but it is becoming increasingly clear that the Pacers would be better off with a solid shooting guard and moving George to his natural position...The question then is, who could the Pacers realistically get in return? Ellis? Gordon?

Chad Ford
  (1:15 PM)

I could see them pulling the trigger, for sure, on a Granger for Eric Gordon deal. I think Monta Ellis is more of a maybe. Bird does love scorers and Monta can fill it up. But the Pacers aren't giving Granger away. It would take a young, potential All-Star to get him. He's still really, really good.

Ryan Anderson (Orlando)

Am I currently the Most Improved Player?

Chad Ford
  (1:20 PM)

Yes. He has a 25.05 PER. His career high was 19.09. But you can make a compelling case for Paul Milsap (26.55 PER this year ... his career best was 19.83) and James Harden (22.69 PER ... career high was 16.42) as well.

Joe D (The D)

I'll trade you Gordon for Granger, where do I sign??

Chad Ford
  (1:21 PM)

Uh ... that's Eric Gordon ... not Ben Gordon LOL.

Joseph (Idaho)

COY to this point? Got to be a race between Collins and Corbin eh? I vote Anti-COY for Vinny Del Negro

Chad Ford
  (1:23 PM)

If the Sixers keep this up, it's Doug Collins hands down. Though you're right Tyrone Corbin would be in the mix. If the Clippers don't fire Vinny Del Negro soon ... I think that says all you need to know about whether the Clippers are serious about becoming a real contender.

Alek (CA)

The Kings are a disaster and it seems something needs to change. What can they do either through trade or draft to fix some of their problems?

Chad Ford
  (1:26 PM)

Well ... I guess the coach wasn't the whole problem. With the way they've enabled DeMarcus Cousins ... he's not going anywhere. All signs have pointed to Geoff Petrie for a while ... just wondering if the Maloofs have the clarity to understand it and the courage to do something about it.

RC (New Orleans)

About time Dell Demps get some credit for having an eye for talent. This Gustavo Ayon is a steal for a little over million for 3 years. Not to mention getting Grevis Vasquez and Xavier Henry for basically nothing.

Chad Ford
  (1:28 PM)

Demps is good and you're right on Ayon. He's been a secret for a number of top international scouts for a while, but they couldn't get their GMs to pull the trigger. Demps did and he deserves the credit. Just wish he had an owner and the right resources to do what he's capable of doing there.

JJ (Atlanta)

Can the Hawks make the playoffs without Horford?

Chad Ford
  (1:31 PM)

With the exception of the Bulls, Heat, Sixers and Pacers ... and maybe the Magic (good record, super easy schedule) ... the rest of the East is a bit of a mess. So yeah, it's possible. Currently the Cavs have the 7th seed.

Paul (Amherst)

Do the Celtics start over now or wait till the end of the season?

Chad Ford
  (1:32 PM)

Just don't' think it will be possible for Ainge to start over in such a compressed season. Maybe ... and he's not afraid to be active. But it's going to be tough. It's hard to blame Danny Ainge for going for it again this year, but it's starting to look like the Celtics are out of gas.

Jason (Chicago)

What do you think about Cuban's point about Shawn Marion being an All-NBA defensive player? He plays Lebron and Kobe better than anyone in the league.

Chad Ford
  (1:35 PM)

Sounds like a man who would really love to be able to trade Marion to team for an expiring contract so he can get far enough under the cap to sign both Deron Williams and Dwight Howard this summer.

Todd (Tn)

Last night Anthony Davis most complete performance by any of the top prospects?

Chad Ford
  (1:39 PM)

27 points, 15 rebounds, 7 blocks, 10-for-12 from the field is about as close as you get. I know some fans are concerned about his lack of strength and raw offensive abilities. But on the defensive end, he'll be a monster at the next level. And ... I think this is very important ... he's a good kid, a hard worker and plays with a great motor all the time. Very few big men have all of that. I think Marcus Camby is is floor. He could be much better than Camby because I think he can be a 4 at the next level.

Nick (Wisconsin)

Chad, there was a ton of hype going into this season about how good this upcoming draft class was going to be, is it safe to say that NBA scouts agree with this assessment? I'm not sure if there's a franchise game changer like Rose, Durant or Griffin, but the quality in depth that exists for like 12-15 picks is pretty crazy. What is your opinion on this years' potential draft class so far?

Chad Ford
  (1:41 PM)

I think that hype has actually cooled down a bit. Don't get me wrong, scouts think it's a good draft. Anthony Davis has lived up to expectations, though scouts don't quite see him in the same group as a Dwight Howard or Derrick Rose franchise changer. The next tier with Andre Drummond, Harrison Barnes, Thomas Robinson and Perry Jones III are all super talented, but all have weaknesses that could keep them from being All-Stars some day. After that, there's talent, but I actually think the 2011 Draft may have gone a little deeper.

Mike (Charlotte)

What is your take on Dion Waiters? Can he be a poor man' Dwayne Wade in the NBA

Chad Ford
  (1:43 PM)

He's the same height and he's a tremendous, physical scorer. But he doesn't have the length or the explosive athletic ability that Wade had. Maybe more like Tyreke Evans ...

Ryan (New York)

Thoughts on Thomas Robinson vs. Perry Jones the other night? Perry looked out of his element and got out worked.

Chad Ford
  (1:46 PM)

Don't totally agree with that. In the first half, both players were outstanding. Jones started to get fatigued and an ankle injury slowed him down a bit in the second half and Robinson just took over. Scouts are really split on the tow. Jones has more upside, has a much more polished offensive game and has superior size/length. Robinson is a much better rebounder is tougher, plays with a higher motor and he knows what he is. If Robinson was two inches taller, he might be the No. 1 pick in the draft. But concerns about his size continue to haunt him. I love the idea of Perry Jones ... but if I was drafting right now, I'd take Robinson.

Mark (cleveland)

Barnes, Jeramy Lamb or Kidd-gilcrest? Who's the best pro?

Chad Ford
  (1:48 PM)

I have scouts arguing all three. Barnes is the smoothest scorer of the group. He's going to be a lock to be a 20+ point a night scorer at the next level. The question is whether he'll do anything else. Lamb has the potential to be a big scorer as well, though he doesn't quite has the same confidence that Barnes brings to the table. Kidd-Gilchrist is the toughest of the group. He'll be the best defender, the best leader, the intangibles guy who does all the little things it takes to win. He's also the rawest offensively. I think it will come down to what a team really needs. All three should be successful at the next level.

Todd (Tn)

The question of always production vs. potential is talked about every year but doesn't Anthony Davis give you production+potential?

Chad Ford
  (1:49 PM)

Exactly. He currently leads all NCAA players in PER. It's always great when the stats are confirming the scouting reports and in this case there's a very strong correlation. Davis not only has all of the tools on paper of a No. 1 pick. He's playing like one right now.

Timmy (Boston)

I've heard about Cody Zeller wanting to return for his sophmore year, due to Indy's deep recruiting class coming in. Are there any other top 20 picks that seem willing to forego the draft? Or is it too early to tell?

Chad Ford
  (1:51 PM)

I"ve heard and reported the same about Zeller. It's probably too early to tell with the rest. Though I could see Kidd-Gilchrist staying around another year. Ditto for Quincy Miller and Patric Young.

Chris (Chicago)

Fab Melo clearly has an NBA body, but lacks refinement. However, he clearly improved from Fr-So year. If he gets good advice and goes back for at least another season, what's his Draft upside?

Chad Ford
  (1:53 PM)

If his learning curve is the same as it was between his freshman and sophomore year? He's a for sure first round pick, maybe late lottery. But he really needs to stay another year at Syracuse.

Nick (Wisconsin)

Chad, one thing I always wondered was, is your draft big board your big board or more of a representation of how people you talk to are feeling? If it's the latter, is there any player that you personally disagree with how NBA scouts/GM's view him?

Chad Ford
  (1:55 PM)

It's a consensus from what I'm hearing from NBA scouts/GMs and this year, I'm talking to a few more team stat heads as well to include that dimension in the rankings. Do I personally disagree with some of the rankings? Of course. But I think the Top 10 is pretty solid right now. My personal rankings would be close. I'm probably a bit higher on Michael Kidd-Gilchrist that some scouts/GMs are. They're probably higher on Perry Jones than I am.

Nick (Wisconsin)

Chad, when is the draft lotto machine coming?!

Chad Ford
  (1:56 PM)

Soon. We're working on it. Just need a legitimate sample of games to produce a semi accurate lottery first. But I think you'll see it in the next 2 to 3 weeks.

Chad Ford
  (1:56 PM)

Gotta run everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat today. See you next week!