It's August, which means the news about the NBA revolves around the inevitable faux pas at the rookie transition program or how the Suns are trying to antagonize the Lakers. Free agency has cooled down now that Mo Williams, one of the last good FAs, signed with the Portland Trail Blazers. International competition hasn't started yet, except in Asia, and we are a month away from reports of random player X developing a killer jumper over the summer.
With the pain of the Finals loss still fresh and no one being able to forget about it because I won't stop writing pieces revisiting it, it's time for some basketball-related fun. And nothing fits the bill like some good old fashion rosterbation. Hopefully we will kill two birds with one stone and by providing a place to post trade proposals, we keep them out of unrelated posts. So fire up the trade machine and let's have ourselves an Asinine Trade Thread. I'll start, but first some rules.
Here's what I came up with:
The Raptors get two expiring contracts in Diaw and Canadian-at-heart Matt Bonner and a cheap combo guard. They will need to re-sign Kyle Lowry, so they can use the future cap space this deal gets them while acquiring a former fan favorite in Bonner. They can probably buy out Diaw if they want to slash even more salary or keep him if they actually want to make a playoff push. De Colo would battle D.J. Augustin and Dwight Buycks for some playing time. Losing Johnson would definitely hurt the Raptors but with Jonas Valanciunas showing some serious potential, they can live with it if it rids them of Fields' contract. And with DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay choking out the spacing, they need big men that can shoot the ball.
The Spurs lose big man depth here, but they are getting the best player in the trade in the underrated Amir Johnson who could definitely help anchor the second unit on the defensive end. The Raptors' defense with Johnson on the court ranked 11th in the league; with him off the court it was the worst in the league by a wide margin. That's how big an impact he had. He also has some range on his jumper and can finish extremely well around the rim. He is not as versatile as Diaw and can't space the floor like Bonner, but overall he is an upgrade.
Fields is the price the Spurs pay for Johnson, as his production never came close to justifying his contract. But if he can get back to shooting like he did his rookie year, he gives the Spurs a back up small forward that can hit a corner shot and play energetic defense. I wouldn't hold by breath for any of that to happen, but there are only two years in his contract and it's unlikely the Spurs will have cap space next season anyway, so his contract won't really handcuff PATFO at all.
This is mostly a cost slashing move by the Raptors to get comfortably below the tax line, which would allow them to add more salary in a future trade or make it easier to avoid the tax next season. Both Johnson's and Field's contracts expire in two years, so they fit the Spurs' plan of having a near clean slate post Duncan.
San Antonio takes on salary while the Raptors shed it, but the Spurs wouldn't go into tax territory with this trade. It also clears a roster spot for the Spurs, in case they want to add someone for cheap during the season.
Here are the depth charts after the trade
Parker - Joseph (De Colo) - Mills
Green - Ginobili - Belinelli
Leonard - Fields
Duncan - Pendergraph
Splitter - Johnson - Baynes
Lowry - Augustin- Buycks
Derozan - Ross - De Colo
Gay - Novak - Acy
Diaw - Hansbrough - Bonner
Valanciunas - Gray
Do I think this will happen? Of course not, silly. But that's not the point of an Asinine Trade Thread. So now it's your turn. Come up with a trade that you think is somewhat realistic and could improve the Spurs. You know you want to.