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 (1:00 PM)
Aloha everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat today. We'll be doing NBA Draft all hour. Let's roll ...
Deven (New York, NY)
What's Ryan Kelly's draft stock like, Chad?
Chad Ford (1:03 PM)
He obviously had one of the greatest games in Duke history against Miami. NBA scouts do love mobile fours who can stretch the defense and there's no question how much Kelly has meant to Duke. They are a different (and better) team with him on the floor. There are a handful of GMs who see him as a potential late first round pick. Most everyone else has him somewhere in the second round. I really like him and even last year, when I was out in Maui scouting Duke, a number of scouts and GMs thought he would be a NBA player. I think he'll be drafted, the question is where. Offensively he has what it takes. Just not sure who he defends at the NBA level.
Aaron Henry (Orchard Lake, MI)
With questions about his best NBA position, how are the scouts currently rating Shabazz? Seems like he's fallen behind Oladipo on many boards? You think he's a good fit in Detroit if he falls that far?
Chad Ford (1:06 PM)
Everyone likes Shabazz. He's tough, plays hard every night and he's clearly a gifted scorer. That's a pretty potent combination. The issue is that he lacks elite quickness to defend 2 guards but is pretty undersized to guard NBA 3s. I think everyone thinks he'll be a guy with a potential to average 18-20 ppg in the NBA. But if he struggles to defend, he's not as valuable. That's why players like Otto Porter and Victor Oladipo are now ahead of him on the draft board.
Chad Ford (1:07 PM)
... and yes, he'd be a great fit in Detroit. I'd be a little surprised if he fell that far but then again I was surprised when Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond fell that far to them.
With Kelly Olynyk getting all the love from nba scouts, has Elias Harris been underappreciated? Is he a possible second rounder?
Chad Ford (1:08 PM)
Harris went from over rated to under rated during his time at Gonzaga. He's having a big year and I think he has a future as a pro. He's a bit undersized for his natural position at the four and he's old for his class, but I see him being a second round pick.
Should Isaiah Austin stay one more year for Baylor?
Chad Ford (1:10 PM)
I think so. He needs to add strength. Has struggled with his shot and NBA teams don't know who he'll guard at the next level. He's not ready and I don't think he's been looked at as a lottery pick for months. More of a mid to late first round guy now.
Myck Kabongo is lighting it up. What's his draft ceiling like?
Chad Ford (1:12 PM)
Well ... sort of. He's had a number of terrific games against Kansas State, Oklahoma and Baylor. But there were a number of scouts and GMs that watched that Oklahoma State game closely and Kabongo really struggled against a tougher, more athletic team. I think he'll declare and I know a lot of teams that would give him strong consideration in the first round (a few even in the late lottery to mid first round) but he's not a lock either.
Spencer (Seattle, WA)
If CJ Wilcox from Washington came out this year (RS Junior) would he be a first round pick?
Chad Ford (1:13 PM)
He's a bubble guy. Teams got excited about him mid year, but he's cooled off considerably in Pac 12 play. Good athlete and shooter, but again, he's a bit old for his position.
Three of your first four answers have raised questions about who a prospect "will guard at the next level." Lots of really good players, even number one picks like Kyrie Irving, take e few years at least to figure out how to defend at the next level, let alone who. Is this really a legitimate objection, or is this focusing on what a player can't do at the expense of noticing what he can do?
How do scouts look at NBA defensive potential. Obviously guys can improve offensive skills, but in terms of defense is it "guys are who they are"?
Chad Ford (1:16 PM)
I want to take these two questions together because the observation about my comments is pretty astute. I've noticed a trend among NBA scouts and GMs over the past few years to put a stronger focus on the defensive potential of a player. That's in part because 50 percent of the game is on the defensive end and in part because head coaches are reluctant to play young players that can't defend a position. Clearly players can learn to be better defenders and do. The question is whether they have the physical abilities (speed, lateral quickness, length, leaping ability, size, strength, etc.) to defend a position. Much of that can't be taught and a player ends up being what he is.
Has Trey Burke moved himself into the top 10?
Chad Ford (1:20 PM)
No, but I'm beginning to wonder if he will ultimately land there. Scouts are obsessed with what he isn't (lacks elite size or explosive athleticism) but he's sooooooo good at everything else. If he was a better athlete, he'd remind me a lot of Chris Paul. I really, really like him. While I haven't heard anyone really mention him as a Top 10 player, I would consider him there and think that by the draft combine, scouts might as well.
Whats your view on kentavious caldwell-pope? Is he a legit starting 2 guard in the NBA? How high may he go?
Chad Ford (1:21 PM)
Lots of NBA scouts like him. He's streaky, but when he gets it going he's special. He probably goes somewhere between 20-35 if he declares.
Cuse has been atrocious lately but that falls on MCW, Triche and Boeheim. Do you hear Fair or Southerland getting any draft buzz
Chad Ford (1:24 PM)
Both are potential second round picks. Fair has the elite athletic ability. Southerland obviously can really stroke the basketball and he's a good athlete too. Southerland will be 23 in April which hurts his stock a bit. Both are legit second round picks in my opinion.
I think Otto Porter would be a perfect fit for the Wizards. How fast is he rising?
Chad Ford (1:26 PM)
He'd be a GREAT fit there. To me, he's one of the three or four best prospects in the draft. I personally haven't heard scouts or GMs talk about him as the No. 1 pick, but if I were the Wizards, I'd consider him there. I'd probably lean Nerlens Noel for Washington first. But he'd be a close second.
Is Marcus Smart honestly #1 pick material, as some mocks have him, or is it just the nature of this year's draft that SOMEBODY has to go first?
Chad Ford (1:28 PM)
Some of both. He has that potential ... to be the best player in this draft. He's strong, plays hard, has a great basketball IQ, is a natural leader and finds a nice balance between scoring and distributing the basketball. He's also a very tough defender. He's not a great shooter and he needs to continue to tighten his handle, but I wouldn't be afraid to take him No. 1. Has he earned it with his play this year? Probably not. But I'm not sure anyone has. There are not Anthony Davis' in this year's draft.
Would the hornets take Noel if he fell to them?
Chad Ford (1:29 PM)
I don't think so. I don't think he and Anthony Davis are a great fit together. I see them with a Marcus Smart or maybe an Otto Porter type.
You are mentioning a lot of potential 2nd rounders. Is that where Nate Wolters goes? Who is his current-NBA comparable? I say Luke Ridnour.
Chad Ford (1:32 PM)
Wolters is pretty polarizing, but yes, a number of scouts have him as a NBA second rounder. Fran Frascilla loves him. I'm a little more lukewarm.
Who's the next rough and tough Marquette player that will make an impact at the next level?
Chad Ford (1:33 PM)
I like Vander Blue quite a bit as a potential second round sleeper. Davante Gardner also has some fans among NBA scouts.
Karel (SF Area)
I see that Alan Crabbe is in many mock drafts...do you think he should stay another year at Cal?
Chad Ford (1:33 PM)
He's probably ready to come out. He goes somewhere between the mid to late first round. Teams love shooters who aren't afraid to let it fly.
I know he's old, but why won't someone grab Kenny Kadji in the late first? He's 6-11, 240, can shoot & create off the dribble
Chad Ford (1:35 PM)
Because when you say he's old ... he'll be 25 years old before the draft. Your expected to be doing those things by that age.
How do scouts view Aaron Craft?
Chad Ford (1:36 PM)
Another totally polarizing player. As an offensive point guard, just about everyone is very skeptical. But as a defender, lots of scouts believe he could be a lock down guard coming off the bench. He's such a tough, dogged defender.
Best international prospect in the draft?
Chad Ford (1:38 PM)
Not an elite prospect this year. Probably Croatia's Dario Saric. Some GMs feel like he has the highest basketball IQ of anyone in the draft. He's struggling a bit on a new team in Croatia, but the basketball talent is there. Rudy Gobert and Sergey Karasev are other options.
Tommy Fresh (Indy)
What are the draft prospects for Duke's Seth Curry?
Chad Ford (1:40 PM)
Second round pick. Not as highly thought of as his brother, but could still make a team thanks to his shooting ability.
How far has Brandon Paul's stock dropped since the start of Big Ten season?
Chad Ford (1:41 PM)
Quite a bit. He's looked like the player he was the past few seasons. Athletic, but very inefficient. I thought he'd crack the first round in early January. Now I'm not totally convinced he's drafted.
what is erick greens stock? no buzz for leading scorer in acc in the country?
Chad Ford (1:42 PM)
He's a second round pick, for sure. Some teams are considering him in the first round. Great scorer ... but given his size, can he play the point in the NBA?
What is your view on Jeff Withey out of Kansas ? I think he would be a great fit for the heat or celtics .
Chad Ford (1:42 PM)
yes. He goes somewhere between 20 and 30. Can't teach his size or shot blocking ability.
Julian (Buffalo, NY)
I personally feel that that Cleveland Cavs are a solid draft pick away from having a thunder like future. Irving is a star, Thompson and Waiters are becoming good players and Zeller is a solid big off the bench. What do you think?
Chad Ford (1:44 PM)
If they can land someone like Nerlens Noel or Otto Porter in the draft, they are going to be VERY dangerous down the road.
How serious is Anthony Bennett's shoulder injury?
Chad Ford (1:45 PM)
It's clearly affecting his performance. But I don't know what the long-term prognosis is.
Who are the best shooters in this draft? Any 3 point sharp shooters like Redick or Korver?
Chad Ford (1:50 PM)
Actually, Ben McLemore is a great shooter and has a much higher upside than either of those guys. Doug McDermott can really shoot the rock. Seth Curry and Reggie Bullock too.
Is Glenn Robinson III a 1st round pick this year?
Chad Ford (1:50 PM)
Yes, but as an upside guy. He really should return and continue to polish his game next season.
I see you've listed Gary Harris amongtht elottery picks on your game. Do you thinks he's coming out and do yousee him fitting with the Pistons?
Chad Ford (1:52 PM)
Don't know if he's coming out. Hear that he's leaning toward returning for another year of school. He has various injuries including a shoulder that keeps popping out that I think he'd like to address this summer. But if he declares, I think he'll be a lottery pick and a very good fit on a team like the Pistons. Think he's a more athletic version of Arron Afflalo.
Would Wiggins, Harrison, and Randle be the top 3 picks this year if not for the NBA's ridiculous rule?
Chad Ford (1:53 PM)
Andrew Wiggins would be 1 for sure. Andrew Harrison and Julius Randle would both have a good shot at 2 & 3.
Whats the biggest difference between Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker?
Chad Ford (1:54 PM)
Wiggins is an elite, explosive athlete. Parker is a good athlete, but not in the same league as Wiggins. When you're projecting at the NBA level, that's a big deal.
Craig (Braintree, MA)
If the T-wolves got a top-3 pick in the draft, would they trade it?
Chad Ford (1:55 PM)
If David Kahn is going to be making the pick they should ...
Rob M (Ypsilanti, MI)
Which MAC player has the best chance at a future in the NBA. DJ Cooper (Ohio), Zeke Marshall (Akron), or Javon McCrea (Buffalo)?
Chad Ford (1:57 PM)
Marshall probably has the most NBA buzz. But I have a soft spot in my heart for DJ Cooper. I think he has a chance as a NBA player.
Chad Ford (1:58 PM)
Gotta run everyone. We'll do this again next week! Thanks and Aloha!