Speculative Fun With ESPN.com's NBA Trade Machine

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Speculative Fun With ESPN.com's NBA Trade Machine
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

If you're an NBA fan and you haven't played with the Trade Machine on ESPN.com, you are missing out on a wonderful invention. As rumors begin to swirl less than a month before the February 18th trade deadline, let's take a look at a particular move that may or may not (emphasis on the not, but you never know) happen in the coming weeks.

 

 

G Nate Robinson (NYK) to the Boston Celtics?

 

Reported on Wednesday, this potential deal is pure speculative gold. You've got all the ingredients.

An embattled star at odds with his coach? Check.

A once storied franchise mired in decades of mediocrity? Yup.

A conference powerhouse trying to make a run at another title in perhaps the final year of the Pierce-Allen-Garnett era? You better believe it.

Media types spreading rumors that are promptly denied by all parties mentioned? Obviously.

To make it happen, you need to strike a balance between what each team needs and what the salary cap will have to say about it.

New York needs to shed any and all contracts not expiring at the end of this season to ensure their ability to sign two max free-agents, aka LeWade or LeBosh or LeWhatever as long as the King comes to NYC.

Boston needs Nate Robinson, or so some people say.

What does the trade machine say?

 

Potential Deal #1

Boston Gets:

PG Nate Robinson ($4 million / 1 yr)

PF Jared Jeffries ($6.5 million / 2 yrs) 

 

New York Gets:

PG Eddie House ($2.9 million / 1 yr)

SG Tony Allen ($2.5 million / 1 yr)

PF Brian Scalabrine ($3.4 million / 1yr)

 

Why it works:

Donnie Walsh and Co. would be thrilled to get out from under Jeffries' contract. The eight-year veteran is averaging fewer points per game (4.5) than millions of dollars per year ($6.5) which would be fine with the Knicks except that his contract expires next summer. Robinson and D'Antoni have not and will not get along, and Krypto-Nate going bonkers off the bench when he does get to play only succeeds in enraging the MSG faithful. Plus, his whole "scoring a lot of points and helping the team win" attitude is really hurting the Knicks' chances of landing John Wall in the draft.

Boston won't be happy about shipping any of these guys, and their fans may riot if Scalabrine is sent packing, but an explosive scorer like Robinson is more valuable than the one-dimensional House who shoots the three but isn't cut out to run the point. House isn't great at getting is own shot, relying on screens to get looks, and his ball handling skills are suspect at best.

 

(Outrageous, Improbable) Potential Deal #2

Boston Gets:

PG Nate Robinson ($4.0 million / 1 yr)

PF Jared Jeffries ($6.5 million / 2 yrs)

F Danilo Gallinari ($3.1 million / 2 yrs)

SF Wilson Chandler ($1.3 million / 2 yrs)

G Toney Douglas ($1.0 million / 2 yrs)

 

New York Gets:

PG Eddie House ($2.9 million / 1 yr)

SG Tony Allen ($2.5 million / 1 yr)

PF Brian Scalabrine ($3.4 million / 1 yr)

SG Marquis Daniels ($2.0 million / 1 yr)

SG J.R. Giddens ($1.0 Million / 1 yr)

PF Shelden Williams ($0.8 million / 1 yr)

 

Why it works:

Yeah, I know this is ridiculous, but technically, this trade is within the realm of possibility. The Knicks would be left with about half the Celtics roster, David Lee, Eddy Curry's corpse, and Jordan Hill, who would be the ONLY player under contract next season ($2.5 million). If you're doing the math at home, that would leave them some $50-55 million in cap space depending on what the cap ends up being next season.

Besides the Robinson upgrade, Boston also gets some scoring from Chandler, another big guy to help Sheed spread the floor in Gallinari, and an athletic youngster in Douglas. Is this the move that puts the C's back in the Finals? Probably not, but wouldn't it be a trip if a trade like this actually happened?

 

Potential (And Most Realistic) Trade #3

Boston Gets:

PG Nate Robinson ($4 million / 1 yr)

 

New York Gets:

SG Tony Allen ($2.5 million / 1 yr)

PF Shelden Williams ($0.8 million / 1 yr)

 

Why it works:

This is the least exciting deal of them all, and appears to be the most realistic, although I still think the first potential deal is somehow going to happen. In this example, Robinson is the only outgoing Knick. New York will get a look at Allen, a young athletic guard who they might consider signing come summer time, and Williams.

Boston kept Allen out of the trade talks when Garnett and Ray Allen were acquired but they may be tired of waiting for him to pan out. Williams can rebound and take up space, and not much else.

So there you have it. Thanks to technology and free time, now anybody can pretend they are an NBA GM. Wouldn't it be funny if real GMs used the trade machine to make actual trades? I can picture Danny Ainge firing up the site and executing one of these aforementioned deals, then using the "Share Your Trade" feature to float the idea over to Donnie Walsh.

Just like any of these deals, it is within the realm of possibility.

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