With the NBA season a a little more than a week away, it’s time for some premature rumor mill speculation to grasp fan bases throughout the league. As with most borderline contenders, it is a move made or move passed on that is sometimes the difference between a season of excitement, or one that will go down as a near miss for the players and their fans. With that, there are three trades that, while not being discussed at present date, could make sense for teams down the road to explore. Without further ado, your pie in the sky trade scenarios:
Thoughts: Since the departure of James Harden, the lack of a consistent third option is something that has slowly become the Achilles heel for the Thunder. With the departure of Kevin Martin, the reliance on unproven Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb for the upcoming season has to be something that’s a little unnerving for Thunder fans.
The deal would allow Russell Westbrook to settle into more of a scoring mentality, while providing a proven shooter to the suddenly lacking floor spacing ability of the Thunder. For the Lakers, the deal would be the first sign that a rebuild is inevitable and would allow for Jones and the young asset of a 2014 first round pick to provide hope towards the next generation of Lakers success.
Thoughts: Although the Pistons are a much better team than they were a calender year ago due to the acquisitions of Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings, there is still something vital missing on the roster. While the strength of the team clearly rests on its post players, the team lacks consistent three point shooters after Jennings and Chauncey Billups.
The deal would benefit both teams, as both aid the other in taking a step forward towards the path they’ve already set on. The Pistons, content with beginning their climb towards the East elite with Andre Drummond and co., are but a dynamic perimeter player from being able to legitimately scare teams in the playoffs. The addition of Gordon would provide the consistent floor spacing and shot making ability that the perimeter players of the Pistons simply don’t have as currently constructed.
For the Hornets, the team dispatches itself from a player who’s not only been front and center with his disapproval at remaining with the team after his 4 year, $58 million offer sheet from the Phoenix Suns was matched, but one who has been on the mend more than a Austin Collie-Lindsey Lohan love child. It allows the team to move forward with a core of Anthony Davis, Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday, provides the financial flexibility to pay Davis (who is due for a big pay day in a few years), and also gives them options in free agency and likely another year of late lottery draft selection to add to their riches.
Thoughts: For the Celtics, the dynamic is finally triggered and the roof over their heads collapses for the foreseeable future. They would receive a promising, young guard in Burke, who is cut from similar cloth as Rondo and Burks, as well as two stabs at finding great, young talent in the draft. As a rebuilding team, loading up on young prospects, draft picks and cap space are the main focus, and in this case, all three are met.
As for the Jazz, the young core of Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter and Gordon Hayward are talented, but lack a floor general that can make them better on the court. With Rondo, it puts one of the premier ball distributors and unselfish point guards in the league firmly in Utah for a few seasons, and allows him the chance to grow alongside Favors and Kanter, both of which are on the cusp of finally getting the first significant playing time of their careers. Not only is a great foundation built for years to come, the wise personnel movement by GM Dennis Lindsey in creating significant cap space suddenly gives the Jazz a chance to make a free agent splash that could change the complexion of the Western Conference.