5 NBA Trades – Part 2
By Anthony Peretore
With the NBA trade deadline just two days, one hour and 10 minutes away (and counting), the majority of us are praying for a flurry of transactions to light up the week’s headlines. Unfortunately, due to the negotiations of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, teams have been hesitant to put together any serious talks. GM’s across the league aren’t sure what to expect from the new parameters of the agreement, causing reluctance in parting with expiring contracts. Since we’re coming down to the wire, it’s only appropriate to once again offer five trades that most definitely should go down by February 24.
1. Los Angeles Lakers Receive:
SF Peja Stojakovic (38.3 min, 19.7 PPG, 3.3 RPG)
PG Bobby Jackson (21.7 min, 11.9 PPG, 2.3 APG-out for the season)
Sacramento Kings Receive:
SF Lamar Odom (36.4 min, 15.7 PPG, 10.3 RPG)
This deal was reported by numerous sources this past weekend in Denver. With the Carlos Boozer for Caron Butler, Devean George and Vlade Divac deal apparently/possibly done, the Lakers should pull the trigger on one more deal for the stretch run. By adding Boozer, LA would already make up for the rebounds lost in parting ways with Odom. Thus, all they would need in return is a shooter to compliment Kobe Bryant’s slashing style. Think about it-Kobe’s double-teamed, Peja’s wide open for three-splash. LA would have a solid duo in the post in Boozer and Mihm, two great outside shooters in Peja and Chucky Atkins and an all-around scorer and defender in Kobe. As an added bonus, the team would acquire B-Jax to compete for the starting point guard position next season.
For Sactown, well, they’re all about scoring and versatility. Odom, a 6-10 slasher, would fit perfectly into the King’s up-tempo offense. Losing Jackson will hurt their bench next season, but the Kings are looking to make moves for the present and sure up a top spot in the West.
2. Los Angeles Clippers Receive:
PG Sam Cassell (28.1 min, 14.3 PPG, 5.9 APG)
PG Troy Hudson (20.9 min, 8.6 PPG, 3.6 APG)
Portland Trailblazers Receive:
SF Wally Szczerbiak (33.3 min, 16.1 PPG, 3.6 RPG)
GF Latrell Sprewell (31.1 min, 12.6 PPG, 2.7 RPG)
SG Kerry Kittles (22.1 min, 6.3 PPG, 2.9 RPG)
First Round Pick from Minnesota
Minnesota Timberwolves Receive:
SF Shareef Abdur-Rahim (35.2 min, 15.7 PPG, 8.0 RPG)
PG Damon Stoudamire (33.1 min, 15.8 PPG, 5.5 APG)
SF Ruben Patterson (26.9 min, 10.6 PPG, 3.9 RPG)
PG Marko Jaric (34.5 min, 10.5 PPG, 6.9 APG)
This deal took me about a half an hour to construct seeing that most of these contracts are outrageous. Let’s start with the Clips. With Jaric and Livingston out for at least another month each, the team is in desperate need of a solid point especially with Rick Brunson, Lionel Chalmers and Maurice Baker as their only current options. In acquiring Cassell, LA gets a veteran point with only one year left on his contract. That means he could stick around next year and mold the young Livingston into a better floor leader. Also, all the team would be getting rid of is Jaric, whom they don’t need anyway, and the expiring contract of Kittles. Hudson is simply a throw-in to make the deal work financially–although he could provide a nice scoring threat off the bench, something LA is severely lacking. At only 4.5 games back of a playoff spot and with seven of their remaining 29 games against basement dwellers, why not make a push?
With Portland, they are trying desperately to unload SAR, preferably for another expiring contract or two. This deal nets them two, Spree and Kittles. Also, they get back a quality young wing player in Zerb, with a fairly reasonable contract (compared to SAR’s anyway). Kittles and Spree will come off the books this summer giving the Blazers enough cap space to pursue a quality free agent. They do lose Stoudamire who is playing extremely well now, but let’s face it, Portland’s not making the playoffs anyway so why not free up some PT for rookie Sebastian Telfair? The Blazers would also get rid of Patterson’s contract (19M+ for next two years and this season). With Telfair, Zerb, Darius Miles, Zach Randolph and Joel Przybilla, the Blazers would have a nice young core of players with money to spend this summer. The first-round pick could come in handy down the road as well.
Finally, Minnesota needs players who are going to put in the same quality effort of Kevin Garnett. If the lack of dedication on this team is that bad to make a grown man cry, changes need to be made. In netting SAR, the Wolves get an All-Star caliber ‘3’ to play alongside KG. Also, they get a point guard playing his best basketball in arguably seven years, to immediately step in as the leader of a team fighting for a playoff spot. Their new lineup would look something like: Stoudamire, Trenton Hassell, Abdur-Rahim, KG and Michael Olowakandi with Eddie Griffin, Patterson and eventually Jaric off the bench. You’re telling me this team couldn’t hold off Denver for the eight seed?
(Note: This deal is bridged entirely on the assumption that Cassell will be able to play the majority of the remainder of the season)
3. Indiana Pacers Receive:
F Antoine Walker (40.2 min, 20.2 PPG, 9.5 RPG)
GF Boris Diaw (19.2 min, 4.0 PPG, 2.9 RPG)
Atlanta Hawks Receive:
F Jonathan Bender (13.3 min, 5.3 PPG, 2.0 RPG)
SG Fred Jones (32.4 min, 11.1 PPG, 3.5 RPG)
PF Austin Croshere (26.5 min, 9.4 PPG, 5.6 RPG)
Now I may get blasted for this deal, but hear me out. Indiana desperately needs something or this organization could take a turn for the worst. They are currently out of the playoff picture, albeit tied with Philadelphia for the eight seed, but still out. They need a trade that will not only sneak them into the postseason but also put them in position to contend. Walker is having one of his best seasons as a pro and his contract expires after this season. If the team was willing to part with Artest this summer, they could re-sign Walker for less money and add him to the mix that already includes Jermaine O’Neal, Jamaal Tinsley and Stephen Jackson. With ‘Toine, Indy gets a relatively young proven scorer (just 28 years old) with plenty of playoff experience from when he played in Boston. If the Pacers can climb up to the six seed they would draw the winner of the dreadful Atlantic Division and conceivably sneak into the second round of the postseason. From that point, they could probably handle anyone but Miami.
Atlanta, on the other hand, is desperate to make any sort of progression with their 10-41 team. Now the first criticism I’ll undoubtedly take is the fact that Atlanta is taking on payroll with this deal. But understand this, by taking Walker and Diaw out of the equation, the money the Hawks would owe to their remaining players next season would only be around $18.4 million. That’s chump change in the NBA, with most teams spending in the neighborhood of $50-60 million. Now $40+ million for Atlanta to spend is arguably too much since there is no plausible reason to assume any decent free agent would join this team anyway. Adding potential All-Stars in Bender and Jones and the veteran savvy of a Croshere could make this team 10-15 wins better. Say they could net Chris Paul in this year’s draft, next year’s starting lineup could be: Paul, Jones, Josh Smith, Bender and possibly a free-agent center. Plus they will have Al Harrington to deal this off-season, a player the team has soured on quite a bit.
4. Golden State Warriors Receive:
SG Michael Redd (37.9 min, 22.2 PPG, 4.2 RPG)
SF Keith Van Horn (25.6 min, 10.7 PPG, 5.2 RPG)
C Zaza Pachulia (19.1 min, 6.3 PPG, 5.0 RPG)
Milwaukee Bucks Receive:
SG Mickael Pietrus (19.4 min, 8.2 PPG, 2.5 RPG)
SF Mike Dunleavy Jr. (32.9 min, 12.9 PPG, 5.6 RPG)
C Dale Davis (16.0 min, 3.1 PPG, 4.3 RPG)
SF Calbert Cheaney (17.8 min, 4.8 PPG, 2.4 RPG)
Let’s face it, both these teams need a little spark, heck, a huge spark. The Warriors have an abundance of young talent that just doesn’t appear to be developing the way they’d like. Pietrus plays relatively the same position as Jason Richardson who is clearly their star and having an amazing second half thus far. Dunleavy (the supposed “next Larry Bird”) has fallen well short of his expectations-to say the least. These two guys need a new setting, a place where they can start fresh with less pressure. With Davis, Golden State rids themselves of an ugly contract while the Bucks get a veteran ‘5’ to tutor both Dan Gadzuric and Daniel Santiago. Getting two quality young players and a veteran leader is decent compensation in giving up a former All-Star in Redd.
Milwaukee’s main concern of course, is losing Redd this summer to free-agency. Now they’d love to make a trade if they could include Van Horn’s monstrous contract, and this deal does just that. The Bucks get a young ‘2’ and ‘3’ back to develop alongside T.J. Ford next season, and they will also be able to pick up a big with their lottery pick this summer. Milwaukee needs to start from scratch, as this current team is going nowhere fast. Risking re-signing Redd this summer is far too dangerous. (Note: the throw-in of Pachulia could be substituted for Santiago-but either way a big needs to go back to the Warriors as they are already very thin at the ‘5.’)
5. Toronto Raptors Receive:
SG Eddie Jones (35.7 min, 12.5 PPG, 4.9 RPG)
SF Dorell Wright (Injured List for majority of season)
C Michael Doleac (13.4 min, 3.9 PPG, 3.1 RPG)
PF Malik Allen (18.3 min, 6.3 PPG, 3.8 RPG)
Miami Heat Receive:
SG Jalen Rose (30.4 min, 16.7 PPG, 3.3 RPG)
SF Donyell Marshall (24.3 min, 10.6 PPG, 6.1 RPG)
I just can’t see February 24th coming and going without Rose and D-Marsh on the move. The Heat are one of those teams like Detroit last year, in need of that extra boost to put them over the top. Miami is playing for right now, not three years down the road, so Wright is expendable. One has to wonder if Pat Riley only drafted him to use as trade bait in a situation just like this. Rose is a better scorer than Jones and much more versatile, being able to play all three small positions. In Marshall they get a banger and shooter off the bench for Udonis Haslem or even Rose at the ‘3.’ A lineup of Damon Jones, Dwyane Wade, Rose, Haslem and Shaq with ‘Zo and Marshall off the bench would most definitely be able to hang with anyone in the West.
As for Toronto, they get a valuable young prospect to fit nicely into their already youthful core. Rafer Alston, Morris Peterson, Chris Bosh and Rafael Araujo are all under the age of 29, forming a solid nucleus for the future. Malik Allen (6-10, 250) may be a valuable commodity down the road as well. Jones can step in where Rose left off and provide veteran leadership for young scorers like Mo-Pete and Wright. Coach Sam Mitchell needs a savvy veteran to help tutor his youth and keep them under control. Having Jones around for the next few seasons will be a financial burden, but it’s a bit less than they would have to pay Rose and plus they get Marshall off the books. Doleac and Allen are both free agents at the end of the season, giving the Raps (along with the savings of Donyell’s contract) an additional $6M to throw at a free agent.