Five trades that should happen
Trade winds are blowing as strongly as ever. According to GMs around the NBA, there was a significant amount of trade deadline talk during All-Star Weekend.
Despite all of that talk, there's no telling how many moves GMs will actually make over the next few days. Some years, the days prior to the trade deadline are red hot with activity. Other years, not so much.
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A handful of teams don't just want to make a deal by the deadline, they need to. Some are playoff teams that need to shore up their rosters to make a title push. Others are cellar dwellers that need to begin the rebuilding process while they still can get value for their players. And a few are teams in dire straits financially that must start saving money.
You'll be reading a lot before the deadline about what might happen and what will happen. But here are five trades that should happen. While all of the players involved in these scenarios have been mentioned in trade talks, these deals are hypothetical. I am not saying that they will happen, or that they even have been discussed by teams -- I'm just saying they should happen.
Most of the teams listed here won't pull the trigger, but they'll regret that decision down the road:
Why should the Raptors do it?
Because the writing is on the wall in Toronto. I'm not sure how the Raptors are going to keep Bosh in 2010, and, no, I don't think adding Shawn Marion really helps in the long term. This deal would give them a ton of young talent to rebuild. And the fact that much of it has an international flavor only makes it sweeter for Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo.
Why should the Warriors do it?
You don't get the chance to add an All-Star big man every day. And with Monta Ellis and Corey Maggette, the Warriors would have the building blocks to be special again. Will it happen?
The biggest question is whether the Warriors, the most dysfunctional franchise in the NBA, could keep Bosh. They would have enough talent to convince Bosh to stay, but their situation is so messed up that it's a big risk.
The second biggest question is whether the Raptors would do it. Colangelo has been pretty adamant that they won't deal Bosh at the deadline. But if they were able to get this much talent in return, he'd have to take a long look.
Why should the Blazers do it?
This is the perfect market for a team like Portland to pick up an excellent player without giving up much in return. Rodriguez and Batum have promise, but Wallace is the real deal. He would add the kind of toughness and versatility that could put the Blazers over the top.
Why should the Bobcats do it?
They are rebuilding this team in Larry Brown's image. This deal gives them some young talent, but more importantly some cap space. Given their recent moves, they could use it.
Will it happen?
The Blazers are in an enviable position. They have what might be the best asset in the NBA right now in LaFrentz's contract.
Sources say that they have their choice of Wallace, Richard Jefferson or Caron Butler if they're willing to send a few young players and LaFrentz's contract. Wallace, Jefferson and Butler all have their strengths, but for the Blazers' needs, I think Wallace is the best fit.
Why should the Knicks do it?
It would help the Knicks tremendously in the summer of 2010. Not only would it clear the last $6 million of Jeffries' deal off the books, but it would ease the Knicks' worries about losing Lee for nothing this summer in free agency.
If Thomas were to keep developing, they could pay him in the summer of 2010 along with LeBron. If he were to struggle, they could let him go and bring in two big free agents with all of their cap room. In the meantime, Hughes would help shore up a big hole at the 2 and he too would come off the books in 2010.
Why should the Bulls do it?
Lee would bring a change in culture to the franchise. He's a double-double machine and a good locker room guy. They'd have to pay him this summer, but given the horrific financial market, it probably wouldn't cost them a fortune. It also would save them some money heading into the summer; getting Hughes off the books would clear an extra $7 million or so under the cap.
Will it happen?
Maybe. The Knicks don't want to lose Lee for nothing and they would love to move Jeffries' contract. The Bulls need a shake-up and adding Lee would help get the team back to its winning ways.
Why should the Thunder should do it?
Chandler in the middle would help complete their rebuilding process. He's the shot-blocking, rebounding machine the team has lacked since its days in Seattle.
Why should the Hornets do it?
This would be a cap-saving maneuver by the Hornets. It wouldn't make great basketball sense, but they would get a first-round pick and some veteran help for the playoffs in Joe Smith.
Will it happen?
The Thunder are looking to be active. This deal would cut into their cap space this summer but, honestly, would they really lure anyone better than Chandler in free agency?
As for the Hornets, they need to get under the luxury-tax threshold. This would accomplish that in a hurry while still providing some assets for next year.
Why should the Cavs do it?
The team wants to win a title now and could use an upgrade at the 4. Adding Jamison would give the Cavs another dynamic scorer and veteran.
Why should the Wizards do it?
Because they are paying a huge amount of money for one of the worst teams in basketball. When Gilbert Arenas returns, they'll be better, but by how much? This deal would put them slightly below the cap next year.
Will it happen?
The Cavs are looking at potential Szczerbiak deals and Jamison isn't the only guy they covet. Mike Miller and Vince Carter have also been mentioned.
Chad Ford covers the NBA for ESPN Insider.