In just two days, all the players signed in the offseason, will officially become eligible for multi-player trades.
This also means that for those teams looking to "blow it up" or "re-tool," now is the time. Currently, there are two teams that look like they might be in need of a full revamp: Portland and Denver. Both teams were projected as playoff teams, and both are underperforming.
So, like vultures, let's circle over these teams and see what sort of bodies we might be able to salvage...
For Denver, there's drama over Carmelo's contract. There's also allegedly drama within the locker room, with the two best players, Billups and Melo, not getting along. Melo looks to be telling Denver "NY or bust;" he's likely to get the bust, since NY has very little to trade for Melo (Eddy's Curry's corpse and some crummy prospects). If it doesn't happen, the Nuggets may choose to hold his contract, and try to add some pieces around him to take the team to a new level. Chauncey Billups could conceivably be moved, or perhaps demoted to backup PG, due to Ty Lawson's strong play, and Billups struggles.
Portland is in more dire straights, with "franchise center" Greg Oden having been broken into a million pieces, and
superstar Brandon Roy falling victim to a chronic injury that reduces his effectiveness significantly. 2nd banana LaMarcus Aldridge has underplayed his contract, and there is contention in the clubhouse and on the court between Roy and hired gun Andre Miller. Something needs to give in Portland, and so far the only things giving way are players' knees.
On to the players:
Marcus Camby - would be a near perfect fit for the hold in the middle of our team, but Portland would basically be throwing in the towel on this season by doing so, so they would want back young talent, in the frontcourt. Robin Lopez would probably need to be traded along with other rotation players (Warrick, Childress, possibly Dudley) to make this happen.
Andre Miller - would be the best backup PG in the league behind Steve. However, they would need back a PG, and would want youth, so the deal would be for Goran Dragic + parts. If you want to know how underrated Miller is, go look at Andre Igoudala's contract, and understand that Miller basically spoonfed that to him.
Brandon Roy - sure he's damaged goods, and he may not be worth that contract. He doesn't play a position we need. And the future might be damned with him on the hook for another 5 years. But he's talented, tough, smart, and has a terrific arsenal of offensive moves. Aaron Nelson might be able to do something for him. Heck, just being out of Portland might be enough to make his knee magically repair itself. This trade might represent a chance for us to contend in the west, especially if you could get a throwin PF like Pendergraph to fill space in the roster vacated by Warrick, who would presumably be traded away, along with Childress, Clark, and probably a draft pick. Gamble big, win big, or lose big. The opportunity is there.
Chauncey Billups - would make a fantastic backup PG, and can also spend time at the 2 guard position. Has championship experience, and is a physical defender in the backcourt. Denver would be looking for a star-right-now to put next to Melo and make him happy - that would probably be J-Rich. Doesn't help our frontcourt issues, but we might be able to get a frontcourt rotation player back in the deal as well, though not anyone good (think: Birdman).
Kenyon Martin - ok, first swallow that little bit of throwup in your mouth. Once that's done, remember that he plays the position that we need most (PF), and is a defensive presence. Mostly, remember that he's an expiring contract ($16M), and that we could conceivably move Turk's albatross in exchange for renting him this season to fill an immediate need. Childress would probably be the throwin in a deal that would aim to make Denver a better team right now so they could win something and prove to Carmelo that he ought to stay in Denver.
Al Harrington - went to Denver for mid-level money to play with Carmelo. If Denver sees no hope of keeping Carmelo, or decides to trade him, they'd like to get rid of Harrington's long-term (5 years) deal. Plays PF/C, and is a very good shooter outside. Put up great if inconsistent scoring numbers in Golden State (beside J-Rich) and in New York (under D'Antoni). Probably a really good fit for our team, since he already knows players here and the offensive scheme we run.
Chris "Birdman" Anderson - ok so he's tattooed his body Denver Nuggets colors, and he may be the biggest douchebag in the NBA (seriously, go to google images and type in his name). But he's a shotblocking 4/5 who could play Barron's minutes better than Barron could. Also, the price of such a trade is cheap - we might be able to pick hiim up with the remainder of the Amare TPE in exchange for, say... the right to exchange 2nd round picks in 2044 in the event that a blood moon occurs during the draft.
Oooooor, we could just trade Steve and Grant to Orlando and collectively waive our middle fingers at the Lakers, Heat, and Celtics. Spoiling Kobe's 2nd three-peat and watching Steve win a title would be almost as gratifying as seeing the purple and orange hoist a banner, at least for me. =-)