The On Deck Circle

Where practice swings don’t exist

Trade Deadline Wishlist - Eastern Conference

Posted by Blake Murphy on February 7, 2008

The NBA trade deadline is now officially just two weeks away. With that said, today and tomorrow I take a look at the needs of each team and provide you with their trade deadline wishlist.

Boston Celtics (37-9, 1st in Atlantic, 1st in East) – Eternal Health
The team does not have the pieces to make a significant trade, so they are left hoping that Sam Cassell gets bought out by the Clippers. In the meantime, then, the Celtics can only wish for their three top guys to be healthy come playoff time.

Detroit Pitsons (35-13, 1st in Central, 2nd in East) – Disrespect
The Pistons are the team to beat in the East with their combination of experience and depth. Unfortunately, the Pistons have the tendency to lull through stretches of the schedule as there is really no difference between seeds 1 and 2 in this conference. The Pistons, then, are wishing for the annual disrespect that comes their way in playoff discussions, the disrespect that flips their ‘on’ switch.

Orlando Magic (32-19, 1st in Southeast, 3rd in East) – Bulk
This team has a lot of intriguing pieces, and is really just a front-court (read: tag team) partner for D-12 to be a real contender. Unfortunately, the market for complimentary power forwards is bare now that Gasol (and even Stro) have moved. The Magic have a couple of expiring deals, JJ Reddick, and the rights to Fran Vasquez that could all be used to add some low-post bulk.

Cleveland Cavaliers (27-20, 2nd in Central, 4th in East) – Dial-a-Shooter
Can’t complain about their big man trio (when healthy), so the Cavs are looking for consistent shooting. They presently get their long range game from Donyell Marshall, Daniel Gibson, Larry Hughes, Devin Brown, and Damon Jones, not exactly a who’s who of shooters or the most notoriously consistent bunch. The Cavs don’t really have expiring deals and are in luxury tax trouble, so this one will probably have to be solved by in-house committee for this year.

Toronto Raptors (26-21, 2nd in Atlantic, 5th in East) – 2007
The Raptors have all the personnel they need, short maybe of a tough interior presence off the bench (but Rasho and Huey should be able to cover this). Instead, then, the Raptors are wishing for a little bit of their early 2007 magic, which included a developing Andrea Bargnani and a 100% healthy TJ Ford. Give the Raps those two back at close to capacity, and they are right back in contention.

Washington Wizards (24-24, 2nd in Southeast, 6th in East) – A Professor of Gilbertology
The team has performed admirably without their star, The State of The Court. ODC favorite Caron Butler has carried the leadership role and others have contributed greatly. That said, this team has some good chemistry flowing, so adding Agent Zero back to the mix is a dangerous proposition: it could hurt chemsitry, but they have no chance in a playoff series without him. (Note: Could Gil be traded? Big expiring deal that could net the Wiz some picks and rotation players to build around Caron/’Tawn, it’s at least an intriguing proposal.)

Atlanta Hawks (21-24, 3rd in Southeast, 7th in East) – A Flux Capacitor
Here they are, loaded with talent, just lacking a true point guard, having passed on several good ones in the past few drafts. Their love of drafting highly touted swingmen is well documented and has left them with no PG and only one real post player (where is Zaza?). Luckily, they have a lot of expiring deals and interesting prospects (but no 1st round pick—Phoenix) that they could move, though I’m sure they’d rather just have the Marvin Williams pick back.

New Jersey Nets (20-29, 3rd in Atlantic, 8th in East) – A Seller’s Market
Whenever Rod Thorn decides which of their three main guys (if any) he is going to move, he should be able to get something decent in return. The market has been set as a buyer’s market so far, so Thorn needs to hope he can strike a deal as favorable as the rumored three-way involving Kidd where NJ would have gotten Outlaw, Frye, Jack, expiring deals, and a 1st. They could also shock everyone and try to land a low-post scorer to put them right back in East contention.

Indiana Pacers (20-30, 3rd in Central, 9th in East) – A Long-Term Perspective
The Pacers have made a lot of trades in recent years with reckless abandon. What remains now is a team with a few bad contracts, a few bad apples, and only one bright spot. Danny Granger’s career is in trouble being in this cancerous environment, but the Pacers’ salaries are such that they’ll only be able to unload if the market gets out of hand (see: Shaq to Suns). This team is in trouble with NO expiring deals over $1M and having missed their chance to sell high on J-O.

Chicago Bulls (19-29, 4th in Central, 10th in East) – A Summer Do-Over
They had several opportunities to land big name players (Kobe, Gasol, KG) that fell off the table because the Bulls wouldn’t move Player X or Player Y (usually Deng). Now, the Bulls have no identity and no low-post presence and the future suddenly looks much bleaker than in the summer. They have pieces to move (expiring deals in Nocioni, Duhon, Deng, Smith, Khryapa, and Gordon, plus Ty Thomas, and a pick) but should be more worried about getting something for the (possibly) departing Deng and Gordon than adding a playoff piece. Any takers on Ben Wallace?

Philadelphia 76ers (19-30, 4th in Atlantic, 11th in East) – More Minutes
Probably the most intriguing team in the East heading towards the deadline, the Sixers aren’t sure if they are playing for the playoffs or rebuilding. Such are the perils of the East’s mediocre. They have movable assets in Andre Miller (an underrated player and great bargain for teams needing a PG) and Sam Dalembert (again, if the market gets out of hand for bigs in the West). At the same time, these guys are young enough to play a part in the rebuilding. I suggest blowing it up by moving Miller and Willie Green and handing the team over to the young lineup of Sweet Lou, Iggy, Carney, Thaddeus, and Sammy, who can’t get enough minutes to develop with the current roster makeup.

Milwaukee Bucks (19-31, 5th in Central, 12th in East) – An Identity
This team has a decent roster of inidivdual players, a few of which are young enough to build this team on. Redd, Yi, Mo Williams, and Bogut are the cornerstones, I think, which leaves a hole at the 3 and Charlie V out of the picture. I wouldn’t expect a monster deal, but the Bucks could definately sell a few bench pieces (The Charlies [Bell and Villanueva], Desmond Mason, Bobby Simmons) though most of their tradable players are overpriced.

Charlotte Bobcats (18-31, 4th in Southeast, 13th in East) – A Better NCAA Playoff System
Their ‘drafting winners’ strategy has worked out poorly, since those winners were either the beneficiaries of good systems or have since become injury prone (and didn’t even sit together at last night’s Duke/UNC game). This team doesn’t have an identity other than guaranteeing an NBA Top 10 highlight every game. Probably won’t make any moves, but dealing Okafor’s RFA contract could create a lot of buzz and bring back significant returns (no chance).

New York Knicks (14-35, 5th in Atlantic, 14th in East) – February 22nd
It’s no surprise that Knicks fans are dreading the deadline. With no plan for the team and no cap relief anytime this decade, Thomas is apparently now OPEN to dealing Lee, Robinson, or Balkman. No, buy out Marbury and blow up what you can while waiting out the rest of the expiring deals. Isaih, unplug your phone.

Miami Heat (9-38, 5th in Southeast, 15th in East) – Wish Granted
They have almost no chance at doing anything this year but they improved their long term prospects significantly by finding a way to dump Shaq’s monster deal. Unfortunately, Dwayne Wade will not quit and play for ping pong balls…luckily, Marion, J-Williams, Smush Parker, Mark Blount, and Ricky Davis have shown in the past that they have no qualms about mailing it in.

2 Responses to “Trade Deadline Wishlist - Eastern Conference”

  1. stu Says:

    I can’t wait to see what Isiah does this trade deadline, and if it will involve Sebastian Telfair. Solid article.

  2. Zahio Says:

    Nice Article, gonna do West?

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