Rudy Gay takes a shot in Game 6 of the Grizzlies-Clippers series.
Even though the Philadelphia 76ers made the Eastern Conference semifinals, they are definitely looking to improve their team. They may not know it yet, but there is a trade that would greatly enhance their team.
The Memphis Grizzlies currently have a good team, with Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol, Mike Conley, Zach Randolph and Tony Allen leading the way. While the Grizzlies are a good team, they don't have what it takes to win a championship.
Allen and Evan Turner, Philadelphia's shooting guard, are both great perimeter defenders. Philadelphia's small forward, Andre Iguodala, is also a great perimeter defender, and many believe Iggy will hurt Turner's development.
Philadelphia is a team that relies heavily on defense, which is Turner's strength. However, Philadelphia is looking for a big man and/or a good scorer, while the Grizzlies would benefit from having another great defender to compliment Allen.
Enter a trade involving Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol, Thaddeus Young, Nikola Vucevic and Andre Iguodala.
Gasol is a big man who can rebound, defend, create good scoring opportunities and block shots. He is just the guy the 76ers need, someone who can provide a good target for Philly's point guard, Jrue Holiday.
The Sixers could've made the Eastern Conference Finals with a good big man, but instead, they had Spencer Hawes. Gasol could be their long-term answer, and so could Rudy Gay.
Gay is a guy who scores a lot of points and is a great shooter. He can grab rebounds, get teammates involved and start fast breaks. He is a definite offensive upgrade over Iguodala, and he isn't much worse on defense.
Who would get the better end of a Sixers-Grizzlies trade?
Memphis would get Iggy, who can score and make clutch shots. While he has a lower shooting percentage than Gay, he knows how to perform in important moments, he knows how to defend and he knows how to start fast breaks.
While Evan Turner is still raw and improving, Allen is in his prime and will be able to co-exist with Iguodala. He would also be able to co-exist with Thaddeus Young, who could be a part of the deal.
Young is a good scorer and a solid defender, and he would help the Grizzlies and create a good forward tandem with Iguodala, one that worked in Philadelphia. If the Sixers threw in cash, signed and traded Spencer Hawes or traded Nikola Vucevic, the deal would balance out.
The Sixers would have Holiday at the 1, Turner at the 2, Gay at the 3, Lavoy Allen at the 4 and Gasol at the 5, which is a very formidable lineup. They'd immediately become contenders, and here's why.
Holiday and Turner would have great scoring targets in the paint, the Sixers would score more points, they'd have a great rebounding team and they'd still be great on D.
Turner and Holiday could develop into stars because having Gay and Gasol would give them more freedom to make mistakes and hone their skills. Turner would have room to grow on defense, as would Holiday.
Memphis could have Conley at the 1, Allen at the 2, Iguodala at the 3, Young at the 4 and Zach Randolph at the 5. They'd still have Conley running the floor with good targets down low in Young and Randolph, and they'd have great defensive players in Iggy and Allen.
Overall, both teams would benefit from the trade. The Sixers would immediately become contenders with a great scorer (Gay), defender (Turner), rebounder (Gasol) and passer (Holiday). The Grizzlies would improve on D and still have a strong offense.
And we could see Philadelphia or maybe even Memphis in the NBA Finals.