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February 29, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Chad Ford

Chad Ford
  (1:01 PM)

Aloha and thanks for coming to the chat today. We'll take on the NBA in the first half of the chat and then transition to the NBA Draft in the second half. Let's roll ...

Lex (LA)

It seems like the Gasol to the Rockets rumors are starting to come back again. Do you think in the end Gasol will get dealt?

Chad Ford
  (1:02 PM)

I do. The Lakers aren't winning a championship with the team that's currently constructed. They are also in danger of sinking into mediocrity if they don't start adding some young talent back fast. I think the Rockets are serious contenders. So are the TWolves and Bulls. Maybe the Magic if part of a larger deal with Bynum for Dwight Howard.

sam teele (pittsburgh pa )

hey chad last year before the draft you said irving didnt have the same Franchise changing talent as wall did the year before him, i want to keep you honest because i believe every gm in the league would rather have kyrie on their team then john wall.

Chad Ford
  (1:06 PM)

I did say that and right now it looks like I was wrong. I was basing my analysis on scouting from high school and a pretty small sample in college. Irving is better than I expected he'd be and Wall has been a bit of a disappointment. It's too early to come to any real conclusions about either player yet. They are both very young and on struggling teams. But Irving has been better than I thought he'd be.

Jeff (Seattle)

Way Lopez played yesterday at Dallas, do you think the probability of Howard to Nets increases?

Chad Ford
  (1:09 PM)

Don't know. The rumblings we're hearing out of Orlando seem to say that the Magic are leaning toward holding onto Dwight Howard and trying to figure something out in the summer. Of course, that can change if the right offer comes along. Frankly, if I'm the Magic I'd take what the Nets are offering Lopez, + role players a mountain of picks or what the Lakers are offering Bynum possibly Gasol. Either one is better than the end game of losing Howard for nothing.

gene (mpls)

why do you think the twolves would want to get pau? We have Love and Pek has emerged as a great center for us being able to hold his own against big centers like Howard & Cousins. Don't you think a competent SG is more of a need than a Center?

Chad Ford
  (1:11 PM)

Yes, but David Kahn is pushing to get this team to the playoffs now. Gasol is a short term fix that probably gets them there. I think the Wolves also see him as a great mentor for Rubio. The question is ... is Gasol worth Derrick Williams? That's what the cost will be. You can make the argument either way.

Peyton (LA)

The TWolves look really good. How much credit do you give Adelman for this?

Chad Ford
  (1:12 PM)

The lion's share. But Kevin Love's MVP-esque season, the emergence of Rubio and the sudden great play of Pekovic all factor in too. Had the Wolves done a better job of using their other assets over the past few years, this team would be a contender right now.

Chris (Boston)

Heard that Celtics are planing on disbanding Big 3... what are the chances that Pierce is traded and what can they get for Pierce?

Chad Ford
  (1:17 PM)

I think Ainge would prefer to trade: Rondo, Allen, and KG in that order before Pierce. But Danny won't hesitate to pull the trigger if he can. Remember, he went through several miserable years of rebuilding from scratch. He doesn't want to go back to that place and frankly the Celtics are like a season and a half away from there. If he can make the moves now to shore up the future of the franchise, he will. The problem is that while Rondo, Allen, KG and Pierce are all excellent players, none of them have great trade value right now. Rondo has the most, but many teams are worried about chemistry issues with him. Allen and KG are well past their primes and are free agents next season. Pierce is better but he's due $16.8 million next year. I'm not sure how Danny pulls this off.

Nikolai (SoCal)

Will Steve Nash be moved? Is there any reasonable way for the Suns to deal off some of their bad contracts such as Frye or Childress?

Chad Ford
  (1:19 PM)

If they had been willing to move Nash last year, I think they could've passed off a contract like Frye, Childress of Warrick. Now, with Nash hitting free agency in a few months? Don't see it. The Suns waited too long to get a great deal for Nash. Don't get me wrong, there will be takers for him. I just don't see they hitting even a double here.

Mike (Boston)

Rondo & Dooling (expiring) to Indy for Granger

Chad Ford
  (1:20 PM)

There's great chemistry in Indy right now. I think that would be an interesting move, but I doubt they'd be willing to risk it.

Dan (Brooklyn)

All the talk is about Deron and Dwight joining Dirk in Dallas, but I think a Nash, Dwight, Dirk trio is more plausible...and potentially just as good.

Chad Ford
  (1:21 PM)

Short term? Close if Nash can keep playing like this. But obviously Deron Williams is a much better long-term play and even in the short term, I'd probably taking him over Nash.

Teddy (America)

How will the THunder afford Harden next year when he becomes a restricted free agent, there aren't a whole lot of top 25 players in the league...

Chad Ford
  (1:24 PM)

It's going to be a problem. They have to pay Serge Ibaka too ... Not sure OKC can afford to be a luxury tax team ... especially when the harsher penalties start to kick in. One of those two probably has to go. Maybe both.

Rich (Charlotte)

Any Jeremy Lin trade rumors?

Chad Ford
  (1:27 PM)

LOL. I think Knicks fans would riot if they traded Lin. Though, objectively, it might be a great idea. Lin is better than any of us thought he'd be. But is he as good as the hype? Probably not. So his value, right now, is as high as it will probably ever be. If I was the Knicks GM and could get a team to give up multiple assets for him ... I'd think about it and just hire some bodyguards.

Karan (Indy)

Larry Bird deserves a lot of credit for turning around the Pacers. This team was in the cellar after the brawl in Detroit and all those bad contracts. Does he take home executive of the year?

Chad Ford
  (1:29 PM)

Hands down in my opinion. He and David Morway have done a textbook job of turning around a down and out franchise in a small market. Draft well. Don't overpay. Focus on chemistry and value players at each position. Bird was a great player. A great coach. And as it turns out, a great exec too.

Dan (NYC)

Could you explain who is to blame for signing Amare to an uninsured contract? Was that Donnie's fault or did Amare/Happy Walters demand it?

Chad Ford
  (1:31 PM)

I guess the Knicks are at fault. They knew Amare's knees wouldn't be insured and signed him anyway. Amare/Happy had nothing to do with it. It's the league's insurance carrier.

Kurt (Utah)

Think the Jazz can pull off a Rondo trade?

Chad Ford
  (1:33 PM)

They have the pieces to get one done. I just don't see Kevin O'Connor giving up on Favors, Kanter, Burks or Hayward yet. Even if that brings back Rondo

Brian (Columbus)

Isn't Orlando's Otis Smith the right combination of desperate and reckless to make a go-for-broke offer for Nash AND all the bad contracts you mentioned? Between the Bass trade exception, draft picks, players on rookie deals, and Hedo's amnesty-ripe contract, Phoenix could really profit off an Orlando gamble, right?

Chad Ford
  (1:36 PM)

Hadn't thought of that before ... from Smith's end, I could see it. Just don't see Sarver pulling the trigger on that. MAgic don't have enough assets, especially if the Suns have to swallow Turkoglu's deal. Remember, even if they amnesty him, they still have to pay him.

mack (Poland)

Hello mr Ford. I wonder, do you see Derrick Williams playing SF at NBA level? Or is he another tweener, probably better at 4 as a 6th man is small-ball rotation

Chad Ford
  (1:38 PM)

I think he's probably a 4. I'm not sure it totally matters as long as he can guard a position. 4s do all sorts of different things in the NBA. Ditto for 3s. It's all about the position you guard. He has the talent to be a high level starter -- though I think he's better suited for the 4.

Will (CT)

Will the 2012 draft class be mentioned with the Greats? (84, 96, 03)

Chad Ford
  (1:39 PM)

Probably not. I think many of us thought there was the possibility of that in July. But with the exception of Kentucky's Anthony Davis ... don't see any other real franchise changers out there in this draft.

Carlos (Orlando)

Hi Chad, love the chats. I was wondering if Anthony Davis is the second coming of Dwight Howard? Dwight has put on a lot of muscle since he has been in the NBA. Do you think Anthony can do the same and have a similar impact in the NBA?

Chad Ford
  (1:40 PM)

Different bodies. Anthony Davis won't look like Dwight Howard some day. However, I think Davis does have the potential to replace Howard as the league's premier defensive player someday.

Julius (Atlanta)

Who gets drafted # 2 after Anthony Davis?

Chad Ford
  (1:41 PM)

Depends on the team. Andre Drummond in some cases. Harrison Barnes in others. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in other scenarios.

Joe Dumars (Detroit)

How big of a genius am I if we win the lottery?

Chad Ford
  (1:42 PM)

Davis would be the perfect fit in Detroit. But truthfully, all 14 lottery teams would take him No. 1 so ... he'd be a good fit anywhere. What this comment shows, however, is that we often judge GMs based on their luck in the lottery. Lots of people are down on Joe D, but they'll be high on him really fast if they land Davis. Davis + Monroe Stuckey Knight is a very, very good foundation.

Thomas (Toronto)

Valanciunas has been performing at a very high level this year in Europe. If he was in the 2012 NBA draft, where would he be picked?

Chad Ford
  (1:43 PM)

I think he'd be the No. 2 pick hands down. Looks like the Raptors got a steal at No. 5 last year.

Marc (Montreal)

OK, showdown time. Who's the better NBA player, Brad Beal or Jeremy Lamb?

Chad Ford
  (1:43 PM)

Beal, though he hasn't always shown it as a freshman. Crazy talented. Lamb is really good too, but the decision between the two is pretty easy for me.

Jesse Dunn (Salt Lake)

Who has the bigger upside? Damian Lillard or Tony Wroten Jr? And which would fit better with the Jazz?

Chad Ford
  (1:44 PM)

Wroten has more upside. However there is a LOT of downside there too. He's got some Gary Payton in his game, but he also can play out of control and can create chemistry issues. Lillard is a much safer pick.

Rob (Massachusetts)

What kind of NBA player does Draymond Green project to be? Thanks!

Chad Ford
  (1:45 PM)

He's just a basketball player. Not sure what position he plays. Doesn't fit most of the typical metrics. But he can really play. I won't be surprised at all if he goes in the first round and carves out a Jared Dudley type career in the NBA.

Ryan (ABQ)

I have heard rumblings Drummond and Kidd-Gilchrist are stayng in school another year, what would the 2013 class look like then?

Chad Ford
  (1:47 PM)

Haven't heard that at all on Drummond. Given the sanctions UConn is facing, I think he's probably coming. I've been hearing the Kidd-Gilchrist stuff all year and last weekend he told reporters he was staying in school. Usually I'm very skeptical about this sort of thing. Players say all the time that they're staying and then declare. But in the case of Kidd-Gilchrist, I believe him. He's a different sort of kid. Had different priorities. Wants to be the best ... not just make the money. John Calipari may convince him to leave ... but I really do believe he wants to stay in college.

Steven (Boise)

If you were selecting the back half of the lottery and needed a center, Leonard or Tyler Zeller?

Chad Ford
  (1:48 PM)

Myers Leonard has a lot more upside. But I think his lack of focus is a problem. Zeller won't be a superstar, but I think he's much more of a sure thing.

Robert (Orlando)

Is Patric Young's draft stock sliding? He was supposed to be an extraordinary defensive player, but his rebounding and shot blocking has been very average, even before the ankle injury.

Chad Ford
  (1:49 PM)

Most scouts are disappointed. But the physique bias on him probably gets him drafted high anyway. I struggle to see his NBA career being anything more than a career backup right now.

Matt Boeckmann (West Valley City, UT)

Would the Jazz be willing to take Kendall Marshall in the lottery? He seems like a really good fit.

Chad Ford
  (1:50 PM)

Maybe. A few teams like him up that high. He definitely would bring a different look than Devin Harris. Just wish he could shoot.

Eric (Memphis)

If N. Mirotic were in this draft, and it was assured he would be coming to the US next year, where would he be picked?

Chad Ford
  (1:51 PM)

Top 10. Maybe Top 5.

Scott Williams (Boston, MA)

you think Austin Rivers will stay in school?

Chad Ford
  (1:51 PM)

I think that's the advice he's getting. Hope he does. Great talent, but needs another year.

Neal (Chicago )

Thoughts on two Marquette players, Darius Johnson-Odom & Jae Crowder ?

Chad Ford
  (1:53 PM)

Like them both. If they were 2 years younger and two to three inches taller each ... they'd be first rounders for sure.

Marc (Montreal)

Given your Brad Beal answer (and I completely agree), do you think he could rise in the draft? He looks perfect for my Raptors, for instance, especially since Colangelo has mused about moving DeRozan to the 3.

Chad Ford
  (1:54 PM)

I wouldn't hesitate taking him as high as No. 2. He's got that sort of talent. So yeah, I could see him rise.

Jerry (NYC)

I tend to agree with David Thorpe when it comes to guys who "need another year" to develop - wouldn't a player develop better while focusing on basketball full time with the best coaches in the world? As opposed to 10-15 hours a week with other responsibilities as well?

Chad Ford
  (1:56 PM)

I sort of agree with him. But I think there's a difference between playing a meaningful role in games and playing in practice. If a player is going to be drafted and get real minutes, I think he should go to the NBA. If he's going to sit on the bench or play in the arcade games known as the D League ... I'm not so sure.

Aaron (Seattle)

You notice that every year scouts are hot and then cold on most drafts? Seems that everybody gets caught up in the minutia and then in retrospect, feel most drafts were stronger than they appeared.

Chad Ford
  (1:57 PM)

That is true. First they get caught up in the hype. Then the minutia and then they have to talk themselves into drafting guys and fall in love again in late June. This year could be the same. It's just that the hype was extraordinarily high coming into it. It will be a good draft. Just not sure it will be an all-timer.

Chad Ford
  (1:58 PM)

Gotta run everyone. Thanks for coming. See you again next week.