Despite the Howard Hold-up (tm) cockblocking NBA trade rumors prior to the deadline, we're exploring what moves might be available to a team like Detroit. Today, New Orleans, Oklahoma City and Denver are on deck, three teams that present real trade opportunities for Detroit. While the most annoying decision since the Summer of Lebron continues to be weighed in Orlando, let's hope the teams that have no interest in Dwight will make something happen...
- NBA Trade Rumors 6: Memphis, Dallas, Houston
- NBA Trade Rumors 5: Washington, Charlotte, San Antonio
- NBA Trade Rumors 4: Miami, Orlando, Atlanta
- NBA Trade Rumors 3: Milwaukee, Cleveland, Indiana
- NBA Trade Rumors 2: New Jersey, Toronto, Chicago
- NBA Trade Rumors 1: Philadelphia, New York, Boston
New Orleans Hornets | Southwest Division | 9 - 31 Record
No team has been more active on the trade wire than the New Orleans Hornets. They shipped out Chris Paul before the start of the season for Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman and a 2012 lottery pick. They almost immediately placed Kaman on the trade block, publicly acknowledging that they were working to trade him. If the trend continues, the Hornets might make something happen before the deadline and again on draft night.
Despite losing Paul, this team has a nice, young roster, a pair of lottery picks and plenty of upcoming cap room. Moreso than most bottom tier teams, New Orleans is poised for quick growth.
Trade Status: Kaman was on the block, then in uniform, then on the block while playing and now NOLA is talking about extending him. In other words, he's still available. The Hornets would probably love to trade Emeka Okafor, but he's expensive and has been out for a month with a knee injury. Chances are, any player not on a rookie scale contract is available in New Orleans. Beyond the rookie scale players, however, there isn't a lot of value.
Note that since the Hornets franchise is for sale, the team may prefer to avoid long term contracts.
Trade Likelihood: 5/10
Pistons - Hornets Trade Options: While the Pistons would love to borrow Kaman's expiring contract to get out of a bad deal, NOLA isn't looking to take on salary. Given that they're likely to lose Kaman and Carl Landry in free agency this summer, they might look to shore up their frontcourt now. Jason Maxiell might interest New Orleans, given his one remaining contract year and serviceable play of late. Maxiell could be swapped for the under-appreciated Jarrett Jack straight up, and Jack would give Detroit something it does not have in its backcourt-- a player who can shoot threes and pass.
There are other options between these two teams. Emeka Okafor could be had, only if New Orleans is willing to take on the less-horrible and equally-inactive Charlie Villanueva. It would provide the Hornets with the salary relief they're looking for, albeit in smaller chunks of $5M per year. Detroit would be taking the risk, and doing so only with the sign-off of Arnie Kander and the goal to keep Okafor beyond his deal as a cross-positional first big off the bench. Detroit would be better suited to look for that with draft picks, however.
Oklahoma City Thunder | Northwest Division | 31 - 9 Record
The Thunder were apparently approached by Orlando to trade Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka for Dwight Howard. OKC's response? Fugoff. Such a move might push the Thunder closer to a title this season, but the chances of Dwight staying on are slim to none. Wise move, OKC. Since they aren't concerned with the Howard Hold-up, we might be able to talk a deal.
Trade Status: Since OKC has a deeper-than-deep frontcourt, they have determined their only need for a title push is a backup point guard. Interesting.
Trade Likelihood: 7/10
Pistons - Thunder Trade Options: Hey Sam Presti, did you know that the Lakers are trying to acquire Will Bynum from Detroit? They're wise to do so. Bynum is instant offense off the bench, he's a solid full court defender and he's back to 100% full health. Given that Cole Aldrich is buried at the bottom of your roster, we think a 1:1 trade gives both teams what they need. We do have two second round picks this year, and we'd consider moving the latter of the two in case you're interested in looking for a project.
Okay, that's reasonable, but still a long shot. The Thunder cut Nate Robinson this season, and the similarities between these players is unfortunate. What's more, there are other backup point guards on the market that OKC could acquire. They'd have to send out more than Aldrich to get a player like Ramon Sessions, but it's important to know that this is the type of player Detroit would be up against in a trade. But if Joe Dumars hasn't at least called Oklahoma about such a trade, that's a dick minus.
Denver Nuggets | Northwest Division | 23 - 18 Record
You owe us, Denver. You owe us and you know it. We've given you Chauncey Billups, Antonio McDyess and Arron Afflalo for cancer and the clap. Here at DBB, we did everything short of yelling the names "Ty Lawson" and "Kenneth Faried" at Dumars' house with a megaphone the day before draft day. I'd be terrified if Joe D. actually called Denver this week. Detroit would probably wind up with Al Harrington and Andre Miller for Monroe and Stuckey. Toss in Detroit's first rounder, you know, just for spice.
Trade Status: Denver hasn't been able to work out a deal with Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari has been injured and the Nuggets have been forced to start Corey Brewer at small forward. They might consider making a move for a veteran wing presence on the trade market instead.
Trade Likelihood: 2/10
Pistons - Nuggets Trade Options: Denver has a bevy of bigs that aren't getting burn. The rise of Kenneth Faried only underscores this issue. If they need help on the wing from a veteran Kobe Killer (tm), Tayshaun Prince might be of value without much change in salary commitments. Detroit should call Denver and offer Prince for Kosta Koufos and Corey Brewer. Such a trade works under the current CBA, and puts both teams in a better position given their needs.
Brewer has never really established himself as a reliable NBA player. He's got one year remaining on contract, but deserves another shot from a team that can give him a more concrete role. He may not start as a Piston (ideally, he'd back up Jonas Jerebko), but could be given 25-30 minutes a night in both wing positions. If he doesn't work out, his $3.2M salary comes off the books next season.
Kosta Koufos might be a tough sell for Denver. Per minute, he's an efficient rebounding machine who can steal and block shots. He's a genuine 7-footer and he performs well even when used sparingly. He has a chance to get some real burn in Detroit, and might be quite a gem to a team-in-transition like the Pistons. If Denver asks for second rounders in addition to Prince for this deal, it should be worth it given Koufos' young age of 22.
No on Koufos? We'll take Timofey Mozgov. The Russian center is another genuine 7-footer, a solid rebounder who can block shots and has a decent stroke.
No on Koufos or Mozgov? That's frustrating given they don't have playing time for both, and they're behind Chris Anderson in the depth chart. So how about Chris Anderson and Brewer for Prince? Anderson is 33 and on contract through 2014 at a rate below the MLE. Detroit does this to get out of Prince's contract and to add a backup center who can block shots and defend. He'd continue the Maxiell/Wallace role for the next 2-3 years.
Denver, you owe us. Let's talk, yeah?