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Old 02-11-2010, 11:06 AM   #2
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Default Re: Insider: 5 deals that make sense

3. Bulls-Spurs

Chicago gets: Matt Bonner, Roger Mason, Michael Finley, draft rights to Tiago Splitter

San Antonio gets: John Salmons, Tyrus Thomas

Would Chicago do it?
On the surface, it might seem that the Bulls would get killed in this deal because the Spurs would be getting the two best players in the trade.

But the Bulls have good reason to move Salmons and Thomas, neither of whom is in the team's long-term plans: They want the cap space such a trade would provide. Chicago can set itself up to be a serious player in free agency this summer, given the appeal of the market and the foundation of Derrick Rose, Luol Deng and Joakim Noah.

Bonner and Mason, who have expiring contracts, could contribute this season, and Splitter is a good prospect who could come in and help the Bulls in the middle next season. As a former first-round draft pick who has established himself in Europe, he might fit the bill if the Bulls are looking to get talent and/or picks in return for Thomas.

And then, if they can pull off trade No. 4 (see below), the Bulls could be in great position going into the summer shopping season. Chicago could be an attractive destination for the likes of James, Wade and Bosh or, at worst, players like Joe Johnson and David Lee.

Would San Antonio do it?
Maybe. The team needs immediate help, as they get older and fall behind the rest of the West. Both Salmons and Thomas would give the Spurs some younger legs, with Salmons also providing offensive punch and Thomas some defense and rebounding.

Thomas' problems in getting along with his coaches have been well-documented, but perhaps he would respond better to a coach like Gregg Popovich and a veteran team led by Tim Duncan. If so, Thomas could become a huge asset to the Spurs over the long haul.

The Spurs rarely make trades like this, but I can't think of a better one for them right now.

TRADE MACHINE's Trade Machine breaks down the proposed deal here.

4. Lakers-Bulls

Chicago gets: Jordan Farmar, Adam Morrison, Josh Powell

Los Angeles gets: Kirk Hinrich

Would the Bulls do it?
John Paxson has been reluctant to give away Hinrich even though he's been in a funk since Derrick Rose arrived. But the time to move him is now. The team would be much better off next summer with the extra cap space, and Farmar would be a serviceable back-up for Rose in the meantime.

If Chicago could pull off this trade and the one above, it would be very much in the running for the top free agents this summer, with perhaps only Miami as well-positioned to enter the market.

Would Los Angeles do it?
Derek Fisher is struggling, Farmar hasn't progressed as the Lakers hoped, and Shannon Brown isn't really a point guard. So the Lakers need an upgrade at point guard and they don't have a lot of good options.

Hinrich might not be ideal, given his protracted offensive slump and sizable contract, but he is a smart player who should be a good fit in the triangle, and he can defend. And who else could the Lakers get? Look around the league and you'll see there doesn't appear to be a good trade partner for the Lakers other than Chicago. The other available point guards -- including Luke Ridnour, Chris Duhon, Ramon Sessions and T.J. Ford -- wouldn't fit as well as Hinrich.

The major concern about Hinrich appears to be the additional two years and $17 million on his contract after this season, which is a lot for a tax-paying team to take on. But are the Lakers really that strapped for cash? Even with the largest payroll in the league, they're still turning a profit.

TRADE MACHINE's Trade Machine breaks down the proposed deal here.

5. Clippers-76ers

Los Angeles gets: Andre Iguodala, Samuel Dalembert

Philadelphia gets: Marcus Camby, Al Thornton, DeAndre Jordan, Rasual Butler, Mardy Collins, Ricky Davis

Would Los Angeles do it?
The Clippers could just let Camby walk, get under the salary cap, and then attempt to clear more cap space to get a max free agent. Furthermore, as Bill Simmons, J.A. Adande and I have said, the Clippers, on paper, would be a great fit for LeBron James. But that appears to be the furthest thing from LeBron's mind, and the team seems to know it, as general manager Mike Dunleavy continues to talk about making a trade now rather than waiting to see what happens in free agency.

Given that, adding Iguodala and Dalembert might be about as good as it gets for the Clips. Iguodala, in particular, would be a perfect fit as an athletic, multifaceted wing player who can handle the ball or thrive without it while defending at least two positions. Dalembert would be a nice one-year replacement for Camby as an athletic shot-blocker and rebounder to back up Chris Kaman.

The Clippers could become quite a factor in the West in 2010-11, with Iguodala running alongside Baron Davis, Eric Gordon, Kaman and presumably a healthy Blake Griffin.

Would Philadelphia do it?
While the 76ers are looking to move their big contracts, they also want assets in return. In this case, they would get both cap relief and talent.

Thornton and Jordan could step in and help, now and down the road, and this trade would also knock an enormous amount of money off the payroll this summer when the contracts of Camby, Butler, Davis and Collins expire.

To make this deal work, the Sixers would have to waive three players from their current roster to accommodate the extra four players that are coming in the trade, but that's not impossible. They have a number of players with small, one-year deals they could waive.
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