2012 NBA Draft: What Is the Trade Value of the No. 1 Pick?

David Heeb@@DavidHeebCorrespondent IMay 23, 2012

2012 NBA Draft: What Is the Trade Value of the No. 1 Pick?

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    Anthony Davis is the best player in the 2012 NBA draft by a mile. It's not even close. So debating Davis against the other prospects, well, it's getting a little boring. Debating Davis against KG and Tim Duncan? Been there, done that.

    So I've got a draft topic. Would you trade your team's best player for Anthony Davis?

    For that matter, who on your roster would your team not trade for Anthony Davis. Of course, when you're talking trade, you have to consider everything that a player brings to the table.

    How young is he? What position does he play? Does he have a history of injuries? Has he come close to reaching his full potential as a player yet? Does he have any "red flags" or off-the-court baggage? Is he a hard worker? Is he a good teammate?

    Today, I'm going to break it down for you, as if I were the GM of your favorite franchise, and I'll tell you who on your roster I wouldn't trade for the No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft, also known as, "The Anthony Davis Pick."

    As always, thanks for reading.

Category 1: Teams That Are Absolutely Terrible

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    The first category of teams is pretty self explanatory. They're terrible. If they had a chance to get Anthony Davis, he'd immediately be this team's franchise player, and would take them from doormat status to a team that is actually relevant.


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    Stop laughing. If we're going to do this right, we have to include every team.

    Yes, I'd trade everybody on the roster for Davis. I mean, I'd trade the entire roster, an all-for-one trade, if you'll do it right now.

    Stop laughing. I'm being serious.


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    The Kings are a very talented, very young team that has several high draft picks. Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins are both among the best young players in the NBA at their positions. You would have to at least pause to think about dealing either of them for Anthony Davis.

    When you consider some of the immaturity that both players have exhibited, it's a no-brainer to trade either of them for Davis. It's not like the Kings are even close to being good. It wouldn't hurt them at all to blow it up and start over with a player like Davis.

Golden State

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    I'd trade anybody on the Warriors' roster just to hear what coach Mark Jackson would say to him during the timeout huddle, or even better, I'd want to hear what Jackson said during the game when Davis made one of those unbelievable blocks.

    "Momma, there goes that man!!!"

    I'd trade anybody on the Warriors' roster for Davis.


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    Cleveland won the lottery once, and they hit the ultimate jackpot. They drafted LeBron James. When you get a chance to draft a player like James, that is supposed to put you in the running to win multiple championships. Unfortunately, Cavs management surrounded James with bit players like Antawn Jamison and Mo Williams.

    The Cavs won the lottery again last season, and they drafted Kyrie Irving, the NBA Rookie of the Year. Irving is a nice young player, but he is no Anthony Davis.

    If I'm running the Cavs, I would trade anybody on this roster for Davis.

New Orleans

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    Let's be honest, Eric Gordon is the only asset I have that you are even taking the time to stop and look at. Gordon is a really good player, and if he can stay healthy, he'll be a good player for the next 10 years.

    But Gordon can't stay healthy, and he's an undersized shooting guard. As good as he is, he's nowhere near the value of a player like Anthony Davis. I'd trade you Gordon in a heartbeat for Davis.


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    The Blazers had so much potential. Another lottery winner, they drafted seven-footer Greg Oden with the No. 1 overall pick. The plan was for Oden to team up with Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge, two other young stars.

    That plan never got off the ground, as knee injuries robbed Oden and Roy of any chance of helping the Blazers win a championship.

    So now the Blazers are back to the land of mediocrity, a team with Aldridge and a bunch of other guys just trying to make their mark in the league. Anthony Davis would be the building block of the future if I could get him in a trade, but would I really want to put the curse of Bill Walton, Sam Bowie and Greg Oden on him?

    I'd trade any player on the Blazers' roster for Davis, but to paraphrase the classic American Film The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, "Don't you put that evil on Anthony Davis!"

    Seeing Anthony Davis get drafted by the Blazers would be like watching the hottest girl you know date that buddy of yours who always ends up cheating on his girlfriend, ruining her self esteem, and two years later, she's 50 pounds overweight and can't get a date.

    I don't know if I could pull the trigger on this one. Oh, screw it, he'd be our best player. I'd trade you anybody on our roster for Davis.


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    Some weeks, a guy wins the PowerBall and he takes home $300 million. Other weeks, somebody wins it and only gets $50 million.

    It's the lottery. It's a crap shoot.

    The Raptors won the lottery and their prize was Andrea Bargnani. So, if I'm the Raptors GM, and you're holding the No. 1 pick to Anthony Davis—the $300 million ticket—do you feel sorry for me to the point that you'll trade Davis for Bargnani?

    I didn't think so.

    I'd blow this entire roster up for a chance to draft Davis if I were the GM of the Raptors.


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    Remember when Detroit won a championship built around tough, unselfish players?

    Yeah, that was right before they really overpaid for guys like Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva.

    Greg Monroe, Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Knight—they're all nice players. But if I'm running the Pistons, you can have anybody you want. I'll even pay the rest of Villanueva's contract and throw him in for free, if you'll give me the No. 1 pick.


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    My goodness, this roster is really bad. Of course I'd trade anybody here for Anthony Davis.

    Once again, the Bucks are a team that struck out with the No. 1 pick. They drafted Andrew Bogut, who is no Anthony Davis. The Bucks do shoulder some of the blame though, since they did pick Bogut over Chris Paul.

    Bogut was a decent player, but he got injured. As we discussed, injuries matter. So a talented seven-footer was traded for Monta Ellis, a gunner who can score, but does little else to help his team win.

    Throw in Brandon Jennings, another guard that is pretty much a ball-hog, and they might have to figure out a way to play with two basketballs next season in Milwaukee.

    I'd trade you half of the cheese in Milwaukee and any player on this roster for Davis.


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    Steve Nash is probably going to leave Phoenix as a free agent this offseason. At least that's my opinion. So if Nash is gone, and the Suns are going to be awful, of course everybody else is available for Davis.

    Of course, Suns owner Robert Sarver, who is more worried about the bottom line instead of winning, might sell the No. 1 pick if I did acquire it.

Category 2: Teams That Are Bad, but They Do Have a Star

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    These next three teams range from "not very good" to "still not good yet," but they at least have a star on their roster. That makes you at least think twice about trading for Davis.

    Again, you have to consider everything about a player when you make a trade. Are these teams better off standing pat? Or should they just blow it up and start over with the 19-year-old Davis?


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    John Wall could be a superstar in the NBA.

    As a 6'4" point guard, he has the best end-to-end speed in the NBA, with the exception of maybe Ty Lawson. He could be an awesome defensive player. Wall could basically be a Rondo/J-Kidd hybrid—a big, fast point guard who sees the entire floor.

    Imagine how good a player like that could be in his prime.

    I would have to think very hard about dealing Wall for Davis if I were running the Wizards. The thing that would make me really hesitate is the fact the Wizards are already going to have a very high draft pick.

    Who knows? They might win the Anthony Davis sweepstakes anyway.

    So for the sake of this article, assuming they don't win the sweepstakes, do you stand pat with Wall and the No. 3 pick (Thomas Robinson), for example? Or do you deal Wall for the No. 1 pick (Davis) and the No. 3 pick (Brad Beal)?

    I'm 50/50 on this one.

    As good as we think Davis might be, Wall has already shown what he can do in the NBA (16.3 points, 8.1 assists, 4.0 rebounds, 1.6 steals), and he is only 21 years old.

    I have gone back and forth, but I'd have to trade Wall for Davis. I think a combo of Davis and whoever I picked at No. 3 or 4 would be better than John Wall and that same draft pick.


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    The Wolves have a nice looking roster. Ricky Rubio, Derrick Williams and Kevin Love look like they could turn the Wolves into a perennial playoff contender. I think Love could be a top-10 player in the NBA. He doesn't get enough credit for his all-around game.

    Love can shoot, he is a great passer and is one of the best rebounders in the league.

    Would you trade a known quantity, a sure-fire All-Star, in Kevin Love? Or would you gamble on the Hall of Fame potential of Anthony Davis?

    Love is still a young player, and the Wolves have a nice looking core group. I'd have to really, really think hard about dealing a player as productive as Love.

    In the end, I'd trade anybody on this roster, including Love, for Anthony Davis.

    I think Davis' unique skill set (defense and rebounding) would allow for Derrick Williams to take on a bigger role with the Wolves, and I think Davis would be the perfect compliment to a creative passer like Rubio.

    Basically, it would be a roll of the dice trading a guy who is proven for a guy with potential, but I think it would make the Wolves a better team in the long run.


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    Brooke Lopez, Gerald Wallace, or anybody else, and all I'm asking you is "where do I sign?" That's an easy decision. The only guy I have to think twice about on this roster is Deron Williams, who is a star, and again, he's a point guard.

    Point guards are more valuable because the NBA doesn't allow hand checking anymore, which is basically how Steve Nash went from being a really, really good player to a Hall of Fame player. So I have to think about parting with my 28-year-old, free-agent-to-be point guard.

    I can't help myself, I'm dealing him for Davis.

    The kid won't even turn 20 until next March, meaning I'm trading four or five more good-to-great years with Williams for the next 10 to 12 years of Anthony Davis.

    On top of that, this team is terrible. They're nowhere close to winning a championship, so it doesn't matter if we start over.

    So for the Brooklyn Nets, everybody is available if you're offering the No.1 pick.

Category 3: Good, but Not Good Enough to Win a Championship

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    This next category consists of teams that are good enough to make the playoffs and maybe even good enough to upset somebody. However, they just don't have a true superstar, therefore making it almost impossible that they'll ever win a championship.

    Basically, for these teams, getting a player like Davis would get them over the hump.

    I doubt you'd trade Davis for anybody on their roster straight up, but we'll discuss each of these scenarios anyway.


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    The Rockets won the lottery and got Hakeem Olajuwon, who brought them two championships. Then they won the lottery and got Yao Ming, who brought them a hundred trips to the orthopedic surgeon.

    Yao was such a good player. It's a shame that he couldn't stay healthy.

    The Rockets are another team that has decent players, but no star. If they could throw a talent like Davis in the middle of guys like Kevin Martin and Luis Scola, they'd be relevant in a couple of seasons.

    Everybody is available if I'm running the Rockets.


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    Imagine if Elton Brand had re-signed for way too much money with the Clippers, instead of signing with the Sixers for way too much money. I wonder if Clippers fans are upset they have a young, athletic power forward to build around for the next decade, instead of Brand, who is a shell of himself.

    That's another topic for another day.

    It underscores my point though—age, injury history and long-term potential are all part of the trade equation. The Sixers don't have a star on the roster. Lou Williams, Brand, Andre Iguodala, Evan Turner and Jrue Holiday are all nice players.

    I'd trade any of them to you faster than you could say "We talkin' 'bout practice" if I were the GM of the Sixers.


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    Utah doesn't have a franchise player on their roster.

    They have a few guys that might be All-Stars (Al Jefferson, Derrick Favors), a few that are good enough to start (Paul Millsap, Enes Kanter, Gordon Hayward), but nobody who is going to sell out an arena, and certainly not anybody who is going to lead a team to a championship.

    You wouldn't take anybody on my roster for Davis, but I'd at least call and ask.


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    This is a team with a ton of assets. They handled the Carmelo Anthony trade brilliantly. I would make everybody on the roster available. If I could flip a few of those assets for a player like Davis, this would be a scary-good team.

    So the phone lines are open. Who do you want?

    Not that you'd take any of these guys for Davis, but I'd at least have to ask you.


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    Z-Bo is nearing the end of his time being a good player. Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley are all nice young players. O.J. Mayo has some value as a super-sub.

    The Grizzlies are another team just floundering the the middle of the pack, drafting in the late teens or early twenties. They're stuck in mediocrity.

    If I can talk you into taking any of these guys for Davis, that might put us in the upper echelon of teams in the next couple of years.

    Don't laugh, the Grizzlies have made some crazy trades in the past.


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    To win a championship in the NBA, you need a superstar. In recent memory, the only team to win a championship without a bona fide superstar was the 2004 Detroit Pistons. So imagine how hard it is to do what the Pacers have been doing.

    They have been drafting in the middle of the first round—late in the lottery, or right after that—for what seems like forever. They keep finding good, solid players in that range. Roy Hibbert, Tyler Hansbrough, Danny Granger and Paul George were all "diamonds in the rough" that Larry Bird found.

    Can the Pacers win a championship with this roster?

    I don't know, but they are a fun team to watch and are highly competitive.

    Having said all of that, if I'm running the Pacers, I'd trade anybody on this roster and plug Davis in the middle of a very solid nucleus. If I made that trade, you can bet in a few years, he would take this team to an entirely different level.

Category 4: Their Roster Is Just Screwed Up

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    These teams have a superstar, they have multiple good players, but as it stands, they aren't going to win a championship. It might make sense for them to move a really good player just to change the scenery in the locker room.

    These are the teams that might have the ammunition to pull off a trade for Davis. The question is, would they do it?

New York

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    Tyson Chandler, Amare Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert are all nice players, but I don't even have to think twice about any of them. There is only one player that even causes me to pause if you're offering me the No. 1 pick, and that is Carmelo Anthony.

    I got killed recently by Knicks fans for saying the Knicks won't win a championship with Carmelo.

    I think Carmelo is one of the top three or four scorers in the world. I think he is a very good player. He is probably the best post-up small forward in the NBA right now. I think Carmelo is a good player. I just don't see the Knicks winning a championship with him as the center piece. Great players do three or more things really well. Carmelo does one thing really well.

    If I'm running the Knicks, I'm shipping the overpriced Anthony out of town in a heartbeat if you're offering me the No. 1 pick.

    With his contract off the books, compared to the relatively bargain price of Davis' rookie contract, I would have enough flexibility to go out and get another good player. Maybe I could flip Chandler's contract (likely) to somebody for more help in the backcourt, or maybe I could flip Stoudemire's contract (almost impossible) for more perimeter scoring.

    Again, the Knicks are another team where every player, including Carmelo Anthony, is on the trading block for Anthony Davis.


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    The Hawks are somewhere between the Knicks and the Pacers on my list of "teams that have good players, but aren't going to win a championship." I like Josh Smith, Joe Johnson and Al Horford.

    As we discussed with Carmelo, there is a ceiling with players who are only good at one thing. None of the Hawks' players excel at more than one thing, with the exception of Smith, who has the ability to be a great defender and rebounder.

    Joe Johnson is another player who is really good, but he is also highly overpaid.

    The way their roster is currently constructed, the Hawks are a playoff team, but that's about it. If they're lucky, they might get to the second round before getting beat by Chicago or Miami.

    I'd trade any of these guys for Anthony Davis without hesitation. Everybody on the Hawks roster is available if you want 'em.


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    The Magic's roster is a mess. Don't believe me? Well, they did just fire their head coach, Stan Van Gundy, and GM, Otis Smith. I think SVG is a really good coach, but firing him was the right move. It was time for a change in Orlando.

    So while we're cleaning house, do you want Dwight Howard?

    I'd trade him right now, straight up, for a chance to draft Anthony Davis. Who would you rather have on your roster, a 26-year-old center who has a bad back and the reputation as a bad teammate and coach killer, or a 19-year-old, 6'10" power forward who you can start over with?

    I mean, we're really asking ourselves this one simple question: "As they are currently constructed, do the Orlando Magic even have any remote possibility of winning an NBA Championship?"

    Did you see how fast Kobe Bryant's championship window just closed?

    This is the era of Durant, Rose, and for a couple more years, LeBron. Do you honestly see Dwight Howard getting a ring with his bad back, and this even worse roster?

    Wouldn't you rather trade Dwight Howard's five-year, barely-cracked-open championship window for the next dozen years of Anthony Davis?

    I would.

    I'd trade anybody on the Magic's roster for Davis. Any chance I can get you to take Hedo Turkoglu's contract also?

Category 5: The Aging Contenders

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    These are the teams with a chance to win a title right now. This completely changes our trade scenario, because after all, the goal is to win a championship, right? If I have a chance to win one right now, why would I trade for a 19-year-old kid who might not be able to lead me to a championship for a few more years?

L.A. Lakers

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    As we saw last night in their defeat to Oklahoma City, the gap between the Lakers (pretenders) and the Thunder (contenders) is very wide indeed.

    With a normal offseason, and a full regular season, maybe this team will better understand Mike Brown's system. Perhaps they will learn how to play through Andrew Bynum more. Maybe Bynum will stop shooting threes. Who knows?

    Or maybe the Lakers are just old, over the hill, and need to make a major trade.

    The Lakers tried to deal for Chris Paul, but David Stern said no.

    So if I were calling the shots, would I trade Bynum, Gasol, or Kobe for Davis? Again, you have to ask, "can the Lakers win a championship as they are currently constructed?"

    I think the answer is "absolutely not."

    I'd trade Bynum or Gasol in the blink of an eye. I don't even have to think about that. Trading Kobe would be tricky, because he has a no trade clause, so it's probably a moot point to even discuss trading Kobe. Can you see him agreeing to go to Charlotte? Me neither!

    For the record, I would trade Kobe for Davis, flip Gasol for some perimeter help, and start over with a Bynum-Davis front line. I just don't see this roster making any kind of run at a title the way the Lakers are built right now. They haven't even been close for the last two seasons.


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    If I'd trade Kobe, then everybody on the Celtics roster is fair game. Garnett, Pierce and Allen—they're still good players, but are also all over the hill. With Davis, I'm getting a kid who will be a great player for the next 10 to 12 years.

    So what about Rajon Rondo?

    I love Rondo's game, absolutely love it! Still, as good as Rondo is, and as important as the point guard position is in the NBA today, I wouldn't think twice about trading him for the No. 1 pick.

    So if you are offering me the No. 1 pick, and I'm the GM of the Celtics, the entire roster is up for discussion. There isn't anybody here who is off limits.


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    Dirk is a Hall of Famer, but how much does he have left?

    If you offer me Davis for Dirk, straight up, I have to take that deal. I'm giving you a guy who is on the back end of his Hall of Fame career, while I'd be getting a guy on the front end of what might be a Hall of Fame career.

    If Dirk is available, then of course the rest of the roster is. Let's make a deal.

San Antonio

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    Here is where this list gets really interesting.

    The Spurs have a chance to win the NBA championship this year. Would I really break up the Parker-Ginobili-Duncan trio for a chance to draft Anthony Davis?

    Yes I would, and I'll explain why.

    If the Spurs win the championship this season, you have to assume this is the end of their run. They can't keep it going, can they? I mean, seriously, this is the last stand at the Alamo, right?

    So if I could replace The Big Fundamental with Davis, I'd basically be prolonging the Spurs' dynasty. Duncan is one of the top-10 players of all time, but I'd make that trade, based on age alone. Manu Ginobili, well, his bald spot is getting bigger, which is a sign that he is getting older too.

    The only guy I have to think twice about is Tony Parker, the engine that makes my team go.

    I don't know if I blow up the championship Spurs by getting rid of Parker, but then again, it would be kind of "full circle" for Duncan to mentor Davis, in a 2012 version of the David Robinson and Tim Duncan "twin towers" that led the Spurs to their first championship.

    I'd have to really, really think hard about it, but I'd trade anybody on this roster for Davis, and I'd hope that I could find a good point guard. Hey, Deron Williams is a free agent, right?

Category 6: The Contenders

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    Spurs fans, please don't freak out. I know your team is playing better than anybody in the NBA right now, so please don't get offended that your team isn't on this list. The Spurs have never won back-to-back championships, so even if they win it all this year, history tells us that they won't win it next season.

    Next season, when Davis would enter the NBA, is what we're talking about.

    The remaining teams on this list have the kind of roster that is built to win now. They're built to win it all next year, and because of their youth, their window for multiple championships is open.

    This makes trading one of their star players a very tricky proposition. Do you take a chance? Do you make a deal for Davis? Or do you stand pat and try to win with the team you have now?

L.A. Clippers

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    Some of you are shaking your head right now, saying "David, you put the Clippers in the wrong spot."

    Just hear me out.

    The Clippers have the best point guard alive, Chris Paul, and he's only 27 years old. He is in the prime of his career, with a solid four-year window to win a championship or two.

    The Clippers have Blake Griffin, one of the most physically gifted power forwards in the NBA, and he's only 23 years old. Griffin is a very hard worker, and as good as he already is, he's only going to get better.

    The Clippers had injuries to Chauncey Billups and Caron Butler that slowed them down this season. With both of those players healthy next year, along with athletic big man DeAndre Jordan, the always rugged Kenyon Martin, talented guard Eric Bledsoe and super-sub Mo Willams, this Clippers team has a great chance to be a top-three team in the Western Conference, trailing only OKC and maybe San Antonio.

    Throw in a draft pick, maybe a veteran who wants to chase a ring, and this Clippers team at least has a chance to win it all next year.

    I think in two years, they could be knocking on Kevin Durant's door. I'm not saying the Clippers are a sure thing, but at least they have a chance, and that at least has to make me pause if you are offering me that No. 1 pick.

    I wouldn't trade Paul for Davis, because as I said, Chris Paul is the best point guard alive right now. I wouldn't trade Blake Griffin for Davis, because while I think Davis will be a better player than Griffin, we're ready to win right now with Blake Griffin.


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    The Bulls were the best team in the Eastern Conference for each of the last two seasons. Other than Carlos Boozer, who is earning the max contract under the old CBA, they don't have a bad salary on their entire roster.

    Since Boozer is overpaid, in my opinion anyway, I'm betting there is a better chance that the Cubs will win the World Series this year than you would trade me that No. 1 pick for Boozer.

    The difference between the Bulls and Clippers is the Bulls only have one superstar, whereas the Clippers have one superstar and another potential superstar. The Bulls have a more solid supporting cast, with Boozer, Luol Deng, Joakim Noah, Rip Hamilton, Omer Asik and Taj Gibson all being valuable contributors on this team.

    Let's keep it real—the only player we're talking about trading for Anthony Davis is Derrick Rose, and the answer to that question is a resounding no.

    Rose was the MVP of the league last season, he's only 23 years old. As good as I think Davis might be, I already know Rose is the real deal, and he is going to be a great player for another 10 years.

    If the Bulls had used that "Carlos Boozer money" on a more worthy player, I think they would be the heavy favorites to win a championship, simply because the rest of their team, and their star player, are championship ready. In the end, I think the Boozer signing might be what keeps Chicago from actually winning a championship.

    But for now, they at least have a great shot at a title, and there's no way I'm pushing the reset button by trading Rose for Anthony Davis.


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    Over the last five years, the Oklahoma City Thunder have drafted better than any team in the NBA. Without ever having won the lottery, they have assembled a roster that includes Kevin Durrant (No. 2 pick, 2007), Russell Westbrook (No. 4 pick, 2008), Serge Ibaka (No. 24 pick, 2008) and James Harden (No. 3 pick, 2009).

    Of course, it helped that Portland picked Greg Oden instead of Durant in 2007, but that's another story altogether.

    The Thunder are a model of how a team has to build quickly while in the lottery. As soon as they drafted Durant, a superstar in the making, their days of picking that high in the draft and hopefully finding Durant an able sidekick, were numbered.

    For example, the Cavs picked LeBron James No. 1 overall in 2003. The following year, in 2004, they had the No. 10 pick and selected Luke Jackson, who never became an impact player. In 2005, the Cavs didn't even have a first-round pick because they lost it in a meaningless trade.

    So the Cavs won the lottery. They got LeBron, but that is only half of the championship equation.

    The Thunder won the lottery. They got Durant. The rest of the talent they have added to their roster is part luck (ping pong balls in the lottery), and part shrewd decision making. The Thunder have built the best young roster in the NBA. If they are willing to pay the luxury tax and keep this team together, they could own the NBA for the next five or six seasons.

    There is no way I'd trade either Durant or Westbrook for Anthony Davis. This team is in a position to win now, and they are also built to win down the road.


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    I'll give you Bosh for Davis, right now, straight up.

    Hello? Hello???

    Let's be serious here. The only guys you're looking at are Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. The rest of the Heat's roster—because of salary limitations—are either young, unproven players, or older, over-the-hill players.

    So let's start with LeBron.

    There's no way I'd trade you the best player in the world for Anthony Davis. I believe LeBron has a two-or-three-year window to one or more championships after this season.

    I'm not saying he can't win more after that window closes, but LeBron will turn 28 next season, and if we use history as our guide, those straight out of high school players (Garnett, Kobe, Jermaine O'Neal, Tracy McGrady, etc.) tend to start breaking down in their early 30s.

    That means LeBron has about three more great years after this season. As good as I think Davis might be, LeBron James is the best player in the world! A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush, so I'm holding onto James.

    Dwyane Wade, now that's another story.

    Wade will turn 31 next season. He did play two seasons (65 games) at Marquette, which saved him about 100 games of wear and tear, and several cross-country flights. So let's say for the sake of argument that Wade is going to be an elite player until he is 33 years old.

    Do you buy three more elite seasons of Wade, or do you trade those three seasons for the next 10 to 12 years of whatever Anthony Davis turns into?

    The better question is, do you blow up the Heat?

    Do you trade Wade, a player with a very similar skill set to LeBron, for a player like Davis, who could theoretically give the Heat the rebounding and interior defense they need? Will Davis be ready to win a championship sometime in LeBron's window of opportunity? Will it even matter, with the Thunder getting better and better each season?

    Let me put an end to all the questions and just say no, I wouldn't trade Dwayne Wade.

    I'd have to really, really think hard about it, because I think Davis might actually be a better fit with LeBron, but in the end, I just can't trade one of the top-five players in the world, not while he is in his prime.


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    I guess what I'm saying is, of all the players in the NBA, there are only seven that have a chance to win a championship in the next three-to-five years. Those players are Griffin, CP3, D-Rose, Westbrook, Durant, D-Wade and LeBron.

    I wouldn't trade any of those players, or blow up my chances to win a championship during that window, not even for the chance to draft Davis.

    Any other player in the league, because of the circumstances surrounding his contract, age, injury history, or the way the roster is structured around him, doesn't have a realistic shot to win a championship. For that reason, I'd be willing to deal any of those players for a 10 to 12 year window with Anthony Davis, where I could win a championship.

    That's just my opinion. I'd love to hear yours if you want to comment.

    Anthony Davis might turn out to be the next Kevin Garnett. He might be even better. He might not even come close. Only time will tell, but I do know one thing for certain.

    The No. 1 pick in the 2012 NBA draft carries an awful lot of value. This would be a great time to win the lottery.