Chris Paul and the Clippers got the ball rolling with this year's trade market and I think there are a few more potential deals out there that make a ton of sense.
Here are a few deals I'd love to see go down at some point this year...
When the league voided the deal the Lakers had in place for Chris Paul, the team overreacted to Lamar Odom’s pouting and sent him to the Dallas Mavericks for next to nothing. Now, Kobe Bryant is unhappy with an organization in need of a little shakeup.
They still have a pair of very attractive trade assets in Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol. Either of them could be enough to get the Hawks to move disgruntled star Josh Smith. In this deal, Bynum would become the Hawks’ starting center and Al Horford would move to his natural power forward position.
Including Kirk Hinrich in such a deal makes sense for LA (obvious upgrade over Derek Fisher) and Atlanta (they’re looking toward the younger, more athletic Jeff Teague at point guard).
Metta World Peace would be included to make the salary cap numbers work and he’d likely start over Marvin Williams at small forward for the Hawks.
The Lakers would lose a young center who they’ve put a lot of stock in over the last few years, but they’d still have Pau Gasol to play the position. Josh Smith isn’t much older than Bynum and would be a nice frontcourt mate for Gasol. He’s not the point forward Odom is, but he would be able to make up the scoring and rebounding LA lost and he’s a better defender.
Perhaps the best part of this deal for the Lakers is the upgrade at point guard. One of the Lakers’ biggest weaknesses last year was the way opposing point guards thrashed Derek Fisher. Hinrich is one of the best on-ball defenders at the position and he’s unselfish on offense.
Golden State needs defense and more size in the backcourt. Iguodala provides both those things and a straight-up swap involving him and Monta Ellis works under current salary cap rules.
Right now, the only major thing Ellis does better than Iguodala is score and Golden State has plenty of offense with Stephen Curry, Dorrell Wright and David Lee.
Iguodala would be an upgrade in size, defense, rebounding, distributing and team-first attitude.
As for Philadelphia, they can be a little stale on offense and Monta Ellis is anything but stale on offense. The 76ers haven't had a scorer like Ellis since Iverson in his prime.
On top of that, Evan Turner may be able to step into the point forward role that Iguodala has occupied for a couple of years now.
After losing to the Clippers twice and seeing the centerpiece of New Jersey's deal for Howard (Brook Lopez) go down with a broken foot, the Lakers have to make a serious run at Dwight Howard, right?
The Lakers have said they're not willing to part with both Bynum and Gasol. I honestly don't see why not. Howard is just 26 years old and will likely be the best center in the NBA for at least the next five years. He'll help them win now and is good enough to be the centerpiece of championship teams in the future.
And let's face it, the chances of the Lakers (as currently constituted) winning a title are slim. They need to shake things up if they want to keep up with the league's rising powers and I personally think a frontcourt of Howard and Anderson is better than Bynum and Gasol.
For Orlando, Dwight's leaving at some point and the package the Lakers can offer is about as good as it gets. The Lakers should be willing to give up two All-Star caliber big men in Bynum and Gasol, a young talent like Devin Ebanks and multiple draft picks.
They should be willing to offer that much. The question is, will they?
The Rockets thought they landed the center they wanted in the original Chris Paul trade the league vetoed. In that deal, Houston was a third party with the Lakers and Hornets and received Pau Gasol.
Now, they've gone with a Plan B by signing Samuel Dalembert. They can still get better at center, though. Chris Kaman is just a couple years removed from an all-star appearance and is a more complete player than Dalembert.
Houston would lose a lot of scoring by dealing Martin, but with talented young wings like Chase Budinger, Courtney Lee and Terrence Williams, they wouldn't be in terrible shape there.
What this would do for New Orleans is give them a player they thought they had in the aforementioned three-team trade and one of the most offensively potent backcourts in the league (with Eric Gordon potentially moving to the one to make room for Martin at the two).
I don't understand why Dwight Howard doesn't want to play for the Bulls. It seems like a good enough fit that I might push for it pretty aggressively even without an immediate commitment from Howard if I was in the Bulls front office. It would be risky, but you have to believe playing alongside Derrick Rose could influence the big man to stay in Chicago after a trade.
A starting five of Rose, Richard Hamilton, Ronnie Brewer (or Kyle Korver), Carlos Boozer and Howard would definitely make the Bulls the favorite in the Eastern Conference.
On the other side, this package would rival the one Los Angeles can offer. Orlando would receive three young players who would start on a number of teams in Noah, Deng and Gibson. Plus, they get one more intriguing big in Asik.