Elton Brand for Shawn Marion a Perfect Match—Clippers' Trade Talk Heats Up

Peter BukowskiSenior Analyst IJune 11, 2008

Personnel moves in the NBA rarely make sense. For some reason the T-Wolves agreed to take one good player and a bunch of scrubs for a HOF player and the Memphis Grizzlies agreed to send one of the best scoring big men in the NBA to a contender for...well nothing.

There have been potential blockbuster trades being whispered around the NBA and unlike in previous years, they actually make some sense.

The Los Angeles Clippers have been one of the most hapless franchises in sport over the last 15 plus years. Their personnel decisions from coaching to front office to players have been questionable at best. 

Their best player, Elton Brand wants out and can opt out. After an injury-riddled season, Brand probably won't get the max contract he seeks. That means, he will likely pad his stats next year in LA and then try to make the big splash.

Enter the Miami Heat. After a tremendously disappointing 15-67, the Heat hold the No. 2 pick, some movable parts, and a superstar they want to keep happy. Additionally, the Heat attempted to sign Elton Brand when he was a restricted free agent after the 2003 season, but the Clippers matched the $84 million offer.

Now reports out of LA have the Clips wanted to trade up in the upcoming NBA Draft to get an impact player. The beauty is that the Bulls choice at No. 1 wouldn't even matter. If they take Rose, the Clips would be free to take Beasley and replace Elton Brand as their go-to scorer. If the Bulls decide on Beasley, the Clippers will finally have answer at point guard since Shaun Livingston can't stay out of wheelchairs.

If the Heat wanted to trade Shawn Marion they would have to do a sign and trade much like the Clippers would have to do with Brand. It may not be enough to simply swap players and picks depending on desired contracts, but the Heat would certainly be willing to part ways with a future No. 1 if the Clippers don't want another player currently on the Heat roster.

Marion and Brand currently make similar numbers and will likely look for similar contracts. That could make a straight up swap possible. The Clippers starting lineup would look something like

PG - Shaun Livingston

SG- Corey Maggette

SF- Shawn Marion

PF- Michael Beasley

C- Chris Kaman

That looks like a pretty solid front court with a back court that could still bring Brevin Knight, Cuttino Mobley, and Quinten Ross off the bench.

The the Heat they would have some options. They could go with a point guard in the draft at seven like Russell Westbrook or DJ Augustin, with a shooter like Eric Gordon or Donte Green, or a tough versatile forward to pair with Brand like Joe Alexander, Anthony Randolph, or Danillo Gallinari.

My gut feeling is that the Heat want a veteran running their team and with plenty potentially available either via trade or free agnecy the Heat will probably look to grab an athletic, smart swing man who can pass and score in transition. That means Danillo Gallinari fits perfectly (Greene would be a reach and Randolph will be gone). That leaves the Heat with

PG - Marcus Banks/TJ Ford/Kirk Heinrich/Free Agent PG X (Maybe Chris Duhon)

SG- Dwyane Wade

SF- Danillo Gallinari

PF - Elton Brand

C - Mark Blount

The Heat could still bring Daeqon Cook, Udonic Haslem, Alonzo Morning and Ricky Davis off the bench which would give them a strong half-court team offensively and defensively. It would also mean Miami could play Wade and Cook at the same time, or Brand and Haslem at the same time. They could even slide Gallinari down to SG, let Wade run the point and play Brand, Haslem and Blount/Morning all at once with the kind of versatility in their front court.

These kinds of projections clearly represent projections and predictions, but this one seems to make so much sense for both teams. The Heat could win now and hey, so could the Clippers even if they think they have to rebuild (something they've been doing for quite a while now). The NBA makes no sense, but if this were to happen, it would be a perfect trade.