Friday, February 12, 2010

The Mid-Season Trade Scene

So, as I've stated before, the primary need I feel needs to be addressed at the moment would be the need of a shot-blocking big man to play next to Tim Duncan. While Antonio McDyess and DeJuan Blair are good, they're skillsets don't allow them to be more than good backups. Matt Bonner as well has only been suitable in spot situations and Ian Mahinmi has not really proven themselves enough to Pop to warrant floor time beyond garbage time, which, at this point in time, if the Spurs were ever in a game where there is garbage time, it's because Pop has given up more than any unsurmountable lead built by the Spurs. While the backcourt of Tony Parker, George Hill, Manu Ginobili, Roger Mason, Keith Bogans, Richard Jefferson, and Michael Finley hasn't really played up to par, I don't know that it's an issue that I'd want to address via trades at this point in time. I still haven't given up on entirely on Richard Jefferson, I think it's a mind-over-matter issue, but we don't have the luxury of time, and I'm sure everyone understands that. Nonetheless, I still believe that the move to make is not a major restructuring move, but something akin to the Nazr Mohammed trade in 2005. Now the question is who is available that fits our needs?

Obviously, if I were to make a legitimate list of players I want Timmy to play next to, at the top would be the likes of Kevin Garnett, Chris Bosh, Rasheed Wallace, etc... but such players aren't available, and if I wanted a list of young players I wanted Timmy to develop I'd start with LaMarcus Aldridge, Al Jefferson, Al Horford and the like, but those aren't really options either... I suppose the first thing we need to consider are the assets we have available to trade, personally, I think the things we have to offer are: the expiring contracts of Roger Mason, Michael Finley, and Matt Bonner, that's about $10 million in salary, plus or minus the contracts of Theo Ratliff, Keith Bogans, and Ian Mahinmi which I believe can be expended. I'm leery of trading George Hill, but less so than Manu Ginobili.

So with that, who's available? Let's have a look see...

I think this might be a stretch, especially with the injury to Blake Griffin. I'm not entirely convinced that the Clippers are giving up on a playoff run, so it's possible there's no firesale going on, especially with Mike Dunleavy Sr. leaving the coaching bench. I don't know that slightly more in 3 expiring contracts is anymore desirable than one single expiring contracts, perhaps throwing in some picks. The reasons I want someone like Camby are fairly obvious, while he doesn't meet the idea of the Spurs getting younger and more athletic, his skillset fits that of a player next to Duncan perfectly. He rebounds, he blocks shots, he can hit a decent 15-foot jumper. He's not someone you would look to on the offensive end, so in that respect, you don't really have to draw up plays for him, and while he's not a formidable post defender, he's great at rotating, and generally the Spurs won't be asking him to guard the more potent post presences in the league. Furthermore, he fits in the Spurs' recent trend of getting players from teams they've beaten in the Finals in the past (Jefferson originally on the Nets in 2003, McDyess originally on the Pistons in 2005, and now Camby originally in the Knicks in 1999).

About 50% of you are probably thinking What?! Darko?! and I will warrant that, so long as you continue reading enough to let me explain. First, prior to being traded for Zach Randolph, Darko was probably one of the better post defensive presences on the Grizzlies. I don't know if that says a lot, but one thing can be said for sure, Darko isn't bad as a defensive big man. While he may still be considered one of the biggest draft busts, we need to look past the fact that maybe he wasn't a suitable 2nd overall pick (like Joe Smith and Kwame Brown weren't suitable 1st overall picks) and see him for what he is, someone that can board and block, and I think he's semi-decent offensively too. Again the issue of expiring for expiring comes into play and whether or not the Knicks really want to deal, but as it is, Darko just kind of veges at the end of the bench, I think that as a starter next to Tim Duncan, with Timmy helping direct him, he might find some motivation and direction, and become a solid piece. In the short term, he has the skills and abilities necessary to make a positive impact on the team.

One thing I know for sure is that with all these trade rumors of Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison floating around, Washington is definitely in rebuild mode. I'm sure the front office there is hoping to be able to waive Gilbert Arenas as well after this gun fiasco. Obviously with that,, comes a firesale, and Brendan Haywood is obviously not in the future. What does Haywood bring to the floor? He's a decent defender and also not a bad post scorer. He's probably not ideal for what the Spurs need, but there isn't really a whole lot in terms of availability.

Obviously Fab already knows the system, we know what he brings to the table, the only question remains: will it be enough?

I'm pretty sure at this point in time, somehow, Kwame Brown is ahead of Wilcox on the depth charts. Especially with the advent of rookie Jonas Jerebko, there doesn't seem to be much room in John Kuester's rotation for Wilcox. Wilcox obviously fits in the realm of younger and more athletic, however, he also appears to lack in the two things that we're really looking for in rebounding and shotblocking. Nonetheless, he's an interesting piece who could serve to be like a second Nazr Mohammed on the team, as I see his potential to be high. I still have some hopes that he can make a difference, especially working under the tutelage of veterans Duncan and McDyess.

I probably know less about Indiana than anybody. Nonetheless, they don't appear to be going anywhere, and if they're shopping Troy Murphy then I don't see why Jeff Foster isn't really available as well, though I can kind of understand how Foster might be more insurance for Roy Hibbert. From what I do know, I read that Foster's game is pretty plain vanilla, he's got a decent jumper, rebounds pretty well, swats a couple of shots, and honestly, I think that plain vanilla game is just what we need.

Tyrus Thomas is another one of those that fits the bill of "younger and more athletic" but I'm not sure about much else. Being a top 5 pick he must have a bit of potential, so I can see good things happening with McDyess and Timmy working with him, but as of now, I don't know that he adds a whole lot to the squad as is now. It might be worth a gamble, but I wouldn't put him that high on my list, though he is available. Still, I'm not sure what the Bulls are looking for so I'm not really sure what exactly should be offered.

So... yeah, I know, how the heck would Al Harrington help us? If he melds, he's at best everything Matt Bonner is supposed to be, if not he'd be kind of a Matt Bonner/Drew Gooden fusion. While his skillset fits closer to the mold of Robert Horry, it's still at least something of an upgrade.

While I can think of other people, I don't know that they are very realistic nor very viable from a long term perspective. This is at least what I think. I've considered also maybe someone like Yi Jianlian, but not very seriously. Honestly, the biggest windfall would be if Marc Gasol were somehow available, but aside from that, maybe waiting for Tiago Splitter might be the best options and we should look at buffering other parts of the roster.

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