Bring in an athletic, defensive-minded power forward to the Spurs. Erase the national debt, end all wars, and create perfect harmony in Washington, D.C. Do these all seem about the same likelihood of happening these days? Why couldn't we just trade all our less-than-essential pieces for Josh Smith this off-season, right?
Our own dear editor, the great J.R. Wilco himself, foresees a move during this season. So, he asked me to keep my bony finger as close to the pulse of the league as I can get it and to report on any remotely and/or reasonably potential trade targets.
We Spurs fans are delighted to see our boys 6-1 and already making history this season. It's a harbinger of good things to come, but what if we could hasten those things along by shoring up any weakness that may exist? What if we could make a reasonable move to acquire a big man that would bring strong defense and athleticism to our front court rotation? For this cause, I write on.
In this second edition of TTT, we take a look at the Orlando Magic's Gustavo Ayon. The Magic need help, plain and simple. That is especially true at point guard, where the oft-injured Jameer Nelson is their only legitimate option. E'Twaun Moore sees reps there, but he is undoubtedly more of a true shooting guard. Ish Smith hasn't shown much of anything yet. In the front court, Big Baby Glen Davis and Nikola Vucevic are holding things down in Al Harrington's absence,and then they have a host of warm bodies such as Josh McRoberts, Kyle O'Quinn, Andrew Nicholson, and our subject today: the Mexico-born Gustavo Ayon.
(I guess I'll go ahead and throw one out there each week. You may feel free to shred it in the comments.)
Cory Joseph for Gustavo Ayon, straight up. Joseph fits the Magic's need to go young in their rebuilding efforts, he'll likely stay cheap for awhile, and he has spent time in the Spurs' system and under the tutelage of some very skilled coaches and mentors. Joseph has plenty of natural ability, and the expectations in Orlando should be comparatively easy for him to handle. Cory won't need to start right away, but should see plenty of playing time.
Ayon, on the other hand, could fit the mold of what the Spurs may be looking for. He is a young, athletic, defensive-minded power forward. He has a knack for big plays, as seen with New Orleans in his rookie year. He can be a very productive force on the boards and on occasion can have a high point game, in the range of 12-16 points. He would probably produce statistically close to DeJuan Blair, but his length and defense could make him a more valuable asset. In New Orleans last year, Ayon averaged 6 points, 5 boards, 1 assist, 1 block, 1 steal, and 1 turnover in 20 minutes per game under Monty Williams. This year, his production is down a bit, but then again, he is in Orlando.
An alternative, Spurs send Nando De Colo, Matt Bonner, and DeJuan Blair to the Magic for Gustavo Ayon and JJ Redick. The team doesn't give up too much and get Ayon and a legit three-point shooter in return. The Magic dump Redick's salary while getting a PG prospect, a stretch big to replace some of JJ's 3's, and a quality (by Orlando standards) big on the cheap in Blair.
A Moment of Weakness:
Spurs send Stephen Jackson, Tiago Splitter, Cory Joseph, and Gary Neal to the Magic for Hedo Turkoglu and Glen "Big Baby" Davis. Yes, that trade was also successful on Trade Machine. I'm sorry.
Tune in next week for more shocking and thought-provoking madness.
Qualification: I am well aware that PATFO shall likely never make any transaction such as I mention above, but if they do, I am entitled to months of gloating and preening over my lucky guess. Thank you for your understanding.