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January 8, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Chad Ford

Chad Ford
  (1:00 PM)

Aloha everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat today. We will talk NBA in first half of chat and NBA Draft in second half. Let's roll ...

Mike (Chicago)

Hey Chad, do you like Chicago's strategy by salary dumping Deng to get a few extra picks and flexibility in the future?

Chad Ford
  (1:03 PM)

Yes and no. I think the Bulls are wise to realize that they aren't competing for a title without Derrick Rose and are making moves that improve their ability to get a high lottery pick. But losing Deng will hurt them next year. I think he's one of the more underrated players in the league and was perfect fit in Thibs system. When the Bulls want to compete for a title again next year, he's going to be very hard to replace unless they either land the No. 1 pick and put in a guy like Jabari Parker or if they can land an elite free agent ... but I'm not sure there are many players better in the free agent market than Deng.

seth (columbus)

If the Cavs make the playoffs with Luol Deng, do think his acquisition was worth it for them to miss out on this years loaded draft? Say that they don't resign him this summer AND they miss out on a great player in the draft. How bad could this trade be?

Chad Ford
  (1:07 PM)

Well, that's certainly the worst case scenario Seth. But being a Cavs fan, I understand the pessimism. I think Luol Deng helps the Cavs. Probably puts them into the playoffs I think he helps with the culture there which is a big deal. He's a selfless, hardworking guy who will bring a lot of professionalism to the table. He's going help defensively. But as a long-term play, I'm less impressed. He's 29 in April, is going to require the Cavs to fork over major dollars to re-sign him thus limiting their ability to make other moves and he's going to knock the Cavs from about an 8 percent chance of winning the lottery and a 90 percent chance of grabbing one of the top five picks, to a mid-first rounder. That's a huge difference. Dan Gilbert is sacrificing the future so that he can get what he wants right now. But Deng doesn't make them a championship contender, not even close, and leaves them not a lot of flexibility for the future unless suddenly Anthony Bennett, Tristan Thompson or Dion Waiters turns into a star.

Ty (Detroit)

Chad, please tell me the Pistons aren't stuck this year? They have to get guys who want to share the fall and feed our big men! The Pistons of the 00's always played together and out-worked every team due to their lack or star power, but this team seems to think they are all stars and don't play hard. It's becoming frustrating to watch.

Chad Ford
  (1:11 PM)

There were best case scenarios and worst case scenarios for the team Detroit fielded this year. So far, they are living up to the worst possible case scenarios as Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings continue to shoot them out of games. Their best hope is to turn Greg Monroe into a sweet shooting wing that allows Smith to move the four. They aren't going to be able to move Smith or Jennings and Andre Drummond is untouchable. Monroe will be the key. If they can get a legitimate shooter, things might balance out.

Kevin (Richmond)

Chad, what should the Sixers realistically expect to get as a return in a trade for either Thaddeus Young or Evan Turner?

Chad Ford
  (1:13 PM)

I think Young should be able to fetch them quite a bit. He's only 25 years old and I think he's finally coming into his own. I heard the Cavs flirted with trying to acquire him in the Bynum deal, but the Sixers wanted the Cavs first rounder this year to do it. The Cavs balked.

Chase (Utah)

With Gordon Hayward playing well, could you see the Jazz not wanting to pay a max deal and moving him at the trade deadline for more assets?

Chad Ford
  (1:14 PM)

No. I think they knew this was a possibility with Hayward. Given how well he's playing, I don't think they'll be afraid to match any offer. Hayward doesn't mind playing in Utah if he's paid. If other teams like the Celtics are willing to offer him a ton of money, he's worth that to Utah too.

Ozzie (Toronto)

Should the Raptors try to win the division or rebuild by trading away players like Lowry?

Chad Ford
  (1:17 PM)

Well they traded their two "best" players -- Rudy Gay and Andrea Bargnani -- and started playing much better basketball. If they move Lowry are they going to contend for the Eastern Conference crown? That's a joke, but given what's transpired this year, you know that the Raptors didn't foresee this. They want to lose games. They want a shot at Andrew Wiggins. But chemistry is a funny thing. Take two selfish players off the team and suddenly people start sharing the ball, basketball becomes fun again and the Raptors start winning. Tanking is a very inexact science. Remember it's front offices, not coaches and players that are doing the tanking. Sometimes a GM can stack the deck against his team and his team responds with more vigor. That's happened here. I'm not sure moving Lowry changes that.

John (Portugal)

Celtics seem to be pushing hard for that top 5 spot, who do you think Ainge is high on in this draft?

Chad Ford
  (1:19 PM)

He keeps telling me it's overrated, which in my experience, means he loves it. I've always believed the plan in Boston was to try to snag one of those top five picks. We will know for sure in a few weeks when we get closer to the trade deadline. The Celtics have assets they could move to almost guarantee a Top 5 pick (well, guarantee is a strong word given the situation in Toronto). Will they make the moves?

Marc (New York ,NY)

What went wrong with Lakers Cavs trade for Gasol? Lakers have to get something for him by trade deadline. Can't have him leave as a free agent without getting something in return.Could this be Dwight Howard part 2?

Chad Ford
  (1:20 PM)

Lakers wanted way too much for Gasol. They wanted more than what the Bulls got for Deng and Deng was a better fit for Cleveland. You have to be realistic about a player's value. Some GMs are, some aren't. Right now the Lakers are living in fantasy land with Gasol.

Ben Mehic (New York)

Hey Chad: What's going on with the Wizards? They've had an up and down season thus far, but they've managed to stay out of the trade rumor mll.

Chad Ford
  (1:23 PM)

Ernie Grunfeld looks at the standings, sees the Wizards as a 5 seed, knows given the Hawks injury woes and Toronto's willingness to keep dumping players that a 3 seed is in reach. Looks at his owner and says mission accomplished.

Tommy (Arizona)

Cleveland's whiffed on a lot of high draft picks in the last few years. If they aren't going to change the front office personnel responsible for the botched picks, then aren't they better off dealing for veterans?

Chad Ford
  (1:25 PM)

I guess that's one way to look at it.

Jerry (Chicago)

Are the bulls done trading? That about Kirk or Noah?

Chad Ford
  (1:26 PM)

Don't think so. Lots of talk about those two as well as Boozer. I've said this in several of our last Tank Ranks, management has made the decision to tank this season. Coach isn't on board, but they can keep taking cards out of his hand to play.

Jim (Sacramento)

Your thoughts on any likely moves the Kings might make before the trade deadline? More in terms of who they could bring in...I think we all know that Thornton and Jason Thompson are likely on their way out...

Chad Ford
  (1:28 PM)

They're still really active. The problem is the guys they really need now are players who play defense, facilitate and make others around them better. This team is loaded with offensive minded, me-first players. There has to be a balance.

Jaque Vaughn (Orlando Magic)

Its obvious that Orlando is tanking? What if any players , have any trade value to a contender?

Chad Ford
  (1:29 PM)

Afflalo. Has a ton of value. Though I doubt they ever can get as much for him as they could have this summer when the Clippers had interest in an Afflalo-Bledsoe deal. Magic missed on that one. Bledsoe-Oladipo would be a pretty awesome young backcourt.

TWO (Toronto)

If the season ended today, who would be the #1 pick in the draft?

Chad Ford
  (1:30 PM)

No consensus really. Most teams would select either Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins. Joel Embiid and Dante Exum are dark horses. They both have lots of fans, but I'm not sure there is a GM in the league with enough guts to take either guy No. 1. Working on a story on this right now as we ready our Lottery Mock Draft machine. Be patient, it's coming ...

Chris (Baltimore)

Between Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins who would be the better fit to play with Michael Carter Williams and Nerlens next year in Philly?

Chad Ford
  (1:31 PM)

Both would be good fits, though I hear Sixers lean toward Wiggins' upside.

Bensley (Berlin)

Advanced stats guys say that steals is a good indication of future NBA success. what does it mean that Julius Randle has one steal in 385 minutes? total.

Chad Ford
  (1:32 PM)

I've had a number of teams point this out to me. Very strange and you're right, the advanced metrics guys are all a bit concerned about it. NBA teams still like Randle, a lot, but I haven't really heard a team (GM or scout) say they'd take him No. 1 in over a month.

Chris (Ohio)

With Rodney Hood's recent play can he make it into the top 10 picks?

Chad Ford
  (1:33 PM)

He's right there. I think he's No. 12 on our Big Board right now. When we update the next one next week, he's probably moving up a few spots based on the feedback I'm getting from teams.

Tyler Hemstreet (Tacoma, Wash.)

Where do you see Creighton's Doug McDermott going?

Chad Ford
  (1:34 PM)

15-25. His shooting is the main attraction.

Bob (KS)

Chad -- Are you a bit surprised Embiid hasn't moved from "dark horse" no. 1 pick to even odds with Parker and Wiggins? Since he's moved into the starting lineup, Embiid, not Wiggins, has been KU's best freshman. His numbers are excellent and when you look at the impact of guys like Hibbert and Marc Gasol, having a big like Embiid seems like the better option, no?

Chad Ford
  (1:35 PM)

I'm being patient. He's No. 3 on our Big Board and I think virtually every GM in the league is in love. After a few big man busts, I think there's some reluctance to go with a guy who's only been playing basketball for a few years, but if I was a team drafting that high and needed a big man, I wouldn't hesitate to pull the trigger. I agree he's been KU's best player over the last month.

John (Philadelphia)

What are GM's biggest concern about Jabari Parker?

Chad Ford
  (1:37 PM)

Defense. A good, but not elite athlete. But he's considered a very low risk player. Hard to see him failing in the NBA. Only question is really about how high his ceiling is.

John (Orlando)

Where do you see Marcus Smart going?

Chad Ford
  (1:38 PM)

Top 6-7 picks. Magic really like him. So do the Kings.

Anthony (Berkshires, MA)

How do NBA teams view Cauley-Stein? Every time I watch Kentucky I come away very impressed with his defensive potential in the NBA. 7' 240+ moves so well for his size. Seems like tyson chandler 2.0 As a celtics fan outside of the elite 6 I would want Stein in the upcoming draft.

Chad Ford
  (1:39 PM)

Scouts are all over the place with him. The defensive potential is obvious. It's the offense that scares teams. Tyson Chandler isn't a bad comp at all. He's somewhere in the 9-15 range.

Dikembe (Denver)

How much do scouts like Aaron Gordon? I know Arizona is #1 in CBB but I haven't watched many of their games

Chad Ford
  (1:39 PM)

Love his energy, athleticism and toughness. He's trying to make the transition from an undersized four man to a three and that's still a work in progress. Reminds me a bit of Andrei Kirilenko.

Kleber (Sao Paulo)

Is there a chance of Wiggins or Parker not declare for this year's draft if the #1 is not guaranteed?

Chad Ford
  (1:42 PM)

Yes, I know both players are considering a return to school. Ditto for Embiid. I think it's unlikely for Wiggins and Embiid. Might be a little bit more likely for Parker. And I'm told a Mormon mission still isn't out of the question for him. I asked several GMs about what would happen to his draft stock if he declared for the draft and then said he was going on a two year mission. I was surprised how many of them said they'd still consider him with the No. 1 pick.

Eric (Chicago)

Aaron Craft a lottery pick? Surely someone could use a point guard (Lakers?), not much talk on him but he seems like the gritty kind that could surprise teams with his talent.

Chad Ford
  (1:43 PM)

No. Not a lottery pick. But lots of teams like him as a second rounder. Maybe even a late first. So tough.

Casey (Utah)

Any big name draft prospects seem like they could return for another year of school?

Chad Ford
  (1:44 PM)

All of them, so we could go through this fun again next year as well. Wouldn't that be awesome. And wouldn't four or five GMs try to jump off a bridge if that happened?

Nate (Sacramento )

Could you see Dante Exum going #1 if the Orlando Magic were to have the first pick?

Chad Ford
  (1:47 PM)

Yes. I could. They like him a lot. They like Marcus Smart and Wiggins and Parker too however. If I were to order them right now I'd go: 1. Wiggins 2. Smart 3. Exum 4. Parker for the Magic

Max (New York)

From what I've seen of Montrezl Harrell, he really hasn't been as dominant as many have expected. Has his stock slid to the 20s?

Chad Ford
  (1:48 PM)

No. It's still in the teens. But it's interesting for the most part, players are struggling a bit to live up to their early pre-season projections this year. Everyone was so high on the draft, it was probably impossible to meet it.

Nicky (Tampa)

Where do you see Sam Dekker in the NBA?

Chad Ford
  (1:49 PM)

Mid first round pick. Lots to like there. Can shoot it, pretty good athlete, versatile, defends.

Chad Ford
  (1:51 PM)

Gotta run a few minutes early today everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat. We'll do it again next week! Aloha