Cohen: NBA Trade Proposals
June 4, 2013
Miami trades Chris Bosh and Joel Anthony to Toronto for Jonas Valanciunas, Andrea Bargnani and Amir Johnson (CLICK NEXT FOR EXPLANATIONS)
WHY FOR MIAMI: Josh Cohen’s Analysis: The Heat will only trade Bosh if they lose to the Spurs in the Finals. If that happens, it will probably be because, similar to what transpired in the ECF vs. the Pacers, the Big Three shrunk to a Big One. Bosh is fragile and passive and to appease LeBron James before he can opt out and test free agent waters, Miami must bulk up in the paint to avoid frequent setbacks in the playoffs. While just a rookie last season, Valanciunas proved he could develop into a low-post threat. Against teams like the Pacers (Hibbert), Bulls (Noah), Grizzlies (Gasol) and Spurs (Duncan/Splitter), it would be a major benefit for the Heat to implement more size and strength down low.
WHY FOR TOR: Cohen’s Analysis: Let’s start with the obvious and that is eradicating Bargnani (two years, $23 million) and Johnson’s (two years, $13 million) loaded contracts. Second, while the Raptors would detest trading one of their prized young players, Valanciunas, re-inviting their once beloved hero, Bosh, back to Canada would capture the attention of basketball fans across the world. Bosh was at his best while with Toronto and with Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan already in place, this proposal would create an intriguing Big Three north of the border. Perhaps it would be cool too for the Raptors to also re-sign Vince Carter?
Miami trades Chris Bosh to Houston for Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin (If deal to Toronto failed)
WHY FOR MIAMI: Cohen’s Analysis: Again, if the Heat lose in the Finals, this is another intriguing option. Asik proved this past season with the Rockets that he is one of the best rebounders in the league. He also continues to develop an offensive identity. Asik is monstrous inside and would deny other centers from flourishing down low. Already with LeBron and Wade aboard, the acquisition of Lin would generate even greater marketing power. Though vastly overpaid as a result of his unforgettable run in New York, Lin would be a suitable backup for Mario Chalmers.
WHY FOR HOU: Cohen’s Analysis: This deal would only transpire IF the Rockets convinced Dwight Howard to sign with them. If that were to happen, Asik would become expendable. With James Harden and long-distance shooters including Chandler Parsons, Carlos Delfino and Francisco Garcia already stationed in southern Texas, a potent frontcourt of Howard and Bosh would potentially make the Rockets the favorites to represent the West in the Finals next year. Since Howard commands double-teams, Bosh would get frequent open looks from the outside.
New Orleans trades Eric Gordon and Greivis Vasquez to Indiana for Danny Granger, Lance Stephenson and Tyler Hansbrough
WHY FOR NOP: Cohen’s Analysis: Though they made a huge effort to acquire and then re-sign Gordon, the combination of injury concerns, his lack of desire to be in New Orleans and his rather encumbered contract make trading him a viable option. With Anthony Davis aboard to protect the paint for many years to come, it may be smart for the Pelicans to adopt a defensive-oriented culture. Stephenson and Hansbrough, though he would have to come in a sign-and-trade considering he is set to be a restricted FA, would give N.O. a degree of toughness and defensive stability. Granger is heading into the final year of his deal so there isn’t much risk absorbing his contract. Surrendering Vasquez would be fine if the Pelicans drafted a PG this month.
WHY FOR IND: Cohen’s Analysis: Proven in the ECF vs. the Heat, the Pacers just simply don’t possess enough offensive firepower. As a result of its tenacity, defensive attitude and balance at each position, Indiana is in position to advance far in the playoffs for the next few years. However, without a prolific scorer to rely on, it won’t be able to challenge for a title. Gordon, assuming he is healthy, would give the Pacers a legit scorer when buckets are needed. And Vasquez, who enjoyed a breakout season this past year, may be an upgrade over George Hill.
Cleveland trades 2013 No. 1 draft pick and Anderson Varejao to Sacramento for DeMarcus Cousins and John Salmons
WHY FOR CLE: Cohen’s Analysis: It’s no secret that the Cavaliers are praying that LeBron James will decide to leave Miami in 2014 and return to his roots. Cleveland seems to have three positions filled for the long haul with Irving set at PG, Waiters at SG and Thompson at PF. If it was able to acquire a somewhat established center, even one with radical behavioral issues like Cousins, not only would the Cavs likely challenge for a playoff spot next season but also make it more appealing for James to consider an implausible reunion.
WHY FOR SAC: Cohen’s Analysis: Now that it is official that the Kings will remain in northern California, it is probably best to breath deep and start from scratch. Though Nerlens Noel may be a risk because of the torn ACL, the potential reward could be worth the investment. Obviously, the Kings are nowhere close to being a playoff team yet. Therefore, with two high draft picks including its own selection at No. 7, Sacramento could try and speed up the process during this elongated renovation.
In a four-team trade, Oklahoma City gets Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers get Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, Utah gets Rajon Rondo and Boston gets Serge Ibaka, Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, Marvin Williams, Caron Butler, Eric Bledsoe and draft picks
WHY FOR OKC: Cohen’s Analysis: First off, if this trade actually happened, it would be the most enthralling deal in NBA history. In any case, Griffin is from Oklahoma and is already beloved in that community. Aside from that, it is very apparent the Thunder are desperate for scoring in the paint. While Ibaka’s defensive prowess would be severely missed, a star-studded trio of Griffin, Durant and Westbrook would be must-watch entertainment every night.
WHY FOR LAC: Cohen’s Analysis: The no. 1 priority for the Clippers is to re-sign Chris Paul. While they are obviously at the end of their respective careers, Garnett and Pierce would complement Paul extremely well. KG offers a defensive dependability and can consistently bury the perimeter jump shots, while Pierce is a reliable go-to option down the stretch. Perhaps, too, the C’s would permit the Clippers to talk with Doc Rivers about their vacant head coaching position.
WHY FOR UTA: Cohen’s Analysis: The Jazz are desperate for a floor general that makes everyone around him better. When healthy, there is probably nobody more effective at that than Rondo, who is recovering from an ACL injury. Everyone assumes Utah is trying to develop Favors and Kanter, however wouldn’t it be more beneficial to just re-sign Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap and unite them with a prolific PG like Rondo?
WHY FOR BOS: Cohen’s Analysis: It’s time to rebuild in Beantown. Acquiring young talent like Ibaka, Favors, Kanter and Bledsoe would give the Celtics a core of talent they can develop for the next several years. Aside from Ibaka, they are all inexpensive too. Therefore, Boston would gain leverage in free agency in the next couple of years.