Chat with Chad Ford
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, 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 Thursday at 1 p.m. ET!
Chad Ford (1:00 PM)
Aloha everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat today. Just one more week before the draft. I'm fired up! Let's roll.
With the draft not being as deep as past drafts. How much do you think the 1 and 4 pick will actually help the Cavs? Playoffs?
Chad Ford (1:03 PM)
It depends on what they do with their picks and what they do via trades and free agency. If they draft a couple of NBA ready players at 1 and 4, should help a lot. But playoffs may be a bit of a stretch right now. A lot rides on what happens at both 1 & 4. Sounds like there's still debate between Irving, Derrick Williams and yes ... Enes Kanter at No. 1. Kanter is returning for a second workout on the 2nd and his camp feels he's in the mix for the 1st pick.
What the hell are the T-Wolves gonna do? Any idea?
Chad Ford (1:04 PM)
Hoping a trade comes along ... they've been playing it cool. Not initiating any trade talk. Keeping up the public face that they're keeping the pick. But I think they'll move it if they get the right pieces. They have a lot of interest in the Lakers' Pau Gasol. Also might bite if Wizards offer JaVale McGee. They want long, athletic players to run the floor with Rubio.
Jason (Portland, Oregon)
Chad, there is ABSOLUTELY no way that the Jazz pull the trigger on the perfect marriage between player & the state of Utah and actually draft Jimmer, right? Too good to be true.
Chad Ford (1:07 PM)
It all depends on what they do at 3. If they go with Kanter, Valanciunas or Vesely ... or if Derrick Williams fell, there's a VERY good chance they take him at 12. If they go point guard with Brandon Knight or Kyrie Irving if he fell, it's very unlikely. The question for Jazz fans is ... what would you rather have Knight + an athletic forward like Chris Singleton or Kanter Fredette. Those are two VERY different drafts.
Chad, if Derrick Favors had stayed for his Sophmore season and made a normal progression from his Freshman year, would he be the number 1 pick this year?
Chad Ford (1:08 PM)
Hands down No. 1 pick.
Where do you see the Raptors going with their pick?
Chad Ford (1:10 PM)
A very tough call. If Brandon Knight is still on the board, I think that will be the pick. If he's not, sounds like Kanter, Vesely, Kawhi Leonard & Kemba Walker are in the mix. Not sure which way they are leaning. If it was me ... I'd take Leonard here.
Are the Wizards more likely to trade up with Utah for the 3rd pick or with Minny for the 2nd pick? What would the Wizards likely have to give up?
Chad Ford (1:12 PM)
I think Derrick Williams is the target. Though I've heard they also are big Kanter fans. Is JaVale McGee worth that to them? He's a knucklehead, but he'd probably be ranked very, very high in this draft too.
who are the wizards hoping to pair with John walll?
Chad Ford (1:13 PM)
If they stay at 6 ... Kanter, Vesely and Kawhi Leonard are the favorites. But there are two dark horses here as well: Klay Thompson and Tristan Thompson. I'm told both are seriously in the mix in Washington. The Wizards had eyed Klay at No. 18 before his stock went through the roof at workouts. They'd really like another shooter in the backcourt with Wall.
Do you see any draft night trades happening??
Chad Ford (1:16 PM)
I think there will be a bunch. Teams are telling me that trade talk really started picking up on Tuesday. Cavs are looking at potential deals using the No. 4 pick and either Baron Davis or Ramon Sessions. Jazz looking for deals. Would be open to discussing Paul Milsap or Devin Harris. Wizards looking to add talent around John Wall. Pistons are being active. Rockets have been very aggressive (as they often are). Bucks have made draft day trades past 2 years and are being aggressive again.
Is Jimmer the real deal or a lot of hype? He getting promises from Kings at 7?
Chad Ford (1:18 PM)
No promise from the Kings and no, they didn't fall in love with him in the workout. As I reported a couple of weeks ago, they fell in love during the season and had to press hard to get him into the workout. I think it will be very interesting if Jimmer, Kemba and Kawhi are all on the board. I have them taking Kawhi in my mock, but if the Maloofs push the issue, it could be Jimmer.
The Pistons may take Walker if Valanciunas is not available. Would they be willing to get rid of Gordon and Hamilton to make room for Stuckey at the 2?
Chad Ford (1:20 PM)
I think just about everything is on the table for the Pistons. For the first time in two years, Joe Dumars no longer has his hands tied. They've going to be active. Gordon, Hamilton are their trade chips. They think Walker is a winner and would fit next to Stuckey in the backcourt if a big like Valanciunas is off the board.
What is your take on MJ hiring Richard Cho as GM? What is the most likely best case scenario for Bobcats in this draft?
Chad Ford (1:21 PM)
Great hire. Cho is one of the smartest guys in the NBA and the Bobcats have desperately needed someone to bring some discipline and analytics to the organization. Cho is a very good fit next to Rod Higgins and Jordan. We've consistently ranked them at the bottom of our Future Power Rankings ... this hire gives me hope that they're ready to move out of the basement. As far as draft goes ... Marcus Morris, Klay Thompson, Kemba Walker, Kawhi Leonard seem like the four they're focusing on.
Jack (Milwaukee, WI)
So the Bucks are down to Klay and Burks? Please let it be Burks? Also, do you see any trades by Milwaukee?
Chad Ford (1:23 PM)
Burks may have more upside because of his athletic ability. But Klay Thompson is more ready to play right now and gives them some much needed shooting in their backcourt. I think the Bucks don't see themselves as a lottery team Injuries are the cause of having the No. 10 pick. I think they'll go with a guy who can help them next year. Marcus Morris is another possibility here too.
Ryan (Los Angeles)
What will the warriors do in the draft? Will they draft thompson/burks or if Biyombo falls to them, do they pull the trigger? Also, any chance on Monta for the #2?
Chad Ford (1:26 PM)
I think they've been hoping Klay Thompson is there and could be a replacement for Monta Ellis -- who is clearly available right now. If Thompson is off the board, Alec Burks, Bismack Biyombo, Marcus Morris and Chris Singleton are all possibilities. As far as Monta for 2 ... I think the Wolves have interest ... but Warriors would probably have to give up No. 11 too to get him.
Suns moving up and rebuilding or staying put? Also, are they actually going to draft defense for once or just take another player with a scoring mentality?
Chad Ford (1:28 PM)
They're trying to so both at the same time, which is part of the problem. It's very hard to straddle the fence in the NBA and still move up in the standings. Lon Babby hates the idea of blowing up the team and I understand why. But the other path makes it difficult to get the talent you need to take a big leap. The Suns do seem to be emphasizing defense right now. I think a player like Tristan Thompson or Chris Singleton makes some sense for that reason. I still think Jimmer has an outside shot to go here. They like him.
Any predictions on the Rockets pick at 14? Or do you think they will move up. I'd like to think that Morey is trying to make a play for Valanciunas.
Chad Ford (1:30 PM)
Daryl Morey is always trying to make a play. From what I can gather, everyone in Houston is on the table. Everyone. It's a good strategy. I don't think the Rockets are married to moving up. Nor are they married to getting vets. They're just looking for the best possible deal. I wouldn't be shocked to see Kevin Martin or Luis Scola moved. If they keep 14, look for them to try to add a center or point guard. Bismack Biyombo, Nikola Vucevic and Jimmer are options there. If they move up, I agree that Valanciunas could be the guy.
Paul (Los Angeles)
Chad, what do you think the Pacers do at 15? I've seen Jimmer as the projection, but would they be better going a different direction?
Any idea on what the Pacers plan on doing with their pick at 15?
Chad Ford (1:33 PM)
I think they'll try to fill one of three needs. They need a long, athletic big man who can block shots and rebound. They want to add a bigger point guard to pair with Darren Collison. And they really need a player who can create his own shot off the dribble in the backcourt. Fredette fills two of those needs which is why he's projected to go here. If he's off the board, Tristan Thompson or Markieff Morris are the two likely suspects.
Chad.. ....do you see the sixers trading Iggy to a team in the top three and drafting Kanter?
Chad Ford (1:35 PM)
Iguodala is available ... and if they could get in the Top 3, they would be able to add a big man. I think the Sixers regret passing on Derrick Favors or DeMarcus Cousins in last year's draft. This could help rectify it. I'd have serious interest if I were the Jazz or Cavs. Iguodala is under rated. Warriors and Clippers have also been trying to get him. If the Sixers are at 16, most likely they go big with a guy like Tristan Thompson, Markieff Morris or Nikola Vucevic. Kenneth Faried is also a possibility here.
Chad, what are you hearing about the Knicks?
Chad Ford (1:36 PM)
Not sure yet. Could be a guard like Marshon Brooks or Josh Selby. They'd love to move up to get Jimmer or Klay Thompson. They also have some interest in a few bigs like Nikola Vucevic and Bismack Biyombo. In fact Biyombo is coming in to workout for them early next week.
Randall (New York)
Have you heard the rumors about the Knicks offering Toney Douglas and 17 to the Pacers for 15? Why would they want to move up just 2 spots?
Chad Ford (1:38 PM)
Haven't heard that, but if they did it would be to grab Jimmer or Marshon Brooks. Brooks had a stellar workout in Indy and New York. Knicks feel Jimmer is gone if he lasts to 15. If Jimmer goes ahead of Pacers at 15, they fear they Pacers could grab Brooks instead.
Mac (Tualatin, OR)
Chad, are the Blazers screwed?
Chad Ford (1:41 PM)
With management yes. With the draft, not at all. Still good players there at No. 21. One I really like for them is Kenneth Faried of Morehead State. If he's gone, Darius Morris could be the guy. Also don't sleep on Norris Cole. I'm beginning to hear his workouts have been stellar.
Chad, Do you see the Nuggets getting Tobias Harris?
Chad Ford (1:43 PM)
They don't think he'll be there. But I think he will. Two other guys they like are UCLA's Tyler Honeycutt and Georgia Tech's Iman Shumpert.
Freddy (Los Angeles)
What are the Thunder draft plans?
Chad Ford (1:44 PM)
They tend to keep things pretty close to the vest, and they don't have a ton of needs right now. I could see them grabbing one of the young international players like Donatas Motiejunas, Nikola Mirotic or Davis Bertans and letting them develop in Europe. All three players are loaded with talent. Mirotic has a buyout that will keep him in Europe for a few more years.
Hey Chad, i really like the idea of the Celtics getting Jeremy Tyler. Seems like a kid with a lot of potential, and i'm sure the veteran presence would help with any character flaws. Do you think he's the type of pick that could contribute immediately?
Chad Ford (1:46 PM)
It's a swing for the fences at 25 ... but Danny Ainge isn't afraid to do that. He can play defense right away, his offense will be a major work in progress. He's a great athlete who really seemed to mature in Japan this year. At 25, is there really anything to lose. JaJuan Johnson another possibility here.
do you think the mavs have a chance to win it all again next year?
Chad Ford (1:48 PM)
Given the age of the team it gets harder ... much like it did for Boston. Will be interesting to see if Mark Cuban tries one more year or whether he starts rebuilding.
Chad, if the Nets don't go point guard - which a lot of media pundits seem to think they will - what direction will they turn?
Chad Ford (1:49 PM)
At this point, you really take best available. They need help at the 2, 3, and 4. And yes, maybe a point guard if they fear Williams will leave. So need doesn't really matter here. Reggie Jackson could be a guy they like. Justin Harper, Josh Selby also there.
Any idea on what direction the Bulls might go?
Chad Ford (1:51 PM)
Not sure that picks 28 & 30 help them win a championship next year. They'd really like a shooter at the two, not sure there's a good enough one left ... though they've had interest in Hofstra's Charles Jenkins. Would've be surprised to see them move the pick for a younger veteran that could help.
Freddy (Los Angeles)
Would Jeremy Tyler be a player that the Spurs would take late in the 1st rd?
Chad Ford (1:51 PM)
Sure. And I could also see them stashing a young European player like Davis Bertans overseas.
Freddy (Los Angeles)
What kind of player would the Lakers like to land with one of their 4 2nd round picks?
Chad Ford (1:54 PM)
Four second round picks won't fix what ails the Lakers. Remember how excited everyone got over Derrick Caracter and Devin Ebanks? Those guys will be ahead of whoever they draft next year. I think the Lakers will be very active this summer. If they won't trade Bynum ... Gasol is their next best chip.
Thoughts on the Heat's draft?
Chad Ford (1:56 PM)
They have the 31st pick which is decent in this year's draft. Obviously center and point guard are their areas of need. Don't think there's a good center on the board. I think if Reggie Jackson of Boston College is still on the board, he doesn't get past the Heat. If he goes ahead of them ... Norris Cole, Malcolm Lee, Darius Morris, Charles Jenkins, Shelvin Mack and Cory Joseph are the guys.
Dave (New Mexico)
who will be rookie of the year?
Chad Ford (1:58 PM)
Every year I'm usually very confident of the answer. This year, not so much. If Irving goes to Cavs and the Cavs find a home for Baron and Sessions ... he's the best candidate.
The Magic don't have a first round pick this year. Is there any chance the acquire a pick or pull a trade on draft night?
Chad Ford (1:58 PM)
Dwight Howard wants them competing for a championship now. I think that means you can forget the draft. They'll be looking to make much bigger deals.
Chad Ford (1:59 PM)
Gotta run everyone. Look forward to doing this again next week!