With the trade deadline approaching in a week, and the Pacers ready to make a run at the playoffs; Larry Bird will be searching far and wide for mid-season acquisitions.
The Pacers stand in an odd position. They have a competitive roster, but really need some young blood for the future. So they could either trade vets for draft picks and think towards next season, or look to bolster the roster with bench players.
Either way I think Bird finds some sort of deal to put the Pacers in their best position moving forward. However, it is very unlikely he surrenders a 1st rounder for anyone, but most players are up for grabs for the right price. The right price for veterans like Roy Hibbert and David West would be first round picks, and then some. Some trade scenarios have been discussed and I’ll be going over some possible options for Indiana fans to look as the deadline fast approaches.
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Scenario 1: Recently, the Phoenix Suns have placed Goran Dragic on the trade block. They say they’re looking for draft picks, but probably would accept some veteran help if offered. Early last season, Larry Bird offered Roy Hibbert and a 1st round pick for Dragic but the Suns declined. This time around David West would be a more intriguing offer. In this case, the Suns would receive West and a second round pick in exchange for Dragic, and to make the money work throw in ex-Pacer Miles Plumlee. However, Phoenix might not be enticed by this and could demand a 1st rounder; which would complicate things. But if the Suns really want to make a run at the playoffs, they should at least consider working out a deal of this manner. If the Pacers threw in a first round pick, the Suns would be far more likely to pull the trigger. This trade makes sense, because Bird has always loved the talent of Dragic, and has tried to acquire him the past many times so now that he is available, there is no telling what he might offer.
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Scenario 2: Ever since Rajon Rondo has arrived in Dallas, things have not gone very well. He hasn’t jelled with other players and it has caused team production to slow down, particularly on the offensive end. His numbers are slightly down at 8.7 points per game, and team chemistry is taking longer than expected to form. Another Rondo trade has not been discussed, but if the Mavericks feel that the roster would be better without him; options are still out there. Since Brandon Wright was sent over to Boston in the Rondo trade, the Mavs have been weak in the front court. Indiana could help them fix this problem if the right deal is agreed upon. David West has a similar salary to Rondo, and could be beneficial for Dallas if they thought they needed more help off the bench, which they most likely will come playoff time. Although this trade is not likely, it still would benefit both teams. I say, why not?
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Scenario 3: The Oklahoma City Thunder have always had one missing piece. A center. Although
Steven Addams has emerged as the starter, he still has some developing to do. In an ideal trade for both teams would include the Pacers sending Hibbert to OKC for Kendrick Perkins and Reggie Jackson; with possible implications of a draft pick. The benefits for both teams would be very balanced. The Thunder can finally shred Perkins awful contract, and get the center they need. With a front court of Ibaka and Hibbert, entering the lane would be near impossible. The Pacers would recieve a much needed point guard who can create his own shot, and would free up cap space, with Perkins gone that next off season. Prior to the trade, salary caps for both teams stay about the same.
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Scenario 4: Recent talks indicate that the Raptors have some interest in trading for David West (reported story here). The problem is they are not willing to give up much for him. So, how can they expect to get something in return? Not sure. If they did however want to throw in a future first round pick, then West is theirs. To make the money work they would need to throw in Amir Johnson and Landry Fields, who both have one year left on their current deals. It’s not likely that this deal goes down, but nonetheless, it would be interesting. David West has averaged 13.1 points and 7.1 rebounds this season.
(Photo via raptorsrapture.com)