Goodbye 2016 and hello 2017. For some NBA teams, they need anywhere from a makeover to a spark to provide the push needed to get to that next level. This article will go through the necessary steps certain teams need to make in each conference.
If Mariah Carey can’t get away with lip syncing her way through a dreadful performance, then GM’s around the league will not escape the radar of this two-part extravaganza.
When will the Toronto Raptors trade for a power forward?:
This is year three of this team needing an upgrade at this position in order for Cleveland to actually take them seriously. The Raptors are poised to get back to the Conference Finals sporting a 22-10 record and playing some very good basketball. With four solid starters in Kyle Lowry, DeMar Derozan, Jonas Valanciunas & DeMarre Carroll, they look like a good enough contender.
Then you look at what they have at power forward, even a NASA scientist can’t figure out why Toronto trots out rookie Pascal Siakam as a starter. The resolution to this problem is to not blow up too much of the rotation trading for Paul Millsap. Put in a call to Denver and offer Terrance Ross, Norman Powell and a 2018 first round pick for Danilo Gallinari. He can provide enough defense being motivated on a bonafide contender and not force head coach Dwayne Casey to not to have to use key bench player Patrick Patterson 30 minutes a night.
What Gallinari can also provide is the ability to drive and kick it to open shooters on the perimeter and be able to knock down open threes himself. Even as an average rebounder at his position and a rental of a contract due to being a free agent after the season he is worth the risk. Get this deal done, the fans in Canada will be elated to see the Raptors make a move that makes sense.
Milwaukee Bucks need to dump Greg Monroe:
The Bucks have made it apparent since last season that Monroe doesn’t fit and is up for trade. Monroe is good on offense, possesses nice post moves, provides average scoring and rebounds at the same rate for his position. In contrast of his positives, Monroe is a train wreck on defense. He has slow feet, provides very little help on the weak side and is not a good shot blocker. If Monroe has to come out on the perimeter on a stretch four that is consistent from the perimeter, it’s game over.
That player can and will blow by the slow footed Monroe and collapse the defense to kick it out for a wide open three. This is a problem that the Bucks need to address and the resolution to this is salary cap relief and extra future draft picks. That’s right, Monroe has reached a point where the Bucks would be better off salary dumping on a team that is tanking or a team so desperate to make the playoffs they will do anything they can to get a deal done.
Let’s call it Milwaukee sending Monroe to the Orlando Magic for two second round picks. Orlando has the illusion of someone helping them make the #8 seed only to get demolished by the Cavaliers. Milwaukee is able to unload the dumpster fire of a contract that is Greg Monroe, both sides are happy.
The logjam of mediocrity:
Currently, we have eight teams in the Eastern Conference separated by three games. Starting with the Atlanta Hawks at 17-16 and currently the fifth seed all the way to the depths of the Detroit Pistons at 15-20 who is currently tenth. Parity for the NBA is a good thing. More games are interesting, fan bases can sniff the playoffs easier and front offices can say “Look we made the playoffs! Purchase season tickets and come watch this team who is good enough to get swept by Cleveland in the second round of the playoffs. We promise it will be great”.
Resolution for this is to see Charlotte, Indiana, Atlanta and Milwaukee squeeze past the likes of New York, Detroit, Washington, Orlando, and Chicago. Milwaukee is on the rise and looking very good on offense lead by the front-court combo of Giannis Antetokounmpo (Should be an All-Star starter) and Jabri Parker. Indiana looks better on offense and the Jeff Teague for George Hill swap is working out well with Teague having 17 assists on Friday in a win vs Chicago. Throw in the rapid development of Myles Turner and Paul George playing like the All-Star he is and you have a potential number six seed in the East.
Atlanta is up and down but should be able to weather the storm and grab the Southwest Division title. Last but not least, a very good Charlotte team is playing like a team that should be a number four seed. The Hornets are led by should be All-Star Kemba Walker, who is having a career year, and Nicolas Batum, who is being the platoon player that teams would salivate over with his ability on both ends of the floor. Throw in Cody Zeller looking like an NBA player and Marco Belinelli hitting big shots and you have a team ready to separate themselves from the logjam.