There are now six days until the 2012 NBA Trade Deadline. From now until then, the coolest Sixers bloggers of all-time, and Michael Levin, will present you with a hand-crafted hypothetical Sixers' trade to salivate over each day. Some will be awesome, others will result in spit up Sunny Delight, but all will end in a heated Booker T/Stevie Ray 'best tag team ever' debate. Without further adieu, make the jump for trade #2.
Jrue Holiday - $1.7M (in '12), $2.7M (in '13), Qualifying offer in '14
2012 First Round Pick
Derrick Favors - $4.4M (in '12), $4.8M (in '13), $6M (team option in '14), Qualifying offer in '15
2012 First Round Pick (from Jazz)
Elton Brand's face says it all. I just did the unthinkable and traded Jrue Holiday, but hear me out.
Why the Sixers do it
Derrick Favors has the potential to be an absolute stud on both ends of the floor. He's 20 years old and already shown he can be an above average offensive player in Utah. His repertoire is still relatively undeveloped but his size and athleticism would immediately give the Sixers' offense a dimension they haven't had in a long time. His free throw rate is top 30 in the league; the Sixers are dead last in free throw rate. He also attempts a lot of shots at the rim and finishes at a high rate, which no other Sixers big man comes close to replicating.
Defensively the Sixers lose one of the best defensive point guards in the game, but add a guy who has potential to become a great post defender and anchor a championship defense – both things the Sixers desperately need, now and in the future.
With Favors being 20, Jrue being 21 and both having similar upside as elite defenders and above average offensive players, it comes down to position scarcity and team needs. It's much more difficult to find a big man in the mold of Favors than it is to find a point guard like Holiday. Also, with Lou, Turner and Iguodala still around to handle the ball, Jodie Meeks to stretch the D, and an undrafted guard by the name of Xavier Silas hanging in the D-League, the remaining guards can ban together to absorb the loss of Holiday.
On the other hand, Favors immediately becomes an integral member of the Night Shift, along with Louis Williams, Thaddeus Young and Nikola Vucevic (once Spencer Hawes is healthy) and provides the Sixers flexibility this off-season to either amnesty Brand, let Hawes walk, or both. It's still unclear what position Favors projects as in the NBA, but he'd either be the starting power forward or center in Philadelphia for years to come.
The kicker, Jrue has shown more in the NBA than Favors has, so the two teams swap first round picks to give the Sixers extra incentive. It's likely the difference between guys like John Henson and Terrance Jones or Arnett Moultrie. The Jazz have two firsts (the Warriors and theirs), which makes them more likely to part with the lower pick, most likely their own.
The Sixers then roll with a starting lineup of: Turner, Meeks, Iguodala, Brand, Hawes and a bench of: Lou, Thad, Favors and Vooch. Turner and Favors would obviously be the center pieces, as opposed to Jrue and Evan, and I think it's always better to have a small-big duo then small-small or big-big.
Trading Jrue for Favors also gives the Sixers an extra year of control because Favors was drafted a year later.
Also, this does not imply that I like Turner more than Jrue. I just think Jrue would entice the Jazz to part with Favors much more than Turner would, even if Turner was packaged with a mid-late first. Here's why:
Why the Jazz do it
Fact: the Jazz desperately need help on the perimeter. However; Hayward, Burks and Evans give them youth, potential and versatility at the two and the three. Evan Turner would just crowd the positions more. What the Jazz really need is a point guard, especially one who can defend.
Utah continues to take one on the chin from opposing point guards (+6.6 ppg more than their season averages, +8.0 if you are a non-star point guard), the team can't stop dribble penetration, and this has been a problem for a while now.
It just so happens that Jrue Holiday is one of the best defensive point guards in the NBA, with the potential to become elite. On offense, Jrue wavers between average and slightly above average at this point in his career. He has shown the ability to become good one-on-one scorer, as well as facilitator. With Turner's emergence, Lou Williams as his back-up and Andre Iguodala constantly playing the point forward role, Jrue has kind have been the odd man out in Philly this year. He would probably benefit from playing with actual NBA-caliber bigs, as well as handling the ball more often. He showed in college, when Darren Collison returned for his senior season, playing off the ball isn't Holiday's strength, which he's doing more and more of in Philadelphia.
Favors is a tough piece to part with, given his age and potential, but so is Jrue Holiday. Both players have similar upsides as two-way players and have age on their side. They're also both on their rookie contracts. The reason we have a match is, the Sixers have a ton of guards/wings who can handle and pass the basketball and the Jazz have a bundle of big men, including Enes Kanter, who they just spent the third overall pick on. Both teams lack what the other has a surplus in, so the trade makes sense for both sides.
Why it won't happen
Jrue Holiday isn't going anywhere and neither is Derrick Favors. There's no way the Jazz and Sixers are going to give up on either player, especially the Sixers who are in the midst of a Playoff run and just starting to come together as a team again.
It makes a lot of sense, from a pure roster standpoint, for both teams. But it's never that simple in the NBA.