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 (1:03 PM)
Aloha, welcome to the chat today. We'll be talking NBA Draft all hour! Let's roll ...
For the Cavs pick is it down to Noel, and Len?
Chad Ford (1:05 PM)
No. There's more in the mix there. But I think those two are the favorite. However, despite the internet chatter, I don't think it's correct to say that the Cavs are leaning toward Len. I think they're using this week to evaluate everyone. Figure out who the best fit is and I think by early next week we'll have a read on the favorite. To me it's Noel until I hear otherwise from Cleveland and I've yet to hear otherwise.
Aloha Chad! If Len goes 1, how far do you see Noel possibly sliding?
Chad Ford (1:06 PM)
Doubt he gets past Charlotte at 4.
Andrew Z. (Struthers, OH)
How much would you say McLemore is slipping?
Chad Ford (1:08 PM)
Hard to say. He's not been impressive in workouts and his representation situation is a huge, huge mess. McLemore isn't being projected in the best light which is a shame because he's a really good young man. He's just naive and he doesn't understand what it take at the next level and he has people advising him who don't know either. But the talent is there. If a team believes they can guide and mold McLemore, change the situation around him, they'll take him. But that's easier said than done.
What do you think is the best player/team fit in this draft? Otto Porter to the Wizards seems like a perfect fit to me.
Chad Ford (1:09 PM)
Porter is a great fit in Washington, Cleveland and New Orleans. I think he goes 1, 3 or 6.
Dan (Ocala, Fl)
So if you were drafting for the Magic, you would take??
Chad Ford (1:11 PM)
Oladipo. I think they're leaning the same way from the sound of things. The McLemore workout/interview wasn't great. Don't think they're sold on the PGs. Obviously Noel is a possibility if the Cavs pass on him at No. 1.
What are the Bobcats doing ... they are so secretive!
Chad Ford (1:13 PM)
Tell me about it ... Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had no idea he was going No. 2 until they called his name! I think it's down to Anthony Bennett and Alex Len.
Are the Suns basically just waiting to see who drops to them at 5? Seems like not a bad position in this draft.
Chad Ford (1:15 PM)
Probably. There are six top shelf talents in the draft -- Noel, Oladipo, Porter, Bennett, McLemore and Len. That means two of those guys are there when they draft and given their roster, I think they take the best one, regardless of position. I have them projected with McLemore ... but if McLemore goes 2, then Oladipo is the likely pick there.
Any chance we see Burke to the Pelicans? I know they say they believe in Rivers but PG seems like a position of need.
Chad Ford (1:16 PM)
Yes. There's a chance. There's interest there. But if Alex Len falls to them? I think he goes ahead of Burke. Ditto if Otto Porter, Nerlens Noel are on the board. Not sure how they feel about Bennett, Oladipo or McLemore.
Andrew Z. (Struthers, OH)
What are the best and worse case scenarios for Trey Burke?
Chad Ford (1:20 PM)
Mike Bibby as a ceiling. to Kemba Walker
Is there a chance that a team looking for point guard help drafts CJ McCollum before Michael Carter Williams and Trey Burke? I think the Magic would be a good fit.
Chad Ford (1:21 PM)
Maybe. I think the Suns like McCollum more than Burke or Williams. Ditto for the Blazers. Think the Kings prefer Carter-Williams. Pistons are neck-and-neck with Burke/Carter-Williams. Have heard the Magic and Pelicans both may prefer Carter-Williams.
Tony Snell or Hardaway Jr. to the Kings at #7? Could that really happen?
Chad Ford (1:22 PM)
Snell is in for his second workout. They worked very hard to get Hardaway Jr. in. There isn't a lot of consensus after the top 6 so ... I guess so. Shabazz Muhammad also in the picture at No. 7.
Chad Ford (1:24 PM)
Looking for wings. Hearing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Muhammad and Sergey Karasev seem to be the focus right now.
Mac (Portland, OR)
Chad, what do you think the Blazers will do if both Caldwell-Pope and McCollum are no longer available? Please tell me they won't select Steven Adams, he's Meyers Leonard 2.0.
Chad Ford (1:26 PM)
I think you have the two guys -- McCollum and Caldwell-Pope right. Both players are high on their board. I agree with you on Adams, though I think Adams is tougher and the Blazers may just need the extra body. This is way out of left field, but I'm not totally discounting a sleeper pick like Antetokounmpo or Ricky Ledo here if McCollum and Caldwell-Pope are both gone.
Who are the Sixers leaning towards?
Chad Ford (1:28 PM)
Sounds like Cody Zeller and then either Kelly Olynyk or Mason Plumlee at 11.
Jo Jo (Houston, Texas)
Good afternoon, Mr. Ford!Who's is in play for the Mavs pick (what are you hearing)? Pistons, Cavs, others? What is it going to cost besides taking on Marion?
Chad Ford (1:30 PM)
I've also heard the Knicks, Thunder and Cavs. Cost is either a 2014 first rounder or taking back Marion into room. By the way, some teams think that the Mavs may already have a deal as the trade talk has silenced in Dallas the past few days. The Mavs can't officially announce anything until after they make their draft selection.
otto mattic (wdc/slc)
Please tell me Jazz either trade up for PG they *really* want (McCollum/Burke) or go BIG at 14 (Dieng) and take one of the leftover PGs/BAP at 21. Isn't that their better option, considering their defensive needs (21st in league)?
Chad Ford (1:32 PM)
I think you have their plan right. There's a chance either Burke, McCollum or Carter-Williams will be there at 14. The draft is that unpredictable. If they aren't, see them going for a big here (Nogueira, Olynyk, maybe Dieng) and then addressing PG at 21. Sounds like Larkin, Schroeder, Isaiah Canaan all strongly in the mix at 21.
Nathan (Green Bay)
Other than Larkin, Schroeder, KCP, and Tim Hardaway, the Bucks haven't worked out anyone who looks to be a first round pick. What is going on in Milwaukee in regards to #15???
Chad Ford (1:34 PM)
Well, you can tell they're heavily focused on guards. I think all of those players are in play at 15. Should add Isaiah Canaan as well. Heard that he had the best workout of the PGs there.
Stephen (Sugar Land)
What's the difference between Rudy Gobert and Lucas Nogueira?
Chad Ford (1:35 PM)
Both tall and crazy long. Nogueira a better athlete and defender. Gobert a little bigger and a little more polished offensively. Many teams now have Nogueira ranked higher now.
Celtics seem to be in an awkward spot. Unless there's a slider there at 16, I'm not sure any of the names in that range fit the Ainge profile. I could see guys like the Greek kid or Ricky Ledo intriguing Ainge, but they seem like later-round picks. Any inkling into Danny's thinking?
Chad Ford (1:37 PM)
He's a little preoccupied now with Doc Rivers, KG and Pierce. So many different directions this team can go. I think that means he doesn't draft for need nor does he draft for now. Who has the most talent and future upside? Muhammad might be too good to pass up here. Could see them going after a guy like Ricky Ledo or Giannis Antetokounmpo
Chris (South Carolina)
Any idea what the Hawks are thinking? It's been awfully quiet out of ATL
Chad Ford (1:39 PM)
Danny Ferry doesn't really show his hand too often. I think they like Mason Plumlee and Gourgi Dieng as bigs. Jamaal Franklin and Tim Hardaway as guards. Also I think they grab one international player. Sergey Karaseve if he's there. Also they really like Antetoukounmpo
Tony Snell at #19 to the Cavs. I find him to be a steal, what are you thoughts?
Chad Ford (1:40 PM)
Possible, but I think they have Karasev and REggie Bullock ahead of him.
Are the Bulls leaning shooter or big man?
Chad Ford (1:41 PM)
Could use both. Might depend on who slides. But I think they'd prefer the shooter -- Karasev, Bullock, Crabbe, Hardaway are all there. They also like Jamaal Franklin a lot though I don't really consider him a shooter.
How about some love for the bottom half of the draft? Who do have the Knicks, Nets and Pacers drafting?
Chad Ford (1:43 PM)
Nets looking at wings and bigs -- Tony Snell, Tim Hardaway and Gourgi Dieng seem like possibiltiies.Pacers looking at PGs and bigs -- Kelly Olynyk, Isaiah Canaan both strongly in the mix there. Tony Snel another possibility.Knicks are a tougher read. Heard Tony Mitchell there a lot. Also hear they really like Nate Wolters.
What's your buddy John Hollinger going to do?
Chad Ford (1:46 PM)
Besides order Portebella mushroom sandwiches and obsess about bike lanes? I told him to draft D.J. Stephens. If he doesn't work out as a player -- he'd put on a hell of a half time show.
Does Jackie Carmichael get drafted in the first round?
Chad Ford (1:47 PM)
No, but he'll be a very solid second round pick.
Is DJ Stephens the kid from Memphis with the crazy hops??
Chad Ford (1:48 PM)
Yes sir. CRAZY hops.
I still say Archie Goodwin slips into the bottom of the first! Are you saying there is no chance?
Chad Ford (1:50 PM)
Not saying that. In fact, personally, I think teams drafting from 15 on are crazy not to roll the dice with younger players like Ricky Ledo, Antetoukounmpo, Tony Mitchell and Goodwin. Their sin is that they are in the draft too early. But upside is so much higher than so many players int he draft. Could they bust? Sure. But I might be willing to gamble given what I'd lose is a solid rotation player.
Chris Manning (Ohio)
What do you think of Ohio University point guard D.J. Cooper?
Chad Ford (1:51 PM)
A sleeper. Has worked out really well. Some teams have him ranked highly on their analytics scores. Interesting prospect as a second round pick.
What are some possible second round steals?
Chad Ford (1:52 PM)
Isaiah Canaan, Mike Muscala, Erick Green, Nate Wolters, Grant Jerrett, Pierre Jackson
Any buzz on Seth Curry or Ryan Kelly from Duke?
Chad Ford (1:53 PM)
Kelly getting some buzz right now. Curry not as much. Some teams in the 30s really like Kelly. Another stretch four.
Justin R. (Scottsdale, AZ)
What are your thoughts about Carrick Felix, ASU?
Chad Ford (1:54 PM)
Has worked out very well wherever he's gone. Think he's becoming a lock for the second round.
Tony Snell finished at or near the top in every category at the combine. Could you see him being a contributor in the league right away?
Chad Ford (1:55 PM)
He's definitely a guy who is rising very high based on workouts and his athletic profile. My concern is that he was a streaky shooter in college who didn't always play hard. That would give me pause. But then again, could've said the same thing about Paul George.
Who wins game 7?
Chad Ford (1:57 PM)
Gotta go with the Heat. Picked them in 7 over the Spurs at the beginning and think they'll find a way. Going to be an incredible game.
Chad Ford (1:57 PM)
Gotta run everyone. Just 8 days before the draft. Will do this again next week the day before the draft!!!