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Wes Wilcox Opens Trade Season

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The problems it's human nature to hate problems. But why is that after all problems inspire us to mend things. Ben Things make things better. That's why so many people work with IBM on everything from city. Traffic to ocean plastic new schools to new energy flight delays to food safety smart loves problems. Ibm Let's put smart work visit IBM DOT com slash smart to learn more the forty eight hour senior writer for bleacher report. The holidays are not quite upon us but it is as trade season trade seasons greetings. I Guess Ed joining me to discuss trade season. What it means? WHO's dealing WHO's not? Who may be coming to your favorite team or leaving it or wherever? This all goes his could friend former. GM the Atlanta Hawks now analyst on MTV and NBA. aradio wes. Wilcox how are you man. I'm great how you doing Howard. I'm doing great According to my accounting which could be faulty because math is hard. I believe I believe this is your seventh appearance. Which would tie you for bucur and I only bring that up because Rick Rick very insecure about this last Damani said what I'd like? He's like what Zach Aclu wasn't available so you had a comic so in accounted act. Thinks he's actually got more appearances than Zach does and you can record tied in that in that Tirr so you are. You're right up there. Congratulations I know this. This is your life stream means a lot but if you can get rick for the next couple. So he's I that's fine. Yeah that's fine. That's fine with us. We need we need to. We need to soothe his ego. A little bit sued doesn't start taking it out on you or Zach or me or you know we'll see so it's December the nineteenth as we're recording this in the middle of the day no trades have happened yet could happen any time time. Now I suppose but we call Tracy's let me just really quickly hit this because we didn't use to have tr trade season it was just like there's a season and eventually there's a trade deadline and now we celebrate December fifteenth. Because this is when all the guy signed over the summer eligible to be traded or at least most of them do front office. People look at it this this way or is this a completely a media creation where we're just trying to get everybody's attention so we can do some some trade talk froth definitely look at it this way it's probably been impacted a little bit of the season's been moved up. We start the season earlier and then the trade deadline has been moved up. You know before all star break so you have have more time to evaluate actual games but a lot of conversations around just the fact that you know has been widely reported. There hasn't been the trade since the Russell Westbrook Chris Paul Trade Trade you know you layer in that plus the fact that you know around forty percent of the league last year was a free agent and those guys are eligible to be traded opening up on December fifteen. It makes sense all around. It is a real thing like a teams are gearing toward look by the time December fifteenth rolls around when these guys will all be eligible to be traded. That's also when we are about a quarter of the way or or more through the season. We've got a better handle on things. This is when you really start to talk about are we are buyer a cellar. Where do we realistically think we are this season like? That's that is a real discussion. Yeah for sure it. Is You know there used to be a window to that. I I think the Houston. Well we would always say the Houston Rockets kind of created. And that was this window of sixty days prior to the trade deadline and after December fifteenth. Eighteenth this no longer exists because the trade deadline has moved up but there was this like re agregation window. Where if you received a player in trade prior to sixty exte- days before the trade deadline then you could use that players salary in aggregation again and so there was like this flurry at the beginning of December right after the December fifteenth date and prior to sixty days to the deadline And again I give Houston a lot the credit barrymore because I believe this was his kind of creation but just gotTA trade deadline has moved up. That was the motor units Thing saying wasn't it the that type of thing where you know if you acquire player you can hold them for sixty days if it works great and if not you can use that contract as a building block lack after sixty days to add more salary but again that since since the trade deadline has been moved before February fifteenth and. That's no longer a a realistic thing. In involving all the players that were signed on the Aussies all right so before we get to my my big questions about who may be dealing who's was sitting it out which players might be on the move or what we think is most realistic. I wanted to just quickly get to the potential damper on this on. That's our good friend. John Hollinger of course now with the athletic formerly with the Memphis Grizzlies formerly with ESPN Hollander mccollum. On the athletic recently basically said could be adult trade season and he listed five reasons why this may not be that interesting on the trade market or the May not be much of a trade market for the next couple of months to get a chance to to see that is there. Is there anything you agree or strongly disagree with there in terms of Hollinger's kind of Debbie Downer Downer presentation. No John Brings Up. You know a bunch of very relevant points you know the fact that you know the teams that have cap room this summer and the quality of twenty twenty free agent class And then the fact that you know some of the best teams that contenders don't have you know a lot of those teams. I don't have the tools to that are or the obvious tools to make trades or they've traded their picks however on the flip side. Were saying we're seeing something different that you bird rights once again have have a great deal of value so you can see some teams you know potentially make trade because they have expiring contracts now now and they're over the cap next year in those situations if they can trade those expiring contracts for players that have money on the books two years out that that has value to those teams or you could see a team trying to acquire player that is expiring because they want their bird rights and then in you know on the flip side you have you know these these teams that are rebuilding like in Atlanta with all the seventy million dollars cap room that they have they may become a buyer here because the fact that the two thousand twenty free agent class isn't very strong so maybe they tried to do what Chicago did a couple of years ago with auto porter now maybe that transaction hasn't worked out great for Russia Kogyo but a couple of years ago Chicago was planning to be a room team but they decided to take on a multi year contract and basically spend their cap room currently in but but do it through trade. So I'm not suggesting that teams are actually going to do these things but I am saying that we could see an active trade market because bird rights matter and teams may recognize the two thousand twenty. Free agent. Class isn't great so therefore they can spend their room now but do it in trade. Yeah I I do. Think that we've it. Seems we're getting a bit of a mini revival of the sign and trade to your point using bird rights that sign and trades almost went away. It felt like for a while after the the twenty eleven lockout and the way that that things were changed to to make sign and trades less valuable essentially It just became almost material and felt like for a while that was not a tool that was that useful and it does seem like. That's kind of come back a bit. And it's a combination of the fact that they changed the Senate trade rules one but then there was so much money in the market because of the new national. TV Deal in two thousand sixteen the CAP spike. Yeah and so you know you. Couldn't you could function as a as a room team. Well now like this off season we have twenty thirty five eighteen twenty five or so teams that are going to function above the cap and so part rights really matter of one of those twenty five teams wants to trade a player to another non room to you got to do it in a signing trade. We could absolutely see this back. And that's why a team like maybe you know. San Antonio doesn't trade trade one of their core players because they don't have to because they can potentially extract value out of A. You know Demar Derozan who could opt out of his contract. But then they retain his bird rights and trade him to a you know a what is currently good team if Tamara didn't want to go to one of these rebuilding teams with all this capra from all right so the Spurs are definitely on our agenda today so we will circle back to them in a in a bit here because that is among the interesting potential intriguing moment or a teams to be active. Potentially now I'm just like a lot of potential of and there's a lot of potential in whatever I I just I just started grabbing words that we're floating through my head for a minute there all right. Let's let's let's let's start the other end of the spectrum though let's talk about contenders I because this is a league. That's it's ruled by the contenders which contender is. The is the most in need of a deal if we're going to look at WHO's the championship race itself. However we wanted to find that? Is there one team. You think that most needs to make a deal in that class. Also I we need to define right who the contenders are which has changed a little. Oh I think yeah no. It certainly seems like there are three teams that have emerged or separated. Clearly to in the West the Lakers and the clippers and then one in the east and Milwaukee now we when you look to the West though there are a bunch such a really good teams but two teams that have clearly separated. And then when you take a step at okay. Which of the Lakers or the clippers is likely to make a trade? I don't know that anybody any of these three really clear contenders as likely to make a trade but the team that could make a trade. I think is the clippers. And that's because they have the Mohawk contract he's an expiring eleven million dollar contract and they're able to trade their twenty twenty first round pick and so there's been you know there's been talk about. I think woge recently linked Marcus Morris to clippers in potential trade. And that type of thing that heartless alone wouldn't get that done but heartless plus a minimum could get that done. And if you're if you're the clippers and you could add a player like Marcus Morris that may set you over the top. Yeah that sounds like a not just a logical but it but potentially attractive move to you if you were if you were the clippers. Yeah I mean Marcus Gets Morris is one of those players that can fit in everywhere partly because he's shooting forty seven percent from three nominees in his. You know he had number really good years there in Boston He's a versatile multi position player. Can you can move around the core. You can play small. If the Knicks decide to entertain options ends for Marcus Morris. I would think that they get a lot of action. And namely from teams like Yeah no I can see Marcus Morris on any number of teams. It seems to me like there should be a good good market for him. And that if the Knicks are pivoting as they should toward the youth and we can again. You know. bookmark that one. And we'll come back to the knicks but that that that seems like the way they should go given where their season is. Some complications potentially introduced by the fact that we don't know where the front office future is but again to be continued on that note. So let's talk about the contenders for a minute. Because when the season started I think most of US said add. There's like five in the West and there's two in the east and IT WAS MILWAUKEE AFFILIATE EAST LA teams plus Denver. Houston and Utah Ban. I think to your point. We're down to if feels like a two team race in the West. We'll see what the others do but as of now feels very much like just those two. I think it's expanded in the east. The Milwaukee's clearly ahead of them. But I feel like we've gone from what seemed like a two team race to what might be more like a sixteen race. Yes because Miami's been really really good in Boston's been really really good in. Toronto has been just strong enough to not discount them and then Indiana just kind of quietly plugging away a just staying in the thick of things. Nobody's paying attention to them. And Victor Oladipo hasn't played a minute yet. So let's revisit the question in this regard if we're talking about would contend under the most needs to make a deal how about the teams that we thought might be contenders or that might have kind of pushed their way into this discussion. Who At least have a shot? Who maybe now they've got? You know if you came into the season as Miami not really thinking you were a contender will maybe. Now you do Utah thought they were set. And they're not. Maybe maybe that's the team. I mean the teams that I just listed five in the West and six in the east. It's a long list of just named a third of the legal but I mean. Is there a team in there. You say all right. I don't believe leave them right now. But maybe they're one player or one deal away. Also the East is. I agree completely with your assessment. Milwaukee walkie is clearly established themselves as the best team but there are five other teams in Boston. Miami Toronto Philly in Indiana that are really really good They all have different elements to you know. Should they make a trade could they. Trade Miami's complicated. Because they're they're up against the hard cap in the Apron and they're planning for twenty twenty one free agency and they have the maintaining that Max room there Boston Boston. They don't have a lot of contracts to stack up. So it's it's more difficult for them. I think to make a big deal. Then you have Philly Philly is it's amazing but next season they have one hundred and thirty one and a half million dollars in five players on one hundred sixteen million dollar salary gap because because they're great at home. They've struggled on the road. They struggled last night against the zone in Miami and so you say what do they need and you look at their team. They're one of the deepest teams in the League League but currently their fourteenth offense and they have a really good defense tied for sixth that can quickly get better And so but you think think shooting right that that's the need for for Philly Philly need shooting but then you look at the splits and you know since they started. Got It right here. Hold on since they started the year. Seven and five thirteen in four. I believe and I got him at thirty eight point one percent or fourth in the League league over that stretch from three. So it's really when you start to pull this out the so that really takes you to Indiana in Toronto as the two two teams in in the in the east that that might be really active in this trade market and that would make sense and so. Let's talk about Toronto for a second. They were the team that when the season began or before began. You and I may have even discussed this couple months ago. That Toronto was fascinating. B- Obe uh-huh fascinating position because they were the defending champions but they're defending champions without their MVP. So are you in a reset mode partial reset. Are you going to let them defend the championship with with. Just the guys that you have coming back and then Lo and behold siaka makes this other leap and it feels like the right things and now I feel like it's almost ludicrous to think that they would spin off. Kyle lowry or Marcus. All or surgery Baca but you know we still got six seven weeks to go until the trade deadline and and you know maybe maybe maybe they can do both. Maybe they can use one of those guys and still actually be fortifying for run in the spring. What's your feeling thing about? Where Toronto is and what the agenda should be well number one? They probably wait until they get to. The deadline lie closer to the deadline. As you kind of imply so so they get a really clear sense of who they are and what their team is. Secondly I think they're going to be governed by twenty twenty free agency and making sure they have have maximum in two thousand twenty free agency. That's why been reported. And then they're going to be you have to believe they're gonNA be highly protective of this core Ginobili Vanfleet Seok them. And that then leaves you know gets us back to genucel and Serge who we know are expiring contracts and Kyle Lowry who they did a really creative extension this you know. Really what would that be fall. So he's largely considered tradeable more tradeable because he's on a contract at thirty point. Five million million dollars next season so the great thing about Toronto is total optionality. If they're really good they keep it together. I maybe they're a buyer on a on a short term deal that maintains flexibility for them into twenty twenty one. This team has done a great job and we don't know which way they'll go. We're GONNA we'll have a better indication how they are performing between now and the deadline. But this this is just once again a really good job of management by Masai and Bobby Bobby Webster no doubt out and assuming that Masai is still the team President of the Raptors in twenty twenty twenty one when is hitting free agency. That's the the team I would still keep my on the most. I mean we're going to talk about the Lakers. The talk about the Knicks. They'll talk about you. Know every every major market team but the the ability I think of Messiah to to attract Jaanus to Toronto another. You know a cosmopolitan city a very international city and just international roster that they've often had or certainly have now like it just. That feels like that. Just feels like something that could definitely be a major plotline so them ah the raptors still aiming for Free Agency in twenty twenty one even needing to keep the books clear needing to have a young core debt is primed to contend with a superstar joining joining them boy by the way just the crm and Unionist together is insane. Now there's really two there's their crm and you honest and there's Donald Jr and and you know Janos who is also Dallas has also lining this thing for twenty twenty one. And and that's not to say that you honestly GONNA leave Milwaukee Milwaukee Walk. He's done a fantastic job and they're really good. But that's just the reality in mill Miami with all of their young players and Jimmy Butler so so the the league like it always does lining up for the next best player. There's a narrative to be told around that. Yes and that's what they do and for the folks who are going to get all alarmist in Milwaukee about you know the plots to steal your player that is what all the other teams are obligated to do. especially if you're in. Major markets are attractive markets destination markets warm weather markets. It's like that's your job. Go try to steal the best players around the league when they hit free agency or maybe sooner in a trade. And then it's our job in the media to Listen to those rumblings and report on them and speculate about them A. B.. Want to be really clear. I I hope. I hope you doesn't leave Milwaukee. I think it's better for the League enough cities many times. It's better for the League. If superstars stay put especially in smaller markets or non destination markets. Because I think it's destabilizing for guys to always leave. I support port their ability to leave. And I don't begrudge them if they do but I think on balance and for the sake of competitive balance I would rather see Jaanus stay Eh. But that doesn't mean I can't or should not speculate on or report on what's going on out there and we know what the reality is so interesting because you talk about what the TV the other teams are supposed to. Do you talk about what the media is supposed to do. And so then you look at like. What are the Milwaukee Bucks supposed to do? And you know what they're supposed to due. They're doing exactly what they're supposed to do to keep a superstar and that is when they're winning at the highest level. This team is clearly a contender. And so I'm with you. I think it's likely that jaanus stays if Milwaukee continues to play and compete at this level but yeah the the nature of the League. It's just what you laid out there on seventy wind pace right now so good. I don't expect that to necessarily hold up just by the mass but twenty games into the season. That's not a small sample size. And they're pretty damn good even if they don't hit seventy the idea that they're going to be somewhere in the high sixties which doesn't happen very very often in this league looking very much in play for them problems. It's human nature to hate problems. But why is that after all problems inspire us to mend things. Ben Things make things better. That's why so many people work with IBM on everything from city. Traffic to ocean plastic mystic new schools to energy flight delays to food safety. SMART LOVES PROBLEMS IBM. Let's put smart to work visit. IBM DOT COM slash smart to learn more. There's still time to send Omaha steaks to everyone on your list but don't wait too long. Seventy three percent of Americans say they'd rather get the gift of great food than more stuff. That's why Omaha steaks really is the perfect holiday gift when you send Omaha steaks. 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That's why everything we sell is guaranteed to be delicious and why you'll feel good knowing you sent the perfect holiday gift direct to door shipping options are still available if you act now. Send the favored gift package plus four Free Omaha steaks Burgers for just sixty nine ninety nine when you go to Omaha. STEAKS DOT COM type hoops in the search bar. Every gift left one hundred percent money back. Guaranteed I before we leave This realm of the contenders need to make a deal. Got Two other questions within this one is when I think about the teams that were supposed to be in the mix this year that people were excited about and there's one that stands out that I feel like should should and can make a deal because they've they've got all the goods and that's the Denver Nuggets they don't right now look like a team. I mean they're really good. They're they're eighteen and eight but they don't look like a team. That's capable of challenging. The Lakers and clippers right now. They're young enough that you could say well. You play for for for a couple years from now. When some of the Lakers and clippers stars Are Starting to age a little more whatever it may be. I don't know if that's the right agenda and I I just think that as deep as the nuggets are and with some of the assets they have including shooting you know Michael Porter Jr. sitting there in reserve and they just got all these pieces they shouldn't Denver be doing something with all that. There's no doubt that Denver is going to be highly l. e. active to see. If there's a way to to just add to this kind of core group and at some point this happens to every organization that does a really good job in the draft and acquires. There's a bunch of really good young players. There's not an opportunity to get all of those guys on the court and so it often helps to consolidate minutes so one and guys playing twelve minutes and other guys playing ten minutes if you can trade somebody. That's playing twelve minutes. WHO's probably deserving of playing you know twenty five or thirty and then that creates a twenty two humidity opportunity for a guy on your existing roster that often helps helps? Your team helps your coach manage the roster and planning time helps if the player who wants more of an opportunity and helps the team trading the player to as well as adding some sort of future. Peace to your franchise so I would bet. Yes but you'll see Denver out there Trying to find a way to clean up some of their depth and youth And whether that's a more veteran player that impacts throw tation or weather if that's more future kind of draft asset leaning that that'll be for us was to find out but I I. I agree that you'll see Denver in here working around and I also think you know. Indiana is a team that is in a similar position Shen to Denver in that. They have a lot of really good young players. Victor Oladipo can come back and that Aaron holidays playing great and then TJ. Mukalla T. J. mccollum. Call Him as a young player that a lot of people like they did a great job in that signing and free agency. I think Indiana is similar to Denver in this gap. You've conversation all right so if either of those teams WanNa make a deal if they wanNA parlay some combination of young players assets. Whatever in a two for one one three for one couple players in a pick whatever do think is there anybody you have in mind you anybody you think is like in play potentially on the trade market that could push Denver ahead a little bit or push the pacers ahead a little bit? This is the part that I just think. It's too soon because everybody looks at the teams who are struggling so you look too quickly New Orleans. Oh there that team underperforming you know they lost. What is it thirteen row before their win? Last night in Minnesota Man You got to believe that all the speculation is oh we gotta we gotTa Talk to New Orleans to see if they're changing and pivoting their plans. You look to Oklahoma Coloma city a team that obviously had massive turnover this off season. They have gone orient expiring contract. Oh we got to connect with Oklahoma City and see what's going on there. The problem is there's a really good story for both of those franchises. To tell you know in Oklahoma City and New Orleans that we can go slow we can take our our time. We don't need to change the course. Yeah I mean look if I'm New Orleans I'm I'm not gonNA start panicking and decided to jettison drew holiday just because the seasons off to a rough start but I guess they at least are obligated to have the discussions all right. It's a too soon to know who who who takes Denver from from Darling of the basketball intelligencia to true contender. But we'll we'll we'll see last piece of the contender puzzle. Is this us. WHO GETS Andrea Gonzala? Because he's got to be going to one of those teams we've mentioned right e. Yeah well I I don't know because there's you know there's speculation And it's been widely reported that there's a there's a some sort of Dallas conversation with eager Dolla. And that just makes sense. Because they have the Courtney Lee Contract Act easily assumes etc and they can add second round picks to it The dollar one is really interesting and I think a little bit complicated. Because you have to know. And it's impossible for us to know but you have to know what the conversations were like when Memphis acquired ingrid from Golden Golden State if there were no conversations in acquiring a dollar you know with representatives about how they're going to handle legal on the front end and there wasn't a agreement and that would what that would look like is just the acknowledgement that we're acquiring Andre Igloo dolla in trade were were acquiring him for his contract we understand he has value across the league. We're GONNA release and let you go sign where you WANNA go versus. We're going to acquire the contract contract. We're going to hold the contract and now we're going to try to maximize the player in contract in trade. It gets really complicated because I do think it's if under everydollar really wants to play in. La with either the clippers the Lakers. That's most likely GonNa be through a buyout now. The clippers. Could you build a trade around Mo- heartless like we talked about earlier for a dollar but it's hard to believe that they would do that and add value to that so so I think this one is really complicated for Memphis and it all goes back to you know how they acquired on the front end. And it's you know only they know what those conversations were. It's interesting because it does. This does feel a little bit like he's been kind of being held hostage. We've certainly heard rumblings along those lines. Lines of maybe this you know. He's he's obviously not thrilled about this. But there's certainly been every signal coming from Memphis through various channels that they have no intention of buying lying him out. That's not what they're interested in doing. They're interested in you. GotTa pick to acquire him they WANNA get another pick or some other compensation to trade him. They're trying trying to maximize which which I listen. I would defend on. You know a general as a policy matter it makes sense to have to to US dollars contract to acquire as much value as possible. You're not obligated to buy them out. I get that on the other hand. The clock is ticking for him at this stage of his career. And you got also so. Be careful that you don't look like a team. That's doing a disservice to a very widely respected veteran and former finals. Mvp of I think it's tricky a multiple fronts and did not least of which is the message that there's maybe sending to other players agents and so I have been in this exact situation And and we I wish ultimately that we would have handled it differently I don't think it's right for us to talk about the player. But we we acquired salary filler in trade. And now this salary filler He was a very respected veteran. And I mean salary fulfil in terms of the contract Not The player but the player was at a point in his career where he wanted to play in a place where that was closer to his family. Or we just weren't going to be a contender lender and the challenge for us. was that the player at a second year on the contract. Now alternate what I wish we would have done. We would have had a conversation with the player told the player you can go back to be with his family. We're going to hold the contract until the trade deadline and if we don't trade him at the trade deadline will release you but even that we would then control the destination of the player and we didn't acquire the player because we wanted the player. We just acquired the salary. 'cause we needed to take the salary to make the deal work and so if I would do it all over again what what what I would do is. Because of the relational value of what. You're talking about of a widely respected veteran. I wish what we would have done is just at the very beginning beginning. Said listen we respect you a ton this what we would like to do. If you don't like to do it will wave you right now. Because ultimately the second round pick you're going to get is not worth worth the relational hit that you're going to take an organization and so that's why I go back to this Minnesota situation like I hope that or I'm sorry not Minnesota this Memphis situation. I I hope that Memphis has a deal lined up very quickly but the problem is even if they have deal if they're sending eager to a place he doesn't WanNA WANNA go. He could very quickly be back into that conversation with that team about. I want to buy out because I want to go get to my family. I WanNa go live here and that team is likely going to is going to be faced with a really difficult situation. And that's why you're not GONNA get a lot for dollar if you'RE MEMPHIS. However if they want to trade Dala they're doing exactly what they should do and say they're not gonNA trade him for or they're not going to release under knocking them out you're only going to have to get him in trade? I just it's. It's just one of those lines. That's really difficult to walk. Because you know the perception relational value has a lot of value to a franchise and probably more than the second round. Don't pick the little bit more than a second round pick. Then you're going to get for prospective veteran like eager dolla. Yeah that's a great breakdown and I'll just say this to put a bow on this conversation. This is a rare case where we know a guy is like he's definitely going to end up somewhere else he etc not spending the whole season in Memphis. He's not an all star right now. He's not at that level. We're not talking about what we would normally consider a blockbuster trade but I think that whichever team ends up with a gala especially if it's one of the ones that we expect one of the teams Dallas maybe one of the contenders in the east. Whoever he goes too he's GonNa make a he is a potentially huge impact? I think he's still got some miles to go in this league league and the variety of things you can do and as easily he fits in with every rod there's not a roster in the league that etc couldn't fit in with because of all the things that he can bring to the table bill. I just think that when we talk about X. factors in the race. I think he's a pretty big one and we're not really talking about him. That much right now aside from the last ten minutes of this podcast. Yeah no you you hit it. You're right on But again if eager dollars at the point in his life where he's thinking about his family and thinking about where he wants to play it it just makes it a really complicated trade scenario and it's also different by the way if you sign the player in free agency see and you hold the player like you committed to the player. You guys agreed to sign the contract both parties and you take the player into the season and your season is not working in your underperforming performing. I think that's different. I think organization you can hold the line and not by a player out and just take into the trade deadline and then figure out what it is after after the trade deadline of the players not traded i. And so the point of clarification is if you receive a player in trade and you receive the player because the contract and trade like what happened here. That's I think the relational value is one that you need to be very careful with moving on the teams that we normally talk about the most of this time of year are really the losing teams. It's usually the teams that are that are out of the race or look like they're teetering of an potentially falling out of the race so we got There's four teams in particular here that I just think have major decisions to make about just coming to grips with where they truly are. Let's start San Antonio because you you touched on earlier palm day are below five hundred but still technically in the race because the bottom of the Western Conference playoff bracket is not good right now. The the Kings as we speak are twelve and fifteen occupying eighth place and the Spurs are at ten and sixteen so just game and a half out but they're ten and sixteen eighteen and we talked a little bit the contracts at time to deal derozen or lamarcus Aldridge. And I say this. Even knowing that the San Antonio Spurs have I have not made an in season trade since one thousand nine hundred thirty two you'll have to check check the actual year. It could be off by a couple of days. They don't make NC trades. It's like it's like they're allergic to in season season trades. This feels like a year that they should be thinking about it but then I know you've already raised this. But what if they just hold onto these guys and can use them in a sign and trade deal this summer summer. which way do you think this goes or do or are they gonNA make a run because of the spurs and their unkillable so so the reason they don't make a trade is just? I like kind of what we've laid out one. There will be value there if tomorrow ops out of his twenty seven point seven million dollar player option next year. His bird rights will have value to the Spurs. That's that's certainly a reason for the for the spurs not to make a trade another reason for them to not make a trade is like you said they. They could easily make the playoffs. I don't know how much legacy matters about twenty two consecutive years. I'm making the playoffs. I believe it. Is You know the to keep that run going another reason to not make trade as they historically haven't made a trade This does feel a little bit different though. If you're San Antonio the team just hasn't performed as much or has consistently as as one would hope and when when you look at the reasons to make a trade. I think it's a good kind of there's a good pivot point here to the Detroit Pistons as well you know. There's this mad ed rush to make the playoffs if you're the Pistons last year and there. There's the the run to the playoffs the push to the playoffs. You make the playoffs. Everybody's really excited. And then you get to play Milwaukee and you get blown out and you're like I can't believe for you know we. We didn't have a better shot to to ping pong balls in the lottery. And when you're San Antonio bottom of the West anybody in the bottom of the West looking up to play against the Lakers or the clippers that can't be super exciting And then you start thinking about the flat and lottery odds you know the fact that New Orleans was the seventh chance at six percent and you know a record of thirty three and forty nine last year. They hopped up to number one in Memphis with the same record. They were ninth. They were the ninth position. They hopped up to number two. So you know. You're not gonNA see the traditional taking of just losing every game. I'm trying to get to the number one ping pong ball slot but those teams in the middle. There's a there's there's an opportunity to be competitive but maybe we could win the lottery from the eighth or ninth or Tenth Ping Pong Ball position. So I don't know I think the setup there are good reasons to do it. There's good reasons not to do it. And then you you know it's also worth us talking about just the mechanics of or what. The inclination is on the. Marta rose in New Contract because he is currently extension eligible Jabbour all right. So give me the extension wrinkle in a nutshell so he can extend the right now in order to do that. He needs to decline his player option. And then the new contract needs to start at what the the client player option amount is. So that's twenty seven little north of twenty seven seven so what that indication is if it's either one of two things San Antonio has either doesn't WanNa pay him twenty seven point seven million dollars or Demar Derozan doesn't want to make twenty seven seven million dollars or Demar Derozan wants a change And this is the same exact situation going on with the Pistons and Andre Drummond and so now how does that impact the trade world. Well then you look at the market and the twenty nine potential teams. You could trade the player to. I'm not there aren't twenty nine teams but just say the entire market those teams are going to look at Damore Roseanne as an expiring contract. Who they're going to have to pay twenty seven seven two in extension if or in a new contract because we have some level of indication vacation here of what Demar derozen expecting in free agency next season alright so all of that under consideration consideration? It sounds like you're you would lean toward the idea of San Antonio's probably not making a deal. Those guys are priced put situation. I would think San Antonio would probably probably try to get a sense of what the market may look like. I can't imagine it's going to be incredibly robust market given the set of we just talked about and so then because you just keep it together for another couple of months try to make the playoffs. Maybe you don't deal with. The Bird writes this summer. Potentially if Tamar ops out of the contract or maybe at that point you know you try to do some different extension because Things have kinda settled across the league and you have a better sense of value both from the players perspective effective in teams perspective and he absolutely could be traded. I just think it's GonNa be it's GonNa be a little. There's there's good reasons for San Antonio to go slow on this one as we've just laid out next team that I'm curious about that. I just think again caught in between decisions to make the Portland Trailblazers. They're twelve and sixteen as we speak again. Only a half game out of the playoff field but far from where they expected to be or hopes to be after after making a run to the conference finals but they changed a ton of pieces. They're not the same team. They got that whiteside contract when they made the deal for whiteside. You could see it as is just a stopgap. This is okay. We need a placeholder until gets healthy and whites available. It's low risk in because he's expiring on the other hand potentially higher higher risk because he's been kind of a a chemistry nightmare at times in his career but the thought was from a lot of people around the league will whites is not just a stopgap. Whiteside is is a piece that they're gonNA flip they're going they're gonNA take him on for now and he starts at center. He's he's a placeholder for Norwich. But in the meantime they're also going to look to us that contract and combined with a young player player maybe Simon's maybe somebody else or combined with picks and that's how they're gonNA get Kevin love or I've heard more recently lamarcus aldridge was just named floated but also signed Carmelo Anthony to guarantee deal and they've really committed to him and I think he's a four at this stage and I don't know does that preclude another another deal. Should they be using the whiteside contract. Should they still be trying to make a run at whatever I don't I don't know what the goal of the season would be at this stage aside from just make the playoffs but What do you what do you think their agenda should be? Well Portland unique. Probably because they have these two big expiring contracts in Whiteside and base more but as those contracts those large contracts expire. Because there's such a high salary team this year. They're not going to be a room team next season. So and yes as you laid out. They've underperformed I think the expectations though they're playing better. They had a tough schedule. A lot of road games early. They had a bunch of new players on their roster. You know really the the main key guys that were that were holdovers. Were Lillard and mccullum and Anthony Simmons and that Collins but the injury really hurt them. So I do think Portland's GonNa take a longer view because they've had just a unique start to the season But when you look at these two contracts and you say okay these players are going to be expiring so we either value their bird rights so we can re-sign them or use them consigning trade this summer or maybe we take these contracts and move these contracts for longer term money that we can put on our books right now. And that's that's how you get to Kevin Love and lamarcus Aldridge Portland has had a bunch of optionality. Here neill she continues to do a great job. This is a different con- conversation conversation though when it comes to a player like Kevin Love because the three years and ninety million dollars on that contract. I've asked a lot of friends around the league. You Know Oh from from a League wide perspective. The League look at Kevin Love's contract as an asset that then Cleveland would expect to get value foreign trade or does the League look at the contract as a liability where then Cleveland would need to potentially incentivize the contract to move the contract and I think the League in general you know talking to just tons of people out there. Who are you know highly respected? I think it's kind of neutral neutral. It's neutral value. So teams are GONNA look to Cleveland and say look we're GonNa if we take Kevin love were helping you by cleaning up three years of ninety million on your books and therefore we're not gonNA give you a lot for that contract but we're also going to not ask you to give something because Kevin love is still a good player so I do think a player like Kevin love could make sense for Portland Carmelo Anthony I don't think gets in the way of that Partly because Carmelo is going to be a free agent next year and there's no guarantee see that Carmelo is GonNa be back so I do think Portland kind of makes any sort of moves in the short term is more about the the future for them than it is about the current team team. This year does love help them enough that forget whatever they move. I mean if it's whether it's based more plus some stuff or whiteside plus some stomach Cleveland's GonNa want some sort of you've compensation other than just a salary dump they're gonna WanNa feel like they got something value back I would think does Kevin love moved the needle enough that it's that this makes sense at this stage I don't know if Kevin moves the needle enough But he would help your team in the future The big concern is the only way Kevin love of is not going to help. Your team is if Kevin Love is injured now whether or not he's playing at the level of a thirty million dollar contract that's separate conversation but when you're a team like Portland in your above the salary cap you know you don't really have the option to to trade for a player based upon you know the value of that contract and Portland got got an ownership group that just continues to spend at a you know just Incredible level so. I don't know how much he would move the needle but you know once it's whiteside twenty seven million dollars contract expires you either use that. He uses bird rights which would be particularly valuable. Or you've lost the twenty seven million dollar all are expiring contract to add to your roster next year a couple more one ahead we are going to be running way over on on time here as always it's always such a great discussion and we we cannot possibly contain this As I'd like to tell people the full forty eight is really just a rolling average and occasionally we come. We come up a little bit shorter when in West night talk it goes longer and that makes up for the shortfall at other times all right couple more in the in the differ interesting decisions. Because you already tell you touched on this briefly you talked about Detroit. Loyd I'm not that interested really in Detroit's future they just they. They're such to me UNINSPIRING team. They are where they are Blake Griffin is still a blast to watch watch when he's at his best I just I don't know what the trajectory or the the goal of this team is right now. So let me just ask this question. Andre Drummond and expiring contract contract under German is a bit of a throwback as a as a center in the style of play that he brings to the table. If they WANNA flip Andre Drummond for something. Is there the value out there. I mean the numbers that he puts up you would suggest especially to Pistons fans and and I think anybody who's drunk fan. Well you should be able to get something really good for him. If you're trading under German but I I I find myself a little skeptical. What do you think well I think either two conversations the question one is what team Andre Drummond? I think there's a lot of teams I want. Andre Drummond question too is do teams want to acquire Andre Drummond and then pay him twenty eight point seven million dollars next year and his player. Your option or deal with unrestricted free agency and play him a new contract likely somewhere in that range are larger that we're getting getting because he hasn't signed an extension and so I think it's GonNa be a lot more challenging for you. Know the League in general to acquired Andre Drummond and pay him the money. It's GonNa take that. It seemed to be at least the indication is that he wants so that data. Loan that that concern or that `ambiguities about his intentions could dampen the market right. Like the if you think he's going to come to you immediately opt out and then one oh one hundred forty million dollars over four years whatever it adds up to that might be a little off putting or at least make you pause in terms of what. You're willing to send out the the exact same conversation that we just had with. Marta rose yes with Andre Drummond. It's the financial clear. Clearly the indication is because they're extensions eligible and there is no extension. The financial desire by the player is greater than what the team is willing to give. And so you have to find teams out there who are going to be willing to meet that expectation right. Last team in this category is the Oklahoma City Thunder. I thought they had a chance to be in the playoff mix when the season started. I didn't picked him to actually make it but I thought they'd be in that mix they are in that mix their seventh right now though a game under five hundred. Everybody's fixating on or had fixated on Chris Paul all because I thought well what's the point of him being there. That's the guy you WANNA move. But he also has this massive deal on the other hand. You've got a guy like Gallinari who could be very valuable to a number of teams in his uninspiring. You Got Steven Adams. I mean pretty much you know. They're just trying to figure out what they're going to become next now. That they're in the Post Westbrook era but in the meantime they might just make the playoffs Do you think the temptation is just you know what again kind of discussed we've had. Hey keep there's no rush together. Make the playoffs. Give your fans something to. It's still root for you. got a future hall of Famer and Chris Paul you got some decent pieces around him or are you immediately looking to try to figure out how to leverage some of these pieces that you are not part of your long term and do something else and make a deal now. Yeah so Golden State is. I'm sorry Golden State. Oklahoma City is GonNa make some sort of trade because they're going to get themselves out of the tax 'cause they need a there. They are Peter tax team. They're they're slightly into the tax now they can make a small move. That'll get him out of attacks and and then they'll be out of the tax a second year and then they'll be clear of the repeater so number one. That's gotta be an Oklahoma City's playbook the second thing I'd say if you're looking at the Oklahoma City Thunder I would do whatever the whatever is best to potentially move Chris Paul and if the perception of making the playoffs caroling into the playoffs having Chris Paul playing the playoffs and look really good. Helps you move Chris. Paul down the line. That's probably where you lean the franchise. 'cause that's gotta be your number one. An organizational priority just to help get Chris to a to a place. That's going to be a contender for him and clears up. You know the the runway for Shakeel Alexander in Potentially Dennis Schroder and then thirdly like we talked about there's going to be value for a guy like you know Danilo Gallinari inside and trade this summer so so I think the setup is really really good here for Oklahoma City there. They've clearly advanced the mall with all that they did this off season. But there's value for this team to be good and make the playoffs and that value in maintaining where bushing and growing the value of Chris Paul. And they're going to be able to extract the value in the penetrate market. Most likely I just want to see them. Trade Gallinari to To Portland both because Portland could really use them and also I just like the oddity of him and Carmelo Carmelo now being teammates after being traded for each other all those years ago. Well look if GONNA hit the market he would be really valuable to a lot of teams so you could actually see that you ask like who are you looking at in Denver to players. That could really help a team like Denver would be gone. Rem Marcus Morris players. We've already talked about so and and those deals could make sense because there's young players that could go back to these teams. That are kind of in a more younger player focused mode So that those types of things could absolutely happen happened. I just think Oklahoma City again impressed. He's done just such an amazing job. Toronto they have great optionality to kind of go either way. Let's hit the Knicks real briefly. Briefly this is this is word another category entirely this we were talking about teams that were just kind of stuck in between try to figure which direction the next direction is clear. They're going nowhere at the moment. And I and once again have to kind of reassess what the future holds and who's part of that long term plan as you're looking at their roster. We've talked a lot about Marcus. arcus Morris They signed Julius randle to a slightly longer deal. I think in the idea that he worked out with them. Maybe he's part of a core moving forward. I think they gotta be reassessing. That given his performance performance so far I got to think that there's probably nobody untouchable in this entire roster for that matter but other than maybe orgy Barrett I mean I think even Mitchell Robinson he's kind of plateaued I don't don't you know Kevin Knox hasn't done much like I don't know who they're building around. I don't know if like I say I. I don't know what their agenda should be right now for or this season other than if they can find a way to flip. Some of the veterans in particular for younger or younger players. Picks feels like that. That seems like common sense to me. So then my question to you is this. How much value would Marcus Morris having trae? What could they reasonably suspect to get back? If they decide to put Julius randle out there who you you know based on his draft position a few years back and based on what he did in New Orleans last year you would think would have you know great upside still in value out there like did these guys have the kind of value the knicks would want. If they're going to bother going down that road in the first place. If this is about getting picks and young players I would think you would get the first pick for Marcus Morris. He's just been that good and so that seems to be a very reasonable. You know a very reasonable yield for a player like Marcus that shoots shoots. The ball is versus as versatile. Defense you know fifteen million dollar contract you gotTa send out on average around eleven million dollars to bring the contract back like ten million dollars. Brings things back fifteen million dollar contract. It's just a little bit different if he's going to attack team or not. So it's a Marcus Morris. Trade makes all the sense in the world. If you're the Knicks Julius Randall. I think is a little bit more complicated. Just because the fact he doesn't shoot the ball you know from distance and he's turned a little more turnover. Prone is a tendency to kind of hold the ball so the fee is more challenging to find a home for a player like Julius randle. If you're the Knicks though you probably just circle the players the young players on your roster that you think are going to be with you long term that you've invested in like Rj Barrett. And I'm a fan of nil. Akina I I think he's you know beat up a little bit because draft position. I think he was drafted ninth so teams look at him. He's like oh you should be X.. And then I think he's been billed as a point guard. I I think he's more of just kind of a Combo Guard. More the more in the lines of a wing defender. Who can you know isn't improving off ball player I like Camila Kina. I like RJ Barrett. Beyond that. I think you have to potentially put everything in play. If you're the Knicks and say you know what can we get that can help us in in the future and so then the the more delicate part of this becomes well. The Knicks might blow out everybody by the end of this this by by the time. This is all over and there's already speculation of course about the front office whom I come in all this other stuff without necessarily getting into that part of it. Do you think that that necessarily early May put some just inhibit a little bit what they can do because if ownership is thinking about the next move in terms of decision makers how much does he going going to empower the current guys to make trades that impacts the future and what their successor might do mean is a reasonable to think that that actually could prevent them from doing anything using you'll get a directive from ownership and it's your responsibility as a representative the organization to to execute that directive with you know within your best effort and so that happens all the time across the NBA. And I see no Y.. So so I see no reason why that couldn't happen here. In in New York with uncertainty across the organization. Well then of course. This is the organization that allowed Phil Jackson stick around long enough to make the draft pick. That became Frank Ntilikina right before pushing him out the door so the new normal logical Approach doesn't necessarily always apply to the Knicks. So so who knows. I gotTA believe they're going to be active and I gotta believe they're going to do some of the things. We've just been talking about all right before we wrap up. I WanNa get to the team that I think has the most fascinating decision to make and there are several but I just think that this stands out because of who they are the Golden State Warriors Acquired de Ngelo Russell. In that dual sign and trade with durant going to Brooklyn. It was an opportunistic move by the warriors I liked it. I think we all praised it at the time. It made a lot of sense. He helps take some pressure off curry. Sorry he gives you another offensive weapon. It's a way to to get some value out of durant leaving all of these things but it was also well. Does he really makes sense there long term. Is He really there to stay. And even even the Russel's interviews. He's kind of big knowledge pretty openly. Yeah I don't I don't know what the future is going to hold. He's not expecting. He understands the sleepworks. So I'M GONNA I'm GonNa make an assumption that he's not there for the long term and the only question I have is. Does it make more sense to try to move him now. Within this season that is ah last season anyway and their teams out there that could certainly use somebody of his calibre or are there other reasons to to just hold off. Let Him and just keep going out. There put up numbers. See what you get out of him. See what the season holds and then revisit that in June July yeah they most likely revisited it in June in July because they could end up with picking the draft or you know the number three pick in the draft and when you start you know shopping the trade market with at least one time all star there Diangelo Russel and the top. Let's just say it's a top five pick You know there's going to be picked numbers that they're not going to trade correct right if they if they get the number one overall pick and they're convicted about who that player could be could be another franchise level guy then you're probably not gonNA train the pick but if the pick was three and and you're not one hundred percent convinced than somebody else does really want the number three pick and you have a young point guard now you start getting into some really interesting conversations and so you just have to believe that. That's that's that's probably the route golden state goes I. It's going to be interesting with golden state this year because they're five point nine million dollars into the luxury tax. They haven't and been a team that has made you know financial decisions because there's just such an incredible market that they're in and they're doing just an amazing job but you know you just wonder if they don't make some sort of tax move it just hard to believe that they would use the Ngelo Russell to make that kind of tax move so I think we're GONNA see San Antonio or I'm sorry calling Golden State play this thing out and deal with the summer. Yeah I I could I could definitely see it My feeling is an tell me if I'm wrong on this I would assume that the general approach is if the right deal comes along and and and that sounds really simple and and Just like obvious but if the Minnesota Timberwolves who we knew who was was interested in I don't know what the patch would be but if they come knocking and there's like we just we have to have him now. This is the key to our whole season and I don't know what they're willing to put on the table but if somebody comes comes along and makes the right offer before February sixth the trade deadline I. I don't see where reason why anybody would like rule it out of hand right like if you think this is is probably a question of can you get the best deal by February six and if you can't you've got all the time in the world because there is no rush and and yet there's other deals to be made involving the draft in June and their deals with me made once teams have a little bit more flexibility in July. When guys are coming off the books but if somebody came along with the right deal now whatever the right deal is that's still on the table right? Yeah I mean every organ Golden State's going to likely say listen. Well listen to the conversation regarding any of our players. The exception of clay stuff and Draymond Egmont and so if somebody comes in and presents some sort of package that really helps the team for them in the future then Golden State will listen to that scenario not unlike what. We're looking a little bit with New Orleans you know. Enjoy your holiday. We haven't really talked a ton of drew holiday Eh. I don't think New Orleans are going to trade you holiday because he is extension eligible this summer and they're going to want to go through that extension conversation most likely to cheat if they can't figure something out long-term withdrew because he's only twenty nine years old and he's a perfect fit with what they're trying to do but if somebody knocked on New Orleans door and and said hey this. Is this incredible package. We're going to present to you for drew holiday. Yeah then maybe you could get New Orleans to pivot if you're blown away away by a trade offer with the player that you're just even slightly should consider trading than yes. You have to engage in that type of conversation. I have a hard hard time figuring out what his values should be. I was a skeptic a little bit of a skeptic when he arrived in Brooklyn he obviously had a really nice season last year. He makes the all star team as an injury replacement moment but it should be noted but still made the All star team he certainly has has matured in a lot of ways and he games mature. I think his demeanor but I'm not. I'm not sure how to properly value him. You have a sense of if if they put them out there right now. What should they be able to get for him? What should a team be willing to give up for De Ngelo. I'm with you. It's hard to assess right. Yeah you know I have a hard time establishing you know value here. 'cause you know early in the year last year in Brooklyn he's not finishing the games for them and the second half the year after Care Scott hurt and he was incredible And obviously became the the All star that that you referenced At minimum you would expect to get some sort of expiring contract and some sort of young asset asset young piece Whether that be a young player or a draft pick. That's kind of I think the Ballpark of what you would look like for. Just a Daniel Russell player you know trade but if you had again the twenty seven twenty eight million dollar contract to trade and potentially the number three pick and a bunch of more games for de Ngelo Russell to get out there and play healthy and you know score a bunch of points. I think that's probably where you're in the conversation for the next best. You know that trend French prime player that is on the trade market. This is such a bizarre thing that entire warriors like trajectory factory. Or or if you start tracking from you know the finals or even the previous year winning a championship coming into the finals. The injuries the defections actions you know just basically being the worst team in the league now and then the potential of having Steph Curry Klay Thompson draymond green all still oh in their prime later prime but still and then healthy gonNA start next season. I mean people talk about like David Robinson and the Tim Duncan draft. And all that this is like I don't. I don't think we've seen anything like this before a team of that caliber naked fall this far this fast while knowing all along. Yeah but you know we're we're going to be more than fine by opening. I have twenty twenty and it's just a matter of trying to figure out how to retool around them which is no small thing but still the the very idea that that core is back together and still really potent likely. It's absolutely fascinating. It's it's down the line it is. You know we've got a thousand things that are gonNA happen before then but I just think that if you're charting the ups and downs of the warriors and where this potentially ends up not so long from now it's it's fascinating like like I say I don't think we've seen anything like it before you nailed it. I mean they can just do nothing at the number one. Pick and be a contender again next year. And that's like a very reasonable path for ordered state. It's absolutely it's absolutely ridiculous. Just because it's so frigging bizarre but love it. This league never ceases to energy us or amaze and on that note. I should probably let you go because we do this much longer. it will always be Christmas. Day Games Slate or actually. Tonight's slate with the Lakers bucks which I can't wait to see if so we should probably both you know. Move on with our days so that we can actually see those games west. This has been phenomenal. Always Happy Happy Holidays to you and your family then. 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