Hey SOV Family, my name is Mike Payne, editor over at DetroitBadBoys.com here on SBNation. I've been thinking about our respective situations and wanted to kindly ask for a Memphis fan litmus test. I've been mulling over a trade idea to discuss in our Pistons community but want to know what Memphis fans feel before proceeding. First, here's the trade concept, then my rationale:
ESPN Trade Machine Results: http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=5ty4xts
Rationale for Memphis:
First, I don't pretend to know much about your situation, but I do feel like I have a general understanding of how things are going in Memphis. Between Randolph and Marc Gasol, I believe it would be Memphis' goal to resign Gasol and let Randolph walk, using the cap relief to help finance a Gasol contract. Thing is, Randolph's expiring contract is a bit of overkill here, providing more relief than may be necessary to resign Gasol. (potentially restricted cap not withstanding)
When Gasol walks, Memphis is in trouble at the PF position with not a lot of answers. It might be possible to ship out Randolph for expiring money and a starter-quality power forward at least for the interim (that presents an upgrade over Darrell Arthur). The trade outlined above would maintain $11M in expiring salary from Randolph's contract, plus a versatile power forward whose contract is arguably suited for either a starter or bench role.
This trade shouldn't make Memphis any less of a player for Gasol. You've got his bird rights and he's restricted, so you can have him if you really want him-- with either $11M free from Prince or $18M free from Randolph. How much should you pay for him, that's the question. He's taken a step back this season, and if I were a competing GM I might not offer more than $8 or $10M a year for him. But I'm getting off the track here...
A trade like this would get Memphis a starter-quality PF to run next to Gasol when starting the 2011-12 season. I know Villanueva doesn't come without faults. He's been much improved on defense this season, and when he's given a consistent role he can put up serious numbers. He's an improvement over Arthur in TS%, defensive rebounding rates, plus he offers stretch shooting which will create space for Memphis' guard penetration. Prince is mostly added as an expiring deal, as he's a bit duplicitous when combined with Rudy Gay.
Rationale for Detroit:
Detroit has a glut of power forwards and needs to clear out just about everyone that isn't on a rookie contract. Randolph's addition would wipe the books for a real rebuilding process that needed to start long ago.
Question is, would Memphis actually bit on this? It would maintain the flexibility to match any offer for Gasol and still be friendly with the current cap. It'd also ensure that you have someone to start at PF in October. Is this enough? Is there something else on the Pistons roster that you'd be interested in? Is there anyone you need to dump? (note that Monroe is the only real untouchable, although Jerebko and Daye would be a tough sell. Anyone else is ready to move) Last, Detroit would not part with it's first round pick this season. Second rounders are in play.
What are your thoughts? Am I completely and utterly out of my mind? Is there any potential commonality here? Thanks for reading!!