Chat with Chad Ford
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, 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 Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Chad Ford (1:01 PM)
Aloha everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat today. We'll do some trade deadline wrap up stuff, talk some playoffs and then catch up on the NBA Draft. Let's roll ....
What happened to the Cavs? They look horrible since the break!
Chad Ford (1:03 PM)
Don't panic. There's always a transition period when you bring in such a major change like Jamison. The first game he played for them was as bad as I've ever seen him play. He was much better versus the Magic. I still think the Cavs are the favorites in the East and maybe the favorites to win it all if everyone stays healthy.
Chris (Broadview Heights, OH)
Since the Cavs added Jamison for Z, Shaq's minutes have gone up from the 7-10 minute range per night. As a Cavs fan, though I like having Shaq on the floor I want him fresh for May/June..not these February matchups. How is Mike Brown going to avoid the minutes climbing w/o Z in the lineup?
Chad Ford (1:05 PM)
I agree it's a mistake to overplay Shaq. I'd be giving more minutes to Varejao. Z will be missed, but I think they'll eventually get him back. The league can bluster all they want. But unless they can prove there was a prearranged deal, I don't think they can stop Z from returning to Cleveland ... unless, that is, the Wizards refuse to buy him out. They do have some leverage.
If knicks land #1 pick, what does that do to their cap space?
Chad Ford (1:07 PM)
Nate. I hate to break it to you. But the Knicks don't own their No. 1 pick -- the Jazz do. It won't affect it at all. Depending on where the cap comes in next year, the Knicks should be somewhere between $30 and $33 million under the cap. That's enough to afford one max and one near max player.
Who's the starting point guard for the Knicks NEXT YEAR?
Chad Ford (1:08 PM)
Right now my money's on Sergio Rodriguez.
What the hell is going on in Phoenix?
Chad Ford (1:12 PM)
Don't ask me? Amare has been on the block/off the block for three straight years. I know the Suns spin on this: they looked at his trade value every year and never received an offer good enough to make a deal. I can get that in previous years. But this year the alternative is losing Amare for nothing. I know there's talk about sign-and-trades this summer or possibly a trade before the draft. But what team in their right mind would trade a valuable asset for Amare this summer when they can wait 2 weeks and not have to give up anything to get him. A team over the cap? Sure. But then they have to arrange an extension with Amare and pray he doesn't opt out and ask for the max. I don't see it hapenning.
Hi, Chad. Josh Howard appears to be done for the season. Washington holds a team option on his contract next year. Do you think the Wizards will trade him during the offseason?
Chad Ford (1:14 PM)
Bad blow for Josh Howard tearing his ACL. He's had a bad year and it keeps getting worse. No way that the Wizards exercise their $11 million dollar team option on Howard this summer. He'll be an unrestricted free agent ... and may struggle to get a job given that ACL injuries usually take a while to hear. Sad day for Howard. Typical day in the life of the Wizards this year. They're cursed.
Mark (Madison, WI)
If I'd told you a week ago that Andray Blatche would average 25 and 10 in the first four games after the Wiz blew up their roster, you'd have asked me if I was taking my meds .... right?
Chad Ford (1:15 PM)
Right. Wizards have a lot of hungry young players on the roster right now. They may surprise some folks, though the loss of Howard will hurt.
Harvey H. (Houston via New Orleans)
Is Darren Collison for real? From what I have seen he is the best rookie in the league... and yes I have watched Evans play.
Chad Ford (1:17 PM)
It's hard to disagree. He's been AMAZING the last few weeks. Give Stephen Curry some props too. He's really elevated his game in Golden State. And notice, no one is writing those "why didn't we draft Brandon Jennings" articles anymore. Maybe the teams that were wary of him had more reason than we thought in November.
Michael (New Orleans)
If Darren Collison keeps up this play, do the Hornets have to move him this offseason while his value is high? And what could they get for him considering there is only one sure thing PG coming out in the draft and no star FA PG's available?
Chad Ford (1:18 PM)
That's true. Move him while his value is sky high and get another important piece to pair with Chris Paul, David West and Okafor. If he goes back to a back-up for Paul (and I think they're too small to play together) his value plummets.
What are the chances Kobe opts out?
Chad Ford (1:21 PM)
It's interesting. His camp has been talking about an extension since last summer. It hasn't happened. I think Jerry Buss is playing hard ball. Kobe is in a good position if he's really willing to leave LA. Lots of teams have cap room. The Knicks would love to land him as an alternative to LeBron. Ditto for the Bulls and Clippers. My guess is he uses it as leverage to get Buss to pay him more money. But we could see some drama this summer surrounding it, but eventually I think Kobe will end up back in LA with the Lakers.
How much pressure is on Larry Bird to make something happens this summer?
Chad Ford (1:23 PM)
None really other than they need to make the right choice in the draft. They'll have a high pick and need to land a star to pair with Danny Granger. The real pressure will be in 2011 when the team has loads of cap space. Next year is a wash with the exception of the rookie.
DNP (Coach's Decision)
What do you think the market will be like for T-Mac after this season?
Chad Ford (1:24 PM)
Too early to tell. He looked good in New York, but that's just 2 games. He's going to need to play at a high level the rest of the season and stay injury free for a team to roll the dice with T Mac.
Does it matter that 90% of what sports writers and commentators speculate about never actually happens? Why would we be asking you where FAs might go or who might opt out? All that trade speculation, and nearly nothing of what everyone talks about never comes to pass!
Chad Ford (1:27 PM)
Huh? Did you sleep through the trade deadline Tom? Virtually everyone who was mentioned as a possible trade chip WAS traded at the deadline. The few that weren't, Amare, Ray Allen, etc were still heavily involved in trade talks. Their own GMs have admitted it. Some years ... your right ... there's a lot of smoke and no fire. This year ... there was A LOT of fire.
What do you think of the trade the Rockets made now and for the future. Also do you think they can make the playoffs this year. Any word on Yao's health and recovery prognosis. Thanks.
Chad Ford (1:29 PM)
I thought the Rockets got A LOT for T-Mac. More than I thought was possible. I'm not sure I love Kevin Martin and I think losing Carl Landry will hurt, but overall, it was a great move for the future of the franchise. Those draft picks the Rockets got from the Knicks could be VERY valuable if the Knicks can't land a couple of stud free agents this summer. As for playoffs ... I doubt it. Just too much competition in the West right now.
Why do you HATE Cleveland? What did we ever do to you?
Chad Ford (1:31 PM)
I don't hate Cleveland. I know Cavs fans are angry at me because I keep raising the possibility that LeBron may leave for NY, Chicago, Miami, the Clippers. But it's a REAL possibility. I've said numerous times that I believe the odds are in Cleveland's favor. The most likely scenario is that he stays. But anyone in Cleveland who thinks that LeBron won't assess all of his options and might be lured elsewhere is dreaming. He's going to have a lot of good options this summer. I think it will be a tough choice.
In your opinion, what trade team drastically improved their title chances after the deadline? (I say drastically because this will exclude Cleveland or other favored teams).
Chad Ford (1:33 PM)
I liked what Dallas did. I think it made them a contender. Butler and Haywood are upgrades (especially when you factor in that Josh Howard just tore his ACL) I still feel like the Lakers and Nuggets are better, but it put them into contention. That's the only one really.
With the Thunder on a 9 game win streak and on pace to have ~27 more wins than last year due in large part to Kevin Durant going off for 25+ in 28 straight games, how close do you think the MVP voting will be at season's end, given that LeBron has basically wrapped it up? Is there anyway you think Durant can overtake LeBron in the last few months?
Chad Ford (1:35 PM)
I don't think there's anything Durant can do to pass LeBron at this point. However. Durant has what it takes to be a MVP in the next three years. If I was Chris Bosh ... I would seriously think about signing with the Thunder. Put Bosh on the floor with Durant and Westbrook and they'd be a title contender.
Joe (Queens, NY)
Do the Bobcats bring back Tyrus Thomas after this year? He's thriving right now, but he's on the hook for almost 7 million next year. That's a lot of money for someone who's still trying to figure out his role in this league.
Chad Ford (1:38 PM)
They might. I watched the Bobcats play twice since landing Thomas. He looks great. We'll see if he can keep it up. But he's a HUGE talent. If Larry Brown can get through to him, it would be worth keeping him on the roster for another year to see if he develops. The only thing holding Tyrus back is Tyrus. If he can get a little more maturity, the Bobcats trade of a future first for Thomas may be the deal of the deadline. However, don't hate the Bulls for what they did. He needed a change of scenery. He was going nowhere in Chicago.
Who is the owner of the bobcats next season? Would MJ the owner be as bad as front office MJ?
Chad Ford (1:39 PM)
MJ would be fine as an owner. Probably better than Bob Johnson. However, from what I hear, MJ is struggling to get the partners together to buy the team. I think it's 50-50 that he owns the team next year.
Chad, I miss the Sonics.
Chad Ford (1:40 PM)
Geoff (Rochester, NY)
As a Heat fan I'm glad they didn't get Amare(although I would have been happy with Boozer)- but now I'm worried that Wade might leave if the Heat can't bring in Lebron or Bosh this summer. Please tell me that D-Wade is staying put??
Chad Ford (1:43 PM)
I've always felt like D Wade was a lock to stay in Miami. Thought he'd be able to recruit an elite free agent there. But if he can't, then yes, it's a possibility he bolts. The Bulls are the team to worry about there. He's a Derrick Rose fan and it would obviously be appealing to get to play in his hometown.
Would the Wolves take Evan Turner over John Wall?
Chad Ford (1:44 PM)
No. I love Evan Turner. I think he should be Player of the Year in college basketball. But he doesn't have the massive upside of Wall. All 30 teams would take Wall and then figure out who else to move off their roster.
Luke (Madison, WI)
Give me the Eastern Conference seeds 5-8 when it's all said and done.
Chad Ford (1:46 PM)
5. Raptors6. Heat7. Bobcats8. Bucks9. BullsBut I think it will come down to the last few games of the season for Bobcats, Bucks and Bulls for those last 2 spots.
Give me the playoff seeds in the West then?
Chad Ford (1:49 PM)
1. Lakers 2. Nuggets 3. Mavericks 4. Jazz 5. OKC 6. Spurs 7. Blazers 8. Suns
If given the opportunity to sign either Wade or Bosh this off-season, who do you think would improve the bulls more? Which way do you think they would go?
Chad Ford (1:50 PM)
Bosh fits a need more. But can't imagine them saying no to Wade, even with the threat of injuries.
Any good pgs that the knicks can get by buying a draft pick?
Chad Ford (1:51 PM)
No, it's a terrible draft for PGs. After John Wall next best PG is probably his teammate, Eric Bledsoe in Kentucky.
Can we start talking about who is going to be #3 in th draft. I think Evan Turner has a lock on#2.
Chad Ford (1:52 PM)
Probably, unless a team is desperate for a big. I think it will be Derrick Favors versus DeMarcus Cousins for No. 3.
Chad, UT basketball fan w/ draft question. How many Longhorns do you see declaring/ being drafted? Thanks
Chad Ford (1:55 PM)
A UT basketball fan from Kansas. Blasphemy!!!! As an avid Jayhawks fan, I'm not sure I can answer your question. But I'll try. I see 4. Avery Bradley (late lottery to mid first round), Jordan Hamilton (late first round to second), Dexter Pittman (late first round to second), Damion James (late first round to second).
A couple months ago people were saying John Wall would be drafted ahead of Derrick Rose right now, that can't still be the case can it?
Chad Ford (1:56 PM)
Yes. He's a better prospect and that's saying a lot because I LOVE Derrick Rose. Always have.
What are the chances Jimmer Fredette gets drafted from BYU
Chad Ford (1:58 PM)
Just wrote about this for the Draft Blog. Lots of teams like him. I think he's a second rounder right now, but if he tests well athletically at the combine, he could be a late first rounder. Very few point guard prospects out there and he's having a TERRIFIC year.
phillip (long beach, ca)
Where do you think Wesley Johnson will be picked in the draft?
Chad Ford (1:59 PM)
4 to 8. Lots of teams like him. But he's more like a No. 2 guy on a team, not a lead star.
Chad Ford (1:59 PM)
Gotta run everyone. Thanks for coming to the chat this week. We'll do it again next week!