Not that college basketball doesn’t have enough player turnover—especially in this transfer-laden offseason—but one thing that would really shake up the roster dynamics would be the addition of trades. If coaches could move their surplus players to fill needs instead of redshirting them or leaving them trapped on the bench, all sorts of intriguing scenarios would open up for teams and fans alike.
One player who might obviously benefit from such an option this season is Duke guard Andre Dawkins. Coach K is having him sit out what would have been his senior year as a redshirt, but the 6’4” sharpshooter could be making a major contribution to some team in need of a three-point threat.
Read on for a look at one place Dawkins might be dealt, along with nine other hypothetical arrangements that would benefit both sides if trades were an option in the college game.
Despite the best efforts of Juvonte Reddic, lack of size is one of VCU’s biggest problems in matching up with NCAA tournament foes (or, quite possibly, some of their new Atlantic 10 rivals).
In order to bring in a big man who can scare the opposition, the Rams part with standout rising soph Treveon Graham (seven points and 3.2 rebounds in just 16.8 minutes a game a year ago).
In exchange, they obtain Brock Motum from a Washington State team that has two potent rising seniors (Motum and PG Reggie Moore) but little to look forward to after 2012-13.
Motum, a mobile 6’10”, 230-lb PF, will give VCU a serious low-post threat after averaging 18.1 points and 6.5 rebounds a night in the Pac-12.
Arkansas freshman Hunter Mickelson wasn’t a whole lot more than a big body last year, but the 6’10”, 234-pounder made the most of his frame with 3.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game in limited action.
With Marshawn Powell healthy again up front, the Razorbacks can afford to move Mickelson to fill the hole left by transferring PG Julysses Nobles.
Colorado State, whose leading rebounder was 6’5” Pierce Hornung, is undersized enough to benefit immediately from adding Mickelson, allowing them to give up 6’2” rising senior Dorian Green in exchange.
As one of many ball-handlers for the Rams, Green averaged 2.4 assists a night while also showing the long-range shooting (.426 from beyond the arc) required for a guard under Arkansas coach Mike Anderson.
Detroit is losing five seniors (two of them starters) from last year’s Horizon League tournament champs, leaving star combo guard Ray McCallum with little help—and little chance of another trip to March Madness.
Instead of risking losing McCallum to NBA early-entry, the Titans build for the future by bringing in some young help from Maryland.
The Terps’ nationally-ranked recruiting class can spare a few hot prospects, so Mark Turgeon deals 4-star SF Jake Layman and 3-star C Charles Mitchell to bring in McCallum.
While those frontcourt recruits give Detroit a long-term foundation, McCallum’s scoring and leadership help Maryland (which still has 4-star C Shaquille Cleare arriving) replace departing guards Terrell Stoglin and Sean Mosley.
As impressive as UCLA’s recruiting class obviously is, freshman Kyle Anderson is the only big-time backcourt option the Bruins appear to have for 2012-13.
The Bruins add a second dangerous guard (and veteran leadership) by bringing in Cincinnati rising senior Jaquon Parker and his .371 three-point shooting.
The Bearcats, meanwhile, add a much-needed replacement for graduated big man Yancy Gates.
UCLA’s Joshua Smith was the least successful of three bruising big men last year, but the rising junior is still a huge body (6’10”, 305 lbs) who posted 9.9 points and 4.9 rebounds a night in a reserve role.
J’Covan Brown’s early departure for the NBA cost the Longhorns most of their three-point shooting, so they look to a team that had almost nothing else last season.
South Dakota State can afford to deal Brayden Carlson (despite his .461 long-range shooting) because the Jackrabbits still have star Nate Wolters and two other hot-shooting guards returning.
In exchange, SDSU adds the size it lacked a year ago with 6’10” freshman Connor Lammert.
The Longhorns can weather the loss of the 4-star prospect because they’re bringing in two other equally towering freshmen, highlighted by star center Cameron Ridley.
Last year’s lackluster finish plus a postseason ban for 2013 prompted an exodus of talent from UConn. Rather than risk losing star PG Shabazz Napier to the NBA before he can play in another Big Dance, Jim Calhoun deals him for some future help.
Sam Dekker, a 5-star recruit, was a prize for Bo Ryan, but even he is a reasonable price to pay for Napier’s 12.7 points, 5.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game.
Napier’s offense—added to Wisconsin’s always-suffocating D—would make the Badgers a truly scary team, while Dekker gets a year of seasoning as a primary scorer before having to worry about postseason pressure in Storrs.
With Rasheed Sulaimon arriving to replace Austin Rivers and no other guards departing, Duke would have been in for a crowded backcourt in 2012-13.
Instead of redshirting Andre Dawkins as the Blue Devils actually have done, Coach K could exchange him for a Durham rarity: an inside scoring presence.
At 6’7”, Jamal Olasewere averaged 16.8 points and 7.5 rebounds a game in LIU-Brooklyn’s high-octane offense.
Even accounting for the culture shock in jumping to the ACC, Olasewere would give Duke a much-needed low-post presence while Dawkins took the place of the Blackbirds’ departing three-point specialist, Michael Culpo.
Michigan State has plenty of offense on the perimeter for next season, but Draymond Green’s departure leaves the frontcourt without an established scoring option.
To boost the Spartans’ half-court game, they deal blue-collar center Adreian Payne and 4-star freshman SF Denzel Valentine to pick up a big man with some scoring punch.
DePaul’s Cleveland Melvin is a 6’8” PF who grabbed 7.4 rebounds a night (and matched Payne’s 1.1 blocks per game).
He also poured in 17.5 points per contest, and DePaul (with scoring PG Brandon Young back for his junior year) can afford to give up some offense in exchange for the more physical Payne and a promising freshman.
As young as Kentucky was for last year’s national title run, the Wildcats had two sophomore starters with Final Four experience, a luxury they won't enjoy in 2012-13.
John Calipari responds by bringing in New Mexico’s Kendall Williams, a more promising PG option than transfer Ryan Harrow thanks both to his solid numbers (12 points, 4.1 assists and 1.4 steals a night) and to his postseason experience for a team that almost knocked off Louisville in last year’s Big Dance.
In exchange, the Lobos (who will struggle to compete in the Mountain West with Drew Gordon gone and few meaningful recruits) pick up Willie Cauley-Stein, a big-time freshman center who would be stuck behind Nerlens Noel in Lexington.
Cauley-Stein is 6’10” with a wide receiver’s athleticism, and he’d give the Lobos a big body to build around down the road.
Louisville’s magnificent defense hid the fact that they were an awful shooting team (.425 from the field last season).
In order to shore up that weakness for a possible national title run, the Cardinals ship recently added freshman PF Montrezl Harrell to a Florida State squad in desperate need of young big men after losing Xavier Gibson and Bernard James.
In exchange, the Cardinals acquire a first-class half-court scoring threat in rising senior Michael Snaer.
Snaer led the ‘Noles with 14 points per game and .404 three-point shooting, and he also plays enough defense to stay on the floor for Louisville coach Rick Pitino.