On these next two weekends I’m going to go over some trade scenarios involving the Sixers which, I think, make sense for every team involved. They will all involve the Sixers (obviously) and will all fill some need the team has.
The Houston Rockets have made no secrets about their desire to get a superstar. Depending on your perspective, they had one earlier this year. In the Chris Paul to the Lakers trade, the Rockets got what they wanted: Pau Gasol. They gave up a lot to get him, mind you, but they had a core in place to make a run in the Western Conference now and for the next few years (with Kyle Lowry, the NBA’s best veteran bargain, in tow).
But then David Stern had his way, vetoing the trade and making the Clippers the ultimate destination for Chris Paul. The Lakers ultimately lost little – they still have three top flight players carrying their team to the postseason, and if they can ever figure out what to do with the empty slots at nearly every other position on court, they could conceivably compete. However, they’ll likely need to trade someone, likely Pau Gasol, to fill those holes. In any possible Pau Gasol trade, the Lakers would need four things: a replacement for Pau, a point guard, a small forward, and some semblance of cap relief, not necessarily in that order.
Meanwhile, the Sixers have a lot going for them. They still have the amnesty clause in their back pocket if they want to make a free agent splash this summer. They have young talent and a strong record, but not nearly enough to make a push to the top of the Eastern Conference. One of the biggest problems the Sixers have is not having a dependable go-to scorer. The Sixers’ leading scorer is Lou Williams, who for all of the frustration he causes does give us nearly 16 points per game off the bench. The leading scorer in our starting five, Jrue Holiday, scores just over 13 per game. Yes, our starting five could use some scoring punch.
Kevin Martin can provide that. While he’s averaging 18 points per game this year, which would lead the Sixers, that’s actually a low number for him. He’s averaged at least 19.8 points per game in each of previous 5 seasons. Replacing Jodie Meeks in the starting five, Martin would provide a lot more than just floor spacing. Meanwhile, Martin would be a terrible fit on the lakers – KOBE! – but would have to be a part of the Gasol deal. So the Sixers, with some tradeable pieces, can help these two teams put a deal together, while ultimately acquiring Kevin Martin.
Here’s ultimately how I would make a deal work (a link to the trade page can be found here):
|LA Lakers Receive:||Rockets Receive:||Sixers Receive:|
|Luis Scola (HOU)||Pau Gasol (LAL)||Kevin Martin (HOU)|
|Chase Budinger (HOU)||Andrew Goudelock (LAL)||Goran Dragic (HOU)|
|Lou Williams (PHI)||Jodie Meeks (PHI)|
|Andres Nocioni (PHI)|
The Rockets get their man, plus some pieces to fill out the puzzle. They get Gasol, who they can match with either Sam Dalembert or Patrick Patterson at the 4/5 spots. Jodie Meeks can split time with Courtney Lee at the 2, while Goudelock can battle Jonny Flynn for the backup point guard spot.
The Lakers plus all of their holes AND save money over the next two years. They take on a bit of salary with this construction of the deal, but they can reduce that to almost nothing by sending Matt Barnes to the Rockets as well. Lou Williams can fill a hole as a starter or as a reserve. Budinger gives them a second wing player who can score (besides Kobe, of course). Noce gives them the salary savings: his contract contains a team option for next year that no one would accept. And Scola replaces Gasol for the Lakers.
Meanwhile, the Sixers make a big move without giving up their biggest trade chip (you know who I’m talking about) while getting a top-50 NBA player who fills a big need, along with a very solid backup point guard to fill the void left by Lou Williams. The bench gets slightly weaker but still has Thaddeus Young, Evan Turner, Nikola Vucevic, and the newly acquired Dragic.
Every team gets what it wants out of this deal. It just so happens the Sixers could get involved.