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 (1:10 PM)
Aloha everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat today. Sorry I'm running late. NBA Draft all hour. Let's roll ...
Dan (New York)
Is Embiid the only true center that would be taken in the first round?
Chad Ford (1:12 PM)
No. But it's close. This draft isn't strong at that position. Bosnia's Jusuf Nurkic is a likely first rounder if he decides to stay in the draft. Dakari Johnson could be a late first rounder if he declares. Some scouts believe Clint Cappella could be a center someday when his body fills out. That's about it. One of the reasons Embiid is such a coveted player.
Are the Magic the team that is highest on Exum? Seems that way based on mock drafts.
Chad Ford (1:14 PM)
They want a point guard. They experimented with Victor Oladipo there, but preferably they get a young player that is more of a true point. Exum and Marcus Smart are the guys for them. They would've taken Smart No. 2 last year, but I think Exum has moved ahead. Lakers also really like Exum. So do the Jazz and Bucks.
Why does every draft simulation with the Jazz in the top 2 have them taking Parker? Would they not take Wiggins if they had the opportunity?
Chad Ford (1:15 PM)
I don't think the front office has figured out what they are doing yet. So much depends on where they land in the lottery. Wiggins, Parker and Embiid would all be in the mix for No. 1. However, there would be a ton of pressure in Utah for them to take Parker and given the teams' trajectory (they really don't need more raw young players) Parker's ability to play right away and have an impact make sense for them. I think they are, far and away, the team most likely to take Parker No. 1.
What prospect has the most unpredictable draft stock?
Chad Ford (1:17 PM)
Kyle Anderson of UCLA. The type of player that some love and some hate and there are very few in between. He needs the right coach, the right system to be effective in the NBA. But if he finds it, he could be really good.
Keith Philly [via mobile]
In 3 years who will be a better pro...James Young, McDermott, Gary Harris or Zach Lavine?
Chad Ford (1:18 PM)
Of that group LaVine has the most upside for sure. We have Gary Harris ranked ahead of those guys right now ... Harris (10), McDermott (11), LaVine (14), Young (15). So I guess I'll go with Harris.
What is the best current NBA player comparison in your opinion for Jabari Parker?
Chad Ford (1:20 PM)
I'm not a big fan of the NBA player comparisons. No two players are alike. I think he reminds me the most of Glenn "Big Dog" Robinson. But as far as current players go, I think the Carmelo Anthony comp is a good one.
OB [via mobile]
Should the Bucks be worried about overlapping? Either with Wigging/Giannis or Exum/Knight?
Chad Ford (1:20 PM)
No. Those guys can all play together. Bucks need talent and with the possible exception of Giannis, anyone in the Top 4 is an upgrade over what they have.
Dan (New York)
Who do you think is the best pure shooter in this class?
Chad Ford (1:21 PM)
McDermott or Stauskas. Both will be in a lot of NBA three point contests.
Mason (Nashville (BBN))
Hey Chad, in your own opinion, do you think it is a wiser decision for the Harrison twins to stay at Kentucky for another year or go ahead an leave for the draft even though they may not be drafted where they want to? Also, do you think if they do decide to go to the NBA now, are they ready?
Chad Ford (1:26 PM)
They are both borderline first round picks right now. Ditto for Dakari Johnson. All of them have potential to go much higher in 2015 if they return to school and if they improve. I think the Harrison twins, especially, have a lot to gain by returning. I don't think Kentucky's incoming guards (Devin Booker & Tyler Ulis) could beat them out of a starting job. With Cauley-Stein and Poythress returning and Karl Towns and Trey Lyles joining the team, there is a chance that they are running the best team in the country next year. If they go to the NBA, they are playing in the D-League. Hard to see how that's a better option for them. I know they have wanted to declare but the feedback from the NBA has been lukewarm at best. They should return, but hard to predict which way this will end up going.
Haven't heard you say a word about the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament. Used to get a lot of buzz. What happened?
Chad Ford (1:32 PM)
What if you held a seniors only NBA draft tournament and no one came? That's basically what happened to the PIT. Seniors are already not much of a hot commodity in the NBA Draft. And then when you factor in that virtually every senior in our Top 100 declined an invite -- it's a D-League, international scouting event. Not a NBA Draft event. There will be a few guys who get a second round pick. Western Michigan's Shayne Whittington drew some praise and as a center, could sneak into the second round. Langston Galloway and Akil Mitchell also played well. But this was an exceptionally poor group of seniors.
Speaking of Big Dog...why the huge drop in stock from last year to now for GRIII? I know last year's class was weak, but he was borderline lottery...
Chad Ford (1:34 PM)
That's the danger of coming back to school. Especially for potential guys. NBA teams expect to see big improvement. When they don't, your stock starts to plummet. Ask Alex Poythress or Isaiah Austin or James Michael McAdoo -- all top 10 picks after their freshmen year.
I used the mock draft and when it came up with the Kings #1 it had them taking Embiid. I am a little confused by this, isn't Cousins locked up for a few more years? Could you see the 2 of them playing together?? Seems to me Parker would be a better fit because I believe Gay is in the last year of his contract.
Chad Ford (1:36 PM)
What the Kings need more than anything else right now is a rim protector. Embiid and Cousins can play together. I don't think there's any question about that. Parker is another option and they like him. They also want a big point guard which puts Exum and Marcus Smart in the picture. In short, still a lot of options but if it were today and his back was healthy, I think it would be Embiid for them.
hey chad, where do you see Cleanthony Early from Wichita State going? To my semi-trained eye he seems to have it all. Why isn't he being talked about more?
Chad Ford (1:36 PM)
He helped himself a lot in the NCAA tournament. He could go anywhere between mid first round and end of the first round. His age is what limits his ceiling.
Chad, have you heard anything about Mitch McGary? From what I've read it sounds like he's really struggling to decide.
Chad Ford (1:38 PM)
He's on the fence. Obviously his back injury has really hurt his stock. But given his age, there are concerns that he'll come back next year and teams will write him off because of how old he is (McGary would be 23 before the 2015 NBA Draft).
Sean (St Paul, MN)
Chad can you discuss Dario Saric's game a little? Whats his ceiling and whats his best comp (sorry, i know you said you dont like player comps) ?
Chad Ford (1:40 PM)
He has one of the highest basketball IQs of anyone in the draft. He just has phenomenal instincts as a player and at 6-10, he's a bit like Kyle Anderson in that he's a point power forward. He's more athletic than Anderson which is why he's ranked higher. But he's got to continue to work on his jumpshot. Basically everyone is waiting to see what he's going to do. His father and his new agents are pulling in different directions. His father would like him to stay in Europe the next few years. I think his agents worry about how that affects his draft stock now. With so many teams high on him, you strike while the iron is hot. Will be interesting to see how it plays out. Once teams know when he will realistically be able to come over to the NBA, we will know more about his draft stock.
If Saric said he would come to nba THIS year, where would he be picked/rated?
Chad Ford (1:41 PM)
Joyce (Durham, NC)
Who goes higher in the 2015 draft, Tyus Jones or Emmanuel Mudiay?
Chad Ford (1:43 PM)
Mudiay all the way. Mudiay has a very good shot at going No. 1.
nick (Philly) [via mobile]
Did Napier play himself into the first round?
Chad Ford (1:43 PM)
I think so. He's going to get a lot of look from veteran teams in the 20s. He can defend and hit shots. And he has a lot of experience. That matters to teams looking for a PG to come off the bench.
Brady (Portland) [via mobile]
Do you see Randle becoming a stretch 4?
Chad Ford (1:44 PM)
If he can show that to scouts in workouts (he didn't really shot it at Kentucky) he's going to move up. He showed some of that in high school, but scouts were disappointed with his perimeter game this season.
nick (Philly) [via mobile]
Want someone to take a convincing stance..better pro Wiggins or Parker?
Chad Ford (1:47 PM)
I think it's going to be Wiggins. I think having elite size for position and elite athletic abilities give you an advantage at the pro level. Parker has neither. While Parker's skill set is much more advanced than Wiggins, there isn't anything in Wiggins' game that can't be fixed in a few years. Parker isn't going to grow or become an elite athlete like Wiggins. That's why you take him No. 1.
Josh S. (Philly)
Could Nerlens Noel and Embid play together?
Chad Ford (1:48 PM)
Yes. Two very different players. Would be a huge front line. But man would Philly have a RAW front court next year. Both of those guys are going to need a lot of time.
Under the radar 1st round draft picks?
Chad Ford (1:51 PM)
Love Elfrid Payton of Louisiana Lafayette. Big point guard with good athleticism. Lot of guys also like Jerian Grant of Notre Dame. Another big point guard. And if Croatia's Mario Hezonja stays in the draft he'd be a steal in the second half of the first round. Lots of talent.
Talk about Noah Vonleh please
Chad Ford (1:53 PM)
So intriguing. The one guy I could see jumping up into the Top 4. He has some Chris Bosh comps, but he has a better body and can also play down low. People keep calling him raw, but when you look at the advanced statistics he was better than Julius Randle this year. I'm a fan.
Dino Radja (Boston)
True or False: If Wiggins, Embiid, Parker and Exum are off the board, the Celtics will trade their pick.
Chad Ford (1:54 PM)
To who? Value of that pick goes way down if those four guys are off the board.
Adreian Payne can shoot, rebound, and defend which sounds like an NBA starting 4. Is being 23 that much a detriment to his draft stock?
Chad Ford (1:55 PM)
You can thank John Hollinger for that. But yes, it's like the kiss of death in the analytics world. I think you have to take it with a grain of salt. Payne took a while to develop, but I don't see why he can't do all the things he did at Michigan State in the NBA. I think he's worthy of a pick between 10-20.
Lots of chatter about the Jazz possibly hiring Ettore Messina as head coach. Thoughts?
Chad Ford (1:57 PM)
Would be a great get. I've been a big fan of coach Messina's. I know Dennis Lindsay and Justin Zanik both have connections. An interesting choice but a good one I think.
Chad Ford (1:58 PM)
Gotta run everyone. No chats the next few weeks as I travel overseas. But will be back in time to get ready for the NBA Draft Combine. See you in a couple of weeks!