Baron Davis Trade Rumors: The 5 NBA Teams Likeliest to Trade for the Clippers PG
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According to various sources, including common sense, the Los Angeles Clippers are ready and willing to deal Baron Davis.
The mercurial point guard's Southern California struggles have been well documented and trade speculation has abounded for months, so this is not exactly a news flash. However, it seems as if now might be the time to finally initiate active talks.
Will suitors be lining up to acquire the 31-year-old, out-of-shape, balky-kneed, large-contract-wielding Davis? Nope.
But he is definitely tradeable. These days you can sell almost anything to anyone. For God's sake, infomercials are persuading innocent housewives to purchase shamwows! I bet you could even find a way to sell stripes to a zebra... If a zebra had money and language skills... Well, you get what I mean.
Which teams, then, are prepared to take a gamble on Davis, hoping that perceived malaise is actually lingering injury and that he will soon become fully healthy and return to his former self. Good Baron is a dangerous weapon that could turn a solid squad into a contender or push a middling team into the playoffs.
Here are the franchises most likely to trade for Baron Davis:
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The Trade: Clippers receive Zach Randolph. Grizzlies receive Baron Davis and Al-Farouq Aminu.
Why Memphis would consider it: The Grizzlies pack no scoring punch off the bench, especially at the guard positions. If Davis could embrace an instant offense sub role, a la Jamal Crawford, he could be the missing piece for a team that is on the verge of getting over the hump and back to the postseason. Furthermore, Memphis was unwilling to accede to Randolph's enormous extension demands, so there is little chance they retain his services.
Why Los Angeles would consider it: Z-Bo's triumphant return to LA? I doubt it. But Randolph's $17 million contract is expiring, which means the Cippers would have more than enough cap space to sign, I don't know, Carmelo Anthony.
Trade Likelihood 8%: Memphis is committed to Mike Conley, which they proved by recently inking him to a 6 year extension. Early on Conley hasn't disappointed, averaging a career best 15.6 points and 8 assists. Obtaining Davis would be reminiscent of the Grizzlies' move to land Allen Iverson last year, a move that ended in disaster. Davis just doesn't seem like the kind of guy that would relish coming off the bench.
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The Trade: Clippers receive Darko Milicic, Luke Ridnour, and Sebastian Telfair. Timberwolves receive Baron Davis.
Why Minnesota would consider it: What do the Timberwolves and Lindsay Lohan have in common? They are both a complete mess. The T-Wolves are 1-7 and regularly getting dismantled. Darko, shooting just 28%, is a failed experiment, as backup centers Nikola Pekovic and Anthony Tolliver are both more productive. PG Jonny Flynn is several years away from being a legitimate playmaker, and perhaps Baron Davis could provide some helpful tutelage. Most importantly, Minnesota doesn't seem to have a long term plan, so why not take a shot in the dark.
Why Los Angeles would consider it: Telfair's $3 million contract expires this year, giving the Clippers a little more cap flexibility. Ridnour is a steady player who could manage the second unit. And while Darko is not a worthy starter, he's a decent backup big guy.
Trade Likelihood 10%: The Clippers don't gain that much here, either by way of cap space or talent, and Baron Davis probably won't be happy to go to the worst team in the league, which incidentally happens to reside in the frigid North.
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The Trade: Clippers receive Tayshaun Prince and Chris Wilcox. Pistons receive Baron Davis and 2nd round draft pick.
Why Detroit would consider it: Supposedly, the Pistons are contemplating overhauling their roster. They seem to have a lot of talent on paper, but the pieces don't fit together and this team has no identity. (Sounds like a head coaching issue, doesn't it.) The first guys to go are most likely Prince and Rip Hamilton, two holdovers from the glory days. Rodney Stuckey and Baron could play together in the backcourt, and Austin Daye, who has shown increasing ability, would slide into the starting small forward spot. Perhaps the shakeup propels them towards the playoffs.
Why Los Angeles would consider it: Prince and Wilcox both have expiring contracts, so this move would open financial space for Melo. Or maybe the Clippers realize Prince is actually the answer at the 3 spot and re-up him for the mid-level while maintaining financial flexibility.
Trade Likelihood 12%: While the Clippers would sign off on this deal in a heartbeat, I'm not sure the Pistons would agree. They would probably want more value for the ever-precious expiring contracts, in the form of young talent or a post presence.
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The Trade: Clippers receive Andre Iguodala and Andres Nocioni. 76ers receive Baron Davis, Al-Farouq Aminu, and a 2nd round draft pick.
Why Philadelphia would consider it: Though I personally don't see why it has to happen, it is apparently a foregone conclusion that Iggy will be swapped before the end of the year. Davis initially signed with the Clippers in large part because he wanted to play with Elton Brand. Here would be his chance to make beautiful music with the resurgent big man. Coach Doug Collins has proven ability to handle tricky personalities. Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young would see more court time. Plus, they would dump Nocioni's bad contract and get a high-upside young swingman in return.
Why Los Angeles would consider it: Iguodala would solve the Clippers' small forward problems. He would make a very formidable trio with Eric Gordon and Blake Griffin.
Trade Likelihood 17%: The Sixers already have a glut of point guards with Jrue Holiday, whom they believe has fantastic potential, and Lou Williams, who is a lightening rod off the bench. Obtaining Baron would stunt their development.
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The Trade: Clippers receive Mike Bibby and Jamal Crawford. Hawks receive Baron Davis and Al-Farouq Aminu.
Why Atlanta would consider it: They have been mired in a difficult situation for a couple years as an upper echelon team that is not good enough to really challenge for the Eastern Conference crown. Unless they make a move, they are bound to lose in the 2nd round of the playoffs again. A rejuvenated Davis could be the requisite dynamic option that makes them a contender.
Why Los Angeles would consider it: Crawford holds a $10 million expiring contract. Bibby is now primarily a spot up shooter and since Eric Gordon is starting to handle the ball much more, a sharpshooting point guard might be what the Clippers need.
Trade Likelihood 28%: There are no overwhelming reasons against this deal; however, I don't know if Atlanta sees Davis as a potential savior.
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The Trade: Clippers receive Boris Diaw and DeSagana Diop. Bobcats receive Baron Davis.
Why Charlotte would consider it: Without a dependable point guard, a playoff team from last year has started horribly at 1-6. They clearly need a point man to run this team, and Davis could fit the bill. Moreover, if anyone can optimize Baron's productivity, it's coach Larry Brown. the Bobcats would also be dumping Diop's oversized salary.
Why Los Angeles would consider it: Diaw has an expiring $9 million contract and would also be a useful frontcourt tool this season.
Trade Likelihood 42%: Neither team has an excuse not to do this considering their collective futility. But would Charlotte pull the trigger.
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Though none of these potential trades have moved from possible to probable, the Clippers do have options to work with. If they are willing to part with a #1 draft pick, then they might really have opportunities.
As for now, it would behoove the Clippers to get Baron back on the court and prove to potential trade partners that he can still move without a walker. Last night (10 minutes, 4 points, 3 assists) was a start.