What trade chips do we have?

Here's one man's take on the value of our pieces.  I'm sure most people will disagree with the value I place on at least one of these players.  I have put the players into tiers on our team, and tried to come up with a league player that I think has similar value for each of our guys - bear in mind I'm not necessarily saying they will be valued by the same kinds of teams that value the player I'm comparing them to, merely that the level of interest throughout the league and the expected return for the two players are likely to be similar (e.g: I view Wesley Johnson as having comparable value to Corey Brewer; even though they obviously are valued by different teams and for different reasons, I think the overall return we could get for them is probably fairly similar at this point).

The Stud

Kevin Love - Even with his warts he's a top-15 player in the league.  You can absolutely build a team around this guy, but unlike some franchise cornerstones (LeBron James and Dwyane Wade come to mind here) he's even better as a second fiddle.  Player of comparable value: Dirk Nowitzki.


The Starters

Michael Beasley - He's a sieve defensively, but his offensive production still makes him a starter in the league.  At this point in his career he's a volume scorer who turns the ball over too much, but the fact he produces over 20 ppg while not showing a lot of polish means there's reason to hope for improvement.  I don't personally believe that he will improve that much, but there are 29 other teams in the league that might have a different opinion.  Player of comparable value: Jason Richardson.

Anthony Tolliver - Doesn't do anything exceptionally well, but also doesn't have any real holes in his game either.  If PF wasn't a position of such depth throughout the league, he'd make a decent starter somewhere (I can't say for sure, but I think Pheonix would LOVE to have this guy starting for them).  Player of comparable value: Channing Frye.

Darko Milicic - Darko's attitude is what keeps him from being a legit trade piece.  What have we heard all year long from people on this site?  If he was limited to 20 minutes and only 5 or 6 touches on the offensive end per game, he'd be a great defensive center.  The problem with Darko is that he doesn't accept what his best role is in the NBA.  And because of that he leaves his team worse off than they would be without him.  Player of comparable value: none, any team that might trade for him in order to use him rationally (a 20 mpg defensive center) wouldn't be able to get any value from him because he'd wind up on the end of their bench eating cheeseburgers and smoking cigarettes sulking about how he never got to touch the ball on the offensive end back when he was getting playing time.


The Reserves

Luke Ridnour - If you leave aside his maddening penchant for 25 ft. shots with 21 seconds left on the shot clock, he's a solid veteran point guard.  His defense is lacking, but a respectable team could cover up that flaw for about 12 minutes a game in order to get there starter a rest and benefit from a floor spacing distributor.  Player of comparable value: Chris Duhon.

Martell Webster - How many teams would like to have a better shooting but slightly less pestering Bruce Bowen coming off their bench?  If you answered 30, you'd be correct.  Webster has been bothered by injuries but this is what I conceive his destiny to be.  We play an offensive system that wants more from him than he can give.  That's part of why he doesn't seem to have a lot of value here.  But Portland had it right with him, and I think the other teams in the league know it.  Player of comparable value: Dahntay Jones.

Wayne Ellington - He's not a guy that would see any minutes in the postseason on a good team, but he'd show up for 4-6 useful minutes per game during the regular season.  He shoots the ball well enough to space the floor and isn't a defensive liability.  Player of comparable value: Jodie Meeks.

Lazar Hayward - See above description of Wayne Ellington.


The Projects

Wesley Johnson - He was the consensus 5th pick in a 4 player draft last year.  His first season was disappointing because he proved not to be ready for the NBA even though he was touted as one of the most NBA-ready prospects in the draft.  He's got the type of shooting ability that NBA scouts dream about, but the type of handles that make those same scouts cringe.  Can this problem be fixed?  Absolutely.  Can he be a productive NBA player without fixing the problem?  Absolutely.  He's got the length and athleticism that NBA scouts dream about, but the type of defensive awareness that Syracuse players are known for (which makes NBA scouts cringe).  Can this problem be fixed?  Absolutely.  Can he be a productive NBA player without fixing the problem?  Absolutely.  If he fixes those two problems, then he's a one- or two-time all-star in the league.  If he fixes one problem but not both, then he's a serviceable starter.  If he doesn't fix either of those problems, then he's a 7th man at best.  Player of comparable value: Corey Brewer.

Nikola Pekovic - Everyone that wasn't clamoring for us to take DeAndre Jordan (I'm included in the DAJ crowd) loved the selection of this low post bruiser.  It seems as though he grew too accustomed to the physicality he was allowed to play with while in Europe.  If he can figure out how to tone it down just enough to avoid getting into foul trouble, he'll be a successful NBA Center.  So what if he can't defend, he's a true back-to-the-basket scorer.  Players like that are a dying breed in the NBA, and everyone knows it.  Player of comparable value: Greg Oden.

Anthony Randolph - This guy's been tantalizing NBA GMs for awhile now.  His value is somewhat diminished by the fact that he's already on his third team in three years, but he's got a unique combination of skills/potential skills for a man of his height.  Questions abound with this guy, including whether or not he actually knows how to play basketball or if he's just a really tall, really athletic guy.  As the questions about him are answered his value will settle in.  If the answers are favorable, then he's worth a lot.  If the answers are unfavorable, then he's worth next to nothing.  If the answers never come ... that's where he is currently.  Player of comparable value: J.J. Hickson.


The Trash

Jonny Flynn - Did we seriously take this guy ahead of 8 other point guards in the first round of the 2009 draft that have proven to be better/more valuable players?  Jonny pounds the rock too much and tries to make the flashy pass when the simple one will do just fine.  He's probably a legend in his own mind regardless of what anybody else on the planet thinks of his game.  Fortunately, some people may choose to blame last season's regression on a hip injury that kept him out of uniform for the first 2 months of the season.  In my opinion we need to strike while the iron is ... not below kelvin and trade him asap.  Player of comparable value: Josh Childress.


The Intangibles

Ricky Rubio - He was a hot commodity before a poor shooting performance at the 2010 FIBA World Championship stretched into a poor shooting season for his ACB team, Regal Barcelona.  It seems likely that playing overseas will no longer provide much benefit to the progress of Rubio, so he's probably going to make the leap to the NBA this summer.  The adage about a bird in the hand being worth two in the bush comes to mind.  Player of comparable value: Ty Lawson.

2011 NBA Draft 1st overall pick (a.k.a. the Kyrie Irving golden ticket) - This isn't what we have currently, but after the ping pong balls do their thing we could have it.  Player of comparable value: Stephen Curry.

2011 NBA Draft 2nd overall pick [a.k.a. the Derrick Williams bronze ticket (I think the chasm between Irving's value and Williams' value is such that there is no silver here)] - As above, we don't currently have this but we could get it later.  Player of comparable value: Paul George.

2011 NBA Draft 3rd overall pick (a.k.a. the chance to overspend on a long-shot) - As above, but with the caveat of being what I suspect we will actually get after the lottery bends us over again.  Player of comparable value: Greg Oden.

2011 NBA Draft 4th overall pick (a.k.a. the chance to overspend a little less on a long-shot) - As above, but with the caveat of being what statistically we are most likely to have after being bent over by the lottery.  Player of comparable value: J.J. Hickson.


And just for fun (in a masochistic sort of way)

Minnesota Timberwolves' unprotected 2012 NBA Draft First Round pick - we don't actually have this, but we did at some point.  Player of comparable value: 1/2 of Marko Jaric 1/3 of Chris Paul.

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