The Westfield Voice

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The Westfield Voice

The Westfield Voice

NBA Trades That Just Make Sense: Part 1

Tim Hardaway Jr. Blasts off to Houston

It’s official: Jimmy Butler will be spending his foreseeable future in The City ofBrotherly Love, and the Houston Rockets missed out on their opportunity to adda third superstar to their top-heavy roster (sorry Melo). With only eight viable playoff rotation players, the Rockets are dancing with the devil this season. With CP3 at 33 this season, and in the early stages of a monster contract, Houston has the pieces to win but they need to do it right now. With some early season struggles, the Rockets need a slight shakeup to jumpstart their talented roster.

Enter Tim Hardaway Jr. and the New York Knicks. If the Rockets were to acquire Hardaway Jr, they would have one of the most lethal benches in the league.Paired with Eric Gordon, who can play both the 1 and 2, they’ll have experienced and proven shot makers ready to sub in for Harden and Chris Paul, without the team skipping a beat on offense and giving their stars some rest for the postseason.

Hardaway Jr. provides Houston with a fresh weapon that teams would have to game plan for without causing potentially large chemistry issues that could come when adding a superstar to an already talented roster. Houston seems like their missing something, and after coming so close in the last playoffs, only to lose out due to injury, another quality rotation piece could be everything to them.

The Knicks should make this trade because Tim Hardaway Jr’s contract is taking some serious space in the Knicks current payroll and free agency aspirations.They’ll have to move some more pieces around to reach the space needed for amax contract, but they have enough solid pieces that teams buying at the deadline will absolutely be interested in some of their bigger contracts. To make the trade work, the Knicks will have to take on Brandon Knight’s 15million per year contract, with one more season after this one, but that is not nearly as bad as it seems. Knight may have underperformed so far in his career, but he’s worth taking a flyer on, as he’s still a young point guard with decent size for his position and a well-established offensive game when he’s healthy.

Obviously, he is not the player Tim Hardaway Jr. is, but if Houston throws in intriguing pieces like Zhou Qi, Marquese Chriss and a pick, it could pay dividends in NewYork down the line. This will help them lose games now and get a better pick in the front-loaded draft, clear space to pursue a high-quality free agent, and get more minutes to develop some of their younger guards like Frank Ntilikina and Allonzo Trier.

Scary Terry Moves to the Desert

Allow me to preface this by saying do not believe the scuttlebutt that Terry Rozier is unhappy in Boston. He knew exactly what the deal was going into the season, and you’d have to be exactly one of two people on the planet to truly believe that you should start over Kyrie Irving at point guard. However, this all being said, it may be in both Terry’s and Boston’s best interest to mutually part ways by this year’s trade deadline. Terry is in line to get paid after this season, and after doling out for Marcus Smart this summer, the Celtics are unlikely to match any offers north of the 12-15 million dollar range with contracts extensions for Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum looming in the future.

The Phoenix Suns have a pretty big positional need for a 1-guard. They have a bona-fide stud in Devin Booker, young and talented wings, and number 1 pickDeandre Ayton covering the center-spot. They do not need an all-star at the point guard spot, but they do need someone to keep their offense moving and play some defense in the backcourt since they probably won’t be getting that fromBooker. Rozier would provide them a young lead guard that fits their team’s timeline, plays both sides of the ball, and has invaluable playoff experience.

Boston would have to get back something significant to pull the trigger on this. Rozier was huge for them in the playoffs last year, and was a valuable piece in a rotation that was devastated with injury last year. Marcus Smart is a great backup at the point, but he cannot be relied on to take over Kyrie’s scoring role in the same manner Rozier did in last years playoffs. To get this done,Danny Ainge and Co. would have to get a cost-controlled player who they feel could be a valuable contributor in their rotation. They would need either Mikal Bridges or Josh Jackson, and if I’m Danny Ainge, I’m demanding Bridges. Abetter shooter on a cheaper and longer contract, Bridges can slide into the 2spot on Boston’s 2nd unit. He will also provide defense with his lengthy frame and be a quality spot up shooter with rookie potential way beyond his would be role of a 3 and D player. Boston and Phoenix should do Rozier forBridges, straight up. 

Jeremy Lin Teams up with the Greek Freak

These Milwaukee Bucks are legitimate contenders, full stop. The Greek Freak is my front runner for MVP this year, and he has a solid unit surrounding him. WithEric Bledsoe and Malcom Brogdon at the guard spots, Middleton on the wing,Brook Lopez as a stretch 5 and Giannis doing it all, this Milwaukee starting five can compete with anyone. The biggest flaw with this team is figuring how to generate points when Antetokounmpo takes a breather. Eric Bledsoe is a great point guard, but their best playmaker after Giannis is bound to play the vast majority of his time on the floor alongside the Greek Freak. Brogdon can run the offense as well, but he’s better served as the starting unit’s off guard spotting up and keeping the ball moving around.

Running the second unit, Matthew Dellavedova is not going to get it done, and it’s a lot to put on rookie Donte DiVincenzo for a contending team.  They have quality shooters off the bench, all they are missing is someone that can be trusted with the ball in his hands creating looks for his teammates. This is why acquiring Jeremy Lin could make this a team that gives the elites in the East fits, and could even be a nightmare for the Golden State Warriors. Lin is a proven guard and has been his best in situations where he can be a high usage player with the ball in his hands. Hemight not be lights out from the long range, but Lin would give Giannis andBledsoe help as the team’s playmakers and would allow for Budenholzer to give his entire starting unit more rest. Surrounded by shooters in Snell, DiVincenzo, Connaughton, and Illyasova, this second unit could put up points on anyone’s backups.

The Atlanta Hawks should make this move because, frankly, he makes no sense on that team anyway. Trae Young is their point guard of the future, and Jeremy Lin does not fit in with this team’s time line. He is a quality player in the prime of his career toiling away as a backup on a lottery-bound team, who has not had a chance yet to be on a legitimate contending team. If the Bucks offered a protected first and Thon Maker, Atlanta should jump at that. Thon is young and is still a very interesting piece yet cannot seem to find a spot for himself in the Bucks rotation. He could get his career on track with an opportunity inAtlanta, giving them a good piece moving forward with their young team and allowing Lin to be a major contributor on one of the NBA’s best teams.

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