Monday , Feb , 16 , 2009 C.Y. Ellis

Help Yourselves

Help YourselvesThere are many NBA teams currently on fringe status. One major move away from being a legitimate contender. These deals may or may not happen. A economy in disarray, and a 2010 free agent class may put too much risk into pulling the trigger on a deal, but maybe some teams should consider giving their rosters an added weapon.

Unless it’s a foregone conclusion that only four teams could possibly make it to the Conference or NBA Finals. The Lakers, Spurs, Cavaliers, and Celtics. 

I don’t see it that way. There’s teams with serious talent, with needs that range from a point guard to run the show to a big man that can solidify the middle.

All the teams below, and the trade ideas presented are hypotheticals.

Denver Nuggets-The Nuggets are a team that’s looking a lot more promising after the Iverson/Billups trade. Billups "get everybody involved first" mentality has proven to be the piece Denver has desperately needed. The Nuggets are currently 3rd in the Western Conference at 36-17. They’ve been playing well, but it certainly doesn’t ensure them of being able to hang with San Antonio or Los Angeles in a seven game series. What do they need? How about another big to spell Nene’ and Kenyon Martin? Many believe the Nuggets don’t enough significant pieces to make such a deal, but maybe we’re wrong. Linus Kleiza is a attractive piece who has been playing well lately. Kleiza will be a restricted free agent next summer, and many other teams have shown interest. How about looking towards Oklahoma City? In terms of acquiring a front court player, normally I’d look at Nick Collison. Collison’s contract runs through 2011, which is very unattractive. But others are Chris Wilcox and Joe Smith. Smith is the more attractive choice because of his experience, but both the contract for Smith and Wilcox expire at the end of this season. The deal for the Thunder would bring in some scoring punch, and although they won’t qualify this season, they still look to be a improved offensive club with the versatile Kleiza.

Portland Trail Blazers-In a perfect world, the Blazers would get the right floor general to guide their offense. Brandon Roy has been a prime ball handler, but much like Cleveland has done with Lebron James and Mo Williams, the Blazers would like to do the same. Bringing in a point with a unselfish basketball understanding would do lots of good for the Blazers. You help facilitate shots for Aldridge, Oden, and Fernandez, all while letting Roy play off the ball. It would be a shake up that would help push Portland closer to being a serious contender. What’s out there? Baron Davis is, but that’s not the direction I’d go in, nor the Blazers, since they covet a strong defender at that position. The next candidate definitely wouldn’t be a strong defender, but how about Steve Nash? If Phoenix is so content on breaking up their core, then why do they list the 36 year old Nash as untouchable? Portland would have to part with the expiring deal of Raef Lafrentz, and if Phoenix wanted more, that’s where Travis Outlaw would come in. This will probably never happen, but you could always try it on NBA Live.

Dallas Mavericks-Mark Cuban may be at it again. And if most of you Mavericks fans are worried about that, then I feel your concern. Lately though, the broken hand sustained by Jason Terry may up the chances of Dallas making a move before the deadline. Last night’s game between the Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics proved what’s going to be missing, perimeter shooting. In the 4th quarter, open looks had to be made, and Terry wasn’t there to oblige. Recent reports have the Nets and Mavericks discussing a swap of Josh Howard and Jerry Stackhouse for Vince Carter, Keyon Dooling, and Eduardo Najera. With that being said, I don’t expect this deal to happen. It would leave the Nets without their only back up point guard. Though Chris Douglas-Roberts is being groomed to contribute at that position, it’s unlikely he could handle 25 minutes a night. If Dallas and New Jersey can’t come to terms, Mark Cuban should look towards the Minnesota Timberwolves. Yes, Mike Miller. A Josh Howard for Mike Miller, strait up swap. Simply put, Miller gives the Mavericks the perimeter shooting they need to hang around with the upper tier of the Western Conference.

Who needs to get real and improve their club for the stretch run? Let us know your thoughts below in the comments section.