Chat with Chad Ford
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, 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 Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Chad Ford (1:01 PM)
Aloha everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat today!. We'll talk NBA playoffs in the first half and NBA Draft in the second half. Let's roll ...
Rodrigo Sbarra (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
If the Spurs get eliminated do you see trades in the future? Maybe TP?
Chad Ford (1:04 PM)
It's tough. On one hand they had the best record in the West this year. On the other hand the Grizzlies have made them look old. I think they would've been better off playing a team like Dallas or possibly even the Lakers. The Spurs have really needed to start rebuilding the past few years, but their continued success has got them to focus on the present. They have some young pieces that are solid -- but no young emerging stars. So yes, it might be time to see what Parker and even Manu might fetch on the open market this summer or whenever the lockout end.
jay pee (ny)
canthe grizzles get to the finals?
Chad Ford (1:07 PM)
That may be pushing it. But the team has a lot of talent. Is playing great. Plays at both ends. They have a bright future if Michael Heisley doesn't mess it up somehow. Finals? Well it's not impossible given how unconvincing every other team in the West has been up to this point.
Will (Denver, CO)
Does Portland take this to Game 7 tonight?
Chad Ford (1:09 PM)
I think you mean Thursday night ... but yes, I think this one is going 7 games.
Jamal (Providence, RI)
Hey Chad, am I crazy to suggest the Thunder look at moving Westbrook sometime in the next 2 years. They get much better shots with Maynor (a true point) on the floor, and can probably get a less expensive floor general along with another piece or two for the young star.
Chad Ford (1:10 PM)
Don't read into one game. Yes, Westbrook took too many shots. And yes, he's done it in other games. But he's a young point guard. It happens. He's going to settle down. You don't find stars like Westbrook everyday. Besides ... assuming OKC closes out the Nuggets tonight ... I still think they have a chance to represent the West in the Finals. Will we be talking about trading him if that happens?
How is it that the Hornets without David West so essentially Chris Paul and no one else can win 2 games vs the Lakers but the Knicks with Melo and Amare can't win 1 game?
Chad Ford (1:14 PM)
That's because Chris Paul is in a different league than Melo. Melo is a great scorer. But that's it. Paul makes everyone around him better. He's been doing this for years, but no one notices because he's been in New Orleans with a very mediocre supporting cast. Give him more talent and he'd be seriously in the MVP vote every year.
Joel (New York)
Mr. Ford, who do you believe is the best point guard in the NBA ?
Chad Ford (1:16 PM)
Here's my list: 1. Chris Paul2. Derrick Rose3. Deron Williams4. Russell Westbrook5. Steve NashNote: I think eventually John Wall will take Nash's place once Nash's career starts to wind down.
What do you make of Brandon Roy?
Chad Ford (1:17 PM)
Amazing will to win. He doesn't have much left physically. But he knows how to play and on any given night, that can trump great athletic gifts. However, long term, I don't think it's sustainable. He played the best game of his career in Game 4. Not sure we'll see a repeat of it sadly.
If the Magic get eliminated, does Smith blow up the team?
Chad Ford (1:18 PM)
Wait, I thought he did that already during the regular season?
J. Ricardo (St. Charles, MO)
The Bulls are going to struggle with the Hawks or the Magic, right? Say what you want about the 'fight' of the Pacers, they are much less talented than the Hawks.
Chad Ford (1:19 PM)
Couldn't disagree more. It was exactly that sort of toughness and feistiness that caused the Bulls so many problems. Have you seen this Magic-Hawks series? It's a race to see which team will lose 4 games first? I think Pacers would've beat either team in a 7 Game series. I think the Bulls will be in the Eastern Conference Finals. I say they beat either team in 5.
Hollinger on the potential Miami-Boston match-up: "I still think the Heat will breeze past them fairly easily in the next round." That has to be a ridiculous assessment right? Or do you agree?
Chad Ford (1:24 PM)
No. Nothing Hollinger does is ridiculous because unlike you and I, he's one of the only guys that has actual research/evidence to back up his point. I don't see it that way ... no. I think Boston has intangibles and chemistry that the Heat still struggle with. I also think their team -- by and large -- has more experience together. Yes, both Wade and LeBron have been to the Finals. But not together. Of course I said the same thing about San Antonio and look where that got them. I do think Heat win the series ... just don't see it as a cakewalk. I'm picking Heat in 7.
Caleb (Brooklyn, NY)
Hey Chad, is Donnie Walsh back next year for the Knicks?
Chad Ford (1:26 PM)
I think so. It's not 100 percent yet, but it looks like that's the direction it's heading. James Dolan just needs to assure Donnie that it's Donnie running the ship and not Isiah Thomas. Knicks would be crazy not to bring him back. I don't care what the Knicks did in the playoffs. He's made them a true pro team and relevant again, something Isiah destroyed in his tenure.
Doug (New York)
Should the Knicks bring back D'antoni?
Chad Ford (1:29 PM)
Absolutely. He's a very good coach. It's not his fault that the media and fans overhyped the value of Melo and Chauncey. The Knicks were exactly who they are ... a solid, borderline playoff team who would be easily dispatched by a contender. Coaching wasn't the issue. Talent and depth were. If they could blend with Donnie's old team -- the Pacers -- to add some depth, they'd be really good. I know Knicks fans are holding out for CP3 or Howard in 2012. Maybe they should. But this team has star power. They desperately need depth.
Now that the season is over for the Pacers, what do you expect of them in the draft and free agency?
Chad Ford (1:33 PM)
They have a really bright future. Hollinger and I put them at No. 7 in our last Future Power Rankings a month ago and feel really good about it. I know the Pacers will try their best to convince Larry Bird to come back. Bird has done a great job in Indy. They want him back. If Bird retires, it seems like a no brainer that they'd give the job to David Morway. He's been a huge part of their rebuilding project and I think he'd stay the course. I think they'll take a look at some veteran coaches like Mike Brown but I wouldn't be surprised if Frank Vogel gets the job. You can't say enough about how well he coached this team and got everyone on the team to believe. As far as talent, they really need an athletic four who can rebound, defend and block shots. They also need a guard who can get his own shot off the dribble. Of course a star would be nice too ... but it doesn't look like there are any on the horizon right now. I think they're a 44 win team next year and then take another big step in 2012.
Threat Level Midnight (LaCosta Lounge)
Chad -What move(s) do you believe the Sixers need to make going forward? Are they truly a team on the upswing or one with the current talent to hover at the .500 mark?
Chad Ford (1:35 PM)
I really like their future. They have a lot of young talent. I think they really need a young big to complete the picture and wouldn't be surprised if they shop either Andre Iguodala or Evan Turner to try to get him. But yes, the future is bright in Philly.
In reference to your point guard list above, has Rondo seriously fallen due to his shooting this year or was he never a top 5 guy for you? FYI, he is starting his annual playoff resurgence. You have to love a guy who improves in the playoffs. Thanks
Chad Ford (1:36 PM)
Yes, should've included Rondo on the list. My mistake.
Brad (Halifax, NS)
On a scale of 1 to WTF??!!, where does this upcoming draft place in the history of bad drafts?
Chad Ford (1:39 PM)
It's pretty bad. But it's complicated. 1 and 2 are solid. Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams both look like very good NBA players. Neither are in the mega star mold ... but very good prospects. The problem is 3-10. Currently it's a mix of international players and guys like Kemba Walker, Brandon Knight and Terrence Jones -- talents with some serious ? marks. There are just a ton of unknowns in the group. After 10, however, the draft levels out a bit. Lots of solid, rotation players in the 11-35 range and frankly ... that's about what you expect even in a good draft.
Is the 2012 draft going to be one of the best ever?
Chad Ford (1:41 PM)
Potentially. We just put up our very early 2012 Top 100 and it's impressive. A very strong Top 10. The question is ... 1. Will the NBA change the rules and force kids to stay in college 2 years. If that happens the draft gets instantly weaker. 2. In the last few years we've had top prospects say no to the NBA draft. Our list assumes everyone will come out. They won't. If you want to check it out ... click here. http://espn.go.com/nba/draft/results/top100/_/year/2012
Why does eveyone have Utah taking a point guard? Walker, Knight, or Irving? Dont you think Harris is thier PG going forward? He is better than any of the 3 in the draft.
Chad Ford (1:44 PM)
No, I think they'll take a PG if they can get one. If nothing else ... as a player for Harris to groom. They love Irving. Like Walker and Knight. The Jimmer is a possibility if they go big with their first pick.
Chad Ford (1:45 PM)
Quick update: Warriors just let go Keith Smart. Can't say I disagree with them ... but Warriors have more problems than just the coach. Bob Meyers is a good start. Would love to see a coach that could bring some defense to the table.
Marcos (Puerto Rico)
Why does nobody talks about Tobias Harris? He was a top 10 recruit coming out of high school, play great in his freshman year and will be one of the youngest players in the draft. Dona??t you think hea??ll be a great player in the Suns system? Thanks Chad
Chad Ford (1:47 PM)
Could be. He's No. 21 on our Big Board. But he could go higher for sure. The big issue for scouts is trying to figure out his position in the NBA. Phoenix would be a good fit.
Jazz going big, do you mean Kanter, Valanciunas or the Bismack, rank those three bigs if u could
Chad Ford (1:49 PM)
Kanter is the most NBA ready I think. Very skilled. But lacks size and elite athleticism. Valanciunas is a major talent. But he's a bit further away and I think a potential buyout issue could keep him out of the NBA a few years like Ricky Rubio. Bismack has the most upside of the group -- but he's also the furtherest away.
Ernie G. (D.C.)
Do you think I should get out of the first round entirely and try and turn this year's #1 into a high pick next season so we have two high picks in a better draft?
Chad Ford (1:52 PM)
Yeah, basically every GM is thinking the same thing. Good luck with that.
Spencer (New York)
where do you fall on the rumor that Bismack is really in his 20's?
Chad Ford (1:52 PM)
We have a real obsession with birth certificates at the moment in the US.
You now have Raptors drafting Derrick Williams #1. Is this from what you're hearing from their Front Office?
Chad Ford (1:54 PM)
The Mock Draft is based on sourcing inside teams. However, it's very early in the process. I think they could go either way, but I believe they are leaning toward Williams ... yes.
Chad, I'm curious as to why Reggie Jackson isn't a higher rated player in this "weak" draft. You look at his production and his measurements and it just screams lotto pick to me. Why does it seem almost all mocks I read have him going in the early to late 20's?
Chad Ford (1:55 PM)
I think he may end up in the lottery ... I agree he has that sort of talent and I'm surprised more teams aren't that high on him. A few teams have him in their Top 14, but a surprising number have him as a bubble first rounder. He's a kid who could really explode if he plays well at the NJ workout. He's got a lot going for him. If my Top 100 was MY Top 100, he'd be in the lottery.
I see in Terrence Jones the next Earl Clark, lots of potential, no enoght heart. Do you agree? Thanks Mr. Ford
Chad Ford (1:58 PM)
I can see why you'd think that. I'm a bit higher on Terrence Jones. He's better and better at a younger age. But there are some similar concerns, yes.
Chad Ford (1:59 PM)
Gotta run everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat. We'll do it again next week ...