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Hypothetical trade ideas for your consideration

One of the best parts about being a fan is the hypothetical.  Creating, discussing, arguing; the imaginary can be just as entertaining as following the actual games.  So with just a few days left before the trade deadline, I’m going to steal an idea from ESPN Insider’s Amin Elhassan, and explore some in-depth trade ideas that make sense for the home team.  IMPORTANT: These are not actual trade rumors; I have no inside information and none of them should be treated as such.  They’re simply ideas that would be interesting (if not improbable) to witness were they to actually play out in real-time.  Not to mention cannon fodder for the forums.  So without further adieu, we start our look at a trade offered up to our fearless leader by a reader in his most recent podcast.

The trade proposed by twitter-follower @_VK_Chino (apologies if I didn’t get that completely right) originally involved Carmelo Anthony and Iman Shumpert/Tim Hardway Jr for Omer Asik, Jeremy Lin, Donatas Motiejunas and a first-round pick.  First off, I do completely agree with Rahat that it would take Melo informing the New York brass that he was absolutely not interested in staying in New York any longer.  So this type of trade would be much more likely to be of the sign-and-trade variety over the summer, rather than before the February 20th deadline.  But maybe Melo reaches his last straw this weekend after being around all the other talent at the All-Star game and asks out early.

Also, were the Knicks forced to actually trade Melo, I don’t see any universe where they would include one of their young talents unless it was for another star-player.  Why would they include not only the best player in the trade, but also one of the few pieces on their team that actually holds value?  Another problem I see with the trade as it was offered up in its original form is Omer Asik.  The Knicks already employ Tyson Chandler, and adding Asik would create the same problem Houston is (hypothetically) attempting to trade out of, not to mention it further increases the log jam in New York’s frontcourt.  So any trade involving these two teams for Melo would likely involve a third team.  So with that line of thinking as our starting-point, and the Dallas Mavericks as our third team, here is my proposed idea

Houston receives:  Carmelo Anthony and Devin Harris

New York receives:  Jeremy Lin, Brandon Wright, Ronnie Brewer, Houston’s 2014 1st-round pick and Dallas’s 2015 2nd-round pick.

Dallas receives:  Omer Asik

Why Dallas does it -  This trade is a steal for them.  Wright is an underrated power forward (currently 11th in PER @ 24.27), but only averages 18 minutes a game this season for the Mavs.  Omer Asik would immediately upgrade their center position, replacing the over-matched former-Rocket Samuel Dalembert in the starting lineup.  And Marc Cuban is one of the few owners in the Association that wouldn’t blink at taking on Asik’s poison-pill final year.  Devin Harris is a scorer, but he’s merely depth at this point in his career.

Why New York does it - As stated before, they only do it because their hand has been forced.  But also because Raymond Felton might be the worst regular-starting point guard in the league.  And if the Knicks were going to lose Melo, the best way to ease fan’s heartbreak would be to bring back the prodigal son.  Lin may have lost some of his luster since his Knicks-days, but would no doubt still be a fan-favorite in New York.  They also get Wright and his amazing efficiency, something the Knicks desperately need, and a few picks to replenish their coffers after so many ill-fated trades.  Ronnie Brewer is simply cap-filler.

Why Houston does it - This one is a little tougher to pin down.  This trade may seem like a steal for Houston, and recalling what New York gave up to trade for Melo, it is a steal.  But were Anthony to actually be traded before the deadline, not too many teams (and especially not a contender) would be comfortable giving up serious assets for what might end up being a two-month rental.  So while New York would certainly prefer to get back a top pick or a young stud, knocking a large chunk off their tax bill and getting back the biggest New York basketball phenomena since Bernard King would at least be something to consider.

Let’s start with the less interesting part for the Rockets.  Devin Harris would be a fine scorer off the bench.  And McHale, if he didn’t want to take the lumps of integrating him, can always lean on Arron Brooks as backup point guard.  And as for Melo, Rahat was correct to call a potential Rockets’ offense featuring Anthony, Harden and Howard unstoppable.  There would be no area of the court where Houston wouldn’t be incredibly dangerous, and forcing opponents to cover every inch of it defensively would make for an exhausting endeavor.

But adding a player like Melo at a time when the Rockets are just starting to hum could be a risky proposition.  Can an already individually high-usage team add the ultimate high-usage player?  Lets just say Kevin Mchale would have his work cut out for him.  Although, the thing that surprised me most about the 2012 Olympics was how willingly Anthony seemed to take a backseat as the primary option when he was on the court.  Playing on a team that also featured Chris Paul and LeBron James left him little choice, but Melo absolutely shined in his off-the-ball role, shooting 50% from three for the tournament.

Would Melo really take a backseat to James Harden as the primary ball-handler?  And from an unbiased point-of-view, should he?  More importantly, who takes the final shot in a tie game?  Alpha-dog issues like that could really derail a team that is finally starting to take form and sharing the ball better than earlier in the season.  But one thing Simmons always says: if you can turn two quarters, a dime and a nickel into a dollar, you do it.  And be sure, Melo is a dollar.  I would have to think long and hard about this one, but were it to actually happen, Houston would feature a starting lineup with three top-15 talents.  Can the Heat, Thunder or Pacers even say that?

(On a less interesting, more realistic note: replace Devin Harris with Vince Carter, and a Rockets-Mavs trade makes a ton of sense.)

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Total comments: 26
  • Buckko says 8 months ago Trading smith and demo would be a mistake IMO because 1. We need the depth 2. They will take over backup C when Asik's contract ends. Trade a 2nd and brewer for Brandon Rush and you would have another career revitalization in houston story.
  • Sir Thursday says 8 months ago

    I'm hoping that we either [a> stand pat; or try to upgrade part of the rotation using some of the assets that aren't getting much playing time. That means packaging some combination of Motiejunas, Smith, Brewer [although to be honest he's probably not much more than salary filler at this point>, the rookies and/or picks with a current rotation piece for a better player in that position. From a dispassionate long-term viewpoint you could make the case that it's better for there to be trade now, but I'm invested in this current group of players and I'd like to see how they get on in the playoffs without having to deal with a big chunk of the rotation getting traded mid-way through the season.

    I've no idea what Morey's opinions on the current level of the team is, and ultimately that will be the key factor in determining if the Rockets are active on the trade market. If anyone gets a chance to ask him (Rahat?) I'd love to hear his opinion on whether the Rockets have a 5% chance of winning this year (since he has stated in the past that that is the boundary beyond which you should probably go all in). If the team isn't quite there (both ESPN and basketball-reference.com give the Rockets a ~3.5% chance at the moment...but then again they also give Toronto a 4.5% of winning it all :P), then Morey will probably be more conservative from a cap standpoint (eg. limited long term salary commitments in order to preserve flexibility) but more aggressive about pursuing upgrades within that limitation.



  • feelingsupersonic says 8 months ago

    I don't mean to be mean and sensitive, but I guess you don't even understand basketball! First of all, you shouldn't disrespect Morey by calling him "Dork Elvis". How are the Knicks a division rival? The New York Knicks are not even in the same conference with the Rockets. "Potential opponent" in the playoffs? The New York Knicks are currently not in a playoff spot and even if they enter the playoffs, they won't face off against the Rockets unless both teams get to the finals(I wish). C'mon, man. Think before you post.

    P.S: Sorry if I sound so sensitive

    If you are familiar with the Rockets and their organization you would know that Dork Elvis is Morey's nickname, look it up. So now you know. No worries, there have been a number of new Rockets fans who thought it was a dig that I have run into the last year or two.
  • Buckko says 8 months ago Sure we get the best O in the game, screw defense, history, and all stats. Let's just "Denver Bronco" this game, what, wait a minute.
  • It's Dee Way Ferrell says 8 months ago I know a day late but a dollar more if somehow this trade does exist my my my my my its perfectly planned in the grand scheme of things only because we are looking for the best addition to the most effective offense a trade now will only boost what we supply offense and tons of it. Okay we past with Lin, Asik for sure but we also have pieces like Brewer and Motiejunas or hope to God not Jones but it's there. a situation like this is about what dynamics are you willing to give up to make it work. TJones is obviously not an integral part of the trade he is probably our best trade asset. Never fear because Lin back in the garden with a bunch has beens makes for an interesting bite in the big apple. Lin needs his own team to excel like any superstar does ask Tracy McGrady would he had been batman or Robin in Toronto but we know grant Hill would have been Robin in Orlando if healthy think about that for a sec whilst I convince you immensely why this trade is valued for the Rockets only. one it gives us the most potent shooter in the league two a terrifying terrific 3rd option you know when the offense seems to stagger because we can't get the ball to Rocketman which comes to three everybody's open teams have to guard there man. defensively i think that goes without saying you feel like Melo and the beard none at all but they've both shown glimpses of it and besides you don't have to tighten that up until the playoffs so in the meanwhile for the next 20 to 25 games you just outscore yours opponents to get the Big 3 forces to sync. What about the bench it's been depleted no Asik no Lin no Brewer no Motiejunas or no Jones. Face it If we are to keep Basketball Jones and happy to be demoted for the greatest good of the cause we'd be in fantastic shape but if he's gone we'd survive either way just not as potent. So while all is in flux understand Melo gives us that craved star power we as fan either want or thinks we need. Believe me it's worth the trade but i think most important keep all pieces and venues the same except we get Brandon Wright to back up Howard and then you'd have the proposed twin towers you'd hope Asik would have brought to the table. Relatively speaking I'm glad this all hypothetical because as usual If you're a true Rockets fan you'd like where the team is now and headed we might not look the part right now but admittedly we are looking better and besides long as it comes together by game 1 first Rd i would wait on trading anybody of value to the Rockets.
  • Dayak says 8 months ago Mitchell's trade idea is about to send Asik to the Mavs as the third team, lol.
  • 08huangj says 8 months ago

    Not only could NY get a more enticing haul elsewhere, but why in the world would Dork Elvis ship Asik, a rim-protecting 7-footer, to a division rival & potential opponent in the playoffs?

    C'mon, man.

    I don't mean to be mean and sensitive, but I guess you don't even understand basketball! First of all, you shouldn't disrespect Morey by calling him "Dork Elvis". How are the Knicks a division rival? The New York Knicks are not even in the same conference with the Rockets. "Potential opponent" in the playoffs? The New York Knicks are currently not in a playoff spot and even if they enter the playoffs, they won't face off against the Rockets unless both teams get to the finals(I wish). C'mon, man. Think before you post.

    P.S: Sorry if I sound so sensitive

  • Joe says 8 months ago

    Not only could NY get a more enticing haul elsewhere, but why in the world would Dork Elvis ship Asik, a rim-protecting 7-footer, to a division rival & potential opponent in the playoffs?

    C'mon, man.

  • BallSoHarden says 8 months ago

    I think taking the last shot at the end of games would depend on what kind of look the Rockets would want against the other team's defense. A drive Harden, midrange shot Melo, 3 whoever's hot. Either way this would eliminate a Harden iso at the end of game because we'd probably run a 2-4 pick and roll between Harden and Melo, freeing up one and having the other team not knowing who will take the shot.

    However, I don't see the trade happening. And the only way I see Asik traded would be Asik and Brewer for Varejao and Waiters. I'd keep Asik and look for a 3&D guy for a pick and cap filler (Brewer).

  • Incubus2803 says 8 months ago RudyT, smith and Felton's contract would mean over 30 mil would have to trade hands on either side. Only Chicago could pull something like that. And the Knicks would almost assuredly take Lin over boozer.
  • Rahat Huq says 8 months ago

    Does anyone have a credible link to the Tyson Chandler stuff?

    EDIT: to clarify, i haven't actually listened to the SAS audio. Is he referring to Chandler?

  • RudyT1995 says 8 months ago

    TDN, in most cities you're right. But Dolan does not fall into that category. He's a trust fund kid and has always treated money as such.

    Geez Louise, it doesn't matter. My post, the one that Knick replied to, wasn't even about Lin's contract. It was about all the other bad contracts that NY needs to unload if they ever do a Melo deal. My comment about Lin's $15 mil payment was an afterthought and only tangentially related to the point that I was trying to make. Leave it to Knick to pick out the least important thing about the post and make it the central focus.

    Knick does this a lot. He has derailed thread after thread by picking at stray comments about Lin and taking them out of context or blowing them out of proportion. Tbh, I'm really tired of it.

  • Incubus2803 says 8 months ago

    TDN, in most cities you're right. But Dolan does not fall into that category. He's a trust fund kid and has always treated money as such.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 8 months ago Some people who say that we as fans when discussing potential trades should forget about money and focus only on the cap, I feel sorry for.

    They truly don't understand the complexity of the situation. Owners of teams are billionaires for a reason. They didn't become billionaires by throwing away millions. Look at OKCs ownership. Look at Miami and Miller. They've felt that loss in in the W/L column. Come on while it won't affect the cap to just assume that a business owner would not care about spending more money is ridiculous and childish. I would expect fans of this site to be a bit smarter.
  • RudyT1995 says 8 months ago

    Lin's "cap hit" money is $8,374,646 per year. It's NOT $15 million.

    Lol. This again? What is wrong with you man? Why do you keep picking fights when there's nothing to fight about?

  • Cooper says 8 months ago Whether you want to believe it or not most owners care more about money than winning. They faked not having any money the last CBA just to squeeze the players out of more revenue instead of raising the cap and max contracts. The Knicks blow and everyone knows it if they trade melo it will be for another star or and expiring contract and prospect/picks not two more good but expensive players that won't get them in the playoffs.
  • Knickabokkaz says 8 months ago

    It doesn't make any sense for them, especially when they would be absorbing Lin's $15 mil balloon payment in the process.


    Lin's "cap hit" money is $8,374,646 per year. It's NOT $15 million. Unless your the owner, or his accountant, or in the OWNER's pockets, you really shouldn't care about the "balloon" payment as a fan. Some billionaire owners laugh at the "luxury tax" (which say for Lin is $14,898,938 - $8,374,646 = $6,524,292). Prokorov pays over $100,000,000 in luxury tax for the NETS and doesn't care for it. (And I don't think he's stupid, he's a multi x billionaire) And the Knicks are the RICHEST team in the NBA at $244 million Houston is at $150 million. I HIGHLY DOUBT Dolan is worried about Jeremy Lin's $6,524,292 luxury tax.
  • RudyT1995 says 8 months ago

    The proposed trade wouldn't make sense for the Knicks. Even if Melo had hypothetically told the Knicks that he wasn't re-signing and the team decided to rebuild, this trade doesn't really help them rebuild.

    Melo is by far the Knicks' best trade asset, and if they can't get multiple 1st's for him they have to at least get some financial relief. If they can't ship out Amare's contract or some combination of Chandler's, Bargnani's, Felton's, and Smith's contracts in a Melo trade, it doesn't make any sense for them, especially when they would be absorbing Lin's $15 mil balloon payment in the process.

    At a minimum, they would need to ship out Felton's and Smith's contracts as a part of any Melo deal.

  • Buckko says 8 months ago Stand pat and develop consistency/chemistry. Let asik ride out his contract while developing demo for back up C and Jones turns into pre-Kardashian Lamar Odem with a 3 pt shot, while keeping that valuable 2015 cap space. If you want a quick fix, throw the Jazz a 2nd rounder for Brandon Rush as he was a 45% 3pt shooter and a great defender. Who I think would do great in our system. Now in the offseason, cut brewer, bring up Covington and sign Troy Daniels for shooting and wing depth. About Covington, nice job scoring 33 in the D-league ASG and getting the MVP. Quick fact: he has a 7'2" wingspan which is huge for defense. To give an idea of wingspan and defense correlation, Kwai leanord is 7'3", Batum 7'4" and Paul George just under 7 feet.
  • Incubus2803 says 8 months ago

    PPP, the post is literally called hypothetical trade ideas. IF Melo were to be on the market, what's so detached about it?

  • 08huangj says 8 months ago

    Guys, I really don't think that trading anyone in the Rockets would be a great idea. Sure, Carmelo Anthony is great. But this team has just started to share the ball, trust each other, and win games. Getting Melo would ruin Terrence Jones's future development, too. We really shouldn't trade anyone in the Rockets now.

  • Cooper says 8 months ago Anything with melo is pie in the sky but the Knicks are looking to change the roster up around him.I wouldn't mind getting chandler + shump or hardaway jr. Chandler is expensive but expiring after next year and they don't have cap space this summer regardless and Shump or THJ are cheap and fit a need.
  • Jatman20 says 8 months ago Saw the rumor as Hardaway Jr,Tyson Chandler, filler for Asik and Lin. Hard to tell what the Knicks kick out there: Manimal, Lowry, Blake G......now Lin /Asik. I was disappointed when I didn't see Melo going to the Rockets; but perhaps a deal may develop. Hardaway jr. would be a great catch.
    Sometimes it's just rumors GM's use for leverage......sometimes where there is smoke, there is fire. Take it with a grain of salt....fansided was the site the rumor i saw came from.
  • Knickabokkaz says 8 months ago Melo:
    "I don't think I'll be traded," he said. "When is the trade deadline? I don't think there's no way possible I'll be traded. I don't think they're even considering it."

    "If they feel they want to get rid of me, we'd already have had that conversation. I don't think that. I know for a fact I'm not being traded, and I know for a fact I'm not going in there saying I want to be traded."

    ESPN New York Knicks Blog

    If there's any player that has control of their organization, it's Melo. Dolan loves him to death and Melo does not want to leave. I honestly think we should take Melo out of ANY trade conversations.

    Tyson Chandler and Iman Shumpert for Asik, Lin is what's floating around now. But I doubt that even falls through.
  • timetodienow1234567 says 8 months ago Parsons would have to be included for NY to do it.
  • pretty pleaze parsons says 8 months ago

    The scenario proposed is reality detached from known facts in too many ways, then builds on those unreal assumptions in having teams act in ways that do not make sense for each of them.

    Trade scenarios should meet those two minimal qualifications, of comporting with known facts, and of making some sense to every side. All the others should be relegated to the random trade proposals thread.

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