First of all, this is for entertainment purposes only.
Last February, I had the somewhat deranged idea of constructing a 30-team trade, using the 125% plus $100,000 rule.
I aimed to be as equitable as possible and looked at each team squarely from the perspective of 'would it make sense to send out these players for this specific return?'
With 81 players and $416M involved, some teams undoubtedly converted their outgoing assets more advantageously than others, but I was genuinely disinterested in being unfair to any specific team.
Since Trade Checker and 'the machine that shall not be named' only go four teams deep, I had to calculate this one on my Excel Checker and it was approved.
Hawks Receive: Steve Nash, Brandon Bass, Luke Babbitt
Hawks Send: Josh Smith, Jeff Teague
• Even though this trade doesn't satisfy the wishes of Tito Horford by upgrading the center position to allow Al to move permanently to power forward, it does give Atlanta the upgrade at point guard they have been seeking. Mike Bibby filled that need a few seasons ago when they traded for him, but his 30 minutes per night aren't good for him or the team and Jeff Teague hasn't proven the basic levels of competence to supplant him in a meaningful way.
Steve Nash just turned 37, so giving up on Josh Smith for two or three seasons of a point guard (even if it is Nash) is undeniably risky, but this is the kind of trade that could 'unstick' the Hawks from the middle of the Eastern Conference playoff road.
Nash and Horford will immediately become one of the best pick and roll tandems in the NBA, while Joe Johnson doesn't need to carry quite as big of a load as a playmaker off the dribble and will have the corner three setup for him as he enjoyed in 04-05.
A five-man unit of Nash, Johnson, Horford, Jamal Crawford and Marvin Williams will be able to score with anybody, though defense will be challenging on the perimeter.
With Josh Smith gone, the onus is on Marvin Williams to be more productive on the glass and also begin hitting open three-pointers again.
Celtics Receive: Rudy Fernandez
Celtics Send: Avery Bradley
• There would be absolutely apprehension in giving up Avery Bradley when he remains such a promising unknown, but Fernandez solves Boston's perilously thin depth on the wing and is one of the deadliest spot-up perimeter shooters in the game with a big game track record. Defensively, the Celtics don't get the Wade/Kobe stopper off the bench, but Fernandez's defense is solid and will receive a bump playing in their well-established scheme.
Fernandez also won't be a restricted free agent until 2013, so he will be their insurance through the remainder of their KG-era title runs and they will then determine how worthy of an extension he might be as Rajon Rondo's backcourt mate in the long run.
Bobcats Receive: Ronnie Brewer, Eddie House, Royal Ivey
Bobcats Send: Tyrus Thomas, Kwame Brown
• Rod Higgins gets out from under the encumbering contract of Tyrus Thomas while picking up a solid rotation player on the wing who can do a little bit of everything in Ronnie Brewer. Brewer is signed on a reasonable contract and is capable of making a comeback offensively in a new set of circumstances where he can do more than just be a spot-up shooters, which is quite clearly not his strength.
Bulls Receive: Courtney Lee, Jamario Moon, Lance Stephenson, Chris Quinn
Bulls Send: Ronnie Brewer, James Johnson
• Chicago gets a promising and affordable fit to start at shooting guard beside Derrick Rose in Courtney Lee, without giving up any critical element of their club (i.e. Omer Asik). Lee is a suspect defender, so the benefit of having his excellent spot-up game to spread the floor on offense will make up for it. Lee is an infinitely better fit offensively for Chicago than Brewer and the Bulls clearly have more room for error defensively right now than they do on offense (first versus 19th). The space created for Rose by having Lee on the floor instead of Keith Bogans and Brewer is worth the price of admission on its own.
Moon, Stephenson and Quinn are pure cap filler for the Bulls to make this trade viable.
Cavaliers Receive: James Harden, Byron Mullens, Yi Jianlian, Melvin Ely
Cavaliers Send: Anderson Varejao, Jamario Moon, Anthony Parker
• Considering how rare players like Varejao are in today's NBA, receiving a former third overall pick who has disappointed thus far, a former Ohio State center with 110 minutes in two seasons and the disappointing remains of Yi seems like a deal that is vexing to get too trilled about.
But Harden was a ball-dominant scorer at Arizona State that doesn't get to touch the ball much with the Thunder and he has remained a promising three-point shooter. He has a TS% of 58.4% this season and could absolutely bust out in a role where he gets to double his per minute shot attempts. Moving forward with a 21-year-old Harden and whatever Cleveland drafts with their very high lottery pick is not a bad way to induce a turnaround.
Mavericks Receive: Devin Harris, Drew Gooden, Reggie Evans
Mavericks Send: Rodrigue Beaubois, Brendan Haywood, Caron Butler, Ian Mahinmi
• I flirted with giving Nash back to Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks, but decided it would be too sentimental and reuniting him with former Phoenix teammate Jason Kidd wouldn't be the most productive move available.
Because they can coexist on the floor together, Devin Harris would prevent Kidd from having his minutes reduced in a detrimental way, while legitimately improving the Mavericks on the defensive end as well.
Dallas gets disentangled from Haywood's contract, but they need to take on a new bad one in Gooden.
Nuggets Receive: Andrew Iguodala, Rodney Stuckey, Brandan Wright, Eddy Curry
Nuggets Send: Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith, Al Harrington, Melvin Ely
• Denver gets to remain competitive throughout the remainder of Chauncey Billups' career, while unloading Harrington's contract in a deal for Iguodala. The Nuggets may very well have enough offense without Anthony, which could make acquiring Iguodala a wash from a wins and losses perspective, or even make the team stronger overall.
Stuckey and Wright, both from the 2007 draft class, will be restricted free agents and are the types of players likely to be squeezed by the new CBA, making their retention an optimistic possibility from the Kroenke perspective.
Pistons Receive: Hasheem Thabeet, Vladimir Radmanovic, Lazar Hayward
Pistons Send: Tayshaun Prince, Rodney Stuckey
• For two players that will be difficult for Detroit to afford going forward this offseason, they get an opportunity to see if they can save a lost second overall pick center not named Darko. Thabeet has been worse than dismal, but perhaps he can become the one-dimensional shotblocker we were promised with the Pistons.
Radmanovic is an expiring contract and Hayward comes cheap as the 30th overall pick in 2010.
Warriors Receive: Derrick Favors, Avery Bradley, Sasha Vujacic
Warriors Send: Stephen Curry, Brandan Wright, Vladimir Radmanovic
• Trading Curry would be a wearisome decision for Golden State, especially to gamble on two unknowns like Favors and Bradley, but it is the kind of deal that can make a franchise.
Bradley is a much more capable defender than Curry, which should help mitigate the backcourt overlap of Monta Ellis at least a little bit. The search for the perfect point guard to pair with Ellis is probably the NBA's equivalent of Holy Grail search and few solutions are logical. At least Golden State has a high quality point guard in Curry, even if he is the worst fit imaginable defensively.
Looking beyond the Bradley/Ellis backcourt, Favors is the fundamental centerpiece of the deal for a franchise that has always struggled in the frontcourt since the retirement of Nate Thurmond (Joe Barry Carroll, one season of Chris Webber, Joe Smith busting, trading Robert Parish and Kevin McHale).
Rockets Receive: Chris Kaman, Tayshaun Prince, Jeff Teague
Rockets Send: Yao Ming, Jordan Hill, Aaron Brooks, Courtney Lee, Chase Budinger
• Houston gives up a lot in order to acquire another frequently injured center, but they consolidate their depth into an intriguing starting five of Kaman, Prince, Luis Scola, Kevin Martin and Kyle Lowry, while still keeping a good percentage of the depth that gives Daryl Morey his team's identity and also adding a backup point guard with upside in Teague.
If Morey were to send out Yao, Brooks, Hill, Lee and Budinger into the open, he would be more ambitious than this, but I have doubts if he does much better.
Pacers Receive: Carl Landry, Jordan Hill, Chase Budinger, Martell Webster, Caron Butler
Pacers Send: Danny Granger, T.J. Ford, Solomon Jones, Lance Stephenson, A.J. Price
• Giving up on a player of Granger's talent is a challenging decision, but the Pacers hand over the wings to the next generation while giving Roy Hibbert a gifted low post scorer in Landry (who the Pacers would re-sign) and an athletic project in Hill.
The Pacers get younger and infinitely more athletic in the frontcourt with this trade, acquiring personnel that fits better with the overall direction of the team.
Clippers Receive: Danny Granger, Jrue Holiday
Clippers Send: Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu, Minnesota unprotected 2012 pick
• The Clippers have a precarious logjam at point guard with Holiday, Eric Bledsoe and the soon to be banished/waived Baron Davis, but their starting five of Blake Griffin, Eric Gordon, Danny Granger, Holiday and DeAndre Jordan is one season away from being every bit as elite as any other team in the Western Conference and possibly sufficiently equipped to compete with the Heat and Celtics.
Granger has his limitations as a standalone 'star', but his ability to shoot the perimeter jumper (along with Gordon on the other wing) will spread the floor to keep Griffin from getting killed by collapsing defenses in the paint.
It is hard to make an argument for another team improving in this menage a trente as much as the Clippers, but it is nearly impossible to overvalue that unprotected pick from Minnesota in 2012. Plus, Kaman and Aminu have consequential value around the NBA.
At the very least, this can be considered back-pay from the other 29 teams.
Lakers Receive: O.J. Mayo, Marc Gasol, Morris Peterson
Lakers Send: Andrew Bynum
• The Lakers turn one of the NBA's best two or three centers into a lesser talent, but one that will come at a cheaper price and is certainly well above average. Marc Gasol also potentially gets the telepathic push from playing with his brother Pau, similar to the Sedins.
Since the Lakers are losing on talent with the Bynum for Marc swap, Mayo becomes the player that can potentially put the deal over the top. Mayo has unequivocally been a disappointment, but he has shot the ball better than expected from the perimeter and seems like the type of player that would greatly benefit from a new situation/system. He also is perfectly suited for the Triangle offense and can immediately play the Ron Harper role beside Kobe Bryant.
Depending on how greatly he develops and improves, Mayo can conceivably swap roles with Bryant in another three seasons as the elder loses his explosion.
If there is a move to ease the Lakers into the latter stage of Kobe's career while remaining the perennial title contender they are now, it is this one and they no longer have sleepless nights worrying about Bynum's health/motivation.
There may be some level of consternation for the Lakers to field a team with three-fifths of a starting five coming from Memphis.
Grizzlies Receive: Andrea Bargnani, Nick Young, A.J. Price
Grizzlies Send: Marc Gasol, O.J. Mayo, Hasheem Thabeet
• The Grizzlies are sending out more talent than they are bringing in, but this trade helps preserve the status quo in a fiscally responsible way. The trade balances the books for Memphis, giving the team a reasonably priced center that complements Zach Randolph, who will now be easier to re-sign.
Memphis also gets to unload the contract of a second overall pick in his second season, which is always a positive byproduct.
Heat Receive: Solomon Jones
Heat Send: Eddie House
• The Heat needed to get involved somehow and I tried to trade Joel Anthony every possibly way imaginable, but nothing made sense. Has a contending team ever been less likely to make a trade than the Heat?
Jones gives Miami's frontcourt six fouls.
Bucks Receive: Marcus Thornton, Al Harrington, Josh Powell
Bucks Send: Larry Sanders, Drew Gooden
• The Bucks are offensively challenged and import two players who can score in Thornton and Harrington.
Losing Sanders this early isn't done without a sense of regret since his skill-set is so unique, but the savings on Harrington (final two seasons are non-guaranteed) and the acquisition of a young shooting guard to pair with Brandon Jennings is a risk worth enduring.
Timberwolves Receive: Andrew Bynum, Aaron Brooks
Timberwolves Send: Michael Beasley, Ricky Rubio's trade rights, Luke Ridnour, Martell Webster, Lazar Hayward
• Minnesota has potentially the best center/power forward tandem in the NBA in Bynum and Kevin Love, while also acquiring a point guard that has been capable of stretching the floor in the past. Opposing teams collapse the paint on Minnesota already and this will increase the incentive, making perimeter shooters beyond essential.
The Wolves still don't have the star playmaker on the wing they need, but Wesley Johnson will have countless choice open shots with his man doubling down on Bynum and Love.
Nets Receive: Anderson Varejao, Ricky Rubio's draft rights, Trevor Ariza, Marcus Banks
Nets Send: Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, Sasha Vujacic
• Impatience is sometimes a virtue and Mikhail Prokhorov would have an improved team in 11-12 by making this trade. A core of Rubio, Brook Lopez, Varejao and Ariza is promising to build around, in addition to their own first round pick this year and the Lakers' pick as well. These blocks are the type of group that is capable of overachieving and become greater than the sum of their parts.
In case Dave D'Alessandro is curious, nobody wanted to take Travis Outlaw's contract.
Hornets Receive: J.R. Smith, Grant Hill, Anthony Parker
Hornets Send: Marcus Thornton, Trevor Ariza, Marcus Banks
• The Hornets go short-term with the expiring contracts of Smith, Hill and Parker, but they give the team more functional offense since Monty Williams has been afraid to give Thornton serious minutes due to his defense. New Orleans is undoubtedly in a more precarious situation past the current season, but their title chances do improve even if it is marginal.
Those three, along with David West being able to opt out, will give Dell Demps a challenging summer in free agency.
Knicks Receive: Carmelo Anthony, Earl Clark
Knicks Send: Eddy Curry, Anthony Randolph, Wilson Chandler, Kelenna Azubuike
• Unwilling to improve their offer for Anthony, the Knicks are saved by Denver being able to acquire Iguodala.
The Knicks acquire Anthony a few months before they can sign him outright and get to experience whatever becomes of their 2011 Playoff run and Anthony gets his pre-new CBA extension.
Thunder Receive: Al Jefferson, Greg Oden
Thunder Send: Jeff Green, James Harden, Byron Mullens, Morris Peterson, Royal Ivey
• The Thunder lose two key elements of their current team, but they are converted into one of the best post scorers in the NBA in Jefferson. He also is a good fit beside Serge Ibaka since one can play defense and the other is challenged in that area.
Oden is an obvious gamble and they would have to hope they can corner him into merely accepting the qualifying offer and that no team offers him a multi-year offer sheet he chooses to sign outright. The Oden/Kevin Durant connection is obvious, but the potential upside in the scene change is extraordinary.
I like this deal because it improves Oklahoma City's playoff chances over the next three or four seasons, plus the upside of Oden becoming healthy on their watch is beyond compelling. Oden came into the NBA talking about winning double-digit championships and this would be his opportunity.
Magic Receive: Jose Calderon, Andray Blatche
Magic Send: Jameer Nelson, Brandon Bass, Earl Clark
• Calderon and Nelson are roughly the same age, shoot the perimeter shot at about the same rate of efficiency, but the former is clearly a better facilitator and that is incredibly useful on a team with so many players that need shots.
Otis Smith is fully in his 'whatever can possibly stick on the wall' phase and this is another trade in that same vein.
Blatche has talent and could give Orlando an intriguing frontcourt element beside Dwight Howard that he has never had, but he and Stan Van Gundy will only be able to coexist for about four months.
Suns Receive: Rodrigue Beaubois, James Johnson, Wilson Chandler, T.J. Ford
Suns Send: Steve Nash, Grant Hill
• Phoenix turns two old (still very valuable) guys into an electric (potentially great) young prospect in Beaubois, Bird rights on Chandler and whatever becomes of Johnson.
Trading Nash, even if this trade improves their odds of a successful rebuild, doesn't feel good for anyone but it is better than they would likely do in a two-team deal in the summer.
Sixers Receive: Stephen Curry, Al-Farouq Aminu, Francisco Garcia, Hilton Armstrong
Sixers Send: Andre Iguodala, Jrue Holiday
• Philadelphia's recent play makes their motivation for a deal of this scope difficult to rationalize, but Curry arguably will be the best player involved and their financial situation is far less tenuous. The Sixers can more easily re-sign Thaddeus Young and they move forward with a strong backcourt core of Curry, Evan Turner, Lou Williams, Young and Aminu, with Garcia being another floor-spreading perimeter shooter. Perimeter shooting has been a clear deficiency of the Sixers, so this obviously resolves it.
Their frontcourt obviously remains unchanged, which doesn't help matters and they will fall back to the pack defensively from their current top-10 ranking.
Blazers Receive: Michael Beasley, Luke Ridnour, Larry Sanders
Blazers Send: Greg Oden, Rudy Fernandez, Luke Babbitt
• Portland closes the book on Oden by acquiring a true point guard, true scorer (who can play multiple positions) and a defensive big that fits wells with LaMarcus Aldridge.
I'm in the camp that still believes Oden will become healthy and productive someday and that he would be worth every penny of the qualifying offer and also a $40M contract over five seasons, but the incoming value is worth deviating from that strategy.
Ridnour turned 30 on Sunday, but his development as a perimeter shooter over the past few seasons has made me optimistic about what his next five seasons will look like.
Kings Receive: Jameer Nelson
Kings Send: Carl Landry, Francisco Garcia
• The age difference of Nelson in comparison to Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins doesn't match very well, but he is a spot-up shooting point guard who can defend and therefore would be a good fit in the backcourt.
I don't typically like trades where young teams like Sacramento get old in a critical part of their team, but a player like Nelson is worth the long-term detriment because of his influence on the floor and in the locker room. The Kings don't have the type of team that does well left to their own devices and Nelson hopefully becomes a veteran role model.
Landry is as good as gone this offseason and Garcia is a spare part, so the Kings acquire Nelson's deal without giving up anything of true consequence.
Spurs Receive: Kwame Brown
Spurs Send: Chris Quinn
• Similar to Miami, finding a trade for San Antonio was extremely difficult. Brown has played well this season and he gives the Spurs' frontline a little more meat on its bones for those impending matchups against the Lakers and Celtics.
Raptors Receive: Minnesota 2012 Pick, Yao Ming, Kelenne Azubuike
Raptors Send: Andrea Bargnani, Jose Calderon, Reggie Evans
• The quickest way for a team to get a superstar is through the lottery and the Raptors have an excellent chance of acquiring one through that 2012 pick. Toronto cuts ties to Bargnani and Calderon, building fully around DeMar DeRozan, Ed Davis and Jerryd Bayless while waiting for a true star to come through the draft.
Every team inquired about Minnesota's pick, but consider this a commissioner intervention similar to the Ewing lottery for New York and LeBron lottery for Cleveland.
Plus, too many other teams complained about this proposed four-way trade that would take the 15-40 Raptors into a 41-41 team this season (someone would beat them once along the way).
Jazz Receive: Jeff Green, Kirk Hinrich, Anthony Randolph
Jazz Send: Al Jefferson
• While Utah needs to absorb the contract of Hinrich, he can actually be useful in a 25 minute per night role. But the real acquisitions are Green (who will need to be re-signed as an RFA) and Randolph.
Green gives Deron Williams some real help on the perimeter while also being able to help in the interior.
Randolph gets an opportunity to see if he can become a shotblocking center playing beside the interior-minded Paul Millsap.
The status quo for Utah looks like it will result with Williams leaving in 2012, so this trade gives him more bullets in the chamber than what Jefferson can yield on his own.
Wizards Receive: Josh Smith, Tyrus Thomas, Brendan Haywood
Wizards Send: Andray Blatche, Kirk Hinrich, Nick Young, Yi Jianlian, Hilton Armstrong
• I wanted to clear Blatche and Young away from John Wall and this accomplishes that goal while giving Washington a borderline All-Star in Smith. He is a peculiar player, but a frontcourt of Smith and Rashard Lewis is intriguing and this should at least force the former to play closer to the rim.
By acquiring a talent of Smith's caliber without giving up anything of real value, the Wizards are forced to take on two onerous contracts in Thomas and Haywood.
Haywood is a familiar face, but with JaVale McGee, Smith and Thomas, the Wizards should lead the NBA in blocked shots. For some teams, blocked shots is a dubious stats but not with Wall since it should lead to more transition opportunities where he can use his speed and playmaking skills.