The weeks leading up to the NBA trade deadline is the most wonderful time of the year for wannabe general managers.
While most of those mock GMs are focusing on deals that have a realistic chance of happening, I decided to fire up the old ESPN NBA Trade Machine to find deals I wish would happen but probably won’t. Think of Pau Gasol to the Lakers.
These trades are broken into three categories; complete salary dump, building for the future, and let’s go for it this year.
It’s no secret that the Phoenix Suns want to dump salary. With that in mind, here are a few deals that would give the Suns a fresh financial start.
Amare Stoudemire and Jason Richardson to the New York Knicks
The Offer: The Suns deal Amare Stoudemire and Jason Richardson to the New York Knicks in exchange for shooting guard Larry Hughes, center Eddy Curry, and point guard Nate Robinson.
Why It Works For The Suns: It would give the Suns quite a pretty penny to spend in the offseason. Hughes, Curry and Robinson’s contracts all expire at the end of the season, which would mean $29.7 million in salary savings. Hughes could fill in at shooting guard for the rest of the season, Robinson could play some point and shooting guard, and Curry and the team could reach a possible buyout for immediate financial relief.
Why It Doesn’t Work For The Suns: The Suns would be waving the white flag and admitting they have about as much chance to win an NBA championship as, well, the New York Knicks.
Amare Stoudemire and Jason Richardson to the Houston Rockets
The Offer: The Suns trade Amare Stoudemire and Jason Richardson to the Houston Rockets for shooting guard Tracy McGrady and power forward Carl Landry.
Why It Works For The Suns: The Suns would automatically save almost $4 million the second the deal was agreed upon. Along with that, McGrady and Landry’s deals expire at the end of the year saving the team another $25 million. McGrady could fill the role left by Richardson or the team could negotiate a buyout. Landry could compete with Channing Frye and Lou Amundson for the minutes vacated by Stoudemire, and if he excels, Kerr can resign him.
Why It Doesn’t Work For The Suns: It would give the Suns four players with girl names on their roster (Channing, Taylor, Robin, and the newly acquired Tracy). This, of course, would put them way over the NBA’s Lush Tax.
Building For The Future
Keeping Steve Nash happy has been a main focus for the Suns. A salary dump, like listed above, wouldn’t accomplish that. Here are a few deals that would keep the Suns competitive now and in the future.
The Suns Trade Amare Stoudemire to the Golden State Warriors
The Offer: The Suns send Amare to Golden State for point guard Stephen Curry, shooting guard Raja Bell, and center Andris Biedrins.
Why It Works For The Suns: They get a young player in Stephen Curry whom they’ve coveted since the draft. He becomes the future at point guard and Goran Dragic the future at shooting guard.
Biedrins would give the Suns defensive toughness and rebounding inside for the next five years. Paired with Robin Lopez, the Suns would be tough to beat in the post.
Raja Bell, out currently with a wrist injury, has an expiring contract. If he played at all, it would be a bonus and a goodwill gesture to fans.
Why It Doesn’t Work For The Suns: The same reason a similar trade didn’t work over the summer. Don Nelson.
The Suns Send Amare Stoudemire , Jason Richardson and Earl Clark to Washington Wizards
The Offer: The Suns trade Stoudemire, Richardson, and Clark to the Wizards for power forward Antawn Jamison, small forward Caron Butler, and shooting guard Mike Miller.
Why It Works For The Suns: The Suns get a power forward in Jamison who is capable of putting up similar numbers to Amare at a fraction of the cost and he’s signed for the next three years. Butler can come in and replace Grant Hill as the starting small forward and is signed for the next two seasons. Along with getting two solid players, Miller’s expiring contract would free up almost $10 million next season.
It’s the closest the Suns would get to rebuilding in midseason and still getting salary relief.
Why It Doesn’t Work For The Suns: If Jamison, Butler, and Miller are anything like they’re teammates, they’ll never make it through airport security.
Let’s Make A Run For The Title This Year
The Suns send Amare Stoudemire to the Toronto Raptors
Why It Works For The Suns: They need to try something different because everyone knows the current mix isn’t working. The Suns get a superstar talent in exchange for Amare, keep Nash and the fans happy, a rejuvenated Bosh dominates in the West, and they make a run at the title.
Worst case scenario is that Bosh plays like the “RuPaul of big men”, doesn’t fare much better than STAT and leaves at the end of the season, leaving the Suns in the same spot they’d be in anyway.
Why It Doesn’t Work For The Suns: ?
So there you have it, five trades that never will happen but that would make things interesting if they did.
Then again, I probably should say never, the Suns did trade for Shaquille O’Neal around this time two years ago.