Tagged: Chad Ford

Wizards Trade Buzz Gaining Steam (UPDATED)

Alan Hahn reported this morning that the Knicks have engaged in some trade discussions with the Wizards concerning Larry Hughes and Jared Jeffries. Evidently Chad Ford is hearing very similar things because he posted the following this evening on ESPN:

Second, the Knicks have had talks with the Wizards about acquiring the No. 5 pick. If the Knicks draft a point guard there, they’d likely go in another direction with their second first-round pick. Their offer was Larry Hughes for Etan Thomas and Mike James and the fifth pick. The Wizards were once high on Hughes and are in the market for a veteran player who can propel the team to a championship right now. They’d save some money in the deal, get a player who could help them … but is that enough for the No. 5 pick?

Frankly, I’d be absolutely floored if Larry Hughes can really net you the 5th pick in the NBA draft, no matter how weak it’s believed to be. If this rumor came to fruition, though, of course I’d be ecstatic. The other day we all discussed permutations of what the Knicks could do with two lottery picks here and here.

This nugget about a Wizards deal was actually a tangent to the main point of Ford’s entry which was to discuss what direction the Knicks might take if they stayed put at 8. This afternoon in his latest mock Ford projected that the Knicks would select Brandon Jennings with the 8th pick (heaven forbid) but is reporting tonight that Jrue Holiday’s second workout, which was held earlier today, went much better than his first. Chad believes that, should primary targets Rubio, Curry, Evans, and Jordan Hill already be gone, Holiday may have overtaken Jennings on the Knicks board and is now very much in the mix to be the pick at 8.

UPDATE: Hahn is still on top of the situation and confirms through multiple sources that the Knicks offer would indeed include Chandler in addition to Hughes. With the 5th pick the Knicks would take Stephen Curry or Tyreke Evans and take Gerald Henderson or DeMar DeRozan with the 8th pick to replace Chandler, unless Jordan Hill is available.

NBA Draft Combine Athletic Testing Results

The athletic testing results for this year’s draft combine are now available at all the major draft outlets (this link is to ESPN’s Chad Ford because he also offers a bit of analysis).

I tend to put much less stock into this information than the measurements mainly because it rarely reveals to anything meaningful. For instance, in 2007, Kevin Durant tested as one of, if not the worst athlete in the draft. Like Austin Daye, he failed to get the bench press up even once. Conversely, in 2005, Oklahoma State forward Joey Graham rose from being projected in the late first to going 16th to the Raptors because he tested out as the top athlete in the draft during these drills. It always boils down to one thing: Can he play? So I say take this with a grain of salt.

That said, Steph Curry tested solidly middle of the pack (with a very nice 35.5 inch vertical and got the bar up 10 times) which suggests that he’ll probably be able to hold his own athletically.

Picks for Sale! And PG Rankings.

Chad Ford reports that the Knicks, Pacers, and Rockets are among the teams looking to buy a pick. Who are the sellers in the first round?

…The Wizards have a high lottery pick they’d consider moving.

The Pistons at No. 15, the Hornets at No. 21 and the Blazers at No. 24 are also all willing to deal. And a few teams with multiple first-round picks — the Thunder, Grizzlies and Bulls — might be willing to sell, too.

Ideally I wouldn’t want the Knicks to give up an asset besides cold hard cash for a pick. I like the idea of building a young, core group of guys that will include Chandler and Gallo.

Ford also did a straw poll of NBA GMs to get the current consensus rankings for point guards. It has to worry Steph Curry/Knicks fans that he is currently considered the second best PG prospect:

1. Rubio

2. Curry

3. Flynn

4. Holiday

5. Evans (I don’t believe he’s a PG)

6. Teague

7. Jennings

8. Maynor

9. Lawson

10. Mills

11. Collison

12. Calathas

13. Toney Douglas

I would be happy with any of Curry, Flynn, or Holiday, with Curry a strong preference (not including Rubio because I think he’ll be gone). It looks like the Knicks could definitely get one of them.

Chad Ford: More Love For Stephen Curry

In today’s chat on ESPN, Chad Ford calls Curry’s jumper “a thing of beauty”, says he’s “so clever with the ball”, and shoots down the notion that Curry is too small for his position. He also continues to compare him favorably to Nash:

Nick (NJ): I hope the Knicks do not select steph curry. Regardless of the system, hes an undersized 2 who wont be able to defend anyone or create his own shot. hes got a quick release but i dont think hes worthy of the 8 pick in an average draft year. (and this is well below average). What are the chances the Knicks take Jonny Flynn? Some guys just know how to play in the garden and thats half the battle. And this kid can do it.

SportsNation Chad Ford: I like Jonny Flynn and he could be a good player for the Knicks, but I think you’re wrong about Curry. I got to see him workout today and I think he’s bigger and better than you think he is. He’ll figure out how to run the point and when he does, I think he can be special. His jump shot is a thing of beauty and he’s so clever with the ball. I still think Steve Nash isn’t a crazy comparison.

Can people please STOP calling Curry an undersized 2? He’s a tall 1, okay? He played a full season in Division 1 as a point guard, and averaged 5.6 assists on a team of nobodies. Besides Ford, many other astute scouts have acknowledged Curry’s ball skills, and Bobby Knight calls him one of the best passers to ever play college ball.

ESPN’s Ford: Curry’s the Likely Pick

For those of you without ESPN Insider, Chad Ford, yet again, stated his belief that the Knicks are all over Stephen Curry, promise or no promise:

Rumors persist that the Knicks have promised to take Stephen Curry with the No. 8 pick. I saw Knicks president Donnie Walsh at the draft lottery, and he was pretty adamant that they didn’t mean to make a promise to Curry.

When Curry was going through the process of deciding whether to declare for the draft, the Knicks relayed that they liked Curry and would consider him at the No. 8 pick. But it wasn’t a guarantee. There are too many scenarios in this draft — one of which was that back then, the Knicks didn’t even know where they would be drafting.

However, I don’t think there’s any dispute that they are big Curry fans, and if the draft goes according to form, he’s the likely pick for the Knicks.

This is going to be convoluted but, the way I see it at the moment, there are four players that presently seem like locks to go before the Knicks pick: Griffin, Rubio, Thabeet and Harden. After that group there’s a second tier of players that includes Hill, Jennings, Evans, DeRozan, Curry and Holiday. And even though I included him in the second tier, I’d be shocked if Hill is still avaiable at 8. Of the remaining players, I expect DeRozan’s, Holiday’s and possibly Evans’ stock to rise during workouts.

The point I’m trying to make is that, if I’m right about those 5 players being locks for the top 7, there’s really no scenario in which the Knicks don’t have one or more of Curry, Holiday, or DeRozan sitting out there for them to take at 8. And even if I’m wrong, that means that one of those top 5 players is going to fall into the Knicks’ laps.

So the Knicks are in a pretty nice position.

On Workouts…

Work-outs serve a purpose. But for the most part, I think if you wait until work-outs to narrow the field for you, you’re probably making a mistake.

Chad Ford was down on Thabeet all year, questioning his athleticism and strength. He watches him in one work-out and says that with some practice, all of a sudden he can be the next Mutombo.

Incidentally, Chad also was huge on Darko, raving about how the kid could shoot left handed threes without jumping during workouts.

A lot was also made about how Kwame Brown dominated Tyson Chandler in work-outs.

I just don’t get how a scout’s opinion on a player can vacillate so greatly based on work-outs. Darko could hit those off-hand 3s, but when have you ever seen him do that in a game? Never. And no, and Darko didn’t play in too many games in Europe before he was drafted. He had a reputation for dominating practice and then he had great work-outs. (Red Flag for those who love Jennings.)

The point I’m getting at is that for most prospects, like Thabeet for example, there is at least a full season of game action to use in evaluations. I have a feeling that Donnie Walsh, who scouted Steph Curry extensively, watches actual games in deciding which players he likes. I doubt he’s ever flustered by a work-out.

By the time work-outs happen, a saavy GM probably already knows that he likes the guy he’s invited to the gym. The work-out is like a getting-to-know-you session. Are you a sociopath? A nice guy? Smart? Obstinate? Sociable? As into us as we’re into you? Oh, and lets see that jumper we know so well from watching you play in games for over a year.

That’s why I don’t totally discount the Steph Curry promise even though people have called it ludicrous to suggest the Knicks made a promise before workouts. In Chad’s article, he completely changes his tune about Thabeet because he canned a few jumpers in a workout. What about the entire season of games Thabeet played. Doesn’t that tell you more about the kid than one work-out session?

Knicks Locked in on Steph Curry?

Tommy Dee linked this morning to a radio interview conducted by CNNSI’s Dan Patrick with Stephen Curry where Curry informs Patrick that he’s been told his draft range is between six and twenty (Although that high water mark sounds like it might be a bit off. Or is it? More on that in a minute).

Who would take him at six? According to Curry, none other than your New York Knicks. Are the Knicks, as Chad Ford has repeatedly reported over the past several months, locked in on the Davidson PG? As you all know, I’m a big fan of Curry’s and I love his ceiling as a long-term prospect. He’ll enter the league as a combo guard, likely coming off the bench, but I believe his upside is all wrapped up in his long-term potential as a dynamic floor leader.

At six though? Hmmm. As we’re all aware, the Knicks aren’t seeded sixth in the lottery, they’re slated to pick eighth. Did Curry simply misspeak, or did the Knicks maybe let something slip, and there’s a more interesting scenario brewing?

Who is currently slated to pick sixth, you ask? None other than the Memphis Grizzlies. That’s right. those same Memphis Grizzlies that nearly traded the fifth pick in last year’s draft for David Lee. Could the Knicks and Grizzlies be laying the groundwork for a deal? Interesting.

Now, of course, it’s far more likely that Curry simply misspoke than it is that he has some inside dope on the Knicks’ master plan. But it sure is fun to speculate.

John Wall to Be in the 2009 Draft?

High-school senior PG John Wall, the consensus top high-school senior in America and potential no.1 overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, is apparently exploring the possibility of entering his name in this year’s draft instead. This news comes courtesy of ESPN.com’s draft guru Chad Ford:

Mike, FL: Is John Wall the No. 1 pick in 2010 Draft. He was awesome at the Hoop Summit game.

SportsNation Chad Ford: He was awesome and he’ll compete with Ed Davis and a few other freshmen for that. However, there is some buzz that Wall believes he might be eligible for THIS year’s draft. I’ve been doing some digging and will be filing a story later today. The short rub is this: Wall is a 5th year senior and depending on how you read the collective bargaining agreement, 5th year seniors are eligible for the draft as long as the turn 19 in the calander year (Wall does). The league is taking a wait and see approach. If he declares, they’ll research and make a ruling. If he does declare and is ruled eligible (two big ifs) he’s a Top 5 pick in this draft. Maybe Top 3.

For those of you who’ve never seen Wall, his game has a lot in common with Derek Rose’s. He’s not necessarily the total package as a prospect that Rose was, though, because Rose was widely regarded as being a great, coachable kid in addition to being an elite talent (Wall isn’t). But, if he’s in the draft, Wall will instantaneously vault right to the top of the class and could very well end up being the second player selected after Blake Griffin.

I’ll say it again: It may be a weak draft overall, but it could end up having serious depth at PG. There’s going to be several quality NBA starters at PG that emerge from this year’s pool.

Chad Ford: Knicks on the Right Track

During Chad Ford’s chat today, he summarized the Knicks’ season from the thinking man’s perspective:

Dave (NYC): Would you consider this new york knick season a failure

SportsNation Chad Ford: (1:07 PM ET ) No way. Isiah Thomas is gone. That alone should count for something. They moved Zach Randolph’s horrendous contract. They hired the best coach in basketball, Mike D’Antoni. And they got terrific performances from a few of their young players like David Lee and Nate Robinson. When you look at the big picture, the Knicks are finally heading in the right direction. When’s the last time you could say that?

Too true Chad, too true. Surprisingly, he failed to give Isiah any credit there for winning only 23 games and thus leaving Donnie Walsh with the 6th pick in last year’s draft.

Chad Ford’s Draft Prediction for Knicks: Stephen Curry

Remember, Chad Ford called the Knicks taking Gallinari EARLY last year, months before the draft. So I think it’s worth a listen when he pushes Stephen Curry this year, this far from the draft (he was at it months ago, too):

Dan (Boston): If Davidson misses out on the Tourney does Stephen Curry drop out of the lottery or is he inevitably going to be taken by NY?

SportsNation Chad Ford: (1:37 PM ET ) I think the Knicks and Bobcats both love him. I don’t see him slipping much further than that. He’s perfect for D’Antoni’s system and Knicks fans would love him.

I tend to agree with Chad’s take. What he doesn’t mention is how much LeBron loves Stephen Curry, and even goes out of his way to watch him live.