NBA Trade Speculation: 3 Teams That Need to Acquire a Star to Be Relevant
Although teams like the Indiana Pacers, Washington Wizards and New Jersey Nets all flashed some potential last season, it is clear that they really could use some more help. Each of the aforementioned teams have some young talent, but are either in need of a leader or a sidekick for their young star to help catapult them into the upper echelon of the NBA.
Some of them can utilize the free agent market, while others may have to make some calls and pull off a blockbuster deal.
Although none of this is obviously going to happen right now, due to the current lockout, these projections will give us an idea of what some teams have as an option when games finally resume.
3. Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers shocked many fans last season when they gave the Chicago Bulls, who finished the regular season with the best record in the NBA, a big run for their money.
They have a solid young core of Darren Collison, Danny Granger, Tyler Hansbrough, Roy Hibbert and the newly acquired George Hill.
The problem, however, is that none of these players are superstars. Granger and Hibbert are probably the closest of them all to being one, but they have both shown their limitations that prove they will likely not be more than a second or third option at best.
This is where David West comes in. He will be a free agent whenever negotiations resume again and there is mutual interest between West and the Pacers. He would also be reunited with his former teammate, Collison, which could help to forge some chemistry going forward for the young team and also help Collison develop quicker as a point guard.
2. New Jersey Nets
The look on Deron Williams face in the above picture says it all.
The New Jersey Nets currently have Williams, Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries as their core three players. Unfortunately for the Nets, Williams and Humphries are both free agents when negotiations resume after the lockout is settled.
The Nets must utilize the cap space they have to acquire another player to play alongside Williams, or it is likely he will bolt for another club.
After striking out on LeBron James and all the other superstars during the 2010 free agency period, the Nets decided to drown their sorrows by overpaying players like Johan Petro and Travis Outlaw just to say they didn't walk away empty handed. Not the best approach.
Learning from their mistakes, the smartest thing they can do if they strike out on the likes of Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and even Deron Williams in 2010 is look at some other players who can make a big impact, who may have underperformed last season.
Think of players like Aaron Brooks, Michael Redd, Andrei Kirilenko and Rodney Stuckey.
Granted they are not going to make the impact that a Dwight Howard or Chris Paul can make, but adding any of them could help move the team in the right direction.
Calling the Sacramento Kings, who are overloaded at the small forward position and inquiring about the underrated scoring ability of Donte Greene would be a wise move, since he could come at a bargain price.
Doing the same thing with the Utah Jazz about Paul Millsap wouldn't be a bad move to make either. Look at it as an NBA version of the highly acclaimed movie and book, Moneyball.
There are players out there who are being forced to play out of position or are in a system that doesn't put their best attributes to use. Basically undervalued players that can be had cheaper than they are worth.
If the Nets are able to pickup several of these players, they may be on track to turning their team around.
1. Washington Wizards
This idea is by far the most daring, although according the ESPN's NBA Trade Machine, both teams benefit from it.
The trade is sending Nick Young and Andray Blatche to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for the crafty scoring services of Monta Ellis.
While it sounds redundant to obtain a player like Ellis when the Wizards already have the athletic John Wall at the point guard position, I think they could make it work. The Wizards have some nice young players, but obtaining Ellis gives the Wizards a dynamic lineup and takes some of the offensive pressure off of Wall, which is really what they need.
I believe the move makes sense for the Golden State Warriors, too, since they can slide Young in at the shooting guard position, allowing Stephen Curry to run the point guard position, while also filling in the center position with Andray Blatche and having David Lee play power forward.
While I realize it is not a move that is likely to be made in the future, it makes a ton of sense for both teams. It also gives the Wizards some depth at the guard position, since they can then use Jordan Crawford as a super sixth man. Bringing him off the bench will inject some energy into the second unit and will also allow him to grab minutes at the point guard and shooting guards spots, since he is capable of playing alongside both Ellis and Wall.
After the trade, the Wizards' starting lineup would feature John Wall, Monta Ellis, Rashard Lewis, Jan Vesely and the freakishly athletic JaVale McGee at the center position.
While the idea certainly sounds like a crazy one, the Wizards finished with 23 wins last season, so shaking things up and trying something drastic might be exactly what they need to turn things around.