Can you believe it's come to this?
Just two years after the 2005-06 NBA Finals where the Miami Heat were crowned NBA Champions! That year they defeated none other than the Dallas Mavericks in six games in that final series, where Dallas was poised to take a commanding 3-0 lead on their way to their franchises first ever NBA Championship.
Just one year after the 2006-2007 NBA Finals where the Chicago Bulls - with no all-star in sight (on their team at least) - knocked out the defending Champs in the first round!
And just months after another Conference Finals Series defeat for the Detroit Pistons; in Joe Dumars (Detroits GM) words, "I've seen enough"!
Yes, these clubs need saving, and mostly from themselves.
Miami need a point guard, and to contend in the East quick smart, that is if they ever want to see Wade in a Heat uniform beyond 2010.
Chicago need a big man who can score.
Detroit need a fresh start.
And Dallas, well I'm sorry to say, need a clue! Ultimately; they need an identity!
The following trade could put the Bulls & the Heat right in contention in the East in '08-'09; give Dallas back some credibility; and allow Detroit to win another title (just probably not in '08-'09).
Nowitzki (DAL) & Blount (MIA)
Hinrich (CHI), Nocioni (CHI), Stackhouse (DAL) & Simmons (CHI)
Marion (MIA), Noah (CHI) & Kidd (DAL)
R.Wallace (DET), T.Thomas (CHI), Hamilton (DET) & Billups (DET).
The contract numbers all match.
I believe it makes Chicago and Miami huge contenders in the East.
Chicago can boast a starting line-up of Gooden, Nowitzki, Deng (providing they resign him), Hughes or Gordan (again - providing he resigns), and this years number one draft pick - Jalen Rose... No, just kidding! Derrick Rose of course!
Miami get a hard working (which would please Wade), starting point guard in Kirk Hinrich (of course they need to bank on the 06-07 Captain Kirk turning up in Florida). Also a very handy forward in Nocioni (those Argentinean boys aren't that bad at Basketball after all are they).
Dallas get a new Identity - that being the Detroit Pistons with a new supporting cast. Lets face it, a Conference Final Defeat is about all Dallas could hope for at the moment anyway! However, I consider Howard an upgrade over Prince, and the Dampier/Diop tandem over the unfortunately got too many miles under the hood McDyess. And hasn't Rick already coached this team before pretty well? Ultimately, things would have to be smoothed out there - but who knows. It could really work well!
Now Detroit. In order for this to work, Dumars would really have to have meant what he said when he eluded to Game 6's home defeat by Boston as having been the last game for the current look Detriot Pistons. But if Brand and Maggette have taught us anything these past few days is that convictions can change pretty quickly in the NBA.
Having said all that, Detroit would still field a half decent line-up for '08-'09 season, but as all their incoming contracts expire next year, they will shed some $35-$40 Million off next years cap. And as if that wasn't enough icing on the cake, they will have a Hall-of-Fame point guard on hand to help develop Stuckey!
Now that's one heck of a way to enter the Lebron sweep stakes. Especially when you consider Stuckey and Maxiell will be coming into their prime, and Prince will have two valuable character building years behind him - while he's still in the prime of his career.
Now that's a scenario all could be proud of!