The majority of our small community is ready to blow things up. I’m not 100% in that mode yet, but I always like to play tinkerer. There are only two players I’d certainly move — Ryan Anderson and Omer Asik (but, Asik is a very tough sell). I can be talked into Eric Gordon, but I don’t see him as someone who has to go. So in the spirit of making moves, here’s a rare four team trade that makes sense for everyone — panicky fan bases included.
Why New Orleans does it:
Dario Saric brings a lot of what Markieff Morris would have brought — toughness and positional flexibility. He’s probably a four, but can play some three. He’s a good passer from the limited film I’ve seen on him. He has a solid jumper and isn’t a bad defender. Also, he’s on a rookie contract. He also doesn’t come over until next year so the losses keep adding up improving lottery odds. This is also like recouping a 1st rounder we squandered in past years.
I’ve covered my thoughts on KJ McDaniels in a previous column, but in case you missed it:
"Aside from jaw-dropping dunks in transition and in traffic, McDaniels has very little offensive game to speak of. He should just be, "K McDaniels." However, despite this flaw, I love this kid. And he is a kid. At 22, he has plenty of time to develop a jumper. What he does bring is size on the wing (he can switch between the 2 and the 3) at 6’-6" and 205 lbs, crazy athleticism, shutdown defense and a highlight reel of chasedown blocks, like this one:
Aside from the highlight play, he provides consistent defense allowing his opponents to shoot only 25% while he’s in their face. While he can’t shoot and the sample size is small, he’s posting a 104.5 offensive rating and a stifling 83.9 defensive rating for a net of +20.6 points while on the court. The potential and the sample size is well worth the three-million a year the Rockets gave him this offseason. Why they aren’t using him more is puzzling, but maybe there is a move that could bring him to New Orleans afterall. Still, you have to wonder why he wasn’t sniffed around to begin with. He’s probably a fast food version of Andre Iguodala waiting for his chance, and he could possibly be the guy to take hold of the three spot for years if he improves his shooting. At worst he’s Alonzo Gee with a better highlight reel."
Covington is the 3 and D guy the Pelicans have been seeking to play the three since I still ate fast food that wasn’t Popeye’s. He’s had a bit of a down year so far, but he’s not fully healthy and doesn’t have a lot of help on a Philly team with no guards that set him up and only one other real offensive threat. Still, in a down year he’s still shooting almost 38% from deep and playing solid defense with 2.3 steals and 1 block per game.
The best part of this trade is that it gives the Pelicans potential, fills holes, and all of these players are on great contracts.
Why Houston does it:
The Rockets move on from the offseason mistake of bringing in Ty Lawson and get some good parts back in return. Markieff Morris has been the apple of their eye for some time now. We’ve had several pieces and active commentary from the Bird Writes readers saying why Morris would be so sought after (as well as some with the opposite viewpoint), so I won’t go too deep into it. Morey likes him, and that’s all that matters. They also get Tony Wroten who is a solid if unspectacular second unit player that can improve a shoddy perimeter defense. They do have to give up a 1st, but it will not be a lottery pick and they now have more incentive to flip Terrence Jones into another part or a pick with the Markieff acquisition.
Why Phoenix does it:
The Suns unload a malcontent which is sometimes more important than what comes back in a trade. However, what comes back isn’t bad. We all know what "good" Anderson brings to a team. The Suns are hoping for more good than the bad-shot-taking/ball-hogging Anderson that can creep up. Still, the spacing he could provide (no matter which Anderson appears) and his improved rebounding could help a team with great cutting and driving guard play. Also, Tyson Chandler and Alex Len will help offset his defensive liabilities.
Why Philadelphia does it:
There’s been somewhat of an organizational shift in Philly — losing is getting old. This move doesn’t fix that immediately, but it could help. They lose a good player in Covington, but he’s more of a good player on a team with better players than the second offensive threat on a team with offensive offensive play. If Mike D’Antoni is truly coming on board, then Ty Lawson’s speed will be a big boost to the dire backcourt situation in Philly. Goodwin could also improve the backcourt play. If Lawson doesn’t work out, the 2nd year of his contract is not guaranteed, that combined with the two picks they gain in this trade can be used to flip into a solid veteran player from a team looking to shed cap space. They lose Saric, but they have a ton of front court players already, so that loss isn’t devastating.