As promised (or warned depending on your point of view), here is today's stab at playing armchair G.M. Yesterday was a weigh in on the Asik rumors and tried to outline a way that would not cost anyone too much, yet yield everyone a way to improve. Today is more of the same, but with a spotlight on a couple of different teams and players.
First, let's take a look at Golden State. Their season has not so far gone as expected. Part of that is due to injuries. Part of it though is due to having lost Carl Landry and Jarrett Jack over the summer. While neither was an All-Star, each filled a specific role very well. Jack in particular hurt as he often took some of the play making burden off of Curry. This is why the Warriors were rumored to be taking a look at Kyle Lowry. Ultimately they decided that they may not be able to keep him this summer either and would have to give up too much for a part season rental.
Next let's talk about Chicago. Many are calling for the Bulls to tear it down and tank thinking their chances in the playoffs are slim without Derrick Rose. It seems enough of a possibility that Rose himself has said that he does not want to come back to a rebuild. Personally, I think they would be better served by a rebuild on the fly. The main issues are how to keep the core intact with little monetary wiggle room. Yes, they could trade Luol Deng, but they have said they hope to keep him and he has said he would like to stay. Carlos Boozer is on a big contract and there is a lot of talk about using the amnesty on him next year. That really stinks for the owners because even though that would get him off the cap space, they would still have to pay him. And if possible, it would sure help to get under the tax this season to avoid the dreaded repeater penalties. I believe there is an out although it would not be cost free.
There is one team, Philadelphia, that has enough cap space to take on Boozer in a lopsided trade. It would probably mean giving up one of the Bulls' two draft picks, but a Boozer for Evan Turner trade would work. That trade alone would get the Bulls below the tax line albeit barely. While the Bulls boast a top notch defense, many nights they have trouble scoring and Turner would go a long way toward solving that. Taj Gibson moves to starting power forward and Chicago picks up somebody like Chris Wilcox or other on a vet minimum as a back up which doesn't hurt the cap. (Of course there is Mirotic waiting in the wings for next year.) This lets the core of Noah, Deng, Gibson, and Hinrich stay in place along with the addition of Turner.
Now you probably noticed that I didn't include Jimmy Butler in that core. He would be another part of the cost, but bear with me. Earlier I mentioned Golden State and of course this is a Celtics' site, so each of them would have to get something. The trade would look like this:
Golden State would receive Jordan Crawford who would fit in with what they are trying to do and can be made a restricted free agent.
Chicago would get Harrison Barnes. He may give the Bulls more leverage in their negotiations with Deng and if they can't come to terms with Deng, Barnes would be a great consolation prize.
Boston would receive Butler and Marquis Teague to make the money work and who Chicago is ready to give up on. He could be sent to Maine or at only 1.1M he could be waived with no real pain. Butler can play both the two and the three very well. If you can assume that Avery Bradley comes to terms, a rough outline is Bradley and Green for 32 minutes each, with Butler at 16 minutes at each position behind them.
Before you say that moving Crawford would leave no point guard, you would still have Pressey and remember the inclusion of Aaron Brooks in yesterday's trade proposal. Brooks is not elite, but he is capable of running a team until Rondo gets back.
So the depth chart would look like Hawes/ Faverani/ Humphries at Center - Sullinger/ Bass/ Olynyk at P.F. - Green/ Butler/ Wallace at S.F. - Bradley/ Butler/ Brooks at S.G. and Rondo/ Brooks/ Pressey at the point. Maybe this is not a championship team, but pretty potent and an upgrade in assets for the next deal whatever that might be. Plus it gives room money wise for next year for Ainge to maneuver.
Golden State wins because even though they would lose Barnes, they would still have Iguadola and Draymond Green plus adding Crawford's scoring and playmaking.
Chicago wins because they get below the tax, keep their core intact, add Barnes and Turner, and when they bring in Mirotic and get Rose back, they are a powerhouse.
Philadelphia wins because they only have 17M in guaranteed money next year, so Boozer's 17M won't hurt them at all, plus they get another pick in this year's draft.
Have your guy call my guy?