(Since everyone's in the mood to trade...)
Mike Bibby has a fat contract for two more years ($28 million) and a couple of extenuating issues:
- He had a terrible 2006-07. It could've been his wrist injury -- once he healed up, he looked much better on the court and in the boxscores. It could've been Ron Artest -- Bibby (and the team in general) played better on offense when Ron was out. It could've been Eric Musselman -- his system completely destroyed Brad Miller and Mike's standard roles on offense. Regardless of the reasons, teams will be understandably concerned about the poor year as MB inches toward age 30.
- He can opt out next summer. It's a foregone conclusion he will not even think about opting out this year -- he'd be forfeiting at least $6 million next year and $7 million in 2009. But if he has a great 2007-08, the chances of Mike opting out next summer to get some long-term security greatly increase. And that possible opt-out greatly affects his trade value.
Yes, I think he can get the Kings into the post-lottery first round without the Kings giving up their pick. Miami still makes the most sense -- they pick #21. Bibby for Jason Williams, Michael Doleac, and the pick works and is often discussed.
Atlanta is a possibility at #11, though we'd probably have to take back Speedy Claxton back (mid-level for four more years, 31 years old) and possibly find a third team. (And this is predicated on Billy Knight being dumb.)
The Clippers have #14 -- but who would they unload to make the numbers work? Geoff Petrie isn't taking Cuttino Mobley back. Corey Maggette looks like he's staying.
The Celtics' #5 is too high for a Bibby-for-Theo Ratliff-and-the-pick deal, so a swap including the Kings' #10 pick would have to be involved. Cleveland doesn't have a first-rounder. Philadelphia wouldn't want him.
Can he get the Kings a decent player?
The best two hopes would be Miami's Dorrell Wright or Cleveland's Anderson Varejao in a sign-and-trade, or possibly one of Boston's young guards (Delonte West). Bibby is not going to get an elite player, that's for sure.
Even if paired with the #10 -- which could get a lot of value at the tail end of the big talent zone with Julian Wright et al -- I can't see Bibby's talent overcoming his perils on the market. And if Petrie does package the pick with Bibby to land a big name or cap relief, then what do you do at point guard?
If Petrie isn't biting on the Heat trade (for either the pick or Wright) and/or doesn't want Anderson Varejao, then I can't see probable suitor for Bibby. What I really see is Mike Bibby as the opening day starter for the Kings, and a January or February trade for relief and youth. His market should be better by then.