As everyone in the known basketball world knows, Sasha Pavlovic does not hold a basketball playing spot on the Suns' roster. Steve Kerr has come out and said it, and both Pavlovic and his agent have accepted that fact. Now, after news that Pavlovic had no spot on the Suns' roster (as if he ever did in the first place...we all knew the trade was strictly financial), the trade speculations began. Here's my take on what I think we should do with Mr. Pavlovic.
As the ESPN Trade Machine has so graciously approved, here's my proposal: send Sasha Pavlovic to the Golden State Warriors for Brandan Wright and Acie Law. From here, I will discuss why the trade works (and also why it doesn't work).
First and foremost, we have the...
Financial Aspects: Basically, the numbers line up. Sasha has a contract worth nearly $5 million ($4.95), and combining Wright and Law's contracts adds up to $4.8 million. That's the part of the trade that the Trade Machine looks at. We all know that, according to the Trade Machine, we can land LeBron on the Suns for someone like Jason Richardson. Just because the numbers line up doesn't mean it's going to (or ever should) happen.
However, since trading Shaq to Cleveland for two players that were clearly not in the Suns' plans for the future was a cost cutting move, trading one of those pieces to Golden State would largely be viewed as a financial, rather than a basketball, move. Let's pretend that we're Larry Riley (the GM of the W's) for a minute: last year, our team finished at a dismal 29 and 53. That's 29 wins, stacked up against 53 losses. The fans in Oakland are likely not very happy about it (who likes a losing team, except for Raiders fans, who are just insane to begin with), and once the pressure starts to mount, the finger starts being pointed at the GM.
Here's where Pavlovic comes in handy. Only $1.5 million of his contract is guaranteed. So, you trade away two players who aren't getting much burn anyway, and save yourselves upwards of $3 million dollars. That's a pretty penny. And, unless Steph Curry blows everyone out of the water and gets Rookie of the Year honors, with a phenomenal season, the Warriors are likely to get a little better, but still lose more games than they win. I know all the Warrior faithful out there will start throwing out things like "Randolph is going to explode this year!" and "Monta will be healthy, as will Maggette and Jackson, we're going to be a force to be reckoned with!" (This is a dramatization.), and while I agree with a few of the sentiments there, it's likely that something will happen, and the Warriors will miss the playoffs...again.
So, by cutting costs, saving the team money this year and next, the GM can say to his public, "Be calm. I know our team is not very good right now, but let me point you to the illustrious summer of 2010. Think of a time, much better than now. Remember the "We Believe" team? I sure do. By cutting costs and shedding a few contracts, albeit smaller contracts, we are clearing a bit of room to bring in a bigger name. A player that will help us turn around our losing ways. A player that will flourish under our system, led by our fearless captain, Don Nelson. I urge you to have patience with me, as I will have patience with this team."
Sounds good, right? Right. Now, this leads me to the...
Basketball Aspects: From a basketball standpoint, this improves the Phoenix Suns much more than it does the Warriors, though Mr. Hollinger claims that the trade doesn't affect the winning percentage of either team. Here's why both teams would do this.
Phoenix: It's clear that the Suns need another big man. While Wright is listed as a SF on ESPN, he has the size to play the PF (and maybe C in an uptempo system, though I don't know if he has the bulk to play with the other centers of the league). In Law, we also get a viable third option at PG, for the nights Dragic is underperforming, or, heaven forbid, either of our point guards get injured.
Golden State: Take a look at Wright's position (according to ESPN), and you'll find that the Warriors find themselves in the same situation as the Suns' SG position. As of today, the Warriors' roster shows four small forwards: Stephen Jackson, Corey Maggette, Kelenna Azubuike, and Brandan Wright. We all know that assigning a player a specific position in the rotation in "Nellie Ball" is about as solid as Ron Artest's rapping career. But even with moving 'Buike to the SG spot, and occasionally throwing Captain Jack into that slot, there's still quite a few players who play the same position as Wright. And, with Golden State's commitment to (and apparent giddy excitement over) Anthony Randolph, that leaves Wright with less of an opportunity to flourish.
As far as Acie Law is concerned, I think it's pretty well known that he's not the future point guard of the Warriors. So why pay another player just over $2 million that may just end up like Marcus Williams during the 2008-2009 campaign? Also, on top of that, Acie would likely be buried underneath a slew of other players (Anthony Morrow, Monta Ellis, Stephen Jackson, etc.) that would be handling the ball much more than he would.
So, just a trade suggestion to throw at you. Any and all comments are appreciated, and whether you agree with the trade or not, please keep the comments respectful.