I know, I know, we here at NBAO have written recently that getting into too much trade talk inevitably makes you go crazy. I agreed. Then Simmons, on Grantland today, pulls out his, “Trade Machine Picasso” canvas. I both love & hate when he does it, as I fancy myself better at constructing moves than the self-proclaimed master. What? I mean, he offered you some ideas that involved Minnesota puling the trigger on deals with the Lakers(okay, somewhat exciting), Suns(meh), Hawks(yawn), Wizards(zzzzzz), & Pistons(anyone know CPR?) on page 1, before moving onto trades that are just as absurd as the one I’m about to throw at you. Plus, admit it, you didn’t realize his story had a page two until just now. It only took me 3 hours to figure it out. Anayway, his breakdown on a player’s value was enlightening to a certain extent, it’s pretty subjective, but finding a new fish taco joint is my idea of enlightening. NBA trades need to make you say, “I’m going to change one small part of this unique deal The Wolfe has proposed, then pass it off as my own idea all over Twitter”…Go ahead, steal from me, I’d be honored.
So, without further ado, I offer up to you a 3-way deal involving Orlando(oh, yeah. you know what’s coming), Oklahoma City(now I really have your attention!), & Minnesota(I’m sorry, I’m sorry, but we only need them for a draft pick, possible salary flexibility, & to leak the pending deal, setting Twitter ablaze):
Magic get: Westbrook, Perkins, Minnesota’s 1st round pick, 2nd overall(picking Derrick Williams, SF, Arizona), & OKC’s 24th pick(selecting JaJuan Johnson, PF, Purdue)
Thunder get: Dwight Howard & Jameer Nelson
Wolves get: James Harden
How it affects every team:
Minnesota now has a ton of trade options to get some veteran players to surround their young core of Love, Harden, & Rubio(if they are lucky?). Every NBA “expert” insists Minny wants out of this #2 spot. It’s as if they know Kahn will mistakenly blurt out: “GIMME JIMMER!!”. The Wolves could trade Johnny Flynn to the Knicks for Toney Douglas, as rumored. With all of their salary flexibility they could also easily trade the 20th pick for an established rotation player. They want out of the 2nd pick? Maybe they get a more attractive package than James Harden, OKC or Orlando could add another piece, but I just don’t see it happening.
Orlando has to know Dwight Howard isn’t sticking around, right? You & I do, so why wouldnt the Magic front office come to terms wit it? Everyone assumes that Howard wants to go Hollywood or Madison Ave., but with a new CBA pending, is there any way he finds himself in a better situation than playing with a top-5 player like Durant? We’ll get back to OKC, because this is about what Orlando does to soften the loss of it’s franchise player. Getting Westbrook gives them an All-Star caliber guard, which is just so important, with it now being a PG driven league. They also get Perk to put in the middle. Having him allows SVG to maintain his defensive philosophy of having a pine tree planted in the paint & not much else. Almost as important as Perkins, they obtain the 2nd overall pick, presumably Derrick Wiliams. A superb athlete, who could team with Rusty for as many highlights as ESPN can fit on Sports Center. Pick & rolls until the cows in Orange County come home. In addition to Williams, they could select JaJuan Johnson, a player I lobe, as another front court player who jumps out of the gym. His style of play would mesh very well with Williams’, whose only flaw is that he is a combo forward. Best remedy for that? Put him in a frontcourt with superior defenders. Perkins & Johnson? Click, check, check, click. With this, Orlando essentially traded Howard for Westbrook, Perkins, & Williams(find me a better deal that works under the cap) & unloaded Nelson for a first rounder. Now for the scary part…
Oklahoma City gives up Rusty(how’s that Durant/Westbrook relationship after the playoffs, huh?), Harden’s beard, & Perkins scowl. What do you think? Guess what? It doesn’t matter. OKC is now the best team in the NBA after this deal. That’s probably the only way Howard signs on for an extension in a
city town that’s not within a 15 minute helicopter ride of the beach, right? He has to be sold on being the co-anchor of the best team in his conference, with a fan base that will adore him as they win not one, not two, not three, but at least four titles over the next ten years. Skeptical? Let me ask you this: If you were Pat Riley, would you trade you LeBron/Wade/Bosh for Howard/Durant/Ibaka? I would. In a South Beach minute. With my deal, you’d now have two MVP candidates who actually compliment one another’s game. Jameer Nelson comes along for the ride to provide Howard with a bit of familiarity. If their is one thing a big man wants, it’s a PG who knows where & when you need the ball. A starting five of Howard/Ibaka/Durant/Sefolosha/Nelson with Maynor, Collison, & a couple of role players, is much better than any roster currently in the Western Conf. Believe ‘D’ wins ‘ships? With Howard & Ibaka, they turn every offense into a jump shooting shadow of itself. Think you need to score efficiently during crunch time? Durant gets bucket after bucket in the same way Dirk did for Dallas this year.
Listen, thinking about these deals is fun for fans & the media, but rarely ever come to fruition. We dream ‘em up anyway, knowing that either A.) the teams involved suffer paralysis from over-analysis, as they don’t want to lose a blockbuster in the eyes of the media & fans or B.) a team like the Magic gets greedy & insists on having Ibaka included, rather than taking OKC’s 1st rounder & finding their own version of him.
With that, I’ll give Simmons his self-proclaimed title of, “Trade Machine Picasso”, back. I’d rather be the, “Trade Machine Jackson Pollock”, anyway.
(as verification that the deal works, here’s the Trade Machine link. keep in mind that this deal could easily be tweaked to include other players btwn ORL & OKC because of the payroll flexibility afforded by including the Wolves)