Sunday, February 26, 2012

Fictional Basketball Trade of the Day: LAL, BOS, MIN

I'm writing a paper for Ethics today and I'm desperately looking for ways to procrastinate. Here's my list:

  1. Make some fictional trades on ESPN's NBA Trade Machine
  2. Think of a nickname for myself, similar to how Bill Simmons calls himself "Trade Machine Picasso"
For the trade, I went with the quick mention Michael Wilbon made in his post today (link here) about the Lakers going after Michael Beasley. Here's how it played out:

Lakers receive: F Michael Beasley, PG Luke Ridnour, C Jermaine O'Neal
Timberwolves receive: F/C Pau Gasol
Celtics receive: SG Wesley Johnson

For the Lakers:
  • They can finally get some closure on the whole Pau Gasol situation. And they can also remove a second center from their roster since they already have the best center in the West. 
  • The add another scoring threat in Beasley, who would then be able to pair with Bynum to be the future of the Lakers. Gasol's been upset with his role away from the basket this season. Beasley fits that role perfectly. He's much more equipped to shoot jumpers and slash his way to the rim than Gasol. 
  • They upgrade the point guard position. Luke Ridnour isn't a great point guard, but he's one hundred million gajillion times better than Fisher. Plus he's a white American, and you know how the Lakers feel about white Americans. 
  • O'Neal serves as Bynum's backup for the rest of the year, then either retires or keeps filling the role of "aged veteran who is kind of fat but can still play because he's big and his knees aren't completely toast yet and he used to be good once." You know, the role that Fisher has been playing this season. 
For the Timberwolves:
  • End the Michael Beasley era and fully move into the Rubio/Love era. Oh and now you have the two most skilled big men in the NBA. 
  • As I just said, you can pair Love and Gasol in the front court, Rubio and Martell Webster in the backcourt, and then either Derrick Williams, Darko Milicic, Nikola Pekovic, or Wayne Ellington rounding out the starting five. 
  • Pekovic now becomes expendable. He's a great trade asset - a young, rising big man who can score and rebound and defend and his contract is under $5 million per year. I'd flip him for a shooting guard. Hey, I'll do that right now:
    • Timberwolves receive: SG Wesley Matthews
    • Trail Blazers receive: F/C Nikola Pekovic
    • The T'Wolves get a starting shooting guard. We've addressed that this is their biggest weakness. 
    • The Blazers get a replacement for the Greg Oden/Marcus Camby/Kurt Thomas mess they currently have at the center position. 
  • The point guard keys are handed to Rubio. He's ready - everyone knows he's ready. 
  • They get rid of Wes Johnson. It's sad to say, but he was a major bust. He should be the solution at shooting guard - he's tall enough to defend and should be skilled enough to score in buckets. But it just didn't work out. We'll come back to him in one second. 
For the Celtics:
  • They get a replacement for Ray Allen - making him even more expendable than he already is. Johnson gets a fresh start with a team full of veterans and a solid head coach (that is not a reflection of Minnesota head coach Rick Adelman at all - this is his first year). 
  • Going forward, they have Rondo, Johnson, Avery Bradley, Brandon Bass, and JaJuan Johnson. Plus a ton of cap room this summer. 
  • If it seems like the Celtics got the short end of this deal, think of it like this: they are giving up Jermaine O'Neal's expiring contract for Wesley Johnson. 
Here's the teams' starting lineups after the trades:
  • LAL: Luke Ridnour, Kobe Bryant, Michael Beasley, Andrew Bynum and then either Metta World Peace, Matt Barnes, or Josh McRoberts
    • With the possibility of playing Ridnour-McRoberts-Luke Walton-Jason Kapono-Troy Murphy (and still have Steve Blake on the bench)
  • MIN: Ricky Rubio, Wesley Matthews, Martell Webster, Kevin Love, Pau Gasol
    • With Wayne Ellington, Derrick Williams, Darko Milicic, and JJ Barea off the bench
  • POR: Ray Felton, Jamal Crawford, Gerald Wallace, LaMarcus Aldridge, Marcus Camby
    • With Nic Batum, Nikola Pekovic, Elliot Williams, and Nolan Smith off the bench
  • BOS: Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Brandon Bass, Kevin Garnett
    • They're a mess
I will leave you with one last question.. Who says no?

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