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January 30, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Chad Ford

Chad Ford
  (1:01 PM)

Aloha everyone and thanks for coming to the chat today. We'll tackle NBA in the first half of the chat and NBA Draft in the second half. Let's roll ...

matt (london, canada)

if indeed the rumours are true of GAY for Ed Davis + Jose C somewhere why in the world would the raps do this. BC save his job? Davis has been a revelation and will never demand the 17 mill that GAY makes.

Chad Ford
  (1:05 PM)

1. I think the "rumors" are more than rumors at this point. The two sides have been talking and have basically a rough framework for a deal dependent on them finding another team to take on Calderon. 2. The Raptors have been stuck in neutral for a while, they aren't landing a better play than Gay in free agency and while you're right Davis has been good, the Grizzlies aren't just giving Gay away for free. Grizzlies fans will argue that Memphis isn't getting enough. 3. Finally Bryan Colangelo has loved Gay since his college days. He was seriously torn between Gay and Bargnani on draft night. I think he feels like if he unites them, the Raptors instantly get better.

James (Chitown)

What do you think of Jalen Rose's suggestion that the Lakers trade Dwight for Horford and Korver?

Chad Ford
  (1:08 PM)

I would probably do that deal if I were the Lakers. It would allow Pau Gasol to move back to the 5, give the Lakers another big man who isn't a prima donna and will be willing just be part of the team, he's locked up long term and the addition of a shooter like Korver would really help. I'd also be tempted if I was Danny Ferry. With Josh Smith and Anthony Morrow already on board (both former AAU teammates with Howard) the Hawks would have a great shot of re-signing Howard.

Brian (Providence)

Lakers fans want & are accustomed to stars. Horford does not fit that description. At least not in the eyes of LakerNation

Chad Ford
  (1:11 PM)

I think they would prefer wins at this point. They have Kobe, Nash and Pau. They'll be fine.

Phil (Kansas City)

What do you recommend as a move for the Celtics both realistically or what they should try and pursue if they could make it happen?

Chad Ford
  (1:13 PM)

I think Ainge is going to do what he's been doing for weeks. Look for ways to make this team stronger via the trade market. If he can't, he's also been exploring options that could blow up the team and kick start the rebuilding process. The key question, which I don't know the answer to, is whether Ainge has the assets to get either Plan A or Plan B done. With Rondo out for the season Plan A has become a lot more unlikely. With Plan B? He's lost one of his trade assets in Rondo -- so it's going to have to be Paul Pierce, a guy that will be very tough for Ainge to trade.

Cdiddy (Aspen, CO)

When will the analysts start showing some love for Tristan Thompson's recent play? Kid has been nothing short of fantastic in Varejao's absence.

Chad Ford
  (1:16 PM)

He's been terrific. Huge vindication for Chris Grant who took some major hits over selecting Thompson at No. 4 last year. His rookie season, and the first half of his sophomore campaign were very rocky, but he's averaging 15.1 ppg, 10.9 rpg and shooting 53% from the field in January.

Lewis (Flint Michigan)

With Monroe and Drummond the Pistons have some pieces in place. What do they need to complete the puzzle and get back to the playoffs?

Chad Ford
  (1:19 PM)

A major upgrade at the three. Surprised they haven't tried to parlay a few of their expiring, a future draft pick and maybe a younger prospect like Kyle Singler or Jonas Jerebko into a deal.

Dan (Indy)

Does Granger have ANY trade value? Will he help really even help that much when he comes back?

Chad Ford
  (1:21 PM)

All depends on how he checks out medically. If he's going to be 100 percent soon, he has a lot of value. If he's going to take the rest of the season to get back to 100 percent, his value drops for the Pacers.

James (Chicago)

If Granger was 100% today, what kind of 4 or 1 could/would Indy target?

Chad Ford
  (1:23 PM)

I think Eric Bledsoe of the Clippers would be their top target. Ed Davis, who the Pacers seriously considered drafting over Paul George, would be another option.

Chris G. (LALA)

Any chance the Lakers could swing a deal for Kyrie Irving?

Chad Ford
  (1:24 PM)

Uhhhhh .... that would be a no.

Jon (DC)

John Wall, the #1 pick of the 2010 draft came back a couple weeks ago and the Wiz have gone 7-5 since his return. In your previous chats you said the wiz were a complete mess. What do you think now?

Chad Ford
  (1:26 PM)

A healthy Wall and a healthy Beal mean that their backcourt is locked up for a long, long time. It's the rest of the team that needs a major overhaul. The Wizards are a much better team than their current record when everyone is healthy, but is everyone in Washington just rooting for .500 now?

Stefan (Denmark)

Ty Corbin should be fired for not playing Favors more. I don't care if Favors makes a few mistakes - his upside and defensive is worth a lot more than Big Al - who is mostly sexy stats and no defense. I just don't get it - is he trying to get a new contract by winning a few more games (I'm not even sure they would get more losses with Favors instead of Jefferson)?

Chad Ford
  (1:30 PM)

Look, coaches want to win games. The future is GM stuff. His eye is on the playoffs and right now Jefferson is a better player than Favors. Everyone in Utah knows Favors is the future, but most coaches (including Jerry Sloan) will play their best players if they help them win ball games. That's why there is so much talk about Al Jefferson being on the block. The only person who can fix this is Kevin O'Connor. If he moves Jefferson, Corbin's hand will be forced. But you can't kill a coach for wanting to win basketball games. The Jazz probably aren't a 7th seed if you subbed Favors for Jefferson every night.

Steve Urkel (Chicago)

When Terrence Ross started the season he didn't exactly look ready to play in the NBA though throughout the season he has definitely progressed as a play on both the offensive and defensive end. If you were the GM for the Raptors who would you keep as your long term future SG, DeRozan or Ross?

Chad Ford
  (1:32 PM)

I think the Raptors refusal to include Ross in any deal for Rudy Gay says it all.

DJ (Grand Rapids, Mich.)

Finish this sentence: the Cavaliers end up with the #1 pick and they take...?

Chad Ford
  (1:32 PM)

Probably Nerlens Noel. Though Shabazz Muhammad will also be tempting as will Alex Len.

Alex (Paris, France)

Thoughts on Nerlens Noel performance last night.

Chad Ford
  (1:35 PM)

Maybe the best 2 point performance I've ever seen. Those 12 blocks were ridiculous. It was like he was a NBA player against a high school JV team. Noel has 32 blocks in his last 4 games! He's averaging 8 bpg in his last four in the SEC. That's crazy. He's currently on pace to record more block than Anthony Davis did as a freshman. I know he's been seen as a disappointment by many ... but to me he's played exactly as advertised -- elite defender, raw offensively. I know we obsess about offense when talking about draft prospects, but NBA scouts and teams care equally about defense and Noel has the potential to be a contender for Defensive Player of the Year someday in the NBA. That alone makes him worthy of being considered for the No. 1 pick in this draft.

brent (Daytona, FL)

What % chance do you give each of UK's freshmen (Noel, Goodwin, Poythress, Cauley-Stein) of entering this year's draft?

Chad Ford
  (1:38 PM)

Tough to say. All three have NBA talent and it's a weak draft -- meaning all three could be lottery picks. The issue is that Goodwin, Poythress and Cauley-Stein probably aren't ready. Goodwin needs to add a three pointer to his repertoire (he's 1-for-17 from three in his last 8 games), Poythress is still figuring out what he is offensively and needs to get more consistent, Cauley-Stein has the potential to be a Top 5 pick next year if he stays. I'm not sure any of them will stay with Calipari's elite incoming freshman class, but if those three did, I think they could all help both their draft stock and their NBA careers.

Joe (Detroit)

Have you watched Adreian Payne play lately? The light has come on. Come the draft he will garner lottery consideration.

Chad Ford
  (1:40 PM)

Yes. The light is coming on and he's very, very intriguing. He's been on the NBA radar screen since his freshman year, but he's really struggled to be a consistent impact player. He's got the size, athletic ability and recently he's showing off a very pretty jumper. Could be a draft sleeper if this keeps up all year. He's currently ranked in the 50s on our Big Board, but he's rising.

Bubba (Mississippi)

What do you think of Marshall Henderson of Ole Miss? A NBA lottery pick right? Guy is blowing up!!!!!!!!!!!

Chad Ford
  (1:47 PM)

That would be .... NO. I know he's become somewhat of a media darling and he's truly a gifted scorer, but he's got major issues as a NBA player. One, he's a 6-2 shooting guard who is already 22, has had major off the court issues and still plays, for the most part, out of control. While he's got a super quick release and unlimited range, he's not the sort of guy a NBA team is going to fall in love with. The talent is there, but the head and size just aren't. I watched him drop 27 points on Indiana State in Honolulu in December and then follow that up with 12 points on 2-9 shooting against San Francisco. Saw him again against Kentucky last night. Might be a second round draft prospect, but I'm even skeptical about that.

Danny (Cleveland)

Please explain to everyone Deshaun Thomas won't be that good in the NBA

Chad Ford
  (1:50 PM)

He can really score. He might be the best pure scorer in the NCAA right now. NBA teams are always interested in players like that. The problem for NBA scouts is that he's not a great athlete, plays no defense, is a tweener on the offensive end and is already 22 years old. Could I see a team taking him in the late first or second round. Yes. Like I said, great scorers always come at a premium, but he's not quite the prospect his college stats suggest.

Sergio (las Vegas)

What do you think of Kenny Kadji from University of Miami? NBA future? Is his age an issue?

Chad Ford
  (1:51 PM)

Having a great year. NBA teams always need size. He'll be 25 years old before draft night. That's a big issue for someone who is still considered a project.

Nick (Bloomington, IN)

You wrote in your most recent big board that Victor Oladipo has risen his stock considerably this season. From your talks with NBA scouts and whatnot, how high is his ceiling in this draft? How low is his floor?

Chad Ford
  (1:52 PM)

Could be a lottery pick. Elite defense. Elite NBA caliber athlete. Emerging offensive player. Tony Allen is his most common comp, but Oladipo doesn't cause the same locker room issues. Don't see him sliding out of the first round. Currently he's No. 17 on our Big Board.

Kirk (Las Vegas)

Do you think Anthony Bennett has a real shot at going #1 in the draft? He's easily the most polished freshman in the country.

Chad Ford
  (1:55 PM)

Probably not. Great player, NBA body, a bit of a tweener. He's been struggling a bit lately as Mountain West teams are gearing their entire defensive gameplan around him. He's going to have to learn how to deal with be the focal point of an opposing team's defense.

Nick (Florida)

Allen Crabbe. Why does this kid get so underrated? I havent seen him in one 2013 mock, its a weak draft, hes one of the purest shooters in college basketball, and i could see him being a great role player in the NBA.

Chad Ford
  (1:56 PM)

I talked to a scout the other day who really surprised me by ranking Crabbe as a mid first round pick. You're right. Great shooter. Good size for his position. Isn't a great athlete ... that seems to be the biggest knock. But neither was Klay Thompson.

Joe (Boston, MA)

Do you know no shooting guard has been picked first overall in the NBA Draft since 1975? McLemore is not getting drafted first unless he averages 25 a game the rest of the way. And Muhammad has too adequate of an all-around game to warrant the first selection. Noel will be picked first.

Chad Ford
  (2:00 PM)

With no consensus No. 1 -- my guess is that it will come down to team need. A team like the Suns? I could see them opting for McLemore. A team like the Wizards? Might be Muhammad. The Cavs? That could be Noel. Doubt position will be the overriding factor this year ... but it does explain why Noel has been No. 1 on our Big Board all year. Historically, size wins on draft night.

Brad (Toronto)

Who do you think is the better PG prospect between Marcus Smart and Michael Carter-Williams?

Chad Ford
  (2:00 PM)

Personally I'm a Marcus Smart guy. But I know plenty of NBA scouts and GMs who prefer Carter-Williams at the moment.

Chad Ford
  (2:01 PM)

Gotta run everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat today. Let's do this again next week!