Fantasy trades starring Steve Nash, Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol

Nothing endures but change -Heraclitus

I admit I have a dirty little secret. In the darkness of the night, in the privacy of my own home, when no one is watching I like to pretend I’m something I’m not.

I like to play act like I’m an NBA GM. I like to play with the cap and fondle the player contracts. I like to properly massage my imaginary NBA rosters until I reach full satisfaction. Thankfully all the tools I need are available on the internet.

Because a trade can change your life

My name is Arturo and I am an NBA Trade Machine addict.

Now don’t be to quick to condemn me because I’m fairly certain you know someone who shares that particular passion. Hell, if you’re reading this website you’re what they would call a high risk.

Admit it, you like playing this game too.

Now, As with all proper games, It is important to set some ground rules. They are quite simple actually.

  1. The trade must work under the current cap rules. Thankfully we have ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine to help us with that.
  2. The trade must be something that could reasonably happen without some sort of a hostage crisis, credible threat of blackmail or Hornets GM David Stern being prominently involved.  Any moron can come up with a trade that works and turns his team into a super team (case in point). It must however be something that does not get you immediately laughed at by any of the teams involved.

Shall we play the trade Game? Your safeword for the day is Pau. We will proceed one theme at a time. For each, I will start slow and build to a climactic finish.

Trade theme: Free Steve Nash

Poor Steve Nash, like Jason Kidd he’s a historic point guard and a true dream date for an NBA fan on game night. Unlike Jason, he has not yet found the place where he can reach the promised land. Let’s see if we can help him get there while at the same time getting the Suns something in return.

Trade #1

Why do the Spurs do this?: Fully embrace the run and gun while clearing the deck for their young guns.
Why do the Suns do this?: Get two viable starters for Nash before he leaves. Do a solid by Steve and give a real chance to win one title
Who does the media think wins this trade? The Suns.
Who actually wins this trade? The Spurs and fans of basketball everywhere. This Spurs team would be a very real threat to win it all.

Trade #2

Why do the Sixers do this?: Go all in to try to win the title this year.
Why do the Suns do this?: Again get two viable cheap young starters for Nash before he leaves. Do a solid by Steve and give a real chance to win one title
Who does the media think wins this trade? The Sixers.
Who actually wins this trade? I’d call this dead even actually. The Sixers are giving up two good cheap pieces here. Their chances of winning the title or even making the finals are not great.

Trade theme: The Lakers lose their mind

Seriously, they’ve gone mental. They signed that ridiculous Kobe extension. They traded the best sixth man in the game (Lamar Odom) for a late first round pick. Not only that they gave him to a hated conference rival. Now they’re looking to give away Pau Gasol their leading win producer and MVP for the length of his stay in Laker Land. Who am I to stand in the way of such inspired lunacy? I believe the german word is schadenfruede.

Trade #1

  • Teams: T-wolves, Lakers
  • Trade:  Lakers trade Gasol/Barnes to the Twolves for Beasley/Webster and Williams
  • The Stats (courtesy of NBA Geek)

Why do the T-wolves do this?: You’re kidding right? This instantly makes them a contender.
Why do the Lakers do this?: BWAHAHAHAHAHA. They are dead set on being the second best basketball team in LA for the next five years perhaps? Sorry my Celtic fandom came out.
Who does the media think wins this trade? Minnesota
Who actually wins this trade? Everyone who is not a Lakers fan. Here’s the thing: this trade will not happen. I’m only putting this here because of some of the reporting out there. Any trade between these two teams would involve Gasol and Love as the principals and that is a non-starter. Let’s get some real options on the table.

Trade #2

Why do the Nets do this?: Deron is not staying. They think they can use Pau as a trade chip with the Magic.
Why do the Lakers do this?: Because Zombie Derek Fisher of course.
Who does the media think wins this trade? Lakers
Who actually wins this trade? New Jersey. Particularly because I think this doesn’t happen until after March 1st and multiple other player and picks are involved. That and the fact that if I made a deal with a Russian billionaire i’d expect him to win.

Trade #3

  • Teams: Bulls, Lakers
  • Trade:  Lakers trade Gasol/Barnes to the Bulls for Boozer/CJ Watson and Taj Gibson
  • The Stats (courtesy of NBA Geek)

Why do the Bulls do this?: They believe Gasol gives them the final piece of the championship puzzle. Barnes is not chump change either.
Why do the Lakers do this?: Not actually a bad trade for them as they get a decent big back for Pau a point guard to takeover from Zombie Derek Fisher and Taj Gibson.
Who does the media think wins this trade? Chicago but it’s close
Who actually wins this trade? I think this is a fairly even trade actually. It helps the Lakers by giving them pieces. For the Bulls it puts them over the top as a championship contender. It makes way too much sense to me so it won’t happen.

Trade theme: The Superman Sweepstakes

You might have not heard but Dwight Howard is leaving Orlando. Some might argue this is not a done deal. I would simply point out that the big man always leaves the small market.

The evidence

Trade #1

  • Teams: Magic, Thunder
  • Trade: Thunder trade Westbrook/Perkins/Mohammed/Sefolosha to the Magic for Howard/Duhon and Smith
  • The Stats (courtesy of NBA Geek)

Why do the Magic do this?: This is a significant haul for Orlando and would give them a starting Center in Perk as well as a budding if controversial star in Westbrook. Add in the extra pieces and it’s perceived as a good haul.
Why do the Thunder do this?:  This is the Thunder throwing all their chips in the middle of the table and calling all in. Harden, Durant and Dwight is enough to make a championship team.
Who does the media think wins this trade? Thunder.
Who actually wins this trade? This depends on a series of Factors. Can Oklahoma win it all? Could they resign Howard? Who exactly is Russell Westbrook going to be? Is he more Steve Nash or Allen Iverson? Both teams risk in this scenario. The potential gain is great though. Let’s move to more likely options though.

Trade #2

Why do the Magic do this?: This to me is fantastic salve to their fans. They get the highest perceived value player they can possibly get in Griffin and a young Starting Center. It keeps them as a playoff team in the east (which may be damming with faint praise) and gives them hope for the future
Why do the Clipper do this?:  You’re kidding right? If there is any scenario in which you wind up with Chris Paul and Dwight Howard on your team you do it. Throw in a very good and underrated Ryan Anderson and this is the easiest yes so far.
Who does the media think wins this trade? Magic. I’m totally serious.
Who actually wins this trade? The Clippers. It’s not even a question. If I told you twelve months ago one team had a chance to wind up with Paul and Howard you’d have been skeptical. If I said it was the Clippers, I would have been mocked. The Magic look good in this trade in getting an exciting and marketable star in Griffin. The Clippers take out an option on the Western Conference for the next decade

Trade #3

  • Teams: Magic, Knicks
  • Trade:  Knicks trade Melo and Amare to the Magic for Howard/Hedu and Redick
  • The Stats (courtesy of NBA Geek)

Why do the Magic do this?: If the Magic get this offer a year ago, they do it in a heartbeat I think. Now they would have some reservations. They could sell their fans on this one though.
Why do the Knicks do this?:  Please be serious. A team of Lin,JR, Fields,Tyson,Howard is a scary prospect for the rest of the conference.
Who does the media think wins this trade? Again, twelve months ago I say Magic. Now? The debate leads PTI for a month at least.
Who actually wins this trade? Let’s call this trade the Lin dividend. The Knicks cannot do this trade in a Pre-Linsanity NBA simply because they could not keep Dwight with what would have been assumed to be a bare cupboard. The world has changed. If you are an agent and you care about money, the Knicks are your number #1 choice for your client. Dwight stays and becomes part of the NBA’s world poster team for the next decade. Orlando thinks it does well here but if you are a regular reader you know that scoring is overrated. They would spend the next few years fighting it out for the right to lose in the first round.

Trade #4

  • Teams: Magic, Lakers
  • Trade:  Lakers trade Gasol/Bynum and Barnes to the Magic for Howard/Hedu and Jameer
  • The Stats (courtesy of NBA Geek)

Why do the Magic do this?: If offered, the Lakers’ godfather offer trumps everybody elses. This trade would completely rebuild the Magic and avoid that pesky post losing the franchise player hangover that Cleveland is mired in.
Why do the Lakers do this?:  The Lakers add arguably the best player in the league. They also address their point guard issues and get a serviceable piece in Hedu for the 3 and 4 position.
Who does the media think wins this trade? Lakers
Who actually wins this trade? This is a trade-off. Orlando wins the short term as they get the best possible deal for their departing superstar. Long term, it’s the Lakers as by having Dwight the Lakers remain relevant and are almost assured historically by virtue of having the best big to win a title at some point in his prime. The Lakers are virtually assured of keeping Dwight and can afford to wait for the remaining pieces to walk thru that door. In fact, the only reason I don’t call them a contender right now is that they stupidly gave Odom away. Orlando’s long term prospects are really tied to the health of Bynum. On paper, the Magic would have arguably the best Power Forward and Center in the East.  Throw in Ryan Anderson and the Magic’s prospects are suddenly abundant. Again, this trade makes way too much sense to actually happen.

I hope everyone enjoyed the game. When we do this again, we’ll get a little crazier.

-Arturo

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