The man - Project Spurs' Jeff Garcia - tasked me with a lose-lose situation.
He asked to compile some realistic Richard Jefferson trade ideas. Unfortunately that is going to be difficult to do cause many San Antonio Spurs fans think Jefferson is the worst player the team has thanks to his awful play down the stretch and the gigantic contract that was gift wrapped to him by Spurs' management.
However, thanks to the amazing ESPN NBA Trade Machine, I have found nine, yes nine iffy too good trades that I would at least think about if I were R.C. Buford. Some involve only Jefferson, others include other players including Tony Parker.
I divided these ideas into two groups, those involving Parker and those that don't. So here they are in no particular order.
Trades which don't involve Tony Parker:
File this under both iffy and good. It's good because it's realistic. It's iffy because I'm not sure what it does for both teams. For the Spurs, Thompson is the prize here. He's 6'11", block shots and hit a jumper. Garcia also has three years left on his contract, but makes less money than Jefferson, but doesn't fit on that team and with the additions of Jimmer and John Salmons, the 2 guard spot is pretty much taken up. The trade also gives the Kings a small forward that knows how to play basketball because here in Sacramento, we're not really sure Donte Green knows how to play basketball. Garcia would also be a nice fit on the Spurs because he's a tough, defensive minded guy and at 6'7" can play either the 2 or the 3. Plus he's 30, so the national media will say he fits in well with the Spurs because he's "getting up there in age". It's not a great deal, but at least it's realistic. See, I told you I could do this.
One bad contract for another. Gives the Spurs a back up point guard at one less year than Jefferson's left on his deal. Toronto starts Linas Kleiza or James Johnson at small forward. Surely Richard Jefferson is a better option for Toronto. Plus, Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo is an idiot, but we'll talk more about that later. File this under iffy because I'm not sure Jose Calderon is any better than Mike Bibby at this point.
Now we're talking. Project Spurs lead writer Paul Garcia tweets this idea every so often and I think it's fantastic. Cleveland has a bit of a log jam at power forward and Anderson Varejao has four years left on his deal and really has no business on a rebuilding team. Varejao can help a team win now with his defense and energy. He can play next to any other big man in the league. Despite having just traded for Omri Casspi, the Cavs are woefully thin at the small forward spot. Taking on Jefferson and Matt Bonner gives the Cavs a couple of forwards who can shoot, which will help Kyrie Irving's development just because it will help him build trust in his teammates. This is a good trade... a really good trade actually.
I know seeing Gary Neal here rubs some people the wrong way, but sometimes you have to give something up to get something in return, or in this case give up a good contract in order to get rid of a bad one. Also, this would involve the Spurs taking on Josh Childress' contract, which has four years left on it, but at 6 million a year. Doesn't sound too bad. Robin Lopez gives the Spurs that 7-foot body they've been looking for. He's not awesome, but he's not bad either. Jefferson is an Arizona guy so he's more of a draw in Phoenix than most places. I'm calling this a good trade. Childress and Lopez would be good in the Spurs system. Plus, both have awesome hair.
Cap'n Jack returns to the Spurs! He makes too much money, he's getting up there in age and he takes some terrible shots. He does all these things and he'd still be great on this Spurs team. Let's say he starts acting up in Milwaukee, why wouldn't you just call the Bucks and say "I have another overpaid small forward for you, only this one doesn't run his mouth". If you're Bucks GM John Hammond, who has seen RJ succeed in Milwaukee before, you at least consider it right? It's a good trade. Every team needs one crazy.
This is the iffiest iffy trade I could come up with that could MAYBE happen. Travis Outlaw was worse for the Nets last season than Jefferson was for the Spurs. Johan Petro is 7 feet tall and... and... well he's 7 feet tall and the Spurs don't have one of those right now. It's a terrible trade, but both it would save the Spurs a little bit of money in the long run.
Trades Involving Tony Parker:
This is where it gets fun. We all know RJ's contract is pretty awful, so getting the best value for him means throwing the Spurs best trade chip in with their worst (I don't blame you RJ, I blame the contract). I tried to have some fun with this, let's see what happens when I package Tony Parker and Richard Jefferson together.
Here's the true center you've always wanted Spurs fans. And you get a sharp shooting point guard who was the second best player on two 60+ win teams. LeBron was the best player on those teams, but whatever. Both Williams and Kaman's deals are shorter than Parker and Jefferson's, so there is some cap flexibility in there that needs to be taken into consideration. In fact, Kaman has one year left on his deal, so if that project doesn't work out, that's $12.2 million off the books for next summer. The Clippers could use some veteran leadership to pair with that great, young nucleus they're building. Richard Jefferson is also a better option at Small Forward than anything they have until Al-Farouq Aminu is ready to be a full time smarter. Pretty fair deal and a steal if the Spurs could find a way to get Aminu from the Clips as well. Man, I almost talked myself into that one. This is a good trade. What's next?
Go ahead and scream now Spurs fans, cause I kinda just screamed a little writing it up. But let's look at this glass full. Bargs is entering his prime and is a ridiculous matchup for the other team. He's got some young Dirk in him so if you can make him a little tougher, get him to rebound a little better, then he's close to being worth the bad contract they gave him. Personally I love Jerryd Bayless. He's 23 and has a ton of Tony Parker in him. In the last month of the season, Bayless finally got off the Raptors bench and averaged 22.5 ppg and 5.6 apg in 37 mpg. Still, this is an iffy trade at best. But, Bryan Colangelo does like his Euros (Parker) and the Raps do need a small forward (Jefferson) so maybe you convince the Raps to give you a draft pick and then the trade becomes a lot better. Still, I don't know if Bryan Colangelo is that dumb. Iffy trade for the Spurs.
Now we're talking! This is probably my favorite trade. Spurs get a good back to the basket player and a borderline top 10 point guard. They can still compete for the next year or two with Duncan and then have a nice front court moving forward. The Jazz have a loaded front court already and Big Al's contract isn't something they want to swallow. They also don't have a Small Forward at the moment and apparently aren't sold on Harris, so why not take on a couple of accomplished players? Jazz GM Kevin O'Connor is a shrewd and smart GM, so I really have no idea if this trade would actually happen. In theory though, good trade.
Wait, wait, one last idea:
Just kidding, it'll never happen. Carry on Spurs fans.
OK Spurs fans what do you have to say? Do you like any of these trade ideas or is San Antonio doomed to live with Jefferson until his contract expires.
Turns out Andrea Bargnani isn't awful on defense after all... http://nbaplaybook.com/2011/07/15/nba-mythbusters-is-andrea-bargnani-a-terrible-defender/ (by the way if you don't check out NBA Playbook, you should start).
Does anyone remember RC Bufords track record? If you grade him by smart VS dumb moves hes gotta be one of the greatest of all time. Have some trust.......That being said, love the utah trade, BRING Ryan Richards OVER HERE NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(as soon as lockouts over)
I really like the Cpt Jack trade and teh Verajao trade. I also like RJ in exchange for some unused Chucky Cheese Coupons, RJ for 10 million confedrate dollars or RJ for all of my remaining Enron stock.
personally, i think rj is productive if the others use him with all the alley-oop and slashing plays we saw at the start at the year and never at the back end so if they keep him involved like that he fits in withthe spurs...otherwise the only trades i really like are the thompson trade where they can get rid of garcia for a backup pg and the varejao trade.
robin lopez and childress is horrible as lopez finishes the games with more fouls than points and rebounds and childress didnt play period..also tony parker should not even be mentioned as being traded now that george is gone
Why not TP, RJ and Splitter for Josh Smith and Kirk Heinrich (Atl is supposed to be looking to move Josh and they could really use a PG to feed Joe Johnson). Spurs get the PF they need to compete next year and into the future and a starting caliber PG to feed the new front court.
with Kings - It's a ridiculous trade despite the salaries match. How on earth the Kings will trade a potential double-double young athletic bigman with us? Plus, RJ's contract ended with his option, no way the Kings will take the deal.
with Raptors - The deal favor each team, and I agree that Colangelo is an idiot.
With Cavs - Varejao is a hard worker but his style is pretty similar to Tiago's, who I think will eventually become a better player than Varejao. Bring Varejao will bring more defense and rebounds but won't help inside offensively.
With Suns - Don't mind this deal at all. Lopez and Childress will help the team immediately, but I think we give up too much let Neal go. I will insert Blair instead of Neal.
With Bucks - Love the idea to bring Jax back, he will stay out of trouble under Pop, the only problem is, will the Bucks even consider it? Yes, RJ had some great years as a Buck, but he's lost some speed and energy he once had. Skiles will want more back if they are willing to give Jax to us, probably Neal or Splitter, which is unacceptable.
With Nets - Outlaw just had a similar struggle season like RJ, so it's fair deal. Plus our beloved Avery is their coach.
With Clipps - I like this trade. If Kaman can avoid injury, whatever pair with Timmy or Tiago, will be the other teams' nightmare. Mo Williams is a wild card here, and his unreasonable contract is a nightmare for us, too. However, I will worry less if let Manu be the main ball-handler and Mo could actually play the 2.
with Raptors - In fact any deal that brings Andrea Bargnani is DUMB. Period.
with Jazz - It looks like the Jazz want to keep Al Jefferson, Derrick Favors to build their twin towers and let Milsap, Okur go. Although This is actually a good trade to me. Harris plays similar style to TP and Big Al will give us the most we wanted - Inside scoring and rebounding presence.
with Hornets - I will trade Tony Parker, Richard Jefferson, Blair, Neal, future 1st round picks, for Chris Paul & Emeka Okafor, future 2nd round picks, And sign Yao Ming back to NBA for verteran minimum.
unfortunetly, only a handful of those trades are realitic. Unless you have a shotgun pointed at the other GM's scull.
1. Kings trade wont happen without another incentive from the Spurs. Besides, they just got Salmons.
2. Calderon for Jefferson actually makes sense.
3. Cavs trade NO WAY. Can you actually see the Cavs giving up on a good player who is only slightly over-payed for 2 HIGHLY over-payed [old] disappointments? I Don't. Put Neal instead of Bonner and you may get a deal. Also, they just got Casspi which i think is currently better then RJ.
5. Suns deal makes sense, but that Childress contract is just as painful as RJ's.
6. Captain Jack. Bucks will never agree on this.
8. Clippers deal is fine but i am not sure it will make the spurs a better team.
9. NO FREAKIN WAY. ARE YOUR CRAZY?? Are you trying to sabotage your own team?? Bargnani?? The guy had the WORST +/- & PER in the ENTIRE NBA! To put a side his huge contract. unless RJ's swallows a ticking nuclear bomb, this is the worst deal we could ever get. He is NO Dirk.
10. Good deal, but i'm not sure the Jazz will go for it..maybe with Paul Milsap.
11. Heh, I wish.
Varejao may hustle and be a good fit, but I do NOT want to see him in San Antonio. There aren't many players in the NBA I hate more.
Stephen Jackson for Richard Jefferson - Would be almost perfect
Al Jefferson & Devin Harris for Tony Parker, Richard Jefferson & Gary Neal - Maybe the best one
Chris Paul & Emeka Okafor for Tony Parker, Richard Jefferson and Tiago Splitter - This one would be PERFECT if it were real, I'd love to se CP3 in Spurs uniform :D
@Coxcr20 yeah the value of RJ himself now, a trade does not include any other players, will probably worth only 2 second round picks. Sad but true.
@scottmer.. i agree with you, scottmer. and now that he actually shot better from behind the arc (specifically the corner 3's), he can do that every now and then while being the slasher, not defensive stopper, he's supposed to be. and i agree the trades i like are the Thompson trade and the Varejao trade. and i hate the idea of some of these trades including Neal and Splitter. i would not give up those two along with Parker.
@scottmer.. yeah, but they both have great hair, Scott...
@scottmer.. The problem with RJ's case is that the FO brought him here expecting him to be a defensive stopper, which role he clearly is not, and won't ever be. He is also a player who need more attempts to be effective, in addition, probably playing with a pass-first PG. All in all, defensively he is a bust; offensively he is more a spot shooter now than a slasher he was, he just can't go full strengh when TP is our starting PG. This is actually not all his fault, just he does not have the SPURS STYLE. I believe if he goes to some run-n-gun teams like the Warriors or Knicks he can still be a valuable player and put numbers, probably comes from the bench as a spark, but not here with the Spurs, at least not with our current PG.
@Tyrone Jenkins Well, Mostly because Josh is a serious had-case. Spurs wont deal with those. He just wont fit the system.
@shawnthefreak I don't think the Sac trade is ridiculous because Kings head coach Paul Westphal hates Thompson and even tried playing him at the 3. Also, Donte Green, who sucks, is their starting SF.
@tsingletonjr82 Trade may solve some of the weak points of the spurs. At my end, primary concern for the spurs is lack of tall, young and imposing power forwards and center. TD is not getting younger, mcdyess is beyond his prime, bonner is a bonner. Its better to sign rookies NOW like r.richards. and free agents like fesenko, clark, etc. Train them according to the team's sytem. As for rj, the spurs should give him another chance to justify his pay.
@ironm8 @Tyrone Jenkins I would trade TP & RJ for Smith and Heinrich (though ATL probably wouldn't). I don't think you throw Splitter in a deal unless you're getting a big fish. That's just me though. What about Richard Jefferson for Marvin Williams? He's just as big a disappointment. Maybe they both need a change of pace. Williams also has a long, overpriced contract.
@yowhatupT The Kings are stupid using Thompson as a 3 occasionally, I know. However, the reason for that is They think Thompson is versatile enough to play some midrange game also, in fact they value him, not hate him. If they hate him they could just throw him to the deepest of bench. Same thing happend to D.Green, though not at the same level with Thompson, he can also play multiple positions. Green's style of playing is more an SF or SG although he has the height to be able playing some 4. Thompson's role now is basically their 6th man, especially when they have Cousins and Dalembert eat a lot of minutes in the paint. This situation may change if Dalembert leave this season.