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Old 02-20-07, 05:12 PM
elchiv's Avatar
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Five blockbuster deals that should be considered

The trade winds are surprisingly still after the All-Star Game in Las Vegas. And I'm not sure why.

Yes, we've already had our requisite blockbuster trade of the season with Allen Iverson. But there are a handful of teams that should be working the phones harder to make a trade happen before the deadline.

Some are second-tier contenders that need to shore up their rosters to make a title push. Others are cellar dwellers that need to begin the rebuilding process while they still can get value in return for their players.

You'll be reading a lot over the next three days about what might happen. But here are five trades that should happen.

Of course, most of the teams listed here won't pull the trigger -- but they'll regret that decision down the road.

Trade 1:

Kevin Garnett and Mark Madsen to the Bulls

Luol Deng, Tyrus Thomas, P.J. Brown, Michael Sweetney and Malik Allen to the Wolves

Why should the Bulls do it?

GarnettThey overspent for Ben Wallace last summer, and it looks like they'll have nothing much to show for it come June.

The team is still stellar defensively, but offensively? Ugh. Without a legit low-post scoring option, the Bulls live and die by the jump shot.

Adding Garnett to the Bulls' attack would give them one of the best inside-outside scoring punches in the league as well as a front line that could hog rebounds on both ends of the floor.

The great thing about this deal is it would allow Chicago to keep its backcourt intact. The Bulls would be the instant favorites to represent the East in the Finals.

Why should the Wolves do it?

DengGarnett's stellar play this season has the Wolves on the playoff bubble. But no one believes this team has enough juice to get out of the first round in the West.

With Garnett beginning to hint at his dissatisfaction in Minny, now is the time for the Wolves to make their move, before it's too late.

The Bulls are really the only team with the pieces to make a Garnett trade pay off in the long run. If the Bulls use their money elsewhere, Garnett will likely finish his career without a championship.

An offer of Deng, Thomas, Brown, Sweetney and Allen gives the Wolves some serious cap relief and it gives them two young players with serious upside. Deng fell just short of an All-Star bid this year and many scouts had Thomas pegged as the best prospect (a young KG, according to some) in the 2006 NBA draft. Pair them with Randy Foye and in two years the Wolves will be a better team.

Will it happen?
The chances look slim. The Wolves have steadfastly refused to deal Garnett over the years and haven't shown any signs of softening their stance.

The popular rumor has the Bulls after Pau Gasol. Gasol is good … but Garnett is better. This rumor has been around so long, we think the Bulls should give the Wolves one more call. This deal makes more sense for both teams than any potential trade in the NBA. There's still time for Kevin McHale to show the world he has a clue.

• Check out this deal in our Trade Machine


Trade 2:

Pau Gasol, Rasho Nesterovic, Brian Cardinal, Morris Peterson and Fred Jones to the Magic

Grant Hill, Jose Calderon, Trevor Ariza, Keyon Dooling and the draft rights to Fran Vasquez to the Grizzlies

Darko Milicic, Hedo Turkoglu, Carlos Arroyo, Stromile Swift and Lawrence Roberts to the Raptors

Why should the Magic do it?

GasolThey have a young superstar in Dwight Howard, but he needs to be paired with a skilled player who can let him concentrate on rebounding and dunking the ball. Milicic could be that guy down the road, but Gasol is that guy right now.

The cost would be high in terms of sacrificing young talent and adding payroll, but given the weakness of the East, the combo of Howard, Gasol and Jameer Nelson could make a deep run in the East.

Why should the Grizzlies do it?

HillGasol wants out and has become a distraction. I agree with Jerry West that the Grizzlies don't have to trade Gasol just because he wants to move.

However, if they can get a deal that gives them cap relief and a couple of young prospects, I think it's worth doing. Here the Grizzlies get all of the above.

Hill's and Dooling's contracts come off the books this summer and the Grizzlies drop two big contracts in Cardinal and Swift. Calderon has quietly turned into one of the best young point guards in the league and everyone remains high on Ariza.

This trade wouldn't do a lot to help the win column in Memphis … but right now everyone in Memphis is eyeing Greg Oden anyway. Put Oden the floor with Calderon, Ariza, Mike Miller and Rudy Gay and I think the Grizzlies have the makings of a future playoff team.

If that's not enough, West would have roughly $25 million in cap room to go get the other pieces of the puzzle via free agency.

Why should the Raptors do it?

MilicicBecause as good as the Raptors are, they're going to need a center to be competitive anywhere besides the Atlantic Division. While Milicic is still a gamble, he's shown enough talent to roll the dice. He's 21, will thrive in the Euro-friendly Raptors locker room and Toronto has a huge Serbian population.

The cost would be steep because Calderon looks like he's going to be special, but the Raptors are committed to T.J. Ford at the point and this trade allows them to dump Nesterovic's dead weight in the process.

Bryan Colangelo will have to worry about the amount of money he's going to have to commit to Darko once he hits restricted free agency this summer, but it's the type of gamble he's used to taking. And it could pay off huge for the Raptors with an all 7-foot front line of Chris Bosh, Andrea Bargnani and Darko.

Will it happen?
The Bulls are still the front-runners for Gasol, and the Magic are very hard to predict, but this is the type of trade that meets everyone's needs. The Magic add another star to boost their chances in the playoff hunt, the Grizzlies get cap room and prospects and the Raptors continue to build a Euroleague team in North America.

• Check out this deal in our Trade Machine


Trade 3:

Vince Carter and Marcus Williams to the Clippers

Shaun Livingston, Desmond Mason, Marc Jackson, Cedric Simmons, Yaroslav Korolev and a Clippers first round pick to the Nets

Corey Maggette and Zeljko Rebraca to the Hornets

Why should the Nets do it?

LivingstonThe team is going nowhere in the standings, thanks mostly to injuries. Carter is a free agent this summer and will flirt with other teams, especially the Magic. Even if he does want to stay in New Jersey, do the Nets really want to pay him the kind of money he wants just to be a middle-of-the-pack team in the East?

This deal allows the Nets to clear major cap space (Jackson and Mason are in the last year of their contracts) and add a major young prospect in Livingston. Given that their next move should be to dump Jason Kidd (see Trade 4), they'll need him down the road.

Why should the Clippers do it?

CarterMike Dunleavy loves Livingston, but the young point guard is not ready to take the team where the rest of the team wants to go. Elton Brand is at the point in his career where it's now or never and they need a big presence to put them over the top. Carter is a perfect fit for the Clippers and would put them on the level of the other elite teams in the West.

Losing Livingston would be tough, but there's no question the team itself would be poised for a deep playoff run.

The biggest concern for the Clippers is Carter's impeding free agency. It would be devastating to lose him this summer after giving up Livingston to get him. Still, it's hard to see Carter turning down big money in L.A. if Donald Sterling is willing to pay up.

Why should the Hornets do it?

MaggetteThey were able to lure Peja Stojakovic to New Orleans last summer with all their cap room, but they had to overpay to do it. The Hornets look like they'll have major cap room again this summer, but maybe they're better off getting a player with a decent contract who fills a need. Maggette qualifies, especially with Stojakovic still nursing a bad back. The Hornets would lose some cap flexibility this summer … but are they really going to land a prospect better than Maggette?

Will it happen?
From everything we hear, the Nets are burning up the phone lines. There aren't a lot of teams that can offer the Nets cap flexibility and prospects. If the Magic go after Gasol or refuse to step up to the plate, the Clippers and Hornets have as good a shot as anyone to make a deal with the Nets.

• Check out this deal in our Trade Machine


Trade 4:

Jason Kidd, Jason Collins and Hassan Adams to the Lakers

Kwame Brown, Chris Mihm, Shammond Williams, Jordan Farmar and Aaron McKie to the Nets

Why should the Nets do it?

FarmarFor the same reason they should trade Vince Carter. The team isn't going anywhere, and now's a good time to clear the deck before it moves to Brooklyn. This trade would give the Nets another huge dose of cap relief, land them an intriguing prospect in Farmar, clear Collins' horrific contract off the books and put them in play for one of the top picks in the draft.

Why should the Lakers do it?

KiddIt's Jason Kidd. How often do you get a player like that so cheaply? Put him on the floor with Kobe Bryant and Lamar Odom and the team could be back in the NBA Finals.

Will it happen?
If the Nets can find a good deal for Carter, I think so. This deal has been talked about for the past few weeks and, at the end of the day, I think the Lakers will drop their objection to taking Collins' bad deal.

• Check out this deal in our Trade Machine


Trade 5:

Ray Allen and Robert Swift to the Celtics

Rashard Lewis to the Bobcats

Sebastian Telfair to the Hawks

Adam Morrison, Gerald Green, Josh Childress, Ryan Gomes, Theo Ratliff and a Bobcats protected first-round pick to the Sonics

Why should the Celtics do it?

AllenDanny Ainge told us on the podcast last week that Paul Pierce was untouchable … so he's going to have to get him some serious help.

He tried to land Allen Iverson and Gasol, but couldn't get it done. Allen may be the only legit veteran whom Ainge could get with his combination of young players and Ratliff.

Would Allen and Swift, an Ainge favorite, put the Celtics over the top? Probably not. But unless Ainge knows some voodoo that can get him KG, I think this is the best the Celtics can do. It will give them a shot -- an outside one -- at winning the East next season.

Why should the Hawks do it?

TelfairBecause Speedy Claxton has been awful and they keep passing on awesome point guards in the draft. With so many athletes on this team, someone needs to help jump-start the offense.

Rajon Rondo (a guy they could've had in the draft instead of Shelden Williams) is better, but I don't think the Celtics are letting him go. Childress is a high price to pay for Telfair, but the Hawks really need to start grooming a young point guard.

Why should the Bobcats do it?

LewisBecause Lewis is much, much better than Morrison. Since Morrison isn't selling tickets, maybe it's better to have him pack up and move back home to an offense that will be better suited for him.

Lewis can opt out of his contract this summer, but the Bobcats are so far under the cap they can afford to pay him whatever he asks. At some point the team has to start spending money and Lewis would be a good start. Put him with Emeka Okafor, Gerald Wallace and Raymond Felton and I think the Bobcats are on to something.

Why should the Sonics do it?

MorrisonThe team is going nowhere, it's bleeding money and it's time for a different direction. This trade gets the Sonics lots of young prospects and plenty of long-term cap relief.

Morrison would be popular, Green has the potential to be a superstar and Childress is one of the more underrated young players in the game. They give up more than they get, no doubt. But the money savings and prospects make this a great deal for the Sonics if you take the long-term perspective.

Will it happen?
Four-way trades are incredibly complicated, so the odds are stacked against this trade. Still, it's something each team should consider.

The Sonics have been strangely quiet as the trade deadline approaches, but lately there have been rumblings that at the very least, Rashard Lewis might get moved.

We know the Celtics are working the phones, so they'll be game.

And given Michael Jordan's recent letter to season-ticket holders promising that the team will be proactive in getting better and spending money, this would be a good time to walk the walk.

• Check out this deal in our Trade Machine

Chad Ford covers the NBA for ESPN Insider.
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Old 02-20-07, 05:57 PM
coyotes_geek's Avatar
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Trade 1 - If I'm the Wolves and you want KG, I'm not interested unless you're taking someone out of the James-Hudson-Jaric trio along with him. The Wolves still have $64.4 million committed to those 3 guys after this season and they've also got to clear room for Randy Foye to get more minutes.

Trade 2 - Not enough for the Grizzlies. Cap room is nice and all, but when you're trading an all star you've got to get back more on court talent than a nice backup PG and a nice backup SF, which is all they'd have left after the season once Hill and Dooling's deals expire. Vasquez, is he even interested in coming over?

Trade 3 - The Clippers are going to want to give up Livingston AND a 1st round pick just so they can rent Vince Carter for 2 months? Please.

Trade 4 - This one actually has a chance of happening.

Trade 5 - The Bobcats are pretty much in the same position as the Clippers. Why give up Morrison and a 1st to rent Rashard Lewis for a couple of months?
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