Friday, July 10, 2009
The Deal: Dallas Mavericks acquire: SF Shawn Marion (Sign and trade Tor), PF Kris Humphries (Tor), PF Nathan Jawai (Tor), SG Greg Buckner (Memphis). Toronto Raptors acquire: F Hedo Turkoglu (Sign and trade Orl), SF Devean George (Dal), SG Antoine Wright (Dal). Memphis Grizzlies acquire: SG Jerry Stackhouse (and cash Dal), and a future 2nd round pick (Tor).
Mavericks: This was a good deal for the the Mavs. They got their man in Shawn Marion, who will give them another athletic scorer. Marion might not be as good of a player as he once was, but he still averaged 13 points and 8.5 rebounds a game last season. Humphries and Buckner should round out the Mavericks bench as well. This move might not equal them with the Spurs and Lakers, but it should keep the Mavs in the thick of the playoff race.
Raptors: The main reason they were a part of this deal was to get the sign and trade exception against the salary cap. Hedo Turkoglu was going to be a Raptor one way or another. This move just allows Toronto to have more cap room to potentially make further deals. Adding Turkoglu was a good move for the Raptors. He showed in the playoffs with Orlando that he's a big game player. He should mesh well with Chris Bosh on the front line and give Toronto a good presence on the wing. Both George and Wright can be solid depth players at the end of the Raptors bench.
Grizzlies: Memphis will release Jerry Stackhouse since his contract isn't fully guaranteed. The Mavericks will send cash to cover the expense, and add a little money to their coffers. They also get a future 2nd round pick. Not a bad return for a guy they were gonna release anyways.
Magic: The Magic don't receive any players or picks in the deal, but do pick up a valuable trade exception worth approximately $8 million. This should allow them to add another player or two for another finals run. It is interesting that the only team that benefited from the Magic being part of this deal, were the Raptors. A team that very well could be facing the Magic in the postseason next spring.
Winner: This was one of the crazier trades in recent NBA history (and that is saying a lot). Every team won and lost in this deal. The biggest winner would be the Dallas Mavericks as they needed the trade to fit Marion under the cap, and didn't lose anything of value. The biggest loser in this deal might be the NBA labor agreement that forces such ridiculous trade scenario's. The fact that the Magic only "receive" a trade exception and not any tangible money, players or picks is a bit crazy. As is the fact that the Magic get anything from a player who in reality left in free agency. I think the NBA should close some of these loopholes, and eliminate these hurdles in their CBA (*Note I don't want to see the salary cap eliminated just these crazy exceptions and such). They should let these teams build their rosters based on talent and true value, instead of Monopoly money being given in return.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal has an article today proclaiming that the Blue Jays are prepared to listen to offers for their ace Roy Halladay. Halladay has been one of the best pitchers in the game since his break out season in 2002. If he is on the market it would signify two things. One the Blue Jays are giving up on this season (despite their winning record), and are entering a rebuilding stage. Toronto has been competitive in the A.L. East this season, but are now seven games back in fourth place. Two, the 'Hot Stove' just got set to broil. With so many teams still in the play-off race, the trade market looks pretty barren. In fact the best player and pitcher that was likely to change teams, Jake Peavey, is injured, and off the market. That all changes with Roy Halladay available.
Halladay is a bonafide front of the rotation starter. He is just 32 years old and signed for a reasonable $15.75 million next season. The Jays should look to move him now when his value is still high. Toronto has some serious budget issues coming up, with Vernon Wells horrible contract on the books until 2014. For the Blue Jays to contend they will need a core of young, quality, cost controlled players. They can add a few of those type, by dealing Halladay. Every serious contender should at least ask the Blue Jays about their star pitcher. The question on every team's mind (and plenty of fans), is what will Halladay cost in terms of prospects?
Two offseason's ago we saw two top pitchers, Erik Bedard and Dan Haren, traded for top prospect packages in return. While both Bedard and Haren were under team control for longer ( 2 years for Bedard and 3 for Haren), neither was the pitcher that Halladay is. The Blue Jays return will be similar to what the Orioles and Athletics received. I think it will end up being a 5 for 1 deal. With two top prospects, two middle prospects and one high upside player. The Blue Jays will likely target CF, SS, 2B and SP's in any deal for Halladay.
Though any team would love to have Halladay only a handful make sense as possible trade partners. Though teams like the Angels, Yankees, Red Sox, White Sox and Cubs will be in the mix, I don't know if any of them make the final cut. The three teams that seem like the best fit to me are the Mets, Phillies and Rangers. Here is a look at why these teams fit and what they might have to give up for Halladay's services:
Mets: New York would love to put Halladay and Sabathia at the front of any play-off series they are in. By adding Halladay the Mets would become the favorite to overtake the Phillies for the East or to win the Wild Card. The Mets have a good bit of money coming off the books next season, and should have little problem fitting Halladay in their budget. New York's biggest problem is their farm system. Its a weak system overall, with very little talent in top levels of the minors. That being said, the Mets could offer a package along the lines of Fernando Martinez-OF, Jon Niese-SP, Jenrry Meija-SP, Ike Davis-1B, and Ruben Tejada-SS. Martinez and Niese could be in the big leagues right away, Meija is a couple years away, but could be a quality starter. Davis isn't a need for the Blue Jays, but he has a high upside. Tejada could be Toronto's SS of the future.
Phillies: Philadelphia desperately needs to add some talent to their rotation. While overall they are not looking to add salary, they will do so for a talent like Halladay. For the Phillies to stay atop the East they will need to make a move. Adding Halladay could make them the favorites to repeat as champions as well. Philadelphia has the talent to make a deal with the Blue Jays and still retain some top prospects. Either one of the Phil's top OF prospects Dominic Brown or Michael Taylor would headline the deal. Add in Carlos Carrasco-SP, SS Jason Donald and a high upside pitcher like Sampson or Worley and the Blue Jays would have a good return. Both Brown or Taylor could be the Jays RF of the future. Carrasco is a solid mid-rotation starter and Donald fills the hole at SS.
Rangers: The Rangers will have a tough time taking on money while they are under going major financial difficulties. But no team needs an ace pitcher more, and going forward the Rangers have some money coming off the books next season to fit Halladay in their payroll. The Rangers also have the best system in baseball and have plenty of depth to trade from. A trade involving Justin Smoak-1B, Martin Perez-SP, Tommy Hunter-SP, Tim Murphy-SP, Manuel Pina-C, should be enough to bring Halladay to Arlington. Smoak is one of the top prospects in all of baseball, and would give Toronto a legit 35 HR hitter. Perez is just 18 years old, but is one of the brightest pitching prospects in the minors. Hunter is nearly major league ready, and profiles as a mid rotation guy. Murphy has some upside but has struggled some recently. And Pina could be a solid big league catcher down the line.