Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

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

Chad Ford
  (1:03 PM)

Aloha everyone and Happy New Year. We'll talk NBA in the first half hour and NBA Draft in the second half. Let's roll ...

Rich (Russia)

So we fired Avery! That really helped us against the Spurs! Is a new coach really going to fix this team?

Chad Ford
  (1:08 PM)

Oh boy. Now Russians are referring to the Nets as "us" ... gotta love that. I don't really think Avery Johnson was the problem. I'm not sure how you can be the Coach of the Month in November and unemployed in December unless you've broken the law. But this is the NBA ... and when GMs put a team together and it doesn't work ... they don't fire themselves. They blame the coach. And if the next coach doesn't get them playing together? They trade the players and blame them. The fact that we could see this coming this summer I guess is irrelevant. For the most part the Nets are too old and lack depth. They Joe Johnson deal looks like the disaster we saw coming this summer. Hard to get excited about paying Gerald Wallace huge #$$$ for the next 3 three year. But the one thing no one anticipated is that Deron Williams was going to play like this. If they can get a coach to get him playing better -- the Nets will be a playoff team. Championship contender? No coach is going to get this current squad to that level.

Ash (Chicago)

Hi Chad, love the chats! Do you see D12 signing elsewhere as a FA? It seems he does not enjoy playing for Dantoni and w Kobe at all. My guess is he will take a little less money and bolt, maybe to BKLYN. Also, do you think his back has caused an irreversible decline?

Chad Ford
  (1:11 PM)

It's hard to say because D12 isn't himself. He clearly is still recuperating from back surgery. So is unhappy playing for the Lakers? Is he in pain? Is he just frustrated that he can't do what he did before? I know he still pines for Brooklyn ... but unless the Lakers are willing to trade him there (for Brook Lopez and pieces) I don't see how he gets there. The Nets are totally capped out. After the Nets, is there really a team he wants to play for that gives him a better shot at the title than the Lakers? I don't think so.

Andy (SLC)

Any chance the Jazz end up with Cousins? I think Jefferson needs to go and Millsap would be better served coming off the bench, otherwise, he should go, too? What moves should the Jazz be looking to make?

Chad Ford
  (1:14 PM)

Cousins is crazy talented and from what I can gather, he wants out of Sacramento badly. The Jazz have a ton of different assets to offer. But I can't imagine any scenario where the Jazz would give up any of those assets for Cousins. They care a lot about both character and chemistry. They aren't the type of team that will take the risk? Boston? For sure they would. Dallas? They would too. Just not Utah.

steve (Michigan)

With the way Drummond is playing, dispelling the work ethic issues, can he be better than A. Davis? Seems with his size and athletic ability the D. Howard comparisons are spot on.

Chad Ford
  (1:18 PM)

Howard was his comp last year. Coming into last season he was the only player scouts thought could knock Anthony Davis off the No. 1 pick spot. He didn't really play up to it at UConn ... but after watching him for half of season in Detroit -- it is looking like the right comp. If he is going to keep up this learning curve and play hard all of the time, he has a chance to be better than Davis because he has more physical tools. And ... Drummond has now passed Davis as the rookie with the highest PER in the league.

Coop (Houston)

Should the Bulls disband the team and start over with Rose?

Chad Ford
  (1:19 PM)

Not at all. With a healthy Rose I think they are the one team that could knock of the Heat. Be patient Bulls fans. If Rose can make a full recovery, I think the Bulls are serious contenders to the Eastern Conference crown.

Drew (Bloomsburg)

Jrue Holiday an All-Star? Over DWill?

Chad Ford
  (1:20 PM)

To me, the best two point guards in the East have been Rajon Rondo and Kyrie Irving this year. But Holiday is a very close third. Deron Williams shouldn't be in the conversation this year. He's not played like an All-Star.

james (dc)

Are you still a believer in John Wall? I really disagree with SVG's comments. He is still a huge talent that has no zero supporting cast in his time with the Wizards.

Chad Ford
  (1:23 PM)

I am. I didn't hear Van Gundy's comments so I can't comment on that. But I think he's been in an awful situation for the past two years. He has incredible talent if he can stay healthy and if he had some semblance of a team around him. Washington has been so dysfunctional the past few years -- as a basketball team and in their culture -- it's hard to really gauge him. Wizards are quickly becoming a team that's being mentioned in the same breath as the Kings when it comes to completely dysfunctional organizations.

Abhi (Houston)

Are the Clippers or the Thunder better in the West?

Chad Ford
  (1:25 PM)

Tough call for me. I lean toward the Clippers just because I think Chris Paul is the best point guard in the league and having him running the ship gives the Clippers a major advantage. Kevin Durant is right there as far as elite players go, but because he's not a point guard, he can't always control the tempo of the team the way Paul can. If I were voting for MVP today, I'd vote for Paul.

Tyler (Illinois)

Are the Warriors a legitimate contender?

Chad Ford
  (1:26 PM)

Contender? Not quite there. But I do think they are the proverbial team that no one wants to play in the first (or second) round of the playoffs. They can play with ANYBODY ...

Justin ('Sota')

Kevin Love's attitude seems really bad this year and we seem to play better without him. Any chance of trading him?

Chad Ford
  (1:28 PM)

Probably not. He's so good, the Wolves want to make a major splash in the playoffs and they couldn't get equal value in return. However, it's probably in their best interest to trade him now. He wants out and will likely bolt the team when he can opt out of his contract. The longer the Wolves wait, the harder it is for them to get value in return. That's been proven over and over again in the NBA.

Chris (DC)

Might one solution to the Amare situation be a deal with their crosstown rivals for Joe Johnson? The Nets could separately attempt to move Humphries for a SG ala Ben Gordon and the Knicks should be able to move one of their other wingmen for a reserve PF to Melo.

Chad Ford
  (1:31 PM)

Wait ... is Billy King on our chat? Or maybe this is Isiah Thomas. Hard to tell ...

Riley (Roanoke, VA)

While I do think Damian Lillard is a revelation and the clear rookie of the year candidate, don't you think it should be pointed out he is old? He is the same age as young guards like Jrue Holiday, who has more experience and is putting up slightly better numbers. Lillard isn't like a 19 year old Kyrie Irving last year!

Chad Ford
  (1:34 PM)

I think it's been pointed out. He's physically and mentally more mature than most rookies. However, had he played for a bigger school than Weber State, he would've been identified by NBA scouts as a lottery pick earlier and would've left school earlier. Most older college players fail in the NBA because their college numbers were deceiving. They were dominating because they were older and more mature than the players they were playing against. I just don't think that was the case with Lillard. He was good for years, it just took the NBA a while to figure it out.

Paul (New Orleans)

All of the mock drafts I've seen have New Orleans taking Cody Zeller. Is center really their biggest need? What do you think they should do?

Chad Ford
  (1:36 PM)

Don't really see Zeller going to the Hornets wit the No. 1 pick or to anyone else with the No. 1 pick. His stock is slipping a bit as NBA scouts struggle to come up with a great comp for him. I do think he'll be drafted in the Top 10 ... but the Hornets will probably be drafting too high for him. Best pick for Hornets would probably be a guy like Shabazz Muhammad or Ben McLemore

Jason (Cincy)

Where do Kentucky's 4 talented Frosh project in the latest draft? All lottery picks? Any chance any will return?

Chad Ford
  (1:38 PM)

Noel, Poythress & Goodwin are locks for the lottery. Cauley-Stein could sneak in there too. Given the stellar incoming class for Kentucky -- not sure any of them stay though I could make the argument that all of them REALLY need another year under Calipari to max out their potential.

Josh (Bloomington, IN)

Thoughts on the rise of Victor Oladipo at Indiana? Seems to be exceeding all expectations and showing a lot of upside.

Chad Ford
  (1:40 PM)

Love him. One of my favorite players in the country. He's gonna be a first round pick in this year's draft. If he can convince scouts that his 45% shooting from beyond the arc isn't a fluke -- lottery isn't out of the question.

Tecumseh (Vancouver)

Who are Gonzaga's Nba Draft Prospects?

Chad Ford
  (1:42 PM)

Elias Harris, Kelly Olynk, Kevin Pangos and freshman Prezmek Karnowski are all legit second round picks.

Aaron (Provo)

Tyler Haws from BYU just recently scored 42 against VT Hokies. Pretty impressive for a sophomore. When he declares for the draft, where do you think he could go?

Chad Ford
  (1:43 PM)

The NBA scouts that have been watching Brandon Davies have all come away super impressed. Tough to get a great read on his stock right now. But he is on the radar screen.

dbfeld (manhattan nyc)

G-Robinson III, Trey Burke, Stauskas and TH2: Where do you see Michigan's finest in the draft?

Chad Ford
  (1:45 PM)

Burke is a clear first rounder. Robinson is probably their second best NBA prospect and one the first round bubble. Hardaway and Stauskas are potential second rounders right now. I really love this Michigan team. No offense to Duke, who has played great all year, but to me the Wolverines are the most talented college basketball team in the country.

Sam (Westwood)

Are you warming up to UCLA's Kyle Anderson yet? Kid has a nose for the ball, and a real handle.

Chad Ford
  (1:46 PM)

Warming ... not there yet. But warming.

CLO (NC)

It's taking some time but Shabazz is starting to look like the dominant scorer everyone thought he would be...If he continues to play how he has been lately do you think the puzzling #1 pick question could be solved? Guys that can score 25+ a game are really hard to find

Chad Ford
  (1:48 PM)

He can play his way into the No. 1 pick for sure. Wings aren't the most popular choice for the No. 1 pick. LeBron James and Glenn Robinson are the only two SF's to go No. 1 in the past 20 years. That's why Noel and Len are higher on the board. But right now he's playing as well as any freshman in the country.

Matt (Fayetteville (AR))

Which Young do you prefer? B.J. or Patric?

Chad Ford
  (1:49 PM)

BJ.

Brad (Atlanta)

Do you think Otto Porter will enter the draft after this year? And what do you think his future is in the NBA?

Chad Ford
  (1:49 PM)

Good chance he will. Think he'll be a Top 10 pick. Ceiling is probably a poor man's Scottie Pippen. Floor is Jeff Green.

Nasim (Hamilton, ON)

Would you say that Noel's comp. is Drummond? Who do you think is the better player in 5 years.

Chad Ford
  (1:51 PM)

No. Drummond has a NBA body all the way. It's freaky how well he moves laterally for a guy his size. Noel's frame is going to prohibit him from filling out the same way. I think Marcus Camby might be a better comp for him. If Drummond keeps up this learning curve, he might be a Top 10 player in the league in 5 years. I don't see that from Noel or anyone else in this year's draft.

Ben (McLemore)

Can I break the SG streak and go #1?

Chad Ford
  (1:51 PM)

Outside chance ... yes.

Andy (Minny)

Are Mbakwe and Rodney Williams showing they are draft worthy with the starts to this season?

Chad Ford
  (1:52 PM)

Yes on both accounts. Probably second round picks (though Williams has first round athleticism all the way).

dan (campbell)

Ricky Ledo has lottery talant whether he ever plays for the friars or not , i havent seen a 2 guard with his offensive skill set in quite some time.

Chad Ford
  (1:54 PM)

Might have lottery talent, but he'll struggle to go that high because he sat the year out. I hear he's strongly flirting with declaring for the draft. If he has great workouts, someone will grab him in the first.

Cory (Parts Unknown)

How fascinating do you find this upcoming draft with the all star potential of guys like Goodwin, Shabazz, and McElmore knowing that GMs usually gamble on big guys first.

Chad Ford
  (1:57 PM)

That is part of the intrigue. Noel and Len are No. 1 and No. 2 on the board because teams always overrate size at the top of the draft. But the best talents? Muhammad, McLemore, Bennett, Porter, Goodwin in my eyes.

Phil (Kentucky)

Any NBA caliber players for Louisville? Russ Smith?

Chad Ford
  (1:59 PM)

Smith is a super undersized two guard. But given his speed and scoring abilities, I think he finds a way to make it in the NBA as a Lou Williams type off the bench. Gourgi Deng, Wayne Blackshear, Chane Behanan are all likely NBA players as well.

Cory (Parts Unknown)

Anthony Bennet reminds me of Elton Brand with more range. Have you heard this comparison by GMs?

Chad Ford
  (1:59 PM)

No. But I have heard Karl Malone a little bit ... which is really intriguing.

Chad Ford
  (2:00 PM)

Gotta run everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat. We will do it again next week! Mahalo!