Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Search for a Back-Up Big: 5 Trade Machine Options

Not to bash on Lakers fans, but come on—you’re not getting Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson, and J.J. Redick  straight up for Andrew Bynum (and yes, we understand that doesn’t work under the CBA), and nor would anyone be willing to trade Derron Williams for Metta World Peace. Nevertheless, the Lakers will probably make a move or two to try and stay relevant this season, even if they don’t make some lopsided, blockbuster trade (read: contrary to popular fan beliefs, cannot perform trades that would seem more of the occult than reality).

The Clippers can also still improve their roster, with hopes of becoming more relevant. With a huge logjam in the back-court getting even more noticeable with Eric Bledsoe coming back from injury, as well as the need for a scoring and rebounding big man off the bench, we at Hip to Clipp broke out the ESPN trade machine and came up with the following five trade scenarios. Leave us your feedback and let us know if these make sense for both teams and improve the Clippers’ roster.

1. TRADE: Clippers send Randy Foye and Brian Cook to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for Drew Gooden and a 2nd round draft pick.

COMMENTARY: The fact that Gooden’s contract has three more years after this season isn’t an ideal situation, but the Clippers would be getting a starting caliber power forward to come off the bench. Gooden was on the Clippers at the end of the 2008-2009 season and played well (enough). He can face up and post up. The Bucks would mainly benefit from this trade because they’d be taking on expiring contracts while getting rid of Gooden’s three years (hopefully they haven’t been watcing Cook too closely this year).

2. TRADE: Clippers send Randy Foye to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Brad Miller.

COMMENTARY: Brad Miller is expected to come back from injury by the end of February, and would be the perfect center to lead the Clipper’s second unit. Unlike Jordan and Evans, who have very little outside game, he can space the floor, giving Blake more room to roll to the basket. Additionally, Miller is a seasoned pro that would provide leadership and experience to the second crew. The T-wolves would do this because their one flaw is that they have awful wing depth and can use a scorer, especially one with an expiring contact (in case a second go-round in Minnesota doesn’t work out for Foye, affectionately known around here as, “Who’s Number Foye?).

3. TRADE: Clippers send Eric Bledsoe, Ryan Gomes, and a future second-round pick to the Utah Jazz in exchange for Paul Millsap.
COMMENTARY: Millsap is not only a starting caliber player who would come off the bench, but he also has a surprisingly reasonable contract. The Jazz have a logjam in their front-court: Derek Favors and Enes Kanter are young and are staying in Utah, while Al Jefferson’s 14 million dollar contact is too difficult to move. That leaves Millsap, the rebounding machine. With reports that Utah is shipping starting point guard Devin Harris and have Earl Watson as the backup (who surprised me when I found out he didn’t retire four years ago), they need a point guard they can build around, and Bledsoe may very well be that guard.

4. TRADE: Clippers send Ryan Gomes and Randy Foye to the Orlando Magic in extange for Glen Davis and Quinton Richardson.

COMMENTARY: With the strong possibility of the Magic getting multiple frontcourt players in the proposed Dwight Howard trades, as well as the surge of Ryan Anderson, newly acquired Glen Davis seems easily  expendable. Davis is eligible to be traded March 1, right before the deadline. The Magic get cap flexibility by acquiring players whose contracts expire this year and next year, while the Clippers take on Quentin Richardson (who isn’t the same player he was during his first stint on the Clippers) and Davis’ four year contract. Davis would provide scoring off the bench up front, and instantly solidify the Clippers bench alongside Mo Williams.

5. TRADE: Clippers send Randy Foye and Brian Cook to the Cleveland Cavilers in exchange for Anderson Varejao and a second round pick.

COMMENTARY: Don’t underestimate these second round picks. DeAndre Jordan and Trey Tompkins were both second round steals. Anderson Varejao is the only big contract left on the Cavs roster, and as they are successfully rebuilding the franchise, expiring contacts become very valuable commodities. Varejao instantly makes the Clippers better as a good-quality big man off the bench. We’d have to put up with Varejao’s annoying hair, but  wouldn’t have to watch Brian Cook play ever again (dreamy sigh).

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