May 27, 2011
1. Nets re-sign Deron Williams and sign Carmelo Anthony – The New Jersey Nets have Brook Lopez firmly entrenched in the center position and have one of the best point guards in the NBA. Deron Williams uses his solid build and his quick first step to punish smaller guards in the NBA. Yearly he averages among the league leaders in assists with twenty point per game average, but he was the Nets first option this season. He was among the elite point guards once again, but he excels when he has a better scoring option than himself. Carmelo is one of the purest scorers in today’s NBA. Anthony’s presence on the floor would allow Deron Williams to be a play maker more often than a scorer, and would potentially make Lopez more efficient on the block. Teams, in an effort to stop Carmelo and Deron, would have to leave Brook in single coverage which he could easily exploit. Plus, it would give New Jersey a young and experienced nucleus that is capable of making a run towards a NBA championship in the near future.
2. Tim Duncan should sign with the Rockets and Yao Ming should re-sign – This will never happen because San Antonio is the smartest franchise in the league, and not because the Rockets know that Duncan is over the hill. But, if Yao is healthy, this addition to the Houston Rockets could form a special version of the Twin Towers. Houston could run a high low offense that would be without rivals. Yao has a soft touch from outside and shies away from most contact while Duncan plays physical under the basket and has impeccable footwork. Both big men are excellent passers, so they would enhance the play of each other and any teammates that surrounded them.
3. Rajon Rondo should be traded to the Thunder for Russell Westbrook straight up – Both Rajon Rondo and Russell Westbrook are rising stars on the cusp of becoming superstars. The Oklahoma Thunder need a real distributor of the basketball without losing their athleticism at the point guard spot and their full court attack. Rondo will not shoot the basketball unless he has an open look. He is always pushing the tempo and probing the defense for play making opportunities. His reticence to shoot would give Kevin Durant, the two-time NBA scoring champ, the basketball in the most important situations and allow developing players like Serge Ibaka and James Harden the chance to flourish while being given easier shots. The Boston Celtics would benefit too. They get a player who can distribute the basketball to established options, but can also score at will. The Celtics are beginning to show their age on the basketball court and a little scoring punch could catapult them back into contention for a title.
4. The Lakers should trade Odom and Gasol to the Clippers for Chris Kaman – The Lakers need to rebuild. After being swept 4-0 in their series with the Dallas Mavericks they need a younger, established low post threat desperately. Kaman can score in the post over either shoulder and would relieve a little of the pressure that is always on Kobe Bryant to perform well. He rebounds well and does not need a lot of plays run for him to be effective. And, with a few additional pieces, the Los Angeles Lakers would be re-loaded for another championship run, because Kaman and Bynum would establish a dominant frontcourt for the next 5-7 years. The Los Angeles Clippers need players that can be effective without taking the ball out of Blake Griffin’s hands. Whereas Chris Kaman was only good at scoring and rebounding the basketball in the paint, both Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom are adept at interior passing and could actually bolster Griffin’s scoring while giving the Clippers more size and two highly-skilled players.
5. O.J. Mayo should be traded for Kyle Korver and Joakim Noah – This trade would solve two problems for the Memphis Grizzlies. It gets rid of the third player on this team that needs the basketball to be effective, which in turn, gives the first two, Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph, more opportunities to score and make plays for the Grizzlies. It also adds a shooter, Korver, who will score off other players penetration and posts, and a lively, big man, Noah, who can rebound and score on putbacks or just get extra possessions. The Chicago Bulls would benefit immeasurably from this trade too. In the Eastern Conference Finals against the Heat Rose was guarded by LeBron James and ultimately stopped. With a second guy that create his own shot like Mayo, Rose could not be contained even by the best defensive players and team defenses. Plus O.J. Mayo can hit the open jump shot consistently unlike most of the Chicago Bulls.
6. Chris Paul should be traded to Orlando for Nelson, Turkoglu, and Gilbert Arenas – There is a high possibility that Chris Paul will walk away from the Charlotte Hornets next year unless they land a big free agent. The Hornets are not a good team despite having a star who’s career is on par with NBA great Isaiah Thomas. They have drafted poorly and traded away their youth for a solid journeyman in James Posey, who is no longer on the team. Receiving Jameer Nelson, Hedo Turkoglu, and Gilbert Arenas gives New Orleans a burst of talent. Nelson is a solid point guard that can score and facilitate. He has a lot of the same skills as Paul though he is not nearly the talent that Paul. Arenas knows how to score in the NBA and if he gains any of the explosiveness that he once had, he could be a star again. And Hedo gives the Hornets size and ball-handling. If he re-establishes himself as a leader with the Hornets, they could be a playoff team again. Chris Paul going to the Orlando Magic makes them a legitimate contender. He is the best point guard in the league when healthy. He makes each of his teammate better and he could make Dwight Howard the best big man in the NBA. Howard is learning to score consistently in the post, but he gets very few easy buckets. With a pure point guard like Paul, he will not go unnoticed when he has his man sealed under the basket. He will get easy dunks when Paul penetrates and he will not have to carry the scoring load so regularly.
7. The Heat should sign Jason Kapono for Mike Miller – The Heat have three of the biggest stars in the NBA. They have this season’s second and third highest scorer. They have a soft, but extremely talented post, a shooting guard with a championship ring, a lightning quick first step, and a killer instinct, and the most physically gifted athlete that the National Basketball Association has ever seen who happens to be a two-time NBA MVP. They need a specialist. The Miami Heat have tried Eddie House, James Jones, and Mike Miller as their premier shooter. They have all failed because they are good, streaky shooters but not pure shooters. Kapono is a pure shooter. He is tall, has a quick release, and is deadly when left open. The Philadelphia 76′ers desperately need a player that can handle the basketball and shoot jumpers. Mike Miller excels at both and at 6’8″ would increase the overall size of the team and its cohesiveness too.