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Category → Trade Idea

Friday Trade Idea: Dealing Richard Hamilton and Kwame Brown to the Dallas Mavericks for Josh Howard and Matt Carroll

Every Friday (well, that’s the goal), I’ll analyze a potential Pistons trade. It might be a rumor, a deal I completely made up blindly or one you suggest (e-mail me at [email protected] or leave a proposal in the comments).

Trade

Pistons receive:

  • Josh Howard (12.5 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.7 blocks, 0.3 steals)
  • Matt Carroll (1.6 points, 0.3 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 0.0 blocks, 0.3 steals)

Mavericks receive:

  • Richard Hamilton (17.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 0.1 blocks, 0.7 steals)
  • Kwame Brown (3.5 points, 3.5 rebounds,  0.6 assists, 0.2 blocks, 0.3 steals)

Salaries

Pistons receive:

Player 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13
Josh Howard $10,890,000 $11,835,000 $0 $0
Matt Carroll $4,700,000 $4,300,000 $3,900,000 $3,500,000
Total $15,590,000 $16,135,000 $3,900,000 $3,500,000

Mavericks receive:

Player 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13
Richard Hamilton $11,625,000 $12,650,000 $12,650,000 $12,650,000
Kwame Brown $4,100,000 $0 $0 $0
Total $15,725,000 $12,650,000 $12,650,000 $12,650,000

Player option

Team option

Pistons’ perspective

Joe Dumars doesn’t want just expiring contracts for Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. I think this deal offers more than that.

Before this season, Howard was an excellent player. He’s still good, but his production has fallen way off. If Dallas had to decide two years ago, Howard’s team option probably would have been picked up. But you can’t count on him for 20 points, seven rebounds and two assists and excellent defense every game anymore.

Hamilton’s play has picked up since returning from injury. He’s a better player than Howard right now. But Howard would give Detroit a few advantages to Hamilton.

Howard is 29, a couple years younger than Hamilton. Maybe a change in environment would do them both good.

Howard is also a better fit at small forward than Hamilton, which would free more minutes for Ben Gordon at shooting guard. Plus, Dumars seems keen on players who can play multiple positions.

Most importantly, Howard’s contract is not guaranteed past this season. This trade would shed $8,350,000 from the Pistons’ payroll this summer (assuming they decline the team option). But depending on where the cap is set, that might not give them much more to spend than the mid-level exception.

On one hand, that could give them a chance to pay a free agent more money than any team that’s over the cap. It’s would be a small advantage, but every dollar counts.

A better plan would likely be re-signing Howard for about $7 million per season (assuming he passes what would become a half-season audition) and using the mid-level exception on another player.

The Pistons would probably have room under the luxury tax threshold to do that and re-sign Will Bynum and Ben Wallace. Basically, the Pistons would be trading for Howard and another quality player (the free agent signed with the mid-level exception) or for a good, but not elite, free agent this summer (if they let Howard walk).

The trade also works without Kwame Brown and Matt Carroll, which would be a plus for the Pistons. But I think Dallas would insist both are included, so the financial hit of adding Hamilton isn’t as great.

Carroll wouldn’t be a total burden, though. His salary decreases ever year, and he could fill a role as a 3-point specialist.

Chad Ford (insider) recently analyzed five hypothetical trades. One of them was a three-way deal that included this trade (along with sending Prince to Utah for Boozer). Relevant portions:

But in any case, moving Hamilton for Howard, who has a nonguaranteed contract for 2010-11, would work well for the Pistons, for whom Hamilton’s contract has become an albatross. This trade would give them the opportunity to pursue a free agent this summer. And while they would be reluctant to swallow the three years remaining on Carroll’s contract, that’s also the length of Hamilton’s contract, which they would be shedding.

The Mavs would trade Howard, but they’d prefer to get someone younger than Hamilton in return. They’ve looked at Kevin Martin, Caron Butler and Andre Iguodala, but so far the Kings, Wizards and 76ers don’t want to give up those players for mere cap relief. But Dallas doesn’t have its first-round pick this year and owner Mark Cuban has said he’s not trading rookie point guard Rodrigue Beaubois — and the Mavs don’t have much else to offer in terms of inexpensive assets. So Hamilton might be the best they can do.

His contract is ugly — he has $34 million in guaranteed money owed to him over the next three seasons after this one. At the same time, the Mavs would be ridding themselves of the remaining $12 million due Carroll over the next three seasons. Looking at it that way, Dallas would be getting Hamilton for about $7.5 million per year for the next three seasons. While that’s not a bargain, he would help them offensively, stepping in as the starting 2-guard and providing another veteran shooter in the backcourt.

Mavericks’ perspective

For each trade, I will seek the analysis of the other team’s TrueHoop Network blogger.

Rob Mahoney of The Two Man Game:

“Josh Howard’s inconsistent and uninspiring play has put the Mavs in a tough spot. If Howard plays up to the level that the Mavs know he’s capable of, he’d be a stellar complement to a Mavs core that could certainly use his scoring and perimeter defense. But at this point, Howard’s lows are so much of a downer that they negate any potential highs; any coach, any team, and an fan base can only take so many two of ten shooting nights before patience begins to wear thin.

The most infuriating thing about Howard’s decline is that it’s practically nonsensical. Josh played exceptionally well in last year’s first round series against the Spurs before being shut down for the second round match-up with the Nuggets. Since then, Josh has battled and recovered from a few different injuries, throwing the Mavs’ rotation for a bit of a loop in the process. But when Howard hits the court, his past injuries are hardly apparent; he has no noticeable limp, he doesn’t favor one side over another, and his movements, leaping, and shooting stroke all appear to be relatively normal. But his effort level? A bit lacking at times. His shot-selection? Getting better, but occasionally worrisome. His once heralded perimeter defense? Strong some nights, and gone the next. Dirk Nowitzki needs some consistent help, and the Mavs as a whole need a more active defender at the 2.

Enter Rip Hamilton. On the surface, he’s not an ideal fit; he’s older than the Mavs’ other rumored trade targets, his contract runs long and hits hard, and as a kicker, he’s having a bit of an off-year. But a change of scenery can do wonders for a player, and I don’t think it’s terribly unreasonable to expect a slight pickup in Rip’s production if he was traded to a playoff-caliber team (and with his addition, hopefully more than just playoff-caliber).

The hardest sell on a Josh-Rip swap would be Mark Cuban. Hamilton is owed $37.5 million over the next three years, and while it could possibly make the Mavs better now, Rip will be a ghost of his former self by the time his deal runs out. Plus, with the new CBA due in 2011, it’s entirely possible that a player of Hamilton’s stature would (in the future) go on the free agent market for significantly less than $12.5 million per.
The Mavs’ other potential deals would need to fall through. Maybe Sacramento is clearly resolved to keep Kevin Martin, Phoenix pries away Andre Iguodala for Amar’e Stoudemire, and Houston (or per the latest rumor: Boston) nabs Caron Butler. The Mavs still would be looking to make a change to improve their roster, and while a Josh for Rip trade straight-up may not grab Mark Cuban’s attention, the inclusion of Kwame Brown (or more importantly, his expiring contract — the man is destined to be trade fodder) and Matt Carroll (or more importantly, his contract — the man is destined to be a bench-warmer in Dallas, but he’s due $11.7 million over the next three years). It wouldn’t exactly slide the Mavs under the cap or even under the luxury tax line, but scrapping Carroll’s deal could help persuade Cuban to take on a bigger financial commitment – like Richard Hamilton.”

My response

I think Hamilton’s production would go up more as a product of getting back in shape after an injury. But going to a contender certainly wouldn’t hurt, either.

Otherwise, I think Rob’s analysis is spot-on.

Verdict

The Pistons would say yes. The Mavericks would say yes if they haven’t found a better offer by the trade deadline.

Previous

Sunday Trade Idea: Going after Amar’e Stoudemire

Every Friday (well, that’s the goal, which obviously didn’t happen this week), I’ll analyze a potential Pistons trade. It might be a rumor (like this one), a deal I completely made up blindly or one you suggest (e-mail me at [email protected] or leave a proposal in the comments).

Trade

Pistons receive:

  • Amar’e Stoudemire (21.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.0 blocks, 0.7 steals)
  • Jarron Collins (0.7 points, 1.8 rebounds, 0.1 assists, 0.2 blocks, 0.0 steals)
  • Suns receive:

  • Charlie Villanueva (13.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.8 blocks, 0.7 steals)
  • Kwame Brown (3.5 points, 3.5 rebounds,  0.6 assists, 0.2 blocks, 0.3 steals)
  • Chris Wilcox (4.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.4 blocks, 0.4 steals)
  • First-round draft pick (lottery protected this year, top-10 next year, top-5 the next year and top-1 forever)

Salaries

Pistons receive:

Player 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14
Amar’e Stoudemire $16,378,325 $17,686,100 $0 $0 $0
Jarron Collins $1,181,803 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total $17,560,128 $17,686,100 $0 $0 $0

Suns receive:

Player 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14
Charlie Villanueva $6,500,000 $7,020,000 $7,540,000 $8,060,000 $8,580,000
Kwame Brown $4,100,000 $0 $0 $0 $0
Chris Wilcox $3,000,000 $3,000,000 $0 $0 $0
Total $13,600,000 $10,020,000 $7,540,000 $8,060,000 $8,580,000

Player option

Pistons’ perspective

Well, I figured it was about time I tackled the Amar’e-to-Detroit rumors. Right off the bat, let me say this: I don’t think the Pistons have what it takes to land Stoudemire. But Michael Schwartz of Valley of the Suns and I discussed a few ideas, and we think this is the most realistic option.

I think this deal would have to be a no-brainer for the Pistons. They’re essentially trading three bench players and a draft pick for a star – a young big man at that.

All of a sudden, they’d have a guards Rodney Stuckey and Ben Gordon, forwards Austin Daye and Jonas Jerebko and Stoudemire at center. That’s a young lineup full of promise to build around for the next several years.

I think a Gordon and Stoudemire could be deadly on the pick-and-roll. And Stoudemire’s inside play would create jump shots for Daye and to a degree, Jerebko and Stuckey.

There are a few drawbacks, though.

If Stoudemire opts out of his contract, he could be gone after this year. The Pistons likely wouldn’t have the cap room to sign a max free agent, but they still could get an excellent player.

If Stoudemire doesn’t opt out, the Pistons could be forced to let Ben Wallace and/or Will Bynum walk or trade someone else to stay under the luxury-tax line next season.

Detroit has very little size and would be losing a lot of it. Jarron Collins would be a stop-gap to help that problem a little. The Pistons would probably look to add a free agent center for the rest of the season, too.

And of course, if the Pistons struggle after this trade, that draft pick could end up pretty valuable.

John Hollinger also analyzed the trade in a recent column (Insider):

Detroit: Nobody is quite sure whether the Pistons are coming or going these days, but one option to think about is a trade of Charlie Villanueva for Stoudemire. That would get the Suns a younger player at a more reasonable salary and pave the way for the rebuilding process, and the Pistons could line the deal with expiring contracts (Chris Wilcox and Kwame Brown) to make the salary-cap math work. Such a deal would give Phoenix $10 million of additional wiggle room around the luxury tax and, of course, a replacement for Stoudemire.

From Detroit’s perspective, it would be taking a risk by committing to Stoudemire and adding another long-term contract to a fairly large stable of them. Richard Hamilton, Ben Gordon and Jason Maxiell all have at least two years left after this one at big numbers, and Rodney Stuckey is likely to join them because the Pistons can extend him this summer. Although there isn’t any threat that the Pistons could become a tax team, it would be a heavy salary structure for a club that’s losing big and is in the process of changing owners.

For that reason, the odds tilt heavily against such a deal taking place, but from the Phoenix perspective, it would be one of the more intriguing options.

Suns’ perspective

For each trade, I will seek the analysis of the other team’s TrueHoop Network blogger.

Michael Schwartz of Valley of the Suns:

“Although lately the Amare Stoudemire trade rumors that have interested me the most have been those involving Andre Iguodala and Philadelphia, if I were Suns GM Steve Kerr I would at least take a moment to contemplate it if Joe Dumars offered me Charlie Villanueva, Kwame Brown, Chris Wilcox and a protected first-rounder for Stoudemire.

I believe the Suns need to get a potential All-Star young stud and a big in any Amare trade. In the right deal that could be the same person, such as a Michael Beasley or Al Jefferson.

This Detroit deal would essentially involve the Suns receiving cap relief/filler and Charlie V.

There are many things I love about Villanueva, and it’s not just because I follow him on Twitter. He’s a young big who knows how to score the basketball and would play well with Nash on the offensive end (but then again, who doesn’t?). His salary ranging from $6.5 million this year to an $8.5 million player option in 2013-14 is fairly reasonable for a guy of his skill set.

On the other hand, he doesn’t even defend or rebound as well as Amare does, and that’s not tough to do for a 6-foot-11 performer.

As for the salary reasons, the Suns would be taking back nearly $3 million less in salary, which would amount to a savings of close to $6 million when factoring in luxury tax savings. Losing Brown’s expiring deal next season, the Suns would save $7-10 mil next year depending on if Wilcox picks up his $3 mil option (likely) as compared to their cap situation if Amare stays and picks up his $17.7 mil option.

That would put the Suns in the $52-55 million range if Grant Hill and Channing Frye pick up their options (or more if they decline and are re-signed for more), which means this deal would take Phoenix out of the Summer of 2010.

If Amare were to opt out and leave, this deal would add $7 or $10 mil to Phoenix’s 2010-11 cap in comparison to what it would be without him.

So in summary, the Suns would be receiving a solid player in Charlie V and a solid draft pick as well as some short-term cap relief but a 2010 cap detriment that limits Phoenix’s future flexibility.

Upon further review, I would decline this deal if I were Suns GM Steve Kerr because Villanueva is not the kind of player who would move me to get rid of Amare, especially with the Suns having won five in a row to vault into the No. 5 spot in the West.

My response

I completely agree. Stoudemire should fetch a better player than the Pistons have to offer. They could probably get better cap relief than having to take Chris Wilcox, too.

Verdict

The Pistons would say yes. The Suns would say no.

Previous

Friday Trade Idea: Acquiring Ty Lawson in a three-way deal

Every Friday (well, that’s the goal), I’ll analyze a potential Pistons trade. It might be a rumor, a deal I completely made up blindly (like this one) or one you suggest (e-mail me at [email protected] or leave a proposal in the comments).

Trade

Pistons trade:

  • Richard Hamilton (19.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 0.1 blocks, 0.8 steals)
  • Ben Wallace (5.5 points, 9.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.1 blocks, 1.3 steals)
  • DaJuan Summers (2.5 points, 1.0 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 0.2 blocks, 0.2 steals)

Pistons receive:

  • Ty Lawson (9.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 0.0 blocks, 0.9 steals)
  • Jared Jeffries (4.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.1 blocks, 1.0 steals)
  • Renaldo Balkman (1.3 points, 2.0 rebounds,  0.4 assists,  0.1 blocks, 0.6 steals)
  • Johan Petro (1.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, 0.0 assists, 0.0 blocks, 0.0 steals)

Nuggets trade:

  • Ty Lawson (9.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 0.0 blocks, 0.9 steals)
  • J.R. Smith (14.7 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.2 blocks, 1.2 steals)
  • Joey Graham (4.2 points, 1.8 rebounds,  0.2 assists, 0.2 blocks, 0.3 steals)
  • Renaldo Balkman (1.3 points, 2.0 rebounds,  0.4 assists,  0.1 blocks, 0.6 steals)
  • Johan Petro (1.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, 0.0 assists, 0.0 blocks, 0.0 steals)
  • Malik Allen (1.6 points, 1.1 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 0.0 blocks, 0.0 steals)

Nuggets receive:

  • Richard Hamilton (19.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 0.1 blocks, 0.8 steals)
  • Ben Wallace (5.5 points, 9.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.1 blocks, 1.3 steals)
  • Nate Robinson (12.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 0.2 blocks, 0.8 steals)
  • DaJuan Summers (2.5 points, 1.0 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 0.2 blocks, 0.2 steals)

Knicks trade:

  • Nate Robinson (12.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 0.2 blocks, 0.8 steals)
  • Jared Jeffries (4.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.1 blocks, 1.0 steals)

Knicks receive:

  • J.R. Smith (14.7 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.2 blocks, 1.2 steals)
  • Joey Graham (4.2 points, 1.8 rebounds,  0.2 assists, 0.2 blocks, 0.3 steals)
  • Malik Allen (1.6 points, 1.1 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 0.0 blocks, 0.0 steals)

Salaries

Pistons trade:

Player 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14
Richard Hamilton $11,625,000 $12,650,000 $12,650,000 $12,650,000 $0
Ben Wallace $1,306,455 $0 $0 $0 $0
DaJuan Summers $457,588 $762,195 $1,059,293 $0 $0
Total $13,389,043 $13,412,195 $13,709,293 $12,650,000 $0

Pistons receive:

Player 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14
Jared Jeffries $6,466,600 $6,883,400 $0 $0 $0
Renaldo Balkman $2,036,920 $1,675,000 $1,675,000 $1,675,000 $0
Ty Lawson $1,438,680 $1,546,560 $1,654,440 $2,544,528 $3,610,685
Johan Petro $884,881 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total $10,827,081 $10,104,960 $3,329,440 $4,219,528 $3,610,685

Nuggets trade:

Player 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14
J.R. Smith $5,508,426 $6,031,851 $0 $0 $0
Renaldo Balkman $2,036,920 $1,675,000 $1,675,000 $1,675,000 $0
Ty Lawson $1,438,680 $1,546,560 $1,654,440 $2,544,528 $3,610,685
Malik Allen $1,300,000 $0 $0 $0 $0
Joey Graham $884,881 $0 $0 $0 $0
Johan Petro $884,881 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total $12,053,788 $9,253,411 $3,329,440 $4,219,528 $3,610,685

Nuggets receive:

Player 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14
Richard Hamilton $11,625,000 $12,650,000 $12,650,000 $12,650,000 $0
Nate Robinson $4,000,000 $0 $0 $0 $0
Ben Wallace $1,306,455 $0 $0 $0 $0
DaJuan Summers $457,588 $762,195 $1,059,293 $0 $0
Total $17,389,043 $13,412,195 $13,709,293 $12,650,000 $0

Knicks trade:

Player 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14
Jared Jeffries $6,466,600 $6,883,400 $0 $0 $0
Nate Robinson $4,000,000 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total $10,466,600 $6,883,400 $0 $0 $0

Knicks receive:

Player 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14
J.R. Smith $5,508,426 $6,031,851 $0 $0 $0
Malik Allen $1,300,000 $0 $0 $0 $0
Joey Graham $884,881 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total $7,693,307 $6,031,851 $0 $0 $0

Player option

Team option

Qualifying option

Pistons’ perspective

My initial idea was doing something around Richard Hamilton for Ty Lawson. Obviously, that doesn’t work cap-wise, and since the Pistons would have little use for J.R. Smith, a third team probably would have to be involved.

The Pistons are actively shopping Hamilton, so parting with him wouldn’t be a problem. Ben Wallace is a different story.

He wanted to come to Detroit and nowhere else this summer. Wallace has been awesome this year. He’s been Detroit’s best player, just excellent defensively and on the glass.

But this would basically be the one deal that could work with him. He just wants to be in Detroit, but he also signed thinking the Pistons were aiming to make the playoffs and challenge for the second round – which was true at the time.

This trade would obviously represent a change in the Pistons’ philosophy, aiming more toward rebuilding. I don’t think Wallace would want to be a part of that, so I think he could be convinced Denver would be a good place to play.

I think with the respect Joe Dumars has for Wallace, he would seek Wallace’s approval before doing the trade. Denver would probably require that conversation, too, given Wallace’s previous statements about deciding not to retire so he could play in Detroit.

With Billups and Hamilton there, Denver might be more of a home than Detroit. Plus, we’d get a pretty good look at what it would have been like had the Pistons drafted Carmelo Anthony instead of Darko Milicic in 2003.

Moving to what Detroit would be getting:

Lawson is a true point guard and would allow Rodney Stuckey to shift to shooting guard. Lawson’s outside shooting would balance Stuckey’s ability to get to the rim. This would be the premier young backcourt in the league.

Jared Jeffries was underrated a few weeks ago. Then, he started getting a lot of credit all of a sudden. He’s probably fairly rated now. He’d bring strong defense to a team that badly needs it and could serve as a good role model for Jonas Jerebko.

Renaldo Balkman is a hustle player with an affordable contract. Pistons coach John Kuester recently complained about Detroit’s effort. Balkman would help change that.

The Pistons would cut Petro.

For the Nuggets, this would be a win-now move. Richard Hamilton obviously plays best with Chauncey Billups. They complement each other very well, and Hamilton is finally back from injury and looking closer to his old self.

Nate Robinson would fill the scoring role off the bench that J.R. Smith does now.

A concern for the Nuggets would be losing three more players than they acquire. But the Pistons would cut Petro, and I assume the Knicks would drop Allen and/or Graham. Could the Nuggets survive 30 days waiting for them with 10-day contracts and a smaller roster? That’s the main reason DeJuan Summers is included.

The Knicks would have an extra $851,549 in cap room this summer. They’d also add a very talented player in J.R. Smith to help attract free agents. I’d assume they’d cut Allen and/or Graham.

Nuggets’ perspective

For each trade, I will seek the analysis of the other team’s TrueHoop Network blogger.

Jeremy Wagner of Roundball Mining Company:

From the Nuggets’ standpoint I am not sure this makes sense.

The Nuggets would love to add a big man to help them handle the size of the Los Angeles Lakers’ front line. Nene held his own against Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, but he is the only big on the roster with any girth. Kenyon Martin is too light in the haunches to handle Bynum and a little short to deal with Gasol. Big Ben would give the Nuggets much better flexibility when dealing with the Lakers talented front court. 

Here is a little update after J.R.’s issues against the Hornets a few days ago.

J.R. Smith once again found himself in hot water with management after temporarily leaving the bench and pouting after getting pulled from a game against the Hornets last week. There was apparently a great deal of debate among the Denver brass about whether or not to suspend him. The ultimate decision was to allow J.R. to play, and reports are that the Nuggets are not seeking to trade him before the deadline, but you have to wonder if the fact that Smith is still dealing with maturity issues in his sixth NBA season makes decreases his value amongst decision makers in the Nuggets’ organization.

I can see how Hamilton would make them a little more stable, but Lawson and Smith are both game-changing players, and they give Denver a lot of offensive depth. Plus, adding Hamilton would force them to radically change what the Nuggets do on offense. Instead of a pick and roll/isolation concept they would have to start running Hamilton off of screens. 

Robinson can light it up, and it might seem like he could be the offensive force off the bench that J.R. currently is, but he is wildly inconsistent, even more so than J.R., and is a serious defensive liability. What makes J.R. so special in my eyes is he is much more than a scorer. J.R. is great running the pick and roll with Nene and he can drive and dish as well as any two guard in the league. Robinson might be able to match Smith’s scoring average, but he can not be the set up man J.R. can be.

With Lawson, he is the point guard of the future and with Chauncey showing signs of age and wearing down late last season I do not think they can afford to part with him. 

That trade also adds more money to the payroll for this season and next, and I do not think the Nuggets will do that without the deal guaranteeing them a spot in the finals, which would obviously be some special transaction. If they are going to challenge the Lakers, they need a fourth highly competent big man. Even so, I do not expect them to part with Smith or Lawson for another big. They are both too important and each of them are great fits for what the Nuggets need.

I think you are barking up the right tree with the all of the players you have included in the Balkmans, Grahams and Allens.  I believe the Nuggets would part with all of them in order to get the player, or players, they want.

The trade would give Denver a more "stable" shooting guard with a championship pedigree and help in the front court they desperately need to match up with the size of the Lakers.

Even acquiring Hamilton, Wallace and Robinson I believe giving up Earl III and Lawson is more than Denver could stomach. To this point the Nuggets’ front office has not been afraid to make bold and even unpopular moves, but the one thing they have not done is given up a young building block.

My response

If there was ever a time to give up young building blocks, this is it. The Nuggets are on the verge of contention, and this move could get them over the top. Plus, with a lockout looming, planning for the future is harder to do than usual.

Knicks perspective

Kevin McElroy of KnickerBlogger.net:

I like it for the Knicks and think they would probably do it. I would have liked it even more a couple months ago if they’d had time to try to move Smith for an expiring contract before the deadline.

I think they probably get a little worse this year, but have more upside if they can get acclimated to playing with Smith. Long-term, Smith is a more attractive teammate for free agents than Jeffries.

You could put Smith in a sign and trade with Lee this summer to equal the salary of a max player. Say the Raptors can’t sign Bosh, and the Knicks don’t have enough cap room for him. Does Toronto give them Bosh for a package of Lee and J.R. Smith rather than letting him walk for free? I think they at least consider it.

I also think Smith might fetch a late first rounder in a draft where the Knicks famously don’t have one.

I would want the Knicks to take it.

My response

If Detroit and Denver were dedicated to making something like this happen, the Knicks would be the right team at the right time to take advantage. They not only add a quality young player, they meet their primary goal of adding cap room for this summer. The deal is so good for them, I almost had them giving up a draft pick, too.

Verdict

The Pistons would say yes if Ben Wallace approved the move to Denver, and I think he could be talked into that. The Knicks would do it. If the Nuggets can afford the luxury tax hit, I think they are very tempted. In the end, the probably pass.

Previous

Monday Trade Idea: Dumping Jason Maxiell

Every Friday (well, that’s the goal), I’ll analyze a potential Pistons trade. It might be a rumor, a deal I completely made up blindly (like this one) or one you suggest (e-mail me at [email protected] or leave a proposal in the comments).

Trade

Pistons receive:

  • Adam Morrison (2.7 points, 1.4 rebounds , 0.6 assists, 0.1 blocks, 0.1 steals)

Lakers receive:

  • Jason Maxiell (5.2 points, 3.9 rebounds , 0.5 assists, 0.5 blocks, 0.4 steals)

Salaries

Pistons receive:

Player 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13
Adam Morrison $5,257,228 $7,897,484 $0 $0
TOTALS: $5,257,228 $7,897,484 $0 $0

Lakers receive:

Player 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13
Jason Maxiell $5,000,000 $5,000,000 $5,000,000 $5,000,000
TOTALS: $5,000,000 $5,000,000 $5,000,000 $5,000,000

Player option

Qualifying option

Pistons’ perspective

Since he signed a contract at the beginning of last season, Jason Maxiell has been slipping. He just doesn’t look as intense or sharp on the court.

It may be the contract extension, but there certainly could be other factors. The Pistons lost the stable leadership of Chauncey Billups and brought in Michael Curry as coach. He hasn’t exactly improved under John Kuester, either.

With the years and dollars left on his contract, Maxiell probably isn’t the best fit in Detroit. If a team offers an expiring contract or a semi-usable player with just one season left after this, Detroit would have to consider a deal.

With Maxiell’s salary removed from next year’s payroll, the Pistons would have room to re-sign Ben Wallace and Will Bynum and use their mid-level exception.

But the only teams likely to have interest are contenders that will be over the cap this summer. The Lakers fit that role, and I think a change in environment could help Maxiell.

At his best, Maxiell is a valuable reserve who can score in the post, with a mid-range jumper or on putbacks. He can rebound and defend a little, too.

But he hasn’t been his best in a while. Speaking of being off your game, the Lakers’ have Adam Morrison’s expiring contract. Rumor is they’re shopping it for immediate help, and I imagine they have their sites set higher than Maxiell. But I’m not sure how much more they could get.

Lakers’ perspective

For each trade, I will seek the analysis of the other team’s TrueHoop Network blogger.

Kurt Helin of Forum Blue & Gold:

“The Lakers are not looking to take on a lot of salary — they already have the highest payroll in the game (since the Knicks started actually managing the franchise) — but they will consider a good value. While the Lakers have a dominant front line right now, a little more depth is one thing they want (not as much as a quality point guard, but it is a need).

Maxiell, especially the one from the three years before this season, can be that guy. The Lakers would simply want hustle, rebounds, and defense for 20 minutes a game. Right now, particularly when Gasol is out, Josh Powell gets those minutes and Jason is an upgrade there.

The Lakers are shopping around Morrison’s contract, it is something they will move for a piece they think improves the team.

I would have scouts taking a close look at Maxiell, to see why his game has not progressed this season, why the setback. (This is something Piston fans probably understand better than I do.)

If it is something that a change in situation and a defined roll could change, the Lakers would have to consider it. Again, due to money they may follow through on something like this, but they would consider it.

As a side note, Piston fans should not look at Morrison as any more than an expiring contract. Do not think about him the rookie, he is just not that player right now, his confidence is shot and teams have the book on how to defend him.

If he gets an open look, he can still hit the shot. He can spread the floor.

But, he cannot create his own shot and teams will run him off open looks and force him to move, then it comes apart. Also, he is not a good defender at all.

This is not a case where he is right on the edge of turning the corner and becoming the player people had thought. This would be an expiring contract and little else.”

My response

I wouldn’t expect anything from Morrison. But if Detroit is acquiring an expiring contract for Maxiell, I’d rather it be a 25-year-old former No. 3 pick than some old, injured 35-year-old.

Verdict

The Pistons would make the trade. Barring an injury or a rotation player becoming less productive, the Lakers would pass.

Previous

Friday Trade Idea: Getting out Richard Hamilton’s and Jason Maxiell’s long-term contracts and getting immediate help

Every Friday (well, that’s the goal), I’ll analyze a potential Pistons trade. It might be a rumor, a deal I completely made up blindly (like this one) or one you suggest (e-mail me at [email protected] or leave a proposal in the comments).

Trade

Pistons receive:

  • Troy Murphy (14.1 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.6 blocks, 0.8 steals)
  • T.J. Ford (9.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 0.2 blocks, 0.8 steals)

Pacers receive:

  • Richard Hamilton (18.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 0.1 blocks, 0.9 steals)
  • Jason Maxiell (5.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.4 blocks, 0.5 steals)

Salaries

Pistons receive:

Player 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 20012/13
Troy Murphy $11,047,619 $11,968,253 $0 $0
T.J. Ford $8,500,000 $8,500,000 $0 $0
TOTALS: $19,547,619 $20,468,253 $0 $0

Pacers receive:

Player 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 20012/13
Richard Hamilton $11,625,000 $12,650,000 $12,650,000 $12,650,000
Jason Maxiell $5,000,000 $5,000,000 $5,000,000 $5,000,000
TOTALS: $16,625,000 $17,650,000 $17,650,000 $17,650,000

Player option

Pistons’ perspective

Jared Wade of Eight Points, Nine Seconds and I spent a lot of time yesterday talking about a potential trade. The Pistons and Pacers have a lot of moving pieces, and we came up with a bunch of deals that both teams would have to consider. You could certainly come up with variations of this deal that include Kwame Brown, Mike Wilcox, Mike Dunleavy, Jeff Foster and maybe even Roy Hibbert. But I think this is the most logical.

The Pacers get the best player in the trade, give up no players younger than 26, get cap relief this year and next year ($2,922,610 this year and $2,818,253 next year). That’s the type of deal that most teams make in a heartbeat.

But this is a little more complicated. The Pacers would be on the hook to pay Hamilton and Maxiell $17,650,000 the following two years, while the Pistons would owe Murphy and Ford nothing.

This would be a franchise-altering move for the Pistons. They’re at a crossroads. They can continue with their current core and hope to make the playoffs, or they can trade for the future.

This deal actually could do both, although I think it would lean toward the latter.

Murphy is actually a solid player and could help Detroit the next two years. He might be a little redundant with Charlie Villanueva, but Hamilton is similar to Ben Gordon. I’d rather have an overloaded front line than too many guards.

Ford has fallen out of favor with the Pacers, but I think he could have a role off the Pistons bench. As a true point guard, Ford would allow Rodney Stuckey to play more shooting guard, where he excels right now. And Ford, generously listed at 6-foot, seems to play better when his minutes are limited.

Of all the deals Jared and I discussed, I think this one exists in the small window where the Pistons would have room under the luxury tax to re-sign Will Bynum and Ben Wallace in the offseason and the Pacers get some cap relief.

Assuming the Pistons exercise their $2,767,126 option on Rodney Stuckey (a given) and Chris Wilcox picks up his $3 million option (a likelihood), Detroit will have about $55 million in committed salaries.

The luxury-tax line is projected to be $61.2 million next season. So, this would make it close. But I doubt it would be too hard to trade Chris Wilcox’s expiring contract to clear a little more room if necessary (like the Pistons did this summer with Arron Afflalo and Amir Johnson).

The Pistons would go into next season with the expiring contracts of Murphy, Ford, Tayshaun Prince, Wilcox and Stuckey. All of a sudden, Detroit would have a lot of room to maneuver and, I think, a solid team.

Pacers’ perspective

For each trade, I will seek the analysis of the other team’s TrueHoop Network blogger.

Jared Wade of Eight Points, Nine Seconds:

“It’s certainly something Larry Bird would have to consider. The Pacers backcourt is an absolute joke and Rip would not only be able to score immediately in Jim O’Brien’s jumpshot-happy offense, but he would be a welcome sight to many Indy fans who long for the days of Reggie Miller. Rip would immediately be in the top three or four offensive threats on the team and that’s with the realization that he has been decidedly below average this year.

Maxiell, too, brings some toughness and athleticism in the paint – both of which the Pacers lack. Then again, Tyler Hansbrough and Jeff Foster already do a lot of the same stuff that Jason does and at least Tyler will probably be here for the next three seasons at a minimum.

Neither T.J., who has totally fallen out of the rotation and has reportedly been on the trade block for a loooong time, nor Troy are a part of Larry Bird’s long-term plan, so giving these guys up shouldn’t be any major holdup.

But I don’t see Indy wanting to do this.

It would be essentially committing to a core of Granger, Rip, Hibbert, this year’s #1 pick, Maxiell and Hansbrough over the next four years since taking on the $17.5 million of those two guys wouldn’t leave a ton of cap flexibility. After you fill out the rotation with $1-$4 million players, the most they would have is MLE-level money to acquire anyone "marquee." And while that lineup isn’t terrible — presuming, ya know, Rip learns how to shoot again soon — it’s not any better than a 5 or 6 seed. And that’s also assuming that Hibbert develops into a borderline Rik Smits-level offensive talent, which is definitely possible but far from certain.

Mediocrity would be a vast improvement for the Pacers right now, don’t get me wrong, but there would be no real hope of exceeding mediocrity. Indiana would be essentially where Detroit is now and not even have a "cross our fingers and hope Stuckey becomes Dwyane Wade Lite" hope for a future. That team would have a clear ceiling and it would probably be the second round of the playoffs.

Around the Hoosier state, that seems to be something management is almost cool with these days, but I doubt they would commit to Rip, given his relative post-Billups era fall from grace, both as a scorer and as good chemistry guy.

My response

I think Hamilton’s shooting will pick up again. His leg strength wasn’t immediately there after his injury. But he’s clearly improving since his return.

Maybe I’m higher Roy Hibbert than Jared. I think he can be a star, and Granger already is. I think that’s a solid core. It might take getting lucky with the first-round pick, but not many title teams are built without a few lucky breaks.

I think one mistake many teams make is waiting for the dynamite move that will vault them into a championship contender. A good first step is becoming good. I think building a winning culture goes a long way. You don’t want to bring a bunch of young talent into dysfunction.

I admit this might leave the Pacers with too little flexibility, but they would be improved.

Verdict

I think the Pistons would do the deal if they were confident they could shed a couple million in salary if its necessary to have room to re-sign Bynum and Wallace. From the outside, I think they can, so I think they’d do it.

For the Pacers, I’ll leave it to Jared:

“If I was GM of the Indiana Pacers: Pass

What I think Larry Bird would do: Pass”

Previous

I realize I’m still one trade idea behind. I plan to post it Sunday night or Monday morning, and I’m still planning on posting another for next Friday.

Thanks to all of you who e-mailed trades. Sorry, if I haven’t responded yet. I will, but I wanted to talk to the other team’s TrueHoop bloggers about some of them first. Keep the ideas coming.

Friday Trade Idea: Bring David West to the Detroit Pistons

This is the first post in a new weekly series. Every Friday, I’ll analyze a potential Pistons trade. It might be a rumor, a deal I completely made up blindly (like this one) or one you suggest (e-mail me at [email protected] or leave a proposal in the comments).

Trade

Pistons receive:

  • David West (17.3 points, 7.4 rebounds , 2.4 assists, 0.7 blocks, 0.8 steals)
  • Ike Diogu (0.0 points, 0.0 rebounds , 0.0 assists, 0.0 blocks, 0.0 steals)
  • Sean Marks (1.0 points, 4.0 rebounds , 0.4 assists, 0.4 blocks, 0.0 steals)

Hornets receive:

  • Kwame Brown (3.8 points, 3.8 rebounds , 0.6 assists, 0.1 blocks, 0.3 steals)
  • Chris Wilcox (4.2 points, 3.5 rebounds , 0.3 assists, 0.5 blocks, 0.3 steals)
  • DaJuan Summers (2.7 points, 1.0 rebounds , 0.3 assists, 0.8 blocks, 1.0 steals)
  • Detroit’s first-round pick (top-20 protected this season, lottery-protected afterward)

Salaries

Pistons receive:

Player 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12
David West $9,075,000 $8,287,500 $7,525,000
Sean Marks $1,187,686 $0 $0
Ike Diogu $884,881 $0 $0
TOTALS: $11,147,567 $8,287,500 $7,525,000

Hornets receive:

Player 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12
Kwame Brown $4,100,000 $0 $0
Chris Wilcox $3,000,000 $3,000,000 $0
DaJuan Summers $457,588 $457,588 $0
TOTALS: $7,557,588 $3,457,588 $0

Player option

Team option

Pistons’ perspective

I realize this trade doesn’t look great for the Hornets. But it’s based on a few assumptions.

1. The Hornets can’t find takers for Peja Stojakovic, Morris Peterson or James Posey.

2. New Orleans becomes desperate to shed salary this year. That means West has to go.

3. Although the demand would increase greatly for him next year, West doesn’t draw a lot of interest because teams want to save their cap space for this summer.

The deal would save the Hornets $3,268,406 this season in salary (prorated to the end of the year). And they’d save that total amount in luxury tax payments.

They’d also save $8,287,500 next year if Wilcox declines his option and the Hornets don’t pick up Summers’ option. Wilcox could make $3 million next season.

I also think Wilcox would be a good fit with the Hornets, especially because of his ability to receive Chris Paul’s alley-oops. It’s not likely, but it’s reasonable Wilcox could have value at $3 million next year.

For the Pistons, I think this trade is a pretty clear win.

West could help the Pistons get into the playoffs this year, providing the inside scoring they sorely lack. And at 29, he’s young enough to rebuild with.

With or without this trade – barring another deal – the Pistons won’t have cap room this summer. But this deal would set the Pistons up nicely for the next summer.

They’d have only about $37 million committed to salary (assuming David West opts out). Tayshaun Prince, Rodney Stuckey and West would all be free agents. In all likelihood, Detroit would try to re-sign all three. But if something went awry in the plan, the Pistons could let them walk and have the flexibility to go a different direction.

The Pistons are in a position to take on salary right now. They’re one of the few teams in the league not saving cap room for the summer that has a relatively low payroll. The questions are whether they take advantage of their position and how desperate other teams really are.

Hornets’ perspective

For each trade, I will seek the analysis of the other team’s TrueHoop Network blogger.

Ryan Schwan of Hornets247:

“Nothing is outside the realm of possibility, but there are two things that would have to occur for the Hornets to even consider trading David West.

1. They’d have to be unable to bribe a team like the Nets, OKC, or Memphis to take on Hilton Armstrong and his expiring 2.8 Mil contract + a cash/pick sweetener. This would seem to be their preferred method of cutting salary.

2. They’d have to really fall apart from here to the All-star break. The Hornets are absolutely serious about keeping together the team as long as it can realistically reach the playoffs. The team has also been clicking of late as the they have finally adjusted to having five new rotation players. (And compensating for having Paul miss nine games)

Despite the over-reporting of the Hornets financial woes, that isn’t actually the case. Yes, the Hornets have the lowest ticket price in the league and are also in a small market, but their per game revenue is in the middle ten of the league, and their corporate endorsements haven’t really been impacted by the bad economy. Sure, they are willing to sacrifice players like Rasual Butler – and Devin Brown – for Tax relief, but those players are marginal rotation players at best.

Now – if the team collapses between here and February, then I’d expect to see every player not named Chris Paul put on the trading block. That said, I’m not sure the package you list, which gives the Hornets nothing at all useful except for space under the Luxury Tax line (not even cap space) would entice the Hornets to give up a two-time all-star who is essentially an 8 million dollar expiring contract next year. (He’s bound to opt out of his third year.)”

My response

Only one team, the Grizzlies, could absorb Armstrong’s contract without sending a player back. And even if Memphis made that deal, New Orleans wouldn’t save as much this year and wouldn’t save any money next year.

Verdict

The Pistons would do it. But the Hornets probably pass today – any maybe forever.