Home > Uncategorized > Opening the floodgates of the 2011 NBA Trade Season…

Opening the floodgates of the 2011 NBA Trade Season…

Last weekend the Raptors and Hornets completed a five player deal that sent Peja Stojakovic and Jerryd Bayless to New Orleans for Jarret Jack, David Anderson and Marcus Banks. I would spend some time breaking it down, but ahhh, seriously the trade involved Jack and Peja, who cares. If you really want some analysis, here’s John Hollinger’s take (insider, sorry).

No, what interests me isn’t the trade itself, but rather that it was the first deal of the NBA season, which is exciting because the NBA is a trade happy league and it usually requires one deal to break open the flood gates. This year should be a particularly interesting trade campaign, as the looming lockout means teams have divided into two camps: prepare for the lockout by minimizing salary and shedding long-term contracts. On the other side of the ring, are those teams that have decided “F*** it, they’re still awarding a title for 2010 and we’d like to win it…”

We all know that Carmelo Anthony might be moved, but also look for Philadelphia to strongly consider dumping Andre Igoudala, watch for Orlando to be aggressive in upgrading their roster, Dallas and Houston cannot help but make an in-season trade, and with the luxury tax expected to be around 68 million, you have 12 teams that will be looking to shed some salary. So, with all of that in mind, it’s time to do my first trade column of the season. As usual, these are based on nothing but the strange voices in my head; they aren’t rumors; they aren’t whispers; they probably aren’t even good ideas, but now, thanks to magic of the interweb, they’re being read by you.

Trade 1:

Philadelphia sends A. Iguodala and L. Williams to Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma City sends M. Peterson, J. Harden, and E. Maynor to Philadelphia.

Why it Works For Oklahoma: The framework of this deal was proposed by Simmons in a BS Report chat with Joe House a few weeks ago. What the deal does, is give the Zombie Sonics that legitimate third piece around which a championship squad can be built. It’s the piece that most observers think that the Zombies missed out on when they picked Harden over Steph Curry. Of course, as I’ve pointed out in the past, it’s also the piece that they missed out on when they took Jeff Green over Joakim Noah. Iguodala is a great defender, he can score, but in Philly he’s been pressed into being a number one option, which he isn’t. For Team USA this summer, Iggy showed what he can do when a team has a clear number one option and he’s only required to defend and make open shots. And, of course, I don’t need to tell you who Team USA’s number one option was…

Why it Works for Philadelphia: This deal saves Philly 8 million dollars in what is shaping up to be a long, lost season in the City of Brotherly Love. It also sets them up well for a post lockout league with a reduced salary cap, as they shed two deals worth a combined 56 million past this year. Finally, the 76ers get two young pieces to add to their developing nucleus of Evan Turner, Jrue Holiday, and Thaddeus Young. So, if the cap is prohibitively decreased, they would be in good long term shape.

Why it Doesn’t Work for Anyone: Despite their early season struggles, I doubt that Oklahoma executives want to take on any salary that might complicate their post lockout future. And, despite their early season struggles, I doubt that Philly executives want to tell fans they’ve traded their best player for James Harden. Even if it does make long term sense.

Trade 2:

Memphis sends O. Mayo to Chicago
Chicago sends K. Thomas, K. Bogans, Chicago’s #1 this year, and the #1 Charlotte owes the Bulls.

Why it works for Memphis: Well, I wouldn’t do it, but then I think Mayo’s got a solid career in front of him as a strong defender and shooter. Memphis probably does too, but they did drop him from the starting lineup, so who knows… What this trade gives them, is a veteran presence in Thomas who might help their youngsters. Likewise, Bogans is a tough defender and has played for Stan Van Gundy and Greg Popovich, two coaches who know a thing or two about winning. So maybe they help bring some accountability and toughness as the Grizz try and make their first playoff appearance since 2006. Then there’s the money, this deal saves Memphis 2 million this year and chops about 3 million off of next year’s cap. And, we know that Memphis’ owner Michael Heisley is cheap, so that might get the deal done by itself. Finally, there is the picks. The one from Chicago isn’t of much value, but that one from Charlotte has decreasing protection which leaves it unprotected in 2016. With Charlotte, that could turn out to be of real value.

Why it works for Chicago: Hundreds of words have been spilled over the Bulls bringing in Carmelo Anthony, but I don’t think they need Anthony. When Carlos Boozer returns, the Bulls will be able to generate enough offense from him, Derrick Rose, and Luol Deng, that I don’t see the need of upgrading Deng to Anthony. What they do need, is to upgrade at shooting guard, where right now Bogans and Kyle Korver are the primary players. Mayo is exactly the type of guy the Bulls want. He’s capable of being a good defender and while he’s not always that right now, with the help of Tom Thibodeau, I imagine he’d get there, plus he can shoot. The Bulls already look formidable, but with Mayo, I’d give them a real shot of knocking off the Celtics or Magic in the Conference finals.

Trade 3:

Orlando sends M. Gortat, M. Pietrus, V. Carter, and a future #1 to Denver.
Denver sends C. Anthony, K. Martin, and R. Balkman to Denver.

Why it Works for Orlando: It might only be a rental for the playoffs, but this deal upgrades the Magic from Vince Carter to Carmelo Anthony. Making that upgrade costs Orlando a lot of money (see below), but doesn’t cost them much off their actual roster.

Why it Works for Denver: This deal saves Denver six million in salary, which since Denver is well into tax territory, means that it actually saves the team 12 million. If Orlando tossed in the maximum 3 million in cash considerations, Denver has now saved 15 million, basically meaning that they get Vince Carter free for the rest of the season. Marcin Gortat is seen as a young center with great potential who’s only major fault is that he isn’t Dwight Howard. This probably isn’t a deal Denver makes today, but if in February the Nuggets know that Anthony is gone, then they will probably look to get something, anything, for him. Each day that passes, the offers for Anthony lose a little value, especially if he’s unwilling to sign an extension when traded. So, by February it will be about who’s willing to trade for Anthony even though they know he might leave in four months.

What makes it even better: This trade is a win for Orlando and it’s something Denver would never consider if they weren’t staring down the barrel of the losing your star for nothing gun, but think about how much better this deal would be for Orlando if they followed it up with this move…

Trade 4:

Orlando sends J. Nelson, R. Anderson, D. Orton, Malik Allen and the draft rights to F. Vazquez to Phoenix.
Phoenix sends S. Nash and G. Hill to Orlando.

Why it works for Orlando: Duh…

Why it works for Phoenix: It doesn’t, I mean not really. If I were on PTI playing odds makers, I would put the odds of Phoenix trading Nash this season at less than ten percent. I understand that they’ve made terrible moves that have relegated them to somewhere between the 7th and 9th seed in the West and that Nash is really the only asset they can move to jump start their rebuilding, but… I just don’t think that Robert Sarver signs off on trading his golden ticket this year. Maybe next summer, but even then I think it’s more likely that a trade comes sometime next season. Still, if they did decide to take the plunge and shop Nash, this isn’t the worst trade in the world. It gets them a good young forward in Anderson and two projects with upside in Orton and Vazquez.

Why those moves would just be insane: Just put aside reality and picture it for a minute: After those two trades, Orlando would have two months to get all those pieces on the same page, it might be too tall a task, but if they pulled it off then their lineup would look like this:

Starters:
PG – S. Nash
SG – G. Hill
SF – C. Anthony
PF – R. Lewis
C – D. Howard

Bench:
Guards: C. Duhon, J. Williams
Wings: J. Reddick, Q. Richardson, R. Balkman
Bigs: K. Martin, B. Bass

Since teams in the playoffs only ever go eight deep anyway, then the Magic would have Duhon spelling Nash for 15 minutes in the playoffs, Reddick coming in to spell Hill and Anthony (with Hill slipping to the three when Carmelo sits), and Martin covering the minutes of Howard and Lewis.

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