I'M SO BORED. I have nothing to do but work...and...who wants to do that? In order to fill the time that I should be working with something much more entertaining, I've decided to piece together a little unfounded, but informed prediction, keeping in mind that although the Aldridge trade rumors abound, Neal is obviously waiting for the right deal to emerge. I would imagine that as we get closer to the trade deadline, we'll have a much clearer picture of what will be available to us. That said, here's the prediction:
Denver and Portland will both be hovering around the .500 mark going into the new year. Denver, realizing it's an All-Star in his prime away from being in contention, will decide that it has too many mid-level building blocks and will try to move some of those pieces to net themselves an All-Star. Basically, they'll pull a reverse-Carmelo. Portland, with an unhappy-with-his-endless-"retooling"-situation player at a position of need for the Nuggets will be a willing partner. In consolidating a few of its assets (Denver is incredibly deep and has a few nice future draft pieces), Denver will propel itself into a 4-5 year window of championship competition. Portland, finally hitting the reset button on a 7 year old, dilapidated pipe dream, will turn it's worthless-and-yet-most-valuable asset into a bright future full of promise. Here's the deal:
- Danillo Gallinari ($10.1M)
- Randy Foye ($3M)
- Kenneth Faried ($1.4M)
- 2014 1st Round Pick (they owe one of them to the Magic, we get the other)
- 2016 1st Round Pick (New York pick swap)
- 2015 2nd Round Pick (from Memphis)
- $3.2M Trade Exception
Why Denver Does It:
This gives Denver a lineup of:
PF: LaMarcus Aldridge / JJ Hickson
There is no way they don't do this. I would die to have this be our line-up. They're young and incredibly deep with a 2x All-Star to lead them. The rudderless Nuggets nab a rudder for redundant pieces.
Why Portland Does It:
Assets, assets, assets. None of these pieces fill a "need". We're not acquiring a last piece for a run or anything like that. We're simply trying to get the most return out of our one fully vested asset. I'm not even going to list what our lineup would be, because it's messy and this doesn't do anything for us in the next 1-2 years. We signal an exit from the win-now mode we've "been in" and fully commit to a 2-3 year rebuild. We'll lose our draft pick to Charlotte either this year or next - so the 2014 pick would replace that. We would then have a potential homerun pick in 2016 with the NY pick-swap option (they're not going anywhere and are headed to another blow up sooner than later in my opinion). We get redundant at the SF with the oft injured Gallo and the slightly fragile Batum basically being the same player at the same price and Roye/Wright backing them up. We could afford to then move those pieces in subsequent moves. It becomes less painful to trade Batum for a few nice pieces at that point. We get a trade exception for the future when we want to bundle a few assets together and bring something back as a final piece or something in a few years. Lastly, we replace Aldridge with a decent starting PF for the future. I haven't seen any other options that provide us with this much in return. Only Denver has the resources to send this much and still come out way ahead of where they are now.
Both teams win big. To me it's the perfect trade.