Six Trades That Should Be Made
… but GMs won’t do, of course.
While enjoying All-Star Saturday, I got bored with the Slam Dunk Contest and decided to work on some trades that I had been conjuring up in my head. Courtesy of ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine, I was able to finally be the deal-maker that I had been dreaming about being since I was 10 years old. And these trades are good for everyone involved. Some are made for talent reasons, some for salary reasons and most of these are made for the combination of the two. I now present to you the six trades that need to be made by the NBA’s Deadline Thursday, so eat up and bon appetit.
The Specifics: The Suns get Ray Allen and Travis Outlaw; the Trail Blazers get Glen “Big Baby” Davis, Bill Walker and JR Giddens; and the Celtics get Amar’e Stoudemire, Steve Blake and Leandrinho Barbosa.
Why It Works:
• For the Celtics: Basically, Boston gets the extra piece it needs to rev up the chance to get another championship with Black Jesus a.k.a. Stoudemire, which would allow Garnett to be a sixth man center with starter minutes, a la Anderson Varejao. Losing Jesus Shuttlesworth in Ray Allen would hurt some, but I’m not convinced that he could be waived by Phoenix and brought back to town, and even if that doesn’t happen, Barbosa would be able to bring the scoring punch that’s been sorely needed from the backcourt and could push Boston to experiment with some three-guard lineups. The incomparable Steve Blake would finally go to a team perfectly suited for the minutes that are best for him and he can be a primary ball-handler and shooter from the bench without disrupting any other player’s rhythm—he’d be perfect to pair with either Barbosa, Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce or Eddie House.
• For the Blazers: Portland can alleviate that backcourt tension between Brandon Roy, Andre Miller and Jerryd Bayless in moving Blake. Though losing Outlaw would be disappointing, getting a big man who can rumble around the paint for a season or two would be great for Portland, and Big Baby is able to bring some assets to the table in that area. Getting Walker and Giddens on the cheap would allow for the Trail Blazers to look at two good prospects with option of keeping them or letting them go without much consequence.
• For the Suns: Phoenix would finally get rid of the iffy, sometimey Stoudemire and while they wouldn’t be getting an elite power forward back, some harmony restored in the locker room and on the court would be a hidden plus. Getting Ray Allen and his expiring contract works doubly well for the Suns, as they could ride out their hopes to compete further with one of the best shooter in history paired with Steve Nash for the rest of the season (and longer if they should want to re-sign him) or they could easily waive him and go forth. Getting Outlaw from the Trail Blazers would give them another great young piece to use in their fast-paced attack on the hardwood, whom can shoot, drive and play inside as a versatile frontcourt piece.
The Specifics: The Cavs get Yi Jianlian, Tracy McGrady and Aaron Brooks; the Nets get Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Trevor Ariza, Brian Cook, Jamario Moon and Daniel Gibson; the Rockets get Chris Douglas-Roberts, Devin Harris, Delonte West and Bobby Simmons.
Why It Works:
• For the Cavs: Cleveland would finally get the “stretch four” it covets in a three-point shooting big man in Yi (and the Chinese marketing between LeBron James and Yi being Nike endorsers would be more revenue as well). T-Mac would get the opportunity not only to prove himself again, but also to contribute to a team that could certainly use more shooting, more guile and another 6’9” ball-handling guard (not unlike LBJ, as both players were rookie 6-8 point guards) AND…his expiring contract would give Cleveland more flexibility to play the open market for another free agent acquisition. Mr. Brooks would provide the Cavs with an excellent guard from the bench that would provoke Coach Mike Brown to be even more creative in the open court with Brooks’ speed, quickness, and overall scoring ability. Z would be gone, but he’s another case of the receiving team likely waiving his player rights to return to the team from which he was traded, so he’d likely be back with Cleveland in a month.
• For the Nets: Ariza would be a great building block for the Nets going into the future with much uncertainty and a good pairing with Courtney Lee on the perimeter. Cook is basically a throw-in, and Moon would be a good reserve for scoring punch and defense. Gibson, though flawed in many ways, would serve to grow as a guard with the young Nets and provide that streaky 3-point bomb shot that Clevelanders learned to adore.
• For the Rockets: Essentially, the Rockets get Ariza’s equal in CDR for less than $1 million a year (compared to Ariza’s $5.8 million). Human lightning in Harris would be Houston’s lead man with great potential, given his size and skill package, upgrading the place where Brooks would leave. West could be a great asset as a reserve or starter, and if he slips up, having John Lucas’ treatment center in the city would be an excellent resource for him in the case that he would slip up with his mental disorder (sadly enough, I have so little faith in Delonte that I changed my original trade for him to be with the Nets, for him to go to the Rockets just so he could have that extra resource in his treatment in Houston).
The Specifics: The Bulls get George Hill, Richard Jefferson, Manu Ginobili and Ryan Gomes; the Spurs get Tyrus Thomas, Kirk Hinrich, Jerome James and Damien Wilkins; and the Timberwolves get John Salmons.
Why It Works:
• For the Bulls: One major thing is that Chicago would finally be able to stop from having Thomas to repeatedly jerk around and he them. Getting Hill to pair as a combo guard with Derrick Rose would be a threatening backcourt of speed and strength, while Manu would give Chicago another threat to score and distribute for a short amount with his expiring contract, giving the Bulls more flexibility in the summer and a good look at whether Manu can do damage for them in seasons to come. R.J. could get the chance to blossom with a less systematic offense and provide the Bulls the slashing scorer that they’ve thought Luol Deng would be become. Ryan Gomes would be comp for Deng and James Johnson to step on the perimeter and low-post.
• For the Spurs: San Antonio gets much-needed shot-blocking and athleticism from Thomas, but Thomas gets a franchise mature enough to grow him up as a still-young 23-year-old, next to the immortal Tim Duncan; paired with DeJuan Blair, the duo could be an elite rebounding frontcourt. Getting Hinrich would give San Antone a reliable backcourt threat with Tony Parker or behind him. James would likely just sit on the bench, as the Spurs would wait for his contract to expire, and Wilkins could provide some good minutes as a defender and spot-up shooter.
• For the T’wolves: Minnesota would be able to get an adequate rotation player and scorer in Salmons, while putting pressure on some of the team’s young wings to develop and flourish as well. Letting go of Ryan Gomes would relieve some of the pressure in the stacked frontcourt as well.
The Specifics: The Kings get Tyson Chandler, Alexis Ajinca and Stephen Graham, and the Charlotte Bobcats receive Andres Nocioni, Kenny Thomas and Ime Udoka.
Why It Works:
• For the Kings: Sacramento would be able to let Nocioni’s contempt for the losing run away, while receiving hopeful upgrades in the frontcourt with Chandler, who would likely be afforded the opportunity to rest and then compete fully for big minutes at center and power forward for the following season. Ajinca could be given another chance to be the great player that he was thought to become before Larry Brown had his way with his minutes, while Graham could bring more hustle and defense to the wing position, which is where the team needs much help.
• For the Bobcats: Coach Brown would get three players that live up to his standards. Nocioni would provide a small, yet gruff frontcourt with Gerald Wallace to become the “Crash Dummies” for their rugged play, Thomas is another Larry Brown favorite from his days in Philadelphia, and Udoka would virtually be Raja Bell 2.0. The playoffs would likely be a given for Charlotte.
The Specifics: The 76ers get Adam Morrison, Sasha Vujacic and Ron Artest; the Raptors get Andrew Bynum, Jason Kapono and Derek Fisher; the Lakers get Chris Bosh, Andre Iguodala, Jose Calderon and Sam Young; and the Grizzlies get Jordan Farmar and DJ Mbenga.
Why It Works:
• For the Sixers: Philly would be able to rid itself of Iggy’s contract, which is an overabundance of money for a complimentary, non-All-Star player. Receiving Morrison’s and Vujacic’s relatively smaller contracts would give the Sixers more economic freedom, and though Artest in a losing situation is risky, being paired with his friend Elton Brand in the Eastern Conference would give way to greater opportunity to win sooner than later.
• For the Raptors: Toronto has never won much with Bosh, so trading him for a true center would be a good consolation. Bynum’s presence would give Toronto the opportunity to reset its rotation, placing Andrea Bargnani back at his more natural forward position, next to the uber-versatile Hidayet Turkoglu as a primary ball-handler (especially with Calderon no longer around to keep the ball out of his hands). Fisher could be bought out, but even if he is not, he’d be a good stopgap for the rest of the season, as his and Kapono’s contracts expire at season’s end.
• For the Lakers: Obviously, a core of Bosh, Iguodala, Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant would have the necessary youth and experience to compete for championships for the next several seasons. Even though Los Angeles would be losing overall depth and the invaluable experience of Fisher, the point guard position would basically be manned by Kobe, Iggy and Odom, all of whom are virtual point guards, anyway. Rookie Sam Young is not only skilled and mature, but plays very respectable defense as a long wingman, just what Coach Phil Jackson loves. As Borat would say, “Great successsssssssssss!”
• For the Grizzlies: Though participating in another controversial blockbuster trade with the Lakers, Memphis would receive a major upgrade in point guard depth with Farmar, a talented but inconsistent young player, that would certainly push Mike Conley to play even better than he’s been.
The Specifics: The Warriors would receive Richard Hamilton, while the Pistons would get Monta Ellis.
Why It Works:
• For the Warriors: The number one reason the trade works for the Warriors of Golden State is that less years are owed to Rip City; also, Ellis having become a malcontent in Oakland, is gladly whisked away for the more team-friendly Hamilton, who can still produce and form a nice backcourt with the young dynamo guard, Stephen Curry.
• For the Pistons: It’s another high salary to add to the payroll, but Monta would gladly appreciate the new setting, as well as being paired in versatile backcourt combinations with Rodney Stuckey, Ben Gordon and Will Bynum. Also, Monta’s youth makes a valued asset to the team, looking to rebuild with new Bad Boys for the future.
Sandy Dover is a novelist/writer, artist and fitness enthusiast, as well as an unrepentant Prince fan (for real). You can find Sandy frequently here at SLAMonline, as well as at Facebook, Twitter and Associated Content.