December 19, 2012 by shivusharma
December 15th is what I like to call the Trade Machine Super Bowl. This is when about one-hundred or so NBA Players became trade eligible. As you can see, this means that there are thousands of new trade-possibilities for NBA teams looking to shake up their rosters. ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine is a great tool for concocting fake trades as well as an exceptional time-waster. Lucky for you, I have tons of time to waste these days. For this post, I’ve highlighted a few teams that I think need to make a trade right now, and suggested a possible trade scenario that could net them what they are looking for.
DENVER NUGGETS: I really liked the re-signing of Javale McGee and the trade for Andre Iguodala. McGee has been a beast when he’s on the court, but George Karl only has him playing 20 minutes a game. Per 36 minutes, McGee is averaging an incredible 19.8 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 3.7 blocks on 59.4% shooting. Trading Mozgov will free up some more minutes for McGee. Iguodala is giving them great defense and passing, but has been struggling from long distance. In fact, the whole team has been pretty poor from three point range. The Nuggets excel at getting to the rim, leading the league in at-the-rim shots per game. However, they are 25th in eFG% from three. Corey Brewer has really stepped up his shooting from long-range, while Danilo Gallinari’s shooting woes from last year have bled into this season. JJ Redick will help space the floor for Iguodala and Lawson, and provide a sweet shooting touch from long-range.
ORLANDO MAGIC: The Magic are looking to stockpile young assets and build through the draft. Fournier and Mozgov are promising young players who could develop with more minutes in Orlando. Mozgov is an expiring deal, so he may be difficult to re-sign in the off-season, because size comes at a premium these days. However, the Magic do have Fournier locked up for four years at an extremely low price.
Minnesota Timberwolves get: Marcus Thornton ($24.2m, 3yrs) + Chuck Hayes ($17.2m, 3yrs) + Isaiah Thomas ($1.7m, 2yrs) | Sacramento Kings get: Derrick Williams ($16.2m, 3yrs) + Luke Ridnour ($8.3m, 2yrs) + Malcolm Lee ($1.6m, 2yrs)
MINNESOTA T’WOLVES: Minny is coming into form. Kevin Love has returned from an injured hand, and Ricky Rubio made his debut on Saturday. Love’s shooting percentage is still struggling, but as his hand continues to heal, his numbers should climb back up. Rick Adelman’s offense has really been humming throughout the whole year, and will continue to improve as his two best players reach full strength. The T’Wolves shooting guard spot has been a rotating door though. Brandon Roy was solid for them, before getting injured. Same goes with Chase Budinger. Marcus Thornton will provide the T’Wolves with some much needed perimeter scoring. Chuck Hayes is a quality post defender, who does a tremendous job guarding the bigger Centers in the West. Isaiah Thomas was not finding the court very much in Keith Smart’s rotation, so he could have a shot as Rubio’s understudy. Overall, this trade puts Minnesota in much better position to make a playoff run. A Rubio-Thornton-Kirilenko-Love-Pekovic starting lineup is very formidable, and the combo of Shved, Hayes, Barea, and Thomas make up a quality bench.
SACRAMENTO KINGS (aka the Seattle Kings aka the Anaheim Royals): The Kings have a surplus of wings who like to shoot. With this trade they get to turn Thornton and Hayes into Derrick Williams. Let’s not forget that Williams was the #2 pick in the 2011 Draft, just after Kyrie Irving. He was not seeing the floor much in Minny, but on a Kings team that is playing for the future, he has a real shot at developing his skills on the court. A core of DeMarcus Cousins, Thomas Robinson, and Derrick Williams could develop into scary frontcourt. If they opt to keep Tyreke Evans in the mix as well, that is a strong group of four young players with loads of potential. Ridnour is the key to this deal I think. He brings the kings a cheap stop-gap at PG for the next two years, and would do a good job of distributing the ball to the Kings’ young players. The Kings have been plagued by having too many guys who just want to shoot. Ridnour can be a true PG for the next two years that will help develop their young guys until they find a long-term solution. The other bonus for the Kings is all the money they are shedding in this deal, nearly $18m over the next three years. The future Anaheim or Seattle owners of this team will want to be cap flexible once they take over the team from the Maloof family.
Phoenix Suns get: Andrew Bynum ($16m, 1yr) | Philadelphia 76ers get: Marcin Gortat ($15m, 2yrs) + Wes Johnson ($4.2m, 1yr)
PHOENIX SUNS: This franchise can’t really decide if they are rebuilding or not. In the after-math of the Steve Nash trade, they drafted Kendall Marshall to be their PG, but also signed Goran Dragic. They proceeded by also giving Michael Beasley a three year deal. Right now, I think the Suns need to have some kind of identity. Bynum is extremely immature and a huge liability both mentally and physically. However, the Suns aren’t going anywhere this year, and if they have a shot to get the 2nd best Center in the league (when healthy) they should gamble and take it. The Suns training staff are miracle workers, who know how to keep guys healthy better than anyone. I don’t think Bynum is the kind of guy who is going to turn down the max money the Suns can offer him, but even if he chooses to, so what? The Suns can go into next year knowing that they need to rebuild through the draft. If Bynum re-signs with them, they can move forward and build a team around him and Dragic.
PHILADELPHIA 76ERS: I respect them for making the Andrew Bynum trade. It was an opportunity that they could not pass up at the time. Bynum is such a knucklehead though; it is hard to trust him. He doesn’t take care of his already brittle knees. You hear stories about him getting complaints from his next door neighbors. He tries to draw attention with his ridiculous hairstyles. Bynum is kind of a problem. I really don’t think he fits in with the culture that Doug Collins is trying to establish. Collins is all about detail and effort, two things Bynum isn’t all that great at. He knows that he is going to get a big pay-day in the off-season, because size comes at a premium. The Sixers are in the playoff mix, and have a chance to make some waves in the post-season. Evan Turner is really starting to find his rhythm, and Jrue Holiday has seemed to take the next step. The Sixers could use a defensive big man like Gortat, who is average about 2 bpg. Gortat comes at an extremely affordable price and is locked up for two years. That is pretty amazing when you consider that he is outplaying guys like Nene and Roy Hibbert, who are making $12m+ per year.
Cleveland Cavaliers get: Stephen Jackson ($10m, 1yr – buyout candidate) + Kawhi Leonard ($6.6m, 3yrs) + Cory Joseph ($4.2m, 3yrs) + $3m Cash (to facilitate buyout), 1st round pick| San Antonio Spurs get: Anderson Varejao ($27.1m, 3yrs) + Omri Casspi ($2.3m, 1yr)
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS: Varejao’s blue collar mentality and adeptness at creating 2nd-chance points are tremendous assets that the Cavs can cash-in on right now. Kawhi Leonard is an up-and-comer, who is slowly turning into the Phoenix Suns’ version of Shawn Marion. He will complement scorers like Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters very well. Captain Jack is an expiring deal, and will probably ask for a buyout if traded to the Cavs. Cory Joseph hasn’t been able to see the floor in San Antonio, but he is a young player who may be worth a look.
SAN ANTONIO SPURS: Varejao has been playing out of his mind this season. He is such a beast on both ends of the floor; a must watch on any night. Varejao is a plus defender, active rebounder, and great roll man. He will excel next to Tim Duncan, doing all the dirty work so the old veteran can stay fresh. With Duncan, Varejao, and the incumbent Tiago Splitter, the Spurs have adequate size to deal with the Lakers and Grizzlies. Casspi provides some insurance at SF. He is a solid player who can shoot from deep, and will slide into Stephen Jackson’s old role very nicely. Popovich will certainly get the most out of him
Boston Celtics get: Tyreke Evans ($5.3m, 1yr) + Wayne Ellington ($2.1m, 1yr) | Sacramento Kings get: Tony Allen ($3.3m, 1yr) + Avery Bradley ($4.1m, 2yrs) + Celtics’ 2013 1st round pick| Memphis Grizzlies get: Courtney Lee ($21.3m, 4yrs)
BOSTON CELTICS: Rajon Rondo does so much work for this team. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett struggle to get their own shot, so Rondo has the burden of creating offense for everyone. Evans gives them a good perimeter defender who can attack the basket and score when needed. He is basically a worse-shooting version of OJ Mayo. GM Danny Ainge was rumored to be interested in Evans in the off-season, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the Celtics try and acquire him via trade. I think Evans would benefit from being in the Celtics’ winning culture, and really blossom into the player he was meant to be.
SACRAMENTO KINGS: There was talk that Evans wanted to re-sign, but on their roster, he is just another guy who wants to shoot the ball. Bringing in a guy like Avery Bradley, who is defense-first, will help change the culture a bit. The first round pick is an added bonus as well. The Kings are still a long ways away from having a cohesive roster, but Bradley is a great asset to plug into their young roster.
MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES: It’s tough for them to lose Tony Allen, who is an elite perimeter defender. However, Allen was on an expiring contract and is already 30 years old. In Courtney Lee, they get a younger perimeter defender, who is more of an offensive threat, and comes at a very affordable price.