With the draft over, it's time to turn our attention to the free agent and trade options. I want to open a discussion on all possible trades. For me, everyone is on the table except Lillard.
Chicago has been rumored as a possible destination for LMA. If we trade LMA, I don't see why we shouldn't look at trading Batum as well. I'd like to see his contract off the books. With this in mind, a perfect salary match is Aldridge and Batum to Chicago for Noah and Deng. I think both teams benefit from this trade. I really like Noah's game. His energy, rebounding and defense is just what we need especially if we use Lillard and McCollum in the backcourt together. Deng is a great replacement for Batum and his contract expires next summer giving us added flexibility going into 2014's free agent period. In addition, I'd include Leonard in the deal and require the rights to Nikola Mirotic. Honestly, I probably wouldn't do this trade unless Mirotic is included. Leonard would be good for Chicago to fill some of the minutes at center. They can also play a lot with Aldridge and Boozer at the 4/5 spots. Mirotic is a great prospect. He has some risk attached with the contract situation. But, he is able to come over next year when his rookie pay scale time period is up and he can sign for more money. Doing this deal also gives us a few more million in cap space for this year. It's possible to go after Josh Smith
with the $14 million but not sure that will be enough. I think a more reasonable option is to get Millsap for about $8-9 million and then get a back up center for $3-4 million, maybe Blatche.
This roster gives us a good chance to compete for the playoffs next year and has flexibility and assets to take the next step in 2014 to compete for the top 4 seeds of the playoffs. For example, we could let Deng walk next summer and free up about $15 million in cap space. Then look to add a free agent like Grainger. I really like a core team of Lillard, Grainger, Mirotic and Noah.
Millsap/Mirotic (Mirotic may end up starting in this scenario)
Does this seem reasonable form Chicago's side?
If we make this deal, should we go hard after Josh Smith? Maybe try to dump Freeland's contract to offer Smith the max? Lillard, Matthews, Deng, Smith and Noah would be a very strong line up.
If not Smith this year, who are other options to consider besides Millsap and Blatche?
How good do you think Mirotic will be?