Thursday, June 21, 2007

The NBA Trade Spectrum

I realize that most readers are probably looking for an in-depth analysis of Sammy Sosa's lengthy stint with the Rangers, and how much his milestone means to the organization. But this Isn't going to be an endorsement for Sammy's Rangers HOF bid (More to come on that truly elite pedestal at a later point). In light of yesterday's NBA developments, I've decided to take a look at the most likely possibilities and impossibilities to occur in the next few months, weeks, or perhaps..... days? Read on!
(Placement on the list is based on a combination of star value and probability)
First and foremost, Kevin Garnett. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. The downward plunge of the Timberwolves is truly sad, because their superstar has battled tooth and nail to win the big one since coming into the league 12 years ago. Alas, he has nothing whatsoever to show for it. 1 playoff stay past the first round isn't necessarily impressive, and very understandably KG wants to take his immense talent elsewhere. However, in an astute decision he Isn't looking for a change simply for the sake of a new atmosphere. Vetoing the proposed deal that would have sent him to the Celtics was the right move; that situation would have been minimally better than the Wolves', if at all. Garnett has reportedly requested for a deal to be sprung with the Suns, and regardless of his desires it seems like the most likely possibility. Why? First: The Suns are bursting to make some changes. As most teams that exit from the playoffs do, they are overreacting; screaming doom and gloom. Secondly, there is a deal in place that would not only make sense fiscally, but as far as reasonable exchange is concerned. The deal most often discussed involves Shawn Marion and Boris Diaw. This would grant Minnesota two very nice players to build around for seven or eight years at the very least, in addition to shedding the attitudinal albatross that Garnett has become. The Lakers are a distant possibility, and the Bulls even more distant. The Mavericks and Rockets retain their pipe dreams.

Rashard Lewis. The city's soon-to-be savior idolizes him, he's coming off a terrific year, and the franchise finally has hope (due to said savior). But Lewis will very likely be moved during this offseason. Why? The Sonics are paying him 12 million dollars to play the same position and bring the same game to the table as Mr. Durant, and charming as their potential hookup may be, they, like every other franchise, would like to save money (See the story of the Tennessee Titans, Steve McNair, and Vince Young). The list of potential targets has been very murky, but if I had to pick the frontrunner as of today It'd be Houston. They are grasping at straws for anything that will get them past that proverbial first round barrier, and adding a hometown guy to fill a position of need would make some sense. I just don't know what they could give up to make it happen.

Zach Randolph. He's one of the top post players in all of basketball. He's in his mid-20s. He puts up 23 points and 10 rebounds every night. So what is it that compels the team with the first pick in this year's draft to shop him with such fervor? Hmm, let's see...
He's completely incapable of playing defense. He fails to display any sort of athleticism, has got a worrisome injury history and a massive contract to go along with off the field problems. These detriments don't detract from his great talent, but they certainly serve as a reminder to all those who may wish to pursue Randolph: Be wary.
Prediction: He stays in Portland. I really haven't the foggiest idea of where he would go, although his sizable contract presents the most likely hypothetical for a deal involving...

Kobe Bryant.
I retain my belief that I have a higher chance of contracting kryptonian powers of heat-vision and flight than Bryant has of being moved anytime soon. It's intrigue that lands him on this list, not any likelihood of occurrence. Chicago? They have nothing to compel the Lakers to deal. LA is looking for a superstar. Minnesota in a superstar swap? Lakers management would need to be afflicted with a permanent bout of insanity. Phoenix? Doubtful. It would take Stoudemire and Diaw, and I don't know if the Suns would do that. And all of you Devin Harris+Maurice Ager+DeSagana Diop+38 second rounders theorists-back in the basement, from whence you came! And never offer your bilge again! I feel silly even bringing it up, because the chances are none to... negative figures. But the deal that makes the most sense would involve aforementioned dual persona headcase/postpresence and the rights to Greg Oden. Why would LA do this? They get the most dominant big man coming out of college since Shaq and a very usable 4 to play beside him. Why would Portland? The star power Bryant brings would drive up their attendance, sales, viewership... hell, I'd expect free cookies at the entrance. Miracles shall come forth. They'd become immediate contenders for a home court spot-and for a very long time. You'd be matching up last year's ROY with the best player in the game and a solid, emerging 4.
That's it for today. Have a good-scratch that, awe-inspiring weekend unmarred by lawnmowing and family trips to the arboretum, but chock filled with apple pie and Silver Boot Baseball!

No comments: