As usual, ESPN.com’s Chad Ford devoted half of his weekly chat to NBA talk and the other half to draft chatter. He provided a handful of interesting tidbits this week on both subjects, so let’s check in on several of the highlights….
- According to Ford, the Cavaliers flirted with acquiring Thaddeus Young from the Sixers in a deal for Andrew Bynum, but Philadelphia wanted Cleveland’s own 2014 first-rounder, which was a non-starter.
- Danny Ainge keeps saying the 2014 draft class is overrated, which Ford interprets to mean that the Celtics GM actually loves it.
- The Lakers are “living in a fantasy land” when it comes to their asking price for Pau Gasol, says Ford, adding that L.A. wanted more from the Cavs for Gasol than what the Bulls got for Luol Deng.
- Ford doesn’t think the Bulls are done dealing, noting that there have been a lot of trade whispers about Kirk Hinrich, Joakim Noah, and Carlos Boozer. I imagine Chicago would be much more inclined to part with Boozer and/or Hinrich than Noah.
- NBA execs who value advanced metrics are concerned about Julius Randle‘s lack of steals this season (one in 385 minutes). While NBA teams still like Randle a lot, no GM or scout has suggested recently to Ford that his team would take the Kentucky big man first overall.
- The Magic and Kings “really like” Oklahoma State point guard Marcus Smart.
- “Virtually every GM in the league is in love” with Joel Embiid, who remains in the mix for the first overall pick.
- Ford hears that a Mormon mission after this season isn’t out of the question for Jabari Parker, which prompted him to ask several GMs where they’d take the Duke forward if he declared for the draft and announced he was going on a two-year mission. Surprisingly, a few still said they’d take Parker first overall, says Ford.