28 Dec D-Wade Tag-Team’s With Old Mate: Every NBA Team Makes A Trade (Part 2 of 3)
Sending: Hassan Whiteside
Receiving: Jimmy Butler
Sending: Jimmy Butler
Receiving: Hassan Whiteside
Reasoning: Whiteside to the west-side? We saw Dwayne Wade leave Miami to come back home in Chicago after being unhappy about how much Pat Riley was willing to pay him after all he had done for the franchise. D-Wade really assisted in the growth of Whiteside’s career, literally. They became one of the best pick-and-roll alley-oop combinations in the league. With Chris Bosh and his unfortunate halt to his career due to blood clots, Miami was left with very little talent and depth outside of Whiteside and Goran Dragic. It’s clearly evident that Riley for the first time in over a decade is in a true rebuild. They sit third-to-last in the Eastern Conference, holding two more wins than Brooklyn, and three more than Philadelphia currently. On the other hand, it’s abundantly clear that Butler is the face of the franchise in Chicago; nevertheless, rumors swirled during the offseason that Butler was involved in some trade discussions with other teams like Minnesota where he would reunite with head coach Tom Thibadeau. While either of these players being traded is slim-to-none, Butler is a player who could help Miami speed up their rebuild chipping in with his versatility on both ends of the floor. Meanwhile, in Chicago they arguably already have offensive playmakers in guys like Rajon Rondo and obviously D-Wade. We knew that bringing in those aforementioned players combined with Butler would leave them with little outside shooting in their starting five. The Bulls do have some guys that can stroke it from behind the arc in McDermott and Mirotic, who would see extended playing time with Butler out of the mix. Furthermore, we would again be able to witness Wade and Whiteside dominate with their chemistry on alley-oop type plays, which pass-first PG Rajon Rondo getting in on the fun too. The Heat have been playing a combination of Dion Waiters, Wayne Ellington, Josh Richardson, Rodney McGruder, Derrick Williams, Luke Babbitt, James Johnson, and Josh McRoberts at their SG/SF/PF positions so bringing Butler in would be a significant upgrade over all of those players, while being versatile enough to play at all of those positions.
New York Knicks
Sending: Joakim Noah
Receiving: Buddy Hield
New Orleans Pelicans
Sending: Buddy Hield
Receiving: Joakim Noah
Reasoning: Let’s start with New Orleans first. We know that the Brow is among the top five players when he is on the court, but has obviously struggled with staying healthy in his short young career. Davis is a menace on the glass, and can do so from the PF or C position. He naturally is a power-forward but obviously is big enough to play center when needed, and unfortunately is more than they would like because of the options they have to play at the five. New Orleans has flip-flopped their starting center this season with Omer Asik and Alexis Ajinca, both of whom offer virtually little-to-no offensive game whatsoever. Furthermore, the team ranks 28th in offensive rebounding this season. Here they would bring in a player who ranks 12th in the league in offensive rebounding at 3.04 per game. Not too long ago before dealing with injury problems himself, Noah was a player who finished fourth in MVP voting while playing for the Bulls in 2014. He averaged averaged 12.6 points, 11.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists while winning Defensive Player of the Year honors. His assists average marked the highest for a center since Sam Lacey posted 5.7 in 1979-80. He joined Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlin, and David Robertson as the only centers in NBA history to post at least four points-rebounds-assists triple-doubles in one season. Although, he has not had a season playing at a sure-fire All-Star level since then, he would bring a much needed all-around game and toughness that the Pelicans currently lack. As far as the Knicks are concerned this would not leave a gapping hole in their roster as they have players like Kyle O’Quinn, Guillermo Hernangomez, and Marshall Plumlee who all are viable alternatives to fill the center position. Bringing in Buddy Hield would be a solid move as he does not need the ball in his hands to be effective, and starters Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony, and Kristaps Porzingas dominant the majority of touches anyhow. Although, if the trade were to happen today, Hield would probably come off the bench behind Courtney Lee who brings defensive toughness to the starting-five. As Hield’s game further develops at the NBA level, I could envision him surpassing Lee on the depth-chart and giving the Knicks a dynamic scorer from behind the arc that they lack outside of Carmelo and Kristaps.
Sending: Jonas Valanciunas
Receiving: Cody Zeller/Frank Kaminsky
Sending: Cody Zeller/Frank Kaminsky
Receiving: Jonas Valanciunas
Reasoning: The Raptors have arguably one of the best back-courts, if not the best PG/SG combo in Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. Unfortunately, outside of those two dynamic scorers they really do not have much help scoring the basketball. Valanciunas has been solid for Toronto, and over the last four seasons he has averaged just under a double-double with 12.1 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. Toronto did bring in Jared Sullinger from Boston this offseason who has yet to play a game this season due to a foot issue, and has had trouble staying healthy throughout his young career. Bringing in Zeller and Kaminsky would bring some depth to Toronto’s front-court, while maybe giving them an uptick in scoring amongst their big’s especially with Kaminsky’s repertoire. For Charlotte, bringing in Valanciunas would give them a consistent center and presence down low for guys who are often injured like Marvin Williams, Cody Zeller, and Roy Hibbert. Much like his role was in Toronto, he would be asked to be third-fiddle behind Kemba Walker and Nicolas Batum in the scoring department. This trade would benefit both teams as Toronto would gain much needed depth in their front-court aside from injured Jared Sullinger, Patrick Patterson, and rookies Pascal Siakam/Jakob Poeltl. Charlotte gets themselves a player they can count on to be healthy for them, while bringing a veteran presence they lack in their front-court.
Sending: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Receiving: Ryan Anderson
Sending: Ryan Anderson
Receiving: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Reasoning: Even the most casual NBA fans know that the game is changing, much like many other sports have over the last few decades. As far as basketball is concerned, the era of having back-to-the-basket big men dominating the low-post have largely diminished. We have witnessed more and more PF/C enter the league equipped with guard-like ball handling skills and three point shooting, rather than moves that utilize their size in the low-post. Teams as a whole are shooting three-pointers much more frequently than we saw ten or twenty years ago. For instance, we have the Rockets involved in this trade, who had just broken the record for most three-pointers in a game with 24 last week. This was not the only record set during their 122-100 win over the Pelicans last week. They attempted a single-game record amount of three’s (61), while also breaking the record for attempts from behind the arc in one half (31). The clock was winding down, and with 32.3 seconds left in the game Ryan Anderson hit their record breaking 24th three-pointer. In a juxtaposition of Houston’s style of play jacking up a copious amount of trey’s (39 3PTA 1st in NBA), the Pistons rank 29th in the league in three-point attempts (22). With Houston having a plethora of guys who can stroke it from three, they give up a guy in Anderson to receive some much needed help on defense. KCP has shown inconsistencies on offense throughout his young career, but what he brings to the table on a consistent basis is his tenacious defense. In the 2015-16 campaign, Caldwell-Pope worked his way onto 23 NBA All-Defensive Team ballots. He has become one of the league’s premier wing-defenders, evident by his overall defensive plus-minus rating which sits at a positive +0.4, ranking him as the third best defensive shooting guard behind only Tony Allen and Danny Green. You could question how people regard the Rockets under new HC, Mike D’Antoni: A high-powered offense who attempts the most threes per game? Or a team known for playing little or no defense outside of Pat Beverly? In conclusion, Detroit would receive a guy in Anderson who can help boost one of the worst outside shooting teams in the league. On the other hand, Houston being a team much maligned for not playing any defense would retain one of the league’s best wing defenders in KCP.
Sending: Deron Williams
Receiving: Greg Monroe
Sending: Greg Monroe
Receiving: Deron Williams
Reasoning: The Mavericks have been riddled by injury throughout the beginning of this season with players like Dirk Nowitzki, Andrew Bogut, J.J Barea, Deron Williams, and Devin Harris. Owner Mark Cuban has been trying to revamp his squad ever since their championship winning season in 2011 over Miami. He has continually failed to bring in any player to help spring Dallas out of mediocrity since their historic win over Miami’s rendition of the “Big-Three.” This offseason we saw many twists and turns with free agent movement from players like Kevin Durant and Dwayne Wade joining new teams. Nevertheless, these moves could not hold a candle to the debacle that was Cuban’s push to sign DeAndre Jordan and failed miserably. They were able to bring in Andrew Bogut this offseason from the Warriors, who can be a very effective player when healthy. The problem is throughout his whole career he has struggled to maintain a clean bill of health over any long period of time. This pattern has continued on to this season, and the Mavericks have had to start guys like Salah Mejri and Dwight Powell at center for most of the season to this point. Although the team has suffered several injuries at the guard positions, it has not really hurt them too much as they have a bevy of talented ball-handlers in guys like Deron Williams, J.J Barea, Seth Curry, Devin Harris, and Wesley Matthews. This trade taps into their surplus of guards by sending veteran Deron Williams to the Bucks for much needed help in their depleted front-court and acquiring Greg Monroe. Monroe was drafted by the Pistons in 2010, and averaged near a double-double (14.4 points, 9.3 rebounds) for five years with the organization. Over the last two seasons in Milwaukee, Monroe has seen his playing time decrease and fell out of favor in the starting lineup for John Henson. He went from averaging 15.3 points and 8.8 rebounds in his first season as a Buck; whereas, this season his numbers have taken a significant dip (9.6 points, 6.7 rebounds) while coming off of the bench. Monroe could surpass the often injured Andrew Bogut as the starting center for the Mavericks, and I believe his numbers would bump back up to the near nightly double-double threat he posed in Detroit. For Milwaukee, they have this guy who stands near 7-foot nick-named the “Greek-Freak,” that coach Jason Kidd deemed to be his point-guard coming into this season. With that being said, it did not stop the front-office from going out and signing a PG in Matthew Dellavedova. The Bucks are a very young team, and would benefit greatly from bringing in a veteran guy like Deron Williams. Even if they still had Giannis handle the ball the majority of the time, D-Will could offer some outside shooting that the Bucks lack especially with the injury to Khris Middleton. The move could be most beneficial when looking at late-game situations, having a facilitating play-maker in Williams who has more experience than possibly all of the guards combined (minus Jason Terry, but does he really count?). I am not insinuating that they should then put the ball in D-Will’s hands in every important spot, rather having a mentor like Jason Kidd who can show these young guns how to close out games.