Aaron Bruski

The Step-back 3

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Trade Deadline Madness: Part I

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Raymond Felton and Jamal Crawford: The Blazers aren’t getting much interest, and that’s likely because teams know they’re desperate to find a solution that doesn’t include firing Nate McMillan and/or blowing the team up.  Maybe that’s what will happen, but that doesn’t make it easy to come to grips with.  The whole lot of Blazers are slumping right now, and once the next shoe falls whoever is left WILL break out of it.  Crawford has been linked to a deal reuniting D.J. Augustin with Felton, which is just funny, but Crawford has received more intense interest from the Wolves and Clippers.  All of these guys are ‘holds’ right now, and so are teammates Wes Matthews and Nicolas BatumGerald Wallace could also be listed under this heading, as the Blazers are searching and he’s the oldest and very expensive.  He’s also a hold, as you’re not selling him low and he’s too good to play this bad.  The deal for Felton and Steve Blake has quieted down, as both sides are probably looking at the other like sixth grade boys and girls at their first dance. 


Dorell Wright, Stephen Jackson, and Andris Biedrins: Good luck trading Biedrins, Mr. Lacob, but the possibility of Wright getting traded is definitely there.  He said he wanted to be traded in the Monta Ellis deal (Biedrins said he wouldn’t mind), and he has felt slighted in the organization ever since the Warriors started gushing about Klay Thompson.  As we’ve said in numerous spaces, Thompson is a ‘run, don’t walk’ pickup and my personal take is that he has proven that he can shoot.  The rest is entirely up for grabs.  I’m holding Wright for a number of reasons, including his recent hot streak, the chance that Stephen Jackson gets flipped before Thursday, and because Stephen Curry (ankle) could be limited or shut down.  And if Wright gets traded somewhere bad or Jackson soaks up all his minutes, I’ll simply drop him.  Not a lot of risk there.  As for Jackson, he’s worth a stash, but I’m not breaking my neck to stash him.  He needs a trade to a place like Charlotte that needs scoring and isn't that ironic, don’t you think?  


Kirk Hinrich and Ramon Sessions: Hinrich has an $8 million expiring deal and comes with equal parts injury concerns and veteran savvy.  Sessions comes at about half the price and an extra year but has the youth and upside that teams want.  With Kyrie Irving in town, the Cavs know they have a favorable situation and could also decide to try to make the playoffs if they don’t like what they see.  Both guys are worth a look as stashes and also might provide some low-end results if they don’t get moved.  Owners should keep in mind, though, that the landing pads for PGs right now consist of the Lakers and Heat, where values would be capped.  The money spot would be Portland, but that assumes that Raymond Felton can be included in a deal. 




These guys have cooled off in the rumor mill, but they won’t leave the mill until all of the booze has been guzzled and one of your friends is talking up a transvestite. 


Jose Calderon: A piece came out from the Toronto Sun quoting Dwane Casey as saying the Raptors weren’t looking to make any moves, and while that very well may be the case, forgive me if I don’t listen to a head coach at this time of the year.  Calderon’s $10.5 million salary next season is prohibitive, but contending teams with a need at point guard will want to give that a look.   That leaves the Lakers, Heat, and the Spurs have talked about bringing on a backup, so the list is admittedly thin there.  My sense is that once Ramon Sessions is off the board we’ll know how this is going to play out. 


Antawn Jamison: This is a classic situation of a piece waiting for the first dominoes to fall.  Of course nobody is linked to Jamison and his pro-rated, expiring $15 million deal because the contenders don’t know if they’ll need a stretch four yet.  If they do, you can bet the Cavs’ phone will be ringing. 


D.J. Augustin: The deal exchanging DJA for Jamal Crawford quieted down, perhaps because the Blazers don’t want to destroy Raymond Felton’s confidence by having Augustin show up on his doorstep, again.  That’s just a random guess knowing a cheap spark like Augustin could at least build depth.  The reality, though, is that Augustin’s health is a tiny question mark, and as a restricted free agent teams just don’t know what his market will look like next season and that makes him a squirrely trade target.  With Kemba Walker around, who should be owned in most (if not all) formats, the Bobcats will probably entertain any fair offers. 


Drew Gooden: Before yesterday’s big deal there were rumblings that the Bucks wanted out from under Gooden’s $20 million and three extra years, which incidentally looks much better than it did last season.  What they know, however, is that Gooden is mopping up stats on a bad team, is getting older, and is breaking down.  Ekpe Udoh’s owners were bummed him being sent to play behind Gooden and Ersan Ilyasova, but it might be worth waiting to see if Gooden gets dangled.  That said, I’m not passing on a hot free agent to find out about a Scott Skiles PF, no matter how much promise he has.  Gery Woelful just reported that the Bucks aren't done dealing, too, but points out that Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Shaun Livingston are the guys on the block.  Interestingly, those are Scott Skiles type guys, and change is in the air in Milwaukee. 


Tyreke Evans: I just don’t see this happening, but there has been a decent amount of local chatter that he’s not ‘untradeable.’  With the upheaval in the front office and everything going on with the arena, etc., I think the Kings would need a sweetheart deal to let their former centerpiece (hello DeMarcus) get all bummed out. 




Brandon Jennings: Reports emerged that he would not be traded, and I’m pretty much on board with that, but it bears mentioning that the Bucks now have the same problem that the Warriors did with two small guards.  For fantasy purposes, I don’t think a team would take on Jennings without wanting to make him a starter so there’s not a bunch to worry about.  If the Lakers want to get splashy, a return to his homeland would be fun.  Jennings has one more $3 million year to go, so needless to say he’d come at a price. 


Devin Harris: He was told by management that he would be staying on, which isn’t in concrete, but it’s generally a good sign that he will stay.  Maybe the Jazz figured they couldn’t get a point guard for next season, and at $8.5 million and one year to go they’re crying uncle.  Harris’ improved play lately probably helped.  With the Jazz positioning themselves as an active team, my sense is that if Harris goes it’s as an ancillary piece to a separate big deal. 


Josh Smith: GM Rick Sund there was as “close to zero percent” chance that Smith would be dealt as there could be, and Smith himself has backed off some of the trade talk.  I don’t know how much I buy all that, but that’s some pretty strong talk and after Smith’s recent play the price is likely too high for the buyers, here.  Now if only they could sell Joe Johnson’s contract….


Rajon Rondo: None of the Celtics are totally safe knowing Danny Ainge, but we’re guessing that as the chess board is setup right now that Rondo and his aging teammates aren’t going anywhere.  The constant talk has been that Ray Allen is generating interest, but there has been no talk about the Celtics lately other than Ainge and Doc Rivers shouting from the mountaintops that Rondo isn’t going.  The Celtics need a big man really badly, though, and that might be the thread that gets things unraveling. 

Aaron Bruski has been covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld for five years. Hit him on Twitter at Aaronbruski.
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