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 talking March Madness and NBA Draft all hour! Let's roll ...
Jon (Seattle, WA)
Kaminsky's stock has never been higher. What do you think his ceiling in the NBA is and which team(s) would be the best fit?
Chad Ford (1:03 PM)
Kaminsky is in the 13 to 20 range right now. And with a huge tournament, he could go even higher. He has a unique game that makes it difficult to find a perfect comp for him at the next level. Maybe Channing Frye? I could actually see him being used as more of a big stretch four than a center at the next level. His three point shooting at his size is his most coveted NBA weapon.
Evan [via mobile]
So your draft board is pure garbage, you have so many guys underanked or vastly over ranked. How in the hell is Kevon Looney #6?, please use your brain for once and reasonable explain that to me.
Chad Ford (1:06 PM)
NBA teams draft on NBA potential, not just on college production. That's why Wiggins went ahead of Jabari Parker last year, despite the fact that Parker had a better season. In Looney's case, he has a unique combination of size, length, athleticism and the ability to score anywhere on the floor. And before you say he sucks, he came very close to averaging a double-double for the season ... as a freshman. He needs work. He needs to get stronger and add offensive polish, but he's got really high upside and NBA teams know it.
What do you think about Kris Dunn longterm? Above-average starter? He seems like the best true point in this draft with Mudiay, Russell, and Rozier all more combo guards.
Chad Ford (1:08 PM)
He's probably the faster riser of anyone on my draft board the past month with the possible exception of Malik Pope. Good size for position, terrific athlete, really sees the floor, defends. You're right he's more of a pure point guard than Mudiay, Russell, Rozier or even Jerian Grant or Delon Wright. The only player on our Big Board that probably sees the floor better is Tyus Jones and he doesn't have Dunn's size or athleticism. He's up to 19 on our Top 100 and now ranks 3rd among our PG prospects. He could end up as high as 13 I think.
Seems to me that Willie C Stein is underrated by many -- do you think he might move up to 5 on draft boards? Seems like a great fit for the Knicks.
Chad Ford (1:13 PM)
He's ranked at No. 7 -- not sure how that's underrated for a guy without much of an offensive game. Teams are banking on the fact that he'll be a perennial DPOY candidate. But it's unusual for players that lack this much offensive polish to go this high. And here's the irony. Kevon Looney is 19 averages 11.8 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 1.4 spg 7 shoots 46 percent from three and teams are reaching. Cauley-Stein is 21 averages 9.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.7 bpg and teams are underrating him. It's all about context.
Dom (Fl) [via mobile]
Is Tyler Harvey a real NBA prospect? If so what are his comps?
Chad Ford (1:17 PM)
Yes, though it's not time to go overboard just yet. He's a real second round prospect right now because he has one elite NBA skill -- he can really, really stroke the basketball. Both his three point and two point shooting percentages are terrific. He has the best jump shooting percentage off the bounce of any player in the country. He also keeps turnovers down for a player with his high usage rate. He just lacks elite size and athleticism for his position. But I could see him pulling a Steph Curry or a C.J. McCollum in the tournament and getting mentioned in the first round. With the success of the Splash Brothers in Golden State, teams are looking for elite shooters.
Matthew H (Spokane) [via mobile]
Do Tyler Haws and Kyle Collinsworth have any chance making the NBA?
Chad Ford (1:19 PM)
Collinsworth has a chance. Yes. Elite size, elite rebounder for his position. Really sees the floor well. His age is what kills him. He's a 23 year old junior. That scares teams off. Haws is a special player, but lacks elite size, athleticism or one particularly elite skill to get drafted. I bet he has a long career in Europe however.
James (kc) [via mobile]
Which small college guys in the tourney should we be watching?
Chad Ford (1:21 PM)
We already talked about Tyler Harvey. Also check out Georgia State's R.J. Hunter. Many scouts this summer thought he'd be a lottery pick. He's been a terrible shooting slump all year, but I think it has a lot more to do with how teams are playing him and the lack of adjustments on Georgia State's offense. He's long, has deep range, racks up steals and blocks. He reminds scouts a lot of a young Klay Thompson. Don't be shocked if he shoots 2-for-10 from three. He has nights like that. But long-term, I think many scouts still believe he could be a legit late lottery to mid-first round type of prospect.
Jon (Seattle, WA)
Nigel Hays was phenomenal against MSU in the Big Ten Tourney final and really displayed his improved 3 point shot. He should be the focal point of the team next year. With a big year, any chance he approaches the lottery discussion?
Chad Ford (1:24 PM)
If he stays ... he's going to be in the mix for the first round this year. On some NBA team's boards, he passed Sam Dekker. But yes, he has late lottery to mid first round potential if he were to stay another year at Wisconsin. Teams really like him.
Why do scouts keeping hating on the Harrison twins even though they have been playing decently over the last couple games? Also where do you see Marcus Lee going if he declares?
Chad Ford (1:26 PM)
I actually think teams have been slowly warming back up to Andrew Harrison the past month. He's played really well and teams are always interested in point guards with his size and defensive abilities. The streaky jump shooting is a problem. But Andrew, especially, has worked his back into the discussion as a possible bubble first rounder. Lee would be a second rounder if he declared. He's very, very far away. The only UK players that should be locks for the NBA are Towns, Cauley-Stein, Booker and Lyles. All four are locks for the either the lottery or mid-first round. Everyone else should consider staying.
Has Brandon Ashley's recent outstanding play in the Pac-12 tourney boosted his stock at all? I don't see him in your mock... what?!?!?
Chad Ford (1:28 PM)
He's an athletic tweener who doesn't shoot it well enough to be a three, but lacks the toughness to be a four. Yes, he's played better lately, but he's a junior. That's sort of expected. I don't think he'd be drafted if the he declared today. He needs a big tournament.
James (SLC) [via mobile]
How good will Oubre be in the NBA, seems like a steal at where he's projected?
Chad Ford (1:32 PM)
Of the four wings that are stuck in a bit of a scrum on our Big Board -- Oubre, Justise Winslow, Mario Hezonja and Stanley Johnson -- Oubre may have the most upside of the four. Great athlete, very good shooter, lefty, really has learned how to defend this year under Bill Self. I'd also add that from a basketball maturity level, he's the least ready and probably the biggest risk. It will be fascinating to see how those four play out. My guess is that they'll be seeing each other every day in team workouts. This may come down to head-to-head.
If the Sixers get the #1 pick, do you think they trade either Embiid or Noel and take Okafor/Towns, or just pick a PG?
Chad Ford (1:34 PM)
That's the question, isn't it. I'm not sure anyone knows. I have their draft order right now as 1. Towns 2. Mudiay 3. Russell 4. Okafor ... and I think Sam Hinkie's proven, he'll trade anyone so yes, neither Embiid or Noel is safe.
Phil says that he would trade the high pick for more immediate help, what could the Knicks get realistically for that pick? Would a top 4 pick be enough to get Demarcus Cousins or a Vucevic from one of those teams? I just worry that Phil will trade a good pick for a Brook Lopez type player or an average PG.
Chad Ford (1:37 PM)
I'd be shocked if they could get a player with a better long-term (more than 2 years) value than Jahlil Okafor or Karl-Anthony Towns. Teams like the Knicks have always been focused on sacrificing the future for the now and where has it got them? I know Carmelo is in his prime and they don't want to wait for a rookie to develop ... but can I be so bold as to suggest that Carmelo, as good as he is, isn't carrying the Knicks to a championship. They'll need an even better player and I don't see one out there in Free Agency or a trade who's coming to New York. DeMarcus Cousins might be the closest, but the Kings are also trying to be a playoff team. I doubt they trade Cousins for a rookie.
Best case scenario for the sixers is to get the third and sixth picks, correct?
Chad Ford (1:39 PM)
No. Best case scenario is 1, 6 (via Lakers), 11 (via Heat). Sam Hinkie is a wizard if he lands that combo in this draft.
John B (Sacramento, CA)
Seeing how making a run in the NCAA tournament can really boost the stock of a player, if a top player, like D'Angelo Russell, were to lose in the first round would this negatively impact his draft positioning? Or if you are a top guy and your team has a low seed does it really not play a role how the tournament plays out?
Chad Ford (1:40 PM)
Not really. Remember the horrible performance Andrew Wiggins had against Stanford next year. I doubt, at this point, Okafor, Towns or Russell do much to hurt their stock short of an injury.
If the Kings get into the top 3, would they be better off taking one of the bigs or one of the pgs?
Chad Ford (1:42 PM)
They need both. Mudiay or Russell would be an upgrade at the point. But the also desperately need rim protection and both Towns or Cauley-Stein could really help there.
Daniel (Raleigh, NC)
Who is the third best pg in this draft?
Chad Ford (1:44 PM)
That is the big question. Right now we have them ranked 1. Mudiay 2. Russell 3. Kris Dunn 4. Jerian Grant 5. Terry Rozier 6. Delon Wright 7. Tyus Jones. However Mudiay and Russell could end up switching positions and the rankings between Dunn, Grant, Rozier, Wright and Jones are pretty fluid depending on the team.
Shannon (Mankato, MN) [via mobile]
Who is the best prospect to pair with Wiggins long term for the Timberwolves?
Chad Ford (1:46 PM)
I like Towns a lot there. Think he can play on the front line next to Dieng. Russell would help as well just because the Wolves will need more long-term shooting there. But I think both Towns and Okafor would be their first two choices.
Where would Wiggins go in this draft if he was coming out as a Freshmen? Does he go before the bigs?
Chad Ford (1:48 PM)
Yes, I think Wiggins and an uninjured Joel Embiid would have been ranked ahead of Okafor, Towns, Mudiay or Russell. But I think all four of those guys would have gone ahead of Jabari, Exum or Aaron Gordon.
Dan Smith (BYU)
Would D'Angelo Russell be able to play SG in the NBA? Most people are calling him a PG. For a team like the Wolves (already set at PG), could he be successful playing shooting guard with Rubio running the point?
Chad Ford (1:49 PM)
Yes. In fact some teams, don't really believe he's a point guard. More like a James Harden type two guard who also can really pass the ball. I think it's one of the reasons Russell is so coveted. He can play a lot of different ways.
What would James Blackmon Jr's or Yogi Ferrell's stock look like if they were to leave this year?
Chad Ford (1:50 PM)
Second rounders. Both very good players. Both undersized for their position.
Eric (Deerfield, IL)
Any chance Turner has a terrible game and returns to Texas for another season? On the flipside, what do NBA people think of Taylor (who, to me, flashes NBA potential every now and then)?
Chad Ford (1:53 PM)
I think Myles Turner is gone. He's been very up and down all year, but his size and skill set are very coveted in the NBA and most NBA scouts attribute some of the blame on his up and down season to Rick Barnes. He's a lottery pick in the 6 to 12 range. Lots of teams thought Isaiah Taylor could be a potential first rounder at the start of the season. He's had a tough year since coming back from injury and is now more of a second round prospect. But if he gets Texas rolling in the tournament? He could move up fast. You're right, there is real NBA potential there.
What are the scouts saying on Justin Jackson? Brice Johnson?
Chad Ford (1:54 PM)
If Jackson keeps playing like he's done the last month (sans the ACC tournament title game) he could be a first rounder. Beautiful midrange game and his three point shot is coming along. Johnson is having a very good year, but lacks the strength and rebounding to be a high pick.
With the way Dez Wells is playing lately, does he really still go undrafted?
Chad Ford (1:55 PM)
He's in the mix for the second round. You're right, he's been great.
Paul (Rock City)
Would Jackson from ND be drafted if he were to declare?
Chad Ford (1:55 PM)
For sure. Late first round to early second round.
Bill (Santa Ana)
Saw Stanley Johnson all through his high school days at Mater Dei, some say he is destined to be a NBA star. Some call him a bust waiting to happen. What say you?
Chad Ford (1:56 PM)
Neither. He's going to be a very solid NBA player, maybe even a good one. I don't think he has elite tools to be a star. But given how hard he plays and his toughness and fearlessness, it's also hard to imagine him fail. I think his upside is a Ron Artest type player.
Final 4 & Champion pick?
Chad Ford (1:58 PM)
Kentucky, Wisconsin, Virginia, Duke. Kentucky over Duke in the Final.
Chad Ford (1:59 PM)
Gotta run everyone. We'll do this again next week. Enjoy March Madness this weekend and check out my NBA prospect breakdown by region in the NCAA Tournament. We have the Midwest, West and East up now with the South dropping tomorrow.