I was just pondering possible trade scenarios that might come down the pike over the next few seasons as a result of the impending luxury tax. Only three teams come to mind when I think about imperviousness to the tax and they are the Knicks, Lakers, and Nets. What that means is that contending teams will start looking to trade expensive players to marginally reduce their tax line in hopes of A) Getting out of the tax and B) hopefully getting deeper with the trading of an excellent player. Woj wrote an extremely hyperbolic article detailing how the Rudy Gay trade has essentially signaled the end of the Super Team Era (Well that was short!) The Rudy Gay trade is obviously indicative of the kind of decisions Small Markets teams will have to face over the next few seasons. This is the basis under which I shaped the grounds for this trade.
There are to caveats to this however, 1)is that this trade cannot be made until the offseason because the amnesty provision was used on Scola last summer and 2) Most of the players in this trade are expiring contracts therefore they would need to be traded via a Sign and Trade. This trade does in fact work out even though it might not fit on the ESPN trade machine.
Why does Milwaukee do this?
For one thing, the Ellis-Jennings backcourt is quite possibly the most inefficient shooting and most turnover prone backcourt in all of the NBA. Not only that but it could possibly be the worst defensive backcourt in the NBA as well (No, steals aren't a metric of defense rather it shows how much these two gamble defensively.) With that said, there are numerous reports out there mentioning Ellis' intentions to opt out and seek out a big market team. Milwaukee won't want to lose Ellis for nothing and obviously Bledsoe is a huge prize to cash in on. Despite Bledsoe's diminutive stature at 6'1, his defensive tenacity could be more than enough to cover up for Jennings' shortcomings on defense but it would also allow Jennings, who shoots 37% from deep, to shift over to his more natural shooting guard position on offense. The backcourt athleticism and playmaking ability is not lost with Bledsoe being horned in, but the propensity of the ball being stopped on every play does however go away for the most part.
Butler has to come back for the salaries to matchup but for the most part, this trade is a venue for Milwaukee to start over and get a little bit younger. With Sanders' rapid development, the Bucks no longer have much need Dalambert; Brown is younger than Dunleavy, who Brown is replacing; Garrett is younger than the guy he will be replacing in Beno Udrih, who is on an expiring deal; and the draft pick is the sweetener for the Bucks to pull the trigger.
Why does Los Angeles do this?
Good question. Bledsoe is younger than Ellis and on a significantly cheaper deal, but do you really want to pass a chance to get Dwyane Wade 2.0 and the second best scorer in the NBA? What is that you say? Monta Ellis is a delusional shot chucker with an irrational confidence and is not all that much better than Shannon Brown? You said it, not me, pal. In all seriousness however, the Clippers do need a shooting guard and pretty badly at that as Billups is almost always injured and on the wrong side of 30 years of age. With that being said,if Chris Paul is setting Ellis up and directing him on offense, chances are Ellis could start using his magnificent blend of sped, strength, and athleticism the right way. (You know, like attacking the damn rim?) Ellis gets the big market he so dearly covets and he could use his versatility to play both backcourt positions to ease some pressure off CP3. Furthermore, Ellis, like Brown, as all the tools for being a good defender so there is always the possibility even though he might not have the proper mentality. I know that the Clippers are concerned about retaining Bledsoe because of his contract, but that is because Butler would be on the books when Bledsoe becomes eligible for a new contract.
Telfair can be used as second string point guard as well and O'neal gives the Clippers a competent big man backing up Jordan. Grant Hill slides into the starting slot, whose defensive prowess might actually be beneficial for the Clippers, and Matt Barnes is also better than the inefficient Caron Butler so this could serve as addition by subtraction. Also, because the Clippers are over the cap they may use a provision to waive Channing Frye.
Why does Miami do this?
Micky Arison claimed that he was losing money last season, one in which his team won the NBA championship, so there might be some cause for some concern. This 2012 article claims that Arison lost 1.3 Billion dollars last season from a separate Business venture, so he has some big financial decisions to make. Bosh is a good jump shooter and so is Scola. Bosh is an okay defender, Gortat is a pretty good defender most of the time. Gortat was really effective when playing alongside Steve Nash because Nash always hit him in the perfect spots. James is a very good passer and both he and Wade draw a lot of attention to themselves, so Gortat could find himself open a lot over the course of a game. Miami is also dead last in Rebounding and Gortat helps that to some extent.
Overall however, Miami saves about 11 million dollars making this trade, which would get them underneath the cap while simultaneously essentially replacing most of what Bosh gives them.
Why does Indiana do this?
Granger has not played in a single game this season and Indiana has shot atop the Eastern Conference. The Pacers have beaten the Heat Twice, so whatever they have going on seems to be working. However, they lack depth which is a cause for concern because you don't want to burn out your starters. Granger's return is more than welcome as Granger widens the rotation and makes the team more dynamic offensively, but Granger is not a Center, Power Forward of shooting guard meaning that he is not an end all be all savior for Indiana.
Dalambert gives the Pacers a reliable backup Center and allows them to shift Ian Mahinmi to the Power Forward Position in the lineup. Dunleavy and Miller are, in a way, very similar players in that they both can play both the small forward and shooting guard, play solid defense, and drill threes with regularity thereby them excellent fits off the Indiana bench and two of the best candidates to replace the 30 year old Danny Granger. I mention that Granger is thirty because the problem with this trade is that all the players Indiana gets are older than Granger. Does Indiana really want to get older? Every player in their starting lineup with the exception of David West is younger than 28, so that minimizes most of the concerns and because these guys are coming off the bench and aren't going to be asked to play extensive minutes. Plus, Dalambert and Dunleavy will probably settle for less money to play on a contender so Indiana does manage to cut back some salary so that they can redirect that back to David West.
Why does Phoenix do this?
I think this is pretty obvious. One word succinctly summarize the why for Phoenix and that is talent. Bosh and Granger are exceptionally talented players. Retaining Dudley is very important because he is a very good bench player. If Tucker develops a jumpshot then the Suns will have two very great bench players in Dudley and Tucker to backup a combo of Granger and McLemore/Muhammad. Hopefully, Morris develops his game to the point where he becomes a sound bench player to backup Bosh and complement the two super subs in Tucker and Dudley. The Suns trading Brown in and of itself is addition by subtraction and they would be 99% of the way there in terms of cleaning the team of low IQ players (Brown, Telfair, WJ, will all be gone in this trade.)
If the Suns were to pull off this trade and then ship out Beasley in a separate deal they would have cap space to sign a player to a max deal (I'm hoping that that player is Andrew Bynum because he is a very good player who can make his free throws, play solid defense, and be the perfect complement to both Granger and Bosh.)