Warning: I'm writing this as a biased Magic fan. Not as an objective journalist. Hence it's placement here as a FanPost, not as an actual article/post.
I posed a rather .. unrealistic scenario via a comment I made in the Miami/Orlando recap post written a few days ago. Per Ben's request, I'll go ahead and flesh out the most ridiculous trade possibility I've come up .. here, in this FanPost.
Amid the reports lately that the Phoenix Suns are exploring trading [!?!] Amare Stoudemire given his discontent, coupled with the fact 3QC member UNFNOLE stated he'd personally would trade Hedo Turkoglu at the deadline (with the uncertainty of re-signing him in the off-season fueling this idea), naturally I put two + two together to come up with THE trade that would shake the NBA world this season.
Again, I want to repeat that I know that this trade would NEVER happen, but who knows. Slip Suns GM Steve Kerr a few drinks here & there and maybe .. just maybe, he'd be stupid enough to pull the trigger on the deal. Wishful thinking, I know.
Anyways, this is the deal I came up here, thanks to ESPN's Trade Machine.
PF/C Amare Stoudemire
SF/PF Hedo Turkoglu (expiring contract, does have a player option)
SG Keith Bogans (expiring contract)
SG J.J. Redick
PF Brian Cook (expiring contract, does have a player option)
ORL 2009 1st Rd. pick
ORL 2009 2nd Rd. pick
ORL's $3.3 Mill. trade exception (via New Jersey due to Dooling signing)
Rationale for Orlando - Clearly at first glance, this trade looks ridiculous. The only player of legitimate value is Turkoglu. Bogans, at best, is a useful rotation player (with three-point shooting/defensive ability but nothing more). Redick has shown flashes of being a useful rotation player .. his addition to the deal is due to his ability to space for the floor for Phoenix/Shaq (ala Orlando/Dwight). Cook, to be frank, is terrible but his expiring contract presents some value. The draft picks are a given. How about that trade exception the Nets tossed to the Magic during the off-season, as compensation for the Dooling signing? Sure is useful in this scenario, given additional money needs to be funneled Phoenix's way to make the financials work.
Given the uncertainty surrounding Hedo's future with the team, here's a trade that would make sense for GM Otis Smith to pull the trigger on (duh). However, the Magic will inherit the risk of not being able to retain Stoudemire themselves. But .. at least Orlando will get Amare for a year & a half. Given Rashard will begin to age/decline in the next coming years, this is easily the Magic's best window of opportunity to win a Title. So why not go all out?
Rationale for Phoenix - It's no secret that Amare wants out, so why not get value for him? Clearly the Suns will never get a trade offer that's completely fair .. it's become obvious that if you trade a superstar away, chances are you're going to lose on the deal (exceptions are made). But hey .. I'm just coming up with the pipe-dream scenario.
Anyways, this trade actually makes a tiny bit of sense. By adding Turk, Phoenix is able to truly space the floor for Shaq and surround him with deadly three-point shooters (Nash, J-Rich, Hedo). One of the factors affecting Stoudemire's play this season is the fact there's not enough room for him to operate inside, with Shaq in the lane. So .. one way to fix that problem is to simply eliminate Amare from the equation entirely. Granted, playing Hedo (presumably) at PF is a slightly idiotic idea for the Suns, but hey, I warned you this trade was ridiculous.
The expiring contracts & draft picks provide Phoenix with flexibility to to eventually rebuild in the future, since it's clear their window of opportunity is closing fast, or has already closed already. If they choose to do so, the Suns are more apt to re-sign Hedo (given his cheaper price tag compared to Amare) than they would be trying to re-up Stoudemire next season. However, it's doubtful the Suns want to invest heavily in a player steadily approaching 30 years of age. Who knows, though ..
I'm not a Suns expert by any means, but it's becoming increasingly obvious either one of two scenarios is going to occur for that team .. a.) they're going to restructure the roster to build around Stoudemire (to appease him) once the veteran players ride into the sunset (pun intended) or b.) they'll go for broke and trade Stoudemire, in an attempt to get some value for him before his eventual departure.
It'll be interesting to see how that storyline plays out with Stoudemire & the Suns.
I will repeat for a third time that I know my above trade scenario would NEVER happen, but imagine if it did? How lethal would a Amare/Dwight frontcourt be? Rashard Lewis slides back to his natural SF position. The Magic bench would still be deep enough - with Tony Battie, Marcin Gortat, Anthony Johnson, and Mickael Pietrus as the main reserves. Orlando's three-point shooting tendencies would decline a bit, but certainly a more balanced attack would translate better in the Playoffs if the threes aren't falling. Head coach Stan Van Gundy would probably foam at the mouth having two dominant big men.
Ahh .. the possibilities.