Any sports fan can tell you that trade speculation is almost as much fun as actually watching the sport. In fact, creating these hypothetical scenarios is infinitely more enjoyable than watching, say, a regular season Raptors – Bobcats game.
Now that the lockout’s over, there’s been a lot of trade talk – last year’s LeBron/Carmelo rumors have given way to musings about where Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and my soon-to-be neighbor Deron Williams will end up. A couple hypotheticals about these guys and others:
The Miami Heat: If, as expected, the Heat amnesty Mike Miller, they have some cap room to add another piece. There’s been talk of a few names – Grant Hill and Caron Butler on the wings, Delonte West at PG (which I’d be hoping for if I wasn’t a Celtics fan – imagine the chants LeBron would get). But center is really where Miami needs help. It’s indicative, really, of how scary good that team is that they made it to the Finals with Joel Anthony starting down low, not to mention the mediocrity that is Mario Chalmers at point guard.
Miami has a few options at center. Nene might be the ideal pickup, and if they somehow acquired him (maybe in a trade for Haslem and Miller, which might even be doubtful) we could write off every other team in the NBA for the next four or five years. But he’s not all that realistic – even if he accepted less money, they’d be tying up an incredible amount of cap space in their best four players.
There have been a couple other names floated. These include Jeff Foster, Kwame Brown and…Eddy Curry. Yeah, the same guy who essentially swindled the Knicks out of countless millions. One name stands out, however, as the most likely signing and maybe the best fit for the Heat: Samuel Dalembert.
I can’t tell you how terrified I am that the Heat are gonna get Dalembert. Dude is a legit center and exactly what they need – good rebounder, solid defender, competent offensive player. He’d be a huge upgrade over Joel Anthony, and I think they’d coast to a championship with a lineup of Chalmers-Wade-LeBron-Bosh-Dalembert.
Anyway. We can always hope they’ll just go for Curry.
Chris Paul/The Knicks: First things first – I was depressed as any Boston fan when Paul said he wouldn’t sign with the Celtics if they traded Rondo for him. I love Rondo, but Boston’s gonna struggle rebuilding around him and an aging Pierce after 2012. And while I know they’ll be in the hunt for Dwight Howard in 2012 — if he’s not traded before then, that is — I really don’t see him wanting to come to Boston. It’d be a sick team, no doubt, especially if they resigned Allen and maybe Garnett to cheap deals, but Boston just isn’t a destination city and no one wants to play with Rondo for whatever reason (I think it goes beyond his shooting struggles – must be something about his personality).
Anyway, the city of New York seems to be salivating over the prospect of assembling the final piece of its own Big Three, conveniently ignoring the fact that two of these three superstars have had serious knee issues and that defensively they’d still be mediocre – Paul’s the only one of the three who plays serviceable defense. Furthermore, if they get him, the Knicks will have to build a supporting cast around their three stars, and that takes time. Well, Amare’s 29 now, and his knees have as many miles on their odometer as an old Volvo. The Knicks’ window may be smaller than they think.
More to come on the Celtics. But first, I should probably write about something other than basketball.