Monday, May 08, 2006

Trading Post--Darius

It's become like a second job around Blazerland to come up with trade scenarios. They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and folks are sure being inventive! I thought I'd do a little homework at hoopshype, espn.com, and realgm.com to see if I could get a comprehensive list of who might be available for our most tradeable players. We'll start with Darius.

I should preface this by saying there will inevitably be some mistakes in here. Because of the arcane nature of cap law, some things that look like they should work just don't. There could be adjustments in salary between this season and next that render doable trades just short and just short trades doable. Nevertheless most all of these players should be pretty close.

There are no value judgments in this list, it's simply dollars and cents. Obviously there are players listed who would not be traded. It's still good to see them in order to compare what other teams are getting for similar money. Because of the near-infinite possibilities for multiple-player and multiple-team trades, I limited myself to simple player-for-player scenarios.

Trades that Actually Work for Darius Right Now:
Zydrunas Ilgauskas--Cleveland
Erick Dampier, Jerry Stackhouse--Dallas
Andre Miller--Denver
Richard Hamilton, Chauncey Billups--Detroit
Adonal Foyle--Golden State
Juwan Howard--Houston
Cuttino Mobley, Corey Magette--LA Clippers
Kwame Brown--LA Lakers
Mike Miller--Memphis
Jason Williams, Antoine Walker--Miami
Jamaal Magloire, Joe Smith--Milwaukee
Ricky Davis, Mark Blount--Minnesota
PJ Brown, Desmon Mason--New Orleans
Jamaal Crawford, Malik Rose--New York
Kurt Thomas--Phoenix
Brad Miller, Ron Artest, Kenny Thomas--Sacramento
Manu Ginobili, Rasho Nesterovic--San Antonio
Danny Fortson--Seattle
Mehmet Okur--Utah

Trades that Could Work Soon (need a throw-in, BYC, options not picked up yet, etc.):
Al Harrington--Atlanta
Eric Snow--Cleveland
Marcus Camby, Ruben Patterson--Denver
Antonio McDyess--Detroit
Troy Murphy--Golden State
Stephen Jackson, Jamaal Tinsley--Indiana
James Posey--Miami
Mo Taylor--New York
Tony Battie, Hedo Turkoglu--Orlando
Samuel Delambert--Philadelphia
Aaron McKie--LA Lakers
Rashard Lewis--Seattle

Analysis:
The goal of any trade is obviously to get better. Usually that's done with the talent acquired during the trade. But Darius' value is so low right now that nobody's going to give you anybody decent for him. Thus any name that you like on this list is probably out of the question. Given that, I think the Blazers would happily settle for an expiring or short-term contract. Also we don't want any severe headcases in return, at least not long-term. Most of the doable list is rendered void by those conditions, but there are a few names left who aren't overly talented and carry expiring or short-term deals. Joe Smith and Malik Rose are the obvious two, and their teams might have some interest in Miles. Danny Fortson, while a huge headcase, has only one year left on his contract and Seattle would love to dump him. I don't know if they'd want Darius there with Lewis already in the fold though. Even more marginal but still possible are Jerry Stackhouse and Kurt Thomas.

The thing about trading for cap space is that you'd almost have to move Zach to make enough difference. That's why to my mind the best scenario would be moving them both in one deal, if possible.

I've heard a lot of speculation about trading our draft pick along with a player or two, either to get talent or to dump salary. I'm firmly against it. The draft offers the best chance of getting the kind of great player you need in order to succeed. Those guys just aren't available on the open market, especially for headcases like we're offering (even with the pick). It's better to keep the pick, hope to fill one of our big positions, and clear cap space to sign free agents to fill the corners rather than to lose the pick to fill the same spot with a guy who's not great and will eat up that same cap space for years to come. If you can't get great talent, keep the flexibility to pursue it in the future either through the draft or free agency.

This list is correctable. If you spot an error or omission, e-mail at blazersub@yahoo.com.

--Dave

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