For this edition of Coffee Table Talks, the staff writers of C&B will give their insight on some of the hot NBA trade rumors around the league.
Should the Sacramento Kings trade of Rudy Gay?
Eric Laboissonniere: Honestly, the Kings are not that bad at all and they are in the position to fight for a playoff spot. Yes, it is hard for both DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay to thrive at the same time, especially this year when Cousins has been a legit monster. Cousins is averaging 27.0 PPG and he is shooting 33.8 percent from deep, which is better than Gay.
The Kings probably will not trade Gay just because the team is fighting for that eight spot, and trading Gay would definitely hurt their chances of making of the playoffs. Unless, you roll back the clocks a little bit to when the Toronto Raptors traded Gay and actually got better.
So….. Who says no?!?!? Add a first-round pick from the Thunder in there.
Timmy Sclafani: I’ll gladly admit that I don’t find Rudy Gay even half as valuable as you both do. I’ve always thought of him as a SLIGHTLY better–though equally inconsistent– version of Jeff Green. Sure, Gay had a great year last year IN A CONTRACT YEAR. In various categories, including points per game, 3-point percentage, and assists, his numbers have declined this season.
I don’t think Gay is capable of being anything better than a third best option on a legitimate conference final-threatening team. Ideally he should be a fourth option outside of an already-existing big three. Even thinking about his role in Sacramento; Gay is in a pretty ideal situation where he has Boogie, who can dominate the paint AND space the floor, and Rondo, one of the best passers in the game.
I just have a hard time finding where else Gay could thrive. With that said, if the Kings can get a decent value for him I think they should get rid of him. If SAC is serious about making a playoff run–and they should be, for Boogie’s sake–they will need to make some changes before April.
Connor Casey: To Eric’s point, would OCK be an ideal fit if you only think that Gay is a third or fourth option? He could even take on the sixth man role and be the go-to option for the bench unit. Durant and Westbrook can do their thing, while Gay gets his 20-25 bench minutes to pick up the slack while one or both of them rest.
And, if I’m not getting to far ahead of myself here, think about the small-ball lineup that they could throw out to counter the “Lineup of Death” from Golden State. OCK could trot out a lineup of Westbrook-Waiters (or Cam Payne if you’re into that kind of thing)-Gay-Durant-Ibaka. That, in my opinion, is a mean looking lineup right there.
If we are talking about if the Kings will trade Gay, I don’t think they will pull the trigger unless they get some kind of Godfather offer that blows them away. This is the closest the Kings have been to a playoff spot in years and I don’t think they are going to make a major move to trade away their second-leading scorer.
Should the Atlanta Hawks trade Jeff Teague?
Eric Laboissonniere: If the Hawks want to trade Jeff Teague and hand the keys over to Dennis Schroder then this is the trade that makes the most sense to me.
The New York Knicks could send Jerian Grant instead of Langston Galloway if they wanted, both players have bright futures, which is why this trade would make sense for the Hawks if they really wanted to get rid of Teague. I do not think the Hawks really need to panic with all this trade talk about Teague and even Al Horford, the team has chance to go far in the playoffs, but they will certainly have no shot against the Cleveland Cavaliers if they face off again in the playoffs.
Timmy Sclafani: I like Shroder, and I’m not blown away by Jeff Teague, so I feel that if the Hawks can get value for Teague they should go ahead and do it. I agree that the Knicks seem like the most likely candidate to go through with this move– I don’t think the loss of Teague will be a huge hit on the Hawks, but I think he would make a big impact in New York.
I will say, I think the team has to choose whether they want to trade Teague OR Horford. I don’t think the Atlanta fans, who were treated to 60 wins and a conference final appearance, would take too kindly to the departure of THREE of their 2014-15 starters (if you include Demarre Carroll). Out of the two remaining, I think Horford is more likely to go than Teague.
Connor Casey: I honestly don’t get why the Hawks are shopping Teague and Horford. Sure they can’t contend with the Cavs right now where they to see them again in the playoffs, but does that justify blowing up their team? Teague is an All-Star caliber point guard who can seriously improve a team who is lacking talent at the guard positions. I agree with Timmy here and think that Horford is more likely to go than Teague. Honestly trade rumor surrounding these two players make me mad (unless Horford is coming to Boston, then I am all about it), so I won’t say any more.
What team really needs to make a move before the trade deadline?
Eric Laboissonniere: The Oklahoma City Thunder, The Boston Celtics, and the Cleveland Cavaliers all should try and make a move for similar players. Each team needs a dynamic scoring wing that can shoot from outside. The Thunder have been searching for a small forward for a long time, the Celtics have Jae Crowder, who has been terrrifc, but the team still needs to add a scorer on the wing that can create for himself. The Cavs need a another shooter on the wing, who needs to be able to play pretty good defense.
Honestly, a Crowder and Avery Bradley trade for Kevin Love would probably make sense for the Celtics and the Cavs.
Timmy Sclafani: The Boston Celtics. The Celtics have such a log-jam in their front AND back court, it’s really time to make a 2-for-1 or 3-for-1 trade. It’s so hard in any professional sports league to trade a bunch of average players for one really good one, but this is exactly what the Celtics have to do. It helps that they have a ridiculous assortment of draft picks to send in addition to their young, developing players.
Even though I hate the trade that Eric posted above, I think Kevin Love would be the best guy to go after. And I think Love can be had too, despite the denials coming from Cleveland. It’s no secret that Love has not been a perfect in Cleveland, though he’s had his moments, and it seems like it might be time for a change. If he could return to being a first (or even second) scoring option, I think we would see his numbers surge back towards his Minnesota days.
I just don’t want to give up Bradley AND Crowder in a trade though. I think you could get away with just sending one of those guys (preferably Bradley, likely Crowder) along with Evan Turner to help handle the ball, and any combination of Zeller, Olynyk, and Jerebko. Obviously you would need to throw a couple of picks their way too, but they are in win-now mode and really want serviceable players more than anything.
Connor Casey: The Boston Celtics. First and foremost, that trade makes my stomach hurt, so thanks for that Eric. As both Timmy and Eric know, I am not a huge fan of K-Love coming to Boston. I think he destroys our defensive mindset and I just think he is a soft player. If I’m Danny Ainge, which I often pretend I am when I am playing with the ESPN Trade Machine for hours at a time, I would look into Horford before I look at love. The price take would be much less and Horford can be your second-best scorer while also not really decreasing your team defense.
Although Love is the better offensive player, I would take Horford over him 9-out-of-10 times and twice on Sundays. I think you could pry Horford away from Atlanta for Evan Turner, Lee’s expiring and the team’s two non-Brooklyn first rounders. Make the deal Danny!
Would Ryan Anderson be a good fit on the Detroit Pistons?
Eric Laboissonniere: Ryan Anderson is a terrific shooter and he could be a good fit on a few teams. Coach Stan Van Gundy would love Anderson’s offense to go along with a pretty good starting lineup.
Timmy Sclafani: Ryan Anderson is one of the guys who seems most likely to be on the move at this deadline, and I think Detroit would be a good fit for him. Detroit could use a little more high-percentage shooting, and Anderson could provide that for them on a consistent basis. It comes down to what Detroit would be willing to give up, but they seem to have some fairly dispensable pieces.
Connor Casey: While I love Anderson’s game so a lot of teams, isn’t he redundant with Ersan Ilyasova already there? No doubt Anderson is a better player, but it seems like Detroit already made a trade to grab a stretch four. Would it be an upgrade? Yes. But does it make the most sense? No.
What should the Los Angeles Clippers do with Blake Griffin?
Eric Laboissonniere: The Clippers are not going to win a title with or without Blake Griffin. One big reason is because they are playing in such an tough time due to how good the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors are. If they trade Griffin, they need to get back a formidable star who can play on the wing and shoot the basketball well from deep.
This is the only trade that should be done by the Clippers if they really want to win now. Trading Griffin would not be a good move unless you are getting someone like Carmelo Anthony.
Timmy Sclafani: Do I want the Clippers to trade Blake Griffin? Yes. Should they? Absolutely not. It’s always fun when a blockbuster trade comes down in the NBA, but this would be ridiculous by the Clippers. Griffin has been in absolutely top form between last season and this season, both times being a fringe MVP contender. Players like Griffin don’t grow on trees, and it could be decades before the Clippers find another talent like Griffin.
I agree that Melo could be a good fit if the Clippers are trying to win THIS SEASON, but beyond that I don’t think that trade is good for LA. If I played in the Western Conference, I wouldn’t put too much stock in to a “win-now” scenario with the goliath Spurs and Warriors both seemingly restocked and set to win for years to come.
I think the Blake drama was over-played and I think the Clippers will be just fine. They will be better when Blake is back, but I can’t seem them making it past the second round of the playoffs.
Connor Casey: How about a Jae Crowder-Blake Griffin swap straight up? Who says no?! Alright quiet down everyone it was a joke, leave me alone.
Anyway, I can’t imagine the Clippers trading Griffin unless they are going to blow the team up entirely and start going for draft picks. Chris Paul is still an elite point guard, DeAndre Jordan is a top-five center and, like Timmy said, they aren’t winning a title with or without Blake. If you know you aren’t going to win, why not keep Griffin around and try and bring in a second-tier star during free-agency to try and put them over the top.