Friday , Feb , 27 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

NBA Landscaping

With the NBA trading deadline past and gone with the only real trade being Rasheed Wallace being sent from Atlanta to Detroit in exchange for expiring contracts, I’ve decided to take a look at not only some trades but some overall off-season moves that would make the NBA landscape much more interesting.

(Note: I haven’t done these with the salary cap in mind, those details get worked out with the ever-present “throw-in” players)

Let’s start with a team that’s got nothing going for it right now, Atlanta. Not since the Steve Smith, Mutombo, Mookie Blaylock, playoff days has this team been anywhere near good, but now they seem to be blowing it all up and getting ready for some free agent spending. But they need something to build around, which they don’t have, the answer? Simple “The Answer”. Allen Iverson seems to be on the outs with coach Ford and 76er management, and with Philly struggling bad, what better time to see Iverson get a new address, and Atlanta can build around a superstar who not only can play but also will put some people into always empty Philips Arena. A swap for Jason Terry would be perfect because that would allow Philadelphia to turn around and spend it’s money on free-agent and Philly’s own son, Kobe Bryant.

NBA LandscapingHe might have been booed and sneered at as a Laker and All-Star, but Philly fans like a winner and Kobe’s got the rings to prove it. As for off-season legal issues fans know all about those, Iverson had a couple, and shouldn’t be a deciding factor in this move, plus in trading one superstar the fans expect the team to fill that big hole quickly, Kobe for the 76ers would be perfect.

Sure the Cavs have gotten better by getting rid of Ricky Davis and Darius Miles, but why stop there. Next to go Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Dajuan Wagner. Where? Seattle for Rashard Lewis. Why? Because Seattle has been looking for a big man that does more then take up space since they foolishly traded Shawn Kemp who had 3 more good years in him, and “Z” is not in the Cavs long term plans, which if your not named Lebron or Boozer no one is. As for Wagner he has very little room to grow when everything is based around James, Wagner is not a point guard, and is undersized at the “2-guard” and with James running the show and getting the shots Wagner needs a change of scenery, Seattle’s, no point guard, up-and-down the floor, jack up lots of shots offence would suite Dajuan perfectly. Lewis meanwhile is the perfect compliment to Lebron, a small forward who can shoot the three (no Cav right now consistently does that) and doesn’t always have to be the center of attention, learned that from playing next to Gary Payton and Ray Allen.

Sure the Knicks have traded just about everyone they could, but there’s still one more move to be made. Allen Houston to Sacramento for Chris Webber. The Kings could use another shooting threat to go with Peja and Bibby, Doug Christie would be a fantastic 6th man, and the Knicks get the superstar athletic big man they’ve been searching for since Ewing left.