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March 26, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Chad Ford

Chad Ford
  (1:00 PM)

Aloha everyone!Thanks for coming to the chat today. We'll be talking NBA Draft and NCAA March Madness all hour. Let's roll ...

Greg (Indiana)

I know you love Marcus Smart but his ugly jumper is alarming.Him and players like MKG whos biggest attribute his heart and hustle worry me because of you cant hit shots youre ceilings limited imo

Chad Ford
  (1:01 PM)

Worries me too. But jump shot is one of the things that can get better with hard work. Smart is a gym rat and such a hard worker, I think he'll improve it.

John (Columbus)

ChadCan you explain why Deshaun Thomas would not be drafted highly? He seems to be able to score from anywhere on the floor and his defense has improved. Isn't the NBA looking for versatile athletes that can score?

Chad Ford
  (1:03 PM)

He's not a great athlete. He's a bit of a tweener and he is a porous defender. No one doubts his scoring ability. It's all the other stuff that scares NBA scouts.

John (Winston Sale,)

Should any of the UNC players (McAdoo, Hairston, Bullock) leave this year?

Chad Ford
  (1:04 PM)

McAdoo should stay in school. Tons of physical ability there, but he's far away skills wise. Tougher call for Bullock and Hairston. They both can shoot the ball and that could get them in the late first round. But both could improve stock by returning to school for another year.

Trevor (Sacramento)

I'm curious how Jamaal Franklin still hasn't cracked the top 14 in any top 100. Is it just the questionable jumper?

Chad Ford
  (1:05 PM)

Yes, that's the biggest worry. He's No. 17 on our Big Board, however, so he's close to that spot and could be a late lottery pick.

Rob (Wilkes-Barre)

I know GMs love Gary Harris, but do you think he will declare if he can lead Spartans to Final Four?

Chad Ford
  (1:07 PM)

Sounds like he's leaning strongly toward returning for his sophomore year. But if they go all the way? All bets are off. He has some shoulder and back issues he'd like to take care of this summer. Will have more time to do that if he's returning to college than if he's heading to the NBA>

Pete (Charleston, SC)

Aaron Craft, what do you think of his pro potential?

Chad Ford
  (1:07 PM)

Great defender. Tough. But offensively challenged. Second rounder?

Ryan (NYC)

Khalif Wyatt, while he almost certainly will never be a star, can he be a valuable asset on an NBA team (Jared Dudley type)?

Chad Ford
  (1:08 PM)

Not as big as Dudley, but has that same unathletic, old man's game. He piqued interest the last few weeks from NBA scouts. But right now he's still on the outside of our Top 60.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

How much has Ben McClemore wilting under the bright lights damaged his draft stock? Will the fact that he admitted as much publicly raise eyebrows with people in NBA front offices?

Chad Ford
  (1:11 PM)

It's a concern. He's obviously an elite athlete and shooter, but his lack aggressiveness is troubling to a lot of scouts. Reminds them a lot of Brandon Rush. Rush was a great athlete, great shooter and defender, but really struggled when he was asked to take over ... has carved out a decent NBA career, but teams want a lot more out of a potential No. 1 pick.

Andrew (NYC)

Can Marshall Henderson play in the league?

Chad Ford
  (1:12 PM)

Maybe. But I doubt any of the 30 GMs in the league will want the headache of finding out. While the media love the cockiness, it doesn't play well among the NBA scouts and GMs.

Jon (DC...But UK Fan )

Does Otto Porter disappearing for most of Gtowns upset loss to UFGC hurt his draft stock at all?

Chad Ford
  (1:13 PM)

Probably not. He's been heavily scouted this year and he can, from time to time, shrink back into a supporting role mentality. If a team drafts him, they draft him as more of a second option type player anyway. But I think he could be VERY good in that role.

Andrew (MX)

What teams would be a good fit for Len? Watching him in college I think anyone expecting a physical banger will be disappointed, NBA weight regimen or no.

Chad Ford
  (1:13 PM)

That's an issue. Lots of scouts concerned about his physical and mental toughness and that's caused his stock to drop. He's not nearly as interesting if he's a 7-1 jump shooter.

Rob (High Point, NC)

Out of the Michigan guys right now which one has the best NBA potential and skill set?

Chad Ford
  (1:15 PM)

Trey Burke is No. 9 on our Big Board and has been rising the past month. More and more NBA folks are getting comfortable with him. His lack of elite size and athletic ability have made them question him in the past, but his poise and overall skill level have really won them over. Glenn Robinson III is the other guy to watch. He's not ready, but he's got the physical tools and the pedigree to shine someday.

Rick (Detroit)

What are the Kentucky freshmen going to do? They have to leave, right? No PT next year really.

Chad Ford
  (1:17 PM)

Don't know. They all are saying they're staying. Willie Cauley-Stein will likely be a starter. Poythress and Goodwin are the ones that have to worry about losing their starting job. But coming off the bench won't kill their stock. In fact, it might help it. I hope they all go back to school. None of them are close to being ready for the NBA>

Parker (Tennessee)

What are your thoughts on DJ Stephens as a pro prospect?

Chad Ford
  (1:18 PM)

Most explosive leaper I've ever covered in my 15 plus years following the draft. He's got crazy ups. Love his motor and quickness as well. He doesn't have much of an offensive game, but the defensive havoc he brings to the floor ought to be enough to get him drafted by someone.

Anthony (NYC)

I'm no statistician, but does a 1 or 2 game sample outweigh a 30 game sample?

Chad Ford
  (1:20 PM)

NO. It's why NBA scouts/GMs "say" they don't put a lot of stock in the NBA Draft. However, Peter Keating just did an interesting story for ESPN the Magazine that argues, using statistics, the NCAA tournament performance is a predictive indicator of NBA success. Here's the link if you're an Insider: http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/9070121/nba-gms-go-mad-breakout-stars-ncaa-tournament-espn-magazine

Kris (Arlington, VA)

Which NCAA head coach would you like to see get a shot in the NBA?

Chad Ford
  (1:21 PM)

Brad Stevens. First of all, he's a basketball genius. Second, he has the demeanor that I think would work in the pros. He motivates with reason, not with screaming and power plays. I think GMs are crazy not to bring him in.

Woody (Washington, DC)

Has Kansas center Jeff Withey boosted his draft stock with his recent play? Is he still a last 1st round pick or does he have a chance to move higher?

Chad Ford
  (1:23 PM)

For sure. He's up to NO. 22 on our Big Board and rising. His shot blocking, rebounding and ability to stay out of foul trouble should all be very attractive.

Kevin (San Jose, CA)

Got to watch Anthony Bennett in UNLV's loss here in San Jose and he was great in a short spurt and then disappeared vs. Cal. What do you make of him?

Chad Ford
  (1:24 PM)

That's the tough thing with one game. He's played much, much better this season than he showed there. I think he has the chance to be special and should be a Top 5 pick.

Dan (WI)

Why isn't Kentavious Caldwell-Pope higher on the list? He's got the numbers and the size to match up against a lot of the guys ahead of him.

Chad Ford
  (1:25 PM)

He's a sleeper. Played on a bad team and had to take a lot of bad shots. If he was on a solid March Madness team, you're right, he'd go 10 to 20 spots higher.

Jordan (Baton Rouge, LA)

Do you feel that Shabazz M. will continue the trend of UCLA players thriving in the NBA after somewhat underperforming in Ben H's system (like Jrue Holiday)?

Chad Ford
  (1:28 PM)

That's one possible outcome. The other, equally possible, is that he was highly overrated coming into college. That had the high school recruiting gurus known he was a year older, he would've been evaluated differently from the get go and wouldn't have come in with the same level of hype. I think Muhammad could be a good NBA pro because he does know how to score and he plays really hard. But I can't say I've been blown away with his talent either. He's not an elite athlete, can't shoot off the dribble and he plays a selfish brand of basketball. His assist rate is in the Yinka Dare range. Somedays I really wonder what the difference is between him and Ohio State's Deshaun Thomas. Had he not come in with the hype, not sure he'd be in our lottery right now.

Daniel (MI)

Adreian Payne? Where is he on your board now and what are his chances of becoming a late first-rounder?

Chad Ford
  (1:29 PM)

He's on the first round bubble and really helped himself with a strong showing against Memphis on Saturday. Big, can rebound, block shots and shoot the basketball. Just inconsistent.

Sam Bowie (Portland)

Is Olynyk a real nba player or just as fraudulent as the rest of the Zags team that destroyed many a bracket?

Chad Ford
  (1:31 PM)

A little bitter? I think Olynyk gets drafted in the first round. Possibly in the late lottery. The big question with him is position. He seems to lack the toughness to a be a full time five in the NBA. But his shooting and ball handling ability suggest he might be a nice stretch four.

Karl (Lehigh)

I know CJ McCollum hasn't played, but couldn't he be a top 10 pick with how weak the class is?

Chad Ford
  (1:32 PM)

Yes. One of the constant theme I heard from GMs and scouts this week was that McCollum is looking better and better every day. He was off to a red hot start before hurting his foot and the truth is that few players have really outplayed him this year. He'll especially be a lock for the lottery if teams believe he has point guard skills.

GJ (Miami)

After his big shot, where might Shane Larkin be drafted if he declares? Could he exceed the late lottery projection to which you tagged him before the tournament?

Chad Ford
  (1:34 PM)

Tough one to peg because up until a week ago, most scouts were evaluating him as a 2014 prospect, not a 2013 one. He's played so well lately that he might have moved up into this draft class. His lack of size puts a ceiling on how high he'll go, but he's a quick, steady point guard who can see the floor and shoot. Maybe puts him in the 12-25 range if he declares.

Ray (Indiana)

Any chance Oladipo or Zeller stay in Bloomington for next year?

Chad Ford
  (1:36 PM)

Think Oladipo is gone for sure. He's going to be a Top 5-6 pick. Zeller might be a bigger question mark. Some scouts love him, many don't. His stock is a bit more volatile. Not sure where he lands and whether he'd be better off returning for a year to add strength and a jump shot to his game.

Ben (East Lansing)

Do you see any FGCU players getting drafted whether its this year or the coming years?

Chad Ford
  (1:38 PM)

Sherwood Brown probably has the best chance this year. He's the heart and soul of the team and a senior. I wouldn't say it's likely, but it's possible, especially if he performs well in workouts/draft camps. The other guys Bernard Thompson, Brett Comer and Chase Fieler are down the road guys. But they weren't even on the NBA radar screen until a week ago. That's a big improvement!

Keith Trawick (NJ)

With Nerlens injury, Bennets tweener status, Smarts ugly jumper, Porter not being a Alpha Male, and Mclamore not taking over..who is realistically goin number 1 overall?

Chad Ford
  (1:40 PM)

Noel is the popular pick among NBA GMs at the moment. But Marcus Smart and Ben McLemore are still in the race. Victor Oladipo has an outside shot too. He has a lot of fans.

Jacob (Rochester, NY)

Biggest sleeper and most forgotten... Michael carter Williams.... Hands down the most talented player in Draft, being handcuffed in syracuse's system

Chad Ford
  (1:42 PM)

Might be the system. Might be his lack of a jump shot that is allowing defenses to back off him. He & Cody Zeller are the hardest players in the lottery for me to project. Lots of mixed opinions on both players.

Diego (Montreal)

What about Myck Kabongo as a sleeper? Would be a potential lottery pick if he had played the whole season?

Chad Ford
  (1:43 PM)

Some scouts still believe Kabongo may sneak into the lottery. He's going to need great workouts, but they loved him in high school and think the Texas system was a poor one for his skills.

Freddy Lopez (Los Angeles)

He won't come out this year, but Sam Dekker looks like a real interesting prospect. What do scouts think of him so far. Can he be as good as Gordon Hayward don the line?

Chad Ford
  (1:45 PM)

He's a potential first rounder in 2014. Love the talent. Hayward comps aren't out of line.

Rick (Detroit)

CJ Leslie just announced he's declaring. More likely a 1st rounder or a 2nd?

Chad Ford
  (1:47 PM)

He's a bubble first rounder. Great athlete and was much more consistent in 2013, but just not sure what he is at the next level

Christian (Manila)

Did Nate Wolters and Doug McDermott help or hurt their stock?

Chad Ford
  (1:48 PM)

Probably stayed about the same. Both potential second rounders.

Keith Trawick (NJ)

How much more excited are you about the 2014 draft than the 2013 one?

Chad Ford
  (1:51 PM)

Look, every year NBA scouts hate on the draft and most years it ends up being better than they said it would be. This year the hating has been consistent and when you look at the top of the board, it's tough to get super excited. However, there is a lot of depth here and lots of players on our Big Board are going to make and stick in the league. Next year, however, could be special. We have one of the best incoming high school classes ever. Have a few elite international players. If a few of these underclassmen come back, it could be a very special draft.

Chad Ford
  (1:52 PM)

Got to run a few minutes early today. Thanks for all of your questions. We have a new Lottery Mock Draft, new Big Board and new NBA Draft Stock Watch blog all up for Tuesday. That should keep you busy for another hour or so. See you next week!