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July 2, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Chad Ford

Chad Ford
  (1:04 PM)

Aloha everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat today. We'll talk draft wrap in the first half in free agency in the second. Let's roll ....

Jack H. (Panama City, FL) [via mobile]

Do you think that the Hornets will now become a contender in the Western Confrence with Davis and Rivers?

Chad Ford
  (1:06 PM)

Too early for that. They have Eric Gordon (assuming they re-sign him), and too young rookies in Davis and Rivers. It's going to take a couple of years. Remember that Durant & Westbrook weren't contenders over night.

Brett (Cleveland)

What do you think Dion Waiters' ceiling is? And what player do you compare Tyler Zeller to?

Chad Ford
  (1:08 PM)

I wrote in May that Waiters had a little D-Wade in his game. Still believe that. But that's different than saying he will be Wade. I think Monta Ellis may be a more accurate comparison. I like the fit in Cleveland. Zeller is probably a back-up at the next level, but he runs the floor really well and should be a good fit in an up-tempo offense. A little surprised Cavs didn't make a stronger move toward Nic Batum ... I think he'd be a really nice fit with the rest of that team.

Kenny (NC)

I need the Austin Rivers pick explained to me. It seems that everyone was pretty supportive of that pick, and I'm happy he went to NO at 10, as a Duke fan - not a bad team. But why Austin, for them? Are they planning to try him out at PG? Do they see him in a backup role? Austin's incredibly talented and will have success, but he's not a point.... Pick made no sense to me from NO perspective. Explain?

Chad Ford
  (1:10 PM)

They think they can turn him into a point. So far, there's almost zero statistical evidence that he has any point guard skills, but we'll see. I do think Monty Williams is a great coach and given his relationship with Doc Rivers I can see them putting in the effort it takes to make him stick in the league.

Jeff K (Boston)

Best backcourt going forward: Beal/Wall, Irving/Waiters, or Gordon/Rivers?

Chad Ford
  (1:10 PM)

1. Irving/Waiters 2. Beal/Wall 3. Gordon/Rivers

Scott (DC)

What is Bradley Beal's ceiling? Because, as much as I love him, with Ernie's other VERY questionable moves, this team is sentenced to mediocrity unless he becomes a superstar.

Chad Ford
  (1:11 PM)

Ceiling? Ray Allen. Most likely comp? Eric Gordon. He's good and he can play right now.

Jeff (NYC)

Papanikolau - I'll refrain from being a typical Knicks skeptic as I've read that his translated stats from the Euro League actually show that he can ball. Question is, will he seriously ever make it over to the NBA?

Chad Ford
  (1:12 PM)

He wants to play in the NBA. He might come over as soon as next season, but it might be two. He plays a big role on the best team in Europe ... he can defend, rebound and bull his way to the basket. It was a good pick for the Knicks in the second round.

Jackson (Chicago)

Why do you think Marquis Teague fell so low? I think the Bulls got a steal.

Chad Ford
  (1:13 PM)

Playoff teams are often reluctant to take on project point guards. They need their lead guards to come in and give them mistake free minutes of the bench. I think that's why so many of the better teams passed. He has a chance to be better than his brother (virtually every scout agrees on this). If he is ... he went WAY too low.

John (Portland, OR)

Do you think in a strong point guard draft, Lillard will still be a lottery pick?

Chad Ford
  (1:14 PM)

Maybe not. But I still love the pick for Portland. He may need more time to adjust than some of the other players in the draft, but he's such a hard worker and has all the tools to get there.

John (Detroit?)

How good can Drummond be? Also, why do people say Drummond won't play a lot for a couple years? I know hes raw offensively but cant he contribute defensively immediately?

Chad Ford
  (1:16 PM)

He could be awesome. He has ever physical tool to be a dominant NBA 5. Will he get there? The reason he slipped to 9 was because teams just aren't sure he's willing to put in the work or play with the toughness necessary to make the leap. But it was a good pick for Detroit and I do believe he'll get minutes right away. Detroit needs him and you'e right, defensively he can make an impact in day one. The offense? Well let's just say the Pistons know how to play with a center that can't score or shoot free throws. Why do you think they want Ben Wallace back to mentor him?

Josef (Seattle)

Is the ceiling of Terence Ross in the form of Jason Richardson or perhaps Vince Carter?

Chad Ford
  (1:17 PM)

Jason Richardson may be the best comparison. If the Raptors add Steve Nash via free agency, I've got to revise by Raptors grade. He'd be much better next to Nash.

Bob (Phoenix)

Do you think the Kendall Marshall pick is the end of Steve Nash era in Phoenix? If so do you expect Suns to go after another point guard in free agency or throw Marshall into the fire right away?

Chad Ford
  (1:17 PM)

Yes. They don't want to spend the money it takes to keep Nash. And yes, they'll need to add another PG. Marshall isn't ready to be playing 40 minutes a night in Phoenix.

Joel (Dallas)

With the warriors' plethora of shooters before drafting Harrison Barnes, and their lack of defense, will his addition improve the team that much more offensively or defensively?

Chad Ford
  (1:19 PM)

They WILL be able to put three awesome shooters on the floor at once, that should open up the paint for Andrew Bogut. I actually think of the three guards/wings ... Barnes has the potential to be the best defender. When he wanted to at UNC, he could be a lock down sort of guy. You can expect Mark Jackson is going to ask him to play that role in Day One.

Jeff (Cleveland)

Do you think MKG is as offensively challenged as everyone made him out to be? All I kept reading pre-draft was he has a high motor but has no jump shot.

Chad Ford
  (1:21 PM)

For a No. 2 pick -- yeah, he has a ways to go. But I strongly believe he'll get there. He's such a hard worker. He has a head coach who wants to work with players. He's very intelligent and they fierceness that he plays with is a skill in and of itself. I really feel like the Bobcats made the right call here.

Kenneth (Sacramento, Ca)

Chad what do you think of Thomas Robinson falling to Kings?

Chad Ford
  (1:22 PM)

Was a godsend for them. Exactly what they needed. He's tough, no-nonsense guy that doesn't need 15 shots a night to make an impact. Loved that pick for the Kings.

Brett (Cleveland)

Rank your ROY Candidates 1-5

Chad Ford
  (1:24 PM)

1. Davis. 2. Waiters 3. Beal 4. Thomas Robinson 5. MKG

Geroy Simon (Johnston, PA)

As of now, how is the 2013 draft class shaping up?

Chad Ford
  (1:29 PM)

Not too good. No one quite on par with Anthony Davis. Nerlens Noel plays a lot like Davis but has an even rawer offensive game. After the top four or five, there's a pretty big drop off. Some scouts are saying this could be one of the worst drafts in the last decade. Sorry Bobcats fans!

Spencer (Indiana)

What are the odds of Indiana matching Portland's offer on Roy Hibbert?

Chad Ford
  (1:31 PM)

51%. They are really on the fence. If they can find a replacement that they are comfortable with for cheaper, they may let him go. Chris Kaman is coming in today into Indy. Personally I feel that's a pretty big downgrade, but Larry Bird has been a huge fan of Kaman's.

Nate (Kansas)

If the Blazers get Hibbert, do think that they will still match the 12-13 mil per year offer from Minnesota on Batum?

Chad Ford
  (1:32 PM)

Yes. I think they are keeping Batum as long as his contract stays in the parameters we've been talking about.

Jamers (Houston, TX)

What are the odds of Chicago matching Houston's offer on Omer Asik?

Chad Ford
  (1:33 PM)

I have to say pretty slim. The Rockets structured Asik's deal perfectly. That third year is a killer for the Bulls. Yes, they could amnesty Boozer that year, but it would still cost them the same. Unless they find a trade for Deng, Boozer or Noah in the next few days that seriously cuts payroll, I think he'll be in Houston next year.

Eric (NJ)

Gut instinct. Who are the starting 5 in Brooklyn come October?

Chad Ford
  (1:34 PM)

Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Mirza Teletovic, Brook Lopez.

Dave (Salt Lake)

How does Billy King still have a job? Seriously, how can he defend trading the 6th pick for Gerald Wallace, who they could have gotten anyways in free agency?

Chad Ford
  (1:36 PM)

Not only that. Because they traded for him, they were forced to do anything to re-sign him. Wallace's agent had them trapped in a corner. I couldn't find one team over the past week interested in Wallace for 3 years, $24 million let alone 4 years, $40 million. The Joe Johnson -- give away all of our remaining assets for one of the 3 worst contracts in the NBA debacle -- will be the icing on the cake. Enjoy your 42-40 Nets everyone!

Curtis (Portland)

Where does Eric Gordon end up next year?

Chad Ford
  (1:37 PM)

Most likely scenario is New Orleans. I think they match any offer.

Jeremy (NY)

Why does it appear the Nets are destroying any chance they have of getting Dwight?

Chad Ford
  (1:39 PM)

Because I think the Nets don't believe they have the assets to get a trade done (which is, partly, their fault). They don't want to wait another year for him. From what I can gather, Deron Williams has endorsed the path they're taking ...

Paul (Portland, OR)

So, based on your Brooklyn answer, Dwight Howard is with Orlando either all, or half of next season. THEN where does he go?

Chad Ford
  (1:40 PM)

Not necessarily. I think if a team like the Rockets or Warriors are willing to make a significant offer despite what Dwight Howard is saying, there will be a deal. The Magic see the writing on the wall. They understand they are not re-signing him. If the Rockets or Warriors want to give them some decent assets, I think they do it.

Michael (Orlando)

If you're Rob Hennigan and had Bynum/Fillers from LA and Lowry/Martin/Lamb/White/Jones, which one do you take and why?

Chad Ford
  (1:43 PM)

You take Bynum. Only player even remotely close to Howard. However, I still believe a Rockets packable of Lowry/Martin/Lamb/White and/or Jones is better than anything else they will get offered. You know who could offer the best trade though? The Clippers if they packaged Blake Griffin + DeAndre Jordan or Eric Bledsoe ... they'd get him. Problem is, seems like Dwight only wants to go to Brooklyn.

Keith H (NYC)

Where is Steve Nash leaning towards going? NY? Toronto?

Chad Ford
  (1:45 PM)

Think he'd prefer NY. But doubt he passes on the money the Raptors are offering him. I'm told if he starts to waiver, they could even increase it. He means that much to the Raptors. I think he'll be in Toronto for the rest of his career.

Raptorcity (Toronto)

What grade would you give Raps draft if they land Nash? I agree on your Ross assessment, he was picked for Nash style

Chad Ford
  (1:46 PM)

B+. But I'll give the Raptors an off-season A if they land Nash. He will help make them relevant again, I think he'll make Bargnani a much better player. This is a home run for the Raptors at any cost.

Adrian (Oxford)

Haven't the Celtics heard of "holding on for too long"?

Chad Ford
  (1:49 PM)

Yes, it happened once before in the early 90s. But I can't blame Ainge. They aren't the Heat, but all it takes is an injury to Wade or LeBron and they're right there. KG is playing so well. Pierce still has juice in the tank. Rondo's a stud. I do, however, think it's time to say goodbye to Ray Allen ... just so the team can get some young blood in there too. I think if they could add Jeff Green and OJ Mayo, they could have the best of both worlds.

Jim (Houston) [via mobile]

What happens to Calderon if Nash signs with Toronto? If he goes, where would he land?

Chad Ford
  (1:50 PM)

They'll try to trade him to a team with cap space that missed out on the big free agents. He's in the last year of his deal. If they can't, they'll amnesty him. A team with cap room could pull him off waivers. If they don't, I think the Lakers seem like a strong destination for him.

Jake (Louisville)

With Mo Williams joining the Jazz the PG count is now 4. Add to that a ton of expiring contracts - any trade scenarios?

Chad Ford
  (1:52 PM)

Tons. I expect the Jazz to be active. Devin Harris is expendable and I think Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap can be had for the right deals. However, remember, players with expiring contracts don't usually net huge hauls in return. I do think the Jazz will seek to lock-up Mo Williams long-term with an extension. He's a good fit in Utah.

Patrick (DC)

When do you next anticipate getting any sleep, or perhaps a day off?

Chad Ford
  (1:52 PM)

Sometime in August

Abe (NYC)

If you were the Knicks, would you give up Shumpert and Fields for Nash?

Chad Ford
  (1:55 PM)

Maybe. He's what they need if they are going to go for it. No one in NY cares about the future, it's the now. I could see it. Just still don't think they can get a deal close to what Nash would make in Toronto.

AJ (Flagstaff)

Do you think the Suns will sign Beasley and Mayo?

Chad Ford
  (1:56 PM)

Those are the type of players in their price range. Both talented (No. 2 and No. 3 picks in 2008) but both have major problems. If they do, it still isn't going to be pretty Suns fans.

Byron (Cleveland)

Are you surprised that teams are throwing out contracts like its the old cba?

Chad Ford
  (1:58 PM)

No. CBA did nothing to get rid of good old fashioned incompetence in NBA front offices.

Tim (Dallas)

If the Mavs miss on Williams what do you think their best plan of attack should be?

Chad Ford
  (2:00 PM)

It gets tougher. If Deron, Dwight and Nash are all off the table, the Mavs may be better off getting guys on one year deals, holding onto some cap flexibility and seeing what they can get in the trade market. I'm not totally loving all the other free agents left out there.

Chad Ford
  (2:01 PM)

Gotta run everyone. We'll do this again next week!