The NBA Trade Deadline calls to us on March 15th and we've heard nothing from the Sixers about who they're targeting and even less about who other teams are asking about. Evan Turner will be the starter unless he gets traded, which looks less likely after his Celtics face-stomping. We've grown tired of waiting for rumors, so it's high time we generate our own. Every day from now until the Deadline, we'll have a breakdown of a potential Sixers trade for you to wake up to. Nothing like coffee and rebuilding in the morning! Jokes.
Since it's the first of the series, I absolutely could not help myself and had to do exactly what it is you think I'd do in a trade. Confirm your smirking suspicions after the jump.
Louis Williams - $5.92M (in '12), $6.39M (in '13), can opt out after this season
Jordan Farmar - $4M (in '12), $4.5M Player Option (in '13)
Unprotected 2012 First Round Pick (Houston Rockets)
Yes, this is trading the Boss. I know, you're probably shocked. I'm not 100% sure either team does this, but I'll give rationalizing a shot and everyone can tear it down in the comments. Both of these guys are 25 - Lou is a month older.
Why the Sixers do it
Lou has been good enough and has made enough platinum rap songs to make most people believe that he'll exercise his opt-out clause and hit the free agent market for the first time in his career this offseason. The Sixers already have a ton of money tied up on the bench in Thaddeus Young (5/42M), and would likely want to use that money to pry away some frontcourt studs or possibly re-sign Jrue Holiday long-term while his value isn't sky high. It seems that the Boss is the odd man out here, even though for better or worse, he's the Sixers best, and sometimes only, offensive option.
Getting a reliable backup point guard in Farmar, who's having a career year behind Deron Williams, that can both run a second team and knock down open three's (shooting a ridiculous 46.6% from beyond this year), would help keep the offense flowing when guys are catching their breath. Defensively, Farmar leaves much to be desired, but it's not like Lou is a glove anyway and the JTI combo will always be able to limit the guard-play damage on defense. He can't create for himself like Lou can, though. The second team offense (Farmar/Meeks/Thad/Lavoy/Vuce?) would have a tough time scoring, but Doug rarely wheels out the entire bench unless it's the Graveyard Shift so that doesn't worry me too much.
The Rockets first round pick, somewhere in the high teens or low 20's, is currently sitting in Patric Young territory, or even Tyler Zeller if he slips. It's also close enough to the Sixers' pick where they could hedge their bets and move up, possibly as far as #10 or so. That's leverage for an impact player.
Why the Nets do it
It's no guarantee that D-Will re-signs but if they're trying to attract Dwight Howard, bringing in more talent wouldn't hurt. There's no real question that Lou is a better player than Farmar, and even if the Boss wouldn't exactly fit perfectly in Brooklyn, it's Mikhail Prokhorov. He wants all the talent he can get. Plus, with Billy King as the GM who drafted Lou back in 2005, a reunion tour with his old second-round find isn't out of the question.
There's the slightly less likely possibility that, if Deron skips town, the Nets go all in on Mr. Ooh Lou Will and deem him their starting point guard and rolling the dice on that. Not the perfect guard to play with Dwight, but he's better than Jameer Nelson so it's a start. Since they already have a first round pick of their own, looking like a top 5 lottery pick, another low first wouldn't make a huge difference in the rotation.
Why it won't happen
A lot of reasons. The main one being the Sixers are banking on that 3-4 seed and trading their best offensive weapon would throw that into serious question. They're also going full-tilt on WIN NOW so the fanbase stays interested (which it has, for the most part - respect.) and dealing a fan favorite BOSS closer could be misconstrued by some as going back to the drawing board. Without Lou, there's a good chance they don't make it out of the first round this year. That doesn't matter so much to me as a future contending playoff run does, but for some, it's all about the Now.
For the Nets, MarShon Brooks is generally seen as a building block for that team, and if there's anybody in the league short of Nick Young and Monta Ellis that can get BOSSy, it's MarShon. Kid really doesn't like to pass. A backcourt of he and Lou for any period of time could actually set the Earth off its axis and turn everyone into Keanu Reeves. A dangerous thought. Also, if D-Will does sign, wouldn't Lou just walk anyway? And then they'd have given up a first rounder simply to piss Deron off and win maybe one or two more games this worthless season.
A lot of holes in the machine but it's something I'd probably do. Getting those two first round picks to potentially move up in a great draft like this would do wonders for adding to this young core. It also gets rid of Boss, while ensuring the Sixers' commitment to Jrue and Evan for years to come.