Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine's Present
By Zach

Much like my colleague David, I too have no date tonight. Well, I have a class that goes until 9:00 pm, and there are a couple of cute girls in it...but I don't think that counts. Since there won't be any loving in store for me tonight, I'd settle for a block-buster NBA trade.

The Deal:

Seattle Sonics send Ray Allen to Chicago, Danny Fortson and Reggie Evans to New York.

Chicago Bulls send Tim Thomas, Ben Gordon to Seattle.

New York Knicks send Trevor Ariza to Seattle, Malik Rose to Chicago.

Why This Deal Works:

The Knicks love this deal because they get to dump Rose's contract on someone else, and get two guys in Evans and Fortson who will do what Malik did, except neither is under contract after next season. Ariza has been in Larry Brown's doghouse, so I don't see him being a sticking point.

The Bulls get a proven All-Star, something they're clearly lacking. While they have some young talent, they lost Eddy Curry to the Knicks and have struggled this year to find consistancy on offense. Allen is still one of the league's top scorers, and could help provide an identity for the other young players on the team (Heinrich, Deng, etc.)

The Sonics might be the hardest team to convince in this deal. After all, they just resigned Allen this past offseason. I certainly had high hopes for this team, but it's become clear that if the Sonics have a future, it's Rashard Lewis, Robert Swift, Luke Ridnour, Nick Collison, and Johan Petro. Allen will turn 31 in July, and while his play hasn't dipped, ther's a decent chance it will in the next year or two. Of course, he's under contract for $13 million/year for the next four. Gordon isn't quite the player Allen is, of course, but he's younger, cheaper, and under contract for three more years. Thomas's contract is up after this year, which would give the team either flexibility to persue a free agent this offseason, or money to resign some of the guys listed above. They'd also get to dump Evans and Fortson, both of whom are unhappy in Seattle.

The Sonics also need a change. The way the team is playing is a joke. They were never a great defensive team under Nate McMillan, but they were also never the worst defensive team in the league. I like that Bob Hill has made a commitment to the young players, which is all the more reason why the Sonics don't need Allen dribbling the ball on the perimeter, eating up half the shot clock. I've got nothing against Ray, the team last year provided me with one of my greatest thrills as a sports fan. But it's always better to deal a guy a year early than a year late.

Editor's Note: The curious can check the trade details at RealGM, Trade ID: 2945647.


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