Hypothetical trade idea for your consideration

With the trade deadline less than 72 hours away, NBA teams are running out of time to make a deal before this summer.  And as has been pointed out several times, GM Daryl Morey never misses out on a chance at making a deal this time of year.  So with that in mind, I thought I would throw out another fake trade idea.  Just like last time, 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.

First off, the list of Rockets’ needs are relatively common knowledge at this point: a 3&D wing-player (of varying cost), a backup big man should Morey find the right fit for Asik, or a third star to add alongside James Harden and Dwight Howard.  Technically, point guard could be upgraded if the Rockets could find a taker for Lin, but of the rumored-to-be-available 1′s (Kyle Lowry, Brandon Jennings, Rajon Rondo & Jrue Holiday), only Rondo makes any sense for the Rockets.  But could you really play Rondo and Dwight together down the stretch of a close game when they both shoot free throws so poorly?  And since the Celtics seem pretty dead-set on their asking price for him, I just don’t see Rondo as a possibility.

So that leaves depth for the bench or another All-Star.  Finding the extra shooter the Rockets need could involve just about any team in the league and would make for a pretty boring read. Mike Dunleavy Jr, CJ Miles or even the Vince Carter/Brandan Wright idea from last time would help the Rockets, but don’t really warrant this type of post.  So, we’re going big or going home.

Keep in mind that superstars don’t get traded very often in the NBA, so any trade-talk involving them should be taken with a grain of salt.  But when that superstar is one of the ten most talented players in the league, hasn’t made the playoffs in his entire six-year career and is rumored to be very unhappy with the current state of his franchise, blowing up the Trade Machine to get him to the home team seems like a very appropriate way to spend an afternoon.  So today I offer up another three-team trade involving the Rockets, Timberwolves and Celtics.  

Houston receives: Kevin Love and Ronny Turiaf

Minnesota receives: Terrence Jones, Kris Humphries’ Expiring Contract (Copyright: Bill Simmons), Ronnie Brewer, Houston’s 2014 & 2016 1st round picks (minimal protection) and the LA Clippers’ 2015 1st round pick (via Boston)

Boston receives: Omer Asik, Donatas Motiejunas and New York’s 2014 2nd round pick (via Houston)

Why the Celtics do it - Rumor has it that Danny Ainge showed interest in Asik and Motiejunas when they both voiced their displeasure with they’re roles earlier this season.  Ainge was no doubt just sniffing around his old cohort Morey when he thought there might be a bargain to be had, but it’s at least safe to say that there is interest.  So while the Celts lose a valuable first rounder, they acquire Asik, who is as close as you’re going to get to a franchise center without actually drafting one or lucking-out in free agency; and Motiejunas, a young, multifaceted seven-footer that would look great offensively playing next to the Celtics’ young and multifaceted seven-footer (Kelly Olynyk) off the bench.  The Knicks’ pick holds some value, especially if New York can’t get it together down the stretch and misses the playoffs.

Why the Wolves do it - As the Deron Williams trade a few years ago showed, dealing a disgruntled star while he still has some time left on his contract can offer a bigger return than waiting until the final year of his deal, when teams know he’s going to be available in just a few months.  And while this trade doesn’t involve an elite prospect like Derrick Favors was considered at the time, Terrence Jones has been much more productive this season than Favors ever was through the first four years of his career.  He’s a versatile weapon that showed he can play next to a powerful center and would make an excellent running partner for Ricky Rubio on the break.  He’s certainly not Kevin Love, but he has plenty of room to grow and fits nicely with what coach Rick Adelman and the Wolves want to do.

Also, this scenario provides the Wolves with more picks than the return the Jazz got for Williams.  Adding an additional first-rounder to the next three drafts is quite an achievement, even if no team ever wants to lose a player of Love’s stature.  The Humphries and Brewer contracts would both be gone this summer, which would open up a chunk of cap-space and allow Flip Saunders and the rest of the Wolves front office to reset to an extent after all of the previous regimes’ mistakes (KAAAAHHHHHNNNN!).

Why the Rockets do it - Isn’t it obvious?  This trade is nothing like the Carmelo Anthony idea from before.  While both Love and Melo are stars, Love’s fit with the Rockets would be like matching cinnamon with sugar; scotch with cigars; Pitt with Clooney.  Love would provide Harden with a full-time pick-and-pop partner, and his shooting would keep the paint clear for Dwight Howard.

Jalen Rose likes to say that the stretch-4 is a myth, save for Ryan Andersen.  There are tall small forwards that teams play at the 4, and then there’s Anderson.  Well, Kevin Love is a stretch-4 that happens to live inside a 6’10, 250 pound rebounding monster.  And calling Love a stretch-4 is a total disservice to his overall skillset.  He’s got a solid post game around the rim, rebounds the ball like few others and is an absolute pass-master.  In the half-court, he can fit the ball into tight windows that would make even the best point guards blush, and if you haven’t seen Love fling an outlet pass to Corey Brewer, you’re wasting Youtube (watch the 1:40 mark; Aaron Rodgers is jealous of that pass).  Imagine Chandler Parsons catching all those Hail Marys from Love.  Ronny Turiaf would provide some size and toughness off the bench, which might be necessary if Greg Smith can’t get healthy in time for the playoffs.

Houston would probably still need to add another big somehow, not to mention that 3&D-wing would be nice.  But with Lin and Beverley taking all the point guard minutes and Harden, Parsons, Love and Howard soaking up so much of their respective positions’ minutes, those needs are much less important.  Teams generally run an eight or nine-man rotation and even that can cut down come playoff time.  Love would certainly pacify Morey’s desire for a third star, and while any Parsons extension would push Houston well into the luxury tax, Les Alexander has proven he’ll pay for a winner.  And that team would win plenty.

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Total comments: 44
  • YaoMan says 6 months ago

    Not to mention the only Big 3 to ever succeed invoked the best player at the time and all 3 stars were two ways players. If we got love, we would have neither.

    Agree completely.

  • YaoMan says 6 months ago

    The more talent you have the more room you have you have to make mistakes. So while a big three might not be necessary, it is pretty simple to see why the idea appeals to GMs.

    I love what you just pointed out - it's an appealing idea to certain GMs. Plus it doesn't hurt to fill the seats too!

  • YaoMan says 6 months ago

    Ibaka has been the 2nd guy in okc while Westbrook has been injured, Harden sucked against the heat in the finals and look at what he's done here you can't hold that one series against him his game has improved 10x from then as has Durant.

    Don't get me wrong, I think Ibaka is a key player and instrumental for OKC. However, your statement says, stars who win playoff games but he only averaged 9.8pts and 5.8rebs during their finals run. Ibaka has emerged strong this year, I definitely agree with that. I am debating whether most people basketball savvy people would call him a star. And definitely not to the caliber of a Kevin Love. The "3-star" theory is very subjective as our definition of stars are very different.

    Ibaka may definitely be a star this post-season but based on the definition of winning playoff games as you alluded to earlier, I think he has yet to prove that.

  • Buckko says 6 months ago Not to mention the only Big 3 to ever succeed invoked the best player at the time and all 3 stars were two ways players. If we got love, we would have neither.
  • timetodienow1234567 says 6 months ago The more talent you have the more room you have you have to make mistakes. So while a big three might not be necessary, it is pretty simple to see why the idea appeals to GMs.
  • YaoMan says 6 months ago

    Bynum was the third star on that Lakers team. He Odom and Gasol were 21' of defense in the paint. I remember a Sport Science where Dr John showed that ever shot within 15' was easily contested due to their length up front.

    As most of us agree, it's not necessarily a "3 star" system that is the recipe of championships, I remember Bynum being a non-factor in the playoffs for their championship run. Here was his playoff per game average

    09-10: 8.6pts, 6.9 reb, 1.6blks, 6.5FGA, 24.4 min.

    08-09: 6.3pts, 3.7 reb, 0.9blks, 5.5FGA, 17.4 min.

    I would not consider those numbers to be a star player or even a role player. I remember that Bynum was mostly hurt during both of the Lakers playoff runs. Even during the regular season, he only averaged 14p 8r 1.4b and 15p and 8r 1.8b for 08-09 and 09-10 seasons, respectively. I clearly think, if he had a better attitude and better health, he could have been a star, perhaps, but I don't think he ever came close to his potential as a star.

    I think it's about a good cast of a team and role players. It is a star driven league but having a 3rd star is clearly not necessary.

  • Cooper says 6 months ago Ibaka has been the 2nd guy in okc while Westbrook has been injured, Harden sucked against the heat in the finals and look at what he's done here you can't hold that one series against him his game has improved 10x from then as has Durant.
  • Steven says 6 months ago Bynum was the third star on that Lakers team. He Odom and Gasol were 21' of defense in the paint. I remember a Sport Science where Dr John showed that ever shot within 15' was easily contested due to their length up front.
  • BrentYen says 6 months ago

    Star is made by teams, unless you are talking about TOP 20 among the league IMO. You throw in minutes and support, many players will play like a star, e.g. Parsons. So....it is not just how you define what is a star. It is also about how you use them.

    I really don buy the big 3 win it all idea. You use your players right, and you have enough talents, you will have good chances. I think ROX is in progress to be a great team, once they sort out all the issues.

  • YaoMan says 6 months ago

    Ibaka is okcs third star. Artest was the lakers 3rd star on their last championship team. Stars do win playoff games whether you need three or not depends on how good the ones you already have are or who your other starters are.

    What's your definition of a star?

    Ibaka is a really good role player but to call him a star can be debatable? He's a solid help defender who can rebound and shoot a good midrange shot but I wouldn't call that a star. 15p, 8rb and 2+blocks are solid but a star...? Would he thrive if he was the number 1 or 2 option? Would he be this effective without the attention Durant is getting? Did Ibaka make any difference when they went to the finals against the Heat and lost? Would he be called upon to come up with a play to "win playoff games" as you stated? He didn't make any timely stops on defense or any key offensive plays in that playoff run that was a key play that "won" OKC a playoff game in that 2011 run so I'm not sure I would consider that label on Ibaka.

    Artest aka World Peace only averaged 11 pts, 3asst, 4 reb for and shot 41% from the field for that last Laker title (Lin, Parsons and Jones all have better numbers than that). I would NOT define that as a star. His defense was ok that year but nowhere near when he was at his prime. I don't think many people would even think to consider him to a "star" during that last Laker title run. (In fact most Laker fans would argue that he road the coat tails of that Lakers team.)

    What about the 1 man show in Dallas for the title? Would you call the 4 solid players in Detroit stars? None of them were ever the #1 option on offense on any other team (they shared the load with Billups making the clutch shots that year). Who was the Rockets 2nd star in their first Championship and who was their 3rd in their repeat title?

    I think "Star" would mean elite talent that could be the first option on other teams but perhaps my definition is too strict. I think 3 top-20 talent puts you in the conversation immediately and can win a ring but I wouldn't call it a recipe for Championship success. Our Big 3 looks to be Harden, Howard and Parsons and if we can shore up strong role players like Bev, Lin, Jones, Casspi (if he can get back on track to earlier in the season), Garcia and such. If they can get a Dunleavy or a Hawes to support this core, I'm all for it.

  • Buckko says 6 months ago Rondo would not fit the bill, his lack of a jumpshot and range would kill the offense.
  • Texan Ensemble says 6 months ago

    I am not saying a Big Three (Three Top 15-20 Superstar Players) is the only way to go, I am saying, and I think Mitch is too, that it is one of the best options to go if you have an owner willing to pay into the luxury tax tier to provide the rest of the supporting cast needed.

    I would fully support going a combo route of what thejohnnygold and YaoMan say...lets keep our team almost as is with OUR big three being Harden, Howard and Parsons...but would love to get a true PG.

  • Cooper says 6 months ago Ibaka is okcs third star. Artest was the lakers 3rd star on their last championship team. Stars do win playoff games whether you need three or not depends on how good the ones you already have are or who your other starters are.
  • YaoMan says 6 months ago

    Remember that "Big 3" doesn't need to be 3 Superstars. Also the Rockets 1st title had the Dream and a good cast of strong role players. Their second title added Drexler for that "Batman/Robin" punch but not 3. The Detroit team had no superstars but a cast of 4 really good and effective players in Billups, Hamilton, Wallace and Wallace (Ben and Rasheed). The Kobe/Shaq, Kobe/Gasol and Wade/Shaq never had that 3rd superstar either. Odom was an all around player and a potential all star but calling him a "big" in a sense to match someone of Kevin Love's quality is a huge insult to Love. (You can make a good comparison with Odom and Parsons.) The Rockets "big" 3 could be Harden, Howard and Parsons. You don't need top 3 of 15 or top 3 of 20 to be a contender. OKC is Durant and Westbrook and a good cast of strong role players. The recent Celtic and Miami title teams set a trend of 3 superstar rosters...

  • thejohnnygold says 6 months ago

    Funny how so many people who were arguing that Houston could not afford to trade for Love or another superstar and still sign Harden, then were proven wrong with direct source quotes that Alexander WANTS to be in position to have to pay the luxury tax, are now arguing that going the Big 3 route is not the best route and presumptuous OF COURSE ITS PRESUMPTUOUS....nothing is certain, you have to put yourself in position to win and hope it works out.

    All that I am saying is presumptuous is that Love is that piece. The rest of your statement couldn't be directed at me because I don't recall ever saying or implying such things. I think sticking with the guys we have gives us the best chance to win--just my opinion--versus trading them for a guy like Love or Aldridge and signing guys to play around them.

    As far as big 3's in the prime--that's a different and very specific thing. That rarely happens. It's cool if people want to do it and believe that is the formula for success. I don't fully subscribe to the theory and also believe our developing players will fill that role internally so see no need to make any move for such a player....unless it's an elite PG...I do think they can make a difference--despite history saying otherwise.

  • Texan Ensemble says 6 months ago

    Still sign Parsons***

  • Texan Ensemble says 6 months ago

    Funny how so many people who were arguing that Houston could not afford to trade for Love or another superstar and still sign Harden, then were proven wrong with direct source quotes that Alexander WANTS to be in position to have to pay the luxury tax, are now arguing that going the Big 3 route is not the best route and presumptuous OF COURSE ITS PRESUMPTUOUS....nothing is certain, you have to put yourself in position to win and hope it works out.

  • Incubus2803 says 6 months ago Yea I can't think of 3 top 15-ish talents that have failed...there haven't been many, but...
    Sure it's presumptuous, but counting on anyone other than durant to beat Lebron is presumptiuous. My point was that they're aren't too many players you could realistically add that might put the rockets over the top.
  • Steven says 6 months ago

    Looks like everyone is riled up over big 3's. I'd just like to remind everyone that lots of "big 3's" have failed as well. Lots of them.

    I find the assertion that Kevin Love is the player who can help beat Lebron James to be....presumptuous?

    Which in their prime big 3s have failed?
  • thejohnnygold says 6 months ago

    Looks like everyone is riled up over big 3's. I'd just like to remind everyone that lots of "big 3's" have failed as well. Lots of them.

    I find the assertion that Kevin Love is the player who can help beat Lebron James to be....presumptuous?

  • Willk says 6 months ago

    And what have OKC and Indiana won? Indiana went out and drop big bucks on David West 2 summers ago. Come playoffs you play 8 men. And your starters play 40 a night. You need 3 guys to give you 15 minutes. That's it. Deep benches are virtually worthless come playoffs.

    Steven - you are exactly right. The Bulls tried the deep bench theory along with Rose. The Bulls thought that they could wear down the Heat in the playoffs. All the Heat did was shift LBJ on Rose and then the Bulls could not do anything. You get Superstars then vets like Ray Allen, Ron Harper, Kevin Willis follow.

  • Texan Ensemble says 6 months ago

    “I have enough money, but I don’t have enough championships,” Rockets owner Leslie Alexander said. “If you’re not in it to win championships, you shouldn’t be in it.”

    “I would be thrilled to pay a tax if we have a championship-caliber team,” Alexander said. “Obviously, you have to get the players to pay the taxes. You have to get great players; otherwise, you’re just spinning your wheels. When you get the great players, you don’t want to lose them. You have to pay whatever it takes to keep them. That’s when it becomes really fun to be an owner and to be a fan of the Rockets.

    Those quotes are from this Houston Chronicle last summer: http://blog.chron.com/ultimaterockets/2013/06/rockets-owner-ready-to-ante-up-for-big-playoff-run/

    The article is not far-fetched. Leslie has the money to pay the luxury tax and has come out multiple times saying he would actually prefer to paying the luxury tax because that means he has a championship level team and that is what matters to him. He is one of the best owners in the league. To prove he has the money to pay the tax and not even notice, he just bought one of the most expensive houses/apts in NYC...money is no object to him.

    The NBA is a star driven league. If you can get Kevin Love, you get him, and it will not preclude or scare Alexander from telling Morey to sign Parsons. That would be a title team by any definition.

  • Incubus2803 says 6 months ago Oh and the spurs and OKC run their teams like that because they are small market and can't afford to run like the bigger cities of the world. You don't think the thunder would prefer to have kept harden and have a big 3 too? They couldn't financially. For the rockets to run their franchise like San Antonio or Oklahoma City is to waste Houston. We can afford to be a tax team.

    Plus, the spurs were a big 3 team when they were in their prime. And they got cheap vets like Bruce Bowen and Robert Harry. They only went this depth route when Duncan and ginobili got too old to play 40 minutes a night. I don't think James harden has a problem playing 40 a night.
    And OKC choosing to go the depth route over their big3 has made them a mockery. How many James harden jokes have you heard made at their expense?
  • Incubus2803 says 6 months ago Bingo steve.
    Buckko, you have a terrible memory. The celtics, heat and spurs all had big 3's. The lakers, because odom wasn't a max guy, had 4 high paid players. The mavericks didn't, but they had Dirk at absolutely the right time. My point is, you don't when a title with a ten man team. 3 of those guys would go to waste in the playoffs. The Celtic had Eddie house, pj brown and James posey, superb veterans they got on the cheap because they were so good. Every team that has that kind of crazy talent will always be a magnet to title chasers. Plus, the rockets already have 2 of them in house.

    Canaan is just a rookie? What was Norris cole when the heat started this run? Injuries would derail any team, big 3 or not. You could have all the depth in the world, but if Dwight Howard goes down the title chances are over. You don't not go after elite talent because you're afraid of injuries. That's just dumb.

    And yes the contracts would increase eventually....in 3-4 years. God forbid the rockets have one of the best rosters in the world for a four year window. The best player in the league wins the title 99% of the time....unless you have the team to overpower that kind of stardom. The chandler parsons, Jeremy Lin's and omer asiks of the world are fine players, but they aren't good enough to beat Lebron James. Kevin love is.
  • BrentYen says 6 months ago A lot of things can happen in 15 minutes, plus deeper bench can rest key players for play off too.
  • Steven says 6 months ago

    You won't develop a bench like the heat, they acquired very good players for outrageously small contracts, not guys in their late 30s. You're not going to get any Battiers or Ray Allens. Cannan is a rookie and brooks is hot or not, no frontcourt and wing depth, along with the fact the team would never survive injuries. The contracts wouldn't be a problem at first but they increase dramatically. I can't stand the suicidal big 3 idea. You would have a very small window of dwight's prime due to no new influx of talent being able to ease the load on dwight (Ex.Jones), then you would have enter a new rebuilding age due to trading away your future.

    Keep the course and develop talent like Spurs, OKC, Pacers. Miami and Celtics big 3 only work because they were all two way players and contain the MVP of the league at the time along with DEEP teams. Star power is only 2/3 the way, without that bench you're dead in the water.

    And what have OKC and Indiana won? Indiana went out and drop big bucks on David West 2 summers ago. Come playoffs you play 8 men. And your starters play 40 a night. You need 3 guys to give you 15 minutes. That's it. Deep benches are virtually worthless come playoffs.
  • Buckko says 6 months ago

    You won't develop a bench like the heat, they acquired very good players for outrageously small contracts, not guys in their late 30s. You're not going to get any Battiers or Ray Allens. Cannan is a rookie and brooks is hot or not, no frontcourt and wing depth, along with the fact the team would never survive injuries. The contracts wouldn't be a problem at first but they increase dramatically. I can't stand the suicidal big 3 idea. You would have a very small window of dwight's prime due to no new influx of talent being able to ease the load on dwight (Ex.Jones), then you would have enter a new rebuilding age due to trading away your future.

    Keep the course and develop talent like Spurs, OKC, Pacers. Miami and Celtics big 3 only work because they were all two way players and contain the MVP of the league at the time along with DEEP teams. Star power is only 2/3 the way, without that bench you're dead in the water.

  • Steven says 6 months ago

    No, but the Heat's big 3 make well over 60 million combined due to their years in the league. The proposed rockets trio would barely make 50. So yes, you could easily afford Pasons' 10 mil if he was the only other serious money. And you trade Lin because you have to, but that's why you have brooks and Casspi so cheap, Canaan waiting in the wings. And a talented group like that would bring the vets as well. Any other brain busters?

    That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard. No where in your ramblings did you come close to the answer. Everyone in this room is stupider for having to listen to it. I award you no points, and may god have mercy on your soul.
  • Incubus2803 says 6 months ago (Quoting billy Madison, not being a dick)
  • Incubus2803 says 6 months ago No, but the Heat's big 3 make well over 60 million combined due to their years in the league. The proposed rockets trio would barely make 50. So yes, you could easily afford Pasons' 10 mil if he was the only other serious money. And you trade Lin because you have to, but that's why you have brooks and Casspi so cheap, Canaan waiting in the wings. And a talented group like that would bring the vets as well. Any other brain busters?
  • Buckko says 6 months ago

    The Heat have a player signed for 10 million besides the big 3? Get rid of lin, and you have no bench at all. No scorers, no depth because it all got traded, no other ball handlers. If you lose parsons too in FA, the only scorers you have is harden, love, and Howard. That's nice, but not an actual championship contender. You need a little 12 with the big 3 and you can't simply play with the trade machine and say it works.

  • Incubus2803 says 6 months ago The Heat have had a couple of guys who made actual money over the years, so I think they could sign off on Parson as long as the team makes a few deep playoff runs to counteract. all that is free money. They would probably have to burn another asset or two to get Jeremy Lin off the books tho. And Morey is a genious bargain hunter, so im sure he would still be able to scrounge up a bench.
  • Buckko says 6 months ago

    I didn't say Love was trash but our D would become trash. Jones is not a good defender right now, but is a known shot blocker and has the gifts to become very good. With harden and Love, you already have a couple weak links in D for your core and Parsons isn't to strong there either. Not to mention, would the FO be willing to pay parsons with 3 max contracts.

  • Incubus2803 says 6 months ago They might not on the face of it, but when the next James Harden or Eric Bledsoe (Reggie Jackson?) becomes available, 6 picks in 3 drafts will be a pretty hard offer to best.
  • thejohnnygold says 6 months ago

    I agree that those 3 first rounders don't hold too much value given that they will be coming from the Rox and Clips.

  • Incubus2803 says 6 months ago And I agree with ostrow. Defense doesn't end until you get the rebound, so Love would help in that regard. Love isn't a lockdown defender or anything, but he's as functional as most of the forwards in the league. Just because a guy is known for his offense doesn't mean he's automatically trash on the other end.
  • Incubus2803 says 6 months ago Nicky You missed the part about 3 first round picks. I think you need to re-read the article.
    And brewer is lucky to be in the league this year. He's cap filler.
  • NickyK says 6 months ago

    This is a wishful thinking but it won't work. Houston getting Love (all star PF at his prime) for almost giving up nothing to Wolves. Rockets is going to be top tier teams for years to come so 1st round picks from Rockets really mean nothing and Brewer, in my opinion, won't be in NBA too long. So, Jones for Love? wow!

  • Texan Ensemble says 6 months ago

    I love scotch. Scotchy scotch scotch. Here it goes down, down into my belly.

  • Ostrow says 6 months ago

    I don't know that the D gets worse in that situation. Jones isn't a great defender at this point. We would become a much better rebounding team, and every time I look up during a Rockets game we are giving up ad offensive rebound. Turiaf is a good back-up defensive C. Of course the Rockets do this deal. I also like Asik going to the East. Keep him away from the teams we play. Don't want to face him in the playoffs. One of the few guys who could guard D12 1-on-1.

  • Buckko says 6 months ago

    Our defense would be trash. We can only improve our offense so much.

  • thenit says 6 months ago

    Would love Love on our team

  • Sir Thursday says 6 months ago

    I probably should have named it something different than the first post, for the sake of the forums.

    Alternatively, it might be worth appending any future posts like it to the Trade Deadline 2014 thread?

    ST

  • Mitchell Felker says 6 months ago

    I probably should have named it something different than the first post, for the sake of the forums.