Cohen: Some Proposed Deals That Seem to Make Sense

Josh Cohen
Digital News Manager

By Josh Cohen
May 23, 2012

ORLANDO -- Every summer teams evaluate their rosters and decide if there are any moves they can make to improve for the future.

Though there is still some time before any trades can happen, I have started to conjure up some potential deals that simply make a ton of sense to me.

Keep in mind, none of these proposals have been reported nor have any of them been discussed. These are purely my own concepts based on what I think each team needs.

And while the Orlando Magic may decide to shake up the roster after hiring a new GM this offeseason, these trade ideas encompass other teams around the league.

UTAH GETS: Joe JohnsonATLANTA GETS: Al Jefferson, Raja Bell

While all that depth down low helped Utah advance to the playoffs this season, its glaring flaw is perimeter deficiency. The Jazz just simply do not have a player who can score in isolation and persistently attack the rim. They also lack outside shooting.

Joe Johnson, who some argue is one of the more overpaid players in the league after signing that mega contract in 2010, would solve all these problems.

In spite of some statistical reduction the past two seasons, Johnson remains one of the elite shooting guards in the NBA.

The Hawks, on the other hand, would probably love to exterminate the nearly $90 million remaining on Johnson’s deal from their own payroll.

Utah’s Jefferson, who enjoyed a very productive 2011-12 season, is about to enter the final year of his contract worth $15 million. The Jazz have to decide if they are willing to make Big Al their franchise player or shift their attention to helping Kanter and Favors blossom.

Jefferson would give Atlanta tremendous size up front and would offer the Hawks financial flexibility next summer. Pairing Jefferson with Al Horford in the paint would be very menacing in an undersized Eastern Conference.

Recently, Raja Bell blasted Utah head coach Tyrone Corbin by describing him as “unprofessional” and called the relationship irreparable. It would only make sense for Bell to be included in this proposed deal to match up the incoming salaries.

MEMPHIS GETS: Pau Gasol, Andre Iguodala

But even more appealing than a return to the city that groomed him into an elite power forward, Pau would unite with his brother Marc to form one of the more intriguing frontcourt tandems in the league. This is a marketing dream.

While Philadelphia is still playing unlike most teams, it’s very apparent it has some major flaws. Elton Brand’s past injuries have deflated his skills and the Sixers don’t really have a threatening inside presence.

Adding a rebounding machine like Zach Randolph and trading the inconsistent Andre Iguodala – though defensively stifling – would indisputably balance out Philly’s roster.

Evan Turner, who is starting to flourish, would not have to share the spotlight with Iggy in the backcourt and Thaddeus Young, who is owed a lot of money over the next several years, could hop into the starting lineup.

Finally for the Lakers, they are obviously in disarray after losing to the Thunder in the conference semis. It would be an interesting blend, but a Kobe Bryant-Rudy Gay tandem would be one of the most electrifying in the league.

Remember, L.A. is all about “Showtime” and Gay definitely fulfills that label. By dealing Gasol, it would also allow Andrew Bynum to own the spotlight down low.

HOUSTON GETS: Amar’e Stoudemire
NEW YORK GETS: Kevin Martin, Samuel Dalembert

But a combination of injuries and dubious chemistry concerns with NY’s other superstar, Carmelo Anthony, has dampened all that optimism.

Considering he still has three more years on his massive contract, the Knicks would probably love to remove that obligation and either get valuable assets back or take back some financial relief.

It was no secret that Kevin McHale and the Rockets desperately wanted Gasol last year when they were in discussion with the Hornets and Lakers about an eventually vetoed three-team deal involving Chris Paul.

McHale is one of the all-time great power forwards and seems to have a fascination with working with other top-tier players at that position.

Although Houston doesn’t really have too many desirable assets, it does have “cap relief” benefits – particularly Kevin Martin and his expiring deal.

Despite his stats slightly plunged this past season, Martin remains of the premier offensive players in the league and would certainly fill a hole at the shooting guard spot in New York.

And even more critical for the Knicks, they could quickly be in a salary-cap-friendly situation by the summer of 2014 when the next crop of premier free agents become available.

TORONTO GETS: Tyreke Evans, John Salmons
SACRAMENTO GETS: Andrea Bargnani, James Johnson

But his last two seasons have been substandard and many are starting to wonder if Evans is not quite the blossoming luminary that many assumed he would become.

Evans has one more year on his rookie contract before he will become a restricted free agent. Perhaps it’s best now to move him for something more proven.

Remember, the Kings secured the biggest surprise of the 2011 NBA Draft with Isaiah Thomas and could easily slide him into the starting role if they decided to trade Evans.

One team that could upgrade its point guard situation is Toronto, which has previously attempted to deal away Jose Calderon.

Injuries have denied Andrea Bargnani from being dependable enough to catapult the Raptors to the next level. And remember, the Raptors are expected to get Jonas Valanciunas next season after he was forced to stay in Lithuania this past year because of a clause in his contract.

Perhaps a fresh start in Sacramento would enliven Bargnani and give the Kings a very formidable one-two punch down low with he and DeMarcus Cousins.

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