5 Trades That Contending NBA Teams Can Make to Solidify Their Rosters
As we approach the end of the NBA Finals 2011, trade rumors are widespread around the NBA. Lottery teams look to improve their rosters in any way, while contending teams try to solidify their rosters for a title run next season. Some teams are in win-now mode (Celtics, Spurs, Lakers, Mavericks), while others have an open championship window for the next few seasons (Heat, Thunder, Knicks)
Although they are solid teams, all contending teams have weaknesses that opponents can expose during the playoffs, such as the Grizzlies' lack of a go-to perimeter scorer, the Lakers' lack of a quick guard to guard opponents' point guards or the Celtics' lack of athleticism. Here are five potential trades that could solidify contending teams' rosters for a title run next season.
Rodrigue Beaubois, Shawn Marion and a 1st-Round Pick for Danny Granger
Though the Mavericks won the NBA Championship this season, all teams have weaknesses. One major weakness that was exposed at times through the playoffs was the lack of a second go-to scorer for the Mavericks. Danny Granger has put up excellent numbers averaging 20+ points over the last three seasons. He could immediately step in and provide Nowitzki with the legitimate second scoring option he needs.
The Pacers are reportedly shopping Danny Granger and they have his replacement ready in Paul George. Shawn Marion was a key contributer on the Mavericks and he is one of the most versatile player in the league. He can play the two through the five positions and he is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league. Beaubois is a very quick guard who can penetrate into the paint and also knock down the mid-range jump-shot. He was injured for the good part of last season but he could still help shore up the shooting guard position and play point guard from time to time.
Ron Artest, 1st-Round Pick for Tayshawn Prince
Ron Artest has turned out to be a disappointment for the Lakers, and he may be a piece the Lakers could move to improve their roster. The Pistons have been trying to trade Tayshaun Prince for a long time now, and he would be a good fit for the Lakers with his length and defensive abilities. He can play multiple positions and can still score, on occasion.
The Pistons might be willing to take Artest because he is still a big body and a good perimeter defender. He might perform better in a new environment, as he struggled to adapt to the triangle offense the Lakers ran. The first-round pick would sweeten the deal and give the Pistons a player they can use in the rotation to improve their team.
Tony Parker for Chauncey Billups and Landry Fields
After the Spurs failed to advance past the first round of the playoffs, Tony Parker's name has sprung up in recent trade rumors. A trade to the Knicks could be just what he needs, now that the Spurs are looking to the future as Tim Duncan nears retirement. The Knicks are looking for a point guard who can push the ball and feed their two superstars, Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudamire. Parker's ability to drive and finish around the basket, coupled with career 52 percent FG shooting, would make him an ideal fit for Mike D'antoni's fast-paced style.
The Spurs would acquire veteran point guard Chauncey Billups, who can hold down the point guard position until the end of the season. Unlike Parker, who has three years left on his current deal, Billups' contract expires at the end of next season, clearing some cap space for the Spurs. Landry Fields has the potential to become a good NBA player and he adds to their young core of Gary Neal, George Hill and Tiago Splitter.
Gilbert Arenas, Brandon Bass, and a 1st Round Pick for Michael Beasley
This trade is assuming the Timberwolves select Derrick Williams second overall. The Orlando Magic are desperately looking to acquire a second scorer, who can create off the dribble, to help Dwight Howard . The Magic are currently relying on Jameer Nelson, Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu to do that. Beasley is a proven scorer and played well as the power forward on the Miami Heat two seasons ago. He would benefit on the defensive end by playing alongside three-time Defensive Player of the Year, Dwight Howard.
If the Timberwolves drafted Derrick Williams with their second pick, it would likely mean Michael Beasley is on his way out of town. Acquiring Brandon Bass and Gilbert Arenas is probably one of the best deals they could get for him. Bass would be a strong backup for Kevin Love and could sometimes start during the season if they decide to go with Kevin Love at center.
They probably wouldn't want to take on Arenas' contract, but with Ricky Rubio coming over from Spain, Arenas would be a good mentor for him. Arenas was one of the best point guards in the league before injuries and off-the-court incidents slowed him down. The first round pick would sweeten the deal for the Timberwolves and give them another pick to help continue to build their team and fill weaknesses.
Rajon Rondo for Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook received a ton of flak from the media for his performance during the playoffs. He was criticized for shooting too much when he had the NBA's best scorer next to him in Kevin Durant. Since then, his name has been mentioned in rumored trades for the likes of Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo. While many don't think they will happen, Westbrook could be an ideal fit for an aging Celtics team. While he can still grow as a distributor, Westbrook is already a proven scorer and is excellent at driving and finishing at the rim. With a team of veterans around him, he could rapidly turn into one of the most complete players in the NBA.
Rajon Rondo would be an ideal fit for the Thunder because of his drive-and-kick ability, along with his overall stellar playmaking. While his jump shot remains terrible, that is something he could easily improve on, and his passing would free up many more opportunities for Kevin Durant and James Harden to get open looks.
As we continue to get closer to the offseason, many more rumors will continue to pop up and these are just five potential deals for a few of the contending teams. What do you think?