FanPost

Trade with Utah Jazz to get Millsap or Jefferson


I honestly think the Thunder would have won the West this year if they had a big man who could consistently score in the low post. Kendrick Perkins' entire offensive game is laughable, and Serge Ibaka is decent for his age, he's not good enough to be the best scoring big on a championship caliber team. Plus, Scott Brooks doesn't trust him enough to give him the ball down there more than about once per game, according to Synergy Sports Technology.

Luckily, the Utah Jazz have entered rebuilding mode, and it's no secret that with Derrick Favors as their power forward of the future, they'll be looking to free up salary cap room, get younger, and relieve their logjam in the frontcourt.

Now, the only "untouchables" on the Thunder in terms of trade talks are Westbrook, Durant, and Harden. Because Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins both play the role of "defensive big", I think the team would still be in great shape if they lost one of them, particularly if we got either Jefferson or Millsap, both of whom are not afraid to play hard defense.

That being said, here are some scenarios:

Scenario 1

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=4xo8ctk

In this trade, we send Serge Ibaka, Thabo Sefolosha, and Nate Robinson to the Jazz in exchange for Paul Millsap and Jeremy Evans.

Why Utah does this: Currently they have exactly two guards under contract, the aging Raja Bell, who played very mediocre basketball last season. His defense was decent, but his field goal percentage was only 41, not very good for someone who is only asked to spot up and come off screens. In Thabo, they'll be getting a defensive stalwart who is seven years younger, and in Nate, they'll be getting an explosive (if undersized) combo guard who can provide a spark to any offensive system coming off the bench.

New Thunder Lineup

Westbrook / Maynor

Harden / Draft Pick or Free Agent

Durant / Evans

Millsap / Collison / Draft Pick or Free Agent

Perkins / Free Agent / Aldrige

With this lineup, We get to move Harden into the starting lineup, and now have the offensive firepower we need in the low post. Collison showed in the playoffs that he can handle an increased role, so I think he would be fine as a third big. We might also play more small ball with three guards (Westbrook, Maynor and Harden) with Durant at the 4 spot.

This is of course, assuming the Thunder sign no one, which think is unlikely. We should easily be able to pick up a fourth big or wing player. Denver has three coming off the books, and they won't be able to keep all of them. I know he's a restricted free agent, but Nick Young would be great off the bench since he creates his own offense so well. We could also try to get an all-around decent backup in Delonte West. As far as the bigs go, Nenad Kristic might be willing to come back in a reduced role, and we can always resign Nazr Mohammed.

Scenario 2

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=3j9erg9

In this trade, we give up Perkins, Thabo, and Robinson for Jeremy Evans and Al Jefferson. Utah does this for the same reason they do scenario 1; they get younger, cheaper, and gain backcourt depth. Furthermore, losing Jefferson relieves more of their frontcourt crowding because he plays both the 4 and the 5. We also might have to throw in a pick, but since we're in win-now mode, I don't think we need picks that badly this season or the next.

New Thunder Lineup

Westbrook / Maynor

Harden / Draft Pick or Free Agent

Durant / Evans

Ibaka / Collison

Jefferson / Free agent or Draft Pick / Collison

I like this scenario a lot better than the first. Jefferson is more accustomed to being a primary scorer in the low post than Millsap, who is more of an all around good power forward, but only posts up about twice per game, as opposed to Jefferson's 7 post-ups per game. Second, it allows us to keep Serge Ibaka, who is younger, cheaper, more athletic, better on offense, and has a higher ceiling than Kendrick Perkins.

Assuming we are able to get someone to lead the second unit in scoring, I almost guarantee the Thunder win the West if they make either of these trades.

This post does not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of Welcome to Loud City or SB Nation. However, it was made by one of the members of the Welcome to Loud City community, so there is a large chance the above post is extremely ballin'!

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