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The NBA is in a lockout. This is terrible news because there will be no more basketball and no more trades. Luckily for us, ESPN has the Trade Machine, which allows people to try to pull off fake trades and see if the deals would work for both teams. It’s a genius idea because fans always try to come up with trades, and with the trade machine they can see if their trades are realistic.
The NBA Trade Machine takes into account players salaries and how the team will fare how in the win department. It takes into account the ability of the replacements and if it is possible for the team to get better or worse based off of their player efficiency rating.
For me, there are different scales for NBA trades. Let me preface this by saying that getting stars is a good thing. Teams would rather have some variation of a star than no star at all.
5 Star: The guys who are completely untouchable. The only way you see one of these guys get dealt if for another five-star guy, even then its unlikely. There are only a handful of five-star guys, the list includes: LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki. Five stars are rare, they don’t come around often and when they do you hold onto them.
4 Star: The “we would consider a trade only if they asked us for one” player. These players are All-Stars but are just short of being a five-star either because they are going to be a free agent soon, make too much money, are a team headache or just aren’t as good. Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Deron Williams, Russell Westbrook, Amare Stoudemire and Pau Gasol fit into this category.
3 Star: For an NBA team, these are the guys you target because they are usually available or at least a team is willing to hear out your offer. This list includes: Kevin Love, Chris Bosh, Eric Gordon, Marc Gasol, Rajon Rondo, Monta Ellis, John Wall and LaMarcus Aldridge.
2 Star: These range from borderline to soon-to-be All-Stars to high-potential players and former All-Stars. This list includes: Tyreke Evans, Stephen Curry, Rudy Gay, Josh Smith, Brandon Jennings, Evan Turner, DeMarcus Cousins and James Harden.
1 Star: Quality players who would be higher ranked if they weren’t overpaid or guys who should be the No. 2 option on most teams, but are the No.1 on a bad team. This list includes: Andre Iguodala, Kevin Martin, Andrea Bargnani, Danny Granger and Al Jefferson.
3/4 Star: Role-players, quality starters, tradeable contracts, up-and-comers are 3/4 stars. Players that fit into this role would be: Wilson Chandler, Jeff Green, Greg Monroe, Danilo Gallinari, Demar DeRozan and Jared Dudley.
1/2 Star: These are players who should be a one-two star, but because of contracts are untradeable. Ron Artest, Ben Gordon, Carlos Boozer, Antwan Jamison and Elton Brand fit here.
1/4 Star: Any bench player who never sees the floor.
Philly trades Andre Iguodala (1 Star) to Golden State for Monta Ellis (3 Star).
A deal that works for both teams in basketball sense and financial sense. Both Igoudala and Ellis have three years left on their contracts, with Igoudala making $1.2 million more per season. This deal makes a lot of sense in terms of basketball as well. Golden State has been shopping Ellis frantically and getting Igoudala in return would fit into their new style of play, which will be more defensive orientated. For Philly they get an explosive offensive player in return, something they are missing. It also lets them move Evan Turner to small forward permanently.
Lakers trade Pau Gasol (4 Star), Lamar Odom (2 Star) to New Orleans for Chris Paul (4 Star) and Emeka Okafor (3/4 Star)
Interesting deal on the surface. The Lakers would be giving up six stars and only be getting back four and 3/4 stars (adding up the star count). In the trade machine, however, their win total would increase by three, while the Hornets would decrease by one. The Hornets jump on this deal because they are about to lose David West and Carl Landry and have no one to replace them with. Odom could start at the four, with Gasol playing center. The Lakers jump on it because their biggest weakness is at point guard. They can’t defend other quality point guards and Chris Paul would change all that. Okafor would just be a complementary piece as they already have Bynum unless…
Lakers get Chris Paul (4 Star) and Carlos Boozer (1/2 Star). New Orleans gets Pau Gasol (4 Star) and Lamar Odom (2 Star). The Bulls get Emeka Okafor (3/4 Star) Shannon Brown (3/4 Stars) and two future first round picks.
A lot to wrap your head around. New Orleans and L.A. both get better. The Bulls do the trade for one reason, they believe Taj Gibson will be better than Boozer and will do whatever it takes to get rid of his contract. Boozer looks scared that Gibson will take his minutes, so a change of scenery would be a good thing for him. In return they would get back another big body in Okafor, a streaky, yet explosive scoring guard and future first round picks.
Celtics trade Ray Allen (2 1/2 Star), Jermaine O’Neal (1/2 Star), the Clippers future 1st round pick (3/4 Star) and future 1st round pick ( 1/4 Star) to Houston for Kevin Martin (1 Star), Jordan Hill (1/4 Star) and Chase Budinger (3/4 Stars)
Both Martin and Allen have the same contract, one year at $ 10 million. For the Celtics, it’s about getting younger. Kevin Martin on the Celtics instantly jumps from a one star to a 2-1/2 star. He would thrive playing with Rondo. Houston is going to want picks if they are going to deal Budinger and will love the Clippers pick. They also will be able to free cap space as Allen and O’Neal will be free agents after this season. For the Celtics, this deal makes them younger. You take a flyer on Hill and hope he pans out and get a young athletic scoring forward to sit behind Pierce in Budinger. For Houston, they acquire picks and clear cap space.
Minnesota trades Michael Beasley (3/4 Star), Martell Webster (1/4 Star) to Detroit for Ben Gordon (1/2 Star) and Austin Daye (1/4 Star)
Minnesota needs a scoring two-guard and probably won’t be able to get one as talented as Gordon in free agency. The moves allows them to dump two of their tweaner guys and makes Derrick Williams the starting small forward. They also take a chance on Daye, who has been buried in Detroit. The Pistons make the trade because they will do whatever it takes to get away from Gordon’s three-year, $37 million contract. They also take a chance on Beasley, who has shown he can score 15-18 a night. The Wolves need to make this trade, as Gordon would fit right in with Ricky Rubio passing him the ball.
Orlando gets Brook Lopez (2 Star), Rudy Gay (2 Star) and Marshon Brooks (1/4 Star). New Jersey gets Dwight Howard (5 Star). Memphis gets Daniel Orton (1/4 Star), future first round picks (1/2 Star) and $8 million.
Memphis realizes that they do not need Rudy Gay to win. In return they take a chance on another big man this time in Daniel Orton. They also take back future first round picks and $8 million dollars, which will allow them room to re-sign Marc Gasol. The Nets get Dwight Howard, who paired with Deron Williams makes them the fourth best team in the East. For Orlando, they get Brook Lopez and Rudy Gay, two guys who could become three star players. Gay and Lopez is a better combo than Bynum and Odom. Also they pick up Marshon Brooks, who could become Jason Richardson 2.0.
Phoenix trades Steve Nash (2 1/2 Star) and Robin Lopez (1/4 Star) to New York for Chauncey Billups (1 1/2 Star)
Billups and Nash both have one year left on their contracts and their player efficiency ratings are similar, Nash at 20.8, Billups at 18.8. For the Knicks they would be reuniting Nash, Amare and Mike D’ Antoni, something Knicks fans and basketball fans would love. The Suns do this deal because they get to rent Chauncey for one season and then have cap space to go after someone else. Lopez is thrown in because he has never really fit into the Suns system. His cheap contract is attractive to teams like the Knicks, who will be looking for bigger fish down the road.
Spurs trade Tony Parker (2 Star) and DaJaun Blair (3/4 Star) to Atlanta for Josh Smith (2 Star) and Jeff Teague (3/4 Star)
The Spurs realize Parker is there most tradable asset and ever since his sexting incident it seems like the Spurs’ chemistry has been off. For Atlanta, their projected wins would jump by nine and they would be getting a quality point guard and quality big man in return. The Hawks have been seeing what the interest is on Smith. The Hawks are trying to clear some cap space after spending so much on Johnson, Williams and Horford. The Spurs jump on this deal for a number of reasons. They get Josh Smith, who will eventually replace Tim Duncan at power forward. Not only that, but they grab Jeff Teague, a guy who torched the Bulls in the playoffs.
Clippers get Brandon Jennings (2 Star) and Donte Green (1/4 Star). Bucks get Tyreke Evans (2 Star) and Jason Thompson (1/4 Star). Kings get Andrew Bogut (2 Star), Eric Bledsoe (1/4 Star) and Al-Farouq Aminu (1/4 Star)
If you are the Kings you are not going to be able to sign a good free agent anytime soon. Pairing Bogut and Cousins together would be one of, if not the best big-man combo in basketball. They also get a true point guard in return with Bledsoe. I like Evans, but he is not a true point guard. For the Bucks, they do this because Evans still could be a potential star. It’s a tough call with Evans, he could be a four star or a two, you never know. He can beat anyone off the dribble, but would have Scott Skiles turn purple. This deal also allows the Bucks the chance to get out of Bogut’s contract. For the Clippers, this is a new brainer. You lose Bledsoe and Aminu and get Jennings in return. Jennings and Griffin would go together better than Jack and Coke.
Thunder trade Russell Westbrook (4 Star) and Nick Collison (1/4 Star) to New Orleans for Chris Paul ( 4 Star)
The Thunder get the ultimate point guard in Chris Paul. A guy who will willingly give the ball to Kevin Durant. A Paul-Durant duo would probably equal three straight Finals appearances. On the other hand, the Hornets get Russell Westbrook, who is still one of the top five point guards in the NBA. Westbrook would probably do better in New Orleans than Oklahoma City because he would be the guy. He would be free to venture into the “Monta Zone,” where he can take 25 shots a night and no one questions it. Collison would just be a body for the Hornets, who need them at this point with the loss of West and Landry.
Now lets leave with a bang!
Orlando gets Pau Gasol (4 Star) Lamar Odom (2 Star) and Ron Artest (1/2 Star). Miami gets Dwight Howard (5 Star) and Ryan Anderson (1/4 Star). Lakers get Gilbert Arenas (1/4 Star) and LeBron James (5 Star)
Again, this trade will never happen, but just take a look. The Heat were very close to winning a championship this year, but wouldn’t they be even better with Howard? You now no longer have questions about who is the alpha male with James gone and pairing Bosh with Howard would be the twin towers 2.0. It’s all about protecting the hoops and Howard-Bosh-Wade would be ideal. For Orlando, this is all about getting something back in return for Dwight. In this case, they get Pau, who is an All-Star and Lamar, who is a potential All-Star. Compare this to what Denver got for Melo and the Magic are making off like bandits. The Lakers do this deal to piss everyone off. Pairing Kobe with LeBron would create more buzz than the Big Three ever did. Can you imagine the Lakers going from being Kobe’s team to being LeBron’s team? Better yet: could you picture Mike Brown trying to coach them…at the same time?