Well, the fifteenth of December has arrived which means that most free agents can now officially be traded. In celebration of this glorious day, I am creating a fan post to further encourage more rosterbators and for you to propose a wide ranging array of dazzlingly realistic and or unrealistic ideas. I'll start off with a Kevin Love trade. If you choose not to read my essay and ignore all the hard work I put in, that is your prerogative, but do proceed and propose your own trade ideas!
Kevin Love's remarks were not taken kindly by Minnesota fans; they let him hear it on a 3-17 shooting night on December 12th against Denver. Kevin Love claims he is reportedly happy but unapologetic with the current build of the roster but as Marc Spears notes, if the right deals comes along look for the incompetent David Kahn to ship Love away. On a tangential rant, David Kahn is giving UCLA, my alma mater, a bad name; come on David! In the deal they get a scoring wing player who is not broken (Brandon Roy) and can actually play the game of basketball (Wes Johnson). The T'wolves have been looking for a capable wing player for the last couple seasons; this season they are 21st in Hoopsstats.com's efficiency recap difference, last season they were dead last. I originally had Milwaukee involved in the deal and then I realized Arron Afflalo is a much better player defensively and efficiency wise than Ellis is and the Magic need a Center (Vucevic has been playing fairly well but his ceiling is certainly as an Elite Big off the bench). Harrington gives the T'wovles a stretch four off the bench who can easily slide to the three spot; that T'wovles team has been very rigid the past few years; players could either play only one position or couldn't play altogether. Furthermore, the team has had a dearth of high IQ players and the past two seasons, three point shooting has been a problem; last season they were 23rd and this season they are dead last. It is no wonder as to why the T'wolves have struggled to beth a playoff spot since he departure of their former franchise player also named Kevin. In addition to Harrington, Dudley and Afflalo provide three point shooting, hustle, and defense. Afflalo would be the best two guard in recent Minnesota history and if they made this deal, they would have Buddinger, Dudley, Shved, Harrington, Barea, Ridnour, and Greg Stiemmsa as their primary bench player. These players are excellent flex pieces to have and Adelman is a genius in terms of constructing brilliant offensive schemes and playing to his team's strengths. Millsap can come in and be productive immediately whereas Willaims will take time to further develop his game, which he hopefully does. Adelman has kept Williams strapped to the bench as Williams did not do a single noteworthy thing when Love was out; at the writing of this he has 16 points and 6 rebounds with the T'wolves down 2 with one minutes left and Minnesota has possession.
Simply put, Orlando needs a center. Shannon Brown serves as Afflalo's replacement which, while Afflalo is the better player, is not too big of a disparity. Frye can be waived given that the Magic are over the cap and the team manages to shed Harrington's unwanted contract. There is not much to talk about this team; the players are playing above expectations and Head Coach Vaughn has done a stellar job in guiding the post-Howard ship. Weirdly enough, I think Orlando might provide Johnson the venue to start displaying that he can play; E'twaun Moore played well when Nelson went down with an injury and Harkless has not been doing anything of note. If nothing else, Johnson pressures Harkless into working harder so that he can have a greater impact on the team. I have a feeling Gortat would be ecstatic to return to Orlando and be the Center who replaced Howard after being the guy who backed up Howard. Hopefully his rebirth is for real making him good enough bait for Orlando to bite.
Kevin Love is awesome. He went to UCLA, as did Afflalo, and I got to see him play a couple times live. Guy has heart, loves the game, and is a superbly talented player. He hates Luis Scola's face and thinks Michael Beasley is bad blood but is that really going to stop Lon Babby from pursuing him? It better not Lon or you'll be hearing from me! If Kevin Love is ever placed on the trading block and a General Manager does not pursue him then said GM should be fired under most circumstances. Looking at some of the criticism about Love: he has been accused of being a stat-padder, is not a good defensive player, shoots below 50% despite being a Power Forward, and has not been successful in leading his team to the playoffs as every team he has been on during his career has had a very high lottery pick. These arguments certainly have merit but I say who cares because no player is perfect? Love is an elite scorer and rebounder who plays on the perimeter but can drive the ball and is capable of scoring down low. He is absolutely worth gutting the team for like in my proposed trade and would seeing Love and Dragic play with one another makes me salivate. When Love was at UCLA his backcourt mates were Darren Collison and Russell Westbrook (Before Westbrook became a scorer or even primary ball handler) and Dragic in my mind is a blend of those two men with whom Love played; the defense, quickness, and sheer relentlessness of Westbrook, and the smarts, passing ability, and control of Collison. With that said, Alec Burks is a very talented player but is being hosed in Utah because of the crowded front court and need for spacing as a result. Burks has good ball handling skills and has good height for the two guard position standing 6 feet and 6 inches tall. Burks could serve as the UCLA version of Russell Westbrook given his skill set described more in depth here and here. I find it hilarious that draft express likens him to Brandon Roy and in this trade we would be getting the real Brandon Roy as well. From the videos that I have seen, Burks seems to me as a homeless man's version of Dwyane Wade or as Tyreke Evans 2.0; he cannot shoot at all and has poor mechanics, but he is quick, crafty, and smart. On to Brandon Roy whose career is over and done with as we know it. By that I mean, he will not come close to being the player he once was and even if his knees can hold up, the best he can do is probably spot you a few minutes here and there as a creator for others. His defense will remain a liability no matter what and his shot seems to have left him as indicated by his paltry 31.4% shooting. Roy is quite simply filler required to make salaries match anything more that he contributes should be seen as a plus not a given. Raja Bell has been exiled from Utah and given that the Lakers will not pursue him, is on the verge of retirement. He is an add in from Utah so they wont have to pay him to stay home. McBob is yet another throw in and expiring contract; he would not be re-signed if this deal were to be made. With all this being said, I don't think the Suns should be trading their lottery pick without first placing a condition on it so that it would not be conveyed if the Suns fail to make the playoffs. This trade could possibly make the Suns worse, although I highly doubt it, which would mean a higher pick, and a higher pick means Cody Zeller or Shabazz Muhammad.
The Jazz are without a doubt getting the brunt of this deal. Anyone reading knows this. That is not to say however this deal is too bad for them. They cannot possibly afford to keep Millsap and Jefferson while also hoping to retain Kanter and Favors. As per the Spears article, Millsap's time in Utah is numbered Utah and the Jazz are going to be exploring their trade options as the deadline approaches; chances are the Jazz won't be making the playoffs with or without Millsap and making a trade like this does make them worse and better positions them for a higher draft pick. The Jazz have an excellent track record with undersized power forward in Boozer, Millsap, and Jefferson as none of the aforementioned players are taller than 6'9 and hopefully they can craft Williams into a productive player. Williams is best served playing the four despite his height like Millsap because of his quickness and athleticism. This post about Beasley also applies to Derrick Williams. Comparing Beasley's vitals with William's you see how similar they are as they are almost clones of one another. Williams has three point range and the potential that made him the second overall pick are still there and best of all, Williams has displayed his maturity throughout his time in Minnesota (He has not complained once and has held himself accountable in that he acknowledges the fact that he did not play as well as he would have liked which is what sparked trade rumors in the first place.) The other pieces are essentially throw ins but useful nonetheless; O'neal provides a locker room presence and a strong personality that hopefully rubs off on Kanter. O'neal was a physical player in his prime and he is someone who can mentor Kanter if he so wishes. Ayon is a hustle player who has shown he has earned a spot in the league; he plays tough defense, does not to go beyond his limits, and does what he is asked to do. Every team needs a third string player at the Pivot and Four and O'neal and Ayon will certainly excel in this regard. Beyond those three, Marshall is a player that I would be sad to see go but a player Utah can look forward to, at least in my opinion. The rotation at the Point beyond Williams consist of Jamal Tinsley, and Earl Watson, another UCLA alum!, both of whom were alive when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Marshall provides some future security at the point guard slot if not as a starter then as a backup. The reason the Jazz give up Burks is because he has been a miserable three point shooter on a piss poor 3 point shooting team until recently. The Jazz as a team last season were 28th in 3 point percent, and two season ago they were 18th when they had the healthy version of Deron Williams for the first half of the season running the offense and the good version of the slashing Devin Harris to open up shooters. This season, after having added Randy Foye and Mo Williams, they are 8th and Derrick Williams is also a three point shooting threat which only helps to sweeten the deal.