There's been a bit of talk lately about the Miami Heat looking to trade the #2 pick in the draft to a willing partner like Minny or Memphis. With no further delay, let's see if these three teams could swing a deal to make everybody a happy camper:
To the Grizz:
- Antoine Walker
- Mark Blount
- 2nd pick (Michael Beasley)
To the Heat:
- Mike Miller
- Marko Jaric
- 3rd pick (OJ Mayo)
To the Wolves:
- Brian Cardinal
- Darko Milicic
- Marcus Banks
- 5th and 28th pick
It's not exactly the sexiest trade out there and Wolves fans may hold up their noses at first sight, but it does have its benefits.
As far as the Wolves go, they would essentially be moving Toine's and Jaric's salaries for what would amount to a sensible and functional free agent signing (Darko) and contract filler that would come off the books one after another in the coming 2 years. All-in-all, they get rid of about $30 million of contracts over 3 years while taking on about $30 million over the same period. The difference is that they turn some of that salary into a functional front court player and they get one of the contracts off the books a year before Marko's deal while saving a couple of million on Banks' deal vis-a-vis Jaric's.
Meanwhile, the Wolves would hold on to their 2nd round picks and McCants (as well as another late 1st rounder) to move up into the mid-1st to grab another asset.
For the Grizz, this deal should be a no-brainer. They clear over $46 mil off the cap over 2 years while taking on about $24 mil. They get the most talented player in the draft and they line themselves up for a big free agent signing in the 09 season with a young core of Conley, Gay, and Beasley.
The Heat have a slightly tougher decision. They take on a bad deal with Marko, but they get 2 players that can step right into their lineup and play some solid minutes. Should they choose to keep Marion, they are looking at a Mayo, Wade, Marion, Haslem, Chump lineup with Miller coming off the bench for a 3-point boost. The problem here is that they won't be able to make a free agent run at Carlos Boozer if he declines his player option next year. If they let Marion walk, they play a year with Mayo, Wade, Miller, Haslem, Chump before signing Boozer and going nuts.
Wrapping this bad-boy up, this isn't an optimal deal for the Wolves. That being said, they do walk away with a functional player (Darko) and 2 picks while keeping a hold of the additional assets that could be moved for yet another mid-1st rounder. The big problem here is that they would have to either buy some more players out or simply deactivate guys like Cardinal and Banks...either way, that money is already out the door in the Walker/Jaric contracts.
PS: The Wolves could even take on a player like Kyle Lowry in this deal as they have a trade exception that could swallow his contract