For as much as I really really love Bill Simmons sometimes I resent him because I get the impression we have a similar wave length for thinking about things, processing sports and pop culture and generally have similar taste (Not saying this is necessarily a positive...) but as it regards trades I have been looking at doing a "Trades that should happen" post and then I started listening to Simmons and he had the Rondo to the Kings trade and another one I really really liked and I was just thinking to myself Fuck this guy gets paid to sit on trade machine and talk to Jalen Rose? And he compares sports to movies all the time WTF. Oh well, some guys have it made and some guys don't have it made.
One reason I love trades is I think it is a legitimate way to asses the assets and talents of respective teams. I like, from a Wolves perspective, trying to figure out "What could Derrick Williams or Kevin Love net in a trade?" Because it lets reality sit in with Williams and makes you feel pretty sweet about Love.
I'm excited about this season for the Wolves and I'm not actually sure there are too many great trades the Wolves can or should make (however that won't stop me from suggesting many). But again, landscaping, world changing, League Ruining Trades....there is nothing better in my book.
Trade #5: Pacers push their chips
Pacers: Eric Gordon
Indiana is in an awkward position in my humble opinion. I do not believe they are good enough to beat the Heat (not to mention a Rose lead Bulls or maybe even this Brooklyn team) but they also are, barring a new offensive gear discovered in Paul George's game, likely at their max potential: we know who George Hill is, we know who David West is...
the Pacers clearly need some offense on the perimeter and a fresh spark to ignite them. Paul George's time is now to play 38 mpg at small forward. Danny Granger is not going to be seeing too much clock. Eric Gordon, a risk but if he can give you a healthy season he gives you a top 13 SG and a good offensive counterpart to the rest of the Pacers. The Pacers aren't going to have the FA money to spend on a big name to come in. they have Granger's expiring contract and a big hole at Shooting Guard. If it fails, they essentially have the same team as last year. If they succeed....Gordon could give them the offensive boost they need to take down the Heat if Wade breaks down more.
From the Hornets perspective, they need shooting: can Holiday, Evans and Gordon all play together? I don't think they can....If Granger is healthy he gives them a SF who can hit a 3 pointer and spread the floor for their talented (but maybe redundant) skill set in the backcourt.
Trade #4: Finally one fucking team in the East actually tries to get better
Wizards: LMA, Batum
Blazers: Emeka Oakfor, Trevor Ariza (22 million in expiring)+ 2 first round picks (one of which would probably be protected) from the Wiz
The Wizards are very close I think. Wall, Beal, Porter is a fantastic young back court. The Blazers on the otherhand....I'm not so crazy about. with 26 million committed to Batum and Aldridge while trying to fill the rest of the roster with rookies...they seem like a franchise that is unsure of which direction they want to go. In my opinion this is a reflection on their current franchise player, is Lamarcus Aldridge a guy you can count on to lead you? is it a Kevin Love situation where he just needs talent? I feel like he has had talent...more so than Love. I think he's good, and possibly very good. But I feel like his absolute ceiling is a 1b player. Is he the right guy for the situation Portland is in? Portland could perhaps be in the enviable position of being a lottery team with a good core of young players around them....let's hypothetically say this deal goes down and Portland wins what feels like their 500th top 3 pick. if they add Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker to McCulloum and Lillard, they would have something going quickly there. Add 2 first round picks and an infinity of cap space to the mix and they could be in for a quick rebuild.
The Wizards, like I said I believe they are close. they need a PF to compliment this team, and they need another star. John Wall is a guy similar to LMA....is he a true "if he's your best player can you win a title?" kinda guy? I don't know (or think so) but I think you could start to have a pretty scary team built around Wall and LMA with Porter/Beal as the young core. The Wiz would have to take on a shit load of salary to make this happen...but in a year where 9 teams are tanking it seems, they could make a legit run at the 5 seed and have something to build off of for the future.
#3 Pau finally come to Minnesota
Wolves: Pau Pau Pau Pau
Lakers: Southern California's finest: Williams and Shabazz (or Sea World's finest Flipper and Shamu)
I can only pray that LAL is out of it enough by the trade deadline+Williams and Shabazz show just enough to make the Lakers think they have potential for us to capitalize.
#2 The Buckbuster
Boston: Giannas, Butler, Henson, Shumpert. 1st round picks from both Mil and NYK
Milwaukee: Stoudimire, Ray Felton
It seems pretty clear to me that Boston is going to attempt to trade Rajon Rondo...but in a league where shooting and scoring, even from the pg position are a premium I wonder what Rondo's actual trade value is? The Knicks would probably love to move Stoudimire...even though he is an offensive force, he is not a very good defensive player and he is very expensive (however now that the contract is down to 2 years remaining it becomes more palatable in my opinion) The Bucks, in an attempt to keep their competitive nature, make an all-in push using some of their more appealing assets to get one of the few "super stars (if STAT is worthy of that listing)" that is available. the Knicks, who are the last team that needs someone who needs shots, gets the best point guard on earth that doesn't want to shoot...and the Celtics get all the tools to rebuild. 2 more picks in 2014, one of which in the Bucks could actually be very good. they they get Shumpert who I at least think has some pretty interesting upside and Giannas and Henson two guys that appear to actually have quite a bit of upside as well.
#1 Denver does something with it's 98 man roster
ATL: The slew of Denver's interesting prospects
Denver seems like they have about 8 guys who are all "on the cusp" of being really good, young and on good contracts...what they need in my opinion is to turn 3-4 of those guys into 1 really awesome player. not easy too do as most NBA teams aren't looking to jettison really awesome players....I'm not saying the Hawks are...but Horford's desire to play PF was not necessarily addressed this off season with the signing of Paul Milsap. The Hawks themselves, I can't quite figure out what their plan is...they seem like a classic #tankforWiggins team...but they did sign Paul Milsap, which leads me to believe they are trying to win...
...regardless I think they realize they are probably too good to get a top pick and not good enough to be a factor and maybe, possibly just look for a reboot (also they fired Larry Drew, whom I have always felt was a good coach in ATL)
I like Al Horford and as a PF with Lawson, Fournier, Gallo and McGee I think he has a legitimate chance to anchor a bad ass lineup in the playoffs this year
I'm noticing one thing about making trade proposals. It's getting harder to find stuff that works. So many teams have nothing right now. whether it's a result of trying to rebuild in the stacked 2014 draft, trying to cut money. Just not a lot of options to move teams. I'm curious to see what the break down looks like this trade deadline/next summer etc....I mean I'd have loved to make a fun trade involving Rudy Gay...but there are only 3-4 teams that would even/could even bite on him any more.
I'm glad the Wolves are in the position we are in: we essentially have our 4 big guys locked in, can't and won't trade Love, Rubio, Pek and Martin...but we also have some young guys that A) we aren't counting on (for a change) and B) if they do start to show some upside could have some trade chip to them...it's a good position to be in. Hopefully we don't have to worry too much about trades this year because the team just rocks and rolls to the playoffs!!!