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Trade For Prince?

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Marc Stein named Tayshaun Prince as the most-likely Piston to be dealt this season, then ESPN's Rumor Central named the Sixers as a possible suitor. After the jump, we'll take a look.

Here are the particulars: Prince is owed $10,324,380 this season, $11,147,760 next year. Then he comes off the books. As a player, I suppose he still has the chops to be a lockdown defender at the three, he can shoot from downtown (league-average for his career). If you were looking to build a winner in the short term, he could really help you assuming he's healthy (which he hasn't been this season).

If the Sixers were able to trade for Prince, they could field a starting lineup of Holiday, Iguodala, Prince, Brand and Dalembert next season, which would be a stout defensive team to say the least (assuming Eddie Jordan isn't within 1,000 miles of PCOM when training camp begins).

Prince is interesting because trading for him could be viewed as a "win now" decision, but it could also serve as a "down the road" move. The lineup I noted above could be sick with the proper coach, but his contract lines up nicely with the other expiring deals on the Sixers' books.

The Rumor Central piece said the Pistons would probably want a PG in return, so the main question here is whether Joe Dumars is dumb enough to believe Lou Williams is a point guard. Considering he's using Rodney Stuckey and Ben Gordon at the point this season, I'm going to make the assumption that he is, in fact, that dumb. So can you build a deal around Lou? Let's take a look:

This one works:

  • Lou Williams (4 years remaining, $4.97M this season)
  • Willie Green (2 years remaining, $3.68M this season)

Before you laugh, think about the free agent signings Dumars made this offseason and then take a look at Lou's numbers this season as the starting "point" guard for the Sixers. His numbers are pretty sick, especially if you haven't watched the games. Willie is a local hero in Detroit, apparently, he was honored at the game on Saturday night (in Detroit) and he's always played well against the Pistons.

Willie's contract expires the same season as Prince's, Lou's extends two years beyond. Meaning Detroit would be assuming long-term payroll in the deal. The Sixers would be picking up almost $4M spread over this season and next, but would get out from under Lou's long-term deal and they may just be far enough under the cap in the Summer of 2011 to be a player in free agency. This move would push them further over the luxury tax next season, however. But I think Prince's expiring contract would be a pretty easy asset to move before the trade deadline if they need to shed salary.

The other thing you could consider as a sort of blow it up option would be a larger deal.

  • Elton Brand
  • Thad Young

For
  • Tayshaun Prince
  • Chris Wilcox ($3M this year, player option for next year)
  • Kwame Brown ($4M, expiring)

This move may be enough to get the Sixers under the luxury tax for next season, it would certainly shave some money off their bill at the least. They'd be out from under the remainder of Brand's contract and this is the roster they'd have to open the 2011-2012 season:

Holiday
Lou Williams
Andre Iguodala
Marreese Speights
Jason Smith
2010 first-round pick
2011 first-round pick

Seven players under contract for about $30M. Tempting, right? I'm not sure you could get Dumars to trade for Elton Brand's contract though. Brand plays a little bit of defense, so he doesn't really fit with Dumars direction for the Pistons.

So would you guys pull the trigger on either of these deals? Any other variations that work if Prince really is in play?

by Brian on Jan 11 2010
Tags: Basketball | Sixers | Tayshaun Prince | Trade Rumors |