I think there may (or may not) be a lot of potential trading with this team. Someone mentioned that I should be looking at a trade that netted us Jeff Green. He’s a fine player, but he’s making $4.5mil. next year and though he’s well worth that, I’m not sure he’s worth a ton more than that as a tweener forward. You can argue how his value is his versatility, but you could also point to that as a reason he’s not a true starter without a great wing player and solid pivot to take pressure off of him. We do have that going for us, so I’ll throw something together here to see what sounds reasonable.
We’d have to take the risk that we can resign him for the right price and I think, despite all of OKC’s front court depth, ( Ilbaka, Collison, Sefolosha, Kristic, Mullins) I think OKC values Green quite highly, maybe even more than they should. They have a young starter and backup at almost every position and Presti seems to be pretty savy so I don’t expect to get over on them as they deal from an extreme position of strength. If they don’t think they can afford Jeff next year with all their other raises they’re going to have to offer in the coming seasons, maybe they will be looking to get something out of Green right now. However, I think they will hang on to their current core because they’re young and they showed all kinds of promise this season. Anyway, here’s a deal, assuming they think Ilbaka can replace most of Green’s production, that might give them another dimension that they don’t currently have.
OKC gets: Troy Murphy
Indy gets: Jeff Green, Nick Collison (or Kristic instead of Collison)
I just don’t see why they’d do that really. I’m not at all willing to give them the 10th pick in any deal that nets Green and a few throw ins. I think Patterson is very similar to Green and would be cheaper for longer. Udoh fills a similar role, though not quite as I’m not confident that he’s ready to contribute at the level of Patterson or Green. So, I suppose this makes more sense for them and isn’t too far-fetched for us:
OKC gets: Troy Murphy, 10th pick
Indy gets: Jeff Green, 21st pick (or I might even rather have the 26th and the 32nd)
Anywaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyy. Here’s a few trades with OKC that I like better that might make a lot more sense to them.
They don’t need any more youth, yet they have two picks in the 20’s (21 and 26), they also have the 32nd and 51st picks. So, assuming they don’t move those picks for a really good veteran with long term salary, it could be very worth their while to trade up and get a higher pick for someone that can contribute right away.
OKC gets: 10th pick and the 40th pick
Indy gets: 21st pick, 26th pick and the 32nd pick
If we can’t pull off the Memphis or Minnesota two-for-one 1st round trade down, and they won’t give up that many picks for the 10th (but it’s fair) I might settle for:
OKC gets: 10th pick
Indy gets: 21st pick, 26th pick and the 51st pick
OKC gets: 10th pick, 40th pick
Indy gets: 21st pick, 32nd pick and lightly protected future 1st rounder (maybe top 5 protected in 2011 and unprotected beyond).
Also, OKC is under the cap. Maybe they want to woo Durrant with a move that could vault them a little higher in the west. I could see them have some use for TJ Ford, or even possibly a very healthy Jeff Foster (Kristic is a little tougher than average Euro, but unless BJ Mullins takes a leap, they don’t have a true center in the paint). Either way, b/c of their salaries, Foster and Ford probably have neutral value to a team as young and deep as OKC with no long contracts. Troy Murphy on the other hand, though overpaid, offers them something they don’t have; a big man that can really shoot the 3 and open the lane for Westbrook and Durrant (though KD doesn’t have to make it all the way to the rim to get a good shot and can score from anywhere). They can actually just absorb Murphy’s contract b/c of their cap space. There aren’t a lot of other expiring deals out there that could have as much impact as Murphy potentially could. A lot of the expiring 2010-11 deals are SFs and PFs and Centers that aren’t better than what OKC already has (I’m not counting Z-Bo, he’s better than any of their big men, but also needs the ball…a lot). So, here’s a possible offer if their interested:
OKC gets: Troy Murphy, 40th pick
Indy gets: 26th, 32nd pick
From the Pacers standpoint, I think that’s more than fair value for Troy. I mean, Troy’s better than any player we’ll get in the late 1st or early 2nd (barring a Ginobili, Paul Milsap, David Lee level bargain), but he’s overpaid and they can absorb it. We don’t get enough cap space to sign any free agents out right, but we could, if the need arises, snatch up a quality free agent with the MLE without going over the luxury threshold.
For OKC it’s a matter of perception and projection. They are a little behind the curve in offensive rebounding, and Murphy doesn’t help there. But, Troy definitely gives them something they can use in a big man that can shoot 3s…in fact, just 3pt shooting in general. They are in the bottom 6 in 3pt % and bottom 9 in 3pt attempts (which may be a good thing). Still, they lose very little in defense and defensive rebounding when he’s on the floor compared to Collison or Kristic and I think Ilbaka can play some center and both Collison and Ilbaka can crash the offensive boards as undersized centers. Murphy may eat into some minutes of Jeff Green (if he’s not part of the deal), but I think they already play a fair amount of big lineups with Durrant at the 2 and Jeff at the 3 or backing up Durrant in those few seconds when he sits. Troy is a better rebounder and has a higher PointsPerShot average as well as a better A/TO (not a huge deal for a PF/C), and shoots a higher percentage from the field and from 3pt range than Green. I also think Murphy is an above average passer (though when he gets the ball it’s often b/c he’s open for a 3) and their big men aren’t great passers either. I’m not saying this is a no brainer, but if OKC management is willing to spend to make this season a step forward without committing any long term money, this is a viable option. They’d always still have a few of their own expiring deals to throw out there for veteran upgrades, and none of these trades take all their picks. If they got our 10th and packaged that with Collison or Kristic they could go after somebody like David West, or continue to avoid future long term deals and try for Dalambert or Nazr Mohammed, or something like that (though the 10th pick is too high for the last two I mentioned).
On a related note, I didn't include him here, but I almost wonder if Solomon Jones would add any value for them?