As a response to a posting on ECT,inc., I began seriously considering, for the first time, the idea of trading our most talented, reasonably-salaried, silky-smoove-shooting, very own, beloved Kevin Martin.
Why the Hell would we do that? Well, we probably won't. But the following proposals make some sense on some level for both teams. Maybe not complete sense, but I think each GM would at least give pause upon initially hearing the proposal.
Martin/K9 for Bosh: Leaves us shallow at SG, but Bosh's dynamic play might make a backcourt of Sergio/Evans/Garcia work with Noc/Greene/Casspi and JT/Hawes still in the mix, too. Admittedly, this severly sets back the growth of most likely Hawes and maybe JT. But, the idea of Bosh in the middle with JT is a fantasy-scenario for the Kings. If Evans can become a D-Wade-esque player, Sergio at PG is good enough.
Martin/Udrih for Mike Miller/Rubio: MIN definitely gets the greater proven talent, but we get out of Udrih's contract (hereinafter "k") and get our pure PG. I mean, I'd hate to lose Martin, and granted, Rubio is unproven at the next level, but I think we all believe there is something special there. Rubio making sweet-ass no-look 'oops up to JT for the finish is enough to entice me. Seeing Evans slash to the hoop, dish out to Hawes, who then passes to Rubio, who takes one dribble and delivers some kind of crazy assist to JT for a 180 dunk while the other team is still trying to figure out who has the ball would make me buy a ticket for a game...and be able to wait the few years it'll take for RR to "develop."
Martin/K9/Udrih for T-Mac/Aaron Brooks (maybe a 2nd rnd pick?): While T-Mac is talented, his days appear to be close to done. Thus, HOU actually is getting the better end of the deal as far as talent is concerned, IMO. But, this deal makes sense for the Kings, because they get out of Udrih's k and get T-Mac's monstrous expiring k ($21M). Again, we acquiring a helluva young PG in this trade, and I think a backcourt that involves the speed and passing of Brooks with the strength and slashing of Evans is bound to be good. Then, we get to go b-a-n-a-n-a-s in free agency 2010. And by nuts, I mean we could sign Kenny Thomas, Brian Cardinal AND Darko!!! How sweet would tha--ok, bad joke.
Martin/K9/Noc/Udrih for Nash/Ben Wallace: In what would likely amount to a salary dump and one-year Nash rental, the Kings lose their most talented player. So, why consider this one any further? Well, first of all, Nash. His influence and ability to teach our young guys alone would be a great addition, even if for only a year. Perhaps we talk him into staying longer...who knows? But a backcourt of Nash and Evans gives us the same excitement as alluded to in the Rubio scenario, except there is no waiting for development to occur. Plus, we get rid of Udrih and Noc's k's (not a benefit to be overlooked). At the end of the year, we get a massive ticket to the 2010 raffle. PHX probably covets that expiring salary as much or more than we do, though. So, they'd have to be convinced that Noc has a place on the team and Martin is THE guy to pair with Amare (if they keep him). Honestly, you could do a lot worse than a team that rolls out Amare, Martin, J-Rich, Noc, etc. on a nightly basis. Speaking of Amare...
Martin/K-9/Udrih/Noc for Amare/J-Rich/Pavlovic: This one makes less sense for the Kings, unless they want to give up on JT or Hawes. I think at that point you try to package JT and something else for a deal that brings back a baller at the 3 or in the backcourt to go with Evans. But, basically, Kings get rid of Noc and Udrih's k's, Acquire Amare, the high-flying J-Rich and Pavlovic's expiring k. The team would be Sergio, Evans, J-Rich, Amare and JT/Hawes. A little on the small, yet somehow still kinda beastly side, I suppose. In the end, probably not the best deal for either team.
Martin/K9 for Ty Thomas/Tim Thomas/Noah/Sign-and-Trade Ben Gordon: BG is likely gone from CHI-town this summer anyway, so if they can make something out of nothing with him, they're loving it. Basically, for them, this would amount to giving up Ty Thomas and Noah for Martin. The salary-conscious Bulls (who hope to land Bosh this summer) still get K9's expiring contract and one of the league's most reasonable salaries-for-production in Martin. Not to mention, Rose and Martin in the backcourt would just be sick, and at that point, how does Bosh say "no thanks" to signing with that team? Granted they lose out on Ty Thomas, but by drafting 2 PF's on Thursday, I don't think he is in their long-term plans anyhow. The Kings, on the other hand, would have Ben Gordon and Evans in the backcourt along with a ridiculous frontline of JT/Ty T/Hawes and Noah. Umm...while I realize that neither Evans or Gordon are pure PG's, I think that dynamic-duo would just give opposing guards shit-fits. And if P-Dubb could institute some kind of open-offensive scheme, in which traditional play-calling is disposed of in favor of a crazy-ass up-tempo, all-out blitz, this could possibly be one of the most entertaining teams in the league. BG reigning 3's, Evans slashing and dishing (or finishing), JT and Noah giving ridiculous energy and TT and Hawes bringing finesse and shot-blocking to the frontcourt is my idea of entertaining hoops. Add Garcia, Noc, Casspi and Greene to the mix, and to say the least, opposing teams would know they're in for a long night of running the floor against the Kings.
Martin/Noc/Udrih for Gerald Wallace/Diaw/Raja Bell: Kings again get rid of Noc & Udrih's k's, while picking up the expiring k of Bell. Granted, we inherit Diaw's over-priced k, but in the end, we save money versus keeping Udrih and Noc. Plus, I think we could do worse than having Diaw as a back-up to JT. Thus, the Kings would be Sergio, Evans, Wallace, JT and Hawes, with Diaw, Bell, Garcia, Greene, Casspi and Barakman off the bench. I think Sergio is an upgrade from Udrih, Evans is a (temporary?) downgrade from Martin, Wallace is a huge upgrade at the 3-spot, and JT and Hawes stay put. I think the team could definitely compete, and Evans/JT/Wallace offers some pretty troublesome athleticism and size for opposing teams. CHA does this because, well, Martin, obviously, and to get rid of Diaw's k, if they think Noc is a good fit for their team, which, I think he could be.
Martin/Noc/Udrih for Rondo/Allen/Scalabrine: Rondo and Evans? Good luck to any opposing guards. Seriously, even Kobe may not score at that point. Ok, I know better than that, but you get the point. Kings get (in addition to the toughest backcourt ever) Allen and Scalabrine's expiring k's, which add up to quite a bit (especially when combined w/ K9's expiring k). BOS does this because of the following well-known formula: Martin+KG+Pierce = Ridiculous scoring. Honestly, even Udrih looks good in that lineup (if he doesn't KG and Pierce take turns punching him in the stomach during time-outs). Udrih, Martin, Pierce, Noc and KG should be able to get it done.
Martin/Noc/Udrih for Mo Evans/Claxton/Joe Johnson/Teague: ATL would do this because Martin is younger, cheaper and brings a better PER over Johnson. Not to mention they could probably use a scrappy guy like Noc on the squad. I think Noc next to Josh Smith and Horford makes ATL difficult to deal with in the front court. Add the backcourt of Martin and Law, and it's a pretty solid squad. Kings do this for the usual salary dumping/cap space-creating reasons and to get Teague, who could be a nice fit next to Evans in the back court. At the end of the year, Johnson, Mo Evans and Claxton all expire at about $24M (now combine that with K9's expiring k and we got a crap load of cap space). In the meantime, our squad starters would be Evans, Johnson, (Mo Evans or Greene or Casspi?), JT and Hawes. Garcia, Sergio, Teague, Barakman, etc. off the bench. The real benefit is obviously dumping the salaries and getting the space. With the boatload of cash, we can resign all our keepers and still have more than enough to entice someone worth having in free agency.
Last Considerations - - These deals I think would be good, and we DO NOT give up Martin:
K9/2nd Rnd Pick for Ariza (sign and trade)/Morrison: Morrison's k expires at the end of the season, but the real deal here is Ariza. I think Evans, Martin, Ariza, JT and Hawes makes a pretty decent line up. Sergio, Garcia, Greene, Casspi, Noc and Brock Landers off the bench. Again, we're a little small at this point, but still scrappy. The alternative is the same deal, but with Odom.
K9 for Hedo (sign and trade): After acquiring VC, the Magic would probably enjoy some expiring salary. Really we give up nothing, except for K9's expiring k, but who else are we gonna get in a trade or free agency that's much better than Turk-o-glue?
Udrih/Noc for Camby/Collins: Blah, blah, blah get rid of expiring salary, blah, blah...The Clips were interested in Udrih before we "stole" him away from them last summer. Plus, Noc fills in nicely on that squad. The Clips have a ridiculous overstock of dudes in the front court, as we all know. One problem here is, the Clips may decide that Camby's expiring k is more valuable than an underperforming back-up PG and Noc. And sadly, they may be right. But it would be nice to have Camby on the squad, not just for his expiring k, but because he is tough and boards the ball. Evans, Martin, Casspi or Greene, JT, Hawes or Camby.
K9 for Ty Chandler: This would be a minor coup. I say "minor" because I really believe that right now, expiring salary is worth a lot and I am somewhat concerned about Chandler's foot or toe or whatever is bothering him. Still, I gotta think that getting a tough guy like Chandler in the paint is a really good thing for us.
Well, this turned out to be waaaayyyy longer than I had anticipated. If you've hung with me this far, tell your significant spouse I'm sorry! I tried to write a thought-stimulating piece that centers on one of our biggest talents in order to get a feel for what directions the team could ultimately go in, and to at least allow us to explore what we might be able to get in exchange for our dearest King. I also tried to keep it somewhat within the realm of realism. If you disagree, please explain your points. I'm curious to know what you all think. It's a little scary thinking about giving up Martin, but depending on what we get back. you never know...in order to get, you have to give.