Here's one that could shake things up on the floor without (a) breaking up the "young core" or (b) taking on any long term money. How does this starting lineup grab you: Jrue Holiday, Jodie Meeks, Andre Iguodala, Josh Smith, Elton Brand?
Smith is disgruntled, the Hawks could use some cap flexibility as Horford and Johnson's salaries escalate, so here are a few packages that might tempt Atlanta:
- Nocioni (expiring $6.65M) and Lou Williams ($5.17M) for Smith ($12.4M this year, $13.2M the following year)
- Nocioni and a sign-and-trade for Thad Young ($6M or $7M in year one) for Smith.
- Brand and Lou Williams for Smith and Kirk Hinrich
So the first trade would be my preferred outcome. Atlanta would get Lou Williams, who can step right into the role Jamal Crawford filled for them for the past couple of years, at half the price. Atlanta would save somewhere between $10M and $15M in the deal. Williams is also from Georgia.
The second deal would probably give ATL a little more bang for their buck, getting Thad for four or five seasons to fill the same "tweener" three/four role Smith does, only with a focus on the offensive end rather than defense. I could live with it.
Option number three would be an odd deal, but might fit what Atlanta wants/needs in terms of winning games in the short term. They've been playing a strange lineup with Smith and Horford both being undersized for their positions, maybe adding Elton Brand fits their pieces better. This deal would leave ATL with a point guard combo of Teague and Lou Williams, make of that what you will.
From the Sixers' perspective, any one of the three deals would finally give them a shotblocker on the defense end of the floor (even if it's not coming from a center). It would add another unbelievable athlete to their rotation and it should speed up their game for 48 minutes. If you give up Lou in deal number one, then Turner steps in as the 6th man and they hopefully don't miss a beat. You've still got Thad backing up the four, so they could literally just run all night long.
Option number two is slightly less appealing, simply because I think Thad has more value than Lou in terms of creating mismatches. The starting lineup would probably be the same, and Lou/Turner would be the first two guys off the bench. This would create a depth problem up front, but I suppose you could slide Brand to the four and put one of the
Option number three would be interesting, and it would clear some cap space early, but it would take the amnesty off the table next summer (you can't use the amnesty on someone who wasn't on your roster when the CBA was ratified, I believe). You'd still be stuck with a center rotation of Hawes and the Voose, but you could also trot out an insane lineup of Jrue, Turner, Iguodala, Thad and Josh Smith.
None of these moves would bring a title to Philly, but they might tilt the focus of the team a little bit, make them more exciting and maybe even lead to a first round win in the playoffs. If you can get that without taking on long-term money, I'm all for it.
Would you guys pull the trigger on any of these deals? Which is your favorite?