Off-Season Plan Drawer: Trade First Edition

Everybody else is doing it....

I like to put up a well-thought (although not always realistic) off-season plan around this time anyway. I know there are never enough couch GMs so for your convenience only, here is the off-season plan Neil and I have been discussing.

(I decided to throw drawer on the title, then maybe we can all comment with our genius, fool-proof ideas, to bring in "the answer" at center or "the perfect fit" off the bench?).

Since we officially gave up on playoff hopes, there have been a lot of posts about free agency and the draft. Those are obviously important.

But with perceived weaknesses in both the draft and FA classes and with us having cap-space while some teams will look to cut down on their tax bills as harsher penalties begin, trade may be an important avenue to improve the team.

#1: Draft Night Trade: Freeland, Claver, #12, $Cash for Marcin Gortat and #26(ish)

This one isn't exactly a new idea; myself and others have been kicking a Gortat trade around since the off-season. But it meets our needs pretty well.

Gortat isn't a monster at defense or rebounding, but is decent. He has a good PNR game that would be great with Lillard and a both a post and mid-range game to give LMA space. He has an inexpensive short term contract that would both allow us to make more moves this year and the option if passing it on to Leonard if he is ready.

The Suns seem very likely to trade Gortat as he isn't exactly a great fit. My impeccable sources (a Suns' fanpost and a Hoopsworld chat) indicate this would get it done.

#2: Draft

Whoever we pick at #26 probably wouldn't play a whole lot next year anyway. I would go big since they tend to take awhile to develop. Gorgui Dieng and Steven Adams are two popular options here.

#3: Two 2nd round picks for Wilson Chandler

This would be a financially motivated deal for Denver. If Iguodala opts in they will be pushing lux tax and if he opts out they'll be hovering around the cap before re-signing him. They also have Corey Brewer and Timofey Mozgov or replacements to think about re-signing and big contracts committed to Lawson, Gallo, and McGee.

Trading Chandler's contract would save them $6.3 mil off the top this year and give them some breathing room. If they re-sign Brewer and Iguodala, Chandler may be superfluous.

He would give us our super 6th man, double bench scoring by himself, and could back up two, maybe three positions.

#4 (sorta): Re-Sign Maynor

Technically, this would be one of the last moves because we would use the room exception, but we could agree in principle earlier.

Maynor is a solid backup and he'll have some experience and chemistry with the team already.

#5: Add Depth

We have taken care of our main needs (starting center, bench scorer, backup PG). By my math (shaky) we would have about $4 mil left (plus veteran's minimum) to take care of secondary needs and add depth.

Our remaining needs would probably include proven big man depth, veteran leadership and toughness, floor spacing, and maybe a little more bench defense.

A few good big free agent options in our price range could be Elton Brand, Antawn Jamison, or Brandon Wright. Drew Gooden off of amnesty or Luis Scola in another money saving trade could also work.

This might not be a popular option for the nice guy Blazers, but DeShawn Stevenson could help with a few of our needs, probably for the minimum. He is kind of a punk but I think every team can use one guy that everyone else hates, he can shoot and D, doesn't need tons of minutes but can play in a pinch, and has championship experience.

There are a whole host of other options for the shooter and/or defender wing role off the bench.

All that would be left after that would be to round out the bench with prospects and veterans who can, but don't need to, play.

#6: Enjoy

Our team could look something like this:

PG Lillard/Maynor/Watson

SG Matthews/Stevenson/Williams

SF Batum/Chandler/Barton

PF Aldridge/Brand/Amundson

C Gortat/Leonard/Dieng

I would like our chances to for home-court, and we would still have several players with upside.

What do you think? Leave your plan, adjustments, sarcastic criticisms, or all of the above, in the comments.

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