With 2010 pretty much done, apparently it’s customary to do some sort of top 10 list. So I can keep my blogger’s license, here’s mine. I’ve decided to come up with 5 deals that I think should happen, for various reasons. I was going to do ten, but couldn’t think of that many. All these deals do work, but a couple would have to wait until February, due to CBA rules.
5. Carmelo Anthony to the Nets
First of all, I’m sick to death of reading about it. Enough already. Let’s just get it over with.
Also, it makes sense for everyone involved.
No one can give Denver a better package back for Anthony. Derrick Favors, a couple of first rounders and an expiring contract (Troy Murphy) would kick start Denver’s rebuilding process and give them way more in return than Toronto or Cleveland got for their outgoing franchise players. Denver isn’t going anywhere with him. The only time they got past the 1st round was when they traded for Billups and now he’s too old to lead them anywhere. Unless they want to become the Atlanta Hawks of the West, trading Anthony is the best thing for them.
You had to feel a bit bad for the Nets this summer. They went through a nearly historically bad season just so they would be able to have the cap room to make a splash in the offseason, and came up with Travis Outlaw, despite a flashy new owner who wants to become New Jersey’s (and Russia’s) answer to Mark Cuban and their front office putting on a full court press trying to sign one or two of the big names. And they had to overpay Travis Outlaw. They deserve SOMETHING for all their troubles.
Carmelo wants to go to the Knicks, but there a a couple of problems with that. The first is that the Knicks can’t match what New Jersey can send back without hurting their roster. And with Carmelo not being a stellar defender himself, going to a team and coach not exactly known for their defense, wouldn’t be a recipe for success.
And if Carmelo simply waits for the offseason, he’ll probably lose out on a lot of money with the new CBA.
The Nets have a top 10 center, and good PG, a well-respected coached, some nice roll players and an owner willing to spend money. Sure, they’re stuck in New Jersey for another year and a half, but then they’ll be in Brooklyn. And they’re a playoff team with him. If I’m Denver, I’d try and get Al Harrington thrown in there, as well. Even if it means taking Travis Outlaw back.
4. Jeff Green, Cole Aldrich and a 1st round pick for Anderson Varejao
Cleveland needs to rebuild. Maybe they don’t know it, yet, but losing 15 of your last 16 games should tell you something. Varejao is 28 years old and really should not be in Cleveland’s longterm plans. He’s played very well in a bad situation and is probably the player the Cavs can get the more for, right now.
Jeff Green is only 24 and would be a great deal if he would agree to sign an extension. He’s a solid
citizen, a talented player and would be a good piece for the future. Cole Aldrich hasn’t performed up to expectations, so far, but is a defensive 7 footer, something the Cavs don’t have, and is still a rookie. Getting another 1st rounder would be another important piece to a rebuilding team.
Oklahoma was supposed to take the next step this year and become a contender, but while they’ve played well, their weak front court is holding them back, as well as their interior defense. That’s why they drafted Cole Aldrich, but he’s struggled and might be a couple of years away from being a good center, of at all. Varejao isn’t a true center, but he’s performed well as one for Cleveland this year, and would solidify the Thunder’s frontline defensively. Jeff Green is a very good SF, unfortunately on Oklahoma he plays PF. And he’s a luxury they can’t really afford, which is why he hasn’t been extended. It’s a steep price to pay for a PF who doesn’t score, but Varejao would make the Thunder a better team and a real contender.
3. Steve Nash, Grant Hill and Channing Frye for Marvin Williams, Jamal Crawford and a 1st round pick
Does anyone really want to see Steve Nash finish his career on a team that has no hope of ever contending? He deserves better than that and the NBA deserves better than that. He’ll never demand a trade, but Phoenix should do him a favour and give him one.
Same goes for Grant Hill, but to a lesser degree. Nash is Hill’s fountain of youth and it would be a shame to trade Nash to a contender but not Hill. And Channing Frye owes Nash his career, and performs well with him.
Marvin Williams has never lived up to being drafted ahead of Chris Paul and Deron Williams, but he’s a 24 year old, athletic SF who has a lot of talent and a high basketball IQ. He could end up flourishing in a new situation.
Jamal Crawford would be an expiring contract and will help lessen Phoenix salary demands while they rebuild.
Adding Steve Nash to Atlanta’s athletic lineup would be huge and might make them capable of getting to the Conference Finals. Yes, it’s a gamble to add a guy who turns 37 in a month (as well as a guy who just turned 38), but right now Atlanta’s ceiling is the second round and that’s it. If they want to really compete for a Championship, this may be the best chance.
2. Jason Richardson, Jameer Nelson, and Brandon Bass for Andre Iguodala, Elton Brand and Marreese Speights
If Orlando really is going for broke, they might as well go all the way. A starting lineup of Dwight Howard, Elton Brand, Hedo Turkoglu, Andre Iguodala and Gilbert Arenas would have a total salary higher than all but 7 entire teams. And Turkoglu’s salary would would be the smallest.
Plus, I’d love to see how this team does. In Sports Guy terminology, this would be like putting Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Will Smith, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jim Carrey in a movie together. Sure, they’re all expensive as hell and a couple of them are past their prime, but you’d want to see it, wouldn’t you?
Philadelphia probably would do it in a second, too.
1. Andrea Bargnani for Darko Milicic and the rights to Ricky Rubio
Come on, anyone who reads this blog on a semi-regular basis can’t be surprised about this one. Andrea Bargnani is having a great year and is scoring a ton of points, but he’s also one of the worst defending centers in the entire league and just about every advanced statistic shows he is actually a liability to the team despite his scoring. And if you don’t believe in advanced statistics, you just need to watch him.
Ricky Rubio is a completely unproven talent that very well might be the second coming of Bobby Hurley. He also possesses a skills that might make him a transcendent PG similar to Steve Nash. The guy has been a winner wherever he’s played, has an otherworldly basketball IQ and just turned 20 in October.
While Darko will never live up to his draft position, he’s actually become a serviceable center this year. He may not be the ideal long term solution, but he defends, rebounds and scores and will certainly do nicely until something better comes along or until either Ed Davis gains 35 pounds or Solomon Alabi becomes an NBA player. And gains 35 pounds.
For Minnesota, they’ve been holding out for Rubio to come since they drafted him, and this is year two. They say they are confident in Rubio finally signing with them this summer, but if if there’s a lockout, that might put a crimp in their plans. First, if they don’t sign Rubio after three years since he was drafted, he can demand to be paid more than the rookie scale. And does anyone really expect Rubio to play for Minnesota?
Getting a high scoring big man to pair with their high rebounding big man, in Kevin Love, might be enough to pry Rubio away. Sure, they will have major problems defensively, but not everyone is such a stickler about that sort of thing. It’s usually only winning teams that worry about that, and Minnesota certainly aren’t that.
So that’s it. Happy New Year and thanks for reading.