Saturday, February 12, 2011

It's that time of year...

That's right, the trade deadline is fast bearing down upon us, and barring the obvious Melo-drama, there are a few lower-profile players needing a bit of a reshuffle for a better fit before the season runs out. So in no particular order, let's take a look at some tweaks which could benefit teams and players alike.

  • Terrence Williams to the Charlotte Bobcats;
    I didn't like the Houston trade for Williams when it happened, and I still don't see how either team benefited. Now, while the Bobcats are in contention for the playoffs, most of their players have peaked, with the possible exception of Augustin, and while the coaching change has resulted in a bit of a turnaround, this team isn't scaring anybody in a seven-game series. As they are likely lottery-bound, they should try and acquire some young talent. Terrence Williams is a perfect fit to go with Augustin as a SG who can bear some of the load as playmaker and get Augustin more looks to exploit his shooting abilities. Initially, he'll play behind Stephen Jackson, but he's on the way out it seems, and Williams has too much potential to be wasting away on the Houston bench. As for who the Bobcats could ship out, Diaw might attract some interest for a Rockets team trying to make a playoff push and his versatility could serve them well, while also opening up the starting PF spot for Ty Thomas to see if he's ready to contribute with more minutes.

  • Mo Williams to Sacramento;
    Mo is the sort of player who needs to be attached to a star, and would actually be perfect as a third option behind Evans and Cousins. He provides the Kings with a proven shooter to benefit from the double-teams Reke and Cousins draw. Cleveland make this move because Mo isn't a leader and the sooner they clean out that roster the better. Also, if they end up nabbing Kyrie Irving you don't have a disgruntled Mo Williams sitting on the bench. Now, while Gibson is younger and a similar type of player - shooting PG - Cleveland would be reluctant to trade away a young asset and he would have no qualms coming off the bench. The other benefit for Cleveland is that they get a chance to see what Gibson will do with the opportunity to start - for the record, I predict very little - but when you're tanking, you might as well do it right. Sac-town could keep Udrih as back-up PG behind Williams but would probably have to give up their second round draft pick and an inexpensive bench player too, to help the Cavs clean house even more.

  • J.R. Smith to Chicago;
    With Afflalo having a career year, the odds of Smith eventually claiming that starting spot from him are getting slimmer. He would normally be on the court to end games, but was sitting even when Melo fouled out. His time at Denver might be running out. If Chicago throws in a first-round draft pick and James Johnson then both teams benefit; Chicago get's that scoring spark at the 2-guard they desperately need to take some pressure of Rose, and Denver get a young SF who has yet to peak and a draft pick in case Melo leaves and they have to blow everything up. While some of you might say Chicago has never had any interest in Smith, I've never understood why exactly. Yes, he's a locker-room problem on occasion, but a demanding coach like Thibs will make him accountable defensively and he could be the piece that pushes Chicago over the edge into challenging Miami for the next few years, because there aren't many SGs available at the 25th spot in the draft which bring as much as Smith, and there aren't many worth pursuing in the trading block.
So there you have it, a few risky trades which could pay dividends for each of the teams involved, and would certainly benefit the players.

Cheers, Mark.

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