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March 28, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Chad Ford

Chad Ford
  (1:01 PM)

Aloha everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat today. We're talking NBA Draft all hour in honor of both Final Four weekend and the McDonald's All-American game today. Let's roll ...

T.J. (Kentucky)

Any team that DOESN'T take Davis #1? If not, is there any team that might at least think twice?

Chad Ford
  (1:02 PM)

No. I think all 30 teams would take Anthony Davis No. 1. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is becoming the favorite for the No. 2 spot, but I don't think in any scenario, short of a devastating injury to Davis, he catches him.

Max (Portland)

Which lottery guard (Beal, Lillard, Lamb etc.) is most NBA ready?

Chad Ford
  (1:04 PM)

Beal has everything you want in a NBA guard with the exception of size. But he has the NBA body, jump shot and handle. He'll go somewhere between 2-5. Lillard and Lamb are both lottery picks, but later in the lottery. Lillard 9-13 range. Lamb 8-14 range.

Jacob (Brownsburg)

Where is Cody Zeller going in next years draft?

Chad Ford
  (1:05 PM)

I do believe Zeller will return to Indiana for his sophomore season. I haven't done 2013 rankings yet and it depends a little bit on who goes back to school. But probably 4-6.

Rusty (Kentucky)

Were you surprised by Rivers' decision to hire an agent? Where is he projected to go in the draft?

Chad Ford
  (1:06 PM)

A little. He was getting advice to return and he clearly doesn't need the money. Rivers thinks he's a little better than he is right now which hurts him a bit. But he's still very talented. We have him going No. 17 to the Wolves in our latest mock. But his range is probably 9-20.

Connor (NY)

Who do you think in 5 years will be seen as the steal of this draft? Dion Waiters?

Chad Ford
  (1:08 PM)

Could be if he can show maturity and accept the fact that early in his career, coaches will probably see him as someone who is a scorer off the bench. Terrence Jones could be that guy too. And, if they he reached his potential, Perry Jones.

Matt (Ann Arbor)

Do you believe Sullinger is a sure thing in the NBA?

Chad Ford
  (1:09 PM)

Nope. He struggles to play in the post against length and there is plenty of length in the NBA. But I do think he'll be fine. He's a good rebounder, he's got a wide body that creates space and he's skilled. Doubt he's a huge star ... but then again, most scouts said the same about Kevin Love.

Arne (Raleigh, NC)

Do you think that Barnes' could potentially help his draft stock by staying another year?

Chad Ford
  (1:11 PM)

Risky. If he didn't improve ... it could plummet. Scouts essentially give you a pass your freshman year (which explains why Andre Drummond and James Michael McAdoo are so high on our board). You can still have upside as a sophomore. After that, the heat turns up considerably. I still think he goes somewhere between 5 and 8 right now. He should probably come.

Brett (Los Angeles)

Should Kendall Marshall enter the draft? I don't think his draft stock can get any higher than it is right now.

Chad Ford
  (1:11 PM)

Agreed. Weak point guard draft. Harrison Barnes and company looked ordinary without him on the court. Several teams in the late lottery (Jazz, Hornets, Suns) need point guards. Doubt he ever goes higher than where he'd go this year.

Jeff (Brookline)

If Bobcats land the #1 do they try and trade Bismack?

Chad Ford
  (1:12 PM)

Doubt it. He and Davis can play together. Could be the best shot blocking front line in the NBA>

Connor (NY)

How much does John Henson's baby face and wiry frame scare scouts? Looks like handling contact at the next level should be a major concern.

Chad Ford
  (1:13 PM)

That's what's holding his stock back a bit. What position does he play at the next level?

Ant (San Antonio)

Where does Draymond Green go?

Chad Ford
  (1:14 PM)

Somewhere in the late first round. We have him going to the Heat with the 28th pick.

Nick (OB)

Where would Kyrie Irving go in this draft?

Chad Ford
  (1:14 PM)

No. 2 behind Anthony Davis.

H.Q. (Toronto)

If Toronto somehow gets the number #1 pick do they trade Baragani?

Chad Ford
  (1:15 PM)

They may trade him even if they get the No. 5 pick. Depends on who's available and what Bargnani could get them in a trade.

Pau (Barcelona, Spain)

Do you think that Drummond can become to a All Star? Or He will be a Kwame brown?

Chad Ford
  (1:15 PM)

Both are serious possibilities.

Freddy Lopez (Lob Angeles)

I've read that a lot of scouts are down on this McDonald's All-Americans. Why is that? And outside of Shabazz Mohammed, who'll be a great pro?

Chad Ford
  (1:17 PM)

Not a lot of high level NBA talent. Nerlens Noel (a sort of Anthony Davis 2.0) and Muhammad are the two best prospects. We're projecting both to be Top 3 players in the 2013 Draft. Noel has the inside track on the No. 1 pick. Steven Adams from New Zealand is a potential lottery pick. Ditto for Isaiah Austin who'll play at Baylor. But after that there aren't any more obvious one and done type players. Just wrote a blog on this today here: http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/blog/_/name/nba_draft/id/7746351/nba-draft-nba-prospects-nerlens-noel-shabazz-muhammad-other-high-school-stars

Tom (Salt Lake City)

If you are the Jazz, shouldn't you strongly consider Marshall over Lillard? Seems like Jazz need more of a playmaker than a scoring guard.

Chad Ford
  (1:18 PM)

No team has really come close to making up their mind about who they are drafting. Kendall Marshall is definitely in the mix with the Jazz at No. 9 along with Lillard. Tony Wroten could be in that mix as well.

Josh (Bloomington)

Thoughts on Christian Watford. Where is his stock currently? Should he return for his Senior season?

Chad Ford
  (1:19 PM)

He's talented, and had two huge signature games against Kentucky this year. But overall? Second round pick at best. He should go back.

Scratch (US)

Is MKG being overrated? I understand he impacts the game in a lot of ways, but he really struggles at making his own offense.

Chad Ford
  (1:20 PM)

There's some truth to that (though he's a devastating finisher at the rim). But who would you take ahead of him. I've been saying this for a while, but this draft is not as stacked at the top as people think. Davis is a great, great get. After that, everyone has a few holes to their game.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

So who's the better player - Thomas Robinson or Sullinger?

Chad Ford
  (1:21 PM)

Robinson. Better athlete. Better motor. Not as skilled as Sullinger. But athlete + motor both translate at the next level.

Geoff (Rochester, NY)

Did Andrew Nicholson secure a spot in the first round with his strong finish?

Chad Ford
  (1:22 PM)

I think so. Somewhere between 20-30.

Kirby (Phil)

Where does Marquis Teague go? Early in the boards most people had him in the 10-20 range now it looks like his stock has plummeted.

Chad Ford
  (1:23 PM)

He's helped himself a bit in the tournament. But every scout I speak with thinks he needs another year at Kentucky. If he declares he does have a shot at the late first round because of his speed and the dearth of point guards in this draft.

David (Tennessee)

Where does John Jenkins end up? He strikes me as being one of the best pure shooters in the draft pool.

Chad Ford
  (1:23 PM)

Late first round to early second round. Terrific shooter. Just undersized.

Shane (Louisville)

Thoughts on Royce White?

Chad Ford
  (1:25 PM)

Love his talent. A very unique player. If he can overcome his fear of flying (which is sort of a big deal in the NBA) he's got a real chance. We have him going No. 18 to the Celtics in our latest Mock.

brad (florida) [via mobile]

Where will fab melo go in this years draft? And who will be a better pro melo or waiters

Chad Ford
  (1:26 PM)

Melo is a tough one. I know a couple of GMs have him ranked in the mid first round. Many others have him in the second. He's got great size and impacts things on the defensive end. But lots of questions about his work ethic which can be the kiss of death for a NBA big man. I'd take Waiters ahead of him.

Itch (US)

Can you explain to me what makes James McAdoo anything more than a less proven Marvin Williams? McAdoo has done even less in his first year at UNC than Williams yet he's a projected top ten pick. When was the last time a college player picked purely on potential worked out?

Chad Ford
  (1:29 PM)

Have to look at the circumstances. McAdoo was a Top 5 player out of high school. He came to a STACKED UNC team with four potential lottery picks already on the roster. In the times he did get significant minutes (mostly when Henson was out) he's played very well. He was UNC's best player on the floor in their Elite Eight game. If you're a NBA scout do you really say that because he chose to go to UNC and play a lesser role as a freshman, you're going to take someone else less talented over him? He may be a risk. But so is everyone else in the lottery right now.

Matt (Arizona)

Where is the best fit for Wroten? Seems if you surround him with shooters and let him create he could be effective while working on the J.

Chad Ford
  (1:30 PM)

I think he'd be a nice fit in Atlanta. Wroten has some Gary Payton to his game. Teams are worried about him -- the selfishness, the chemistry issues, the tendency to get out of control and the lack of a jumper -- but the talent is off the charts. He's the toughest guy in this draft for me to place. Could be a star or a bust. Both are possible.

JB (Hoop City)

Name a couple guys that could be taken between 20 and 30 that you think could have a big impact in the league... thanks

Chad Ford
  (1:31 PM)

That's not really how the draft works. Top 5 guys are impact guys. Maybe you get one or two later. When you get past the lottery, the focus should be on finding rotation guys. If I'm saying, in March, that a player in the 20s or 30s will have a big impact in the league, then we've got them ranked way too low.

Andrew (Ocilla, GA)

Am I the only one who is saddened by great talent not reaching its full potential? Of course, I'm talking about Perry Jones. I hope he gets it together at the next level and proves a lot of people wrong, but I think he'll fall to the bottom of the lottery.

Chad Ford
  (1:32 PM)

Might be right. However, if he gets in the right offense, with the right coach, he should be fine. I hear he's a good kid who is willing to work. Would love to see Mike D'Antoni coach him.

Dale (Oregon)

Can Jared Cunningham sneak into the first round? Or do you think he'd make a big mistake not going back to school?

Chad Ford
  (1:33 PM)

He's a NBA athlete. But he's undersized and isn't a great shooter. He should go back to school. Think he's a second round pick.

Kirby (Phil)

Is Arnett Moultrie an underrated prospect? He has a nice touch around the basket and has good body control.

Chad Ford
  (1:35 PM)

Could be. He's one I'm watching closely. I think there is a lot of distaste for Mississippi State and that's coloring his draft stock. If he did what he did this year at Kansas or Syracuse or Georgetown, he'd be a lot higher on our Big Board. Once he gets into workouts and gets that Mississippi State jersey off, he could really rise.

James (LA)

Deshaun Thomas. Does he come out this year? If so, where will he go? He seems too talented not to be on your draft board.

Chad Ford
  (1:37 PM)

So talented offensively. But dogs it defensively. He's got a shot at the first round. But there are questions. I think another year in school, if he focused on getting better defensively, would make a difference.

Erik (Memphis)

What do you think about the pro futures of Will Barton and Adonis Thomas?

Chad Ford
  (1:37 PM)

Both bubble first rounders. Thomas has huge upside, but injuries kept him back. Barton has a pretty smooth mid range game.

Bradley (Regina SK CAN)

Why is Quincy Acy not in most mock drafts? What kind of potential do you see in Chane Behanan?

Chad Ford
  (1:38 PM)

Acy is short for his position and isn't an elite rebounder the way his length, athleticism and motor suggests he should be. Behanan is undersized too. If both guys were 3 inches taller? They'd be going much higher.

Jesse (Canada)

Would it be foolish for Quincy Miller to declare? When he got the opportunity without his clone in the game (Perry Jones), he seemed to show Kevin Durant scoring qualities

Chad Ford
  (1:39 PM)

I agree. I also think he was still recovering from his ACL tear last year. He should be totally healthy next year. Though with Isaiah Austin coming in ... clone 3 may be just around the corner!

Bill (Alameda)

Odds Wroten and Ross both go pro?

Chad Ford
  (1:42 PM)

??? I think they both want to. And I think both will be Top 20 picks. But if they came back to Washington and played up to their potential? Washington could be a Top 10 team and both could be Top 10 picks next year. There's some serious upside for them staying.

tb (chicago)

Trey Burke's draft stock?

Chad Ford
  (1:43 PM)

Second round. He should go back to school

Ben (FL)

Is Jeremy Lamb the real deal? Some say he's over rater, while others see him as a solid player for years to come. Your opinion?

Chad Ford
  (1:44 PM)

Not sure. He coasts a lot. Lots of talent. But wish he was more aggressive. Some scouts think he's a for sure Top 10 talent in this draft. I think UConn's terrible season has colored my opinion of him a bit. Their point guards are mostly to blame, but with talents like Drummond, Lamb and Oriakhi, there is no way this team finishes as bad as they did.

Matt (DC)

Hollis Thompson declared yesterday. Crickets from scouts?

Chad Ford
  (1:44 PM)

He can shoot it. But that's about it. A possible second round pick.

Mike (Belvidere, IL)

Hardaway Jr. in the same lot as Burke? From watching the games, I would say Burke is the much superior prospect. Agree?

Chad Ford
  (1:45 PM)

They're in the same boat. Potential second rounders.

Steven (Kingsport)

With all the talk of the NC players, wasn't Zeller the best player there and he is a legit 7-0, skilled, athletic big i.e. I know he can fit into an NBA rotation.

Chad Ford
  (1:46 PM)

He's better than people want to give him credit for. He runs the floor so well for a big man. He's got nice touch around the basket. I think he's going to be a lottery pick for sure. We have him going No. 11 to the Blazers right now. Not a super high ceiling for him, but I think he's a player who might be a starter someday in the NBA.

Chris (Tiffin, OH)

I don't think he'll leave Ohio State this year but if Aaron Craft were to declare for the draft how do you think he'd fare in the NBA?

Chad Ford
  (1:48 PM)

Lots of scouts really like him because of his toughness and unselfishness. I doubt he declares either. He'd probably be a second round pick, but he might sneak into the first. I know one team that would consider him in the late lottery to mid first round range.

Scott (Baton Rouge)

If the Hornets resign Eric Gordon, is there any chance that they take Brad Beal? I know they are very similar players and they have far more needs but in what situation do you see them picking him?

Chad Ford
  (1:49 PM)

I doubt they take both ... not when they have so many other needs at the point and up front. I have them taking Thomas Robinson at No. 3 and Kendall Marshall at No. 12.

Bradley (Regina SK CAN)

They mystery team you're referring to with Craft is the Rockets, right?

Chad Ford
  (1:49 PM)

Can't tell you that.

John (Portland)

Do you think it was smart for Kabongo to go back to school? On one hand, the last Texas point guards to enter (Avery Bradley, Corey Joseph) were not exactly ready. On the other, it is a weak point guard draft.

Chad Ford
  (1:50 PM)

Yes. Especially if J'Covan Brown leaves. Both Brown and Kabongo need the ball in their hands to be effective. If Brown stays, it may be another long year for Texas fans and Kabongo.

Bob (Atl)

What should Detroit do?

Chad Ford
  (1:52 PM)

They really, really need a big. If they were to get Anthony Davis, I think the Pistons would suddenly be in great, great shape. He's the perfect fit next to Greg Monroe. I think they're hoping for Thomas Robinson or Andre Drummond if they don't get the No. 1 pick.

THATkrazGUY (Ann Arbor)

Will the Kings collection of assets ever become a basketball team?

Chad Ford
  (1:53 PM)

Chemistry matters in the NBA. It's not fantasy basketball. So ... no.

Drew (Philly)

will CJ McCollum Get drafted?

Chad Ford
  (1:53 PM)

Yes. Maybe late first round.

Sunil (Kansas)

What do the scouts think of Tyshawn Taylor as a pro?

Chad Ford
  (1:55 PM)

Oh boy. Great speed. Tough. Good defender. Good size for his position. Great athlete. Can be a clutch performer. But his decision making can be beyond atrocious at times. If he was even a solid decision maker, he'd be 20 spots higher on our board.

Rick (Hawaii)

Your Final Four predictions?

Chad Ford
  (1:57 PM)

Kansas over Ohio State. Kentucky over Louisville. Kentucky over Kansas for the Championship.

Chad Ford
  (1:57 PM)

Gotta run everyone. We have a new Mock Draft 2.0 up today. Also a breakdown of the Top 10 high school NBA prospects. Enjoy the McDonald's All-American game today and the Final Four this weekend!