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February 20, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Chad Ford

Chad Ford
  (1:00 PM)

Aloha everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat today. With the trade deadline a little more than a day away, we'll take trade rumors in the first half of the chat and transition to the draft in the second half. Let's roll...

Deven (New York, NY)

Will Dwight Howard still be a Laker after the trade deadline passes?

Chad Ford
  (1:02 PM)

Sounds like it. Lakers have been adamant that they aren't trading Dwight. But if you question is ... SHOULD Dwight be a Laker after the trade deadline passes? I think the answer is no. He and Kobe are stuggling to get along. Mike D'Antoni doesn't really know how to use Dwight. The chances that Howard tries to bolt this summer are high. If the Lakers lose him and get nothing in return, it would be devastating. I'd be calling up the Hawks and Nets and trying to work a deal that fixed multiple holes in my roster.

Adam (Brooklyn)

Where do you see josh smith ending up? Is atlanta really considering the nets offer as reported (marshon, hump, eurostash, draftpicks)?

Chad Ford
  (1:06 PM)

Smith, by all accounts, seems to be the guy most likely to go. Nets have the most interest, but don't have the right assets to make it happen. Bucks have interest. Celtics have interest. Suns have interest. Wizards have interest. Spurs have interest. Rockets too ... Rumblings that other teams out West are looking hard at him as well. The question is whether any of those team are willing to give up anything of value to get him. Suns and Bucks seem to have the right level of motivation assets. My money has him going to one of those two teams. Maybe Celtics if they're willing to sweeten the offer.

Jake (durham)

Do You think the jazz should make a play for Bledsoe now or wait and use their Draft picks to find their future pg.?

Chad Ford
  (1:09 PM)

Bledsoe is a perfect fit for them. Of all the trade rumblings we've heard the past few weeks a Bledsoe for Millsap swap seems to be the one that makes the most sense for both teams. Millsap is a player who could push them over the top in the West. Bledsoe is the perfect candidate to run a team like the Jazz. If the Jazz sweeten the offer to include Alec Burks or a first round pick, will the Clippers bite. I could see it happening.

Andrew (OKC)

From what you have heard is the Perk for Gortat actually a possibility? I don't see the Thunder trading Perk.... thoughts?

Chad Ford
  (1:14 PM)

I think it's a really good deal for the Thunder if they can land Gortat. Suns would get Jeremy Lamb and a first round pick as well as Perkins. I don't love Perkins in Phoenix, (just doesn't feel like a good fit) but this deal would allow the Suns to pick up a couple of young assets to finally jumpstart the rebuilding effort. Wonder if the Thunder are offering that Toronto pick. That would make the deal more enticing for the Suns.

Peter (Seattle)

Does Andrea have any trade value? He was playing decent last year before injuries, but he just never got it rolling this year. It seems a few teams could use a floor spacing center.

Chad Ford
  (1:15 PM)

The answer must be no because the Raptors have been very active in trying to move him and, so far, haven't had any luck. His contract plus his poor rebounding and defensive numbers are hurting him.

Eddy (Boston)

You see the Celtics making a splash at the deadline? If so, for who?

Chad Ford
  (1:17 PM)

I don't know what to believe. Multiple GMs say the Celtics are as active as any team in the league. Danny Ainge keeps saying it's unlikely they do anything big. I've heard Ainge is pushing KG, Pierce and Rondo. Reports say they're all being told they won't be moved. It's pretty clear to me that the Celtics have to do something ... and they have the assets to do it -- either breaking things up or adding to their core. The idea that Ainge is going to sit on his hands just don't seem right. Welcome to another Danny Ainge trade deadline drama.

John (Minneapolis)

Do you see JJ Redick being moved and where to? A lot teams could use his shooting at the 2.

Chad Ford
  (1:21 PM)

Lots of interest in Redick. But the concern is that he's an unrestricted free agent next summer and he's made it pretty clear he won't re-sign just anywhere. The other issue (and this is also what's hurting Josh Smith's trade value) is that if you trade for a player in the last few months of his contract and give up anything of value, you almost have to do anything to re-sign them the next summer. That puts all of the leverage in the hands of the player's agent. Teams don't want to trade for Smith or Redick now, give up assets and then be forced to overpay them in the summer because they've already given up too much. At least ... rational teams wouldn't want to do that.

Michele (Los Angeles)

Are the Hornets considering dealing Eric Gordon?

Chad Ford
  (1:23 PM)

Yes. I mean, c'mon, they've got Austin Rivers waiting in the wings! But teams are wary because of his injury history. Teams like the Warriors have shown interest. The Pacers have shown lots of interest in the past. The question is whether their doctors can get comfortable enough with Gordon's medical issues to give up something of value and take on his huge contract.

Dave (Indianapolis)

Are the Pacers holding Granger out tonight because he's being traded? What do you think the Pacers should do with him?

Chad Ford
  (1:26 PM)

Everything quiet out of Indy right now. A number of rival GMs think it's highly unlikely they move Granger right now and think it's more likely he's gone this summer. However, if the right deal came along? I still think there's a possibility they move him.

Dan (New York)

Will Brandon Jennings get the huge contract he thinks he deserves?

Chad Ford
  (1:28 PM)

The Bucks are gambling that the answer is no. That's why they've pulled back, per Marc Stein's report, on any sort of trade deadline deal for Jennings. But they have to be sweating three teams -- Dallas (who registered interest in Jennings at the trade deadline), Orlando and Atlanta. Of the three, Dallas is the one that will keep John Hammond up at night. If they decide to put together a toxic offer, the Bucks lose him for nothing. T

Michael (Milwaukee)

Any chance Ilyasova gets moved?

Chad Ford
  (1:29 PM)

Yes. There are scenarios where the Bucks would want to hold on to Jennings and Ellis. They won't trade John Henson or Larry Sanders. That leave Ilyasova as their best trade chip.

Steve (LA)

Are Clips going to splash or hold back?

Chad Ford
  (1:31 PM)

Might be the biggest question in the next 24 hours. So many teams covet Bledsoe. If they pull the trigger, could start an avalanche of moves. Most signals point to hold back and play the year out. But Vinnie Del Negro is pushing hard to make another move for a veteran.

Matt (Hoop City)

What about Sam Dalembert? Memphis could use a backup C for Gasol and has a trade exception. Thoughts?

Chad Ford
  (1:32 PM)

Don't think the Bucks will trade Dalembert unless they need him for a mega deal. Like his veteran presence on the team and see him as a fixture going forward.

Mike (Dayton)

The spurs have been linked to a few trade rumors. Do you see them making any deals in the next hour or so?

Chad Ford
  (1:33 PM)

DeJuan Blair. Seems to be the only guy the Spurs are actively trying to move.

Ryan (LA)

Bulls plan to sit on their hands again this year?

Chad Ford
  (1:34 PM)

Looks that way unless they can find a taker for Boozer.

Jake (Palo Alto)

Are the Warriors content to be capped out first round fodder, or any shake-up coming?

Chad Ford
  (1:35 PM)

Keep hearing their name come up in a number of different trade scenarios but, for what it's worth, they are saying it's very unlikely they do anything big. They want to keep this young group together and see how they grow. Warriors were playing above their heads all year. Above what even management's expectations were. It's not that alarming to see them coming back to earth.

Dan (New York)

In my mind, Denver needs to do something at the deadline. They have traceable assets, a huge trade exception, and a need at center. Are they active?

Chad Ford
  (1:36 PM)

Don't see the Nuggets making a deal either right now. They too want to keep the young team together and see how they develop. After a few years of massive shake-ups, makes sense for them to give the team some time to gel. Doubt they make a big move.

Themis (Greece)

Given that Kobe and Howard do not like eachother, Why do not the Lakers trade Kobe and keep the younger Howard and build for the future. The could still get a lot for Kobe even though he is 34.

Chad Ford
  (1:41 PM)

One, Kobe has a no trade clause, so they can't just ship him anywhere. Two, Kobe is very popular in LA. Dwight is not. It would be a very hard sell to fans. However, with that said, I've heard rumblings that if Howard told Laker officials this summer that the only way he'd stay in LA is if Kobe leaves, the Lakers could end up choosing Howard over Kobe. It's an unlikely scenario, but one worth watching.

Ian (Indianapolis)

We don't get a lot of New Orleans games in the Midwest. What's the Hornets' incentive to get rid of Gordon?

Chad Ford
  (1:44 PM)

They overpaid this summer to keep him. There are concerns about his durability and he wasn't very happy when the Hornets matched the offer. If they could get a young (cheaper) quality two guard in return (Klay Thompson is the player most often mentioned) in return, they save money long-term and still get a two guard with a bright future to grow around Anthony Davis and whoever they select in this year's draft.

Steve Urkel (Chicago)

What are your thoughts on Nerlens Noel's injury? Is he still going to declare for the draft this year?

Chad Ford
  (1:46 PM)

He hasn't indicated one way or the other, but I think it's likely. Every GM and scout I spoke with believes that he's still a Top 5 pick as long as his rehab is going well. They're willing to be patient. And with Andrew Wiggins coming next year, it's unlikely he'd be the No. 1 pick in 2014 anyway.

Pete (Minneapolis)

Victor Oladipo had another great game last night. Do you think its possible he is a top 5 pick? Not a ton of comps out there with his combination of athleticism and defense.

Chad Ford
  (1:48 PM)

Yes. He's moved into the Top 5 on our Big Board and for the first time, I've had a couple of GMs tell me that they like him more than Ben McLemore. They are in the minority right now ... but still. What a rise. In all my years of covering the draft, I've never seen a player improve as much as I've seen him improve in such a small period of time. He has weaknesses, but major, major upside. If he continues to improve, I don't think it's out of the question he could be the No. 1 pick in June. He's not there yet, but he's special.

Kendra (Lansing)

Archie Goodwin over Gary Harris???? Really??? Is it only because Goodwin went to UK because if the roles were reversed . . .

Chad Ford
  (1:51 PM)

Goodwin has been ranked ahead of Harris all year, but lately Goodwin has been sliding and Harris rising. Last night we moved Harris ahead of Goodwin on our Top 100. But ... I will say this. Harris is surrounded by veterans which take a lot of the pressure off. Goodwin is drowning on a team without much experience and without a real point guard. If they changed teams? Other than the fact that Tom Izzo will kill Goodwin for his shot selection, I don't know.

Moses (Maryland)

Ben McLemore vs. Marcus Smart tonight on ESPN2. Which player has a better NBA career?

Chad Ford
  (1:53 PM)

I could see them going 1 and 2 in the NBA draft. And I'm not sure which guy would go No. 1. Probably depends on team need. I love them both. Both have their weaknesses. But both have the potential to be NBA All-Stars someday.

Jason (Cincy)

Are WCS, Poythress, and Goodwin still 1st round picks in NBA scouts minds? Do you think any come back to Kentucky next season?

Chad Ford
  (1:55 PM)

Yes. Poythress and Goodwin have really done damage to their draft stocks the past few weeks. Both were considered by scouts to be Top 10 picks before the season began. Poythress still clinging to the end of the lottery. Goodwin now out of it. Cauley-Stein flubbed his first game starting in place of Nerlens Noel. Scouts love the upside, but he's going to have to produce to stay in the lottery.

nolen (canada)

If Payne from Michigan State leaves early, when does he get picked?

Chad Ford
  (1:56 PM)

Has really helped himself this year. Good size. NBA athlete. Showing off surprising range on that jump shot. He's a bubble first rounder right now.

Ryan (Ohio)

Could Anthony Bennett be a SF in the NBA?

Chad Ford
  (1:57 PM)

Maybe. Most scouts see him as a power forward. He's a bit undersized, but those long arms and explosive athletic ability help. Doesn't really matter on the offensive end. Just needs to be able to guard someone. Think he's a lock for the Top 5.

Chad Ford
  (1:57 PM)

Gotta run everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat today. Have a great trade deadline day tomorrow.