2011 NBA Trade Deadline: One Player Every NBA Team Needs To Trade
With the February 24th NBA trade deadline rapidly approaching, every general manager is currently weighing his roster's needs, direction and tradeable assets. We fans excitedly, but nervously, wait for news and scour the internet for the latest rumor because we know that every team is taking and making phone calls.
An opinion on how successful teams can be is starting to form. A select few teams view themselves as a legitimate championship contender and will be looking to tweak their roster and add some depth, but not do anything drastic. Other teams are hoping to elevate themselves from one that can at most make the second or third round to one that can win it all, and will need to make a significant acquisition.
Even more teams have simply making the playoffs as their ceiling and, depending on their mentality, will either look to shed some salary and wait to make a serious run in the future or stock up for one now. Then there are the teams that have no hope of doing anything of consequence this year and will try to gain as many long term assets as possible. In which category do you view your team?
No matter what state your team is in though, there is at least one player on their roster that they would (or should) be trying to trade. The reasons can be one or more of performance issues, too many dollars or years on a contract, the desire to rebuild, injuries or the need to shed some salary.
The player picked from each team is one that I think needs to go in order to address a pressing need his current team has.
Please feel free to comment whether you agree or disagree.
Atlanta Hawks: Josh Smith
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Jamal Crawford, Mike Bibby, Marvin Williams and Zaza Pachulia
Al Horford is not a center. He is an unbelievable player and has had success at the position, but he would be even better at power forward. The ideal situation for the Hawks would be if Smith suddenly figured out how to shoot a long jump shot so that they could move him over to small forward, but that no longer seems like a possibility. Smith is very talented and can fetch a lot in a trade. If the Hawks can somehow get a young center, re-sign Jamal Crawford for less money this offseason and then use the savings to shore up their bench, they would have a better team next year.
Hawks get: Roy Hibbert, Mike Dunleavy and Josh McRoberts
Pacers get: Josh Smith and Jordan Crawford
The Hawks would have their starting big men for the next decade in Hibbert and Horford. The contracts of Dunleavy, Maurice Evans and Jamal Crawford would come off the books at the end of the season and provide them with a lot more options than they currently have. I don't even think the deal would hurt them too badly this year as the additions of Dunleavy and McRoberts would give them some sorely needed depth.
The Pacers get a proven, and still young, commodity in Smith to team with Granger. Giving up Hibbert hurts but you generally have to give something to get something. Dunleavy is superfluous on a team loaded with wing players. Jordan Crawford has some talent and could crack the Pacers' rotation in a year or two.
Boston Celtics: Jermaine O'Neal
Nate Robinson and Marquis Daniels
Why Jermaine O'Neal?
The Celtics signed the two O'Neal's to get them through the injury to Kendrick Perkins. He's back now and along with Shaq, KG, Big Baby and Semih Erden helps form a formidable front line that does not need a second O'Neal. They also might be inclined to offer Perkins more money this offseason if they can rid themselves of the over five million owed the injured O'Neal next year. The Celtics are a top contender this year and probably don't want to do anything drastic to their roster. What they do need is a backup small forward, in case Marquis Daniels is not able to fully recover from his bruised spinal cord by playoff time.
Celtics get: Jamario Moon, Anthony Parker, Ryan Hollins and Daniel Gibson
Cavaliers get: Jermaine O'Neal, Nate Robinson, Avery Bradley and Luke Harangody
An eight-person trade probably qualifies as drastic, but the Celtics would completely insulate themselves against non-core injuries (of which they have had many) with this trade. They would be at least two or three deep at every position. Moon, Parker and Gibson can all play multiple positions with varying success and Hollins gives them six fouls a game in the playoffs.
Boston is very high on Bradley's potential. If he will be as good as Doc Rivers says, then the Cavaliers get a nice piece without having to give up anyone with a long term future with their team. Jermaine O'Neal can teach J.J. Hickson the art of defense until his expiring contract is worth something next year. Nate Robinson can help pull in a few more fans with his dunks and style. Harangody is an unknown commodity and would be given an opportunity to prove himself. The Cavaliers need to rebuild. There is no point in hanging onto Parker or Gibson just to win another game or two this year. The Celtics might have to throw in a draft pick, but this trade would benefit both teams.
Charlotte Bobcats: Stephen Jackson
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Gerald Wallace, DeSagana Diop, Boris Diaw and Matt Carroll
The Bobcats are stuck in limbo. They are not good enough to win anything of consequence and not bad enough to get high draft picks around which to rebuild. They need to decide on a direction and stick with it. Halfheartedly going in two different directions is not a sustainable business model. I don't think they can acquire enough pieces to make a legitimate run in the near future, so they should rebuild. Jackson is a hothead that thrives in a winning environment and causes problems in a losing one. You get a little bit of both with the Bobcats because even he can't tell where the team is headed.
Bobcats get: Caron Butler, Rodrigue Beaubois and Brendan Haywood
Mavericks get: Stephen Jackson, Nazr Mohammed and Shaun Livingston
The Bobcats get an exciting player in Beaubois. He has been hurt this year, but in the past has shown flashes of brilliance. Haywood's value has gone down substantially due to being outplayed by Tyson Chandler but, if given the opportunity to start, his value will go back up. He is a solid center. Butler's contract is expiring and will save Michael Jordan some money if he isn't re-signed.
The Mavericks have not played as well since Butler's injury. Jackson would give them another lethal scorer and is a well rounded but inefficient player. Mohammed is an above average backup center and would replace Haywood's production. Imagine how good Livingston could be if he really focused on learning from Jason Kidd and managed to avoid the injury list for a season.
Chicago Bulls: Ronnie Brewer
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Luol Deng, Kyle Korver and C.J. Watson
The Bulls are paying almost $12m to have Brewer, Korver and Keith Bogans split time at the two. All three guys have unique strengths but lack a well-rounded game. They are best used as bench players, called upon when a game requires their specific skills. The Bulls need someone that they can trust, both offensively and defensively, for 35 minutes a game to take the next step.
Bulls get: O.J. Mayo and Kyrylo Fesenko
Jazz get: Ronnie Brewer and Darrell Arthur
Grizzlies get: Taj Gibson and C.J. Miles
The Bulls could take a flier on Mayo to see if he could be their long-term solution at the two. His season has been indescribably bad, but he was a very highly regarded prospect just a couple of years ago and averaged 18.5 and 17.5 points in consecutive seasons. If he becomes the O.J. Mayo that a lot of people have been waiting for, then this deal would become a steal for the Bulls. A trade could be the rejuvenation he needs. It would be fun to watch him and Rose play together (but I guess it's fun to watch D-Rose play with anyone). Fesenko is big and....well.......yeah, I got nothing.
The Jazz would reacquire Ronnie Brewer, who just happened to have his best professional seasons in Utah. Deron Williams was not pleased when they traded his good friend Brewer for a draft pick last year and this move would be an olive branch extended. Arthur has put up very good numbers when given the minutes.
Depending on what you think of O.J. Mayo's current trade value, valid arguments can be made for and against what the Grizzlies get in return. Gibson has a little more upside than Arthur and Miles is quickly becoming a very accomplished scorer, so I think it's at worst decent value. A draft pick and/or cash would sweeten the pot.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Pick One
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Anyone not named J.J. Hickson or Christian Eyenga
This team needs to rebuild. Badly. Their roster was built around a player that is no longer there and they have been crippled by injuries. They need to trade whoever they can for whatever they can get just so it's different than what they have. Just kidding, but they do need to acquire a young player or two to develop, along with Hickson and Eyenga, for their future.
Cavaliers get: Reggie Evans, Leandro Barbosa, Jerryd Bayless and Julian Wright
Raptors get: Antawn Jamison and Anderson Varejao
The Cavaliers would get rid of two of their three largest contracts and in return get three expiring deals, Bayless and probably some draft picks or cash. It may not seem like a lot, but it's a start. Bayless is inconsistent but promising. Combine their money saved from this deal with their trade exceptions from the LeBron James and Delonte West deals and the Cavs could be players this offseason. Or they could wait and slowly rebuild. Either way, there would be hope.
The Raptors would have to take on Jamison's contract in order to finally get a center that can rebound. I actually think that a starting frontcourt of Varejao, Andrea Bargnani and either Amir Johnson or Jamison (with Il Mago playing small forward and only after he improves his handle) would cause a lot of problems for a lot of teams.
Dallas Mavericks: Caron Butler
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Brendan Haywood and Rodrigue Beaubois
He might not play again this year with a ruptured patellar tendon. Although he's hoping to be back in time for the playoffs, I'm not sure if the Mavericks can take that chance. Even if Butler comes back, what kind of shape will he be in? Will the Mavs be able to slowly transition him back into the lineup? They are built to win now and need to replace him or risk wasting another year of whatever is left of Dirk Nowitzki's prime.
Mavericks get: Kevin Martin, Shane Battier and Courtney Lee
Rockets get: Caron Butler, Rodrigue Beaubois, Deshawn Stevenson and Ian Mahinmi
The Mavericks would become absolutely devastating by plugging Battier and Martin into their starting lineup with Nowitzki, Jason Kidd and Tyson Chandler. Their bench (J.J. Barea, Jason Terry, Lee, Shawn Marion, Brendan Haywood and Peja Stojakovic) would be formidable as well.
The Rockets would have $43 million coming off the books at the end of the season if this trade happens. No matter what, they will have a tough decision to make on Yao Ming but would be able to retool with or without him after this trade. Imagine what Rockets general manager Daryl Morey could do with that much money to spend and that many options. Beaubois is a keeper and Mahinmi might be as well. Butler is a very good player and, if he winds up enjoying his time in Houston, could be re-signed for less money before next season.
Denver Nuggets: Carmelo Anthony
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
J.R. Smith, Al Harrington and Chris Andersen
The Nuggets can't afford to lose him for nothing. There is nothing I can say that hasn't been said a thousand times but I feel like I should still write something. So.... if Anthony really wanted to stay in Denver, then he would have signed the contract extension by now. If he stays, he will be doing it for the money. I know that a lot of athletes (and non-athletes for that matter) make their decisions with money as their driving force, but how can you re-sign your superstar while explicitly knowing that he is only following the dollars?
How long before he starts complaining or demanding a trade? What can you do when he does? How motivated will he be? Will he lose his mind if Amare gets another superstar on the Knicks without him? These are all questions the Nuggets are currently asking themselves.
Nuggets get: Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, Troy Murphy and Anthony Morrow
Nets get: Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups and Al Harrington
Denver needs to find a way to get Mikhail Prokhorov to resume trade negotiations. Just don't anger him this time. If a package based on Favors, Harris, Murphy's expiring contract and draft picks is the best one the Nuggets can get, then they need to get it done. The Nuggets would definitely be getting some valuable pieces in return. Getting rid of Harrington's contract would help ease the pain.
The Nets get Melo to light their way to Brooklyn. At this point, I think he would re-sign with the Nets.
Detroit Pistons: Richard Hamilton
Tayshaun Prince, Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon
The players considered are not coincidentally their highest paid players. The Pistons badly need a new direction. Hamilton hasn't been a part of their rotation since 2010 and the writing is on the wall that Detroit will be actively shopping him. It is in the interest of both sides for this once-productive relationship to end.
Pistons get: James Harden, Morris Peterson and Daequan Cook
Thunder get: Richard Hamilton and Tracy McGrady
The Pistons get two expiring contracts in Peterson and Cook as well as an intriguing player in Harden. The Arizona State product couldn't get enough shots playing with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green to justify significant court time, but would be let loose in Detroit.
Thunder GM Sam Presti would be making a bold move to push his team into the elite. The addition of the surprising McGrady would insulate against the chance that Hamilton doesn't just need a change of scenery, but can no longer be a key component of a winning team.
Golden State Warriors: Monta Ellis
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Andris Biedrins, Stephen Curry and Vladimir Radmanovic
A backcourt consisting of Ellis and Curry is too small and weak defensively to be part of a team that can make any significant noise in the playoffs. The Warriors need to keep one of them and trade the other. Personally, I think that they should keep Curry because he is younger, still on his rookie contract and has more upside. A deal that allows them to trade away the contract of Biedrins as well would be ideal.
Warriors get: Michael Beasley, Wesley Johnson, Corey Brewer and Darko Milicic
Timberwolves get: Monta Ellis, Andris Biedrins and Dorell Wright
The Warriors would shed some salary, acquire Brewer's expiring deal, trade an injury-prone center for a cheaper injury-prone center and get two young and talented players in Beasley and Johnson. I would pay to see a very promising team built around Curry, David Lee, Beasley, Ekpe Udoh, Darko and Johnson.
The T-Wolves are under the cap and take on a bit of salary. Ellis would attempt to play the Kobe or Jordan role in Minnesota's version of the triangle (isolating after the offense breaks down and with the shot clock winding down). If he proves capable, this trade will have been worth it for the Timberwolves. Most NBA fantasy players will be able to tell you how good Wright has been this year.
Houston Rockets: Aaron Brooks
Yao Ming, Shane Battier and Kevin Martin
His value has plummeted. Since returning from a severe ankle sprain, he has shot horribly and not been able to wrestle his starting gig back from Kyle Lowry. There is a growing feeling that his success last year may have been an exception and not a rule. Personally, I think that he can turn his game around on another team. If the Rockets see Lowry as their point guard of the future, they should trade Brooks while he still holds some value.
Rockets get: Shannon Brown, Devin Ebanks, Derrick Caracter and Steve Blake
Lakers get: Aaron Brooks, Brad Miller and Courtney Lee
Brown would get a lot more floor time if he wasn't on the Lakers. His game has improved tremendously but he just can't seem to dislodge the man ahead of him on the Lakers' depth chart. Rockets fans would absolutely love him. Ebanks and Caracter showed a lot of promise in the summer league (I still don't know how they fell into the second round of the draft) and would provide the Rockets with future value. Blake would replace Brooks and actually be happy backing up Lowry.
The Lakers would finally get a quick point guard in Brooks. The Lakers should only pursue this trade if they are convinced that his shot will come around this year. Lee isn't as good as Brown, but is a solid player.
Indiana Pacers: Mike Dunleavy
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
T.J. Ford and James Posey
The Pacers have too many wing players. Dunleavy should be the one they trade as he doesn't fit into their future plans and has an expiring deal that other teams covet. A combination of Danny Granger, Brandon Rush, Paul George, Dahntay Jones and James Posey can adequately replace Dunleavy's minutes.
Pacers get: Andre Iguodala
Mavericks get: Mike Dunleavy, Paul George and Josh McRoberts
The Pacers would start Iguodala and Granger at the two and three. They would complement each other tremendously and be an opponent's nightmare offensively and defensively.
An explanation for why the 76ers need to trade Iguodala is in Philly's section. Dunleavy's expiring contract, two young players with upside and draft picks is a decent return.
Los Angeles Clippers: Chris Kaman
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Baron Davis and Ryan Gomes
Although Deandre Jordan's play has tailed off as of late (he's played a lot more minutes than his body's used to playing), he has shown that he needs to be considered a legitimate building block for the future. Kaman was an All-Star last year and needs to be moved if he isn't going to be the Clippers' long-term center. A lot of teams need a center and will give a lot for a good one if Kaman is healthy.
Clippers get: Jeff Green, James Harden, Daequan Cook and Morris Peterson
Thunder get: Chris Kaman, Ryan Gomes and Randy Foye
The Clippers get a player worthy of a starting assignment at small forward in Green. Harden could evolve into their designated bench scorer for years to come. The contracts of Peterson and Cook would come off the books at the end of the season.
Kaman would need to pass a battery of tests during his physical for the Thunder to agree to this trade. Nenad Krstic is no longer a starting center and I'm pretty sure the Thunder are aware of this. Kaman as a low post presence would open up a lot of room for Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Foye is more than capable of averaging double digits in points off the Thunder's bench.
Los Angeles Lakers: Luke Walton
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
The Lakers don't need to do anything drastic until they see how their team fares come playoff time. The problem with trading Walton is that he has a triangle-friendly game and, even with the injury to Matt Barnes, still can't get any meaningful minutes with the Lakers. Still, the Lakers will keep plugging along in their attempts to move him.
The Lakers should trade Walton but I couldn't think of anyone that might be willing to take on Walton's anchor of a contract without L.A. also having to give them a player that they value and need. Believe me, I tried. If Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak can, I will be beyond impressed.
Memphis Grizzlies: O.J. Mayo
Chris McGrath/Getty Images
Anyone that has been following the Grizzlies and/or Mayo this year doesn't need this question answered. Mayo's career is spiraling downwards with the Grizzlies and he needs a trade. Memphis needs to move him while he still has moderate to good trade value. He is worth substantially less on the open market than he was even a year ago.
Grizzlies get: Steve Nash, Grant Hill and Robin Lopez
Suns get: O.J. Mayo, Mike Conley, Hasheem Thabeet and Darrell Arthur
The Grizzlies would invigorate their fanbase and have a chance to make a deep playoff run with the additions of Nash and Hill. The Grizzlies would be very, very good and immediately become the team that the elite Western Conference squads want to avoid in the first round.
The Suns are going nowhere this year (a first-round playoff exit is their ceiling) and would get four high-upside players to compensate for the loss of Nash and Hill.
Miami Heat: Mike Miller
Marc Serota/Getty Images
Mario Chalmers, Joel Anthony and Chris Bosh.
The various skills Miller brings to a team are not being used in Miami. He is being used primarily as a three point shooter. The problem is that he is sharing the role with James Jones and Eddie House and not getting a lot of shots. The Heat aren't going to win in the playoffs if either Wade or James are hurt, so why keep Miller around to protect against an injury? He needs to be moved to shore up their deficiencies at the one and the five.
Before people get all up in arms, I only considered a Bosh trade because I still don't know if Bosh is the right fit as the the third member of a LeBron and D-Wade triumvirate (wouldn't Amare or a skilled back to the basket center have been better?) and the Heat can shore up almost all of their weaknesses by moving him. It was close, but I picked moving Miller.
Heat get: Mike Bibby, Zaza Pachulia and Jordan Crawford
Hawks get: Mike Miller, Carlos Arroyo and Udonis Haslem
The Heat would get a veteran point guard that is excellent at shooting the three-ball in Bibby. Pachulia is just as good, if not better, than any center the Heat currently have and would see a lot of minutes. Jordan Crawford is unproven but talented. LeBron would see some minutes at power forward in the playoffs due to the loss of the injured Haslem.
The Hawks would start either Miller or Marvin Williams and use the other to carry the second unit along with Jamal Crawford. Arroyo or Jeff Teague would have to start on this team so most of the offense would be initiated by Joe Johnson, Miller or Josh Smith. Haslem is expected to be ready for the playoffs and would be a welcome addition to the Hawks.
Milwaukee Bucks: Corey Maggette
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Michael Redd, John Salmons and Drew Gooden
The Bucks have too many good players and not enough really good or great ones. Almost all of their players deserve more playing time, but can't get any because they are so deep. This wouldn't be a problem except for the fact that there are so few difference makers at the top of their roster. The Bucks definitely went for quantity over quality. It's an interesting strategy for a small market team that isn't convinced it has star drawing power but come on, this is ridiculous. The Bucks need to condense their rotation and either add better players now, or shed some salary and go after someone really good in the off-season.
Bucks get: Tayshaun Prince
Pistons get: Chris Kaman
Clippers get: Corey Maggette and Austin Daye
The Bucks would get Prince's expiring contract and, combined with Redd's, have a ton of money available to spend if the new CBA allows it.
The Pistons would finally get Kaman after years of rumors of them trying. There are very few centers with Kaman's skills in the NBA.
Maggette would return to the Clippers and immediately start at small forward. Daye would add to the Clippers stockpile of young talent.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Martell Webster
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Corey Brewer, Nikola Pekovic and Luke Ridnour
Did you know that Webster is making $4.8 million this year and is the T-Wolves' second highest paid player (after Beasley at $4,962,240)? I was stunned when I took a close look at their roster and saw how much flexibility they have. No contract has longer than three years remaining after this season, no one is making $5 million this year and they have a ton of young assets. The latter reason contributes to why they should trade Webster. With Michael Beasley playing small forward, there are too many wings on this team and one needs to go. I actually think that it's a tossup between Webster and Brewer and went with Webster simply because he has more years remaining on his contract.
Timberwolves get: Marcus Banks and Aaron Gray
Hornets get: Martell Webster and Anthony Tolliver
The 'Wolves would get an expiring contract in Banks and a young big man in Gray (who has shown some promise filling in for Emeka Okafor). Gray could become a quality backup for Darko Milicic and cover for him when he inevitably gets hurt. Even though the Timberwolves love point guards, Banks would not be re-signed. The Timberwolves obtain even more flexibility with this trade.
The Hornets need to improve themselves at shooting guard and small forward. Webster would at worst be their first wing off the bench and at best become their starting shooting guard. Either way, he would get a lot of minutes. Tolliver has had some success in his career when given consistent minutes and would definitely be a part of the Hornets rotation. Just not a large part.
New Jersey Nets: Troy Murphy
Marc Serota/Getty Images
He has only played in 18 games and seen the floor for 288 minutes all season. The Nets want to develop Derrick Favors and love Kris Humphries, so there is no role for Murphy on this team. Unfortunately, there are two problems facing a Murphy trade. First of all, the Nets aren't going to do anything until they see how the Carmelo Anthony situation unfolds. Secondly, no one has been able to determine if Murphy is healthy and can still play at a high level. Neither of these changes the fact that the Nets should trade him.
Nets get: Andrei Kirilenko and Kyrylo Fesenko
Jazz get: Troy Murphy, Anthony Morrow and Kris Humphries
I had to suggest this trade. Can you imagine if Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov obtained two Russians in the same trade? The fact that they are both in the last year of their contracts is irrelevant. Like it or not, people would love this patriotic story. The Nets would have an entire country's support and the Rockets can tell you how much revenue that creates. Kirilenko is a very good player when healthy and could be resigned, but it would have to be for a substantial pay cut.
The Jazz get to see if Murphy still has something left in the tank without risking too much. C.J. Miles would assume Kirilenko's starting job and is more than capable of succeeding. Murphy, Morrow and Humphries would strengthen a really weak bench.
New Orleans Hornets: Trevor Ariza
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Marcus Banks and David West
It's crazy what winning a championship does for a man's reputation and confidence. He makes a couple of huge three-pointers in the playoffs with the Lakers and suddenly the guy thinks he's Ray Allen. Only even Ray Allen didn't attempt as many from long range as Ariza did last year. Anyways, Ariza has a few glaring flaws in an an otherwise pretty skilled game. Unfortunately, he is not the small forward best suited for a Chris Paul-based team. Paul often kicks the ball out of the Hornets' relentless pick and roll and pick and pop sets. The guy receiving the pass needs to be a credible three-point threat. Trevor Ariza is not that guy.
Hornets get: J.J. Redick, Quentin Richardson and Daniel Orton
Magic get: Trevor Ariza, Marco Belinelli and Aaron Gray
The Hornets would be almost impossible to defend with this trade. Teams would have to leave either Redick or Richardson open when defending a Hornets pick and roll. The upgrade from Belinelli to Redick is massive and Richardson still has some game.
The Magic have enough shooters and can afford to part with a couple for what they would be acquiring in this deal. They badly need another big man that can even remotely hold down the fort when Dwight Howard rests or is in foul trouble and would get that player in Gray. Ariza would add some much needed defensive support for Howard. Belinelli can shoot but that's about it.
New York Knicks: Anthony Randolph
I couldn't even find a picture of Randolph on the Knicks
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
The Knicks are waiting for a superstar. They are not going to do anything to jeopardize any long-term flexibility unless it involves getting one. What they do need are assets in case they want or need to make a trade. Randolph has been slowly convincing people that he can no longer be called an asset for a couple of years now. The Knicks need to move him before nobody believes that he can have a productive future in the NBA. Don't get me wrong, I'm rooting for Randolph but I'm no longer optimistic. I definitely don't see it happening for him in New York, as he has already fallen out of favor with Mike D'Antoni.
Knicks get: draft pick(s)
Any team that will accept this offer gets: Anthony Randolph
Oklahoma City Thunder: Jeff Green
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Nick Collison and Morris Peterson
Jeff Green is on the wrong team. His game is best suited for small forward, but the Thunder already have one of the best playing the position. The Thunder should trade Green to fill holes elsewhere in their lineup. They have been extremely patient with their growth and stability but it's time to add a piece via a significant trade.
Thunder get: Josh Smith and Marvin Williams
Hawks get: Jeff Green, James Harden, Morris Peterson and Cole Aldrich
I can't even begin to imagine how an opponent would slow down a team consisting of Durant, Smith, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka. The Thunder would have their future core and just need to add a couple of pieces to their bench to be a championship contender for years.
The Hawks use this deal to get rid of Williams and his contract. Trading Smith allows Al Horford to slide over to power forward. Getting three young players and an expiring contract is decent return for Smith but the Hawks would most likely receive draft picks as well. Unfortunately, they would never be high draft picks.
Orlando Magic: J.J. Redick
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Gilbert Arenas and Hedo Turkoglu
The Magic are in 'win now and get Dwight Howard to re-sign' mode. There is no way to trade Arenas or Turkoglu without having to bribe someone with some extremely valuable pieces as well. This essentially renders them untradeable. The Magic will badly need another big man in the playoffs and trading Redick can provide that.
Magic get: Hasheem Thabeet, Tony Allen and DeMarre Carroll
Grizzlies get: J.J. Redick, Quentin Richardson, Daniel Orton and Malik Allen
Thabeet definitely qualifies as a big man. Although he is still very raw, he would grow by leaps and bounds playing behind and with Dwight Howard. Tony Allen would give the Magic the perimeter stopper that they badly need (especially if they want to beat the Heat, Celtics or Lakers in the playoffs).
The Grizzlies would receive Redick and Orton for their future. Richardson would back-up Rudy Gay extremely well and Malik Allen is a throw in to make the trade work. If Marc Gasol is their center of the future, it won't hurt to move Thabeet.
Philadelphia 76ers: Andre Iguodala
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
Elton Brand, Jason Kapono and Lou Williams
The 76ers invested heavily in Evan Turner by using their second overall draft pick on him last year. Having Iguodala on their roster is impeding his progress. It also hurts Jrue Holiday as he needs to learn how to proficiently run their team and cannot when Iguodala constantly has the ball in his hands and initiates their offense (as he has been recently). Iggy would be a perfect complementary star, but has not shown himself capable of being a team's alpha-star. He is a very good player, but needs to be moved for the 76ers' young guns to evolve.
76ers get: Monta Ellis
Warriors get: Andre Iguodala
Ellis would be a perfect complement to Holiday as the 76ers starting shooting guard. They both have strengths that would cover the weaknesses of the other.
Replace Ellis, Holiday and 76ers in the reasoning above with Iguodala, Stephen Curry and the Warriors to get Golden State's perspective.
Phoenix Suns: Steve Nash
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Vince Carter, Josh Childress, Grant Hill and Hakim Warrick
This is the first and only time that I will say that a team should move a player primarily for the player's best interests. I know that the Suns don't owe Nash anything because he has been more than well compensated for his time in Phoenix, but I still think he deserves another legitimate chance at a championship. He won't get that chance in Phoenix with their current roster and he doesn't have many more elite years left in him.
It also stands to reason that the Suns would benefit by moving him if they understand that they can't compete for a championship this year or next (which they can't). The problem is that they need Nash to ask for a trade so they can justify moving him to their fans and Nash doesn't have it in him to do that.
Suns get: Caron Butler, Rodrigue Beaubois, Ian Mahinmi, Dexter Pittman and Carlos Arroyo
Mavericks get: Steve Nash. Mike Miller, Udonis Haslem and Josh Childress
Heat get: Jason Kidd and Grant Hill
The Suns would get at least two draft picks as well and begin rebuilding in the post-Steve Nash era. The Suns would demand that the Mavericks take on the awful contract of Josh Childress to get Nash. Beaubois, Mahinmi and Pittman are talented and young.
Are you ready for a Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash sequel? In Dallas too? Being a Lakers fan, I absolutely do not want this trade to happen for the Mavericks. Don't even think about it Mark Cuban...
That goes for you too Pat Riley...
Portland Trail Blazers: Andre Miller
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Brandon Roy, Rudy Fernandez, Marcus Camby and Joel Przybilla
The injuries and their repercussions to Roy and Greg Oden have completely changed the long-term outlook for this team. Portland were once the up and coming team in the NBA. They can no longer stake claim to that title, but still have enough talent to adjust on the fly. Miller can help a contending team and should be moved as the Trail Blazers retool around LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum, Wesley Matthews and whatever they can squeeze out of Oden and Roy.
Trail Blazers get: Andrew Bynum and Steve Blake
Lakers get: Andre Miller, Marcin Gortat and Rudy Fernandez
Suns get: Greg Oden
The Trail Blazers get one of the best young centers in the NBA in Bynum. He and Aldridge playing together would be devastating for the next decade. They also gain Bynum's championship experience and rid themselves of the Roy-Miller drama.
The Lakers would upgrade from Blake to Miller, get a consistently healthy but not as talented center in Gortat and acquire the three point shooting they lack in Fernandez. The Lakers would also save three million dollars this year (six if you include luxury tax).
I don't know what secrets the Suns training staff are holding but it is remarkable how they consistently keep previously injured or injury prone players on the court (Grant Hill, Shaq, Nash...even Amare came back from microfracture surgery and quickly regained his explosiveness). If any team can save Greg Oden's career, it is the Suns. If they did manage to keep Oden healthy, this trade will have been a franchise-changing one for them.
Sacramento Kings: Samuel Dalembert
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Francisco Garcia and Carl Landry
The Kings don't use him enough (can someone please explain to me why he isn't starting over Jason Thompson?) and can acquire some more pieces to develop with Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins by trading him. He is an experienced defensive center on the last year of his contract. Teams will be lining up for his services if the Kings decide to shop him around.
Kings get: Yao Ming, Chase Budinger and Aaron Brooks
Rockets get: Samuel Dalembert, Carl Landry and Beno Udrih
Remember, the Rockets wouldn't be trading Yao Ming, just his contract. He would never play for the Kings. What they do get is a large expiring deal and the opportunity to see if Brooks can be Tyreke Evans' running mate. Budinger has shown quite a bit of promise in his limited playing time.
The Rockets would make an attempt at securing a playoff spot with this trade. Chuck Hayes has performed admirably well but is too undersized to be the starting center on a contending team. A return to Houston would serve Landry well and Udrih can contribute offensively.
San Antonio Spurs: Richard Jefferson
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I should first explain that the Spurs have performed so well this season that I don't actually think they should pursue any trades. They don't want to risk any of the chemistry they have established. However, if they do decide to make a move, Jefferson should be the one to go. His game has fallen off a cliff in recent years. At this point, all he can do is score (and not as well as he used to). I don't know where his defense has gone. The Spurs are so stacked that he consistently gets wide open looks. This is turn makes his performance appear better than it actually is. Once again, I don't think the Spurs should do anything but I can see some value in the trade listed below.
Spurs get: Tayshaun Prince, Will Bynum and Tracy McGrady
Pistons get: Richard Jefferson, Tiago Splitter and George Hill
The Spurs would load up for this season's run at the championship. Prince is a solid all-around player with championship pedigree. Bynum and McGrady would add even more depth to an already loaded lineup.
The Pistons would have to take on Jefferson's contract to see if Hill and Splitter can be their long-term solutions at point guard (Rodney Stuckey would shift over to shooting guard) and center respectively.
Toronto Raptors: Leandro Barbosa
Jose Calderon, Reggie Evans and Linas Kleiza
I waffled for quite a while on this pick because I have no idea what Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo is trying to do with his roster. There is no rhyme or reason to the moves he has made for the last few years. If I didn't know any better, I would swear that he was trying to finish ninth or tenth in the Eastern Conference every year. Regardless, the Raptors need to completely commit to rebuilding. Trading Barbosa for a young asset or two would be a step in the right direction.
Raptors get: Marcus Thornton, Aaron Gray and Willie Green
Hornets get: Leandro Barbosa
The Raptors would add Thornton to their stockpile of perimeter players. Odds are there is a keeper or two in there. Gray is a decent young center. Both of them have some upside.
The Hornets would benefit from the tempo change Barbosa could provide their lineup when the situation calls for it. I see him starting at the two or leading their bench.
Utah Jazz: Andrei Kirilenko
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He has a massive expiring deal and the Jazz could use it to show Deron Williams that they are committed to him and to winning. There are a lot of teams that want to lower their payroll for next season because of the uncertainty surrounding the new collective bargaining agreement and the Jazz should use that to their advantage.
Jazz get: Antawn Jamison, Anthony Parker and Jamario Moon
Cavaliers get: Andrei Kirilenko
Of their incoming players the Jazz would only be committed to Jamison after this year, and even that would only be for one more year. The Jazz are relying entirely on their starters for success right now and need the depth they would acquire in this trade.
The Cavaliers rid themselves of Jamison's contract for next year and gain more options in the off-season.
Washington Wizards: Kirk Hinrich
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The Wizards are trying to construct a roster around John Wall, Nick Young, Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee. A few more pieces are required and they can get substantially more for Hinrich than Lewis. In actuality, they can't get anything for Lewis because no one will take his contract, especially when you combine it with a gimpy knee.
Wizards get: Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes and Jason Kapono
76ers get: Kirk Hinrich, Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee
The Wizards would have to decide that they would rather build around the top two picks in last year's draft (Turner and John Wall) than their current nucleus. Remember, Turner was the consensus number two pick in last year's draft and is not lacking in promise. He has not performed as expected thus far but, with his talent, that can quickly change. Plus, putting the top two picks in a draft on the same team while they're rookies would be pretty cool.
The 76ers have been playing very well as of late and would have to decide to reinforce their team to make a run now. Besides, Blatche and McGee are both still developing, so it's not like the 76ers would be sacrificing their future.
Thank you for taking the time to read what are just my opinions. Any feedback will be appreciated.