May 15

Looking At Trade talk

By Kassandra Posted in: AndreMiller, Blazers, NicolasBatum, RudyFernandez

So begins the time of year that teams no longer in the playoffs begin talking about the draft, prospects, and acquiring players from other teams via trade or free agency.

Unless you're a fan of the Thunder, Mavericks, Bulls or Heat, you've probably had some of trade scenarios cross your minds already. Each off season -- and leading up to the trade deadline -- I frequently find myself making the same comments on other blogs, message boards and such. 

It's interesting to read trade scenarios. People around the Blazers networks often single out players such as Chris Paul or Dwight Howard as players for whom we should trade. While these guys could be a nice addition to the Blazers, there are a couple of problems with pretty much all the trade scenarios which we are inevitably going to see.

1. There are several league conditions involving trades, perhaps most notably that salaries between teams involved in a trade must be near-to-equal. I've decided to avoid mentioning the current requirement here, since it will possibly change when a new collective bargaining agreement expires in about a month and a half. The point is that the salaries generally have to be comparable. For instance, let's say the Blazers wanted to offer up a package of Rudy, Nicolas and Andre to Orlando for Dwight Howard. The trade would not work from a salary standpoint since the combined salaries of the Blazer players (outgoing salaries) are about $9.7 million while Howard's salary (incoming salary) is $16.6 million. Of course, this is a simple proposal which does not take into account any of the other guidelines. There are seemingly countless guidelines behind these types of scenarios (i.e. trade exceptions, draft picks, owned rights to international players).

2. Several scenarios I've seen involve sending a package to obtain a player. Let's say, just for fun, that Portland wanted to get some help in the front court in the form of Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka (not necessarily advocating this; for example purposes only). The Blazers could offer Nicolas straight up for Ibaka -- and this would work under the league guidelines. However, it's extremely unlikely that the Thunder would be interested given they would be losing a pf and getting in return a sf. Oklahoma City has one of the best sf's in the game in Durant. This trade would just plain not make sense for the Thunder, therefore, they would turn down the offer. The point here is that just because we want a specific player while wishing to trade away a specific player, the other team is not going to accept a trade which does not make sense.

3. A lot of fans seem to want to rush into a trade or, as I call it, make a trade just for the sake of making a trade. For obvious reasons (such as failure to look at the big picture). Some fans wish to trade away this player or that player for reasons varying from an expiring contract, to age to plain old simple dislike for the player. I would caution that before considering rush trades, take a good look at the big picture. For instance, several suggested trading Andre last season, citing any of the aforementioned reasons. First off, Andre's contract is not expiring this summer; rather, there is a sort of team option (there are several sorts of team options out there) where the team can re-sign him by June 30. Second, Andre is getting up there in age for an NBA player (35), but there are some things to consider; he's not had any major or career-shortening injuries (a fact which is likely to prolong his career) and, judging from his play, it seems he has no immediate plans of slowing down. Third, dislike for his style of play really doesn't apply when you look at how he compares to other pg's (and other potentially available pg's) out there, which is quite favorably.

I tend not to delve deep into the business of pinpointing specific players. I may want to see one player or another but, in the end, that's all going to be up to the Blazers' administration. I hope we all have the patience to let Rich Cho and his staff to make the right moves to improve the team and it's chances to go deeper in the playoffs next season.

~ Kassandra

In Kassandra's Words will feature regular blogs throughout the off-season. Comments and questions are welcome and encouraged. Seasons begin and end, but our Blazers are forever. Please follow on twitter: @Kassandra227
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  1. Good blog and great info!

    by teresa galer on 5/15/2011 7:08 PM
  2. Miss Kassandra:

    Everybody does get trade happy, the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence. I know we need a ready back-up PG and a solid PF, but I have no idea where to get them, or if we already have them in the making.

    I am more concerned about Greg, Brandon, and Wesley (ankle). being ready for next year then I am the draft. but do wonder about trades.

    Great Blog, keep them coming.

    by Hg on 5/15/2011 7:22 PM
  3. In the superman scenario Nicolas could be resigned first to a much larger, longer contract which makes him much more trade-able and add in A 2012 1st or 2nd, Andre makes what 8+ million a year, we should save him from trades unless it is for a CP3 trade.

    by mbmurr1 on 5/15/2011 8:41 PM
  4. You make some good points, Kassandra. Let me quickly respond to the 3:

    1) Trade rules are, as you point out, often confusing. For example, mbmurr1's idea of giving Batum a large extension does not, in fact, make him 'much more trade-able' as it would actually trigger what is widely known as the Poison Pill Player provision of the CBA, and would make it much more difficult to match salaries with another team (like Orlando) that is also over the cap. There are good internet resources for learning about trade rules, fortunately, for those willing to invest the time to learn. However, we have to consider also that the trade rules might change significantly in the next CBA (for example, sign and trade deals might be eliminated).

    2) This is the biggest issue I have with many fan-generated trade scenarios - that they don't make sense for both teams. As fans, we tend to overvalue the players we are most familiar with and it can skew our ideas for trades. Your point is well taken!

    3) I made a similar point earlier this month in a blog post here at the Network (so I guess I agree with you!):
    You have to know basic contract status before running wild with trade proposals.

    by Storyteller on 5/15/2011 10:44 PM
  5. Another issue with fan generated trades is the fact that a player they want is just not available.

    Trading for CP3 not only doesn't make since, but I can't imagine NOH willing to give up their franchise player without a fight. Another aspect of trading is that some players flat out don't want to be in Portland. Shaq for one, thank God.

    In the end Miss Kassandra, you be absolutely right, just because we can match salaries doesn't necessarily make it going to happen because it just doesn't make since for the other team.

    by Hg on 5/16/2011 7:54 AM
  6. trades!

    by caseyholdahl on 5/16/2011 8:39 AM
  7. Hg: i agree about guys getting (and staying) healthy. you and i have been over this before on Mike Barrett's blog, but that is a key point for the blazers in particular. your point about Chris Paul is well noted. the hornets seem to be headed in the right direction, and they're not looking to take a huge step backwards by getting rid of their franchise player. the same should be said for orlando in regards to Dwight Howard.

    Storyteller: apoligies for having read your blog about a week ago and failing to comment. that was a great rundown. if this were seemingly run-of-the-mill CBA talks, then i might not expect big changes from the new agreement but, as we know, there's nothing run-of-the-mill about these. i presume there are going to be some significant changes to it, and not yet know what those might be. we -- and fans of other teams, i presume -- do tend to overvalue our guys. to be honest, i can be guilty of that myself from time to time. it can be hard not to when we have a bunch of guys who generally make us fans pretty happy on -- and off -- the court. we've got talent, but we can easily overstate it.

    mbmurr1: i have to tell you, you seem to fall into all three of the categories i mentioned in the blog. the new CBA (whenever it is agreed upon and ratified) may take out clauses such as the poison pill you advocate by the blazers inflating Nicolas' contract to six or so times its current size. simply put, it may become against the rules to do so. i understand you want to make any trade possible, but i'll tell you right now: no GM -- especially one as intelligent as Cho -- is going to take any such risk with a new CBA looming over his head (in fact, it's unlikely anyone would do it regardless of CBA status). remember, one player does not make a championship, and there are many other things to consider when considering trades. as i alluded to, trades are big picture stuff, not little picture stuff.

    Casey: for or against?!

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 5/16/2011 12:56 PM
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