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 and thanks for coming to the chat today. Mock Draft 4.0 went up on Tuesday. We'll be talking draft all hour. Let's roll ...
I really like Otto Porter to the Cavs. Any chance it happens?
Chad Ford (1:02 PM)
Sure. Cavs sources say they are still a couple weeks away from making up their minds. Still haven't gotten all the answers they need on the medical either. That's a big one. If they get uncomfortable with the medical, Porter could be the guy. Obviously, they could also trade this pick -- however the interest isn't particularly high.
I keep reading that the Cavs will trade the No. 1 for Kevin Love. I would do that in a heartbeat.
Chad Ford (1:05 PM)
For a trade rumor to be even remotely credible, it has to be a deal that both sides would plausibly do. Of course the Cavs would trade the No. 1 pick for Kevin Love. They'd also do it for LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Paul George, Anthony Davis and on and on and on. The question is, would the Wolves do that. The answer? There is a zero percent chance of that happening. Zero.
Is Nerlens Noel worth the number one overall pick?
Chad Ford (1:08 PM)
In most drafts? No. But in this draft, he's as worthy as anyone. Ben McLemore, Otto Porter, Anthony Bennett, Alex Len, Victor Oladipo, Trey Burke, Michael Carter-Williams, CJ McCollum, to me they are all in the same tier of players. So the question really becomes, what do you need and when do you need it?
Who has the highest ceiling of the bigs?Zeller, Adams, Olynyk?
Chad Ford (1:10 PM)
Depends on what you're looking for. Adams, to me, is the only player that will actually play like a 5 in the NBA. Zeller and Olynyk are forwards. Neither Zeller nor Olynyk has the strength, length or size to play the five in the NBA. Doesn't mean they won't be good, just means teams are projecting them as centers anymore.
Is Trey Burke a starting PG in the NBA?
Chad Ford (1:12 PM)
For sure. Just not sold on the fact that he's an All-Star. Look at all of the great young PGs in the league right now: Derrick Rose, Steph Curry, Rajon Rondo, Kyrie Irving, John Wall, Damian Lillard, Ricky Rubio, Jrue Holiday, Ty Lawson, Mike Conley ... Of that group, the only one that has a similar game, upside to Burke is Conley. I think he'll be a good starter in the league, but All-Star means he's one of the Top 5 PGs in the NBA. Don't see that happening.
Any chance Dario Saric goes #6 to the Pelicans? Or would they only draft him if they trade back?
Chad Ford (1:15 PM)
Yes and yes. There are a handful of teams that believe Saric is a top five talent in the draft. I believe the Pelicans are one of them. So, yes, if the guys they have ranked ahead of him are all gone, I do think they'd take him at 6. However, they could probably trade down to a pick like 9 or 10, pick up an asset and still get him. The scouts that REALLY know Europe say that there's not a huge difference between Saric and Otto Porter.
What do you think about the Cavs taking Shane Larkin at #19 as a back up to Kyrie?
Chad Ford (1:16 PM)
1. Don't think Larkin will be there. Think both the Jazz and Bucks have a lot of interest in him. Starting to doubt he gets past 15. 2. Hearing strongly that Sergey Karasev doesn't get past the Cavs pick at 19 -- that's why I put him there yesterday. Chris Grant and company were out in force in Vegas. If the Cavs go big with their first pick, Karasev makes a lot of sense.
The Jazz are on the clock at #14 and MCW, Schroeder, and Larkin are all left -- who do they take?
Chad Ford (1:17 PM)
If it was me? Carter-Williams. I think we may look back on this draft in five years and say he was the best PG prospect. He's riskier than Burke, but he has elite physical tools at his position.
Because of his injury..he can't do all workouts drills... So is Jamaal Franklin underrated/sleeper because of that?
Chad Ford (1:19 PM)
No, he's fine. Teams have scouted him heavily the last two years. They know what he brings to the table. He'll go somewhere in the mid first round.
Fernboy ((Arlington, VA))
Do you see Danny Ainge taking Ricky Ledo at 16? If he played this year, he would have been a lottery pick. He has the talent and the veteran core would be great for him. He could learn from PP and then take over for him, and even back up Rondo.
Chad Ford (1:23 PM)
I wouldn't rule it out. Several teams believe he is THE sleeper in this draft. A lethal scorer who would've been a lock for the lottery had he been eligible to play this year. The talent is clearly there. The issue is that he has a number of things in this off-the-court life that have teams running scared right now. But Ainge is the type that would roll the dice. The Celtics need talent and I could see Ledo doing what Lance Stephenson has done this year if he can get his life on track.
etzko (New York City)
What separates Oladipo and Mclemore from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope? He seems every bit as good as them.
Chad Ford (1:25 PM)
You're not the only one asking the question. The obvious answer is elite athleticism. Both Oladipo and McLemore have it. Caldwell-Pope is a good athlete, but he's not nearly as explosive as Oladipo and McLemore. Oladipo's a better defender. McLemore is a better shooter. But Caldwell-Pope is the most well rounded of them. I don't think he gets past the Wolves at No. 9.
Saw your tweets yesterday about the Mavs drafting and international player and then getting him off their cap. Can you explain, I'm confused.
Chad Ford (1:29 PM)
Here's the deal. The Mavs are likely to trade their pick (No. 13) in order to clear cap space for a run at Dwight Howard or Chris Paul this summer. However, there is another option if the Mavs don't find a good deal for No. 13. They can take an international player like Dario Saric (who the Mavs really like) and if they both (the Mavs & Saric) send a letter to the NBA explaining that Saric won't play in the NBA during the 2013-14 season, the Mavs can immediately get his cap hold (which amounts to 80 percent of his rookie salary) off their books and clear the room anyway. That may be a preferable option for the Mavs because it allows them to keep their asset and get their salary cap space.
Could Brandon Knight and MCW really make a formidable backcourt? It seems to me that Knight has to be a PG to be effective at 6'3"
Chad Ford (1:30 PM)
That's why the Pistons have interest in Carter-Williams. At 6-6, Carter-Williams can play in the backcourt with Knight and when needed, they can switch defensively.
I see way too much Brandon Rush in Ben Mclemore. Should I be concerned?
Chad Ford (1:33 PM)
I see the same thing. So do a lot of GMs. The upside is tremendous. McLemore is a nice, humble young man with a picture perfect jump shot and elite athletic abilities. But his passiveness on the court and in his personality is raising plenty of red flags. He probably has even more talent than Rush and doesn't have some of the off-the-court issues Rush had, but that's why teams are pausing taking him with the No. 1 pick. He's going to be in the league a long time, but there are legitimate questions about whether he can reach his potential with the sort of mental make-up he has.
Do you see the Kings improving next year with the new ownership & coaching staff? What player in the draft would best fit with the players they currently have that would help improve the team?
Chad Ford (1:35 PM)
It's too early to tell, but the early signals are: 1. They want to try to make it work with Demarcus Cousins and are unlikely to trade him and 2. They want to be bad next season so that they have a high pick in the 2014 NBA Draft (the Kings also have added incentive to be bad ... their picks is only Top 12 protected next year.
Will Noel be able to put on enough muscle to be able to defend bigs in the post?
Chad Ford (1:37 PM)
I think so. The more research I've done on this the more it seems that he was actually up to 228 before the injury. That during an ACL surgery and rehab, young adults typically lose 15 to 20 pounds. He should be able to gain all of that back. In fact, hearing he's already up to 215 from the 206 he was at in Chicago.
I watched a lot of Indiana basketball the past two years, so I am extremely biased. But I don't see the downside of Cody Zeller. Is Chris Bosh a good ceiling comparison?
Chad Ford (1:40 PM)
It's not as crazy as it seems. Talked about this on my Friday blog. Similar size/weight. Zeller a better athlete. Bosh shot 47 threes his freshman season. That's a big difference. But watching Zeller shoot them in drills, he's got an excellent stroke. However, I have to emphasize that shooting in drills is different than in the game and I'm not sure exactly how he'll respond. We just don't have enough data.
Why isn't Alex Len higher on draft boards, and could he be an all star one day?
Chad Ford (1:42 PM)
The foot. I honestly believe that had his foot been OK, he would've gotten serious consideration for No. 1. Still might, the Cavs really like him. Bobcats are another team that could take him in the Top 5. They like him and Anthony Bennett a lot at No. 4.
Where does this draft rank as far as lack of possible superstars from the last 15 years? Worst since 2000?
Chad Ford (1:45 PM)
2006 and 2000 are the most comparable years. However I actually think this draft is deeper than both of those drafts. Teams in the teens and 20s are pretty happy with the talent available. It's the teams at the top that are crying.
Keith (Seattle, WA)
Did Reggie Bullock solidify a spot in the first round after the draft combine and workouts? Or do you see him going in the second round, and following a path similar to fellow Tar Heel Danny Green?
Chad Ford (1:45 PM)
He's a hot name right now. I have him at No. 23 in my mock. But could see him going as high as 16 to the Celtics. I think he's close to a lock for the first round right now.
Will (LA) [via mobile]
Do you see Shabazz Muhammad's stock rising during team workouts?
Chad Ford (1:48 PM)
Tough one. He's putting in a lot of hard work in Santa Barbara right now. His body looks good. He's more explosive. He's working on that right hand and shooting off the bounce. He needs both of those weapons to succeed in the NBA. It's a work in progress right now. He's got the NBA strength and has a great motor. Just needs to improve the skill set a bit. Teams are sort of down on him right now, but that could change with great workouts. Not sure he'll be a workout guy, but you never know.
Anthony Bennett is the clear cut best player in the draft if you watch him. Why are more people not talking about him as the #1 pick?
Chad Ford (1:49 PM)
I think you could be right. High upside + NBA ready. A couple of things ... at No. 1 he's not a terrific fit with Cleveland. But I could see him going No. 3 to Washington or No. 4 to Charlotte. They both like him A LOT.
Hi Chad, I watched a lot of Indiana this year and to me Oladipo has the lateral quickness on defense to be one of the premier perimiter defenders in the game. Thoughts?
Chad Ford (1:50 PM)
That's partly why teams have him ranked so high. If you believe he's going to improve his jump shot and tighten his handle, he has the potential to be the best 2-way player in the draft.
Which players made the biggest mistake of coming out earlier? How about some second round sleepers/steals?
Chad Ford (1:53 PM)
Right now it looks like Archie Goodwin is really struggling to find some love in the first round. I think he's got to be pretty surprised. Arizona's Grant Jerrett is a major sleeper to me in the second round. Nate Wolters might be as well.
What's a good NBA player comparison for CJ McCollum's floor and ceiling?
Chad Ford (1:54 PM)
Steph Curry (ceiling) - Randy Foye (floor)
Could Plumlee be a starter? Seems like he's more of a bench player.
Chad Ford (1:55 PM)
Yes. But most of the centers in the draft outside of the Top 10 are projecting as back-ups. But there's nothing wrong with that. Most teams in the league are desperate for quality back-ups. If the Pacers had anything decent coming off the bench, they probably win the series with Miami.
Rick (San Diego)
You nailed the Heat in 4 over the Bucks, Heat in 5 over the Bulls and Heat in 7 over the Pacers. You also predicted the Spurs winning in all three series (though you had the Spurs winning in 7 against the Grizzlies). So ... what's your Finals prediction?
Chad Ford (1:59 PM)
Heat in 7
Chad Ford (1:59 PM)
Gotta run everyone. We'll do this again next week.