Not-So-Asinine Trade Post: 2011-12 Western Conference Edition

The NBA's trade deadline is coming up very quickly (in just a week to be exact), and the Kings have been active over the last few deadlines, ones that saw Kevin Martin leave and Marcus Thornton come. This year the Kings again have the most cap space in the NBA, meaning they can potentially be partners in a trade where they take back much more salary than they send out. So what's out there for the Kings to do?

Just like the last few years, I've contacted a bunch of Bloggers from around the Internet to get their takes on the team they cover or follow, what they need, who they'd want from the Kings (aside from the obvious of Tyreke and DeMarcus), and if they think anything is feasible. We as Kings fans tend to not have a totally realistic value of our players, or at least attribute a different value to our players than fans of other teams. It's the same the other way too. So I hope you enjoy the read, whether you're a Kings fan or not, and hopefully learn a lot.

A big Thank you to all those who took the time to respond to my e-mails/tweets.

Note: Clicking on each teams logo will link to their salary cap information from shamsports.com. It opens in a new window.

Coming Tomorrow: The Eastern Conference Edition.

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Southwest Division:

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Source: Josh Bowe, Mavs Moneyball

  • Team Needs:

    It would have to be frontcourt depth. Dallas has a wealth of guards and a stable trio of centers, but, especially with Lamar Odom’s continued absence, limited forwards. The Mavericks have had to resort to Yi Jianlin and Brian Cardinal to back up Dirk Nowitzki, whenever Shawn Marion heads to the bench as well. Dallas has gotten away with playing Vince Carter at the small forward spot, but it usually leaves the defense too vulnerable to sustain for extended times. Those players won’t kill you in this condensed-schedule, but if the Odom situation gets worse, the Mavericks can’t go into the playoffs without anyone to give Dirk or Marion a solid break.

  • Who Would You Want:

    While it doesn't appear the Mavericks will make a move unless it will shed salary, a player I've at least had my fancy on would be Jason Thompson. Is seems Thompson has been a little inconsistent to what was expected of him after his first two seasons, and of course DeMarcus Cousins has to do with that. But Thompson would be an ideal candidate to give the Mavericks a true backup to Dirk, even providing a nice touch from the 16-23 foot area. He would seemingly slide into the Dallas rotation rather smoothly. J.J. Hickson could fill in a similar role as well.

  • Who's Available, Who's Not:
    Right now, it seems only Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd and Jason Terry are untouchable and everyone else is fair game, provided the Mavericks don’t add to their cap for next year. Kidd and Terry will be leaving in free agency regardless next year, so there isn’t much incentive for the Mavericks to trade them for players that would add salary to 2012-2013. Other than that, everyone is fair game. Mark Cuban might deem Rodrigue Beaubois "untouchable" but in his up and down time with the Mavericks, Beaubois hasn’t provided anything consistent or tangible that just screams untouchable. Beaubois can still be a very solid player for the Mavericks, but if there’s any possibility that a star player can come in return for his services, Dallas would be insane not to include him in a package.
  • How serious is Dallas about creating Cap Space for 2012 FA?
    Extremely. Cuban had a chance to bring everyone back from the 2011 championship team in what appears to be an even weaker Western Conference than last year. There’s no question that if the Mavericks returned the same team, they’d easily be challenging the Thunder, Heat or Bulls for the league’s best mark. But Cuban restrained, which should really raise some eyebrows to his seriousness about the situation. Every move Dallas made in this past off-season had specific implications with summer 2012 in mind – no one was signed to a long-term deal without a team option to cut after this season. The Mavericks will still have to work some financial wizardry to get Deron Williams and Dwight Howard, but they’ve certainly gotten as much in order as they could heading to the off-season.
  • My Analysis: The Mavericks are in a pretty nice spot. Coming off a championsip, the team is still very good despite not bringing back key pieces from that title team like Tyson Chandler and J.J. Barea. They also have a bunch of cap space coming up and have been rumored to be among the favored destinations for Deron Williams (a Dallas native) and Dwight Howard. Any move the Mavericks make will be to retain flexibility or to increase it. The only big contracts the Mavericks have beyond this year are Dirk (2 years, $43 million), Brendan Haywood (3 years, $27 million) and Shawn Marion (2 years, $17 million). Marion would be an upgrade at the three for the Kings, but he'll be 34 next year and the Mavericks aren't exactly taking back a contract like Salmons or Garcia. One intriguing possibility is Lamar Odom. The Mavericks acquired him from the Lakers for nothing, but he's been a disappointment so far this year. The Mavs could buy Odom out next year or straight up waive him, cutting his cap hold to $2.4 million. But I think Odom stillhas value around the league, so a trade seems more likely.
  • Likelihood of a Trade Between us: I don't see it being a very good chance. One thing that could happen may be something like Odom for Hickson or Thompson but is that really a good deal if Odom is just here for a year? He's definitely not a long term solution, with his best years behind him. The Mavericks also have very little motivation to trade their nice young pieces like Beaubois, Dominique Jones or Ian Mahinmi aside from being part of a package in a much bigger deal.

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Source: Tom Martin, The Dream Shake

  • Team Needs:

    (from most-needed to least-needed): Small forward, center, power forward, shooting guard, point guard.

  • Who Would You Want:

    I think Houston would trade anyone (perhaps even Lowry) to acquire Cousins, but other than him, I'd imagine Houston would be interested in Chuck Hayes (for obvious reasons, given his prior affiliation and his leadership qualities) and Jason Thompson, who they could perhaps acquire for far less than he'd go for a few years ago. Patrick Patterson, Luis Scola and Donatas Motiejunas are still in the picture for next year, but if Houston could get him for a good price, I could see Thompson as a potential target. Do I think it's likely? No, but compared to the others, I'd say it's the best bet. Don't see Thornton, Hickson or Jimmer matching up with what Morey likes to do.

  • Who's Available, Who's Not:
    It's tough to call a Rocket "untouchable" but I think Lowry comes the closest. He's the youngest among Houston's best players and he's established himself as team leader. Among the availables, I'd say anyone is up for grabs, but if Morey is looking to swing anyone specifically, it'd be Scola, Budinger, Dragic and then maybe even Parsons (sell high on a rookie? wouldn't put it past Morey). Martin is an interesting case -- I think Morey still likes him, but that's only with particular parts around him. And obviously, Martin's value has dropped from his career year last season. Might be tough to deal him.
  • My Analysis: The Rockets have desperately been trying to find a star to trade all these assets for. They almost succeeded this summer with getting Pau Gasol in the nixed-Chris Paul trade. The players I'd want from Houston are the ones they probably wouldn't trade, at least not for what we're selling. Chase Budinger is intriguing. He's athletic and he can shoot and rebound. The advanced stats like him as a team defender, if not a good individual one. Terrence Williams is another guy with a lot of potential but too much inconsistency to date.
  • Likelihood of trade happening between us: I assume that Houston would want an upgrade if they traded for a big. that's why they went so hard after Pau and Nene this summer. We can't really provide that upgrade. I would be interested in a deal for Budinger, but I'm not sure we'd be able to give Houston what it wants, particularly since they'll have lost a big piece to their already weak wing rotation.

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Source: Tom Lorenzo, Straight Outta Vancouver

  • Team Needs:

    Our team needs, first and foremost, a shooter to help stretch the floor. The Grizzlies are dead last in the league in three-point shooting, making just 3.7 per game. We absolutely could use another shooter on this team. The occasional threes from Mike Conley and O.J. Mayo just aren't going to cut it. Secondly, we could use a veteran point guard to back up Conley. I think Josh Selby has a nice future ahead of him, but I'd feel more comfortable making a run at the title knowing that we didn't have to count on a rookie who's seen only limited action this season to play a pivotal role in running our offense. Those, aside from getting Zach Randolph back from injury, are our two biggest needs.

  • Who Would You Want:

    I think any of your "touchable" guards would be of interest to the Grizzlies. Let me re-phrase that: any of your young guards. Namely, Marcus Thornton, Isaiah Thomas and Jimmer Fredette. Now, while they aren't deemed untouchable, it's not likely that the Grizzlies have the pieces to send to the Kings to make such a deal. We have helpful pieces, but outside of Marc Gasol, who is our untouchable, I can't imagine we'd be able to find much common ground to pry a young guard from your roster. That said, there might be some interest in Dante Greene as a shooting, scoring wing. He'd fit a nice need. Plus, given his contract, as opposed to guys like John Salmons and Francisco Garcia, who would certainly "help today, but hurt tomorrow," he'd make more sense.
    The appeal in Fredette, Thomas and Thornton is natural for this Grizzlies team. Of course getting back Fredette or Thomas goes against the desire for veteran point guard help, but there's no doubt that the help on offense would be a welcome addition. Remember, we are among the top defensive teams in the NBA. We can live with a so-called deficient point guard on the defensive side of the ball. Offensively, though, we need some second-unit punch. As for Thornton, he'd be a perfect fit. What would it take to get him?!

  • Who's Available, Who's Not:
    O.J. Mayo will forever be available. So, if you're interested, just make sure you get the paperwork in on time! I also believe that, if the right deal came along, Rudy Gay could be had. More so because of the money and length of contract, but as we know those types of deals are tough to match. It's hard to find another team who is willing to take on a contract like that without us having to take back a contract of equal -- how can I put it -- "depth" and/or players who aren't as talented as the player you're sending. Who, in this case, is Rudy Gay. Find us the right offer, though, and he could be had.

    As for untouchables, it starts with Gasol. We hold him at a pretty high regard, and for good reason. He's our All-Star and, arguably, our most valuable player. The money for Gasol is right, his role is perfect for our system, so we just have no interest in moving him at all.
  • At Full Health, are the Grizzlies a Contender?:
    With a healthy Zach Randolph we are absolutely a title contender. Probably not a favorite, but it's hard to argue against the Grizzlies as, at the very least, at team capable of reaching the Western Conference Finals. And to me, that makes us a title contender. The strategy is simple: get to the WCF and go from there. Last season, without Rudy Gay and much depth off the bench, we were one win away from getting there. With a more comfortable Mike Conley running the offense, Marc Gasol another year established, a healthy Rudy Gay, Tony Allen doing what Tony does, some nice depth off the bench and, soon, a healthy Zach Randolph, we definitely have a chance to make some serious noise. Now, if we could get a shooter and a backup point guard, I'd feel even better about this team.
  • My Analysis: Memphis is just a solid, solid team, but they don't have much flexibility. Their core of Gay, Randolph, Gasol and Conley are all locked into big long term contracts, and I'm not sure any of those guys are available unless its for around equal value. As much as some of us might want a "Evans for Gay" deal, the fact is that right now Gay is much better, and fills a bigger position of need as a true Small Forward. The Grizzlies do lack a bit of bench depth, and as mentioned by Tom could really use scoring from there, and would probably be willing to give up OJ Mayo to do so.
  • Likelihood of a Trade: I don't see a move being done here, and in fact can see the Grizzlies staying completely put at the deadline and simply waiting for Zach Randolph to return and see where they go from there.

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Source: Rohan Cruyff, At the Hive

  • Team Needs:

    In terms of this season itself, none. The team will be looking to add some sort of future asset - whether that's cap space, a '12 pick, or something further out - if it opts to move any talent before the deadline.

  • Who Would You Want:

    Since the Hornets are in the earliest of rebuilding stages (only Eric Gordon and Gustavo Ayon can be considered real "keepers" among this bunch), it's tough to know what they may target positionally. So, again, draft picks and future assets would seem their most likely target here (I'll go ahead and write off the excellent Isaiah Thomas as well as, sob, Marcus Thornton from the Kings' trade plans). I'm not a fan of anyone else on the roster in particular although I really, really, really wanted New Orleans to draft Hassan Whiteside.

  • Who's Available, Who's Not:
    Everyone outside of Gustavo Ayon, I'd imagine, is... touchable. That includes Eric Gordon. I know that sounds a bit weird, but I think it's very unlikely the team gets fair value back for Ayon if they moved him; I simply don't think he's on many people's radars. Then again, I'm just inanely inserting my own theoretical management of the team here. Gordon's a known quantity, and it's possible the team doesn't want the headache of negotiating with him in the summer. Everyone else - Emeka Okafor, Trevor Ariza, Chris Kaman (especially Chris Kaman) - will have a price, I'd guess.
  • My Analysis: Despite their record, this is not a team without talent. Eric Gordon is the clear centerpiece (as I do think they'll retain him), but Trevor Ariza, Chris Kaman, Emeka Okafor and Carl Landry are all guys that can be starters on a good team in the NBA. That being said, the only thing New Orleans should be doing is looking to build up their asset base while shedding contracts and becoming as flexible as possible. Chris Kaman is an expiring contract, so while they'd probably love to be able to get something for them, I'm sure they'd be fine just letting his contract expire on the team. Emeka Okafor is a middle-of-the-pack defensive big man whose production has been slipping the last couple years. He has two more years left on his contract after this one, with an Early Termination Option in 2013/14 that he probably won't exercise since he's not getting $14.5 million anywhere else. Trevor Ariza would be an upgrade at Small Forward, but while he's a good defender, his offense is incredibly inconsistent and he takes far too many three point shots despite being a poor shooter.
  • Likelihood of a trade between us: It's possible. Maybe the Kings want to get something for a guy like Hickson and trade him to New Orleans and take on Kaman's contract. I don't think the team would be all that interested in Okafor because of his contract. As for New Orleans' young guys, they have absolutely no motivation to trade them aside from other young guys, and besides Eric Gordon I don't see an upgrade for us in those players.

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Source: Andrew A. McNeill, 48MinutesofHell

  • Team Needs:

    The Spurs need a big man who can block shots and defend the pick-and-roll. There's not many guys on available who can do both, so I'd say pick-and-roll coverage is more important.

  • Who Would You Want:

    I'd say Jason Thompson. I think he's probably the most likely to fill the Spurs' needs.

  • Who's Available, Who's Not:
    Pretty much everyone on the roster is available in one way or another, outside of Duncan, Parker and Ginobili. Parker may be available in the summer, but he's far too valuable to the team right now with Ginobili's injury concerns and Parker's high level of play.
  • Do the Spurs Have One More Run in Them or is it Time to Rebuild?
    The Spurs are exploring deals with the idea that they still have another run left in them. But at the same time, they're not willing to jeopardize their future in the long-run for one last shot.
  • My Analysis: The Spurs are probably going to be a team that stands pat at the deadline and see how much damage they can do in the playoffs with the team they have before deciding where to go from there after the season when Duncan's contract expires and he might retire. At that point, Tony Parker could become available, and he's still an elite guard, having one of the best seasons of his career. The Spurs also have some nice young pieces. I really like the impact Splitter has whenever he has gotten minutes this year, but I'm not sure the Spurs would consider Jason Thompson and upgrade over him.
  • Likelihood of a trade between us: This is another team I could see doing absolutely nothing at the deadline, and if they did decide to trade, I don't think it'd be with the Kings.

Northwest Division:

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Source: Jeremy Wagner, Roundball Mining Company

  • Team Needs:

    For most teams that is an easy question to answer. For the Denver Nuggets, not so much. Denver is at two, three or even four deep at every position and has a roster chalk full of NBA caliber players. Ideally Denver could fuse some of their players together to make a Voltron like machine of domination. Timofous Kougov, Rudson Hamilfflaloler or especially Danileth Fallinaried would be fantastic players. If there is a weak spot, it is center and ultimately Denver will look go cash in on some of their depth to package for a dominant big man.

  • Who Would you Want:

    With Andre Miller in the last year of his contract, age, and apparent disinterest in staying in Denver after the season the Nuggets could look to add a backup point guard in order to give rookie Julyan Stone more time to mature so Isaiah Thomas could be a player of interest to Denver. Jason Thompson is an intriguing big man with a short affordable contract that might be attractive to the Nuggets although Denver is has the slightly below average big man role well covered. A swap of Chris Andersen and another player for Francisco Garcia could get Denver out of the last year of Birdman's contract without having to amnesty him.

  • Who's Available, Who's Not:
    I do not think any player on the Nuggets roster is untouchable. The team has recently made long term commitments to Arron Afflalo, Nene and Danilo Gallinari and it appears Ty Lawson will be next following the 2012-13 season. Plus rookie Kenneth Faried has forced his way into the rotation and looks like a big time keeper. I suspect any player can be had for the right deal. As far as players Denver would be more willing to trade than others I do not think Chris "Birdman" Andersen, Rudy Fernandez, Corey Brewer and Al Harrington are in Denver's long term plans.
  • What's Going on with Wilson Chanlder?
    I think Denver’s interest in Chandler is more as an asset that other teams covet than a true foundation of the franchise going forward. Chandler is blocked by Gallinari and Afflalo, two players the team is higher on than Chandler. If they can retain him at a reasonable price, I would expect them to lock him into a long term deal, which would make Fernandez and Brewer even more expendable. If Chandler has not agreed to a deal by now, you can expect him to sit out the season and try his hand at restricted free agency this summer the outcome of which will likely be a sign and trade. As discussed above, I doubt the Kings would be a very good sign and trade partner unless they have a first round pick to spare. However, the Kings could potentially offer Chandler a large enough offer sheet for Denver to balk at retaining him.
  • My Analysis: The Nuggets are exactly as Jeremy described, a very deep team that doesn't have any stars but is simply fulled with solid players. I really like a lot of their players, but they just made long-term commitments to them. Of their potentially available players, I don't see a guy the Kings would be too interested them. Corey Brewer is a better Donté Greene. Andre Miller would provide a veteran playmaker, but he's an expiring contract that'd likely leave and isn't worth giving up much for because of that. The Birdman would be the shotblocker the Kings currently don't have, and with Kenneth Faried's recent emergence, I could see Andersen's role in Denver being mitigated. I don't want any part of Al Harrington, another big contract for an aging veteran.
  • Likelihood of a trade between us: Of all the Nuggets trade possibilities I think are the most realistic, one for Chris Andersen for cap relief along with a young asset like Hickson/Greene/Whiteside is possible, since it'd give the Kings another rebounding, workhorse big that can block shots. Aside from that, I don't see much happening.

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Source: Nate Arch, Canis Hoopus

  • Team Needs:

    A competent wing player, a competent wing player, and a competent wing player.

    A strong argument could be made for the idea that the Wolves are a playoff team being held below the 8th seed by negative production from the wing. Wes Johnson is one of the worst 2-3 regulars in the league. Martell Webster is close to average at his very best. Derrick Williams can't guard 3s. Luke Ridnour is a starting 2 guard.

    Their need is obvious and pressing and completely solvable all at the same time. It is the #1 thing holding them back from the playoffs.

    The kicker for the Wolves is that they need this wing player to be something of a low-usage, rebounding, defending, and can hit an open 3 kind of guy. Think Nic Batum. Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love are going to do the lion's share of work on the offensive end. They don't need someone to go one-against-the-world. They need a guy who can sit in the corner and hit all of those Ricky-assisted open threes that Martell and Wes miss on a regular basis while being a plus rebounder and defender. You know, everything David Kahn thought he was getting in Wes Johnson...but actually happening.

    Unfortunately for the prospects of a Wolves/Kings trade, this player doesn't exist on the Kings's roster.

  • Who Would You Want:

    In terms of actual production, nobody. Maybe Chuck Hayes if the Wolves were hard-up for a 4/5.

  • Who's Available, Who's Not:
    Love and Rubio are completely untouchable. Williams would need a king's ransom in return (i.e. the centerpiece of something like a Pau trade). Pek could probably be had for a nice young player. Everybody else is available for a decent ask, especially Michael Beasley and Anthony Randolph.
  • My Analysis: The Wolves are where we want to be, a young team in the playoff hunt, with assets and flexibility to get better long term. Minnesota has reportedly been looking for scoring wings/guards or another star to pair with Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio. The Kings can provide the one in Marcus Thornton, but definitely not the other. One player that is potentially available for what the Kings would offer is Michael Beasley. Beasley, if nothing else, can score and knock down threes. He can play either the three or the four and would fill a big need for the Kings off the bench. Luke Ridnour would be an upgrade at the point but not a big enough one to give up anything of value. I also am still intrigued by Wes Johnson, but talking with Nate, it seems that he could challenge Travis Outlaw for the title of worst Small Forward in the NBA.
  • Likelihood of a trade between us: Would the Kings be interested in Michael Beasley? We know that Geoff Petrie isn't afraid to take guys with problems if he believes they have the talent, and Beasley definitely has that. He'll be a RFA after this season, so the Kings could match any offers. But aside from Beasley, and maaaybe Ridnour, I don't see the Kings interested in any other (available) Timberwolves. Anthony Randolph? He still hasn't figured it out after 4 years, so you have to ask yourself if he ever will.

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Source: Royce Young, Daily Thunder

  • Team Needs:

    Only need the Thunder really have is backup point guard, and that's not that much of a need. But I do think if the opportunity was there to improve at that position, Oklahoma City would take advantage of it.

  • Who Would You Want:

    Can't really say one sticks out. But I did sort of like the idea of OKC putting in a claim on Travis Outlaw. His contract isn't all that favorable, especially considering OKC's long term plans, but with Thabo Sefolosha's foot injury still bothering him, Kevin Durant is lacking much help behind him. But like I said, there really isn't an obvious player there for OKC.

  • Who's Available, Who's Not:
    I think it's just the veterans (that are available), really. Nazr Mohammed and Royal Ivey. Though I could see OKC dealing Reggie Jackson if the right deal presented itself.
  • My Analysis: The Thunder currently have the best record in the Western Conference and 2nd best in the NBA. I think they're doing just fine with the guys they have.
  • Likelihood of a trade between us: Yeah, there's nothing going on here.

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Source: Ben Golliver, Blazers Edge

  • Team Needs:

    The Blazers need a point guard first and foremost. A long-term answer at center. An upgrade at the 2 wouldn't hurt either.

  • Who Would You Want:

    Chuck Hayes, for all the obvious reasons. The Blazers have Moneyball tendencies and his skillset is appreciated for sure. Not sure about any of the others.

  • Who's Available, Who's Not:
    Everyone on the Blazers is available to some degree, except LaMarcus Aldridge. Nicolas Batum is less available than the others
  • Can We Have Batum? Pleeeeeeeeeeease?:
    The Blazers will be highly motivated to retain Batum this summer. I think they will try to keep both Wallace and Batum but ultimately stick with Batum. They did not extend him in January with the understanding they could pay more to retain him this summer. They will match any reasonable offers (and probably slightly less than reasonable offers as well). They highly value his play, personality and future. Wallace could absolutely move prior to the deadline, as he's Portland best trade piece as he combines high-level talent plus a flexible contract situation (player option for next year that he will likely exercise, making him a 2012 Free Agent).
  • My Analysis: Portland is in kind of a weird situation. They're good enough not to be rebuilding in the lottery, but they're not good enough to be making any title runs in the near future. As of this writing, the Blazers have fallen below .500 and are last in the Northwest Division. The could be very active at the deadline. Gerald Wallace or Nicolas Batum would be amazing fits for the Kings at Small Forward, but as Ben made clear, Batum is likely unavailable, and Wallace will likely become a Free Agent this summer so it's unwise to make a big offer for him when you could simply try to sign him this summer. The Kings were inexplicably interested in Jamal Crawford this summer, and the Blazers are now shopping him. That should tell you how effective he's been.
  • Likelihood of a trade between us: The Kings are kind of silly sometimes, so I could still see them making a move for Crawford even if it makes no sense to me. As for Wallace, it took two first rounders for Portland to get him in the first place, so if they did look to move him, they're probably going to want a return on investment that we shouldn't/couldn't give.

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Source: Amar, SLC Dunk

  • Team Needs:

    This Utah Jazz team has a number of strengths. Those seem to rely mostly upon having a strong group of four bigs. Most everything else is a serious problem. Primary amongst all of them are needs for more solid perimeter play. Utah continues to take one on the chin from opposing point guards (+6.6 ppg more than their season averages, +8.0 if you are a non-star point guard), the team can't stop dribble penetration, and this has been a problem for a while now. On the flip side of things, the Jazz are frankly unable to play in this era of NBA basketball when they shoot three pointers so poorly. The Jazz are second last in three pointers attempted, last in three pointers made, and last in three point percentage. The top two three point threats this year are Raja Bell (who never shoots), and Alec Burks (who never plays). The next three guys are C.J. Miles, Devin Harris, and Gordon Hayward. The gross inability of the Jazz to spread the floor means more double teams on the Jazz bigs - and the Jazz bigs are the only reason why the team even has wins this year.

    If you look beyond the need for better on ball defense on point guards, and an overhaul of the three point attack, there are still areas the Jazz could improve upon. General Manager Kevin O'Connor has done a fine job in acquiring assets; however, this roster appears to be cobbled together without any true idea of how the parts fit with one another. An example of this would be how the Jazz, after trading for 19 year old 2010 #3 draft pick bigman Derrick Favors - went ahead of used their 2011 #3 draft pick on another 19 year old bigman: Enes Kanter. If the Oklahoma City Thunder did something like that, it would be drafting a high scoring small forward the year after drafting Kevin Durant - instead of complimenting him with a point guard in Russell Westbrook. Oklahoma City did not do that, but the Jazz did. Utah needs to improve on how the parts fit together. A possible need would be for a veteran bigman, who armed with a professional attitude and many years of NBA experience, could mentor the younger guys - all the while being content to come off the bench. Right now the Jazz start Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap. Both are fine players, and both players will always force Head Coach Tyrone Corbin's hand when it comes to who gets to play big minutes on this team, for as long as either of them are on the team. As a result, for as long as they are both on the team Favors and Kanter will both be subjected to more time on the bench then they perhaps deserve.
  • Who Would You Want:

    There are a lot of interesting players on the Kings, moreover, there are a lot of things to be happy about as a Kings fan. Four players that immediately catch my eye are Marcus Thornton, John Salmons, Chuck Hayes, and obviously, Jimmer Fredette. Of course, this is my view of who the Jazz should be interested in - the Jazz brass clearly has different opinions of the type of players we need to go after (hint: guys like Josh Howard and Jamaal Tinsley). Marcus, John (though having a down season), and Jimmer are all guys who can spread the floor. You absolutely can't leave any of them open on the perimeter. They'll make you pay if you do. I know from firsthand experience as all three HAVE hurt us from deep over their careers. Marcus and John are both better defenders than they are given credit for. And both can create their own shot. Right now the Jazz offense stalls more frequently than a WWI biplane. Those types of players are invaluable. Marcus makes a lot of money, but thankfully, the Jazz will have a lot of cap space in the next few seasons. Salmon's contract was front loaded, but still in the higher range for a bench player. Moving either would help (I presume) streamline who gets minutes on the Kings, and getting either would immediately help the Jazz spread the floor and defend guards. Sure, you can't throw them out there to guard point guards 40 minutes a night, but it's a start in the right direction for a Jazz team that appears to have no defensive instincts outside of fouling guys.

    Chuck Hayes is a player you can't help fall in love with. He's professional, he's a tough guy, he has carved out a solid career for himself despite significant limitations. Outside of Karl Malone, who has burned all bridges with the franchise he built, there is no one else I'd rather have teach Enes Kanter how to make a living in this league. Kanter is a throwback big, like Hayes. And both are far from athletic beasts like Dwight Howard. Few guys box out better than Hayes, and few guys understand how to play without the ball better, at his size / skill level. Best of all: Hayes wouldn't demand to start here - unlike our current veteran bigs.

    As for Jimmer - well - he may not be a lock down defender at the point guard spot, but the kid has a lot of range. And he's pretty popular here. The Jazz team petitioned the NBA to chance the schedule so we'd get one more home game this season against the Kings - and the NBA did so. I'm sure the Jazz had to give the NBA head office some type of bounty for it, but it only goes to show you how highly the Jazz brass regards Jimmer. His life would be hell in Utah though, under the microscope. I love his three point shooting, but I'm not sold on his ability to run an NBA team. I could not in good conscience e-mail this back to you without making passing mention of him though. Some BYU alumn in the Jazz fanbase would string me up.

  • Who's Available, Who's Not:
    This Jazz team is a team searching for an identity. Furthermore, the front office has done little to figure out who to keep and who to move. That said, I would say EVERYONE is available, except: Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Earl Watson, Enes Kanter and Alec Burks. However, I believe the Jazz would probably append that list to be just Hayward, Favors, and Kanter. The tricky issue isn't which guys are available; but rather, which guys other teams would actually want. A team trying to get over the top who needs a 2nd or 3rd scorer - and willing to pay a lot of money for it - could take a good long look at Al Jefferson or Paul Millsap. Outside of them, and outside of our youth, there isn't much on our roster to get excited about.
  • My Analysis: The Jazz have been a surprise this year with how competitive they've been. They're incredibly deep in the frontcourt, with Al Jefferson and Millsap starting and young guys Favors and Kanter as backups. They could definitely use help at the other positions, particularly at guard where they've had to rely on Earl Watson way too much. I honestly believe Jimmer Fredette has more value to Utah than other teams because of his marketing appeal.
  • Likelihood of a trade between us: I wouldn't give up Jimmer to Utah unless it was part of a package for someone like Millsap (who I much prefer to Al Jefferson). We also can't really offer the Jazz any upgrades at the wings.

Pacific Division:

Gsw_medium

Source: Rasheed Malek, Warriors World

  • Team Needs:

    The Warriors team needs are In the frontcourt. They desperately need a defensive minded Center who can come in and bring a constant presence on the defensive end of the court. Ekpe Udoh is forced to play out of position at the Center spot because the Warriors have no other option. And no, we don't consider Andris Biedrins a legit option for anything basketball related.

  • Who Would You Want:

    I've been a Francisco Garcia fan since his days at the University of Louisville, so, I would love to see him on the Warriors. They need additional players who can handle the rock and help initiate the offense. Currently they only have Steph Curry as the sole person who can adequately handle the ball.

  • Who's Available, Who's Not:
    Everyone should be available except David Lee because Warriors Owner Joe Lacob loves Lee and his hollow stats. They would love to move Monta for a big 2-guard, ideally Rudy Gay but Memphis won't do that deal. Fans want Biedrins gone asap but the price to get a team to take him is probably Steph Curry or Klay Thompson and the Warriors won't even think about that.
  • My Analysis: The Warriors seem to be less attached to Steph Curry than they are to Monta Ellis for some reason, but only as part of a much bigger package (i.e. for Dwight Howard/Rajon Rondo/Chris Paul). I really like Dorell Wright though, and if he's available, the King should definitely look into it. He's a knock down three point shooter at the wing and he's locked into a very reasonable contract. Brandon Rush is a similar player, but he'll be a RFA this summer so you could go after him then if you want.
  • Likelihood of a trade between us: Despite Rasheed's personal interest in Francisco Garcia, I think the Warriors would be heavily interested in both Jason Thompson and Hassan Whiteside for their size. They completely ruined their offseason this summer by trying to go all out on Tyson Chandler and DeAndre Jordan. Thompson/Whiteside aren't nearly as valuable as those two, but they could still pull something from the Warriors I think. Not sure it'd be worth it though.

Lac_medium

Source: Peter Kim, The No Look Pass

  • Team Needs:

    The Clippers need a reliable starting shooting guard, preferably one who can play solid perimeter defense. A solid shooter would also be a welcomed addition considering the attention that Blake and Paul receive. In addition to those two things, the Clippers could use another reliable scorer off the bench along with Mo Williams

  • Who Would You Want:

    The Clippers were really looking for a 7-footer and opted against the undersized Craig Smith so that would put Chuck Hayes out of the question. A low-risk low reward type of player that the Clippers might be interested in would be Hassan Whiteside, He's a raw DeAndre Jordan type that might not have an immediate impact but could help the team in the future. The rest of Kings are players who address some of the Clippers' needs or have contracts that the Clippers would rather not take on.

  • Who's Available, Who's Not:
    Untouchable - Blake Griffin/Chris Paul. Caron Butler and Mo Williams aren't likely to be traded but the rest of the Clippers would likely be considered available.
  • My Analysis: Blake Griffin should be a Sacramento King! But that's ancient history. The Clippers have gone from joke to intriguing to legitimate in a very short time span. This is a team that will be contending for titles in the next few years if they add a couple more pieces.
  • Likelihood of a trade between us: The Kings cannot provide those pieces, not for what the Clippers will be giving.

Lal_medium

Source: Rey Moralde, The No Look Pass

  • Team Needs:

    Team needs? It's no secret that the roster outside of the big three of
    Kobe, Pau, and Bynum are weak. Still, PG and SF are the team's biggest
    needs (though, yes, the whole bench needs upgrading). Quite a contrast
    from last year.

  • Who Would You Want:

    Even though the Kings have a glut of small forwards, none of them
    particularly interest me. On the PG front, I would probably take a
    flier on Isaiah Thomas. Yes, he's small but he is a sparkplug that the
    Lakers sorely need. I get that Jimmer could be exciting but he hasn't
    played D. At all. Amongst the big guys, Jason Thompson still intrigues
    me even though he hasn't been the greatest recently. And Chuck
    Hayes... everyone can use a rough-and-tumble dude like Chuck Hayes.
    He's not tall as a center, yes, but his tree trunks he calls legs
    make him practically immovable. Yeah, the Lakers PROBABLY don't need
    big men as much as PG and SF... but like I said, the whole bench needs
    upgrading.

  • Who's Available, Who's Not:
    As for who's untouchable for the Lakers? Well, the Big Three are
    untouchable. Come on now. If DeMarcus and Tyreke are untouchable, then
    Kobe, Pau, and Bynum are as well.
  • My Analysis: Pau Gasol would be a nice addition wouldn't he? But the Lakers would want Tyreke Evans or DeMarcus Cousins or even both for him, so that's kind of a non-starter. Pau by himself isn't taking us anywhere. As for the other Lakers they're largely unattractive assets.
  • Likelihood of a trade between us: The only way I see the Kings and Lakers being involved in a trade is if the Lakers need another team to take a contract. The Kings would need picks and cash in return. The Kings and Lakers won't be making any straight up trades with each other though.

Pho_medium

Source: 7footer, Bright Side of the Sun

  • Team Needs:

    At the moment the Phoenix Suns are in need of both a go-to scorer in the starting unit (beyond Gortat in the pick and roll with Nash) and also a quality back-up point guard who can efficiently run the 2nd unit. The Suns have been lacking in an efficient wing shooter/scorer since Jason Richardson was traded to the Orlando Magic as part of the deal that sent Marcin Gortat to Phoenix last season. Grant Hill is great but his main responsibility is as a defender, not a scorer, and Jared Dudley is a good enough shooter but he lacks the athleticism and speed to slash and drive to the basket consistently.

    As for the back-up point guard position, most Suns fans are fairly realistic about their expectations...they aren't expecting our back-up pg to be the second coming of Nash or anything, but the two guys we currently have running the point for the second unit, Sebastian Telfair and Ronnie Price, have both had a great deal of difficulty quarterbacking the offense and setting up their teammates. The offense seems to grind to a halt anytime Nash goes to the bench, and the team has lost quite a few leads in the second quarter for this very reason, which in turn has also cost us some games.

  • Who Would You Want:

    Aside from Tyreke Evans and Demarcus Cousins, the Suns would probably have the most interest in Marcus Thornton and Jimmer Fredette. Both of these players would fit both of our biggest areas of need that I identified above. Although Thornton wasn’t mentioned as untouchable, I’m assuming he probably is so I won’t spend too much time on him. Thornton is a stud at two-guard, and while Jimmer was being used a lot as a two guard in Sacramento as well, the Suns were very interested in drafting him as a point guard like he played at BYU. I believe he could be very successful at that position while studying under Nash and he would likely be an instant upgrade over the two back-ups the Suns currently have. I think a trade for Jimmer is much more likely now seeing that he has fallen out of the rotation in Sacramento recently, and I believe the system they run in Phoenix would benefit him much more.

    The one thing that the Suns’ FO has been adamant about is keeping their salary cap low going into free agency next season. They want to have maximum financial flexibility to sign between one and three impact players in the off-season, so they are doing everything they can to avoid adding any more salary between now and then. Therefore, trading for players like John Salmons, Francisco Garcia, Chuck Hayes, and Travis Outlaw would likely be out of the question unless they are also moving a lengthy contract of their own like Hakim Warrick or Josh Childress in exchange for them. But Phoenix might be interested in some of the other players on the King’s roster that are either inexpensive or expiring contracts as complimentary trade pieces, such as Hassan Whiteside, Donte Greene, JJ Hickson, and/or Tyler Honeycutt.

  • Who's Available, Who's Not:
    The only players I believe the Suns would deem untouchable are Steve Nash and Marcin Gortat…and maybe Markieff Morris who has shown a lot of promise as a rookie thus far. Other than those players, I think everyone is available. Channing Frye (PF/C), Jared Dudley (SG/SF), Robin Lopez (C), Shannon Brown (SG) and Hakim Warrick (SF/PF), are probably the players with the most value that Phoenix has to offer…Even Josh Childress (SF) who has never fit the Suns’ system could be a viable option for the right team, but his $6 million per year contract could be too much for any potential suitors to gamble on. The Suns don’t have any marquee players available to trade with anyone at the moment, but there are quite a few role players that could be of value to a team looking to add depth at certain positions. Players like Robin Lopez, Hakim Warrick, and Shannon Brown are all underutilized on the Suns because of either the system they run or the players in front of them, but they could be valuable additions to the right team.

    I believe a deal for Jimmer Fredette could be a very realistic option for the Suns, and if I were going to try to make a trade work between these two teams, I would think that some combination of players between Jimmer Fredette, Donte Greene, and/or JJ Hickson of the Kings; and Robin Lopez, Hakim Warrick, and/or Shannon Brown of the Suns would be involved.
  • My Analysis: I've always liked Marcin Gortat and thought the Kings should have been trying to get him when he was available from the Magic, because now he's highly unavailable as he's just been awesome in Phoenix. The Kings could definitely use some shooters and Phoenix definitely has those. Jared Dudley would be an awesome solution at the Small Forward thanks to his combination of youth, defense and shooting.
  • Likelihood of a trade between us: The Suns are one of my favorite potential trade partners in the NBA because they have quite a few players I want that could be available. Even a small trade like Travis Outlaw for Josh Childress is something I'd explore. Childress is still talented but he hasn't worked out in Phoenix. It would require the Kings to make a larger salary commitment there without know if Childress is worth it, but I think he is. A guy like Dudley would be harder to get, but if you can, I'd definitely try.
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