Damian Lillard is the odds on favorite to win the Rookie of the Year award right now, but there's still plenty of games to be played, said Chad Ford of ESPN.com in today's chat. The Hornets' Anthony Davis is back in action and very much in the picutre while Andre Drummond can't be ruled out either. Here's more from Ford..
- There is a lot of interest around the league in DeMarcus Cousins, but from what Ford can gather, no GMs have had any success in making progress with the Kings on trade talks so far. The Kings appear to want to hold onto him, though plenty can change in the next five weeks.
- Even though the Suns are eager to make a move, Ford sees Marcin Gortat remaining with Phoenix beyond the February 21st trade deadline. It's more likely that the club parlays their draft picks into pieces that are ready to contribute more immediately.
- Ford believes that Rudy Gay is as good as gone in Memphis. The new ownership group is looking for ways to tighten their belt and moving the forward is the quickest way to accomplish that. Recent comments by coach Lionel Hollins against analytics would appear to be a shot at recent hire John Hollinger and, by extension, the thinking of the Memphis front office.
- The Suns, Wizards, Magic, and Mavericks could all be trading away their lottery picks this summer as they'll look to win sooner rather than later. However, this isn't a terribly strong draft and it's far from a seller's market.
- Danny Ainge is downplaying the trade talk surrounding the Celtics but Ford doesn't seem to be buying it. If there's a great deal out there for Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, or anyone else, Ford expects him to pull the trigger.