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 (1:20 PM)
Aloha everyone. Sorry for the chat delay. We were having some technical difficulties this morning with the chat tool. We'll talk NBA Draft the whole rest of the hour. Let's roll ...
why is kelly olynyk not in your top 10,and what does he have to do
Chad Ford (1:22 PM)
He's at No. 15 on our Big Board and rising. Scouts want to see him play against better competition than what Gonzaga typically faced in the WCC. He'll get his chance in the NCAA Tournament. If he's as efficient there as he was all season for Gonzaga, I think he'll end up being a Top 10 pick.
Would the Jazz draft Trey Burke is he was available? Would they draft Cauley-Stein as a 3rd big?
Chad Ford (1:23 PM)
I have the Jazz taking Burke at No. 14 in our Lottery Mock Draft Machine. Not totally sure he'll be there, but if he is, seems like a good fit. PG is a priority for them. Michael Carter-Williams is a possibility for them if he slides. I hear they also like Myck Kabongo and Lorenzo Brown a bit. Ditto for Nate Wolters. But 14 might be a little high for all of those guys.
Chris (Long Island)
The more I watch Gorgui Dieng, the more I think he can be solid contributor in the NBA. His body has filled out tremendously, and his skills on the offensive end are progressing. He hasn't moved much in your ranks, so what are your reservations?
Chad Ford (1:25 PM)
I agree he's having a good season. He's No. 27 on our Big Board. The biggest issue is age. He's already 23 years old. If he was 19, he'd be a Top 10 pick.
Is Cory Jefferson from Baylor in first round discussion? He had a huge game against Kansas and even knocked down a trio of threes.
Chad Ford (1:26 PM)
Like him a lot. He's currently rated as a second round prospect, but that could change. Had a huge, huge game against KU and has had a number of other big games this season. He's got the athletic ability. But who knew he could shoot threes?
Hey Chad, what are you hearing from your NBA contacts about Nate Wolters?
Chad Ford (1:27 PM)
Lots of scouts secretly have a crush on him. He gets lots of Jimmer comparisons. If he were playing at BYU or an even bigger school, he'd probably be ranked much higher. If he has a big NCAA Tournament, I could see him sneaking into the first round.
What do you think about Deshaun Thomas if he were to enter the draft. To me he has always had a style that fits the NBA. He is not super athletic, but he can score in almost every way.
Chad Ford (1:29 PM)
He's one of the three or four best pure scorers in the draft. But his lack of athleticism and his poor defense really hurt his cause. Mediocre athlete + poor defender doesn't scream first round pick.
Tony (Columbus, OH)
Is it possible for the best shooter in the draft, Doug McDermott, to fall to the second round?
Chad Ford (1:31 PM)
I think he's in the second round right now. Another great scorer with a high basketball IQ that's hindered by his lack of size, elite athletic ability.
What are you hearing about Myck Kabongo? Could a team like the Pelicans move into the late first to second round to pick him up?
Chad Ford (1:32 PM)
There are actually a number of teams who are really hoping he slides somewhere into the 20s or 30s. Had he played the whole year for Texas, might have been a lottery pick. Lots of GMs think he'll be a great value pick later in the draft.
How high can Victor Oladipo actually go? top three? He really is great on both ends of the floor
Chad Ford (1:34 PM)
For sure Top 3. Who knows, he may end up going No. 1. His defense is obviously well ahead of his offense right now, but he's much improved as a scorer. Without an elite player at the top, teams start hunting for needs and Oladipo's extreme athletic ability and motor are appealing. I think he's this year's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. You draft him that high based on the motor/intangibles and have faith the offense will work itself out.
Is Reggie Bullock a 1st round talent? Did his showing against Duke and Seth Curry hurt his draft stock?
Chad Ford (1:34 PM)
Could be. Nice size for his position. Can really shoot the basketball. Good athlete. He's on the bubble.
Joe (San Diego)
Is Jamaal Franklin a 1st round lock? Would he be better off coming back one more year to work on outside shot and left hand?
Chad Ford (1:35 PM)
Think he's a lock. Amazing athlete. One of the best rebounding guards I've ever seen. Plays lock down defense. Struggles with his jump shot, but brings so much to the table. If Oladipo can go in the Top 5, he can go in the Top 20.
The more I watch Michael Carter Williams the less I love him. I know NBA guys love big PGs, but can stay with the smaller, quicker guards in the league? Is his defense hidden by the 'Cuse zone?
Chad Ford (1:36 PM)
You sound like a lot of scouts I've talking to the past month ...
How much could an impressive performance in the NCAA Tournament improve the draft stock of James Michael Mcadoo?
Chad Ford (1:36 PM)
A lot. Scouts want to like him. He has a NBA body and has great quickness for his size. If he can show that he can score efficiently and keep his turnovers down, it would mean a lot both for this year or next year if he returns to UNC.
james (fort mill)
Do you see Jeff Withey as a first round pick?
Chad Ford (1:37 PM)
For sure. Great size. Efficient scorer. Elite shot blocker.
Tom (Austin, TX)
Will we see any international players drafted in the lottery this year?
Chad Ford (1:39 PM)
Dario Saric of Croatia has the best chance. 18 year old small forward who plays point forward. Great floor vision, basketball IQ. Needs to improve his jump shot. Is having just a so-so year in Cibona ... but then again he's 18 playing and starting on a first division team. If he was in college, he'd be a Top 10 pick. Reminds me a bit of a slightly better version of Kyle Anderson at UCLA.
If Trey Burke has a memorable run in the NCAAs could he go top five or three?
Chad Ford (1:40 PM)
If he was a couple inches taller or a more explosive athlete? Yes. But his lack of height and elite quickness limit his ceiling. I think Top 10 for sure, but Top 5 seems to be a stretch. With that said, I really love his game. If he were quicker he'd remind me of a young Chris Paul.
Can you see any scenario that plays out in the tournament in which Muhammad falls out of the top 10?
Chad Ford (1:42 PM)
No. He goes somewhere between 3 and 7 most likely. While scouts haven't been wowed, his pedigree, toughness and motor, combined with superb scoring instincts keep him in the Top 10 barring a catastrophic injury.
Who has the better career? Tim Hardaway Jr or Glenn Robinson III? I like TH2's game for the NBA more.
Chad Ford (1:43 PM)
Scouts disagree. Hardaway's a better player now, but they see a much higher ceiling for Robinson. Elite athleticism gets you far in the NBA>
Will Anthony Bennett be similar to Paul Millsap at the next level?
Chad Ford (1:45 PM)
Some similarities there, but Bennett a much better athlete. Millsap was a better rebounder in college.
On your personal list, where do you have Alex Len? He seems like he gets frustrated easily and drifts further away from the basket as the game goes on.
Chad Ford (1:47 PM)
Some of it has to do with the guard play, but there are toughness questions with Len. He doesn't seem to fight the way he needs to. His stock has slipped a bit the past month. But I still think he's a lottery pick and would probably be better served going to the NBA.
Hey what about Glen Rice Jr.? Does he enter the draft like everyone else? What's his deal and where can you see him going.
Chad Ford (1:49 PM)
Was named D-League player of the week for Rio Grande. Averaged like 24 ppg last week. He's having a very big D-League year and scouts are taking notice. He is draft eligible this year, so yes, he's automatically entered into the NBA Draft. I think he's probably a second round pick right now, but I don't think first round is out of the question. He's dominating against better talent than is found in college hoops.
Is Kenny Kadji an NBA player? Great size, can step out with a good touch, rebounds OK, blocks some shots.
Chad Ford (1:51 PM)
He turns 25 before the draft. That hurts his stock quite a bit. The age is part of it, but it's also about looking at him and saying he's 24 playing against 19 and 20 year olds every night. He SHOULD be better than the average NCAA player. But in the pros, he totally loses that advantage.
Let's talk about the Duke guys: Mason Plumlee, Ryan Kelly, Seth Curry. Where do you see them going? People seem to have Plumlee in the 10-15 range but Kelly/Curry are more enigmatic.
Chad Ford (1:51 PM)
Plumlee in late lottery. Kelly bubble first round/early second round. Curry second rounder.
IS CJ Fair a first round pick? He's got good size, good athleticism, has improved his ball handling and shooting to where he can step out and hit threes.
Chad Ford (1:53 PM)
Not right now. But he's the type of player that could really rise in workouts. He has the athletic ability. Is a bit of a tweener. Needs to add strength. But having a good season.
Sidney (Raleigh, NC)
Who from NC State do you see leaving early? Are Leslie and Brown 1st rounders?
Chad Ford (1:55 PM)
Bubble first rounders for both of those guys. Very disappointing season for NC State is hurting their stock. Richard Howell, T.J. Warren and Rodney Purvis in that discussion as well. Weird that they have five legit NBA prospects on that team and have played this poorly in a weak ACC this year.
Dez (OKC, OK)
What do scouts say about Markel Brown and Le'Bryan Nash from Oklahoma State? Should they stay or go?
Chad Ford (1:57 PM)
Nash has played very well lately and with a big tournament could easily be a first round pick. With Marcus Smart very likely to go pro ... now might be the time to go. He's not going to have a player like that taking the pressure off him next year. I've been really impressed with Brown this year as well. He's currently out of our Top 60, but could easily be picked up by someone in the second round. He's an elite athlete and has shot the ball much better this year. Wish he was a few inches taller.
Would Otto Porter be the perfect fit for the Pistons?
Chad Ford (1:59 PM)
Any more it's hard to find a team that wouldn't love to have Porter. Cavs, Hornets, Pistons, Wizards, Kings, Suns, Mavs, Magic all VERY high on Porter. No way he slides to where Pistons are currently picking. They're going to have to get one of the Top 3 picks in the lottery.
What's Cody Zeller's stock looking like at the moment? Is he expected to declare this year?
Chad Ford (2:00 PM)
All over the place. Some teams really like him. Some really struggle to see how his game translates to the NBA level. Advanced stat guys love him. Very hard to peg ... 5 to 10?
Chad Ford (2:01 PM)
Gotta run everyone. Sorry for the late start with the tech difficulties. We'll do the full hour next week! In the meantime check out our new Big Board and updated Lottery Mock Draft today!