Friday, July 31, 2009

Trades That Should Happen

The NBA offseason is becoming duller by the second, with the last big-name free agents finding teams, and with very few moves being dissected from every angle. Since I agree with almost everything that has been written around the web regarding Lamar Odom resigning with the Lakers, Andre Miller signing with the Blazers, and the Emeka Okafor-Tyson Chandler trade, allow me to avoid writing the same things myself, and instead write 2 new ideas for trades that absolutely, positively should happen.

The Los Angeles Clippers trade Marcus Camby to the Chicago Bulls for Kirk Hinrich:

A trade option that is getting no mention, yet in my opinion is a coup for both teams. The Clippers have a very crowded frontcourt, with Chris Kaman, No. 1 draft pick Blake Griffin, the newly acquired Craig Smith, and the young, promising DeAndre Jordan. With four players already vying for minutes, the 35 year old Camby seems both redundant, and too old for the teams youth movement. Hinrich, on the other hand, has been in trade rumors for years now, especially this summer. With Derrick Rose poised to man the point for the next decade, last years trade deadline acquisition John Salmons expected to start at the 2, and the return of Jannero Pargo, Hinrich seems expandable.

Enter this switch. Both teams get what they want: The Bulls have been starving for a decent center for years, and though Camby isn't a very strong low post scorer, he has a decent mid-range shot (upping his shooting percentage last year to 51%), and is a shot blocking and rebounding machine. This gives the Bulls a very solid frontcourt rotation of Camby, Brad Miller, Joakim Noah, and, if they wish to keep him, Tyrus Thomas. Perhaps more importantly, this unloads Hinrich's 3 year contract, with Camby's deal coming off the books next summer, enabling the Bulls to make a run for Chicago native Dwyane Wade.

The Clippers, on the other hand, sort out their frontcourt logjam, fully committing to their youth movement. The addition of Hinrich then strengthens their backcourt, which currently doesn't consist of much more than Eric Gordon and Baron Davis. Hinrich can give the Clippers a well needed boost of veteran know how, as well as an option to replace Davis at PG if his injury issues continue. And while this deal does hurt the Clippers' cap space in 2010, I really don't believe that they have a decent chance of signing a marquee free agent, given the owner Donald Sterling's reluctant to overpay, and the franchise's well-chronicled streak of failures.

The Dallas Mavericks trade Eric Dampier to the Detroit Pistons for Rip Hamilton

As I explained here, the Mavs' inability to pry Marcin Gortat away from the Orlando Magic would suggest that they are best built to play Dirk Nowitzki at the 5 and Shawn Marion at the 4, and play Phoenix-Suns-style run and gun next season. The Mavs' signing of Tim Thomas, who thrived in Phoenix in the 2006 playoffs, and the signing of Drew Gooden, an athletic 4 who could play center in a small-ball system, strengthens this notion. Seeing how well the Mavs are built for this style of play, Dampier, a slow, traditional, center is unnecessary. Hamilton, however, is an extremely good shooter, who would thrive in a high octane offense, especially with Jason Kidd providing him with shots. Hamilton would give the Mavs a very strong, albiet old, six man core, with Nowitzki, Marion, Kidd, Josh Howard, and reigning sixth man of the year Jason Terry. Together with Thomas, Gooden, and J.J. Barea rounding out the rotation. Though this move doesn't put the Mavs over the top, it more or less solidifies their position as 3rd in the West, and gives them a chance to make some real noise come May.

The Piston's, on the other hand, get to undo Hamilton's terrible 3 year, 34 million extension that Hamilton signed last November, with Dampier's expiring deal (Dampier's deal has another year, however it is fully guaranteed. I wasn't able to understand the conditions under which Dampier's deal becomes fully guaranteed, however, from what I understand there is very little chance that will happen). This gives the Pistons some cap space next summer - though not as much as they had this year, it should be enough for a strong addition. The Piston's would also be fully committing to the newly signed Ben Gordon at shooting guard, and moving further ahead in their rebuilding. As for this season, Dampier gives the Pistons a legitimate starting 5 ahead of the infamous Kwame Brown, completing a solid, if slightly underwhelming offseason.

While some might think of Hamilton as worth more than an expiring contract, the fact remains that Hamilton has exhausted himself in Mowtown, and both sides would benefit from a change. And with the Pistons needing a big man more than anything else, and reportedly not interested in Carlos Boozer, a year of Dampier + cap space seems like the right move.


  1. Anthony M BurrolaAugust 4, 2009 at 3:04 AM

    I like the idea of Rip to Dallas. I don't know the cap situation well enough, but do you think Joe Dumars will unload him for crap? I mean, he wouldn't take Boozer for Tay, who isn't as good as Rip, although younger. I think it'd have to be a way better offer for Dumars to even sniff at that idea.

    As for Hinrich in L.A., I'd much rather have him as a Laker. He's a decent starter and an amazing backup. The only reason I don't see him as a good fit for the Clippers is because it would stunt the growth of one Mike Taylor. They already have a logjam there with the trade that granted them Sebastian Telfair, who will most likely man the point behind injury-prone Baron Davis and in front of injury-prone Mike Taylor. His rookie year was one riddled with injuries but a good run of games, too. See New York; I believe he dropped some 33 points in that game, as a rookie. Anyway, there's me disagreeing with you.

  2. I don't think Dumars would unload Rip for crap - but I think he should. Rip peaked as a player two years ago, yet Dumars unexplicably extended him for 3 years and 34 million in November. While Rip is worth more than an expiring contract, nobody is going to offer the Pistons any more than that in this economy. It's time for the Pistons to move on.

    Kirk Hinrich would be an absolutely amazing fit for the Lakers, but they have nothing to offer the Bulls in return. As far as the Clips are concerned - Mike Taylor was waved on July 31st. While I agree with you that he had some potential, making his waiving another typical Clipper move, this does mean the Clippers are far from jammed at the guards, since I don't think Telfair is good enough to be the first guard off the bench. Hinrich fits in perfectly.

  3. Anthony M BurrolaAugust 5, 2009 at 2:27 AM

    Touche on the Hinrich; but no dice on Rip. I think that's a case of hoping the rich get richer and thus adding more intrigue to what could be a two-team race out West. I've seen Dumars do some outlandish things, but I just can't see him doing that. It would be a terrible trade by all accounts. The team expects to be competitive, and reports are out about Ben Gordon and Rip Hamilton being excited to play together.

    That team needs a point guard, not another Kwame Brown.

  4. Thing is, their best case scenario 4th place in the East. I jst don't thing this core has enough in the tank - you aren't contending if your best players are Gordon/Prince/Rip. If Dumars is going for another title, and not just keeping the playoff streak alive, he needs to make a move, and Rip's contract is by far the worst on the team. So yeah, as I said, Rip is still worth more than an expiring contract in return, but I think he still needs to roll the dice, because as of now the team is going nowhere.