Everyone’s an expert these days. if you have access to a computer and the internet, the ESPN Trade machine awaits. Throw in a little research at 82games.com and HoopsHype, and viola! You are Bill Simmons without the fat contract and book deal. The problem with this of course is that we usually end up with completely one-sided deals or trading with teams that have no interest in trading. We are inspired by actual events however, because you just never know what crazy thing a GM will do in this league. (I’m looking at you Memphis and Minnesota!)
So before you go screaming at me in the comments saying I’m crazy because so and so team would never do that deal, I am not disagreeing with you. I’m saying let’s at least see if they’ll pick up the phone on some of these before we commit to any trade.
Trade #1- Cleveland trades J.J. Hickson and Zydrunas Ilgauskas to Minnesota for Al Jefferson.
Why this trade works- In Jefferson the Cavaliers kill two birds with one stone (no actual birds would be killed in the completion of this trade). They would get a third all-star caliber player in his prime to team with LeBron and Mo for the future. Playing with Al and Mo and a host of complimentary pieces should be enough of an enticement for James. If he wouldn’t come back to that team, then he just wouldn’t come back to Cleveland period. Jefferson has the post game, and is quick enough to keep up with any big man in the league. He can hold his own against Howard. Combined with Shaq the Cavs would have the best Center depth in the league bar none.
For Minnesota they would obviously be getting a young and inexpensive, yet explosive player in Hickson, plus more salary relief. There would be a possibility that they would buy out Z, as they have enough big men on the roster. The T-Wolves would find themselves going into free agency with around $28 million to spend or save.
Why this trade doesn’t work- Let’s face it, they may have no interest what-so-ever in moving Jefferson. I understand that. They do have Kevin Love, so Hickson might not be an enticement. The question I have is whether or not they like paying the luxury tax.
Trade #2- Cleveland signs and trades Wally Sczcerbiak to Detroit for Rip Hamilton.
Why this trade works- Call this our Delonte West insurance policy. I can’t see how Hamilton fits into Detroit’s long term plans. They just signed Ben Gordon to play the 2, and have to make a decision on whether Stuckey or Bynum is the PG of the future. Regardless, getting rid of Hamilton’s contract let’s them be a free agent player. The Cavs would have a potent backcourt with Mo and Rip, plus have Delonte, Parker and Gibson coming off the bench. Until West is suspended. It is going to happen when the legal issues get resolved. He was going to be suspended before, but since the Arenas incident, the punishment may have gone up for Delonte.
Why this doesn’t work- Well, Detroit might not be willing to give up on Rip and his connection to the fans/past so soon. He would have to be healthy as well, which has been a problem so far this season. There’s also the whole helping your division rival get better thing.
Trade #3- Cleveland gets David West from New Orleans for either Wally’s sign and trade deal + J.J. Hickson, or Zydrunas Ilgauskas.
Why this trade works- If the Cavs get West they can afford to give up Hickson. West is the complete player at PF that the Cavs have been missing since they got Boozered. (That is unless they decide that James is the scariest PF that ever walked the planet. Which he could be.) New Orleans could get a player out of the deal that fits in with their new team philosophy- cheap. Hey, someone is going to get to be the first to hose New Orleans. Let’s not be late to the feast.
Why this trade doesn’t work- The Hornets continue to pretend like they have no money issues. Perhaps they’ll even try to be buyers again like last year. That Okafor trade worked out well huh?
Again, I know that these aren’t likely to happen. But don’t you have to see if they might?