Wednesday, March 7, 2012

2012 NBA Trade Deadline Advice for John Hammond

Usually I dissect the entire Milwaukee Bucks roster like a surgeon right before the NBA Trade Deadline (see 2010 & 2011) but my disdain for the 2011-12 Milwaukee Bucks is at an all-time high so I am going to forgo looking at the entire roster and focus on one man, Stephen Jackson.

When the Bucks traded for Jackson before the 2011 NBA Draft, I foolishly thought Jackson would be just the scoring threat the Bucks needed. Despite having tons of evidence to the contrary, I thought Jackson might be able to turn over a new leaf in Milwaukee. Anyone who has followed the 2011-12 Milwaukee Bucks knows that I was dead wrong. As usual, Jackson wore out his welcome in Milwaukee and become a locker room cancer, which forced me to write this "Dump Stephen Jackson" post.

We can all agree that Milwaukee Bucks general manager John Hammond needs to do everything humanly possible to trade Jackson before the 2012 NBA Trade Deadline on Thursday, March 15, 2012. As a courtesy to all 14 people that currently comprise the entire Milwaukee Bucks fan base, I worked ESPN's NBA Trade Machine to come up with these five Stephen Jackson trades:

#5) Bucks trade Stephen Jackson (SG/SF) & Andrew Bogut (C) to the Detroit Pistons for Ben Gordon (SG), Charlie Villanueva (SF), & Greg Monroe (C):
Andrew Bogut's health problems makes this trade nearly impossible, especially when you add in that Greg Monroe will be the best NBA center in the Eastern Conference sooner rather than later with Dwight Howard most likely moving to the Western Conference next season. Much like John Hammond making the best out of a horrible situation that he created, Detroit Pistons general manager Joe Dumars would be dumping two horrible free agents that he recently signed (Gordon & Villanueva) along with a potential franchise center for a volatile shooting guard and an injured center. Dumars has to pay a slightly higher tax than Hammond in this trade so the Bucks could throw in a Top-5 protected first round pick. Both general mangers would botch the pick anyhow so if a pick that will most likely amount to nothing is all Dumars needs, add in a draft pick Hammond. Who am I kidding, even a bad general manager like Dumars is not dumb enough to say yes to this deal.

#4) Bucks trade Stephen Jackson (SG/SF) & Mike Dunleavy Jr. (SG/SF) to DAVID STERN the New Orleans Hornets for Chris Kaman (C):
NBA Commissioner David Stern notoriously rejected a much more favorable trade for the Hornets so the odds of this trade going through are very slim. Just like the last trade, the Bucks should throw in their first round pick next year if that is what David Stern needs to get this deal done. Based on who the Bucks drafted in the first round since John Hammond took over as general manager of the Milwaukee (Joe Alexander in 2008, Brandon Jennings in 2009, Larry Sanders in 2010, and Tobias Harris in 2011) there is a 50% chance Hammond will mess up the pick anyhow.

#3) Bucks trade Stephen Jackson (SG/SF) to the New Jersey Nets for Mehmet Okur (C):
For some unknown reason Dwight Howard wants, read that again, wants to play with Stephen Jackson. Call this the Pandering to Dwight Howard Special, which is really the only way the Nets can justify this trade. If the Nets don't get Howard before the trade deadline (looking less likely since Brook Lopez went down with an injury that will keep him out past the NBA Trade Deadline) Deron Williams will most likely leave the Nets this summer via free agency so the Nets need to do everything in their power to get Howard to appease Williams. If not, the Nets are going to move into their new arena in Brooklyn with Brook Lopez as their biggest star...yikes. The Magic need to realize that Dwight Howard is playing home games somewhere other than Orlando next year so they should get something for Howard instead of letting him walk away for nothing. Howard leaving Orlando will not be quite as bad as Shaq leaving Orlando or LeBron leaving Cleveland but it will be close. If Howard wanting to play with Jackson is befuddling, even more of a head scratcher is that apparently Howard would rather play for the Lakers, Mavericks, or Nets instead of teaming up with Derrick Rose for the next five years in Chicago. There are rumors that Howard and Deron Williams are both going to sign with the Mavericks next year. If that happens, I am fine with Howard not wanting to go to the Bulls. If not, Howard & Turkoglu's carcass for Noah & Deng is about as good as the Magic are going to get for Howard.

#2) Bucks trade Stephen Jackson (SG/SF) & Beno Udrih (PG/SG) to the New York Knicks for Amare Stoudemire (PF):
Before the 2002 NBA Draft I had a huge draft crush on Amare that was never fulfilled when he went 9th overall to the Phoenix Suns. To make matters worse the Bucks drafted Marcus Haslip with the 13th pick in the 2002 NBA Draft. Ten years later this trade finally fulfills my 2002 NBA Draft dreams. Quick side note, I was lucky enough to see a game at Madison Square Garden for the first time in my life when I was in New York at the end of January. Keep in mind this was pre-Linsanity. After watching the Knicks that night I realized they are an NBA team where the sum is worth less than their parts. Camerlo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, and Tyson Chandler are impressive NBA players but do not fit together on the same team. Since the Knicks foolishly already used the amnesty clause on Chauncey Billups, they are freaked out about having Amare's uninsured contract on their books through the 2014-15 season so this trade gives the Knicks some much need salary relief for the 2013-14 NBA season via the Stephen Jackson tax. If playing home games at Madison Square Garden in the middle of Linsanity can't get Jackson excited, he is officially a lost cause.

#1) Bucks trade Brandon Jennings (PG) & Stephen Jackson (SG/SF) to the Boston Celtics for Rajon Rondo (PG):
As crazy as this sounds, according to very well connected leagues sources, the Celtics are actively trying to trade Rondo. Right now Rondo is perceived as a much better player than Jennings but let's not forget that Rondo plays with Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett. Reports are that Rondo is a locker room cancer even with all those strong willed players in the locker room. What happens when those guys are no longer on the roster? Juxtapose that with what Jennings is doing with a rag-tag team compared to Rondo with a stacked team and I predict in a few years Jennings might actually be a better NBA player than Rondo. In order to get Jennings on the cheap for a few years, the Celtics have to pay the Stephen Jackson tax. Plus may be Jackson playing with Kevin Garnett will give him the kick in the arse that he needs.

My guess is that the other team in each of the trades proposed would laugh at John Hammond if he even floated any of the deals outline above but offering potentially laughable Stephen Jackson related trades is honestly the only fun thing about the Milwaukee Bucks right now.

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