Trade Summary (Team Gets/Gives):
Bulls – Brandan Wright & Malik Rose / Gooden, Thabo, & Cedric Simmons
Warriors – Raymond Felton / Marcus Williams & Brandan Wright
Bobcats – Gooden & Marcus Williams / Raymond Felton & Adam Morrison
Knicks – Thabo, Simmons, & Adam Morrison / Malik Rose
Why Bulls do it: Gooden & Thabo don’t fit and shouldn’t be in any long-term plans. Gooden is best-suited for the 4 and can’t defend anywhere on the floor. He’s basically Nocioni with somewhat better rebounding and somewhat worse shooting. At least Nocioni tries to defend and can frustrate opponents with his physical/dirty play. TT and Noah also rebound well, so Gooden is largely superfluous.
Thabo is too bad an offensive player for this team. He needs to be part of a lineup where they don’t have enough shots to go around, as opposed to one (like just about any Bulls lineup) desperate for guys to make some shots. Wright would add very good interior scoring, which the Bulls clearly lack. He’s also under his rookie contract through 2010-11, making him a relatively cheap building block or good trade chip going forward. Malik Rose is a $7.6M expiring contract, leaving the Bulls in essentially the same financial position at the end of the year.
As an added bonus, the Bulls would then have more minutes for Hinrich and Noc, so they can figure out whether either fits with the new (i.e. led by Derrick Rose) team dynamic while also showcasing them for a potential trade.
Why Warriors do it: Marcus Williams is as far in Don Nelson’s doghouse as imaginable. He came into the year as the favorite to be the starting PG but has played a total of 7 seconds in 2 games thus far. Brandan Wright could scarcely be considered a rotation player for them either, having played only 7 minutes. Nellie-Ball tends to employ SFs in the PF spot, which makes Wright less useful than he may appear given the composition of the roster. Felton gives them an established, roughly league-average PG to keep the team from relying on the likes of DeMarcus Nelson.
Why Bobcats do it: I don’t know when the Bobcats last won a game. They didn’t win in the preseason and lost the regular season opener. While preseason doesn’t mean a whole lot and there’s no shame in losing at the Cavs, the Bobcats have looked especially bad and Larry Brown reportedly already hates his roster. A big problem is that they have no dependable PF, with Sean May on the Mike Sweetney diet & training program, and no serviceable backup. Meanwhile, their C is an excellent defender who still provides little offense outside a few feet from the rim. Gooden would be a very good fit for the Bobcats and would fill a major need.
The downgrade from Felton to Marcus Williams is less significant, especially given that the Bobcats just spent a lottery pick on DJ Augustin (who already played 25 minutes in the first game). Adam Morrison has no long-term role on the team and has been an enormous bust in his NBA career. With Gerald Wallace and Jason Richardson locked up with huge contracts for the next few seasons, the Bobcats might as well unload Morrison and give him a shot elsewhere.
Why Knicks do it: It’s a no-brainer. The Knicks have zero chance of getting the payroll low enough to have cap space, and the luxury tax seemingly means nothing to them, so exchanging an expiring contract for some 2-year contracts isn’t really a factor. They need more talented players who could thrive in a fast-paced system. That’s what they get. Can D’Antoni revive Morrison’s career? Can Thabo become a real asset playing alongside a collection of shoot-first players like Jamal Crawford, Zach Randolph, and Nate Robinson? I don’t know, but wouldn’t the Knicks want to find out if all it costs them is a role player who’s way past his prime? They would have some roster issues, but they might as well buy out Jerome James sometime. This gives them the inspiration to stop delaying the inevitable.
Bulls rotation / minute-allocation afterward:
Gray (C): 8 mpg, all at C
Noah (C/PF): 24 mpg, almost exclusively at C
TT (PF/C): 34 mpg, more PF than C
Wright (PF/C): 18 mpg, mostly at PF
Nocioni (PF/SF): 24 mpg, evenly split b/w PF & SF
Deng (SF): 36 mpg, all at SF
Hughes (SG): 2-12 mpg, all at SG
Gordon (SG): 30 mpg, all at SG
Hinrich (PG/SG): 25 mpg, slightly more PG than SG
Rose (PG): 34 mpg, all at PG
Both TT and Wright have very long wingspans for their height, and thus each has a 9’0”+ standing reach comparable to a typical NBA center (courtesy of Draft Express - http://www.draftexpress.com/nba-pre-draft-measurements/measurements.php?year=All&sort2=DESC&draft=0&pos=0&sort=6). Given that few teams have offensive-minded centers who could overpower them, it may be beneficial to have them (especially TT) play some C, thus enabling Nocioni to play more PF.
Hughes has a range rather than a number listed for his minute allocation because it tends to become clear in his first 2 minutes whether he is likely to be useful or not in a particular game. If he comes in and jacks up a few bricks, he should be removed and not come back. If he comes in and instead knocks down a couple jumpers or gets a steal and a layup, the team might as well give him a longer leash. The Hinrich and Gordon minutes would be revised slightly upward or downward depending on whether Hughes warrants less than or greater than 7 minutes.
I acknowledge that trades involving this many teams rarely occur, but I think this would make some sense for all involved.