NBA Teams: How Can We Get Better?
Some of the teams in the NBA aren't getting any better, and won't get better until they make some moves. Other teams just need a few more pieces to get them into playoff or championship contention. I have thought of a few ideas for some of teams that need it.
The Mavericks were once the best team in the league. Since then they have traded away their best young talent (Devin Harris) for a declining veteran (Jason Kidd), lost in the first round, and been involved in controversy.
In order for this team to get better, they need to shed the "soft" label. Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki are both all-stars, but they don't have the right players around them to win.
Nowitzki is not a pure power forward, so he needs to have a strong post presence to play center. Dampier is not that presence however, and neither is Desagana Diop. Josh Howard is talented, but he has too many problems off the court. Howard's value has lowered because of his off court issues, but he could still be traded for some good pieces.
Also, Jerry Stackhouse has demanded a trade because he hasn't gotten enough playing time. One option would be to trade Josh Howard and Jerry Stackhouse to the New York Knicks in exchange for Eddy Curry and Quentin Richardson.
This would give the Mavs a big and strong center who is a good offensive threat, and a shooter to replace Howard as the small forward. The Knicks would get a good sixth man in Jerry Stackhouse, and another athletic wing player in Josh Howard.
New York Knicks:
A year ago the Knicks were the most problematic and dysfunctional team in the league, now with a new coach they are one of the early playoff teams in the Eastern Conference. They still have Stephon Marbury, Eddy Curry, and Zach Randolph, but they seem to be doing pretty well with Randolph at center with Marbury and Curry in street clothes.
Curry is a good offensive post player, but he isn't suited well for D'Antoni's run-and-gun system. One of the trade ideas I have is with the Mavericks. They could also trade Eddy Curry, Zach Randolph, and Nate Robinson to the Miami Heat for Shawn Marion and Udonis Haslem. This trade would allow Mike D'Antoni to play small ball, and gives him the player who fits perfectly into his system in Phoenix.
This trade gives the Miami Heat size, so that they can play Beasley at small forward, Zach Randolph at power forward, and Eddy Curry at center. Then they have a backcourt of Dwyane Wade and Nate Robinson, or even Mario Chalmers. If the Heat didn't want to do the trade then the Knicks could add in Mardy Collins and Marcus Banks, so the Heat can get more financial flexibility in 2010.
The trade also helps the Knicks from a financial standpoint because they would have a total of $54,286,158.00 in expiring contracts. The trade would make the Heat have less money to spend in 2010, but they would have a really good team so they would only have to resign Beasley and Wade that offseason. And they would have the money to do that because Blount's contract would have expired.
The Heat were the worst team in the league last season, but this season they seem to be turning it around with a healthy Dwyane Wade, Shawn Marion, and Udonis Haslem, plus the addition of rookie Michael Beasley. The Heat still don't have a good center and they aren't very strong at point guard either.
One of the ideas that could help the Heat would be the Curry, Randolph, and Robinson for Marion and Haslem trade that I wrote about in the New York Knicks section. Another idea would be to trade Daequan Cook to the New Jersey Nets for Josh Boone. This wouldn't be a big trade, but it would give the Heat a decent center.
Los Angeles Lakers:
The Lakers don't really need change, but Lamar Odom is mad about coming off the bench, and if that becomes a problem then he will need to be traded. If the Lakers want to trade Odom, then they should sign Antonio McDyess for the mid-level exception and then trade Lamar Odom to the Milwaukee Bucks for Richard Jefferson.
This trade would give the Lakers an amazing starting lineup, and their bench would only get a little worse since McDyess and Radmanovic could help compensate for the loss of Odom at power forward.
The Bulls have the deepest backcourt in the league, but their froncourt is one of the worst in the league. The only good offensive frontcourt players they have are Andres Nocioni and Luol Deng. Drew Gooden and Joakim Noah are the power forward-center combo right now, but they only score a combined 13.8 ppg. They really need help in their frontcourt, and they need to trade some of their backcourt players so that there isn't a problem with playing time.
Since Kirk Hinrich is injured he can't be traded and hopefully the Bulls aren't stupid enough to be thinking of trading Derrick Rose unless it is for LeBron James or Chris Paul. That leaves Larry Hughes, Ben Gordon, and Thabo Sefolosha. Larry Hughes' contract will be hard to move, but if a team is looking for cap space in 2010 then they might want him. The Bulls could trade Larry Hughes and Joakim Noah to the New Jersey Nets for Vince Carter.
Even though this doesn't help their frontcourt, it gives the Bulls a really good backcourt. The Nets would only do this trade if they want to shed salary and have more cap room in 2010. Drew Gooden is a decent power forward, but they would need a good center in order to have a good frontcourt. To get a good center they could trade Ben Gordon, Tyrus Thomas, and Andres Nocioni to the Los Angeles Clippers for Chris Kaman and Cuttino Mobley.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers have never been good, and whenever they have a chance to get good, something bad happens like an injury or a missed player signing. This past offseason everyone thought they were going to become playoff contenders with Elton Brand and Baron Davis, but there was a disagreement in Brand's contract, so he went to the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Clippers have talent in B. Davis, R. Davis, Gordon, Mobley, Thornton, Camby, Thomas, and Kaman, but they just can't seem to win games. The only person that is really tradeable is Chris Kaman. They could trade Kaman to the Bulls in the trade that I came up with in the Bulls section.
The Bobcats are interested in Kaman, so they could trade him for Gerald Wallace and Sean May. The Clippers need a major roster overhaul to become contenders.
The Timberwolves, Kings, and Grizzlies just need to wait and see how their young talent matures. If they turn out to be busts then they should make some trades, otherwise they don't need to do many trades, except for getting rid of bad contracts when they can.
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