In the era of Dub Nation that scholars humbly refer to as Before Kerr (BK), three dates dominated the calendar of Warriors fans: the NBA Draft Lottery, the actual NBA Draft and the ever-exciting NBA Trade Deadline. Selfishly, these 46-4 Warriors have taken the fun out of the NBA Trade Deadline; every hypothetical Warriors trade ends in “yea, but we are 46 and 4, and you can’t really change that”. I refuse to accept the idea of a boring Trade Deadline so this called for a different type of article.
So often the best hypothetical trades, the best “who says no” ideas, come up as two friends spitball ideas. That belief was the inspiration for this piece. A couple weeks ago my college roommate Trenton Scharrenberg brought the NBA’s version of a flowchart to my room. The flowchart detailed a four team trade that boggled my mind and made decent sense for every team involved. Better yet, debating the trade meant neither of us was doing our homework- a win-win situation. So, I have ask Trenton to join me on an exploration of hypothetical NBA trades. I have come up with two of my trades of my own- think of those two as this piece’s opening acts- and then I’ll let Trenton unleash his beast of a trade. Throughout we will be commenting on each other’s ideas, spitballing if you will. Trenton has not heard my trade ideas yet.
A little background on Trenton…
- On a resume level he is a sophomore finance student at Cal Poly SLO and was the QB on his high school’s football team.
- If Draymond sets the culture for the Warriors, Trenton sets the culture of our apartment. In related news, he owns a Draymond jersey.
- Trenton’s basketball credibility: he leads the Cal Poly Rec Center in game-winning threes and every week helps me narrow down my idea of what I should write about (he also proofreads and vets all my Tweets).
We created a shared Google Doc and put this piece together. Prepare yourself for some hypothetical trades!
Trent, welcome to Warriors World! In the intro I referred to you as Trenton, but some call you Trent. The readers need a definitive name to address you by in their fan mail for you. Your response?
Well, my mother prefers Trenton. So, to please her, let’s go with that. And thanks for having me. I’ve had my espresso shot and I’m ready to go.
Let’s go! Okay, for trade number one we are keeping it simple: the Knicks trade Carmelo Anthony to the Clippers for Blake Griffin. Think about it. Melo’s prime does not align with Kristaps Porzingis’ (the official mascot of our apartment) prime and Clippers need to win NOW. Does either team say no to this?
Well, this is an exciting start. I get to balance my general Carmelo hate with my Clippers hate. First off, bless the PorzinGod (feels necessary). I am not much of a Carmelo fan and have always thought he can’t be the guy to lead you to an NBA title, and if I was the Knicks I’d be looking to get rid of him and his massive contract to build the team around the greatest Latvian of all time (sorry Andris Biedrins). As for the Clips, they are sitting an hour plane flight south of a potential dynasty and see their title window falling shut. So on the outset, I can see both teams looking into this.
BIEDRINS! True story: during elementary or middle school (can’t remember, I’ve had too many espresso shots this week…we must go shopping together), there was an earthquake WHILE Biedrins shot a free-throw. Of course, Biedrins swished that one. The next one, AKA the one with no earthquake, he clanked. Seemed emblematic.
Well in that case, I’ll be hoping for a quake when you’re at the line in our next intramural game….
SHOTS FIRED! Back to the topic! I’d like to remind readers of this Doc Rivers quote from before the season…
“We’re right on the borderline,” Doc Rivers tells Grantland during a long sit-down at his office. “I have no problem saying that. I’m a believer that teams can get stale. After a while, you don’t win. It just doesn’t work.”
On the “stale-meter” the Clippers are the reason I need to go to the grocery store tomorrow! Blake just broke his hand punching a trainer and Blake plus DeAndre can’t play crunch-time play vs the Warriors. Melo at the four gives them a chance. Bring in Melo. So, are we in agreement on this?
I think this is example of the Warriors affecting the psyche of the league. We are talking about the Clippers like they have nothing going for them but they are 32-17, have two legitimate superstars and are sitting comfortably at the four seed. However, they’re 13 games back of the one seed and it feels like a big gap between them and the trio of Golden State, San Antonio, and OKC. Also, from the outside, their locker room morale seems to be bracing for something between imminent disaster and the Twitter boardroom a few weeks ago, so a potential shakeup seems positive. If they believe one shuffle can vault them to the level of the aforementioned franchises, then this seems like a good deal. Or they blow it up and try to get young talent and draft picks for Blake (and maybe even Paul) and set themselves up to be the best team whenever the Warriors magic dries up.
Sorry, give me a second, I’m thinking about the shattered state of my Twitter investment.
On the bright side for the Clippers, they’re got a proven GM in Doc Rivers! Oh wait….
Danny Leroux, Warriors World lead writer/editor and Cézanne of the Trade Checker: There are two other things to consider: Melo’s no-trade clause and the Clippers’ goals. While the Clippers are arguably the team Anthony would be most open to joining right now, it would be a big change for his family and he also gets a big trade bonus if he makes it to the off-season before getting moved. Also, Melo turns 32 this year and the younger Griffin is better than him already. The Knicks would love to do this and Doc may very well be open to it because he and I are very different people.
Okay, onto trade number two. We are keeping Blake involved because his hand is the size of a grapefruit right now, but we are upgrading our number of teams involved to three. The trade: Cleveland trades Kevin Love (the name everyone was waiting for!) to the Clippers, the Clippers trade Blake Griffin to the Portland Trail Blazers (you’re probably wondering, “Portland?!”), and Portland trades CJ McCollum (a starter on the Almost All-Star team) and Al-Farouq Aminu to Cleveland. My reasoning…
- The Clippers get Love, the perfect floor spacing power forward to DeAndre.
- Portland gets Blake Griffin. Sit back and imagine the Blake – Damian Lillard pick-and-roll.
- Cleveland gets the wings they need to compete vs the Warriors. Love has been a spot-up shooter there. Cleveland needs wings and Aminu gives them a lengthy wing that would let them go small, and McCollum could lead the bench unit (AKA less time for Dellavedova which would restore order to the universe). Am I crazy or is this reasonable?
Ohh, initial thought: checking out C.J. McCollum highlights is significantly more fun than the physics homework I should be doing. Blake seems like a great get for the Blazers. They’re teetering at the eighth seed right now, so trading two starters for heavyweight boxer wannabe Griffin might put them out of the playoffs this year, but it would put them a piece or two from potentially contending next year. For Portland, it seems like a good move if they’re tired of waiting for this team to develop and want to maximize Lillard.
I am completely jaded by the last GSW-CLE game in my analysis of Love. He just can’t hang when he has to guard Draymond (particularly when Dray was the screener on pick and rolls) so I’m not jumping out of my seat to pick him up. The winner of this might be Cleveland. It is admitting Love was a mistake but they get a younger version of JR Smith in McCollum and a solid piece in Aminu. I like Love to the Clips on paper primarily for the outside shooting. But I’d rather have Griffin (who seems better everytime I watch him play) and his improving offensive game over K-Love (who seems like he was better hiding up in Minnesota.)
Much of this depends on how impulsive Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is. Although, judging from this video he doesn’t seem like a patient man…
Okay, to our final trade. I do not know if the people are ready for this. The stage is yours.
Well the whole idea for this piece sprung up a few weeks ago when Jared sprinted into my room to discuss a hypothetical Blake for Kevin Durant trade. Thinking about the midterms I had coming up, I made the only rational decision to compound this thought and spend the rest of the night building a trade that was obscene yet could make sense for each team. The proverbial domino in this situation is the Thunder deciding they won’t get Durant back in the offseason and want to ensure they get value for him.
Here it is, our four team mega trade:
*Grabs another espresso shot (while admitting he has a caffeine problem)*
- The Clippers end up receiving Durant and Hassan Whiteside.
- The Heat get Blake and Serge Ibaka.
- The Washington Wizards add DeAndre Jordan and the anomaly that is Dion Waiters.
- And finally OKC picks up their value in the form of Chris Bosh, Bradley Beal, handsome Justise Winslow, and a first round pick from both the Clippers and Wizards.
Before Jared gives his thoughts, we acknowledge this would never happen in real life, but trust us that it’s worth looking through…
The mic drop of trades! We could call this the “Trade Heard Around the World”. That or I have just been listening to the musical Hamilton too much. I threw this trade in the NBA Trade Machine and made a couple small changes for the salaries to match up. The changes: Washington sends Nene (redundant now that they have DeAndre) to OKC and Garrett Temple to Clippers. This balances the salaries.
Before I analyze, a moment of silence for the time people were debating if DION WAITERS was better than Klay Thompson. Now, I like this deal for four reasons.
- OKC’s owners have a history of being money-driven. At the core of the reason they traded Harden is the fact didn’t want to pay the luxury tax. Getting Beal, Winslow, and the picks lets them sell the future (hope sells tickets!) and the present with Bosh. Also, if Durant wants out, this is an incredible haul.
- Good lord this is a non-brainer for the Clippers. Durant would give them 150% of what Blake currently gives them and Whiteside is not THAT different from DeAndre.
- Miami mortgaged their future (via trading loads of draft picks) for their current team that is likely a second round playoff team at best. Picking up Griffin and Ibaka would give them the most interesting frontcourt in the NBA. Ibaka can space the floor and protect the rim. Blake can operate at the elbow. What a fun duo. Especially when you’re giving up a 31 year-old Chris Bosh, a guy who likely isn’t resigning there (Whiteside), and a rookie in Winslow (although, man is he good).
- I love this for Washington. Beal’s health is remarkably unpredictable and DeAndre would form one of the league’s best pick and rolls with Wall.
Can we go make this trade in NBA 2K and watch the NBA landscape tilt on its axis?
Alright, you’ve got physics homework and I’ve got too much expresso in me not to do my homework, but thanks for joining us this week. Shoutout to Trenton’s Twitter handle @TSberg8.
Thanks for having me, If you need anything else, I happen to live 15 feet away (longer than your jumpshot range) and would be happy to help. Go Dubs!
Jump-hooks win intramural championship! Have a great weekend everyone.
I think you meant to say…
“We gunna be championship” -Leandro Barbosa