10 Unlikely Blockbuster Trade Ideas That Would Shake Up the NBA
We’ve seen a couple of big moves, especially the Rudy Gay transaction, but wouldn’t it be great if we saw a historical blockbuster at the trade deadline?
I can’t promise that every deal on this list will be so ground-shattering that you will be telling your kids about them one day, but they are large enough to lead ESPN on an average day.
Hey, most of us do not run an NBA franchise, but if you did, wouldn’t you go nuts with it?
The following are 10 blockbuster trades that are more likely to happen in NBA2K13 than in real life, but you never know…
After all, isn’t the NBA supposed to be “Where Amazing Happens?”
Al Jefferson for Eric Bledsoe
Utah receives: Lamar Odom, Grant Hill, Eric Bledsoe, Ronny Turiaf and Trey Thompkins
LA Clippers receive: Al Jefferson
Without having to take salary into consideration, the Jefferson for Bledsoe trade is a no-brainer. What makes this trade difficult is the disparity the $1.7 million Bledsoe makes and Jefferson’s $15 million salary this season.
In order to get under the cap, the Clippers either have to give up a lot of players or get another team involved.
Look at the trade straight up and Los Angeles probably wins in the short term: They get the best player in the draft and address a need. Utah, however, can shed Odom and Turiaf after this season—or turn around and try to deal them. Hill offers a veteran presence and Thompson, conversely, is a project that could pay dividends in the future.
Most pertinently, Bledsoe addresses a weakness on the team and justifies the trade of Jefferson, one of many big men on the roster.
Kevin Garnett for Eric Bledsoe, DeAndre Jordan
Boston receives: Eric Bledsoe, DeAndre Jordan
LA Clippers receives: Kevin Garnett
According to Yahoo! Sports, there has been talk that Garnett could be traded to the Clippers for Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan. this trade is only unlikely because Garnett is adamant that he is staying in Boston and while he is not being dealt to the Lakers, he is going to Los Angeles, which is still enemy territory.
"I bleed green; I die green," he told CSN New England, "that's what it is."
The Celtics would get two young players to build around and Garnett would go to a contender in the twilight of his career, however, so this trade makes sense logically. Of course, Boston would have to throw in a draft pick or two, but those could become valuable if the C’s come back to earth after the post-Rondo boom they have experienced recently.
Will Boston and LA engage in a coast-to-coast blockbuster? Hold that thought.
Carlos Boozer for Andrea Bargnani
Chicago receives: Andrea Bargnani, Linas Kleiza
Toronto receives: Carlos Boozer
Although this deal has been floated recently, Toronto has said that they are going to hold on to Bargnani until summer, and Chicago is probably not going to be aggressive at the trade deadline unless they think Derrick Rose is going to come back and try to lead the team on a playoff run—which is very unlikely.
If this deal goes down, the Raptors are going to have to add in another player to keep the Bulls under the cap. Chicago may target Kleiza. Kleiza has two years left on his deal, but Toronto does not have any viable options that are on the last year of their deal. The shooting forward is a project, but he could become a bench player and is, at worst, a manageable expiring contract.
Al Jefferson for Stephen Jackson, Tiago Splitter
Utah receives: Stephen Jackson, Tiago Splitter
San Antonio receives: Al Jefferson
Splitter is on the last year of his deal, and his nearly $4 million salary is manageable. He is Jefferson’s age, 28, and has big potential with a smaller price tag.
Jackson is aging but can knock down threes and play defense.
Jefferson is not David Robinson, but he is young (28, which is young for the Spurs) and for a team in a win-now mode, he would be a nice match with Tim Duncan down the stretch.
(Credit to The Sporting News for this idea).
Al Jefferson for Danny Granger
Indiana receives: Al Jefferson
Utah receives: Danny Granger
A swap of two players in their prime, this deal not only allows both parties to trade expendable players, but also addresses a need.
With Paul Millsap, Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors in town, Utah has no need for Jefferson and his $15 million price tag. Similarly, the play of Paul George has made the injured Granger a tradable commodity.
Utah gets a shooter that can defend and get to the line. Indiana gets a post scorer that can shoot from the field and has good size. At 28, Jefferson probably has more left in the tank than David West, 32, who has played well, but is in the last year of his deal and may want to be locked up for the rest of his career.
It’s a win-win for both sides.
Three-way Trade Between Kings, Jazz and Suns
Sacramento receives: Enes Kanter from Jazz
Utah receives: Jared Dudley from Suns, DeMarcus Cousins from Kings
Phoenix receives: Paul Millsap from Jazz
Sounds crazy to put mercurial Cousins on the Jazz, but that’s just the point: Maybe a well-run organization like Utah can whip him into shape. And, hey, Sacramento gets a promising, inexpensive young player to build around.
The Jazz also get the highly-coveted Dudley in this deal. They have to give up two big men, but they’ve got plenty of those guys. Phoenix gets a player they can sell to their fans and start to put butts in the seats again.
Both teams would have to toss a pick the Kings' way if this is going to work out.
Brandon Jennings for DeMarcus Cousins
Milwaukee receives: DeMarcus Cousins
Sacramento receives: Brandon Jennings
The Bucks roll the dice on this one, thinking that Cousins can play well in a new situation with Monta Ellis. While this could implode in a hurry, the opportunity of having two elite players on their roster might be worth the risk.
It is possible that, as a high-volume shooter, Ellis does not get Cousins the touches he wants night-in and night-out, but Cousins is a great rebounded that may thrive in a situation where he has an opportunity to grab a lot of boards every night.
And, because Ellis is a player that thrives in transition, it will force Cousins to be in shape in order to keep up with the pace of play.
The Kings bring in Jennings, hoping they can re-sign him. Jennings brings a lot to the table: He is a quick left-handed guard that has improved his outside shooting and can get to the basket. If he learns to finish and improves his size and strength, he is a franchise player the Kings could build around in the future.
Josh Smith for Dwight Howard
Atlanta receives: Dwight Howard
LA Lakers receive: Josh Smith, Zaza Pachulia
A trade between two franchises that do not want to lose their superstar players to free agency, this deal brings Howard back home while putting Smith in a place where he, too, will be satisfied.
The Lakers are going to want additional value for Howard, and Pachulia may thrive with Steve Nash getting him that ball and Pau Gasol doing most of the heavy lifting in the front court.
By joining Atlanta, Howard once again becomes the marquee player, but he with teammates like Devin Harris, Al Horford and Jeff Teague, he has more talent around him than he did in Orlando.
Los Angeles gets the most value for Howard, and this is the most practical way that Howard returns to the ATL.
Three-way Trade Between Lakers, Nets and Timberwolves
LA Lakers receive: Kevin Love from Wolves, Reggie Evans from Nets
Brooklyn receives: Dwight Howard from Lakers
Minnesota receives: Brook Lopez and MarShon Brooks Nets
Love is a former UCLA star and it has been suggested in newspapers, websites and blogs that the Lakers are a fit for him. And, well, Reggie “I Ripped LeBron” Evans would get to return to Los Angeles while escaping from King James’ jurisdiction (i.e. the Eastern Conference).
Uncertain of Love’s commitment to the team, the Wolves ensure they get a quality player rather than roll the dice with the disgruntled forward and begin to build around a core of Ricky Rubio and Lopez and hope that Brooks, an All-Star, can become the shooter they are seeking after.
Brooklyn gets Howard, the prize they sought after in the offseason.
Rajon Rondo for Pau Gasol
LA Lakers receive: Rajon Rondo, Brandon Bass
Boston receives: Pau Gasol, First-Round Pick
Noooo waaaaayyyy this happens. Right? I mean these two teams feud more often than the Capulets and the Montagues.
But what if it did?
Rondo is the younger player, so the Celtics would want Los Angeles to eat the oversized contract they gave to Bass. The flush Lakers go, “Why not?” and bite the bullet.
The Lakeshow get a guard to replace Steve Nash, and the Celtics get a forward to replace Kevin Garnett.
It's not going to happen, but it's interesting to imagine what the teams would look like.
Tom Schreier covers the Timberwolves and the Northwest Division for Bleacher Report and writes a weekly column for TheFanManifesto.com.