• VP's verdict: Package Martin with Kenny Thomas' expiring contract for future assets. Biggest no-brainer of this column. Move now. For example …
Fake Trade 12: Martin/Thomas to Utah for Andrei Kirilenko (expires in 2011), Kyle Korver's EC, $3 million (not a problem because Utah still saves $3.2 million with the difference in salaries, plus another $3.2 million in luxury-tax money) and the rights to New York's unprotected first-round pick in 2010.
(Hold on, we have to wait a few seconds for every Knicks fan to stop shaking his or her head. Just a few more seconds. Hold on. Hold on. Hold on. And … we're good.)
I love this trade. For one thing, a Martin-Deron Williams backcourt would be loads of fun (shades of Utah teaming Hornacek and Stockton back in the day). Utah gets damned close to being under the luxury tax. Sacramento gets a gigantic expiring contract for next season (Kirilenko's $17.8 million), another scrappy, balls-to-the-wall guy (Kirilenko again), an official "this is your team" announcement to Evans AND a lottery ticket for the John Wall Sweepstakes.
First my thoughts; put yours in comments.
1. K-Mart in place of Brewer, CJ, Korver, Matthews? Yes, loyalty to CJ and Brewer notwithstanding. If K-Mart is friendly with D-Will (he'd have to be if he displaced D-Will's team-BFFs), then that becomes the best offensive backcourt in the league. Frankly, I don't know enough of K-Martin's defense to say anything about it - some of you ought to comment on that.
2.The end of the AK era? I thought we were already there. He's a shadow of the shadow of his former self. When's the last time he got a weak-side block? When's the last time he caught up to a fast break and pinned it against the glass? He used to be the most exciting flash of white flesh in the league. Now he is a role player with a superstar salary. I have long felt that he is the fulcrum on which our fortunes rise and fall. You know what you're getting from DW, CB, MO for the most part. But if AK has a big game, it's a win. If he disappears, we don't do well. (One of you statisticians ought to test this thesis against the numbers.) Sadly, it's too much of the latter these days. If we get value for AK, it's okay to say goodbye. (Maybe Moni can move to Utah and take over Masha's stores if they have to move away.)
3. If John Wall is the prize of the draft, I can tell you right now we should trade that pick. (Pause for groaning...) The fact that he's at Kentucky tells us his integrity is questionable. I think he is the next Iverson (with more dunks), and I am not talking about the talking about practice Iverson, I'm talking about the heroic Iverson of the 2001 Lakers-Phillies series where he showed more balls than Titleist, more guts than a pig farm, and more macho than Nacho Libre, more won't-quit than a Honda Civic. I came to respect Iverson that year, and I think John Wall could have a career on par with Iverson.....which is to say unless Nellie moves to Utah and Deron moves to Hawaii, we don't want him.
4. Damn it would be nice to see the Jazz do something! "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." For the love of LHM, make a trade sooner than later. Who thinks it should be this one?