Running with Zaza

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Melo for Josh Smith? A Great Deal for Both Teams

I am spending my Sunday afternoon watching four of the top five teams in the NBA compete against each other at the highest level. These teams are playing in front of packed houses with playoff atmospheres. So, I started wondering what the Hawks can do to reach the next level.

I like this Hawks team, but honestly the ceiling for this team is probably winning a playoff series this year. After this year, things will change. Look what happened yesterday when Mike Bibby was out of action. The Hawks were thumped at home by the Los Angeles Clippers.

Every NBA fan is excited about the 2010 off season. Scenarios for 2010 are talked about daily on NBA blogs and in mainstream NBA coverage. What can the Hawks do to get ready for the vaunted free agent Class of 2010?

Here is my solution. Forget about trying to land Lebron, D. Wade, or Bosh in 2010. Make a trade now that will set you up for the next 4 years. I went to ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine to see what I can do to help GM Rick Sund and the Hawks.

Rick Sund should call the Denver Nuggets and offer them this trade: Josh Smith, Acie Law, and Speedy Claxton for Carmelo Anthony and Anthony Carter. The trade machine allowed the deal, but I think Josh Smith would have to approve it. Would getting away from home and Mike Woodson be enticing enough?

What are the benefits for the Hawks? This trade jumps the Hawks up on the NBA talent scale. Their starting line up for this year’s playoffs would be Mike Bibby, Joe Johnson, Carmelo, Al Horford and Zaza Pachulia.

In a playoff series with days off, that lineup has a legitimate chance to beat Boston, Cleveland, or Orlando. Horford can fill his natural position of power forward. The Hawks would then have a number one offensive option to pair up with Joe Johnson, who is one of the best all around players in the NBA. This trade might even encourage Bibby to re-sign with Atlanta for less money.

What are the benefits for the Nuggets? Because of injuries or other reasons, Carmelo’s stats are down across the board. He still has four years left on his deal with Denver, but the Nuggets have Linas Kleiza waiting in the wings.

This trade would make the Nuggets Chauncey Billups’ team to run. That is a good thing for the Nuggets. They would lose Melo’s scoring, but they would add a dynamic, young player in Josh Smith. The great thing about Smith is that his contract is very manageable.

What are the benefits for the principal players—Melo and J-Smoove? Melo moves to a great city. He would instantly be the biggest sports star in Atlanta. That means more exposure for the Hawks, but it also means that Melo has a chance to be a perennial all star in the Eastern Conference. J-Smoove gets to move away from Coach Mike Woodson and play in a more up tempo style with the Nuggets.

This trade seems to benefit everyone involved. The Nuggets even get Speedy Claxton’s expiring contract and a young back up point guard in the deal. Acie probably would be better in an up tempo style as well.

Undoubtedly, this kind of blockbuster trade will never be attempted by the Hawks. Sund seems pretty conservative plus the Hawks’ ownership quagmire is well documented. Maybe I am just dreaming about Carmelo and the Hawks playing big games on Sunday afternoons on ABC. Philips Arena would be rocking.


Post a Comment 1 comments:

melo said...

Thanks for the post, but I'll say this. Despite what you've heard, Linas Kleiza is NOT waiting in the wings at Denver.

February 12, 2009 at 10:15 AM

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