NBA Trade Rumors: Moves each team should make by trade deadline

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Toronto Raptors: Brian Boake, Raptors Rapture

Feb 1, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol (16) against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center. The Lakers defeated the Timberwolves 111-100. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Andrea Bargnani and Landry Fields for Pau Gasol.  I know Pau is injured, so I’ve been pushing for this deal to take place in the offseason There’s risk for both teams in this deal. The Raps acquire an expensive talent on the down side of his career, and stray even further into luxury tax land. The Lakers are taking back two players with enormous question marks – will AB ever reach his potential, and is Landry’s jump shot gone forever following his arm surgery?

There are significant positives too. The teams are trading, and eliminating, headaches. Both franchises are comfortable with European players (maybe Pau could tutor Jonas Valanciunas?). A Raps starting five of JV-Pau-Rudy Gay-DeMar DeRozan-Kyle Lowry would be at least competitive, and potentially much better than that. With Amir Johnson hopping off the bench as the first big, we’d have a solid rotation up front.

I also suggest that Gasol could help bring fellow Spaniard Jose Calderon back to Toronto as a free agent.


Washington Wizards: Ben Mehic; Wiz of Awes

Well, as a Washington Wizards fan, I’ve learned that the team likes to play their cards close before the trade deadline. Last year, virtually no one could’ve predicted that the team would’ve acquired Nene from the Denver Nuggets for essentially JaVale McGee.

This year, I’ve seen more trade rumors regarding the Wizards than I have in past seasons. Though none of the trades involving the Wizards seem very likely to occur, there is one trade in particular which may have some substance behind it. Before John Wall returned to the Wizards lineup from that awful knee injury, Jordan Crawford was essentially the number one option in Washington. Since Wall has returned, Crawford has yet to see significant playing time out on the floor. In fact, Crawford hasn’t even stepped on the court in the past few games. So what gives?

Since Wall returned, the Wizards have performed at an elite defensive level. As a result of their great defense and ability to move the ball, Washington has shown they could compete with virtually any team in the NBA (four consecutive victories over the Clippers, Knicks, Nets, and Bucks).

Crawford doesn’t fit very well in Washington’s plan. As noted, Washington has thrived on the defensive end of the floor. Crawford is far from a good defender and on top of that, he’s known to take tons of ill-advised shots. As a result, Crawford has lost all of his playing time to Garrett Temple, who has earned a living playing defense.

I expect the Wizards to try and move Crawford before the trade deadline, especially since he doesn’t seem like a happy camper watching the games from the bench.

As noted, Crawford has potential to score on any given night. The Minnesota Timberwolves have dealt with their fair share of injuries this season and could use all the scoring they could get. Minnesota and Washington have been trade partners before, so why not this year? Derrick Williams, who was selected second overall in the 2011-2012 NBA draft, still hasn’t seen a significant increase in playing time, despite the injury to Kevin Love.

If I’m Washington, I attempt to trade Jan Vesely and Jordan Crawford in exchange for Derrick Williams and a throw in (perhaps Malcolm Lee). This way, both teams can help fill their needs through this particular trade.

Washington would gain a stretch 4 (Williams), while Minnesota would acquire a raw, athletic, big man (Vesely), as well as a perimeter scoring guard (Crawford) which they’ve been missing.

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