I’ll keep posting Demar to the Suns trades because it just makes too much sense. Pheonix is in dire need of a shot in the arm and Chicago should move their older guys, they’ve got no chance at a chip this year. In this trade Chicago auctions off some valuable role players while 3 semi contenders add to their roster in hope of pushing their teams to the next level. Here’s why each team does this trade:
Suns: Phoenix sorts out their 3 major issues with this move alone. Scoring next to Booker, CP3 cover and an unhappy Deandre Ayton. Demar is the key, MJ light is still a top 25/30 player in the league and shows no signs of slowing down. He fits Pheonix’s offensive scheme perfectly, living in the midrange but his game has developed to include a set 3 point shot from the corners to increase his portability next to other stars. I think he provides Phoenix the scoring punch they need especially without Booker while keeping the ball moving. In fact, acquiring Demar allows you to really rest CP3, an excellent iso player DeRozan can take on ball handling responsibilities and play the point while CP3 isn’t on the floor. He was asked to play point at San Antonio and got up to 7 assists per game, this keeps CP3 fresher for the playoffs and takes away some clutch scoring burden from Paul. So you have more scoring and a CP3 safety blanket, next is the acquisition of Nikola Vucevic. Vuc comes in for Ayton who I can’t help but feel isn’t playing his best anymore for the Suns. Morale is clearly still an issue so moving him in a deal that helps you win now makes sense. It’s not neccesarily an upgrade at the 5, Vucevic is a defensive negative especially when facing up against bigs like Embiid and Giannis in the East but he puts up the same stats as Ayton, can space to the midrange and out to 3 and crash the boards while playmaking out of the high post but as mentioned the main thing is getting Ayton out the door. I should mention that Vuc could do with some CP3 love, perhaps being fed in the PNR boosts his confidence, he gets his points a bit easier and can focus on locking in defensively that but more. On top of the two semi stars the Suns bring better roleplayer depth. Ayton is a great weapon off the bench who would also thrive with CP3 getting him the rock. Okoro is the final piece, a defensive stopper who can’t shoot reliably, the Suns can space the floor with Vuc at the 5 and accommodate Okoro’s offensive shortcomings allowing him to play specialist minutes against perimeter scorers. This trade leaves the Suns deeper with much more offence all for the price of their depressed 5 man and 23 1st.
Bulls: The Bulls attempt a Portland style tank, auctioning off assets but maintaining their young core hopefully securing a top 4 pick but if not rejuvenating their roster with 2 further 1st’s in a deep 23 draft. Not only that, they solve their 5 man position for the next few seasons bringing in a disenfranchised Deandre Ayton, hopefully rejuvenating his play with the trust of trading a star like Demar to bring him in. As well as moving the two former all stars roleplayers like Caruso and Drummond move on. This opens up the minutes for younger players like Dosunmu and Coby White to finish up the season as the main point guard. Dalen Terry can get reps and Lavine can be given time to either fully rehab his injury, load managing for the year or rehab his value showing he can dominate the ball and put up big scoring numbers as he did prior to Demar’s arrival. Ideally this leaves the Bulls looking like this next year:
PG: Ball (if he returns to full fitness, SG: Lavine, SF: Terry, PF: Williams, C: Ayton with young bench guys like Ayo and White to play as well as anyone picked in the 23 draft. Ideally the Bulls strike lucky keeping their pick and land a top 4 guy. If it’s Scoot I can see Lonzo playing a similar role, guarding wings and spacing off ball, covering for Scoot’s deficiencies and playing PG when Henderson sits. Wemby could play the 4 in a 2 big system not to dissimilar to what the Cavs play with Mobley and Allen. Thompson, Miller or Whitmore are natural fits at the 3. If not the Bulls could look to bring in a 3 in FA or trade for one given that they’ll have surplus assets after this years draft.
Cavs: Cleveland gives up on Okoro to bring in a starting level vet 3 in Crowder. With the number 1 defence in the league the Cavs can afford the small downgrade on that end to round out their starting rotation for the playoffs. As you all know Crowded is a smart vet who keeps the ball moving, knocks down catch and shoots and guards forwards to a decent level. He’s no star but a starting 5 of Garland, Mitchell, Crowder, Mobley and Allen with depth off the bench like Rubio, LaVert, Love and Wade is a dark horse for the title even this year.
Grizzlies: The Grizzlies already have a deep roster so why not trade their likely mid 20’s 1st in next years draft for a super destructive PG with massive playoff upside. Caruso brings defensive intensity admired in Memphis as much as anywhere else in the states. Memphis could choose to play both Brooks and Caruso causing havoc for perimeter guys, slide Bane to the 3 in offensive lineups and even go small with 3 elite defenders on the court in JJJ, Brooks and Caruso further enhancing their transition game. Most teams struggle to find one perimeter stopper so to have two going into the playoffs is an absolute luxury. That’s 48 minutes of high quality guard play against the likes of Luka, Steph, Booker and even Zion. If Caruso’s shot falls this could be the move that gives them the edge in a wide open West without sacrificing major draft capital or their young core.
That’s the crux of the trade, let me know your thoughts and any suggestions to improve it.