Suns fan here and I was just stopping by to get some feedback from Grizzlies fan on a trade that I have concocted. I occasionally stalk this site and the Grizzlies are the team I root in the playoffs when the Suns don't make it. I am somewhat familiar with the Grizzlies' situation and the age old question of whether Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph can play alongside one another. In my trade the Grizzlies address their need for three point shooting but the issue of a back up point guard is more or less unresolved; the Grizzlies would have to rely on Tony Wroten Jr. and Josh Selby to sop up the backup point guard minutes. Formulating trades is a hobby of mine and I like challenging myself into making trades that help a wide array of teams; thus explaining why the trade I have invented involves 7 teams! Kindly hit the jump and inspect my colossal trade.
My trade involves the shuffling of 31 players and 8 draft picks between 7 teams (I wasn't kidding when I said I went all out configuring this bad ass trade. The involved teams: Suns, Hawks, Grizzlies, Pacers, Rockets, Jazz, Bucks
Pacers Receive: Rudy Gay and Jared Dudley
Rockets Receive: Tony Allen and Al Jefferson
Utah Jazz Receive: Samuel Dalambert, Marcus Morris, Kendall Marshall, Toronto's lottery pick via Houston, first round draft picks from Memphis and Indiana, 2 second round picks from the Lakers Draft Picks via Phoenix, and 1 draft pick from Minnesota Via Phoenix
I'll start of with the Grizzlies because their situation is most fascinating to me. The Grizzlies flamed out of the playoffs this past season because Gay and Randolph did not have much time to gel with each other given Randolph's partially torn MCL; most people believe that Gay and Randolph cannot co-exist (I am not personally part of that contingency but I digress) with one another because Gay does not seem committed to Lionel Hollin's policy of grind it out and pound the rock. So, you might ask how the heck do Frye, Granger, Martin and Stevenson address the aforementioned problem? Well it became clear during the playoffs the Grizzlies lacked the outside shooting as they were 25th in 3PFG%necessary to sufficiently complement the Grizzlies inside game. Granger who is an excellent defender and three point shooter and is willing to sacrifice his game for the betterment of the team is a better fit for the team as constructed. Frye, who as we know, is a solid rebounder and defender and his best season in Phoenix was when he played back up Center; a role he would be taking in Memphis. A front court tandem of Frye and Arthur off the Bench is tantalizing and is an upgrade of a Speights and Arthur Backcourt with more limited shooting range. Stevenson was the starting shooting guard for the Championship Mavericks two seasons ago and is a solid defender as well as three point shooter; Stevenson somewhat replace Tony Allen's defense and comes with better shooting touch. Martin is another efficient scorer and three point shooter and you can never have too many of those; Martin gives the Grizzlies the kind of player they had hoped for when they traded for Mayo in the 2008 draft. The idea behind this trade is also to save money as Martin is unlikely to get another offer worth 12 million a year and I assume he wants to play for a contending team and also build a team capable of competing with the Lakers. The Grizzlies have the only frontcourt currently in the NBA capable of competing with the Lakers and it would be a joy to watch the Grizzlies and Lakers play each other in the playoffs.
The Pacers were more or less the Denver Nuggets of the East this past season but did not have to deal with as many injuries as the Nuggets did. While in many respect being a well balanced and deep team is a major plus especially when considering how long the regular NBA season is, but the team is still lacking a superstar; you might be asking yourself did he just imply that Rudy Gay is a superstar? In some ways I do believe Gay is a superstar so the answer to your question is yes. Rudy Gay as a basketball player is more talented that Granger, but he has a tendency to float around in games when the offense is not being funneled through him. Gay was on the heels of a major shoulder injury this past season and the lockout did very little to help his rehabilitation. With that said, Gay led the Grizzlies sans Randolph for most of the season to a 41-25 record, tied for 3rd in the Western Conference. A healthy Rudy Gay in my opinion has franchise player written all over him and he would have the opportunity to be the go to guy in Indiana; the Pacers need a guy like that if they truly want to compete in the East. Plus gay is 3 years younger than Granger meaning you can squeeze out more useful years out of Gay than you could Granger. If you think about it this way, the Pacers are trading away Granger for Gay and Dudley, is that not a trade you would make? Dudley, who I am embarrassingly making out to be an afterthought, fits into the overall the Pacers have established, one that is heavy on three pointerefficiency and defense. Dudley also becomes an integral part of the bench mob the Pacers have established; the Pacers continue to be the deepest team in the East while cultivating enough potential firepower to make some noise in the playoffs.
The Hawks get superb value in exchange from Josh Smith, a player many people believe is on his way out after the Hawks failed to land Dwight Howard and with the team lacking a sense of direction. Instead of trading Smith for a 32 year old Gasol who has had two absolutely horrendous postseasons the Hawks get a legit Center to move Horford back to his natural Power Forward position. They also make up for the loss of Pachulia by adding Marreese Speights and Drew Gooden both of whom are able to play the five and the four; Plumlee is trade filler for all intents and purposes but he is a developing big and it can never hurt to stock up on Centers. The Hawks frontcourt rotation the past couple seasons has been rather thin and more or less lacking talent. (You might say Gooden is overpaid but he has been playing fairly good basketball since signing his contract and is still a solid basketball player and the Hawks are eager to trade him because of how crowded their front court is and how bad his contract would look relative to the playing time he would be getting in Milwaukee.)They atone for that in this trade while also adding a young, cheap expiring two guard in Ellington; Ellington struggled mightily in Minnesota much like Wes Johnson did, but a fresh start could be a move in the right direction. A straight up Gortat for Smith trade in reality is not necessarily far fetched which means the Hawks are essentially getting more than they bargained for.
The Rockets do this trade because they have nothing to show for after having lost out on the Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum Sweepstakes. In this trade they are giving up very little assets given how Parsons is their guy at the Small forward position and Delfino was recently signed to be their back up three. As such, the Rockets currently view Morris and Forbes as undesirables with Martin being a trade filler in virtually all trade scenarios. The only valuables the Rockets surrender in this deal are the Raptor's pick and Motiejunas, but they won't be needing Motiejunas if they are acquiring a center in Al Jefferson. The Rockets are basically trading Kevin Martin (An absolute must in order for the trade to happen in the first place), Marcus Morris (Undesirable), Gary Forbes (Undesirable), Donatas Motiejunas (Rookie and somewhat superfluous), and Toronto's lottery pick for Al Jefferson a viable center who is still only 27 years old and Tony Allen a defensive stud and a veteran who possesses leadership qualities. The real motivation is getting a star player to come to Houston who probably would not have come otherwise. The Rockets keep their cap space as both Jefferson and Allen are expiring deals and retain most of the assets that would have gone over in a Dwight Howard deal. (The Rockets can pursue free agents to max deals and then re-sign Jefferson and Allen, even if they go over the cap because they both have their bird rights, once they are done with their grocery shopping of other players.)
The Bucks get rid of Gooden's contract and open up some more space in their front court. The Bucks had a ton of expiring deals going into this season and maintain that financial flexibility after the trade. First and foremost, the Bucks are looking to shore up their thin back court as they currently have only Dunleavy, Ellis and Jennings. Bayless shot 42 percent from three last season and is a solid defensive point guard. Brown is a capable scorer and has has the physical tools to be a great defender and who better to mold Brown defensively than hard ass Scott Skiles? If you aren't going to play defense then Skiles won't play you. Somewhat unsurprisingly, the Bucks who in previous seasons were a superb defensive team and horrid offensive team had a role reversal this past season (I'm looking at you Monta Ellis); they were 6th in points scored and 22nd in points allowed. Furthermore, Pachulia is a solid defensive Big and has played in Milwaukee before and that familiarity factor is somewhat of a boon. With Brown and Bayless capable of being good defenders and Johnson taking Harris' spot as the third string small forward, the Bucks move one step closer to make a playoff appearance. Johnson is a team option that is unlikely to be picked up, but the team who he plays for can still re-sign him; Pachulia like Dalambert is an expiring deal and 3 years younger; and Brown's contract is only partially guaranteed in the second season. The Bucks free up some playing time for Rookie John Henson as well and if Skiles can get Brown, Bayless and even Johnson to play up to their defensive potential the Bucks are certainly headed in the right direction.
The Suns get back a viable all-star in Josh Smith and shed some cap space in the process as Smith, Udrih, Bell, and Morrow are all on expiring contracts. The Suns can pursue free agents in the future as they will not have tied their hands with bad contracts and in the meantime address a position of need at the two guard slot. Udrih will probably take over as the backup pint guard going forward as the Suns unfortunately yield Marshall in this trade. The Suns also get a young, talented 7'0 guy in Motiejunas who had an impressive Summer league. I might be way out of line in saying this but I believe Motiejunas can be just as good if not better than Gortat as he develops. He is a mobile 7 footer with a nice shooting touch and can be really physical playing defense. The Suns also get Tobias Harris is a 6'8 small forward with real potential asa scorer and defender; he would be a third string forward in Milwaukee a less than ideal place to develop him. Harris at this point has more talent than Johnson and should be getting more playing time rather than sopping up garbage time minutes. The Bucks trade Harris because they shed Gooden in the process; they essentially trade Gooden and Harris for Bayless, Brown, and Johnson. The Bucks at this juncture need to address positions of need and who to better the team while giving up as little as possible in order to make a run at the playoffs. The Suns might be giving up most of their picks but this is what they are there for right? The Suns getting back a star while also adding some talented youngsters should be enough for them to relinquish the majority of the picks that they received this summer. (Pendergraph and Plumlee are both trade fillers from the Pacers that need to be included in order for the deal to work)
The Jazz do this deal because they want to free up playing time for their youngsters. Clearly this is not a very enticing package at first look, but consider that Jefferson is a free agent and there are more than enough teams with cap space looking to add a center and the Jazz might very well take this deal. Dalambert becomes the backup center to Enes Kanter; Dalambert is very much a starting caliber center but an even better center coming off the bench. The Jazz are still looking to make the playoffs so that their young guns can have the experience but they are also in a quasi-rebuild mode. in this sense, the Jazz are looking to retool while being more than capable of playing good basketball; as such Dalambert is somewhat of a luxury. The Jazz also get a young rookie in development who has some solid potential in Marshall and Morris who is another youngster who is looking to prove he can play. Morris got very little play time last season. (I'm not going to get into whether he deserved play time or not, but I know for a fact his confidence was not very high and he is looking to bounce back.) Utah could use an eager small forward especially one that showed he had some skill. The lottery pick from Toronto could be a good one especially if a trade like this were to happen; with the Hawks, Bucks, Suns, and Jazz being or becoming better than the Raptors. All things considered, The Jazz probably won't be making the playoffs with or without Jefferson which would make it a rather ideal time to swap out for a lottery pick, acquire some nice young pieces and fully initiate a rebuild. Multiple draft picks is somewhat essential for rebuilding and being already equipped with young players brimming with potential the Jazz are without a doubt a team to keep an eye out for in the future.