01-18-2007, 04:54 PM
Chat with John Hollinger
Welcome to The Show! On Thursday, NBA columnist John Hollinger will stop by to talk about the NBA season.
Send your questions now and join John in The Show Thursday at 3 p.m. ET.
Hollinger archives: Columns | Chats
SportsNation John Hollinger: Greetings everyone. The automated power rankings debuted today, and already my mailbox overfloweth. Let's talk about that, Dikembe Mutombo's age, and anything else that's on your mind today.
Tamir (Toronto): First the top 10, then the NBA championships! No, but really, the Raptors are on a roll - where do you see this team in the next couple of years?
SportsNation John Hollinger: Raps at No. 9 in the power ranks is a surprise, but not if you look at two things -- recent play and schedule. Toronto is really well-positioned to win the Titanic, despite New Jersey's recent run of success, because they're deeper and more able to withstand the grind of the season. As far as the future goes, my man Ford says they're building for cap space in '09, at which point the Bargnani-Bosh combo would hopefully be pretty potent.
David (Halifax, Nova Scotia): How does yesterday's trade make any sense for Indiana if they want to keep Jermaine O'Neal? Unless JO asked for his 2nd and 3rd scorer to be traded for Dunleavy and an always hurt Troy Murphy, Indiana must be out of their minds! Please tell me this isn't the end of Indiana's roster shake-up...
SportsNation John Hollinger: I really liked the trade actually. The fact that Indy got rid of Jackson without having to pay a ransom is a minor miracle. And Diogu is potentially a stud low post scorer. I still think Indy has one more deal to make though -- right now they have to many 4s and 5s and not enough 2s.
Dave (Charlottesville): I'm wondering if there's going to be a Power Rankings power struggle with you and Stein. How's the chemistry in the locker room? Is Simmons going to have to do a Ranking of Rankings?
SportsNation John Hollinger: Think of it like the BCS rankings -- the Hollinger component is the computers, Stein's component is the polls. Two different ways of approaching the same problem. And I'm leery of Simmons doing a ranking of rankings due to the risk of one or both of us being compared to Karate Kid characters.
jake chandler arizona: I'm a die hard Suns fan, but even I can't put them at the number one spot when they have yet to beat the Spurs OR the Mavs this season.
SportsNation John Hollinger: Which should you put more weight on: Those three games, two of which were in the first week of the season, or the other 35 in which they've blitzed the league? As Miami showed last year, head-to-head regular season records aren't necessarily indicative.
shawn (seattle, wa): Do you see a possible trade happening in Utah to move AK for a 2-guard. He is overpaid and doesn't seem to be fitting into the current lineup. Where would he be a better fit?
SportsNation John Hollinger: Everyone is talking about AK, but here's what I wonder about: wouldn't it make more sense to trade Boozer? He'd get a lot more in return right now, and my hunch is that AK would go back to his former ways -- especialy in terms of shot-blocking -- if he could move back to the 4 spot.
Eli (Toronto): Who's the rookie of the year at this point?
SportsNation John Hollinger: Do we have to give a trophy this year? I'll go with Roy if you put a gun to my head, but one guy to keep an eye on is Sergio Rodriguez -- he's looked unbelievable lately.
Daniel (Tucson, AZ): Are the Kings owners (Maloofs) preventing Geoff Petrie from doing his job? The trade winds are quiet in Sacto and the team looks horrible. I'd take Boozer!
SportsNation John Hollinger: You mean, say, by not letting him trade Artest, or by trading for Artest in the first place? You're not the first person that's wondered that. Sacto has needed frontcourt help for some time, and Miller's decline only makes the need more glaring.
Juan (California): The Warriors worse than the knicks? worse than the celtics? can you explain this in basketball terms or do you only have useless stats to back this up?
SportsNation John Hollinger: Because recent play factors in fairly heavily, and they've been terrible of late. In the last 10 days alone, they've lost by 23, 15, and 22.
Christopher (Phoenix, AZ): I also am a HUGE Suns fan, but I still think the Most Valuable Player award is for Dirk to lose. As great as Nash has been he's got more toys to play with than Dirk does. thoughts?
SportsNation John Hollinger: I'm pretty much on board with that, yes. Still a lot of basketball to be played, but that's how it looks as we near the halfway mark.
Treye (Cleveland): John, do you think the Cavs will make a move for a true PG? I think Bibby would be a great fit, but I'm not sure what it would take to get him.
SportsNation John Hollinger: I'd love to see them try to swing something with GST for Jasikevicius -- he'd be perfect in that system and Ilgauskas is one of his best buds. By the way, since somebody else asked this, everybody who was dealt yesterday can be dealt between now and the deadline, but only by themselves -- not as part of a package.
Hank (Milwaukee): Are the Bucks doomed this season? Can we get it done with Bogut and Boykins for a while?
SportsNation John Hollinger: Doomed is perhaps too strong. But I'd put their odds at a playoff spot south of 50-50 right now, if that's what you're asking. And the timing of this road trip couldn't be worse.
Kellan (DC): If recent play factors in so much then how can you have the Celtics so high? They have lost 5 in a row, and 8 of their last 10!
SportsNation John Hollinger: Is that how bad things have become in Beantown, that being ranked No. 21 is considered "unusually high"?
Danny Ainge (Boston, Ma): How would you rate the job I'm doing and what do I need to do to fix this team.
SportsNation John Hollinger: I think you need to make a decision, and fast. Your moves have all made sense individually, but you've gone halfway -- you haven't committed to trading Pierce, firing Doc and going full-bore with the youth movement, or trading one or more of the young guys for a star and making a run with that group. Gotta be one or the other, otherwise you'll go 32-50 every year.
Steve (New York): John, you mention the Raps but forgot about Ford. He's a key part of their foundation as well and he's been a Top 10 PG in your Per rankings. Looks like your criticism of him this summer was way off base. He's having a very good year.
SportsNation John Hollinger: Ford has greatly surprised me, yes. I still don't like the trade much for salary purposes, or for what they gave up, but it's easier to be a fan of it when Villanueva is on the shelf.
JR (Indianapolis, IN): How are the Spurs ranked 5 spots ahead of the Lakers when they just got beat by the Lakers and their records are nearly identical?
SportsNation John Hollinger: Because in the 40 or so other games each team has played, San Antonio has been better, if one goes by victory margin.
Vahe (Glendale, CA): Phil Jackson for coach of the year?
SportsNation John Hollinger: Gotta be in the mix, yes. I still like Van Gundy to win, what he's done on the defensive end with that team is nothing short of amazing. And the Rocks are something like 24-6 when at least one of the big two plays.
Sam Mitchell (Toronto): Even if I take this team past the 1st round, Am I still not going to get my contract renewed?
SportsNation John Hollinger: I wouldn't be signing any long-term leases, that's for sure. Mitchell probably needs to win a playoff round to keep his job. That's not fair, but that's how life goes when a GM "inherits" a coach.
John (NJ): Why can't the Clippers win on the road? And what kind of trade do you see them making to get back on the right track?
SportsNation John Hollinger: They can't win on the road because they're not that good. I think rather than a trade, they really need to think about keeping Maggette and utilizing him more. If anything, I'd be shopping Mobley -- those final three years on his deal could end up being really painful, and I'm not sure if other teams have caught on yet.
Mike Ny: What do you see the nets doing on the trade front? I think either RJ of Vince should be traded for a big, and hopefully Kidd isn't part of any deals.
SportsNation John Hollinger: If you're going to reach for the dynamite, I think the obvious move is to trade Carter since he's an FA-to-be right now. But Rod Thorn may hold off until he sees how long this run of good play lasts.
Matt (Philly): Is there any doubt that Billy King and Larry Brown will get the #1 pick, take Oden as he plays 3 years before getting hurt and being done while Durant becomes one of the best ever? Is there any way they don't screw this up?
SportsNation John Hollinger: Wow. Even for a Philly fan, you're a pessimist. By the way, does anybody want to see Greg Oden play with two good hands before completely dismissing him?
Dennis, Honolulu: The Spurs are still in everyone's top 4, but I think they need to make a trade to really be a title contender. Popovich seems to agree. Who will they get?
SportsNation John Hollinger: I think that's probably true, especially in the West -- San Antonio seems to have lost a bit of their edge defensively, and I know that's something they're really worried about. Obvious solution is to trade Barry, Finley or Bonner for a younger, defensive-minded guy, but that's easier said than done. Also, after all the praise I heaped on Udrih the past two years, he's now killing them.
The Atlanta Hawks: Remember when we were an NBA team?
SportsNation John Hollinger: Hey now, Hawks are on a three-game win streak and their next two games are against Charlotte. Pretty impressive rout in Minnesota last night.
Doug (Chicago): Will the Bulls be able to move PJ Brown and his expiring deal for a useful post player this season?
SportsNation John Hollinger: I expect that to happen, yes, but you might have to lower the bar a bit on what you deem "useful".
TONY(LA,CA): Why does Hibachi not get any press about being a ball hog? if kobe was shooting like him, people would be saying he shoots too much.
SportsNation John Hollinger: Are you kidding me? People have derided him as a "shoot first point guard" his entire career. Which he is, but what everyone seems to forget is that you can win lots of games with guys like this -- in fact teams win championships with shoot-first PGs all the time. I think sometimes we have a bias toward guys who play the position how we imagine it's supposed to be played, and underestimate how effective the Arenas/Jason Terry/Tony Parker types can be.
Mike (Rice Lake, WI): Hey Tony, did you watch last night? Because I could have sworn Arenas had the game winning assist....
SportsNation John Hollinger: Actually it was DeShawn Stevenson, but nice play by Gilbert to recognize the double, which New York was doing all night, and get rid of it.
Jarret (South Padre Island, Tx): In a seven game series, do you like the Suns or the Mavs?
SportsNation John Hollinger: Gotta go with Phoenix right now, but the one wild card is that Dallas is much better positioned to withstand injuries than the Suns.
Steve (South Bend, IN): Is there any chance KG would rework his contract to help the Woves make some moves?
SportsNation John Hollinger: Define "chance." If you want to be technical, there's a chance it may snow in the Sahara this afternoon, but it's an incredibly small one. Kinda feel the same way about this question.
JP (portland Oregon): THe magic and the Cavs ahead of the lakers? You say recent play factors into this, but recent play would show the lakers beating the magic twice and then the spurs last night and the cavs getting trounced by the blazers. You are right this does look like the BCS component of the two rankings. Cause it also makes no sense...
SportsNation John Hollinger: By "recent play", what I mean is "scoring margin in past 10 games". L.A.'s is barely above water at +0.5, which puts them way behind Orlando (+6). Cleveland's recent scoring margin isn't any better, but they're a thousandth of a point ahead based on home-road disparity.
Mike (L.A.): True or False: Deron Williams makes the All Star game this year? You have to like what he's done with the Jazz and their record.
SportsNation John Hollinger: False. There's a long, long queue at the point guard spot in the West. If anyone from Utah will make it, it's Boozer.
Rick (Akron, OH): Do you agree with Simmons that the Cavs demolition in Phoenix (and now Portland) means they don't need to be taken seriously anymore?
SportsNation John Hollinger: Have you seen the East right now? The three teams everyone talked about before the season -- Detroit, Miami and New Jersey -- are a combined 56-56. Somebody has to be the sacrificial lamb this June, and Cleveland has as good a chance as anyone.
LA: Is Josh Howard going to make the all-star team this year?
SportsNation John Hollinger: Right now, I'd say yes, but there's still more games to be played before I make my nominations.
John (LA): So would you take the Cavs or Magic over the Lakers in a 7 game series.
SportsNation John Hollinger: Not if L.A. had Odom -- remember, this is formulaic, so it has no idea who's in and out of the lineup.
Jesse (San Antonio, Tx): You're right, with Iverson now here, there is a logjam at PG's in the west for All-Star. Out of the three young greats: Parker, Paul, and Williams, who gets in and who gets snubbed?
SportsNation John Hollinger: You're underestimating the size of the logjam -- none of them are getting in, I don't think.
mike (dc): is Caron Butler a lock for the allstar game yet? Also the wizards are second in the league in points per game so everyone is getting to shoot on that team, not just arenas.
SportsNation John Hollinger: I would pass on him right now -- his offensive stats are borderline All-Star material, but I've never been a fan of his defense, or whatever it is he's trying to pass off as defense.
David (Baltimore): Scoring margin in the regular season may mean something (playing weak teams) but once the playoffs start you need to be able to win close games because the competition will be tighter.
SportsNation John Hollinger: Your statement implies that winning close games is a repeatable skill. Every shred of evidence says it isn't.
Nazr (Auburn Hills, MI): Am I on my way out? Where to? And why...your efficiency rankings show that I'm doing fine on the team when given the minutes.
SportsNation John Hollinger: One of the many puzzles in Detroit this year is why McDyess and Davis are getting so many minutes at the expense of Maxiell and Mohammed, even though the latter two have been vastly more productive. Detroit obviously needs to trade big for small -- I suspect their first choice is Mo Pete but that they'll end up settling for Jaric.
Vinnie (NYC): I think Arenas has been a breath of fresh air for the NBA and for its fans. He is a very likeable guy who doesnt appear to be a headcase. Do you agree?
SportsNation John Hollinger: I do. Absolutely captivating guy to talk to; I'm alreadly looking forward to his All-Star Game media session.
Ryan, Mpls: Any chance you see the Wolves at least making it a series in the first round? Roster's not too impressive, but Casey's doing a very unnoticed admirable job in my opinion. . .
SportsNation John Hollinger: I agree that Casey is basically squeezing blood from a rock right now, but T'wolves have also been very fortunate on the (non)-injury front, particularly in the frontcourt. If they do make the playofs, I'm sorry to say that I think they're total roadkill.
John (Phoenix): How will Kurt Thomas' injury effect the SUNS in the long run?
SportsNation John Hollinger: I'm very interested to see what happens to their defensive numbers -- last year they completely tanked defensively once Thomas went out, but they don't have to play Diaw at the 5 this time.
Shane, Chicago: Is there a realistic chance for the Bulls to get Garnett or gasol this year?
SportsNation John Hollinger: I really don't think there is, no. I see no rational reason to trade Pau -- if you're rebuilding, isn't the point to **acquire** good young stars? -- and Garnett will stay put as long as Minny is in the playoff race.
Jerry (DC): John, for the love of God and everything sacred, please answer my question to settle this argument!! When Kwame and Lamar return, how does it look for the Lakers to move ahead of the Jazz and possible get the 4th seed? Thanks.
SportsNation John Hollinger: Not possible at all - Northwest division winner is guaranteed no worse than No. 4. But if LA can hold off Houston AND Utah, they'll have home court as a No. 5 seed against Jazz in Round 1.
John (LA): Do you think with a healthy L.O. and Brown that the Lakers can win it all or do you think they need some extra pieces.
SportsNation John Hollinger: OK, Laker people, let's exhale a little bit. Beating the Spurs on the road was impressive, but this is about the 15th "are we winning it all?" question I've had from LA-La land today. I know you're all a little giddy about the snow and everything, but keep in mind that a week ago you were rolled by Memphis and blasted by Houston. Let's see how the East Coast road trip goes before we start making proclamations.
kris (seattle): No Caron Butler on All-Star team? Are you kidding? 2nd leading PPG (21.1) for forwards in the east. Leading all SFs in RPG (8.1) in the east. 6th overall SPG (1.9). Nearly 49% from the field and 87.5% from FT. He plays a huge role on a winning team. Who would you put ahead of him?
SportsNation John Hollinger: You mean besides LeBron, Wade, Arenas, Redd, Kidd, Carter, Billups, Hamilton, Pierce, O'Neal, Bosh, Johnson, Okafor, Deng, and Howard? Hardly anybody.
Mike (Brooklyn): Is there any better playoff position than the 5 seed in the east? It seems like a lock for the 4 seed, whoever it is (Toronto, NJ, or dear god the Knicks) to be a cakewalk of a first-round matchup.
SportsNation John Hollinger: Methinks I'd rather be No. 1 -- remember, there's a second round that has to be played too. But we could see some interesting strategic maneuvering like we had with the Clippers and T'wolves a year ago.
Vinnie (NYC): Do you really consider this an All-Star worthy season for Johnson? I just cant get past the fact that the Hawks are so bad.
SportsNation John Hollinger: He'd probably be out right now, because the East is so guard-heavy, but Altanta's schedule is pretty light the next few weeks, so the record might not be held against him quite as strongly.
James (Dallas): Haver the Pacers abandoned their movement toward an uptempo offense with athletic players that can play multiple positions less than a year into the transition? The trade does not supportthis type of movement and Carlisle doesn't seem to ne the coach for that type of offense. What am I missing?
SportsNation John Hollinger: I disagree. Indy's pace factor increased substantially this year, despite the fact they played with a classic early 90s lineup -- they went 6-3, 6-8, 6-9, 6-11, 6-11 in the starting lineup. So there was an effort to play up tempo, but not the players for it -- especially since Harrington wanted to play the 3. I still see one more deal coming to trade the frontcourt surplus for a wing, but this is a nice start.
Matt (Champaign, IL): I watched the Bucks and Bulls last night, and Bogut was killing himself trying to get good position, but Boykins and company never even gave him a look...no wonder his usage rate hasn't been as high as one might expect.
SportsNation John Hollinger: Now you know how the Nuggets feel. Earl is great in spurts, but he's not the easiest guy to play with unless you're a Reggie Evans type that gets all your touches after the ball hits the rim.
SportsNation John Hollinger: Folks, that's all the time I have, but thanks for all the great questions. Next week we're back to my usual Monday chat time, so tune in then.
01-18-2007, 04:56 PM
Chat with Chad Ford
Welcome to The Show! On Thursday, ESPN NBA Insider Chad Ford will drop by to talk about the upcoming NBA season.
Ford covers the NBA and NBA Draft for ESPN Insider and also makes appearances on ESPN Radio and ESPNEWS.
Send in your questions to Chad now, then join him right here in The Show on Thursday at noon ET!
Ford Archive: Chats | Columns
SportsNation Chad Ford: Aloha. Welcome to the chat everyone. Huge trade yesterday ... lots more rumors floating around ... we'll talk NBA trades for the first half ... and do some NBA draft in the second half. So send in your questions.
juan (NY, NY): While i applaud indiana for getting rid of jackson, what plan do they have? This trade doesn't seem to make them any better, and one of the things Larry Bird says was a problem was that Harrington is more a natural 4. What is Murphy? It just seems like they didn't get back enough, considering how long they will be stuck with these guys.
SportsNation Chad Ford: Indiana HAD to get rid of Stephen Jackson. He was killing the team from inside and outside. Fans had had it with him. I think the team and coach couldn't tolerate him anymore ... and they thought Harrington wasn't a great fit with Jermaine. I understand the motivation. Not sure that I like the trade though. They've always liked Diogu and I think he could be a good player ... but he plays the same position as Jermaine O'Neal and Troy Murphy. Golden State learned last year the two could really play together defensively. And I'm not a huge fan of Murphy or Dunleavy. They both had bigger and longer contracts. So why I understand the subtraction for Indiana ... Diogu's going to have to be awfully good down the road to justify the terrible contracts they got back with Murphy and Dunleavy.
P (NYC): Hey Chad, are you in agreement with Hollinger's position that the Pacers came out roses? It seems that all Warriors' stats are inflated because of Nellie's style. Besides, Dunleavy and Murphy were doing absolutely nothing but collecting paychecks. I think the W's got infinitely tougher and, simply put, better. Can they make a run for the playoffs? Seems like they need to fend off Minny, Denver, or the Clips.
SportsNation Chad Ford: I like the trade from Golden State's perspective. Harrington is a good fit in Nellie's system and he was the one major player in the deal that isn't overpaid. He fits the team's biggest hole ... so I think that's a plus. I also think that Jasikevicius will be a better fit in Golden State than he was in Indiana. Rick Carlisle never really let him play the way he's capable of. The one issue for Golden State is what to do with Stephen Jackson. They don't need him, and from everything I hear, he's going to be a problem if he doesn't have a major role with the team. Wouldn't be shocked if they just waived him. That's a lot of dough to swallow ... but it's worth it if you don't want him messing up your team. With all of that said, I think this trade helps the Warriors make the playoffs, but I don't think they're in the same league as the Suns, Mavs, Spurs or Nuggets.
Ryan(dc): Chad, rumor has it that Dunleavy could be dealt to play with his Dad in LA for Maggette. Do you see this happening ?
SportsNation Chad Ford: I think Mike Sr. and Mike Jr. would like that to happen. My guess is that the Pacers wouldn't mind it either, though I think Larry Bird is still intrigued by Dunleavy's potential. However, from what I hear, Clippers owner Donald Sterling doesn't want Mike Sr. coaching his son. He thinks it would be a distraction. So I'm not sure that's going to happen.
Brian C. (Naugatuck, CT): Hey Chad, break down from an insider's point of view why everyone is so down on Dunleavy? I know his contract is bad, but watching him shows me that he is a glue player who doesn't need to fill a boxscore to have an impact.
SportsNation Chad Ford: I think he's soft, doesn't play defense, and isn't the shooter everyone thought he'd be out of college. He is a smart player and a good passer, but he was drafted too high and he's now over paid. I have a hard time believing, given the Warriors struggles his entire career, that he's a glue guy. One of the reasons that Mullin makes this deal is that Murphy and Dunleavy have zero experiencing winning.
Jim (Det): Chad, this may seem like a really dumb question, but would the Pistons actually consider trading Rasheed Wallace? He obviously has some issues with Flip, he's played terribly the last month and he's consistently gotten T'd up late in close games. If he were on the block, what could the Pistons get for him?
SportsNation Chad Ford: I think the problem is ... what could they get for him? Sheed's age, his contract and the fact that he's regressing back to his moody, inconsistent ways probably mean that GMs aren't burning up the phone lines to get him.
To me, the biggest disappointment for the Pistons the last year and half has been Flip Saunders. He was known as a player coach, but he overplayed his starters last year, didn't play Darko, forcing a trade, and hasn't played Nazr Mohammed despite a very respectable PER and no he and Sheed are feuding.
I think the Pistons have another deal up their sleeve and while I'm sure everyone was wishing it was Sheed, more likely it's Mohammed.
Nuno (Lisbon, Portugal): Rasheed Wallace to Chicago for PJ Brown. The Pistons get cap to re-sign Chauncey Billups and avoid the luxury tax, and the Bulls get a PF who played well with Big Ben and has a nice outside shooting. What do you think?
SportsNation Chad Ford: Great deal for the Pistons if it happened ... but I can't see Paxson and Skiles wanting to add Sheed to this young team and I can't see Sheed and Skiles getting along. One team that might go for Sheed? Philly. Larry Brown loves him. If Pistons would take back Sammy Dalembert ... maybe.
Todd (Lexington, Tn): Toronot seems to be rolling lately is Mo Pete still on the block and if so who's interested?
SportsNation Chad Ford: Usual suspects ... Pistons, Spurs, Clippers. Problem is that Bryan Colangelo doesn't want to take back long-term deals. He wants cap flexibility in the summer of 2009 so the deals he takes back can't be too long.
John (Portland): Chad, is there a demand for a player like Zach Randolph prior to the deadline? His value will not get any higher and with the youth and style of basketball the rookies play, Zach seems to be holding the offense back.
SportsNation Chad Ford: Randolph is having a fantastic year, but I agree that the Blazers should try their best to move him. He's a distraction and his contract takes away some flexibility. However, what they don't need is more rookies. If they could get a steady small forward or a better solution at the five ... I think they'd have to consider it.
Alex (Miami, FL): Hey Chad, will Jason Kidd really be traded because of his wifey issues? If so, what teams do you think have a chance to land him?
SportsNation Chad Ford: I don't think Kidd will be traded because of his divorce. But I do think the Nets like Marcus Williams and would love to get some salary relief and something in return for Kidd while he's still fairly marketable. Dallas, Miami, New York, Sacramento seem like the best fits.
Jim (Atlanta): After Durant's solid play, will it mean Oden will still be the number one pick (assuming he declares for the nba draft).
SportsNation Chad Ford: Kevin Durant has been more than solid ... he's been spectacular. I honestly think he's been the best player in college basketball this year. Not best freshman. Best player. But Oden is a center who, defensively, is already great. Once his wrist heals fully, his offense will be better than people are seeing now. When you look at the teams with the best chance to get No.1: Philly, Memphis, Charlotte, Atlanta ... all of them could use a dominant center. Almost every team in the NBA could. So while I think Durant is the better player ... this is one of the times when I think position trumps that.
Rich (Boston): Will Sean Williams (BC) still have a shot at being drafted?
SportsNation Chad Ford: Yes. And NBA scouts say that if he wasn't such a knucklehead he might be a lottery pick. He's got great size and is an amazing shot blocker. But his checkered off the court history will hurt his draft position. Still think he's a first rounder though.
Kevin (Lawrence, KS): Chad, your boy Bill Simmons suggested yesterday that the Suns trade some of their picks in this years draft to help bolster their bench. They certainly could use some help, but is that really the way to go?
SportsNation Chad Ford: This question is in regards to the Suns owning a Top 3 protected pick from the Hawks. If the Suns were a fantasy team ... yes, by all means trade it. But given their precarious cap position, they actually need the rookies to help with the finances. Suns payroll balloons to $77 million next year. That's a significant luxury tax hit ... something owner Robert Sarver doesn't want to pay. I already think they made a mistake trading their picks the last few years to sign marginal players to big contracts that haven't really worked out (re: Quentin Richardson, Kurt Thomas, Marcus Banks). I think they draft is so deep, the Suns will get a player that high who can help right away. I think they're eyeing Joakim Noah. He'd be a great fit in Phoenix.
Todd (Lexington, Tn): They hype machine is on Durant for sure but Brandan Wright has been more than great as well would he be receiving more hype if he would have went to say Vanderbilt where he would have been the go to guy like Durant is on a medicore Texas team?
SportsNation Chad Ford: Like Brandon Wright ... but c'mon. Durant is better in every category. He's a more versatile scorer, a much better rebounder (the big knock on Wright) and he's more intense. Wright will be a top 5 pick ... but no one in the draft touches Durant on talent.
Jay (Burke, VA): Chad, am I the only one who believes trading draft picks can hurt a team much much more than help? Just think if the Suns had Deng and Rondo/Williams/Farmar instead of Rose and Banks.
SportsNation Chad Ford: Exactly ... also Iguodala could've been theirs in 2004 too ... David Lee in 2005 and Rondo in 2006. How do those three compare to Quentin Richardson, Kurt Thomas and Marcus Banks?
matt(Ct): How good will Jeff Green be in the pros ?
SportsNation Chad Ford: I think he'll be a lot better than he's been at Georgetown. I don't think the system really fits him there. He's got good size for a three, and really has a point forward mentality. He'll be a very solid "glue" type guy in the NBA. I don't think he has superstar in him ... but he's got a chance to be good.
louis, chi-town: al horford, spencer hawes, josh mcroberts or who for the bulls in the draft?
SportsNation Chad Ford: Hawes would be a good fit in Chicago because he's a kid who's very skilled offensively in the paint. They need a go to scorer down there. And while he's having a great freshman season at Washington, I don't think he's an immediate NBA impact player. Big guys usually take longer.
Dan (Philly): Joakim Noah: worth the hype? I never understood what the hype was in the first place.
SportsNation Chad Ford: On the right team ... yes. He's not the type of guy who turns around your franchise. But put him on a team with a go to guy ... and Noah could be an excellent complimentary player. To me ... the Suns are a no brainer for him if they get Atlanta's pick.
Gabe (Kansas City, MO): Your thoughts on Florida State's Al Thornton? I think his game is perfect for the Association.
SportsNation Chad Ford: He seems to come up big in the biggest games. He's a bit of a tweener, so he's going to have to find an uptempo team that really lets him get up and down the floor. He'd be another guy who'd be a great fit in Phoenix with one of their later picks in the first round.
Brian (Green Bay): Alando Tucker, do you see him as a good college player that just doesn't translate to a good pro based on size, etc?
SportsNation Chad Ford: Yes and no. The scouts that I've talked to have never had Tucker as a first rounder, because of his lack of size. But that opinion is slowly changing based on a fantastic senior season.
Nathanael (KC): Which draft is better, the upcoming one or the 2003 Lebron/Wade/Carmelo, etc. draft?
SportsNation Chad Ford: Tough to compare any draft to that 2003 one for sheer star power and you left out Chris Bosh. I think this year's draft has more quality depth than 2003 ... but I only see two players right now who appear to be in the same stratosphere as LeBron/Wade/Carmelo and that's Greg Oden and Kevin Durant. Lots of other great players ... but superstars are always hard to come by.
SportsNation Chad Ford: I've got to run everyone. We'll do it again next week.
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