The internet is very good at many things, and one of those things is making up NBA trades that have no basis in reality. We may remember the hedge trade on the GSW pick which was allegedly a sure thing, unfortunately, it turned out not to be. Luckily, though, this temporary setback has not stifled the Internet's creativity, and more and more proposed trades come out from various blogs, forums, twitter accounts, and more. Peter Novak just did 29 of them, one with each other NBA team. Then, Jazzfanz1971 on JazzFanz and RealGM decided to best him and made 29 trades with each NBA team involving Al Jefferson. Both of those men are absurd. Let's look at my favorite of those trades, plus two more from the Jazz community, to make a grand total of 60 Utah Jazz trades. Let it never be said that we short you on reading material.
From user N.O.R.E. on RealGM: (along with his explanation)
The Jazz open up PT for their young bigs while gaining a SF young enough to fit with the core in Chandler. Al Harrington would be a great veteran 6th man scorer and after acquiring a PG for D. Harris and Millsap (or Kanter depending on the target/Rondo) the Jazz would be looking pretty damn good.
The Nuggets consolidate depth to form one of the potentially best frontcourt trios in the league with McGee, Al Jeff and Faried. All would play 30 MPG+ but Karl would have to get them to buy into the team approach. They could amnesty Birdman or try and trade him for an expiring, however, the Nuggets would be looking pretty damn competitive next year, and could be looking at a top 5 seed if the talent meshes.
I'm not a gigantic fan of Al Jefferson, and I think he makes a lot of sense to move in the right trade. That being said, I think this trade would hurt the Jazz. Why? Money. At the moment, the Jazz are set up for an incredible amount of salary flexibility after next season, with only the Core 4 still on contracts past 2012-2013. This trade ruins that. Now, to me, that's an acceptable tradeoff for the right talent, but Al Harrington/Wilson Chandler/Timofey Mosgov are the perfect example of average-to-below-average talent: they're not bad players, but they're not push your team to new heights. It just doesn't make sense to lose 11.7 million dollars of flexibility for that package, especially when also considering that you're going to somehow have to replace all of Al Jefferson's offensive possessions. Losing Raja Bell is a plus, but, well, that's what the amnesty provision is for.
Jazz say NO.
From user franklin on JazzFanz.com:
The Charlotte Bobcats send Tyrus Thomas, D.J. Augustin, and the #2 pick of the draft, for Al Jefferson, the future GSW pick, and a future top 4 protected pick.
Thomas' contract sucks and reports on Augustine are that he didn't improve much. If he's serviceable for 6 years then Jazz get set with potentially 6 solid young guys and cap room to either go after veteran FA's or retain financial flexibility in preparation to re-sign the young guys.
Reports are that the Bobcats have been shopping their #2 pick around, looking for maximum value out of a deal. This would do a lot of things for them. First, it frees them of Thomas' onerous contract (3 years, $26 million left), giving them a much higher ability to throw everything away and start over. Second, it gives them a good player, someone who is able to be the focal point of an offense and score points reasonably efficiently (well, especially when compared to B.J. Mullens). While they lose this year's pick, they would be getting two likely mid-round picks later on.
I do suspect, however, that they would say no. Al Jefferson is nice, and will help you win more than 7 games. However, he doesn't help you win lots of games (Minnesota and Boston say hi), nor does he really sell tickets. The buzz would go backwards. In this article, Matt Moore explains why Charlotte should trade the pick: because they need to get better at every position. Unfortunately, trading two players and a draft pick for one current player isn't helping. There might be a trade that does work out (your suggestions?), but I don't think this sways them away from the significantly higher potential of the #2 pick.
If I were the Jazz, I would say yes, though. The #2 pick could add a very good player right away and a relatively decent PG of the future. The cost of Tyrus Thomas and the lesser flexibility is disappointing, but... would be probably worth it due to how well the Jazz would be set up.
Now, I would be remiss if I didn't mention Peter Novak's contributions to this trade idea, which basically amount to adding Burks or another one of the Jazz younger players to this deal, peraps instead of the Utah pick. Ultimately, we agreed that doing so would be unlikely to sway the Bobcats, unless that Jazz younger player was Favors. Of course, the Jazz, understandably, love Favors and would be unlikely to trade him in any move.
Charlotte says NO.
From Peter Novak on TheUtahJazzBlog:
Utah for Al Jefferson (1 yr $15m).
Why Houston Does It: As evidenced by its attempts to trade for Pau Gasol and sign Nene as a free agent last offseason, Houston is attempting to upgrade its frontcourt options. While Dalembert was signed to fortify their frontline, he eventually fell out of favor with Kevin McHale and lost minutes to Marcus Camby. For Houston, trading Martin is as much about freeing up cap space and playing time for Goran Dragic in order to retain him as a free agent this offseason, something Darryl Morey has been very public about wanting to accomplish. While Dragic primarily plays the PG position, the Rockets have used both he and Kyle Lowry in the backcourt together.
Why Utah Does It: Outside shooting. I could stop the analysis there as that is the obvious hole that the Jazz are trying to fill in this scenario. It should be noted that Martin has lost some of his shooting touch over the past couple of seasons and his defense is and always has been questionable. The Jazz would hope they could cover for that with Hayward and Favors defending around him. The Dalembert part of the equation is not merely a throw in, as the Jazz could use a big, rim protecting 7-footer to fill in for some of the minutes in the frontline rotation that you lose by trading away Jefferson. Dalembert is not a long-term solution for the roster but would be good for 20 minutes a night as a defensive specialist and to give Kanter some needed time to develop.
Who Says No: I think this is a pretty fair trade, but ultimately I think O’Connor nixes this one as he values Jefferson higher than the return package here.
Ooh, fun, the Kevin Martin toy. Martin's been a particular favorite of Jazz trade scenarios for years, although that has slowed as his production has fallen off somewhat in Houston. That being said, this trade fits both teams needs quite well: it does upgrade the Rockets' front court fairly significantly (I think Scola/Jefferson would be an interesting high post/low post pairing), saving them about $3 million, and trading a player some have gotten somewhat tired of in Houston.
I think the Jazz do it for a different reason than Peter does: to open up minutes for Favors and Kanter. This opens up about 35 minutes a night for those two players to split. If Kanter isn't ready to play 25 minutes a game, then you can play Dalembert significant minutes without really hurting yourself very much. Meanwhile, the Jazz upgrade their wing options, ideally giving 30 minutes per game to Hayward, Burks, and Martin, representing a truly significant upgrade from the Miles/Bell/Howard platter of last year. Millsap, our team's best player, stays.
But the best part is that it's an upgrade, but without losing flexibility. The team would still have the ability to make moves in the offseason of 2013. If the trade doesn't work out, Al Jefferson would be a free agent! We could just sign him again (assuming we didn't offend him in the process, a la Deron). I agree with Novak that, with KOC as GM, the trade is likely turned down, but with Andy as GM, the trade is likely made. Vote for Andy for GM.
Both teams say YES.
From Jazzfan1971 on JazzFanz/RealGM:
This was the very final trade of Jazzfanz' marathon trade list, and I think at this point he had probably had enough of the exercise, hence the very short trade explanations. That being said... it's a really intriguing idea.
From the Spurs' Spurspective (<- this is an incredibly clever piece of writing), this trade actually does make some sense. Remember, Duncan's only playing about half of each game in the regular season. Al can play the other 24 minutes, and find some minutes alongside Duncan. This likely means he has to come off the bench, which means he can find a home where, to me, he makes most sense: as a possession user. There, he can post up at a reasonable efficiency, instead of other, and likely worse, bench options.
The crux of the trade to them is whether or not they can continue to grow wings from nowhere, Hydra style. If they can, then they can easily replace the wings in this trade with Danny Green types from Danny Green places: reasonably good but previously unheard-of shooters and defenders. Maybe they'll sign C.J. Miles for cheap?
For the Jazz, this significantly upgrades the backup point guard and wing positions, with both current talent and players with room to grow. Of course, it allows Favors and Kanter to step into the minute void left by Jefferson. It only impacts the future flexibility of the team with Kawhi Leonard's super reasonable rookie contract, the other two contracts are expiring, including the big one, Stephen Jackson. We'd be a more well-rounded team now, and have more young and talented wing players to grow around later. What's not to like?
Well... for one, the Hydra assumption for the Spurs is a rather big one, and I doubt they are so cavalier about the near future of their team. Second, Kanter would be playing a lot of minutes in this scenario... to me, we'd ideally have a competent 4th man, a Stiemsma type, to be able to play backup C without embarrassing the franchise as Jarron Collins once did. Like Novak, I sort of suspect KOC values Al Jefferson more than this. I value him slightly less, so for me it's a yes.
Hyperbolic geometry doesn't particularly reflect reality, but is internally consistent and leads to some cool mathematical results. In the same sense, both teams probably say NO, but this would be such a cool world and it is fun to imagine.
For the last two weeks, I've asked the SLCDunk community to contribute our best merchandise ideas and marketing slogans. I think this is a fun tradition, and so I'm going to continue it until I run out of ways we can help the Jazz with our collective brainstorming.
This week, we continue with stadium names. Now, EnergySolutions Arena is a name steeped in lore and tradition, and so it will be difficult for the community to accept a change. However, EnergySolutions has run into some trouble recently, including a really random and surprising CEO change yesterday morning. That's the sort of thing that tends to scare investors away, and indeed, their market price tanked.
Now, facing a lawsuit as well, the worst case scenario would involve EnergySolutions having no choice but to discontinue naming rights payments, thus leaving The Building That Larry Built without a name once again. Of course, the Jazz have very little control over this, but what companies would you like to see step up to the plate and sponsor ESA? Failing that, and without a sponsor, what would you prefer the arena be called?
To me, large multi-national corporations make the best naming rights sponsors, allowing the rest of the world to know and love your stadium's name without having to giggle at a company name like EnergySolutions. On the other hand... I believe the "Stockton to Malone" name recently became available, and Greg recently made up with Karl... This could work. A LHM-sponsored "Stockton to Malone Arena" would be awesome. Statements made above about hyperbolic geometry apply here as well, though.
Surely, you have better ideas. What do you think, SLCDunk Nation?