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Magloire For a Pittance

Various rumors have Milwaukee chasing Golden State's Troy Murphy and Utah's Carlos Boozer in exchange for Jamaal Magloire.

Murphy ($50 million over five seasons) and Boozer ($47 million over four seasons) are said to be a bit too expensive for Bucks GM Larry Harris, though.

The team needs power forward help. Right now, it's Joe Smith there. No offense to Joe Smith (I'm a Maryland guy - in high school, I argued up and down my street that Smith was better than Tim Duncan), but that team needs more than Joe Smith alongside Andrew Bogut.

Why not Kenny Thomas, who is owed a relatively paltry $30 million over the next four seasons.

A comparison of last season's stats:

Player     Age  G MPG Pts/40   RbR   Usg  TS% ORtg  DRtg
Thomas, K.  28 82  28   13.1  15.8  15.2 .539  107   103
Murphy, T.  25 74  34   16.4  16.5  17.3 .529  110   105
Boozer, C.  24 33  31   20.9  16.8  22.4 .585  113   105
Smith, J.   30 44  20   17.1  15.4  18.2 .533  110   106

You have T.J. Ford, Michael Redd, Bobby Simmons, and Andrew Bogut presumably in your starting five. Do you need another scorer? No. You need a rebounder. You need a defender. You need a garbageman.

Troy Murphy is the furthest thing from a garbageman I can imagine, and Carlos Boozer is a worse defender than his stats indicate. Both are far and away better players than Kenny Thomas - anyone who argues otherwise is either dumb or Kenny Thomas's mom. They're younger, they're better on the boards, they both have a semi-attractive offensive game.

But to this amateur analyst, Kenny Thomas is a much better fit for Milwaukee than Murph or Booz. (By the way, both of those guys' name require that they be playing in Boston.)

Kenny Thomas for Jamaal Magloire works for the Kings, as well. Sacramento desparately needs three things this off-season:

  1. Some semblance of height in the frontcourt
  2. A not-embarassing back-up for Mike Bibby
  3. Relief from the Kenny Thomas/Shareef Abdur-Rahim logjam
This deal accomplishes two of those goals. Magloire is a legit 7-footer who averages over a block per game in his career and is probably a top 5 rebounder in the league.

By losing Kenny Thomas, Abdur-Rahim gets back into the starting lineup, no questions asked. Magloire can step in to play the role Shareef did post-jaw last season - be the third guy in a three-guy bigs rotation. When Reef takes a breather, Magloire and Brad Miller hold down the frontcourt. Reef comes in for Miller, and Magloire and Reef hold down the frontcourt. When you need offense, Reef and Miller are out there. When you need defense, Magloire and the hotter of the others are out there.

(Of course, this would all work under Rick Adelman's rotational system. Musselman might need a fourth member of the PF/C cartel. This could be Vitaly Potapenko, Corliss Williamson, or some draft pick. Maybe even Jamal Sampson. It could happen. Dreams do come true. Even for Jamal Sampson.)

Magloire is signed only through the end of 2006-07, so this would/could be a Bonzi-like rental/audition. At the absolute lowest level, it gets the Kings free of Kenny Thomas, his long contract, and his menacing scowl.

(This next part will push this scenario over the top of viability, if it's not already there: Milwaukee has been rumored to be thinking about moving backup PG Maurice Williams, as well. Mo is 23 and could be reasonably described as a young Bobby Jackson without the defensive swagger. Mo shot 38 percent from three last season, and his per-40s for last season are 18 pts/8 assists/2.7 turnovers. Like Magloire, his defense isn't fantastic. But beggars can't be choosers! Magloire and Williams for Thomas and Sergei Monia? Thomas and the #19 pick? Thomas, the #19 pick, and next season's first-rounder? I would be ecstatic with any of these decisions.)

(One more note: If I could bet that any one player will be traded this offseason without question, it'd be Magloire. If I could bet that any two players will be traded this offseason without question, it'd be Magloire and Thomas. Is this not a no-brainer?)

(Okay, one more note about this scenario: Larry Harris and Geoff Petrie are not strangers: Sam Amick reported in November that the teams discussed swapping Thomas and Desmond Mason just before the season's start. Mason, of course, instead got dealt to New Orleans/Oklahoma City straight up for Magloire, where he sucked out loud. And Magloire ended up not fitting in well. Larry Harris: Listen to Geoff Petrie! The dude knows what he's talking about!)