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Pau-er Play?

pau.jpg“It appears my hypocrisy knows no bounds.” â€" Doc (Holliday, not Rivers)

One day I’m calling Ainge’s days numbered and wondering when he’s going to make a big trade.  The next day I’m hearing about a big trade he could make and I’m thinking “no way, not now!”  I have my cake but I want to eat it too.  I want the first pick. I want Gasol. I want to keep Jefferson and Green and Pierce.  I want it all.

So, would I be in favor of Danny Ainge trading for Pau Gasol?  Sure, under the following conditions.  We do not give up Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Paul Pierce, or an unprotected pick from this year.

Some would say that we shouldn’t even trade for him if we can get a good price.  The reasoning is that it would likely make us win too many games to stay in the Oden/Durant race.  Maybe.  I’m not going to rehash the odds of missing out on the lottery; you’ve heard them all before.  I’m not even going to point out that as can’t-miss as these guys are, there is still a chance that they won’t be as good as we think (nope, not going to mention that at all).  Those aren’t the reasons I’d make the trade (though they might help me sleep better).

The reason I would still make a trade for Pau is because you have an opportunity to get a young, big, All Star.  That doesn’t happen very often.  Sure, Iverson was dealt this year but he’s not a big man.  Jason Kidd might be on the block soon but how many years does he have left?  The fact that Pau is even on the market is a rare opportunity.

Besides, if you want to talk about odds, picking up Gasol doesn’t guarantee a playoff birth, even in the Titanic.  At the moment we are 8 and a half games out of first.  Even if we play .500 ball the rest of the way, I don't think Toronto or New Jersy will go in the tank that much.  He hasn’t exactly turned the Griz into world-beaters this year since returning from his injury.  Of course, you could argue that if he’s not going to make a difference, why trade for him?  Fair enough.  However, I’d still like to see what a fully healthy Paul, Pau, and a year-older Jefferson and Green can do together next year.  Draft pick or not.

One caveat: None of us really knows for sure what the state of his health is at this moment and nobody, including Pau, knows how it will be for years to come.  The same could be said of Al Jefferson or any player for that matter, but this is the one sticking point that I can point to and say “I don’t have every detail, so I can’t make a clear, rational choice.”  Thankfully I don’t have to.  Danny Ainge does, and that could mean a lot to the fortunes of this franchise.

Ok, enough of my waffling.  If you made me make the call and asked for a price, here’s what I’d go with.

Offer up Theo’s contract, Sebastian Telfair (Justin Poulin pointed out to me what a good fit he could be in the Grizzlies new up-tempo attack), Ryan Gomes, and two future draft picks.  If they want, they can sub in Delonte for Telfair or a future pick.  We can even bump up one of the draft picks to be this year’s with lottery protection on it.  If they want another throw in or two or want to dump a contract on us, fine.

I don’t think the Griz would want Perkins because he just signed a contract (reasonable or not).  As I’ve stated before, I’m hoping they won’t ask for Green because he duplicates Rudy Gay and Hakim Warrick.  Which brings us back to Al Jefferson.  Of course they would want him.  They will pound the desk and demand him.  They might even be able to point out that we were willing to trade him before (I’m guessing, I have no inside info on that).  They’ll threaten to move Pau to the Bulls.

Fine.  Get a better deal somewhere else.  Go shop around.  You are the ones with the star player asking to be traded.  I’m not desperate to pay top dollar.  If the Bulls bite on Gasol, that just takes them out of the running for KG.

I want to trade for Pau, but only at the right price.  Not at the cost of Jefferson.  Maybe I can’t eat my cake, but at least I’ll have it.

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