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In search of dance partners for Joe Dumars

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Continuing in a series of cameos by DBB readers, here’s LawyerBoy — MW

By: LawyerBoy

Let me start off with a disclaimer as to avoid subsequent questions/criticisms. All trades were verified by the ESPN TradeChecker (Draft picks can't be included in the program. If restrictions exist on them that I've failed to take into account, my bad). The ESPN TradeChecker still represents this year's (2007-2008 season) salaries into trade plausibility, but it takes subsequent years' salaries into account too. That being said, I only pursued trades that are of interest to me (You won't see me propose a trade involving Carmelo in any article this off-season).

While I examined countless trade possibilities, plenty that I liked (involving teams not subsequently listed) didn't make this article. Please keep in mind that this is by no means an exhaustive list of what I would suggest better serves the Pistons and their trading partner for the future. This is simply a (somewhat organized) list of trades that captured my interest as well as hopefully that of the DBB community.

I'm not expecting everyone to agree with my subjective determinations of fairness, but I included draft picks when I thought it to be necessary to make the trade fair to both teams. I've decided to break the subject matter up (hopefully) over two posts. First up, I will investigate multiple trade possibilities with two of the trading partners I find most worthwhile: the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Clippers. The second post will (likely) deal with (only) the Portland Trailblazers and the Denver Nuggets.

PHILADELPHIA 76ERS:

Truthfully, I believe this may be the best trading partner on the market. The Sixers have a true post-presence in Samuel Dalembert, a legitimate point guard in Andre Miller should we choose to swap point guards, and plenty of other assets (Willie Green, Thaddeus Young, and more) that could have Joe D.'s interest.

Proposed Trade:

  • Samuel Dalembert/Willie Green for Rasheed Wallace/Arron Afflalo

Possible Variations:

  • Dalembert for Wallace
  • Dalembert/#16 pick for Wallace/#29 pick (I almost picked this trade as the top choice and I think it's quite fair to both teams)
  • Dalembert/Thaddeus Young for Wallace/Arron Afflalo/#29 pick
  • Dalembert/Andre Miller/Young for Wallace/Chauncey Billups/future second rounder(s)
  • Dalembert/Miller/Young for Wallace/Billups/#29 pick
  • Dalembert/Miller/Green for Wallace/Billups/Afflalo/#29 pick

Why the Pistons do it: The most insightful Pistons fans in the world (read: DBB community) have been clamoring for a real post-presence at center who cares about rebounding. Enter: Samuel Dalembert. He's an instant fit on the Pistons defensive-minded, blue-collar composition and he won't venture out of the paint (I'm looking at you and shaking my head, Sheed) while averaging a double-double. I think a center that stays in the paint and doesn't get called for six Ts during the playoffs may actually end up preventing a lot of cardiac arrest among Detroit fans even if he's not nearly as offensively gifted as Rasheed.

If Willie Green comes over in the package, you get an instant hometown hero off the bench who spells Rip. Green would probably be the best shooting guard coming off the bench this side of Ginobili and Gordon. Andre Miller is a fascinating player as I think perception of him varies quite widely among basketball enthusiasts. I'm pretty fond of Miller because he doesn't give up a ton of size to Chauncey and I don't think he's a dreadful downgrade from Billups either. I'm happy with swapping point guards in the aforementioned scenarios. A platoon of Stuckey and Miller strikes me as a favorable construction.

Why the Sixers do it: Rasheed is a Philly native. If there's any city he'd immediately be accepted in, it's Philly. Philadelphia gets to add a veteran presence at center, one that is a huge upgrade on offense from Dalembert. Sheed is comparable to Dalembert on defense even if he may be slightly worse in my view (though some may argue he's not and is in fact better than Dalembert). Iguodala would appreciate the scoring support Rasheed provides from anywhere on the court.

If Willie Green is jettisoned, the Sixers can switch Iguodala to shooting guard and bring Thaddeus Young in to start at small forward. That may even be an improvement upon last year's starting lineup. I imagine Philadelphia is reticent to part with their All-Rookie Second Teamer, Thaddeus Young (or Willie Green for that matter). Having Andre Iguodala on the squad makes any such deal a lot easier to swallow. If Philly got Chauncey and Rasheed in a package, they'd have two championship veterans around to support Iguodala.

LA CLIPPERS:

I think (especially out here in Los Angeles) that people forget this squad won a playoff series in 2005-2006 against Denver (4-1) and took Phoenix to seven games in the next round. This team has essentially the same players as it did then, some of whom in my eyes would be worthwhile additions to the Pistons. Unfortunately, about half of the Clippers' contracts are no longer on the books come July, so making a deal with them is tougher until all of that is settled. Regardless, I've constructed multiple scenarios without involving Elton Brand or any other Clipper who is a free agent this summer. Unfortunately, we always end up acquiring Cuttino Mobley no matter what I do.

Proposed Trade:

  • Chris Kaman/Cuttino Mobley/Tim Thomas for Chauncey Billups/Rasheed Wallace/#29 pick

Possible Variations:

  • Kaman/Mobley/Al Thonton/Brevin Knight for Billups/Tayshaun Prince/Cheick Samb/Arron Afflalo/#29 pick & future first rounder
  • Kaman/Mobley/Tim Thomas/Knight for Billups/Rasheed Wallace/Samb/Afflalo/#29 pick & future first rounder
  • Kaman/Mobley/Thornton/Josh Powell for Billups/Prince/Cheick Samb/#29 pick
  • Kaman/Mobley/Thomas/Al Thornton for Wallace/Prince/Amir Johnson/future first rounder
  • Kaman/Mobley/Thomas/ for Wallace/Billups/Samb/#59 pick and future second rounder
  • Kaman/Mobley/Thomas/ for Wallace/Billups/Samb/future second rounder

Why the Pistons do it: Chris Kaman is another true center that ought to be on Joe D.'s radar. I imagine Pistons fans would hardly complain if he came back to his home state at these prices. Mobley has a bad contract ($9 mil. this year, $9.8 mil. next), but he'd make for a hell of a backup shooting guard for the next couple years, wouldn't he? And Rasheed would move to starting power forward or backup center if he wasn't shipped to the Clippers.

I think Tim Thomas is a solid pro (though I get a lot of resistance to that claim) who can back up Tayshaun (or Thornton). Rasheed is jettisoned in most of these scenarios though, and that would result in an automatic reduction in technicals for the Pistons. If Tayshaun is moved in this deal I demand Thornton in return. At its absolute worst, I believe it to be a lateral move in terms of talent, possibly an upgrade of a very similar skill set.

Why the Clippers do it: Assuming they re-sign Elton Brand (they will), the Clippers starting line-up looks like this if they make one of the proposed trades: Chauncey Billups, Corey Maggette, Al Thornton or Tayshaun Prince, Tim Thomas or Rasheed Wallace, Elton Brand or Rasheed Wallace. That's one talented starting five by my estimation. If the Pistons offer a homecoming for Westchester High alum Amir Johnson, DBB will be collectively heartbroken (suck it up, sissies), but it will probably be worth it for both squads.

Even in the crowded West, with Chauncey holding their fort down the Clippers could certainly make (and possibly compete for series wins in) the playoffs. The Clippers are desperate for a reliable point guard. Chauncey will be very attractive to them and they might even overcompensate the Pistons to get him.

That's Part One, folks. If I'm commissioned for a Part Two by Matt [ed. note -- he is], it will come later this week. I hope this promotes some rational, healthy discussion and that the DBB community enjoys this article as much as I enjoyed (compulsively) compiling and analyzing it.