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Do Trade Machines Dream of Electric Sheep?: Another Weekly Roundtable

USA Today Sports

USA Today Sports

These weekly roundtables have quickly become a part of our regular routines and we have every intention of extending through the of the regular season. We hope you’re enjoying them as much as we are.


1. Propose a realistic trade for Omer Asik that works for all teams involved.

Bobby Karalla (@bobbykaralla): Houston trades Omer Asik to Dallas for Shawn Marion and Shane Larkin. Marion’s deal comes off the books after this season, leaving Houston with even more money under the tax threshold to extend Chandler Parsons and perhaps add more players. Larkin, meanwhile, is affordable and another possible trade chip for Houston down the line (or an asset to keep and develop). On the other side, Dallas is desperate for a defensive-minded center, and Asik fits the bill. Imagine a center rotation of Asik/DeJuan Blair/Brandan Wright for the next season or two. More importantly, Asik’s poison pill probably wouldn’t deter Mark Cuban, and his cap figure would be low enough that Dallas could still chase other free agents this summer.

Andrew Johnson (@countingbaskets) Going to go straight forward here.  Jeff Green from the Celtics to Houston for Omer Asik.  Green, unlike Brandon Bass, shoots the three at a very respectable rate.  He’s like a better Omri Casspi.  For the Celtics, once Rajon Rondo comes back you would have a starting line up of Rondo, Avery Bradley, Gerald Wallace, Jared Sullinger and Asik possibly the best defensive line up outside of the Hoosier state and making Sully your default three point specialist.

Cole Patty (@ColePatty): Boring answer here, but I’m all for Deron Williams for Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin. Lin’s been better than an oft injured Williams, and the Nets get a rental on Asik with Brook Lopez out. Plus Williams is owed $22 million during the 2016-17 season, a number I can’t see him actually reaching in value for a Nets team that’s future is getting bleak.  Meanwhile Asik and Lin expire next season. As for the Rockets, they cut a roster space while getting what they feel to be an upgrade.

Dan Lewis (@danlewismedia): I just want to throw out a protest for realistic trades. What’s the fun of the trade machine if it’s realistic? What do you mean I can’t trade 12 Phoenix Suns for Joe Johnson? With that out of the way, I’d flip Charlie Villanueva for Omer Asik. Daryl Morey is in an awful negotiating situation – he literally has no leverage. His fake deadline? Whatever. He needs lessons on negotiating from Jack Donaghy. While he may say, “I want starters or two first round picks for Asik,” the league will stonewall him for nothing better than a second round pick or a reserve. Villanueva can come in as a backup with an expiring contract. It’s not like he’s playing in Detroit, and he probably won’t do that with the Rockets. I think it’ll be hard for Morey to get anything above that.

Rich Kraetsch (@richkraetsch): Okay, I’ll readily admit it’s a bit of a mess but I’ve attempted to send Omer Asik to a bit of a dark horse, the Phoenix Suns. A team that now prides itself on exceptional defense could use one of the best defensive bigs in the game in Asik. They have a ton of room for next year’s cap, so Asik’s poison pill, while a burden, won’t be a killer for the Suns. They have Emeka Okafor’s expiring contract which is a huge asset for Houston and Phoenix essentially “signs” Asik with that expiring deal. The Suns get another solid SF in Omir Casspi and only send away depth-chart casualty Dionte Christmas.


2. Propose a realistic trade for Kenneth Faried that works for all teams involved.

Karalla: I don’t think a trade like this ever happens, and I’m not even sure it makes sense, but Denver sends Faried, JJ Hickson, Nate Robinson, and Quincy Miller to Cleveland for Andy Varejao, Dion Waiters, and Carrick Felix. Again, maybe I’m an idiot. Cleveland really, really needs bench help, which is where Hickson and Robinson would come in. Faried starts alongside Bynum and they gobble up all the rebounds. Meanwhile, Denver gets Varejao’s tasty contract in return with Waiters, who seems to be turning it around after a pretty bad start. Denver definitely loses in the short-term, but imagine if Waiters continues developing his outside shot. He and Ty Lawson could do wonderful things together. But really, maybe I am just dumb.

Johnson: DeJuan Blair and Shane Larkin for Kenneth Faried and Anthony Randolph, because it is the only possible way to make the Denver frontline shorter.  I want short ball ball to be a thing. I’d love to see a DeJuan Blair, JJ Hickson, Ty Lawson, Nate Robinson and Shane Larkin line up even for just a couple of possessions.

Patty: Faried, Jordan Hamilton, and Randy Foye for Greg Monroe. Nuggets might even have to throw in a protected pick, but I like this for both teams. Gives the Pistons a little more shooting and a cost controlled asset, and it gives the Nuggets the traditional back to the basket big that Brian Shaw wants. I’m sure Joe Dumars — who am I kidding, I have no idea what Joe Dumars thinks — would appreciate Faried having an extra year on his rookie deal after not extending Monroe this offseason.

Lewis: Three team trade here: Nuggets get Carlos Boozer and Anthony Bennett, plus the worse first round pick from the Cavaliers in 2015; Bulls get Danilo Gallinari and Dion Waiters; Cavaliers get J.J. Hickson, Kenneth Faried, and Jordan Hamilton. While Boozer may have a bad rap for his contract, I think he’d be able to fit into the system Brian Shaw wants to build in Denver, and Bennett can develop behind a player who will have his contract expire at the end of the 2014-15 season. The Cavaliers get two players who can dramatically improve their second unit, and a backup frontline of Hickson/Bynum and Faried would be imposing. Hamilton would help space the floor for Irving, and be a younger version of C.J. Miles. The Bulls can finally play Gibson and Noah together, while freeing themselves of Boozer’s contract for the upcoming year when Rose comes back healthy.

Kraetsch: Is Iman Shumpert for Kenneth Faried straight up an awful trade? The PER numbers in there sure indicate it is, but I’m in the “put Iman in another situation and he will thrive” camp (we’re getting the shirts made soon). Faried seems to fit the style of player New York would love, plus he gets bonus points for slightly resembling Ronaldo Balkman (shudder). Knicks need defensive help and the Nuggets bring in a SG/PG hybrid that could fit perfectly into their system and either supplant the pedestrian Randy Foye at the 2 or be a versatile backup.


3. Propose a realistic trade for Rajon Rondo that works for all teams involved.

Karalla: The Celtics trade Rondo and Kris Humphries to the Lakers for Pau Gasol and Steve Blake. The Lakers find a way to acquire the big-time player they’ll no longer be able to afford this offseason, and with Humphries they receive a valuable expiring contract and a serviceable expiring contract in the meantime. Boston gets Gasol, a player the Celtics an either re-sign or watch walk after this season, and Blake, whose contract also comes off the books at season’s end. Face it: Boston is in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race, so at this point it might as well make basketball fun for the last few months before Danny Ainge sobs as Boston clinches the 4 seed come April.

Johnson: I am tempted to just say the Sun, the Moon and the Stars and leave it at that.  But, homerism aside, I think a trade with the Bucks centered around Larry Sanders and Khris Middleton with Caron Butler and Luke Ridnour for Rajon Rondo, Keith Bogans and Vitor Faverani is at least interesting.  The Celtics get a young defensive Center and a decent prospect in Middleton.  The Bucks get a star attraction to sell their fan base for a new stadium and if John Henson or Giannis Antetokounmpo make the leap next year with their inevitable lottery pick they could be competitive pretty quickly.

Patty: I’m going to preface this trade by saying I hate it, but if any team is getting Rondo it is probably the Orlando Magic. Tobias Harris and Arron Afflalo are both good pieces that are expendable, and I threw in Ronnie Price just to make the money closer. I’m not doing this if I’m Orlando’s GM, but I would say it is realistic.

Lewis: I really don’t think the Celtics are going to trade Rajon Rondo. As good as Jordan Crawford has been at the point for Boston (takes a long pull from a small flask), Rondo is the Celtics point guard when he comes back. Brad Stevens isn’t dumb, and he’ll find a way to get homecourt during the playoffs once Rondo comes back. But, here’s a trade to consider. Celtics get back Jason Thompson, Ricky Rubio, and Ronny Turiaf; Minnesota gets Rondo, Travis Outlaw, Ray McCallum and Jimmer Fredette; Sacramento gets Corey Brewer and J.J. Barea, plus a few of those Brooklyn picks from Boston. While Rondo recovers, Jimmer can play 40 minutes a game with McCallum backing him up from the bench. Free Jimmer!

Kraetsch: The Ricky Rubio experiment in Minnesota is…over! Well, according to this trade it is. Sure, the Wolves don’t upgrade their shooting much but they bring in a superstar PG and the Celtics now become the team to try to develop and cultivate Rubio’s immense potential. The rest of the guys are just throw-ins, Brewer hurts to lose but again, Minnesota is bringing in a superstar PG and the radical change that is long overdue for this roster.


4. Propose a realistic trade for Dion Waiters that works for all teams involved.

Karalla: I made one without reading this question (oops), but here’s another one: THE KING HATH RETURNED. ALL HAIL THE KING. This trade is happening, guys.

Patty: The Cavs get Khris Middleton and Gary Neal, and the Bucks get Dion Waiters. Middleton has been a very good player this season, and plays small forward. He’s also twenty-two years old like Waiters, so who knows what kind of potential he has? With the Bucks current logjam at Small Forward — when Caron Butler and Carlos Delfino are healthy — I think they can dump of Middleton despite the fact he’s making $900 K next season. I’m sure Cavs fans will hate this, but  I don’t see why more people aren’t talking about Khris.

Lewis: See above trade with Kenneth Faried highlighting the Cavaliers package. Here’s another one just for fun, in case that trade won’t work.

Johnson:  Dion Waiters isn’t a player I am really sold on at this point, but he has a decent outside shot.  The Bobcats are a team in desperate need of some floor spacing. Unfortunately, the Bobcats don’t have anyone to address the Cav’s need for a small forward unless they’re willing to give up on Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.  So, I constructed an unnecessarily complicated three way trade with the Nets, bringing Paul Pierce to the Cavs and sending Waiters to the Bobcats and the Nets getting the recently suspended Andrew Bynum and the Bobcats’ Gerald Henderson to the Nets. It requires the Nets to take on more money, but at this point who is counting?


5. Propose a realistic trade for Thaddeus Young that works for all teams involved.

Karalla: I know this is boring, but Philadelphia sends Young to Dallas for Shawn Marion. Philly gets cap relief and a shot at a better draft pick this season (Miami has Philly’s lottery-protected pick this season and next, so the 76ers better miss the playoffs). Dallas, meanwhile, receives Young for the next couple seasons, a player that’s better offensively than the Matrix and probably worse defensively, but with the direction Dallas is going at the moment that isn’t an issue.

Patty: The Thunder send Perry Jones, Kendrick Perkins, and the Mavericks pick for Thad Young. Also, I’m okay with them sending Reggie Jackson, instead of Perry Jones and a pick, if they can get Tony Wroten back. I don’t see the Sixers having much interest in Jackson however, with Michael Carter-Williams being the future. As for why the Thunder want this, small-ball has killed in Oklahoma City, and Thad would just add a whole different dimension. He can also eat up the rest of the small forward minutes Durant doesn’t take up. Also, you get Steven Adams eating up even more minutes whenever the Thunder want to play two traditional bigs. I think this is a clear upgrade for an already deadly Thunder squad.

Lewis: Young to New Orleans for Al-Farouq Aminu and Austin Rivers, plus a 2016 protected first round pick. We already know that the Pelicans want to win now – in three years, Young will come off the books, and the Pelicans can just sign him to a new contract. Plus, Philly gets to play Rivers, meaning they will increase the likelihood of A) making more 3-point shots and B) making the top 5 in the lottery. It’ll be viewed as a bad trade, because New Orleans still won’t make the playoffs, but hey, Tom Benson wants to win now, and this gives them the best chance to do so. Would this trade turn the Pelicans into the Warriors of the Bayou? Wouldn’t a lineup of Holiday-Gordon-Young-Anderson-Davis be fun to watch? A little? Now I’m really sold.

Kraetsch: DeMarre Carroll has been solid for the Atlanta Hawks but there’s no doubt that Thaddeus Young is a better short-term option for the Hawks. With this trade, the Hawks acquire Thaddeus Young, lose DeMarre Carroll who will fit into a Sixers team devoid of small forwards and the expiring contract of Elton Brand. Brand re-unites with the Sixers and nobody in the world cares.


  • Yu-Hsing Chen

    I feel most of the really plausible Asik trade would have to be a 3 way somehow, though these situations are fluid, a few weeks ago I really thought the most plausible was a 3 way where Houston gets Amir Johnson (and probably take on Landry Fields and/or Steve Novak’s contract) and move Asik to a 3rd team (Say Boston) while Toronto gets expiring and picks, but unfortunately now the world realize why Amir Johnson is actually really valuable.

    For the Deron trade, the risk seems ridiculously high on Houston’s part, as noted, Lin’s basically been as productive if not more than Deron, what if Deron continue to stay often hurt / not as good in Houston? now you basically just ruined everything since his contract is not only unmovable, but runs as long as the Harden / Howard contract. Not to mention that even if he wasn’t hurt, a Deron / Harden back court has to be worse than anything since the Nash /Kobe back court defensively. and Houston’s not exactly lacking offense here. So you MAYBE adding something they already have in abundance, but almost surely make their biggest issue even worse. that doesn’t seem like a good plan.

    Though Asik’s continued mysterious injury makes it hard for Houston , at this current juncture they need to get him back onto the court and play first.

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