Possible NBA Trade Deadline Maneuvers
by Trevor Whenham - 02/17/2009
The NBA trade deadline is now just a couple of days away. There is a whole lot of smoke this year, but it remains to be seen if there will be any fire. Shawn Marion and Jermaine O'Neal have switched spots, but they are he only big names to find new addresses so far. Because of the inaction, I decided to take it upon myself to make this deadline more interesting. What follows is a collection of potential trade deadline deals. Some of them are ones that I think are actually good ideas that would help both teams. Others are just ones that make me happy to think about. I'll leave it to you to decide which are which. Just think of it as a wish list with varied respect for reality:
Shaquille O'Neal - Shaq is in the twilight of his career, and Phoenix isn't going anywhere this year. The big man can still play, though, as evidenced by the All-Star Game. At the all-star festivities we also saw evidence of what should be obvious - Shaq has never gotten over Kobe. And vice versa. Those guys are still in love. Sure, they talk tough and all, but they both realize that they have never been nearly as good apart as they were together. The Lakers have their long-term solution in place with Andrew Bynum, but a short-term loan of Shaq would make the Lakers very hard to beat, and would let Shaq go out on top. He already knows the Lakers' system, so it would be reasonably seamless. The best part of this trade would be that we wouldn't have to hear these guys pretend they don't like each other any more.
Steve Nash - Since we've started dismantling the Suns we might as well keep at it. Steve Nash is a truly brilliant point guard who has been neutered by a system this year. That should change with the coaching change, but it won't be enough to get Nash to the NBA Finals. He certainly deserves that - he has played selflessly at a very high level for a long time now. Portland is desperate to find some veteran experience to maximize their young talent in the playoffs. They are looking at Andre Miller among others, but Nash would be so, so much better.
Chris Bosh - Bosh is one of the best players in the league, and really the only reason Raptors' fans have to watch their team. He's part of the ridiculously good 2010 free agent class, though, and Toronto has virtually no chance of re-signing him. By getting rid of him now they can at least extract some value from the situation. They won't get a full replacement for him, but something is better than nothing for a team who has a lot of rebuilding to do. I don't buy the reports that Amare Stoudemire could end up in Toronto in a three-way deal that would send Bosh to the Bulls, but I'd still like to see Bosh move.
Vince Carter - Word is that New Jersey is actively fielding offers for Carter. He'd be attractive, too - he's having a pretty good year. I can't stand Vince Carter. I think his attitude sucks, and I'd like to see him suffer. There is one perfect way to do that - send him to Toronto. There isn't a single person in that whole city who doesn't hate the guy after how he treated them, and time hasn't tempered their feelings. VC would hate every second of his return to Canada, and I'd love that.
Caron Butler - Washington says that Butler is untouchable. That kind of stupidity is why the Wizards are in the ugly spot that they are in. Only Sacramento has a worse record than the Wizards. Sure, the injury of Gilbert Arenas is partly to blame. There is more to it than that, though. This team is locked into some hefty contracts, and that has limited their flexibility. This team is better with Arenas, but they still aren't good. Butler would be attractive right now, and dumping him could give the team some much-needed flexibility to try to turn this mess around. Put simply - Butler just isn't good enough to be untouchable.
Marcus Camby - This is another one that doesn't make much sense. The Clippers have had multiple inquiries about Camby, but they say that he is untouchable. This is ridiculous. The Clippers are terrible, and that's not going to change in a hurry. Camby is playing very well, but he's 34 and he isn't the most durable guy in the league. If the Clippers were ever to turn things around, Camby isn't going to be around to be a part of it. By trading him now when his value is high the Clippers could get some pieces to help them be competitive. No one should be untouchable on a team that is 29.5 games out of first place after 53 games.