Fun with the NBA Trade Machine

Sunday, 28 August 2011, 18:24 | Category : NBA
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Steve Nash, Mo Williams, Phoenix Suns, L.A. ClippersAfter thinking writing about where Tayshaun could end up next season, I decided to play with the NBA Trade Machine to see what I could come up with.  I know the Pistons would really like to get some value out of him in a sign and trade.  I think I may have found a great solution that benefits not only the Pistons, but the Suns and Clippers as well in this trade.  Here’s why each team leaves this trade a winner.  (Remember, the trade machine doesn’t include draft picks or cash considerations that could be tossed in to further sweeten the trade.)

Detroit Pistons:

Trade: Prince ($11.1- but will have a new contract), Maxiell ($5- 1 year), and Gordon ($37.3- 3 years) for a total of $27.7 million owed next season.

Acquire: Kaman ($12.2- 1 year) and Vince Carter ($18.3- 1 year) for a total of $30.5 million next season.

For the small net gain of $2.8 next season, Detroit clears out space at the forward positions to make room for the young guys while getting some much needed depth at C with a former All-Star.  By paying roughly $7 mil more to Carter next season, they are able to move one of their unmovable contracts.  There’s still a logjam at SG, but they’re not any worse off with Carter than they were with Gordon.  Both acquisitions come off the books after next season, clearing lots of needed room.

Phoenix Suns:

Trade: Nash ($11.7- 1 year), Childress ($27- 4 years), Lopez ($2.9- 1 year),  and Carter ($18.3- 1 year) for a total of $38.9 owed next season.

Aquire: Williams ($17- 2 years), Maxiell ($5- 1 year), and Gordon ($37.3- 3 years) for a total of $25.1 million next season.

While this trade does involve losing Steve Nash, it will save the Suns $13.8 million next season.  They also get the satisfaction of knowing they didn’t force one of the greatest PGs ever (who still doesn’t have a championship) to waste his final years in a rebuilding project pretending to be a contender.  They also get to enjoy watching Nash throw alley-oops to Griffin for the next couple (or however many years Nash has left) years.  While overpaid, they get a capable PG to hold the reigns for a couple years while they search for and groom their PG of the future.

They no longer have to worry about buying Carter out of his contract and can erase the mistake of overpaying Childress.  In return, Phoenix gets Gordon who is capable of carrying the offense and even helping on ball handling duty.  Last, but not least, they clear the starting spot at C for Gortat while picking up an energy PF/C to come off the bench.  All in all, the Suns put themselves in much better financial position while gaining buckets full of good Karma.

L.A. Clippers:

Trade: Kaman ($12.2- 1 year) and Williams ($17- 2 years) for a total of $20.7 owed next season.

Acquire: Prince ($11.1- but will have a new contract), Nash ($11.7- 1 year), Childress ($27- 4 years), and Lopez ($2.9- 1 year) for a total of $31.7 next season (depending on Prince’s contract).

It’s no secret the Clips have wanted to get rid of Kaman, and Williams was a consolation prize for getting rid of Baron Davis.  So the only loss is that they’ll be paying $11 million more on payroll next season, but teams save room so they can sign players that’ll make them better.  They have two positions that need serious upgrade: PG and SF.  Nash and Tayshaun are just that.  With these two, the Clips automatically become a real team that can make a run in the playoffs.  It’s been a while since any team from L.A. not called the Lakers has been able to say that.  The two throw-ins won’t hurt either.

Give me a good reason how this trade doesn’t make all three teams better off.  Why shouldn’t this trade happen?  What other trades would you like to see once the next season begins?

NBA Offseason: Pacific Division

Wednesday, 22 June 2011, 12:34 | Category : NBA
Tags : , , , ,

With the uncertainty of the looming lockout hanging over the NBA, teams having the daunting task of using this offseason to position themselves for success in whatever direction the new CBA takes them.  We are doing a division-by-division break down of what teams should be aiming to do this offseason.  We will analyze each team’s current situation, free agents, draft prospects, and whose contract the team would drop if the new CBA includes a new amnesty rule.  GMs, no need to worry.  We’ve got you covered.

Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns, Pau Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers, trades

The Pacific Division is officially in rebuild mode, with teams potentially shopping their stars.

Los Angeles Lakers: 2010-11 record: 57-25 (Pacific: 12-4)

What a difference a year makes.  The Lakers were the overwhelming favorites to return to the NBA Finals out of the West at the beginning of last year.   Then Pau Gasol all of a sudden got soft and Kobe Bryant started showing his age.  Andrew Bynum is not turning into the superstar they were hoping/expecting out of him.  With Kobe’s window closing, the Lakers may need to infuse some new blood into the organizing quickly.

Free Agents: Shannon Brown has a player option and Joe Smith and Theo Ratliff are the only other two FAs for the Lakers.  They don’t have enough money to spend on free agents to upgrade that scrubby bench of theirs so the Lakers can only improve through trades.  Andrew Bynum is still an intriguing trade chip (although not as much as a couple of years ago) so they can potentially make a move that could give them the depth they need.

Draft: Los Angeles Lakers: No first round pick.  At least Kobe can’t whine about not being the one to make the pick.

Amnesty: Clearly Laker fans could do without Luke Walton, but he only has two years left and could possibly be a trade throw-in.  Ron Artest (3 years and $22 million), on the other, has more time an money left on his contract and not exactly tradeable.  His production has gone down and his sanity isn’t improving.  Clear him out and make room for the future.


Phoenix Suns: 2010-11 record: 40-42 (Pacific: 9-7)

Phoenix needs to decide if it is going to rebuild or reload.   The problem is, rebuilding means moving on from the Steve Nash era and letting Grant Hill go.  My guess is, Phoenix will play the upcoming year with their same roster and see what happens.  They could have some interesting trade chips during the trade deadline like Vince Carter and his expiring contract.  If the Suns stay patient, they will have a lot of payroll flexibility the following offseason when some big names become free agents.

Free Agents: Grant Hill and Aaron Brooks (restricted).   The Suns don’t really have to have Grant Hill, but he is well-liked in Phoenix and he probably doesn’t want to go anywhere else at this stage in his career.  Aaron Brooks can give Nash the rest he needs every game so he may stay as well.  They have been involved in a lot of trade talks, but I don’t expect the Suns to do much during this offseason despite the many flaws they have.

Draft: At 13, Jimmer would be an ideal pick because Steve Nash needs a lot of rest these days and the Suns’ system is the kind that Fredette could thrive in. I don’t think he will last until the 13th pick after his impressive workouts.  The Suns should go for someone who can create his own shot.  They don’t really have that guy anymore other than half man Vince Carter (I should say they need someone who can create and make the shots).  Alec Burks and Klay Thompson are two high scoring Jimmer types that could thrive in the Suns’ system as well.

Amnesty: The Suns overpaid several semi-productive role players instead of using that money to pay someone impactful, and Josh Childress (4 years; $27 million) is somehow the greatest benefactor.  He’s buried deep on the bench and no one’s trading for him.  Four years is too long to wait this contract out.  Cool hair though.


Golden State Warriors: 2010-11 record: 36-46 (Pacific: 5-11)

The Warriors have some talented players, but I don’t see how they can win with this team.  None of their starting wings (Stephen Curry, Monta Ellis, and Reggie Williams) can play a lick of defense.  They are talented scorers, but they can’t stop anyone.  Their big free agent acquisition from last offseason (David Lee) can’t defend anyone either.  And somehow their new coach, Mark Jackson, is already preaching defense.  It’s a bad situation for an entertaining team.   Also, Monta Ellis is one of those guys who is destined to be a major scorer on a bad team.  You aren’t going anywhere if he is your best player.

Free Agents: Reggie Williams (restricted), Acie Law, Al Thornton, Vladimir Radmanovic, Louis Admundson (player option).  Thornton and Admundson are good defenders off the bench so they need to retain them.  I think they should let Williams walk and get some diversity on the wing.  The Warriors should do everything they can to get Shane Battier.  He would inject some defensive intensity and veteran leadership to the young team.

Draft: With the 11th pick, the Warriors should get a big man that can run the court in their high paced offense.  Kawhi Leonard just might fall enough for them to snatch him.   He would provide athleticism and energy while deferring to the shooters on offense.   Marcus Morris would be an interesting addition because of his scoring ability.

Amnesty: It’s time to part ways with Ellis and Biedrins, but both are reasonably priced that they can find somebody to take them even if it’s just for beans in return.  But that’s better than paying them to play for someone else.  David Lee (5 years; $68 million) is a good player, but they’re paying him way too much for a player that can’t defend.  The Warriors just have to decide if it’s worth paying Lee that much money to not play for them.


Los Angeles Clippers: 2010-11 record: 32-50 (Pacific: 7-9)

It is really too bad that the Clippers can’t draft Kyrie Irving to throw the ball to Blake Griffin for the next ten years. Griffin is the best thing that has happened to the Clips in a long time though. They finally have someone to build around. Eric Gordon and Eric Bledsoe are good piece to have too. The Clippers are getting close to contending and the future looks bright.

Free Agents: DeAndre Jordan (restricted), Brian Cook (player option), and Jamario Moon are the main FAs. I think the Clips have to resign Jordan to a multi-year deal. He does the dirty work on defense so Blake Griffin can do his thing with the ball. They are a good combo down low. The Clippers also will have a lot of money to spend in the 2012 offseason so they may stand pat one more year. If they can get a guy like Shane Battier or Andre Kirilenko, they may want to grab them this year.

Draft: No first round pick.  They gave away what turned out to be the #1 pick in the Baron Davis trade.  Oops.

Amnesty: Kaman ($12 million)  is in the last year of his deal and can therefore probably be traded easily enough (possibly in a sign an trade deal with Detroit for Prince).  Unless they’re ready to hand the reigns over to Bledsoe, Mo Williams ($17 million) may be worth hanging onto for a year or two.  If they upgrade at SF, then they may cut ties with Gomes (2 years; $8 million).  They could just as easily choose not to use amnesty on anybody.


Sacramento Kings: 2010-11 record: 24-58 (Pacific: 7-9)

The Kings have their two guys to build around, Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins.  They could still use another young stud and get some veterans to surround them.  I’m not sold on Tyreke being the kind of guy who will lead a team deep into the playoffs and Cousins is not a team player that will command the respect of his teammates.  They are both talented, but I’m not sold on the direction the Kings are going.   Having said that, they should continue to improve every year and may be able to get some pieces together to make things interesting.

Free Agents: Darnell Jackson (restricted), Marcus Thornton (restricted), Samuel Dalembert (thank goodness), and Marquis Daniels.  They have money to spend and since a lot of other teams are waiting for a year, they may want to make some noise.  They could gamble on a somewhat cheap Yao Ming or Michael Redd.  Or they can get some veterans like Andre Kirilenko or Tracy McGrady for leadership.  The Kings have the financial flexibility to be aggressive while everyone else waits.

Draft: They have the PG in Tyreke Evans and the big in DeMarcus Cousins so the Kings are headed in the right direction.   They have the 7th pick and should try to get a glue guy who doesn’t necessarily need the ball, but can still contribute.  One of the Euro Bigs or Tristian Thompson fit the bill.   I would not be at all surprised if they picked Jimmer in an effort to fill seats though.

Amnesty: Seeing as how the Maloofs are exactly looking to spend a lot of money and the team has the most cap space in the league, they could simply chose not to use this.  After all, they do have to meet a minimum team salary.  However, depending on how they do in the draft and in the free agent market, they do have players it couldn’t hurt to cut ties with.

Do You Believe in Magic?

Sunday, 19 December 2010, 17:49 | Category : NBA
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Gilbert Arenas, Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic, Washington Wizards

Saturday the Orlando Magic were the center of two blockbuster trades.  (Details here.)  The Magic have seen a slip in the last couple of plays and a change was needed, but did they benefit from the trades?  Who are the winners and losers?

Magic-Wizards Trade

Gilbert Arenas: It’s no secret that John Wall has stolen the show in DC, which has left Agent Zero in an awkward position.  He now gets the fresh start in sunny Orlando.  He went from one of the worst teams in the league to a playoff team and championship contender.  He still faces the same problem of a log jam at the guard positions and he won’t be starting over Jameer Nelson.  If he uses this opportunity as a rebirth Arenas will be happy.  Winner

Wizards: With Arenas, three of Washington’s best players were point guards and Arenas has been viewed as untradeable.  They managed to swap Arenas’ contract for a slightly better contract.  Washington has successfully dismantled all of its core pieces.  Lewis may or may not be in the Wiz’s long term plans, but they’ll have better luck tossing his contract into a trade if needed.  Rebuilding and moving forward.  Winner

Rashard Lewis: He gets shipped out to a horrible team in rebuilding mode from a team that is consistently at the top in the East.  He doesn’t even know if he’ll finish the season in Washington.  With his numbers down, he’s not even in demand from other teams.  Loser

Magic: It’s no secret that Orlando has had its eyes on Agent Zero.  Rashard Lewis’s numbers have been down and his contract really isn’t that much better than Arenas’s.  Winner?

Magic-Suns Trade

Hedo Turkoglu: Things weren’t working out in Phoenix and now he gets to return to Orlando where he was a fan favorite.  The experts seem to think Van Gundy’s system works out best for Hedo.  This may be what it takes to get him back to form.  Winner

Jason Richardson: While he more than fits into the Magic’s 3-pointer happy system, he’ll miss his old team.  You could tell he loved playing with the Suns and that they loved him.  The Magic is another team that seems to gel and have fun as a team.  If he can move on and embrace his new team he’ll excel.  Competition in the East is a lot thinner than beck West.  Winner (if he wants it)

Earl Clark: He gets to move from Arizona to Florida.  Winner

Suns: They lose a team and fan favorite in J-Rich, but shed Hedo’s horrible contract.  They also picked up a legit center

Vince Carter, Josh Childress, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Marcin Gortat, Jared Dudley

Will Vince be able to make it rain in the desert?

who can run.  Pietrus will fit in perfectly and even bring some defense.  If anyone can get Carter back up to at least 1/4 amazing it’s Nash and co.  Even if Carter doesn’t work out it’s not like they have a shortage of wings.  They improved in size and defense, plus they don’t have Turkoglu.  Winner

Vince Carter: He get’s to play alongside Nash and won’t have the responsibility to create plays he has with the Magic.  If history is to repeat itself, then Carter is in luck.  Grant Hill rejuvenated his career after he moved to the desert from Orlando.  Shaq also looked like his young self again when he was traded from Miami.  Winner

Marcin Gortat: He’ll finally get the minutes he deserves as starting center for the Suns until Lopez returns (even then he should see a fair amount of action).  This also puts more responsibility on him, but I think he’s up to the challenge.  Winner

Mickael Pietrus: His style of play will help him feel right at home in Phoenix.  He does have the beloved Richardson’s shoes to fill though.  Even though the Suns are pretty heavy with wing players, his defense should keep his minutes up.  If he wasn’t getting along with Van Gundy (not exactly the easiest guy to get along with, then he’s glad for a change.  Winner

Magic: This move means that they’re committed to Brandon Bass, but they do lose a legit backup for the fowl-prone Howard.  Fans will be happy to have Hedo back, but we’ll see if they stay happy.  J-Rich will bring shooting and energy to the team.  He’ll be able to do a lot of what Carter was supposed to.  Apparently Pietrus had fallen out of favor with Van Gundy, so I guess he was expendable.  They also gave up a first-round draft pick and cash.  The more I look at it, the more I like the trade for Orlando, but I just can’t get over having no depth at center. Maybe there’ll be more trades to come.  Loser

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