Chat with Chad Ford
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN NBA Insider Chad Ford will drop by to talk some hoops.
Ford covers the NBA and NBA Draft for ESPN Insider and also makes appearances on ESPN Radio and ESPNEWS.
Send your questions now and join Ford Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Chad Ford (1:02 PM)
Aloha everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat today. One week into the season ... lots to discuss. Let's roll.
any teams interested in tayshaun prince?? we need frontcourt help
Chad Ford (1:04 PM)
I think that's the next move for the Pistons. I haven't been impressed with them in the pre-season or the regular season. It's early and the team deserves time to get in synch with so many new players and a new head coach. But early on ... ugh.
Jeremy (Orlando Florida)
How can you say Lebron's supporting cast is weak!? Seriously? If Shaq gets integrated into that offensive flow they had last year, the Cavs will be as good as Orlando and Boston.
Chad Ford (1:06 PM)
I was talking about his "future" supporting cast when he makes his free agent decision in 2010. The Cavs core young players in addition to LeBron are: Mo Williams, Varejao and maybe, if he develops J.J. Hickson. That's NOT a lot for the next five years. Clippers, Bulls and maybe the Heat could offer him better teammates. If he bolts Cleveland, that will be why.
Freddy (Los Angeles)
How much could have Rondo potentially made had he became a restricted free agent?
Chad Ford (1:08 PM)
That's tough. Restricted free agents tend not to get offer sheets because GMs are afraid that the home team will match any offer. I think Rondo's end game if he didn't sign was to wait out the Celtics until the summer of 2012 and then become an unrestricted free agent. That's very risky especially with a new CBA coming. I think it was a good deal for both Rondo and the Celtics.
Marios (New Jersey)
How much do you think Rudy Gay gets offered in the offseason and how much is Memphis willing to match?
Chad Ford (1:09 PM)
Gay may get some offers. I think only a handful of the elite free agents will actually sign with new teams. That means a lot of teams with money will want to spend it. Given the Grizzlies history of penny pinching, some team may try to steal him away. But I'd be cautious. The Grizz are unpredictable and quietly sources in Memphis are claiming they have every intention of keeping him.
slick ric (chicago)
what player has impressed you the most so far this season?
Chad Ford (1:11 PM)
Carmelo Anthony has been amazing. He's becoming the player we always thought he could be. There was a point in the draft when some GMs thought he could be better than LeBron. His off the court issues have kept him from keeping up ... but this year he seems in shape and very, very focused. He's awesome.
Based on the first week of play, which rookie have you been most impressed with?
Chad Ford (1:13 PM)
I've really been impressed with the Bucks' Brandon Jennings. It's interesting, there was so much mixed opinion on him before the draft. Some were claiming he was a Top 3 player in the draft. Others were much more down on him after watching him flounder in Europe. I wrote an indepth piece on him from Italy about three weeks before the draft and the impression I got from the scouts I trusted the most was that he had the potential to be great. Early on, he's proving that. Also been impressed with Ty Lawson, Jeff Teague, DeJuan Blair and Omri Casspi.
Who is that guy wearing the Andray Blatche jersey for the wizards?
Chad Ford (1:15 PM)
Yeah, he's been AMAZING. He has the potential to be a special player. Always has, but he finally seems to be getting it. Reminds me a little of when Jermaine O'neal, out of nowhere, really started to break out. He's got to be the leading contender for Most Improved and, once Antawn Jamison gets back, maybe for Sixth Man.
Marios (New Jersey)
Which second year player do you see making the biggest strides this season?
Chad Ford (1:16 PM)
I've been really impressed with Danilo Gallinari. Kid can shoot the lights out. Is an excellent passer. And he can play some defense. I think a lot of the Knicks future hangs on his shoulders.
Chad, our schedule hasnt been what you would call strong, but how much should we buy into the heats hot (no pun intended!) start?
Chad Ford (1:18 PM)
When Dwyane Wade is healthy, they can beat anyone. Especially when Jermaine O'Neal looks healthy again for the first time in years. My only question ... how long is that going to last?
Skinny Peete (Phoenix)
Is Channing Frye going to run away with the Most Improved Player award?
Chad Ford (1:20 PM)
He's the other guy who's really surprised a lot of people. Though in his case, it has a lot more to do with change of scenery. The Suns offense is tailor made for him. But he was an after thought in Nate McMillan's offense. The Suns let him be who is and don't focus much on his glaring weakenesses (he doesn't rebound, he's soft, etc.) This is a great case of a team and player finding the right fit more than it is that he's suddenly improved his game.
A.J. (Sioux Falls, SD)
How ridiculously deep are the Magic? They were missing 3 starters and still handled Toronto. So much for needing time for that team chemistry to build.
Chad Ford (1:21 PM)
They are the best team in the league. They have depth, post play, outside shooters, veteran leadership and an excellent head coach. Sorry Laker fans, this is the Magic's year.
Fat Tony (Springfield )
Garnett, Wallace, Allen, Pierce. Am I looking at the Celtics big four, or a partial roster from the 2002 all star team?
Chad Ford (1:23 PM)
Yeah, they've been terrific too. I think we're going to see a Celtics-Magic Eastern Conference finals and if both teams are totally healthy and the Celtics aren't out of gas ... it will be epic. That's my concern with the Cs. They are getting older. Can they do this for 100 + games?
Chad thanks for the open chat. Quick question please....Do you think the Bulls will sign a 2010 top tier free agent?? Dwayne Wade seems like the popular choice, Lebron would be amazing with the Bulls squad.....or do you think the Bulls will trade for someone like Amare by trade deadline??I know...more than 1 question =)Thanks Chad
Chad Ford (1:24 PM)
I think their most realistic shot is Chris Bosh actually. LeBron and Wade are both long shots, but both would be very good fits. But if I was a betting man I'd say either Bulls or Heat for Bosh in 2010.
In your earlier answer about LeBron, you finally touched on something that has been seemingly ignored throughout the conversation...LeBron is not an aging vet signing a 1 yr deal, meaning 2011, 2012, 2013, etc. are just as important as 2010. Therefore we should be talking about not just teams' 2010 rosters/cap space, but also 2011, as well as the power structures (gm/coach) and financial stability of potential franchises LeBron may actually be interested in...
Chad Ford (1:27 PM)
Yup. And that's why I believe the Cavs misplayed their hand. They have been consumed with winning short term instead of putting in place a young core that can keep the Cavs in the Eastern Conference Finals for the next decade. I'm still not convinced that LeBron will bolt. But if he does, that will be the reason. Great players want to play with other great players. That's why the Dream Team has been so appealing to veterans. If LeBron can find a great situation (a big if) I think he bolts. At a cursory glance, the Clippers might be the best long term fit ... can you imagine LeBron with Baron Davis, Eric Gordon, Blake Griffin and Chris Kaman?
With the nets with the potential highest salary cap space do you feel they can Land any top teir 2010 FA?
Chad Ford (1:28 PM)
Depends on whether the ownership change happens and if the team gets the go ahead to move to Brooklyn. If those two things happen, Nets will be players next year. This year ... ugh. Brook Lopez and Devin Harris are good, but I'm not in love with anything else on their roster right now.
Tyler (Oklahoma City)
Chad, How about the start of the young and upcoming Oklahoma City Thunder?? What are their chances of squeaking into the playoffs this year??
Chad Ford (1:29 PM)
I think it's a long shot. But long-term they have a VERY bright future. I think Danny Ferry should've built the Cavs the way Sam Presti has been building the Thunder. Think long term. Get a core of young players. Be careful with money and then, when everything's in place ... you make one more key acquisition and you have the chance to compete for a title for the next 5 years. And by the way ... how good is Russell Westbrook? Wow.
Scully (Bean Town)
How dare you question the Celtic's age concerns. People had the same issues with this team in 2007 when we won the chip. It's only 2 years later... wait a minute.....
Chad Ford (1:30 PM)
It seems like the Lakers need Pau back faster than they thought. WIth Lamar in the starting lineup the bench is seriously lacking, and shows the lack of depth the Lakers seem to have. Its three games and I know they will mesh better as the season goes on, but it looks as if something isnt right. YOur thoughts.
Chad Ford (1:32 PM)
Be patient. Pau is a big key. But the Lakers know they're in this for the long haul. They have nothing to prove. Good teams (see the Spurs the last decade) don't always come out of the gate guns a blazing. Andrew Bynum has been much better and once Gasol is back, Odom becomes a potent option off the bench. Point guard is their weakness and soon enough, so will Kobe's aging knees. But this year ... I still think they'll represent the West in the NBA Finals.
Why do people count Ron Ron out as a terrible signing? He wasn't brought in to help the offense, it was purely a defensive move to guard the big threes, look at what he did to Joe Johnson
Chad Ford (1:33 PM)
Sure, on paper. But try to convince Ron Artest that he ISN"T a good offensive player. Good luck with that.
Is Boozer trying to look horrible? I thought he was playing for a contract? What can the Jazz do this year?
Chad Ford (1:35 PM)
Yeah, Jazz looked really out of synch last night versus Houston in the 4th quarter. Interesting that the Jazz used to always have the rep as the team that out executed everyone on the floor. Now ... that prize goes to the Rockets. They are this year's TEAM. Not sure if they have the talent to win enough in the West to make the playoffs, but they are going to battle every night. Darryl Morey is a genius.
Noah R (Miami Fl)
Chad my boss left for lunch, high-five?
Chad Ford (1:35 PM)
You got it Noah!
Chad, do you think the David Morway and the Pacers best bet is to get a couple good draft picks and then use their REDICULOUS cap space they will get in 2011 (36 million coming off the books) to land 2 high profile free agents?
Chad Ford (1:37 PM)
That's the plan Cory. Pacers were in a giant mess 2 years ago. It takes some time to work your way out. Danny Granger's been great, but he can't do it alone. Hopefully for Pacer fans Roy Hibbert, Brandon Rush and Tyler Hansbrough all develop. If they do, they'll be set in 2011. And ... if Mike Dunleavy can ever get healthy, I think they'll be a contender for the eighth seed the next two years.
Thom (Granville, OH)
Has the Tyreke Evans bandwagon been destroyed yet? Is he another combine darling whose stock got too high because of his length/athleticism?
Chad Ford (1:38 PM)
Way too early for that. However, the concern going into the draft was that while he was a volume scorer, he wasn't a very efficient one. No reason to suspect that will change in his first few months in the league. Give him time, he has a lot of physical tools. It's the mental ones that the Kings will have to cross their fingers on.
Matt (St. Paul)
Why is Corey Brewer (38% career FG%) taking 15 shots per game? He is killing the Wolves.
Chad Ford (1:39 PM)
Good thing David Kahn just picked up his option for a fourth season.
Babylon (PHX, AZ)
Do you think Amare will leave the Sun's ?
Chad Ford (1:39 PM)
I do. Best guess is that he lands in either New York or Miami.
CP3 (Unhappy in New Orleans)
Chad, what do I do here? My team has a 45 win ceiling and doesn't look like financially we can bring in any talent. I'm too good of a guy to demand a trade and it would kill New Orleans if I left, but I can't take getting bounced in the 1st round every year. What do I do?
Chad Ford (1:40 PM)
Buy the team from your owner and move it to Las Vegas or Kansas City. It's the only way ...
CP3 answered his own question already....Get into fights with Rajon Rondo...
Chad Ford (1:41 PM)
That ain't gonna do it.
Dan (San Diego)
Grant Hill is showing us he has at least another 8 good years. Agree or Disagree?
Chad Ford (1:44 PM)
If you subscribe to the idea that it's mileage, not years, that runs a player down then ... maybe not 8, but four or five?
Bargnani's 50 million vs. Aldridge's 65 million, what's the better deal?
Chad Ford (1:44 PM)
Rondo's at 55. Blazers and Raptors both overpaid.
Iverson already complaining after his first game...so funny
Chad Ford (1:46 PM)
AI's outburst after his first game about coming off the bench begs the question: after watching AI bail on Pistons last season over same issue, why didn't the Grizz address this BEFORE signing AI? Gotta love the Grizzlies. And how about Hasheem Thabeet? He's off to a scintillating start.
Don't you think the Big Three make Rondo look way better than he is?
Chad Ford (1:48 PM)
Did you see Rondo on the court in the playoffs when members of the Big 3 were hurt of playing like crap. He averaged a triple double and was the best player on the floor.
How long will it take my Hawks to figure out that Crawford and Teague are the present and future and Mike Bibby is running on fumes?
Chad Ford (1:48 PM)
Jeff Teague the future? Yes. Jamal Crawford? Not so much.
What are the chances the Cavs trade for Stephen Jackson and name me one good reason why they wouldn't do everything they can to get him?
Chad Ford (1:50 PM)
He has a three year extension that kicks in at the start of NEXT season. If he continues his bone headedness (remember the Pacers almost bought him out of his contract before trading him to the Warriors) wouldn't that be the last nail in the coffin for the Cavs keeping LeBron?
jay (portland oregon)
Chad, NW questions, Do you think Nate Mcmillian is the right coach to take the Blazers to next level. It seems like a lot of the players on the team do not fit Coach Mcmillians system. Team is built to run but they are one of the slowest teams in the league. What are your expections for the blazers this year?
Chad Ford (1:51 PM)
I see your point Jay, but I think Nate's been a great coach. They are struggling to adjust to having Oden on the floor more and Andre Miller ... but I think it will happen. Who out there, who's available, is a better coach than Nate?
David Lee (New York)
I deserve better than this, don't I?
Chad Ford (1:52 PM)
You're making a lot of money, Mike D'Antoni's system is padding your stats and you'll cash in big time next summer. So what are you complaining about?
You asked if we could imagine LeBron with Baron Davis, Eric Gordon, Blake Griffin and Chris Kaman; the answer is yes. And I can also imagine him blowing out his knee about 2 weeks into the season. Nothing that good will ever happen to the Clips without some sort of consequence.. you think King James doesn't know that?
Chad Ford (1:53 PM)
Ummmm .... I can't argue with this.
Chad why is Jared Jeffries playing more than me?
Chad Ford (1:54 PM)
Leave me alone Darko. It's over. Don't make me pull out the restraining order again.
Chad Ford (1:57 PM)
Gotta run everyone. We'll do it again next week. In the meantime check out my latest Insider article previewing the Free Agent Class of 2010 and follow me on twitter all week at: http://www.twitter.com/chadfordinsider