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 (1:06 PM)
Aloha everyone. Sorry I'm running a few minutes late. Talking NBA Draft all hour! Let's roll ...
Chad - Do you think the Cavs and 76ers would both agree to a 1 for 3+10 swap? Seems like it would allow the Cavs to load up on picks they could move in tandem with someone like Waiters/Bennett/Thompson for an established star. Whereas the 76ers guarantee themselves Wiggins.
Chad Ford (1:10 PM)
I'm not sure the Sixers would do this. They need talent and that No. 10 pick is very valuable to them. I think they'd offer Thaddeus Young and 3 for No. 1, but including the 10th pick would be too much for them. I don't blame them. There's a good chance, if Joel Embiid's back checks out that he's the No. 1 pick this year. If he goes 1, there's a very good chance the Sixers top target, Andrew Wiggins is there at No. 3
Hey Chad, As a Cavs fan, Embiid's back scares me. With 2 other great options in Wiggins and Parker, why risk it?
Chad Ford (1:16 PM)
Embiid has the ability to be the best player at his position in a few years. He fits an immediate and long-term need. Having a dominant center and a great point guard is a proven model to win NBA championships. If they can be patient (and you need to be patient with Embiid) he's the right choice as long as the Cavs docs are OK with his back issues. Yes, he could turn into Greg Oden. But so could Wiggins and Parker. As long as the doctors aren't concerned I think you take him.
Hi Chad. Love your work. I'm just curious why you are so heavily inclined to always mention how bad Dan Gilbert wants to rush the cavs into the playoffs. I understand the pressure he put on himself with the lebron and lottery noise, but I think him and griffin are both really smart guys, who are going to sacrifice 1 good season for a chance to contend for a decade. That being said I can't see them going with anyone but embiid nor wiggins. What makes you think they want to trade it that bad?
Chad Ford (1:18 PM)
He put it on his team last year. They made their decision on the No. 1 pick last year based on it. Made free agent moves and trades based on it. They fired their GM, Chris Grant, based on it. (Ironically Grant was fired for essentially landing them the No. 1 pick in the best draft in a decade ... but I digress) Gilbert isn't taking a long road approach to things. He might be persuaded to take Embiid. I don't doubt that. He probably should take him. I'm just saying he's going to have to be persuaded to be patient.
Why do you feel the Bucks are lower on Wiggins and higher on Exum?
Chad Ford (1:20 PM)
They like all four of the top guys. But I think Embiid, Parker and Exum are ahead of Wiggins right now because of perceived fit. Embiid gives them a player that can command a double team in the paint. Parker gives them a go to scorer that can immediately jump start the offense. Exum is the young point guard they'd love to pair next to Giannis Antetokoumpo. I think Wiggins is also a possibility, but I think they feel like he and Giannis might be a little too similar developmentally.
Robert (Madison WI)
Any chance the Bucks move back, say with Orlando or Utah to pick up an extra 1st round pick and still get themselves one of the top 4 such as Exum or Embiid?
Chad Ford (1:21 PM)
I'd be shocked if the Bucks move back. I think they are keeping this pick.
Ryan (Basking Ridge, NJ)
Hi, Chad. If Wiggins/Embiid are off the board when the Sixers pick at 3 who would be at the top of their board? Parker? Exum?
Chad Ford (1:23 PM)
Tough call. Both are interesting fits. I think it's Parker right now, though I do know they love Exum. Parker might be a better fit however in the short and long-term.
What should I take away from Exum only scheduling workouts with the Bucks, Sixers, and Magic? Is that an indication that he and his agent are confident that he won't fall past the Magic?
Chad Ford (1:25 PM)
I think the Bucks, Sixers and Magic all really like Exum and there's a chance he lands with each team. The Magic really need a point guard and have liked Exum all year, so that's probably his floor. However, they also like Marcus Smart and increasingly Noah Vonleh. Which means it's also possible Exum slides. The reason he hasn't scheduled other workouts, I think he's confident Boston or LA would for sure take him. If he's going to slide those are two great situations for him. As for Utah, they may take him too, though I think that's a team that Exum is less excited to join.
You have Exum going to the Jazz at 5 as a "no brainer" decision for them. But he won't work out for them, and they just took Trey Burke. What are the odds he falls to Boston?
Chad Ford (1:28 PM)
Exum is a better prospect than Burke. Burke is undersized for the position while Exum is huge for a PG. They also can play together on the floor. A few years ago the Blazers traded away the No. 3 pick to Utah (with both Chris Paul and Deron Williams on the board) because they had a small, young point guard namerd Sebastian Telfair that they liked. How did that work out for them? I think the Jazz would be crazy to pass on Exum just because they had Burke. Burke would be a mid first round pick in this draft.
Why is Stauskas working out for only 4 teams: Hornets, Celtics, Lakers and Suns? Is his stock really that high?
Chad Ford (1:31 PM)
Partly. But also because he sprained his shoulder and had to postpone workouts last week that he's not rescheduling. Most agents prefer that their players just do a couple of workouts a week if they can get away with it. Allows them to be fresh and at their vey best. If his agent isn't confident that those four teams will take him, he can always schedule another workout or two the week of the draft.
You (and others) are pushing Smart as an option for the Celtics; if Smart is there for the C's and they take him, that presumably means they're moving Rondo, right? At least Exum can be slotted at 2, but Smart is 1 or bust, right?
Chad Ford (1:32 PM)
No. In fact a surprising number of GMS see Smart more as a 2 than a 1. He can play both positions. I think Aaron Gordon may be ahead of Smart on their board right now. But he is in play.
Hi Chad. What do you think the chances are of the Sixers moving up from 10? Wouldn't a swap of Thad/10th pick to the Lakers for Nash's Contract/7th pick make a lot of sense for both sides?
Chad Ford (1:34 PM)
Yes. I think this might be a good scenario for the Sixers. Allows them to add an elite power forward at 7 (one of Randle, Gordon or Vonleh should be on the board at 7) and gives the Lakers a player who can impact the game right away along with another pick. If the Sixers can't get the Cavs to bit on Young + 10 for No. 1, then this might be a very good option for them. Ditto for the Celtics at No. 6.
Charlie (Los Angeles)
Is Dario Saric really that good? How high does he go?
Chad Ford (1:37 PM)
Yes. He needs the right system -- he's a much better player with the ball in his hands. I think a team like the Hawks, for example, would make a ton of sense. And that could be where he goes if he stays in the draft. The Hawks have been talking to the Kings about moving up to No. 8. Saric would be a target for them there as would Nik Stauskas.
Diesel Dan (Philly)
Have you ever personally felt like a team GM/Executive was trying to use you to create some misdirection? How do you balance the false info with the legit info? (I believe the Cavs are the kings of misinformation right now... first its Parker, then Embiid, and now Wiggins)
Chad Ford (1:39 PM)
Yes. Happens. The good news is that I've been doing this for a while and know who lies and who doesn't and have to filter that through past experience. The Cavs were very deceptive in what they did last year. Griff is more open, but we will see.
You said the Kings had interest in Brandon Knight for the 8th pick, would that interest extend to Larry Sanders, considering he would be a perfect fit next to Big Cuz.
Chad Ford (1:42 PM)
Yes. The need a rim protector and Sanders is available. I think if they give up Knight and Sanders they'll want more than just the 8th pick. But the Kings have enough assets to throw another player the Bucks way. Would be a good deal for both teams -- especially if the Bucks could get Ben McLemore as well. They need young players they can build around. The Bucks will be active in trying to move up and get another pick and the Kings have been among the most active in trying to add a few vets to turn this team into a playoff contender next year. Sanders and Knight would probably do it.
What are the Hornets thinking with the 9th pick?
Chad Ford (1:43 PM)
Doug McDermott. Doug McDermott. With a little Nik Stauskas and Gary Harris throw in. They want a shooter who can play now.
How serious are the talks between the Bulls and Nuggets? Are there any other teams the Bulls are talking to?
Chad Ford (1:45 PM)
The Bulls are trying to get up into the mid to late lottery by pairing the 16th and 19th picks. They really want a lights out shooter to pair with Derrick Rose -- think Nik Stauskas or Gary Harris. The Nuggets offer a good opportunity. I'm not sure they could get higher than that. Not sure if Denver will pull the trigger however. The team already has 12 roster spots filled.
What is it about Elfrid Payton that sets him apart from the other PGs in this draft? I keep seeing his stock soar everywhere.
Chad Ford (1:48 PM)
Size, quickness, ability to get to the basket, tough defender + he really is a true PG. He needs to get stronger and improve his jump shot, but I think he offers the most upside of any PG not named Exum or Smart. I think his range actually starts with the Lakers at 7, the Kings at 8, the Hornets at 9 and Magic at 12 are all real possibilities for him. Ennis is his closest competition, but the majority of teams now have Payton rated higher.
Wolves may be deciding between Stauskas and Young. I know about Stauskas' better shooting, but does Young have an edge in any other categories?
Chad Ford (1:50 PM)
I think they take a shooter. Stauskas and Young are at the top. They also like Adreian Payne a lot.
If you were the wolves, would you swap Gorgui Dieng and the 13th for the 8th pick from SAC? A really good player like Smart/Gordon/Randle could be available at 8 and Gorgui seems like he could complement Cousins well. I love having guys at the 4 and 5 that are both very good passers
Chad Ford (1:50 PM)
I seriously doubt the Wolves trade Dieng. They LOVE him.
How high could the Suns move up if they package all 3 of their first round picks?
Chad Ford (1:51 PM)
Maybe 11 to Denver. All 3 of those picks won't buy them much.
Zach LaVine, is he a PG? Where is he likely to end up?
Chad Ford (1:54 PM)
He was in high school. Obviously he didn't play the position at UCLA. He's more of a score first guy, but teams think he has the skills to be that someday. I think a more athletic version of Jamal Crawford is an apt comparison.
Kristaps Porzingis. Has he passed Saric on most teams boards? What is his ceiling?
Chad Ford (1:57 PM)
No. Saric is ahead of him. But he's not far behind. I think he's the third international player to go after Exum and Saric and could go as high as 12 to the Magic. The Suns are looking at 14. The Hawks at 15. The Celtics are also fans at 17. I don't think he slides past the Thunder at 21. He's got a ton of potential, but he's a major work in progress. He lacks the strength or experience to play right away. But then again, we said that about Giannis Antetokounmpo last year.
Jeffrey (Wisconsin) [via mobile]
How high are GMs on Jusuf Nurkic?
Chad Ford (2:00 PM)
They are all over the place. Some see him in the late lottery, others in the mid to late first round. He has talent. But he's not a great athlete and has shown some attitude issues in the past. You can't teach his size and there are a dearth of centers in this draft. But he's a wildcard for sure.
JJ (Liberty Twp, OH)
At this point, how many top ten picks do you think will be traded?
Chad Ford (2:01 PM)
At least 2. Celtics, Lakers, Kings are the top 3 candidates.
Chad Ford (2:02 PM)
Gotta run everyone. We'll do this again next week. In the meantime, check out our latest Mock Draft 7.0 filled with the latest intel from around the league!