With free agency officially beginning on Monday at 6 p.m. ET, and rumors starting to swirl on NBA Twitter, it’s perfect timing to cook up some hand-crafted, artisanal trades via the Fanspo trade machine.
In the last few days, most of us have seen the following rumors:
It then occurred to my GM-mind that all three teams could be satisfied via the incredibly rare, ‘triple sign-and-trade’ 3-way trade!
The New Deals:
Celtics extend and trade Marcus Smart for 5 years and $105.8m (which = $13.8 this year, and then a 4 year deal starting at $20m)
Heat sign and trade Duncan Robinson for 4-year, $92m contract (contract starts at $20m per).
Pelicans sign and trade Lonzo Ball to a 4-year, $108m contract (contract starts at $24m per)
The Logic Behind the Trade:
I’m not sure any of these teams feel comfortable resigning their players to these deals based on how they are building their rosters moving forward, but by shuffling the deck with this 3-way deal, the fit improves greatly.
Celtics: After trading away Kemba Walker to OKC, the Celtics are now in semi-desperate need for a starting point guard. As the roster stands now, Smart would be the guy. But as Boston fans well know, that is a not an ideal proposition, We all know that Smart excels at defense, has improved his shooting and is even a solid playmaker, but the Celtics would benefit greatly for a better passer and shooter on the offensive end. Plus, his leadership skills don’t necessarily seem to mesh with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Enter Lonzo Ball, who fits very nicely as third pillar of the roster.
Proposed starting lineup: Lonzo Ball – Jaylen Brown – Jayson Tatum – Al Horford – Robert Williams
Heat: Although the Heat would love to get their hands on Kyle Lowry, they may see Smart as longer-term fit that is perfect for Heat Culture with his tough-nosed, defensive-minded play. Robinson, who is a phenomenal shooter, was debatably their weak link at time on D, last season and in the bubble. Smart will more than plug that hole and as mentioned, is an improved shooter himself.
Proposed starting lineup: Jimmy Butler – Tyler Herro – Marcus Smart – Trevor Ariza – Bam Adebayo
Pelicans: This trade is the biggest no-brainer for New Orleans who wants to win now and surround Ingram and Zion with lots of shooting. The downside is that they would be choosing Robinson over one of the point guards on the market that were so widely rumored. This may not go over well with Pelicans fans, but overpaying Kyle Lowry to beat out incoming bids from Philly and Dallas may not look good in a couple of years based on his age and injury history, not to mention the Pelicans salary cap. They also receive Kris Dunn as a backup point guard to bring some much-needed defense, and Grant Williams who is a solid utility guy for bench depth.
Proposed starting lineup: Kira Lewis – Duncan Robinson – Brandon Ingram – Zion Williamson – Jonas Valanciunas
Needless to say, this type of deal would take a lot of work by all three front offices to coordinate the new deals for each player and then the subsequent trade, but at the very least, it’s good food for thought on the type of mega-deals that could take place starting Monday. Enjoy!