With the February 21st NBA Trade Deadline approaching quickly, it is about that time every basketball fan creates their wish list of players they want their team to strike a deal for. Trades are not that simple though, there are many parts. There are exceptions, restrictions, no-trade clauses, etc. Every trade has a different reason for the teams involved. Take the Rudy Gay deal for example. For Toronto, they made the deal to improve their roster and add the best perimeter player they’ve had since the Vince Carter era. On the other hand, Memphis only dealt Gay to dump salary. The Grizzlies sent Josh Selby, Mareese Speights, Wayne Ellington, and a draft pick to Cleveland for just Jon Leuer in return for one reason and one reason only, to get under the luxury tax. The moral of the story is there are many complicated parts in a trade, and no one trade is the same.
Sixers General Manager, Tony DiLeo, has said that the franchise still views Andrew Bynum as a long-term solution, and would like to sign the seven-footer to a contract extension this summer. At the same time, he has said the team is looking to stay in playoff contention this season, and they will look to make under the radar, if any moves to do so. With that being said, here is my wish list. It’s not just a wish list though, I have my reasons for thinking each would be a good fit.
Also, in order to determine each player’s production regardless of minutes, each player’s stats will be listed as per 48 minutes rather than per game. The only reason being I don’t find it fair to disregard a player’s production in his role, whether it be 10 minutes per night or 40.
1. Tyreke Evans, Sacramento Kings
It is well documented that Sacramento is willing to deal Tyreke Evans and/or DeMarcus Cousins. While Cousins is undoubtedly the more talented of the two, Evans is a better fit and more realistic for the Sixers. If Evans were to come to Philly, he would be coming back home first of all. The 6’6″ guard was born and raised in Chester, Pennsylvania before going to school in Memphis to play under John Calipari. Evans was drafted fourth overall in 2009, and won the Rookie of the Year award.
The Sixers lack of fire power on offense is no secret. The Pennsylvania native has the ability to get his own shot at any time, a skill that only Jrue Holiday and Nick Young possess on the current Sixers roster. Tyreke averages over 23 points and 7 rebounds per 48 minutes this season. 4th worse is where Holiday and company rank currently in the NBA in scoring, at just 93.3 points per game. Evans has shown glimpses of greatness throughout his career, but has yet to reach his full potential.
This seems like a great fit for both parties. Tyreke could come home to play, and possibly be helped by a change of scenery, and the Sixers could use the scoring punch either way. After talks of trading for Monta Ellis in back to back years, maybe this is the year they finally make a deal for a true scoring guard.
2. Lou Amundson, Minnesota Timberwolves
Lou Amundson has been linked to many rumors. There is a strong possibility that there will no longer be rumors come Friday though, when the team has to make a decision on whether to sign Chris Johnson and Mickael Gelabale. Amundson has produced for the Wolves when superstar Kevin Love went down to injury, and has an extremely attractive contract as of right now. Due to make less than a million dollars this year, for every 48 minutes, Amundson has averaged 9.5 points and 14 rebounds.
Thaddeus Young went down with a hamstring injury in Monday night’s game against Orlando. As of now, it looks like they will try to fill that starting power forward spot with a platoon of Spencer Hawes, LaVoy Allen, Arnett Moultrie, and according to Assistant Coach, Brian James, Damien Wilkins may even need to put in minutes at that spot. Why not offer Minnesota a future second round pick? You know what you’re going to get with Amundson. Rebounding, effort, and defense is what he’ll give you on the court night in and night out. For me, this is a no-brainer.
3. Eric Maynor, Oklahoma City Thunder
You’re never supposed to lose your job because of an injury, but that’s exactly what happened to Eric Maynor. After getting injured, Reggie Jackson stepped into his back-up point guard role behind Russell Westbrook and performed wonderfully. The Thunder just picked up Jackson’s option for next year this past summer, basically showing Maynor the door.
Tony DiLeo has asked about the availability of Maynor, and it’s no wonder why. The Sixers struggle mightily when All-Star point guard is off the court. Royal Ivey brings a defensive intensity that does lack at times this season, but other than shooting the three well this season, he offers next to nothing offensively. It’s a shame that Maynor has practically fallen out of Oklahoma City’s rotation because he’s been productive. Even this season, in very limited minutes, he is averaging 12 points and 9 assists every 48 minutes. Those are numbers the Sixers could use coming off the bench, and having a reliable point guard running the second unit can only mean good things for all the other role players.
Wild Card: Greg Oden, Free Agent
Before you say, “No way. We already have a seven-footer with knee problems.”, I will tell you that you are correct. Andrew Bynum has yet to step foot on the court this season, and all Sixer fans are getting impatient. I have one question for those of you that don’t think it would be worth a chance. Why not? What do they have to lose? Oden is just 24 years old, and has played just 82 games in 5 years as a pro. Honestly, I would be ecstatic if the Sixers tried to bring in the former number-one overall pick. The potential is unlimited. In 2008, Oden was taken before Kevin Durant, arguably the best player in the NBA today, and nobody second guessed Portland. There’s a reason for that. He was a dominant force on the defensive end and on the glass in one year at Ohio State.
While his knees are definitely a question, there is certainly hope. Players such as Jason Kidd, John Stockton, Chris Webber, and Tracy McGrady have all come back from the microfracture surgery Oden underwent without ever missing a beat. He has been working out in Columbus, Ohio while taking classes at Ohio State again, and says he’s healthy. With Andrew Bynum still out, wouldn’t you want to see the Sixers take a chance on a guy that has the potential to be a perennial All-Star? Injury history or not, if my options are Greg Oden or Kwame Brown, not a single doubt runs through my mind. I’m going with Oden.