Ever since Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace admitted that he gained inspiration for a trade from Grizzlies blog 3 Shades of Blue, I’ve seen it as justification for bloggers to look for reasonable trade scenarios. Of course, that also means bloggers posing total stupid trade scenarios. And I admit you may think one or more of the scenarios that I’m about to propose makes no sense whatsoever. And that’s fine, it really is. But think about them, and see whether or not you would make the deals I propose.
The deals surround Andre Iguodala because he is the most likely player to be moved. But before we get to them, I have a few ground rules. I am only proposing trades that can be done under the cap rules this offseason. And the trades will target the Sixers’ biggest needs, mainly replacing Lou Williams and Spencer Hawes, finding scoring, or tearing the house down and bringing in draft picks.
Idea 1: Clippers
Iguodala and 2012 2nd round pick (45) for DeAndre Jordan, Eric Bledsoe, and Ryan Gomes
This seems like a bit much in return, but you should think about the contracts going back and forth. Jordan is a young center who, as a supposed defensive center, struggled on defense to the point that the Clippers trusted Reggie Evans more defensively in tight games. DeAndre still has loads of potential, but with Chris Paul in a contract year and the Clips trying to keep him around, adding a much-needed wing talent in Iguodala can make the Clippers a real contender in the West – especially with the dominant wing players in the conference that they had trouble defending.
The Sixers get back one great, young defensive player in Bledsoe and another potential one in Jordan. It’s a trade that makes the Sixers younger and fills two upcoming holes (guard off the bench, center) at the cost of not getting cap room in exchange for Iguodala. Ryan Gomes is added as a salary dumping measure for Los Angeles.
Idea 2: Cavaliers
Iguodala for Anderson Varejao, 2012 1st round pick (24), 2012 second round pick (34)
Iguodala and Varejao are similar players in that they go mostly unheralded because they are defense-first guys. The difference is health: Varejao, over the past two seasons, has played in just 56 games combined – (cue The Weakest Link impression) out of a possible 148 games. While Varejao has been injured quite often throughout his career, the good news is that his injuries seem to not chronic, just a result of something else. It very well could have been bad luck – his last two seasons have been derailed by ankle and then wrist injuries.
Luckily, he does not have a massive contact, one that lasts longer than Iguodala’s but that has a much lower price tag. His injuries concern me, but I’d be willing to take on the risk if I got a couple of picks in the draft, including the Lakers pick from this year. The Sixers reduce salary and fill a hole. This trade comes with some risk, but it is a manageable one, however the trade does not make the team any younger. Meanwhile, this trade is contingent on the Cavaliers drafting a center, be it Anthony Davis maybe even Andre Drummond. That seems to be something to build upon in Cleveland, with Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson already in town.
Hat tip to Conrad Kacsmarek for the trade idea.
Idea 3: Rockets
Iguodala and 2012 1st round pick (15) for Kevin Martin, Patrick Patterson, and 2012 1st round pick (14)
This trade is part salary dump, part position filler, and part draft position adjuster.
Kevin Martin had a bad year at a bad time for Houston, zapping his trade value and making him expendable not as a commodity but as someone they can use for salary purposes. Martin’s scoring dropped dramatically from a year ago, coinciding with a drop in minutes, continued defensive struggles, and injury concerns. He has just one year on his contract and, despite his struggles, would still be a better scorer than anyone the Sixers have. Patrick Patterson also struggled last year, with a new coach and little work in the offseason, but as a decent-sized 4 he provides good value in his rookie deal.
The Sixers and Rockets, seemingly perpetually in the range of mediocrity, find themselves near each other in draft position yet again. And this time, since they are looking at similar players for their picks (according to reports), they will swap draft positions to clinch the trade. The Sixers move up ever so slightly in the draft, get a big, and get a scoring guard. The Rockets get a sidekick that they hope to pair with a star.
Idea 4: Warriors
Iguodala for 2012 1st round pick (7), Andris Biedrins, and 2013 or 2014 1st round pick
Biedrins’ salary is the bait for the Sixers to land two first round picks from Golden State, who desperately wants to improve its roster for next year. With Iguodala, their roster would surely be improved enough to give them a chance, with David Lee already there and hopefully healthy returns from Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry. This trade would effectively announce a rebuilding project, with the two picks being the goal. The Sixers could also take back Dorell Wright’s salary if necessary.
(By the way, the reason for having either 2013 or 14 is the rule that teams cannot trade picks in back-to-back years. The teams can make a deal after the selection is made to forego that rule, however.)
And this trade is contingent on draft positioning, of course, meaning the Warriors have to keep their pick to make it happen. We’ll find out tonight if it can happen.
Idea 5: Timberwolves
Iguodala for Derrick Williams, Brad Miller’s contract, Darko Milicic
Derrick Williams did not play as well as expected in his rookie year, but serving as Kevin Love’s backup can do that to a man. Williams scored enough but didn’t do so efficiently, primarily struggling to extend his range to the NBA three point line. He primarily served as a stretch 4 and, given his size, has the ability to play the position long-term. Unfortunately, in Minnesota that position is taken by Love. The gamble for Minnesota would be whether or not Williams could play the 3 long-term. If they think he can, they don’t make this trade. If not, then this would be perfect for the T-Wolves.
His scoring potential at a position of need makes the trade tantalizing to me. The Sixers should be able to get Williams for Iguodala. The other two players are just contracts, including Darko, who was unimaginably awful last year. Worse than Hawes, even, by a wide margin. Somehow, he’s 26 and has played for 5 different NBA teams already. Darko’s contract is bad, but the Sixers should be willing to take it on for Williams.
Meanwhile, Rubio, Love, Iguodala, and Pekovic would form the best League Pass team of all time, and would contend for a playoff spot, easily. Also, probably Jamal Crawford, because why not?
So those are five trades, each to a different team and each involving players not named Pau Gasol. The logistics of a balanced Gasol trade are nearly impossible to figure out, since Gasol makes a ton of money and the Lakers have nearly no assets besides him. The Sixers would need to give up someone besides Iguodala to make salaries work, and the likelihood of that is slim. But if you can think of something, let me know.