Posted by Andrew Shi
Detroit was expected to be a middling contender in the enfeebled Eastern Conference playoff picture. However, they're currently two games behind Charlotte for the 8th and final playoff spot. The much-maligned Smith-Monroe-Drummond trio, expected to fail from the start, hasn't surprised its critics and has weighed the team down heavily. Detroit needs to blow up its big man project, but with Smith tied to a four-year, $54 million contract and Andre Drummond proving to be a future all-star, and possibly the marquee center within another few years, the odd man out is Greg Monroe. Monroe himself could be a future all-star, and while his numbers are down from last year, they'll most likely skyrocket again once he is moved to a team that allows him to slide back to center, his natural position.
Detroit: Greg Monroe, Jonas Jerebko, Luigi Datome
Washington: Trevor Ariza, Otto Porter Jr., 2016 first round pick
The Wizards have recently been rumored to be pursuing the Detroit big man. Marcin Gortat is on an expiring contract and Monroe could serve as an upgrade. In return the Pistons get the small forward with the range that they need, the Wizard's first round pick from this year, who with a couple years of seasoning could redeem having been the third pick, a future round pick and unload some unwanted salary.
Detroit: Monroe, Charlie Villenueva
Boston: Jeff Green, Brandon Bass, Celtics' protected 2016 first round, Clipper's 2015 first round
The Celtics finally get their big man and an expiring contract. The steep price of two first-round picks is because Detroit will be, with the additions of green and Brass, trading for financially inflexible contracts as well. However, Green will give them the outside shooting they need and Bass will be a worthy backup for Smith
Houston is fifth in the West and certainly a contender. So to say they need this trade is a bit of an overstatement, however, if they want to solidify their chances, then trading Omer Asik for a few role players and possible pick would be prudent.
Houston: Omer Asik
Boston: Brandon Bass, Joel Anthony, 2015 Clipper's first round, Philadelphia's first round
The Celtics, as mentioned before, need a big man. Asik is a top defensive big man and will fit well into the Celtics' defensive-minded game. The Rockets, meanwhile, pick up two first-round picks, although the Clipper's will likely be a late-round pick, and Philadelphia's may turn into two second-round picks if they don't make the playoffs by 2015. However, Brandon Bass is a great all-around player and will play well off the bench. Anthony, while not the most talented player, brings high energy and can hold his own during those several minutes that Howard will need a break. The Rockets will also be able to unload Asik's contract before it rises in his final year and becomes harder to move.
Phoenix has been a pleasant surprise in a somewhat disappointing season with an abysmal Eastern Conference and a series of injuries. They have made it known that they are searching for players that will help them push through the tough Western Conference during their unexpected playoff run, and are willing to trade some of the pool of picks they have collected for those players.
Phoenix: Emeka Okafor, Washington and Minnesota's 2014 first round picks
Philadelphia: Thaddeus Young, Spencer Hawes
Phoenix, an already young team with a lot of talent, no longer wants four picks in one draft. Thaddeus Young is averaging 17.5 ppg and posting a Player Efficiency Rating of 17.74. Hawes is the best three-point shooting center in the league. The two of them will give the Suns a lethal barrage of three-pointers, or, in other words, how the Mavericks won the 2011 Championship. The 76ers get the picks they want, although they may be reluctant to trade away Young. Still two draft picks that will land late lottery (Minnesota) and right outside of the lottery (Washington) will be worth it.