Courtside Debate: Best NBA Trade Scenarios

We asked our two leading NBA writers to analyze the best possible trade scenarios leading up to the NBA Trade Deadline on February 20. After much debate, here are their ideal trade scenarios for teams in need:

By Pete Koehler

Maroon-News Staff

1. Philadelphia 76ers receive SG Ben Gordon; 2014 1st Round Pick (top-12 protected); Charlotte Bobcats receive SF/SG Evan Turner, 2014 2nd Round Pick.

Charlotte is trying to end the Bobcats era on a high note, which would likely be getting the eighth seed and being promptly swept by the Pacers. The Sixers face an opposite problem; at 15-37 and fresh off a 45-point loss at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers, their front office still thinks they’re too good. At first glance, Turner’s numbers seem to indicate he’s taken a step forward this year, assuming a lot of the scoring burden for the Sixers at 17.5 points per game. Dig deeper and his Player Efficiency Rating is only up from 12.16 to 13.35, still well below the league average. However, the Sixers’ fast offense allows for some nice stat-padding across the board. This trade makes everybody happy; the Sixers get the first rounder they covet and transfer Turner’s shots to the unmatched Tony Wroten-Hollis Thompson duo, helping translate to them nabbing Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins in the draft. The Bobcats eke into the playoffs and proceed to overpay Turner, and Ben Gordon’s expiring corpse keeps getting paid.

2. Memphis Grizzlies receive SG O.J. Mayo; Milwaukee Bucks receive SF Tayshaun Prince, 2014 2nd Round Pick

I can’t think of a more poorly constructed team in recent memory. The Milwaukee Bucks are clogged with a bizarre combo of slightly below average but competent enough veterans and some intriguing young talent that also merits playing time. The problem is there are only 240 minutes in a game to use and Larry Drew is not the coach to efficiently allocate them. Not that the Bucks are too concerned about that. While they had aspirations of being in the Bobcats’ current position of competing for a playoff spot in the offseason and attempted to do so with low-profile signings, they’ve now seen the glory in getting close to that number one pick. Though this trade might not fit most people’s definition of a major upgrade, the Bucks can save some cash in the process. For Memphis, this gets them the perimeter shooting they so badly need.

3. Detroit Pistons receive SG Arron Afflalo; Orlando Magic receive PF/C Greg Monroe, PG Rodney Stuckey

This is where things get really good. You’ve got a General Manager on the hot seat, Joe Dumars, in perfect position to get fleeced by a young, savvy, analytics-oriented GM in Rob Hennigan, who has been subtly pulling robberies all over the league the last few years. The Magic have their SG of the future in Victor Oladipo and I’m going to fashion a guess that they’re not building around Glen Davis at PF, where they could use a piece to put next to Nikola Vucevic. Getting Monroe also allows them to comfortably pass up Julius Randle in the draft, instead targeting PGs Dante Exum or Marcus Smart to take over the reins from Jameer Nelson. For the Pistons, Afflalo brings the perimeter threat they so badly need and allows Smith to move to his natural PF position. This move would almost surely vault the Pistons into the playoffs and save Joe Dumars’ job, which would be great news, because who else would have the gusto to start a bidding war with the Bobcats on Evan Turner this summer?

Contact Pete Koehler at [email protected].

By Dylan Pulver

Maroon-News Staff

1. Charlotte Bobcats receive SG Arron Afflalo and PF Glen Davis; Orlando Magic receive SG Ben Gordon and 2014 1st Round Pick

Charlotte is looking to make the playoffs, and veterans like Afflalo, who is playing well this season, and Davis, who has championship experience with the Celtics, can put them over the hump. Orlando is in a rebuilding process and does not have any interest in keeping Afflalo long-term, especially because they have budding star Victor Oladipo. They instead would prefer to turn these two pieces into an expiring contract and a first-round pick in the loaded 2014 NBA Draft.

2. Phoenix Suns receive SF/SG Evan Turner and PF/SF Thaddeus Young; Philadelphia 76ers receive C Emeka Okafor, 2014 1st Round Pick and 2015 1st Round Pick (top-5 protected)

Phoenix is also looking to make a push for the playoffs, and Turner and Young, two of the lowly Sixers’ bright spots, can give Phoenix some talented depth.

Like Afflalo for Orlando, Young and Turner are probably not in Philadelphia’s long-term plans, and to parlay the two into an expiring contract and two first-round picks would be beneficial.

3. Boston Celtics receive PG Raymond Felton, C/PF Andrea Bargnani, SG Tim Hardaway Jr., 2015 1st Round Pick and 2017 1st Round Pick; New York Knicks receive PG Rajon Rondo and SG Keith Bogans

Even though Boston General Manager Danny Ainge stood at Rondo’s side throughout his ACL recovery, Rondo’s recent comments about free agency being “intriguing” and Boston’s desire to rebuild might convince him to deal Rondo, especially if he can get a promising guard and two first-round picks out of the deal.

As a Knicks fan, I personally would never do this trade. However, James Dolan wants to make money. People pay money to see stars play. Carmelo Anthony is a star, but he might bolt unless he gets some help. Rondo is also a star and can give Melo the help he needs. Everyone wins, except the Knicks’ future.

4. Brooklyn Nets receive PF/SF Josh Smith and SF Luigi Datome, Detroit Pistons receive SF Paul Pierce

In the absence of Brook Lopez, the Nets have started Paul Pierce at power forward, and it has worked fairly well. Here is where Josh Smith comes in. Smith is an athletic power forward who can make the Nets one of the best defenses in the league, and they do not have to worry about being too worse too soon, as Smith was freshly signed this past offseason by Detroit.

The Smith-Greg Monroe-Andre Drummond frontcourt has not worked too well for Detroit. Yes, the Pistons fired head coach Mo Cheeks to offset problems, but that trio having to play together is their real problem. Bringing in Pierce gives the Pistons a much better fit for their starting lineup, not to mention a clutch scorer. Even if Pierce does not fit in, the Pistons could let him walk in free agency this summer.

Contact Dylan Pulver at [email protected].