Trade season almost always comes with sweaty, excited anticipation and then leaves with a whimper. There are many reasons for this, one of those being the fear of making a poor move and regretting it. But the climate for this season is such that we may see some movement, although I would bet that we will ultimately be disappointed again after the trade deadline. But in preparation for the trade deadline in just a handful of days, here are the trades that should happen in the Western Conference, with some input and trades from Peter J. Novak as well.
Just to warn you, this post features a lot of Josh Smith. Like so...
Josh Smith for Shawn Marion and Shane Larkin
Detroit gets the chance to shed the long term money given to Smith while finding a better fit at small forward in Shawn Marion, while getting a point guard prospect they so desperately need. Dallas could probably get away with playing Smith at small forward with Dirk Nowitzki's spacing abilities and Smith is a better player than Shawn Marion at this point in their careers. Josh Smith could also learn from Dirk Nowitzki and be groomed as his possible replacement. And a lineup with Dirk Nowitzki and Josh Smith as the big men, could be pretty fun.
Phoenix receives Greg Monroe, Jameer Nelson and Jonas Jerebko;
Detroit receives Arron Afflalo, Glen Davis and 2015 1-5 protected 1st rounder from Lakers and 2014 1st round pick from Indiana.
Orlando receives Emeka Okafor's insurance paid for contract, Miles Plumlee, Josh Harrellson and 2014 1-12 protected 1st rounder from Washington.
As widely reported, no team has more interest in landing a star right now then the Phoenix Suns. Further, no team has perhaps the best mix of future and current assets as the Suns (maybe Boston?). While it is debatable whether Greg Monroe is a star, he certainly is a short and long term upgrade for them at starting C and I suspect his above average passing ability would fit in well in Jeff Hornacek's offense. While Monroe is a pending restricted free agent, Phoenix would have no worry in keeping him if they plan on giving him a maximum level offer which he arguably deserves.
Detroit on the other hand is allegedly hesitant to deal Monroe, but their current on court mix is terrible and must be resolved. Returning Afflalo to the Pistons gives them a do it all wing player that can actually shoot from outside. Glen Davis is overpaid but he is a decent 2nd unit scoring big man and his contract isn't too onerous and shedding Jerebko has to be considered a bonus.
It's long forgotten, but Orlando is STILL paying Gilbert Arenas to not play for them through 2016. The team previously broke up the $38MM he had remaining but paying $10MM a year to a player not on the roster can't be pleasant for a team with such a dismal record and attendance. This trade nets the Magic the (mostly) insurance paid for contract of Emeka Okafor which provides Orlando some huge cash flow relief. Additionally, the team saves on the prorated $6MM less in incoming/outgoing salaries. Finally, the Magic add a decent frontcourt player in Plumlee, an okay draft pick for the future and bolster their tanking plan in 2014. While Afflalo is playing at a near all-star level this season, he is not part of the long term plan with several young wing prospects (Oladipo, Harris, Harkless) already on the roster.
David Lee, Marreese Speights, Harrison Barnes for Josh Smith and Rodney Stuckey
I am personally in love with this trade, but I realize that it has no real chance of happening. David Lee to Detroit doesn't fix their issues, but he does have a year shorter on his contract. But acquiring Harrison Barnes might make it worth it. Rodney Stuckey would be the perfect change of pace scorer off the bench who could take some ball handling pressure off of Stephen Curry. Bottom line: Golden State could and should trade Harrison Barnes for a better fit and a push to the playoffs.
Peter also has a trade that involves Golden State
Sacramento receives Rajon Rondo;
Boston receives Isaiah Thomas, Jimmer Fredette, Jermaine O'Neal's expiring contract and a 2014 top 5 protected first round pick from Sacramento;
Golden State receives Carl Landry.
While under new ownership, Sacramento has been doing many things to dig itself out of its lottery abyss. While I'm sure ownership there realizes they are not in playoff mode now, they are certainly looking to get there. Adding a pass first, defensive focused, Kentucky alumnus, in Rajon Rondo, could go a long way in changing their fortunes. Rondo is still working himself back from injuries but would do well teaming up in a new big 3 which resembles the former Boston playoff contenders.
Boston likely feels no need to deal Rondo, but adding a high draft pick in 2014 may be worth it, even if it does roll over to a future draft. Additionally, Isaiah Thomas has played well this year and could be a solution at PG going forward. Danny Ainge has long coveted Jimmer Fredette and would now have first crack in retaining him in free agency this offseason.
Golden State clearly needs more of a bench presence and using their Traded Player Exception to reacquire Carl Landry, would do a lot for their bench and playoff hopes.
Let's Talk Potential Jazz Trades
San Antonio receives Marvin Williams;
Utah receives Matt Bonner and Nando de Colo and a 2015 lottery protected 1st round draft pick
Matt Bonner has not been his old reliable self this season and is playing a career low minutes per game. With Kawhi Leonard out for an extended period of time, San Antonio could use a more reliable swing forward. Marvin Williams is the kind of veteran that would seemingly plug right into the Spurs system without disrupting things. Utah picks up a future draft asset in a 2015 lottery protected pick, which will likely have more value than a late round 2014 pick, especially if San Antonio starts to show their age next season.
Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon, Anthony Morrow for Marvin Williams, Richard Jefferson and Enes Kanter
I know this trade will be met with relative disgust from Jazz fans, but hear me out. What is the plan for the Jazz moving forward? To get a star in the 2014 draft to put with the young core and have pieces to make trades to get stars, I suppose. Ryan Anderson is not a star, but he's really really good and has a super reasonable contract. Eric Gordon, while not worth max money, is a good player as well.
Of all the Power Forwardish players I could pair with Derrick Favors, my list probably consists of Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, and Ryan Anderson, in that order. Financially, it works and allows the Jazz to have Trey Burke, Eric Gordon, Gordon Hayward, Anderson and Favors with Alec Burks and the 2014 rookies fit in their somewhere. And this trade doesn't hurt the Jazz's chances too badly of getting a top pick this year, with Anderson's neck injury. The truth is at this point, whether the Jazz make a trade like this or not, they are going to need to be aided greatly by lottery luck.
Also, I admittedly love Anthony Morrow and will try to trade him to the Jazz in any possible scenario. I can admit that.
And Now Some Other Trades to Make Jazz Fans Laugh/Cry
Happy Trade Deadline Everybody.