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The Trade: Phoenix trades PG Steve Nash to Indiana for PG Darren Collison, SG/SF Dahntay Jones and a future first-round selection
Synopsis: There is no doubt that the Indiana Pacers have been one of the biggest surprises of the 2011-12 season. The team is currently sitting in third-place in the Eastern Conference with a stellar 21-12 record -- the Miami Heat (27-7) and the Chicago Bulls (27-8) are sitting in first and second, respectively.
What's even more surprising is that the Pacers are doing all of this with a $50.1 million payroll, which is ranked 28th in the entire league.
With a little over $14 million in cap space, the Pacers could take on Steve Nash's $11.689 million salary. In this scenario, they'd be giving up point guard Darren Collison ($1.455 million), Dahntay Jones ($2.7 million) and a future first-round pick to Phoenix in exchange for Nash, an eight-time All-Star.
However, I deem this scenario slightly unlikely, as I don't think the Pacers would want to shake up their roster since they are doing so well. But anything can happen.
The Pacers have one of the youngest rosters in the NBA, with players such as the high-flying Paul George, Tyler Hansbrough, George Hill, Danny Granger and Roy Hibbert. The addition of the former Santa Clara standout would be a great fit as Nash, a pass-first point guard, would be able to set up more shots for Granger and Hibbert.
In turn, the Suns would acquire point guard Darren Collison, a player who is on the cusp of having a good career. The former UCLA product and ex-Hornet is currently averaging 11.5 points, 5.2 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game for the Pacers.
Dahntay Jones, the other player that Phoenix would acquire, has seen his minutes decrease over the last couple of seasons with the emergence of Paul George. Jones is playing about seventeen minutes per game, averaging 5.4 points per contest.
There is no doubt that the Pacers would be winners in this trade, as I believe they'd be able to make some solid noise in the playoffs. A trio of Nash, Granger and Hibbert would be able to contend with the likes of Miami's LeBron, Wade and Bosh or Chicago's Rose, Boozer and Noah.