Saturday, May 16, 2015

Trade Suggestions, Featuring the (Mostly) Strange Ideas of the RealGM Forums

If you're not familiar with RealGM, you're not following basketball properly on the internet.  The website provides excellent access to news, stats and other neat little features that make being a well-read basketball fan easy.  There's also the RealGM Forum section, which gives the users a well-moderated outlet to discuss the game and their ideas with multiple sections that pertain to specific topics.  There's a general board, a player comparison forum and a draft board.  While certain ideas get a bit out of hand, no section of the forum gets more ridiculous than the "Trades and Transactions" board.  You get the occasional reasonable idea that makes sense for both sides, but more often than not, it's someone who is either way too into making a smart deal for their favorite team or possibly someone suggesting a trade more outrageous than DirecTV putting out commercials based on a donkey show joke and a hot girl in a bikini.  Every team has suggestions from its fans on the board, so let's take a look at the brilliant or brilliantly hilarious ideas people have suggested for the Pistons...

Every trade is graded on the crazy scale from 1 (Tim Duncan out on the town) to 100 (Matt Barnes suggesting fellatio to James Harden's mom).  Click the "Trade #" link to go to the trade suggestion.

Trade #1 (Username: killboard/joedumars1) - Crazy Score: 70 (David Blatt trying to call timeout with none left in a pivotal playoff moment)

Pistons receive: Zach LaVine, Shabazz Muhammad, Gorgui Dieng
Wolves receive: #8 pick in the 2015 draft

This one starts out with "killboard" suggesting that the Wolves offer the aforementioned trio of prospects in order to attract an additional top ten pick in this year's draft so the Wolves can take Kristaps Porzingis and pair him with Jahlil Okafor.  The comedy starts with the first response being "Didn't realize David Khan made a RealGM account".  That was basically my reaction too, as the trade suggests that Minnesota moves last year's 13th pick, their promising starting  SF and a decent C all to draft a guy who he probably hasn't seen play before.  "JoeDumars1" (you're not fooling anyone, Joe) gets the Pistons in on the action by suggesting that Detroit give up the 8th pick in the deal.  This just so happens to be the smartest thing Dumars has been attached to in the last five years.  This trade idea gets major props on the crazy scale because killboard is so willing to be reckless with his favorite team's assets, but also because Joe Dumars is clearly staying busy these days.

Trade #2 (Username: Laimbeer) - Crazy Score: 49 (Mike Miller having his own line of energy drinks)

Pistons receive: Harrison Barnes, Kelly Olynyk
Celtics receive: #8 and #30 picks in 2015 draft
Warriors receive: #16 pick in the 2015 draft

Harrison Barnes would absolutely be the kind of player the Pistons should consider trading the #8 pick for, and Kelly Olynyk would be nice to have coming off the bench behind Andre Drummond.  Bonus points for the Pistons being able to troll Cavs fans with Olynyk for years to come if Kevin Love's injury causes the Cavs to fall short of a title.  The Celtics would probably love to make this deal too, because why wouldn't you move up 8 spots and add another late 1st in return for Kelly Olynyk?  This deal gets into the 50s because "Laimbeer" (you almost have to be nostalgic when creating a Pistons-themed u/n) seems to think Golden State would be cool only moving up 14 spots in a deal that sees them lose a promising young wing, all while not gaining any kind of salary cap flexibility.  This isn't even close to the craziest hypothetical trade you'll find on the internet, but it doesn't exactly make sense for all parties either.  To be fair, "Steph Thompson" makes a more reasonable counter-offer in the nearest reply:

Pistons receive: Harrison Barnes, #30, Festus Ezeli
Warriors receive: #8

Detroit probably hesitates before agreeing to that deal, but it makes more sense than Detroit getting two young, quality players for a pick just outside of the range of the elite crop in this year's draft.

Trade #3 (Username: DocRI) - Crazy Score: 20 (Sir Foster is playing organ at your church on Sunday)

Pistons receive: #5 pick in 2015 draft, Channing Frye
Magic receive: #8 pick in 2015 draft, Brandon Jennings


Pistons receive: #6 pick in 2015 draft, Carl Landry
Kings receive: #8 pick in 2015 draft, Brandon Jennings

This is the first suggestion in a whole thread focused on Jennings' trade value.  I can't give "DocRI" all the credit here, because he points out that he's just regurgitating ideas he's seen elsewhere, but these are solid, fair hypothetical deals.  The Pistons would probably love to move up in the draft so they can be sure they'll get one of the guys they like, and adding a piece like Frye in the process would definitely be worth giving up Jennings.  I think that deal favors the Pistons, but it's not too unbalanced.  The deal with the Kings makes a little less sense from Detroit's perspective, but it's still reasonable.  If Detroit really wants Stanley Johnson or Mario Hezonja before Denver can get their hands on one of them, it may make sense to swap the last year of Jennings' deal for the last two years of Landry.  I'd prefer to see Sacramento attach another low-level asset (POR's 2018 2nd?), because Landry's deal is longer than Jennings', who is also a much, much better player, but it's at least a reasonable start.

Trade #4 (Username: Bentley1225) - Crazy Score: 57 (Delonte West showing up at the James family reunion)

Pistons receive: #12 and #42 picks in the 2015 draft
Jazz receive: #8 pick and Brandon Jennings

The Pistons might actually consider a deal built around moving Jennings for a 2nd round pick, and the Jazz do need more consistency at PG.  However, if you think the Pistons would be willing to move down in the draft just to facilitate that deal, you must think Joe Dumars is still running the show.  If "Bentley1225" really wants to see the Jazz come away with Jennings and move up at the same time, it would definitely cost Utah a decent sweetener.  Throw another 2nd in and take out the 1st round pick swap and you've got a deal.  There were more suggestions in the Jennings' thread (Jennings, Meeks, Butler for Joe Johnson and Markel Brown) that didn't make much sense, but none worth getting a laugh at or seriously considering.

Trade #5 (Username: Laimbeer) - Crazy Score: 44 (Challenging Paul Pierce's ability to ruin your day)

Pistons receive: Shabazz Muhammad, Donatas Motiejunas
Wolves receive: #8 and #18 picks in 2015 draft
Nuggets receive: Zach LaVine, Gorgui Dieng, #31 and #32 picks in 2015 draft
Rockets receive: Ty Lawson

I think this works for most parties involved, as "Laimbeer" makes his second appearance of the post.  As the Pistons, I don't do this until I know what's available at #8 on draft night, but filling the two starting spots in the frontcourt at the cost of one pick is a good way to increase your return on assets.  Neither player has "All-Star" written all over him, but both players fit the Pistons' offense, are young, and still on their rookie deals.  Motiejunas could still look like nothing more than a bench guy, but if the options at #8 aren't ideal, you can do worse than to pick up Muhammad.  The Rockets need to get more help for Harden and Howard, and giving up Motiejunas and some picks is a fairly low price.  If there's anything unrealistic about this deal, it's how little Houston has to give up to get Lawson.  Still, I would think everybody probably ends up fairly happy the day of this deal, depending on how highly you think of LaVine.  Maybe the Wolves fans don't like it, but this is at least the start of a fair deal.  It would probably take another decent asset going from HOU to MIN to get these talks going.  The reason the crazy score isn't lower: Four team trades with four picks and five players changing hands don't happen every day.

Trade #6 (Username: Curmudgeon) - Crazy Score: 15 (Counting out a team down 3-1 in a best-of-7)

Pistons receive: #16 and #28 picks in 2015 draft, James Young, Phil Pressey
Celtics receive: #8 pick in 2015 draft, Brandon Jennings

This is one of the more reasonable suggestions I've seen since I started scanning through the forums within the last few years.  Detroit wouldn't mind getting their hands on a SF with some upside, and it would probably be worth moving back 8 picks and unloading Jennings to pick up another selection.  Who's to say Young doesn't have an upside similar to or as good as who's available at #8?  Pressey is a throw-in with a non-guaranteed deal; if Detroit doesn't want him as their 3rd PG, he can be waived at no cost.  Boston gets a higher pick and improves the quality of their PG rotation for at least a year without taking a huge hit, assuming they just replace Young with either Stanley Johnson, Mario Hezonja or Kelly Oubre.  To frame this deal in a more appropriate light from the Pistons' perspective, you can make assumptions about what Detroit does with their two picks, and what Boston does with #8:

Pistons receive: James Young, Bobby Portis (#16), Robert Upshaw (#28), Phil Pressey
Celtics receive: Brandon Jennings, Stanley Johnson (#8)

When you put it like that, I like the deal even more from the Pistons' viewpoint.  What could be a deal-breaker for Celtics' fans is the inclusion of Young, and that's the only thing that keeps this from getting a crazy score in the single digits; I have a feeling most Celtics fans wouldn't be interested in this in its current form, but it's a good start.

Trade #7 (Username: iVC15) - Crazy Score: 85 (Leaving Steph Curry open)

Pistons receive: DeMarcus Cousins
Kings receive: Andre Drummond, #8 pick in 2015 draft, 2017 1st round pick

At first glance, this is just a horrible, horrible suggestion.  For starters, it's something the Pistons would never do.  Cousins is definitely the better player, but he's currently on a more lucrative contract, is three years older and would cost the Pistons two first round picks that they couldn't use to build around him.  The Pistons would probably think long and hard about trading Drummond for Cousins straight up before pulling the trigger.  Including two first round picks while getting rid of the league's best rebounder, who hasn't even begun to scrape his ceiling offensively, doesn't make a lick of sense.

At second glance, the Kings, who have been quietly mentioned as willing to part with Cousins, would be thrilled at the chance to turn Cousins into Drummond and two 1sts.  That keeps the suggestion from being 100% ludicrous, but that doesn't mean the deal is logical.

Trade #8 (Username: Webbdog) - Crazy Score: 62 (The Bulls firing a successful coach because ownership doesn't like him)

*Webbdog's hypothetical deal comes with the stipulation that the Pistons win the draft lottery

Pistons receive: Noah Vonleh, #9 pick in 2015 draft
Hornets receive: #1 pick in 2015 draft

I really like Noah Vonleh and I think it was pretty bogus that Steve Clifford routinely gave minutes to Jason Maxiell when he could've been developing Vonleh.  That being said, there's a much larger gap between the 1st pick and the 9th pick than you can bridge with Vonleh.  I do think that the Pistons should look to move down a time or two if they magically win the lottery this coming week.  There are enough holes on the roster that it would certainly be beneficial to pick up extra assets while still getting a difference maker (Trading down to 3rd or 4th and getting Justise Winslow, plus some good additional assets would make sense).  Would I even consider moving down as far as 9th if the Pistons were to win the top overall pick?  Sure.  You could get me listening if the deal started with the 9th pick, Vonleh and Kidd-Gilchrist.  The problem is, I don't think Charlotte GM Rich Cho would be willing to put that much on the line for one player.  There probably just isn't a fair mix to be found in this scenario.

Trade #9 (Username: RexBoyWonder) - Crazy Score: 9 (Running your offense away from whoever Kawhi Leonard is guarding)

Pistons receive: #10 pick in 2015 draft, Josh McRoberts
Heat receive: #8 pick, Cartier Martin

This is a deal that would make a TON of sense.  McRoberts is the exact kind of player the Pistons want at PF for now while they're trying to find their long-term solution at the position.  His playing style is perfect for the stretch four position in Stan Van Gundy's offense, he's just about entering his prime at age 28, and he's good, but he's not so good that he can't be moved to the bench if a better solution comes along.  If all it costs to get the PF spot figured out is moving down two spots and unloading Cartier Martin, count me in.

The deal also makes sense for Miami.  With the emergence of Hassan Whiteside, Chris Bosh has moved back to PF, making McRoberts a bit superfluous in a frontcourt that also boasts Chris Andersen.  McRoberts probably isn't the sexy name that most Pistons fans want to see at PF, but if you can get McRoberts and Kelly Oubre, isn't that better than just getting Stanley Johnson or Mario Hezonja?  Plus, there's always the chance that Detroit gets Johnson, Hezonja, Kristaps Porzingis or another solid prospect at 10.  The only thing that leaves some uncertainty here is, would Miami value moving up to 8 enough to pull the trigger?  That probably depends on who's available at 8.

Trade #10 (Username: Mamba4Goat) - Crazy Score: 42 (The deal DeMarre Carroll is going to get this summer)

Pistons receive: Danilo Gallinari, Gary Harris, POR's 2016 1st (Lotto protected) and MEM 2016 1st
Nuggets receive: #8 pick in 2015 draft

I don't even know what to do with this one.  The Pistons would be getting a ton of different assets in return for only sending out the 8th pick.  Gallinari could immediately start at whatever forward position that SVG feels he's a best fit.  Harris gives the Pistons the option of moving him for additional assets, or adding another young SG with solid upside.  Then there's the potential to garner two 1st round picks in the 2016 draft.  There's a high level of protection on the Grizzlies' pick (protected 1-5 and 15-30 in 2016), but if Marc Gasol leaves Memphis, I guarantee you that the pick is conveyed in 2016.  If he doesn't, the pick is almost sure to be conveyed in 2017 when the pick is only top-five protected.  From a Pistons perspective, you couldn't possibly turn this deal down.  That deal would put so many assets in the cupboard that, should a good player become available in a trade during the season, Detroit would have lots of picks and assets to offer.

From Denver's point of view, that's a ton of stuff to give up for one player.  It does give them the ability to structure their core around Nurkic and the 7th + 8th picks in this year's draft, plus whatever else they get in the impending trade of Ty Lawson.  I think the piece that would bother me if I were a Nuggets fan is Gary Harris.  He didn't play much as a rookie, and there weren't really any flashes of greatness.  He's also only 20 years old and had the detriment of playing on a team that was a bigger mess than anything the Kings have done in the last decade.  The Brian Shaw/Ty Lawson disasters need to be considered when pondering Harris' terrible rookie year.  If you're a Nuggets fan, you probably either love or hate this deal depending on your view of Harris.  With all that being said, I don't think it's a bad starting point, but I think the Nuggets probably ask the Pistons to throw in another asset.  That could be Spencer Dinwiddie or the Pistons' 2nd round pick this year, whatever it takes to get the deal done.

There were a wide variety of ideas here, some reasonable and others...not so much.  The important thing is that we all remember how fun it can be just talking out of our ass and sharing our ideas of what certain players are worth.  With how internet-oriented most NBA fans are, it makes for interesting discussions.  I'm sure I said something you vehemently disagreed with while I was sifting through the ideas of the RealGM Trades and Transactions forum.  If you think I was way off base (or accurate), feel free to drop your suggestions in the comment section below.

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