Tha Sports Junkies 101

Chad Ford on the NBA Draft



Notes from today’s NBA Draft Conference Call –

Chad Ford believes Ben Simmons will go number one overall in the draft to the Phildelphia 76ers. Even though Kris Dunn and Brandon Ingram fit better into their team as a whole, Simmons’ potential is not something you can pass up. Ford thinks that the 76ers will figure out how to play him at point guard, his passing ability is unheralded.  With their later first round picks, 76ers may need to look to draft some shooting. Possible Free Agency and trade talks will be all huge benefactors for the 76ers decision-making.

Georges Niang out of Iowa State will be a lock second round pick per Ford. Even though he’s not athletically inclined or necessarily defined to what position he would play in the NBA, Niang needs a coach to fit him in the best system possible.

Deyonta Davis would’ve been a late first round pick if he would’ve kept healthy at Michigan St. Generally, teams don’t like giving big 1st round deals to guys who were hurt in college. Will absolutely go in the early second round. An interesting note is that he can handle the ball, pass, shoot, just like the desired Warriors player-mold .

Ford on Dragan Bender, Kristaps Porzingis has opened the door for his possibly successs. Even though Porzingis had more experience coming into the league, Bender’s motor, reboudning ability, and 3 point shooting ability fits very well into the modern-day NBA power forward. Even though doesn’t nearly the same exlosiveness or athletiscism that Porzingis has, he still projects as a complete NBA starter, just maybe not an All Star.


Ford also expounded on what is a better way of rebuilding- through the draft or through Free Agency and trades? The draw to big cities, gives organizations like the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers an advantage, as Free Agents want to go to those places. It does not take away the draft as a building tool, but those teams tend not to lean on the draft as much as organizations like the Utah Jazz, the draft is your bread and butter. Even big markets like the San Antonio Spurs use draft picks efficiently over the past 20 years. Additionally, draft picks these year are even more of a bargain. Even though the salary cap rises astronomically, a rookie contract’s salary does not.

Ford was also asked his opinion on the guys coming out of Kentucky. 

He believes Jamal Murray will go in between picks 7-13.  Those guys in the same tier will be fighting to see who gets drafted higher in the lottery. The talent after the first 5 picks seems to be stagnant. Much of who will be drafted will depend on the team needs. Murray is possibly the best perimeter shooter in the draft. The Orlando Magic at 11 seem to fit. Toughness seems to be an issue with his overall game, as well as his sub-par defense.

Tyler Ulis is just a small guy –  5’10” 180 pounds – not a lot of guys those size literally end up fitting into the NBA. He would have to be the trend setter for smaller guards. He has great court vision and the best passing skill in the draft. Ulis’s past Hip injuries could be something to worry about, even saying so, medical reports could be not as big of a deal as people make them –  a broken hip bone in 3rd grade could be his only actual issue.

After Simmons and Ingram are drafted 1,2, the Celtics control the rest of the draft with what they do with that 3rd pick in the draft. They would prefer to package the pick(s) with assets to get an All-Star caliber veteran.

Even though many rumors are swirling of who they might trade for, those two draft picks don’t have the luster that other teams may covet. And who they are willing to trade, asset wise, may not be enough to land them that All Star. Potentially, their 2017 draft pick from the Brooklyn Nets looks like their best trading chip. It would take a lot for the Celtics to part with it. The 2017 draft is looking to be the deepest in years.

For Boston, Jamal Brown has the most potential to be a superstar in this league, and the Celtics could look at him with the 5th pick. Kris Dunn would hypothetically be a better point guard prospect than anyone on the Celtics. Obviously, the Celtics still trying to figure out what to do. Dragan Bender and the Celtic’s interest in him is a bit of an unknown, as he probably wouldn’t fit well with the Celtics bigs.

The idea that the international players and their value being at an all time low, after guys like Pau Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker, and Manu Gonobli. Teams went to Europe exclusively, drafted guys lacking experience and adjustment to the new culture. The NBA stripped mined Europe of all their young players. Darko Milicic was the first huge upsetting NBA prospect bust from Europe in recent years.

The best upper classmen of this draft include guys like Buddy Heild, who will be drafted 5-8. Ford himself has Buddy pegged at pick number 8 with the Sacramento Kings. Denzel Valentine out of Michigan St.  has been a highly ranked prospect. Until his knee problems as a senior, Valentine will probably fall  into the 20s in the first round. Brice Johnson out of North Carolina will probably fall to the late teens/early 20s

Another point Ford touched upon is who will be available at 30 for the Warriors.

They of course are looking for their “complete player,” who can pass, shoot, and defend multiple positions. These playoffs have shown that Golden State’s lack of center and big men depth has become an issue. Guys like Damian Jonson and Chinanu Onaku who could step in and be impact big men.

The Indiana Pacer’s biggest need is at point guard, but their problem is that this draft is not a strong point guard draft. The Pacers are not in love with Wade Baldwin.  If Dejounte Murray falls to 20 the Pacers have to take him. He has great size and length, his sheer talent should alone  should make him a lottery pick.  Generally, Larry Bird does better when he picks with risk . If the Pacers cannot find a point guard they like at that pick, they won’t disappoint. Most likely they would look for depth within the backcourt by taking a 2 guard.

For the NBA team’s itself, they have began to use and design one on one very heavy workouts. Mainly to test a player’s resiliency. They are also employing rigorous psychological evaluation. These systems go back 7, 8 years, so data of other players are becoming quite useful to predict the behavior of these prospects.


Brandom Ingram upper body strength is lacking. Physicality of the league doesn’t fit. Tough and physical man. If he develops his jump shot, will have a long, long career. Will be fine if he develops his 3 point shot. He can defend multiple perimeter positions. If Ingram weighed in at 220, he would probably pass Simmons as the consensus number one pick..

23-year-old AJ Hammons out of Purdue is talent wise, a very gifted bigman. His committment, motor, conditioning and maturity all are questions that have been asked of him. He needs to get into better shape.

“How can you not for millions of dollars get into the best shape for workout,” said Ford very wary of Hammons.


Ford also discussed whether the Timberwolves will package their number 5 pick? Tom Thibodeaus looking at his roster and sees his building blocks as Andrew Wiggins and Karl Anthony-Towns. They are really pursuing Thibs former right hand man Jimmy Butler. Trading for a veteran is potentially a better option than that number 5 selection.

The Knicks and Nets trading into the first round? They are having a hard time landing those picks because of the rising cap.Teams need more than cash for a 1st round pick. Trading a draft pick creates a caphold, but because of the cap rise, teams don’t need New York’s money. The Nets have nothing. The Knicks have a few more assets, but they aren’t very attractive/appealing. The Knicks should not trade their 2017 first rounder, seeing the potential of the 2017 draft