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Throughout the history of the NBA blockbuster trades have shaped the league time and time again. Submitted for your approval, I will attempt to break down how one player’s thirst for league dominance (and the subsequent trades that follow him) will shape the NBA going forward.
Let’s start shall we:
The Cleveland Cavaliers locker room is in disarray. Earlier in the season, they fired head coach David Blatt and promoted assistant coach Tyron Lue to that station. Reports out of Cleveland state Kyrie Irving is unhappy. More reports say Kevin Love will be traded (they tried already) within a few months. By the numbers, the Cavs have four max contract players on their roster which means they can re-adjust the team with pretty much anybody assuming they make the right trades. Seeing as how LeBron James himself is a free agent, he can pretty much go anywhere he wants. The backlash of leaving Cleveland for a second time might be too much. Not to worry, he has the Cavaliers hostage and he can pretty much demand anything he wants. What does he want, he wants to play with his BFFs.
Odd Man Out:
This little roller coaster we’re about to take does not included Dwayne Wade. I would like to find another move that would supplement him going to Cleveland (I actually have two but let’s not get into it), but I don’t really see it happening. Furthermore I don’t see Wade, Miami Heat’s greatest player leaving them. In my opinion he will play two or three more seasons then retire as a Heat player and go into the front office in some capacity. (What a storybook ending huh). OK on to the business at hand.
The Boston Celtics:
The Celtics are currently right in the middle of the Eastern Conference playoffs race. They have a roster of good young players that are playing together and having fun. They also have a combined boat load of picks in the 2016, 2017, and 2018 drafts. The most attractive are the Brooklyn Nets 1st round picks for the next three years. Currently the Nets would hold the 4th pick. Let’s fast forward to the draft lottery during the Western Conference Finals, and let’s say (for the sake of this argument) that Nets pick becomes a top three pick.
The Celtics trade for Kevin Love:
Somewhere in between the end of the Finals (Where Cleveland loses again) and the NBA Draft, Boston comes calling and Cleveland answers. The trade for Kevin Love goes as follows: Cleveland gets: [players] Amir Johnson, Jan Crowder, Marcus Smart [picks] 1st rd. 2016 (from Nets), 1st rd 2016. (from Dallas Mavericks top 7 protected) 1st rd 2018 (from Celtics), 2nd rd 2016 (from 76ers) 2nd rd 2017 (originally from Cavaliers). Boston gets: Kevin LoveThe Celtics keep some of the draft picks (including that 2017 Nets pick) and get the player they have coveted for years. Love will be their only max contract on the books and they’ve traded away some of the bigger contracts to get him. With a couple of good free agent moves they will be an eastern Conference contender for years to come.
The NY Knicks:
After another season where the Knicks miss the playoffs, team president Phil Jackson is ready for a mix up. The Knicks currently have zero draft picks for the next two drafts (thank Andres Bargiarni). With prize rookie Kristaps Porzingas looking like a potential star , Jackson decides to make a move with his best player (and best trade asset) Carmello Anthony. Melo has no trade clause , but we all know he will waive it to play with a certain player. Somewhere around the time of of the NBA Draft the trade for Melo goes as follows:
NY Knicks get: [players] Amir Johnson, J.R. Smith, Mo Williams, Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart. [Picks] 1st rd 2016 (from Nets),1st rd 2016 (from Mavericks top 7 protected), 1st rd 2018 (from Celtics),2nd rd 2017 (from Cavs) Cleveland gets: [players] Carmello Anthony, José Calderón. Now the Knicks are equipped with Draft picks for three season. They will get a top 3 pick (top 5 at least) in this years draft (Brandon Ingram perhaps?) and another in the top 20. A starting caliber point guard in Mo Williams and a potential starter in Smart. It also gives them the cap space in coming years for free agents. Most of those contracts they bring on are done in summer 2017. They could still grab a big man (my thoughts it will be Hassan Whiteside or [Gulp] (Dwight Howard ) to go along with Porzingas. They also could go in a different route with a couple trade peices for another big trade (Russell Westbrook or demarcus cousins perhaps??) Knicks fans have a team going forward with A good team in tact and stars in the making.
The L.A. Clippers and Kyrie Irving:
The Clippers have a top tier team year in and year out with their duo of Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. The Clippers have yet to win the Western Conference much less an NBA title. I can’t see the Clippers trading either of those two pieces unless they could somehow get back an all star point guard. Meanwhile in Cleveland after watching the Cavs do anything and everything for LeBron James, the Irving rumblings become full blown requests to be traded. After all that other off season stuff, the trade to L.A. for CP3 goes as follows: Clippers get:[players] Kyrie Irving,José Calderón. [picks] 2nd rd 2019 (from T-Wolves) Cavaliers get [players] Chris Paul, Wesley Johnson. The Clippers keep their lob city theme going and get a few years younger. They keep the payroll pretty even so the cap won’t be an issue. The change of pace at point guard might work well for them with an attack first kinda guy in Irving. (Note: there’s really no incentive for the Clippers to trade CP3. He would probably have to initiate the dilogue of a trade).