While there has been enough player movement in the past 24 hours to warrant another "Musings" article from Dr. Trade, we'll get to Steve Nash, Jarrett Jack, and Matt Barnes a different day.
For now, let's play another fun game with hypotheticals.
As always, these are deals that I am investigating because they make a lot of sense, they are possible, and they're good for generating discussion amongst the fans and aficionados.
By way of disclaimer though, I am not proposing that these are deals currently in the idea hopper of any GMs. This way, if the deal actually would go down in the future, you can rest assured that they stole it from me.
So, here we go for our third round of hypothetical dealings on the Dr. Trade column, where you can get expert-level analysis on NBA deals past, present, and future.
Charlotte gets: SG Richard Hamilton & SF Tayshaun Prince (from Detroit)
Los Angeles gets: SG Raja Bell & Nazr Mohammed (from Charlotte)
The basic premise for this deal is that Joe Dumars wants/needs to continue and finish a total remake of the Detroit Pistons. Much of this comes from the fact that Rip Hamilton did not politely accept a bench spot last year, yet incoming free-agent Ben Gordon has supposedly been guaranteed a starting spot by Joe.
Something obviously has to give.
Who would be more agreeable to bringing in the final key holdovers from the Bad Boys II era than their old coach, Larry Brown? What if the Bobcats could pull this off by giving up two (Wallace & Mohammed) out of three players that they've been actively shopping anyway?
For Los Angeles, I am sure some readers will accuse me of selling Chris Kaman for 75 cents on the dollar. However, remember that Donald Sterling is trying to save some cash, and doesn't want to pay Kaman starter's money if he's only going to be backing up Marcus Camby, anyway.
This deal effectively brings half the Kaman money off the books next year when Bell's contract expires. What's more, both Bell and Mohammed are proven bench contributors who will round out a Clippers unit that could be ready to contend (that is, if they forget that they are the Clippers).
Let's do something different this time, and just simply compare what the core units of each group would look like with this trade. I believe, that Charlotte and Detroit's rosters are better off from this deal. The Clippers hold steady, while using their money in a more useful way towards roster needs.
Los Angeles Clippers
Starting 5—C Marcus Camby, PF Blake Griffin, SF Al Thornton, SG Eric Gordon, PG Baron Davis
Core Bench—C Nazr Mohammed, PF Craig Smith, SF Ricky Davis, SG Raja Bell, PG Sebastian Telfair
Strengths—A deep, athletic, and multi-dimensional roster.
Missing ingredient—A knockdown three-point specialist.
Starting 5—C Chris Kaman, PF Charlie Villanueva, SF Gerald Wallace, SG Ben Gordon, PG Rodney Stuckey
Core Bench—C Kwame Brown, PF Jason Maxiel, PF Chris Wilcox, SF Austin Daye, PG Will Bynum
Strengths—Villanueva makes up for Wallace's lack of shooting, while Kaman and Wallace make up for Villanueva’s weak rebounding. This roster can flat out score.
Missing ingredient—Possibly another combo guard off the bench.
Starting 5—C Emeka Okafor, PF Boris Diaw, SF Tayshaun Prince, SG Richard Hamilton, PG DJ Augustin
Core Bench—C DeSagana Diop, F Vlad Rodmanovic, SG Gerald Henderson, PG Raymond Felton (if resigned)
Strengths—A veteran, defensive unit that's a little reminiscent of the group that Larry Brown turned into champions.
Missing ingredient—Resigning Felton would be a must, along with adding a little more depth.
This may seem like a pie in the sky type of deal at first glance. The longer I look at this however, the more I'm convinced that all three GM's would make this move if given the opportunity.
I especially like how this would rebuild Detroit with fairly realistic contracts. Given the fact that they chose to use their free agency money this year, why not finish the makeover all the way? It's a more offensive-oriented team than the Pistons are used to, but it's also a better one in the chemistry department.
Charlotte would finally have a balanced starting five, one that's laden with the veterans that Larry Brown wants, and one that would legitimately get them to the postseason.
Los Angeles would have the deepest roster they have ever fielded, with each player bringing something different to his respective position.
Trust me on this one. After all, I am a Doctor.