Five blockbuster deals that should happen (but probably won’t)

The trade deadline is just a week away, so I thought it would be fun to play puppet master and propose a few blockbuster trades that should happen, but probably won’t. Let’s start with the least likely and work our way to the most credible. (Honestly, I had this idea before I hit the ESPN NBA page this morning and saw Chad Ford’s similar piece. Don’t worry, we don’t suggest any of the same trades.) Click on the link to see each trade in the ESPN Trade Machine.

1. Amare Stoudemire for David Lee
To make the salaries work, the Knicks would also include Jared Jeffries and Chris Duhon in the deal.
Why the Knicks should do it: Stoudemire had his best years under Mike D’Antoni and would welcome a reunion. He’s also a big name that would encourage another superstar to join the franchise this summer, and he’s more likely to re-sign with the Knicks because New York is the media capital of the world. They’d also benefit from clearing Jeffries’ salary from the books, leaving around $13 million in cap space to sign a big name (assuming Stoudemire does NOT opt out of the final year of his deal).
Why the Suns should do it: David Lee is a great fit for the Suns’ up-tempo system and he’s almost as good as Stoudemire (PER: 22.1 vs. Amare’s 20.2) at about 60% of the cost. Phoenix would pay a little more this season and have to take on Jeffries’ contract, but they’d have a young All-Star caliber power forward to build around. If they stand pat and Amare opts out, they stand to lose him with nothing to show for it, as they only would have around $4 million in cap space if Amare bolts.
Why it won’t happen: Phoenix won’t want to take on Jeffries’ contract for next season without a commitment from Lee to re-sign for a reasonable salary. He was asking for $10 million per season last summer, but his price is probably going up after making a push for the All-Star Game in 2010.

2. Kevin Martin for Carlos Boozer
The Kings would also include Ime Udoka to make the salaries work.
Why the Jazz should do it: They could use another scorer in the backcourt and there’s a possibility that they’ll soon lose Ronnie Brewer. Moving Boozer will free up minutes for Paul Millsap, who played at an All-Star level with Boozer sidelined last season. The Jazz would also save almost two million this season, inching them closer to the luxury tax threshold ($69.9 million).
Why the Kings should do it: The Tyreke Evans-Kevin Martin marriage is apparently not working (though I keep suggesting the Kings try Evans at small forward), and the Kings need a good big man. Even though he’s a bit injury-prone, Boozer is just 28 and is in his prime. He’d be a great sidekick for Evans, and the Maloofs have deep enough pockets to pay him this offseason.
Why it won’t happen: The Jazz are under the impression that they are a real contender this season, though a 15-point loss to a Kobe-less Laker team in Salt Lake City should put a damper on that thinking. Still, if an injury were to strike one of the Lakers’ stars, the Jazz would be one of the teams that could sneak into the Finals. The Kings wouldn’t do this deal because they’d be worried about Boozer bolting after the season — and that’s a real possibility. That’s not all bad, though. If Boozer didn’t re-sign, the Kings would have an extra $10 million in cap space this summer, giving them a total of $20 million to spend.

3. Tracy McGrady & Kyle Lowry for Andre Iguodala & Samuel Dalembert
Why the Rockets should do it: T-Mac and his contract are collecting dust and even though Iggy’s contract is hard to swallow, with what he brings at the defensive end, he’s probably worth it. If/when Yao comes back, the Rockets would be a legit contender. In the meantime, the addition of Iggy and Dalembert would probably be enough to push the Rockets into the playoffs.
Why the Sixers should do it: I’d be leery of trading away Iguodala, but the financial windfall ($69 million over four years). Lowry is a starter-quality point guard (something the Sixers could really use, as Lou Williams is more suited for a combo role off the bench) and if T-Mac is 75% of the player he once was, they could re-sign him on the cheap. If neither player panned out, the Sixers would suddenly have about $10 million in cap space for the summer.
Why it won’t happen: If T-Mac stinks, the Sixers would have to explain to its fans why it essentially gave away its best player for a washed-up has-been.

4. Caron Butler for Michael Beasley
Why the Heat should do it: Dwyane Wade has grumbled about Beasley’s defense this season and would probably see Butler as an upgrade, increasing the likelihood that he’d agree to re-sign. The Heat think Beasley is a power forward, which wouldn’t jibe with their plans to add Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire or Carlos Boozer this summer. Even with Butler’s salary on the books for next season, the Heat would still have $15 million in cap space to sign another superstar.
Why the Wizards should do it: (I think) Washington is rebuilding, and Butler is 29 years old — probably too old to build around. Beasley is a 21-year-old power forward who is averaging 16-7 in his sophomore season. He’s also from Maryland, and I’m not sure if playing closer to home would be a good thing or a bad thing. He has seemingly cleaned up his act and has a ton of potential. Chalmers is a young rotation-quality player on the cheap.
Why it won’t happen: The Heat and Wizards are in the same division and it’s unlikely that Washington would want to increase the chances that the Heat can hold onto Wade, even if acquiring Beasley would help them in the long run.

5. Troy Murphy for Zydrunas Ilgauskas and J.J. Hickson
Why the Cavs should do it: Cleveland’s desire to add a “stretch 4” is well documented. They could probably do the same deal with Washington (for Jamison), but if the Wizards were to acquire Beasley, they probably wouldn’t want Hickson, who plays the same position. Murphy is a great rebounder who is also one of the best shooting big men in the game. He’d be a great complement for Shaq and LeBron on the front line, though his foot speed could be a problem against Rashard Lewis.
Why the Pacers should do it: They’re going nowhere and Hickson is a good looking prospect at power forward. With Murphy’s salary off the books, the Pacers would only be about $5 million over the salary cap heading into the 2010-11 season.
Why it won’t happen: The Cavs have been reluctant to give up Hickson in trades, but they could simply be posturing to get the best possible deal next week. They made the mistake of not making a move at the trade deadline last season and with the way they’re running away in the East right now, the same thing could happen this season.

Photos from fOTOGLIF

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