Insider - Chat with Chad Ford

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Chat with Chad Ford

Chad Ford: Hey everyone, thanks for coming. We'll spend a few minutes on the NBA and spend the bulk of the time on the draft. Let's start with a few NBA questions.

stefan, austria: hey chad!Who is going to be in the playoffs in the east from the 5th seed down? my estimation is something like: 5:indy,6:chicago,7:Washington,8.Milwaukee, with philly missing out on the POs.do you agree?

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Chad Ford: I think it's going to look like this in the EAst:

1. Pistons
2. Heat
3. Nets
4. Cavs
5. Indiana
6. Washington
7. Milwaukee
8. Chicago

It's a tough call between Philly and Chicago, but I just think the Bulls have a little easier schedule the rest of the way and have been playing better of late.

Phil, LA: What about in the West? Who's in and who's out of the playoffs?

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Chad Ford: Here it goes.

1. Spurs
2. suns
3. Nuggets
4. Mavs
5. Grizzlies
6. Clippers
7. Lakers
8. Kings

I think the interesting first round match-up is the Clippers-Nuggets. I actually think the Clippers will take them in a 7 game series.

Garrett, Minn: Kobe throws the Lakers on his back and they upset Phoenix in 6 games. I really like Nash and Phoenix is fun to watch (regular season), but I see an explosion from Kobe and the Lakers defense, improved play of Lamar and Kwame, and front line size advantage in the playoffs to much to overcome. How do you feel?

Chad Ford: I don't see it. Lakers have overachieved this year thanks to a spectacular season by Kobe and Phil Jackson ... but I think Phoenix is better than you give them credit for. They have too many weapons in a seven game series.

Evan (Ridgewood): Would you be inclined to say that the team with the brightest future is the Orlando Magic? Have they distanced themselves from the other youthful teams?

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Chad Ford: They look very good, though this recent winning streak has actually hurt them. A few weeks ago they had an 8.8 percent chance of winning the lottery and a likely No. 5 pick in the draft. I think they would've grabbed Brandon Roy or Adam Morrison -- a great fit for that team. Now they have a 0.8 percent chance of winning the lottery and the pickings are much slimmer at the No. 10 pick. Still, they'll add another lottery pick to the mix this summer and then have a lot of cap room in the summer of 2007. The future is bright.

Lance (omaha): Is there a miracle in the world that has the bulls beating the pistons in the 1st round

Chad Ford: No, but thanks for asking Lance.

Jim (LA): Do the Nets have a chance at beating the Heat? What about their chances against the Pistons?

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Chad Ford: I actually like the Nets over the Heat in a 7 game series and think the Nets could push the Pistons to 7 games. But I think the Pistons are going to win it all.

TC Bass (DC): Give me a prediction for the 2006-07 Indiana Pacers roster...Bird said there would be massive changes, and I wonder if that means either Peja or Jermaine O'Neal will be gone next year.

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Chad Ford: Could be both. The key is whether they can get any value for O'Neal. He's talented and still young enough, but his injury history and lack of leadership have hurt his value. I think the Bulls could be a possibility for both guys if the Pacers just decide to blow it up and go young. Would the Bulls give up their draft picks and a young player like Luol Deng for it? Would the Pacers take it? I don't know, but I do expect big changes there ... the mix just hasn't worked. Stephen Jacksona and Jamaal Tinsley could also be sent packing.

Jesse (Atlanta, GA):: Chad, Josh Smith and Andrei Kirilenko have put up almost identical numbers since the all-star break. With Smith's inspired play, could he be the small forward of the future in Atlanta? Would the Hawks consider trading Marvin this summer to fill holes at other positions?

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Chad Ford: Smith and Williams have a bright future and I think they can play together at the three and the four. I'd let Al Harrington walk (or do a sign and trade) and I'd see what I could get for Josh Childress and a top draft pick. What they Hawks really need is an athletic up-tempo type of point guard who can help this team gel. An athletic option at center is another need. Joakim Noah would be a good fit if he declares.

wes, boston: DRAFT, DRAFT, DRAFT DRAFT, DRAFT, DRAFT DRAFT, DRAFT, DRAFT DRAFT, DRAFT, DRAFT DRAFT, DRAFT, DRAFT DRAFT, DRAFT, DRAFT DRAFT, DRAFT, DRAFT DRAFT, DRAFT, DRAFT DRAFT, DRAFT, DRAFT

Coop (Halifax, NS): Why do you always wanna talk so much about the draft? Especially this year, when everyone sucks. But for real, its just 100% guess work...we don't even know who's got what pick. Let alone who they might take in 4 months.

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Chad Ford: Glad everyone can agree ... We should get talking about the draft. It doesn't suck. I'm not sure how many superstars there are, but lots of these guys will make NBA rosters and contribute. I think it's interesting this year because there's so much parity. I just wrote a column today about how five different guys could go No. 1. We haven't had that since 2001.

Michael (Tustin, CA): "Potential" is the most dangerous word come draft time. Most kids are nowhere close to being ready for the NBA. It seems that many GMs are praying for a miracle when they make a draft pick. Your take?

Chad Ford: It's a gamble sure ... but when I look at some of the "potential" payoffs -- Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Jermaine O'Neal, LeBron James -- what's the gripe. Sure, GMs reach and make mistakes. But in the high lottery, teams are looking for home runs. You don't hit ones if you skip the "P" word. That's why guys like Tyrus Thomas and Andrea Bargnani are ranked ahead of Adam Morrison and J.J. Redick.

Leslie (Springfield, IL): Is there anyone in the draft that can really help the Bulls or do they get to the next level via free agency?

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Chad Ford: They need a four who can score in the paint and a big, defensive minded two guard. Brandon Roy makes some sense. So does LaMarcus Aldridge. However, I think they're better off getting out of this draft. They have enough young players to build around. They need some veteran help to take the next step.

Dan ( Iowa City, IA): What 3 players are most ready to contribute to a NBA team?

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Chad Ford: Joakim Noah, Brandon Roy, Randy Foye

Chad Ford: The draft of 2000 is the worst in recent memory. Michael Redd, a second round pick, was the best player in the draft. No. 2 was probably Kenyon Martin. After that pick your poison ... Jamaal Magloire? Mike Miller? Darius Miles? Ugh.

kelvin (nyc): quincy douby? 1st rounder?

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Chad Ford: Possibly. He's a great scorer who also has a sweet shooting touch. I just wonder where he fits. He's undersized and doesn't do much besides score. He doesn't make his teammates better and isn't a great defender. I think he'd be a great sixth man somewhere ... but he plays with the mentality of the No. 1 option. Can he adjust? I'm not convinced.

Bob (Tucson): Do you see either AZ Wildcat going in the 1st round (Adams or Shakur)?

Chad Ford: No. Adams has a shot but I think he's a second rounder. Shakur probably goes undrafted.

Derek (NC): Name a player that no one is talking about but could make some noise in the NBA.

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Chad Ford: Last year my guy was Danny Granger and I think he's acquitted himself well in Indiana. Had he been drafted by a bad team, he'd have been a Top 3 rookie this year I believe. I think Maurice Ager could be better than scouts are giving him credit for. I also think people are underrating Leon Powe because of the injury history. If his knees check out at the pre-draft camp, he could rocket up the boards.

Brian (Memphis, TN): Chad, I was at the Hoop Summit and saw scouts drooling over Saer Sene. Is he a legit late 1st rounder?

Chad Ford: I think that's a little premature. Scouts loved him there ... but he's still very raw. Any athletic 7 footer with a 7-8 wingspan should be blocking 9 shots in a high school all-star game. He's a freak athletically, but he's only been playing ball for three years. Usually guys like that take a LONG time to develop. If a team has three or four years to wait ... I say go for it. His upside is awesome. But you have to be realistic with kids like that ... and he's going to have to get some playing experience. That's why I'm a fan of the new D league. I think he's an early second rounder right now ... but it's possible for him to move into the first round. You don't see guys like that come along very often.

james (tallahassee fl): Why isn't Justin Williams getting more consideration? He is exactly like Theo Ratliff and teams have always clamored for him. Your thoughts.

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Chad Ford: I'm not sure about that. Scouts weren't enamored with him in Porstmouth. He measured a little short, needs to add weight, and needs a better feel. I think Theo was a better prospect. Still, Williams will go somewhere in the second round.

Ryan (Boston, MA): Chad, Gerald Green looks like he'll be able to be a viable scoring option off the bench for the C's next year. With that in theory taken care of, do you think Boston will go for a player like Marcus Williams or Rajon Rondo with their pick to back up Delonte West and replace Orien Greene?

Chad Ford: Green has looked very good. The stint in the D league seems to have helped his confidence. I think a point guard is a big need ... just not sure if that's too high for Williams and Rondo. I like both, but I think they're both in the mid first round. Wouldn't be surprised to see them add Brandon Roy. Big guard who can play some point and defense. He's more ready than most of the prospects and can play in the backcourt with West.

Kevin (Phoenix, AZ): Sorry to bring up the race thing, but is "potential" directly related to race? I NEVER hear about white players with upside potential unless they are extremely young and undeveloped. Why do we assume JJ and Morrison can raise their games just as Tyrus Thomas?

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Chad Ford: I don't think it's about race, I think it's about age. Few young white players declare early. But ... we're hearing potential galore about Josh McRoberts of Duke and heard the same thing about Robert Swift and Darko Milicic. There's just a smaller sample size.

Josh (Nebraska): Where will Redick be drafted?

Chad Ford: My guess is still Utah at No. 14. But if they trade the pick or pass on him, he'll go somewhere between 15 and 22.

jordan (weehawken): Who are the top 3 point guards in the draft ?

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Chad Ford: 1. Marcus Williams, UConn
2. Mardy Collins, Temple
3. Rajon Rondo, Kentucky.

If you consider Randy Foye a point guard then he tops all of them on the list.

Erik (Iowa city, Iowa): Any chance the Knicks are this bad again next year, we sure could use Oden in Chicago?

Chad Ford: Yeah, I think there's a great chance of that. It might get worse before it gets better in New York.

Andy(Eugene,OR): I have never really been a Portland fan ever since Clyde the Glide left Oregon, but that doesn't stop me from wondering what they can do to turn the franchise around. They have so much young talent but in the past couple years, the one's they have rid of have become stars (ie, Jermaine). Do they stick with Zach Randolph and build around that. They have obvious talend, but no real leaders or superstars. Maybe go for a dominant guard and solid center?

Chad Ford: I think they've got to dump Randolph and Miles. Take the best player in the draft (right now they have the best shot at the No. 1 pick) and then bring in a veteran or two. Too many young players, too much attitude, no real winners on the floor. They have a ton of talent, but talent isn't enough. I think John Nash have done a really shaky job rebuilding this team. No wonder Paul Allen wants to sell.

Jake (Cedar Rapids, IA): Who are a few players in the draft with really high basketball IQ?

Chad Ford: Brandon Roy, Al Horford, Adam Morrison all get props in that department. I also here similar things about LaMarcus Aldridge.

Chad Ford: I've got to run everyone. It's been fun. We'll do it again next week.
 
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