It seems that whenever I hear of a trade rumor, I try to picture a world in which the Sixers could play the role of the third team. Considering our center logjam, and the fact that Colangelo has really not gotten his feet wet yet, I doubt I am the only one. A trade is on the horizon.
This new rumor gained steam when sources told ESPN.com that the Atlanta Hawks are listening to offers for PF Paul Millsap. He has been an All-Star for the past 3 years, and may be on to another, as he is averaging 17-8-4 on the season. It is safe to say Millsap will draw a crowd of buyers this offseason when he becomes a free agent.
The Hawks have little reason to believe that he will stay on with their mediocre group, so a trade seems likely. They learned their lesson the hard way this past offseason, when Al Horford signed with Boston. Kyle Korver and Thabo Sefolosha are also in the same boat, which has lead many to believe they may also be on their way out. I am not particularly interested in Millsap joining the jam; however, we got assets.
The Hawks have been old and never truly in the mix for some time now. They are the fifth oldest team in the NBA, at 28.02 years old—according to Basketball Insiders. While the Sixers are the youngest team in the NBA, at 24.18 years old. I think we have our selling point.
Oh, and too many big men.
If I put on my GM hat, maybe Bryan Colangelo will find his, too.
Proposal 1: Boston Celtics
Atlanta trades Paul Millsap to Boston, Kyle Korver to Philadelphia
Philadelphia trades Jahlil Okafor to Atlanta
Boston trades Avery Bradley to Philadelphia
I think everybody wins in this situation. Atlanta must be expecting low returns on these players due to their expiring contracts, but I think receiving Okafor is a legitimate gain. I can’t imagine they are totally sold on Dwight Howard taking them anywhere notable. Okafor could be just what they need. He can dominate the paint, and serve as a great backup to Howard until his time is through. Plus, they need to sell t-shirts.
In this scenario, the Sixers receive Avery Bradley, who would be a great addition to this defensive-minded group. Currently averaging 18-7-2 and shooting 40% from beyond, he would be a great help to both sides of the court. At age 26, he has already been exposed to 21 playoff games—all of which he started. He could be a great veteran presence for the locker room, while still being young enough to be a part of the future. If we could get him for the cost of Okafor, and perhaps a pick or two, I am totally in.
Proposal 2: Toronto Raptors
Atlanta trades Paul Millsap to Toronto
Philadelphia trades Jahlil Okafor to Atlanta
Toronto trades Terrence Ross (or) Cory Joseph to Philadelphia
This is not the first time that Toronto has been involved in trade rumors for Paul Millsap. In the very recent past they inquired, and if they plan on making a serious playoff run, now may be the time to make the move. He would be a great addition and perhaps improve their lackluster post play.
The appeal of Terrence Ross in Philadelphia is an interesting risk, but one that I am willing to take. He has not been getting the minutes that he deserves in Toronto, so there has been plenty of speculation of him being used as trade bait. While only averaging 10-2-0.6 this season, he seems like nothing spectacular. But in our favorite statistic, per 36 minutes, it increases to 18-4-1. It may be worth taking a chance to see what this guy can do with real minutes. Cory Joseph would also be an appealing addition. He would be able to help in a variety of ways, as he is averaging 14-5-4 per 36 minutes this season.
Proposal 3: Chicago Bulls
Atlanta trades Paul Millsap to Chicago, Kyle Korver to Philadelphia
Philadelphia trades Dario Saric to Atlanta, Okafor to Chicago
Chicago trades Nikola Mirotic to Philadelphia, Michael-Carter Williams to Atlanta
That is a giant cluster, so to simplify: Sixers trade Dario & Okafor for Nikola Mirotic and Kyle Korver. Mirotic has taken a few steps back after his impressive rookie season, but make no mistake, the dude is still a baller. I love the homie Dario, and I would hate to lose him, but if it meant adding a player like Mirotic I think I would be in. Plus, the other two teams would love it. MCW in Atlanta would be perfect. Kyle Korver comes back to Philly. It’s a win all around.
Perhaps there is another trade proposal out there that may work better, but I am sure the Sixers can find their way into that deal if they wanted to. This “high class problem” still needs to be solved, and I believe it would be in the team’s best interest to make a move before the deadline.
Wouldn’t it be funny if Philadelphia got former future Sixer, Thabo?
I did not like that trade.
I do not miss Rodney Carney.
Photo: Keith Allison/Flickr