Trying to Trade Blake

This started as a comment, and it got long enough that I brought it here instead.

I've had Blake on my mind lately.

He's not getting traded.



There are three types of trades that COULD (won't) happen:
1. Package Blake with a pick to dump his salary (PLEASE in the name of Ben Gordon NO).
2. Trade Blake for a longer, equally bad contract/player.
3. Trade Blake for a package of players who had smaller but longer contracts for a team who is looking for cap space.

Trade style number 1:

Let's not do this, ok? No sin-eating for the Pistons. Please Weaver... please.

Trade style number 2:

Number 2 is a really short list. John Wall, Russell Westbrook, Tobias Harris, and Khris Middleton, are all guys with big contracts, but are also very useful players. It's not happening. In the same vein, Oklahoma City doesn't want to do a deal for Al Horford unless they are taking back assets.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are the only team I can see doing this if they think they're close to competing next year. I doubt it would happen, but maybe Darius Garland, Collin Sexton, and Jarrett Allen are enough of a young nucleus that they think they can bring in the free agents soon to make a run in the East. Andre Drummond is expiring this year. Blake expires next year. Kevin Love has an extra year after that. If Cleveland thinks they can compete in 2022...

Cleveland trades: Love ($31 million, 2 more years), Taurean Prince ($12 million, 1 more year)

Detroit trades: Griffin ($36 million, 1 more year)

The salaries work according to the ESPN Trade Machine. Cleveland does the trade because it saves them some money the rest of this season, $5 million in the offseason, and $29 million in 2022. They don't have any big raises already scheduled, so they'd be able to add a free agent for about $39 million this offseason and potentially a similar amount in 2022 depending on Allen's new contract.

Pistons need either some draft compensation or a young player swap to make it worth the extra year of Love. I for one am not much interested in any of their young players that would be available. Cleveland has all of their 1st rounders going forward, so maybe something like this:

1st rounder: lottery protected in 2022, top 10 protected in 2023, top 5 in 2024, unprotected in 2025.

This is super optimistic of course: no one is taking protections completely off picks anymore unless they are D'Angelo Russell-coveting idiots. The protections would more likely turn into 2nd rounders eventually, and Cleveland has plenty of those too. I think a Cleveland 1st rounder would be worth the risk of taking on Love's contract.

Trade style number 3:

The other option in my mind would be a trade with the Orlando Magic.

Magic trades: Aaron Gordon ($18 million, 1 more year), Terrence Ross ($13 million, 2 more years), Al-Farouq Aminu ($10 million, 1 more year)

Detroit trades: Blake

Similar to Cleveland, the Magic save a little money the rest of this year. The salaries are actually a wash next year, because Gordon's and Ross's contracts decrease, and then the Magic save $11.5 million in 2022. Saving $11.5 million in two years doesn't seem as valuable to the Magic as saving $29 million would be for Cleveland. As a result, maybe the 1st rounder has stronger protections on it. More interesting to me would be to replace Aminu and the pick with either Fultz or Isaac if the Magic already have buyer's remorse, but I doubt that would happen.


I don't think either of these trades will actually happen, but it's the best I could come up with. I'd say it's much more likely that the Pistons agree to some measly buyout of a few million, but hey, I have a week off work, so why not dream?

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