I placed this trade idea in a game thread earlier, but this may be best discussed as a separate fanpost. If you would, indulge with me in the hyperbole that is this scenario. The trade would make us instantly credible, give us a star to pair with Wall, and would turn the 'rebuilding' process into a 'what do we need to be a major contender' process. Not sure how Amar'e and McGee would work defensively, but I could imagine not worse than things are with Blatche. While I'd love to get rid of Blatche and Young and end up getting an All-star in Amar'e, I'm a bit conflicted on this trade that will never happen. Maybe it's worth the risk, but I'm not a huge fan of the idea of the Wizards taking on the risk of Amar'e Stoudemire's uninsured contract, with his bad knees and all. And Marvin Williams is Atlanta's Andray Blatche. In the short-term, the trade would be a disaster for Atlanta, but for a team in NBA purgatory that has a couple of bad contracts and is in no way a title contender, this gets them out of the woods. Even though he's a good player, that Joe Johnson contract is well on its way to becoming the worst in the league. This would offer them the chance to get rid of that cap-crippling contract, and a prospect in the hometown Shumpert. Not sure what Cleveland gets out of the trade. The Knicks would have a void at power forward with this trade, but would get an upgrade at two other positions.
New York Knicks receive: Joe Johnson and Ramon Sessions
Atlanta Hawks receive: Rashard Lewis, Nick Young, and Iman Shumpert
Washington Wizards receive: Amar’e Stoudemire and Marvin Williams
Cleveland Cavaliers receive: Andray Blatche
Why the Knicks do it
They would plug their hole at the point guard spot with a youngster that both Mike D’Antoni and his older brother, Dan, know very well. And although Joe Johnson has a whopping 5 years and $100M left on his contract, it’s only one more year than Stoudemire. Joe has shown the ability to hit big shots and can create off the dribble just as well as he can catch and shoot. This trade would leave the Knicks very thin up front, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. They’d need to fill the hole that Stoudemire’s departure would create, but they’d plug two in return.
Why the Hawks do it
It’s all about the money. Over the next five years, the Hawks will pay the combination of Marvin Williams and Joe Johnson a ridiculous $130 million. The Hawks also have long term money tied up in Al Horford and Josh Smith, but certainly cannot afford to pay $20-$30 million in luxury tax bills each year. Something has to give. For the Hawks, being committed to paying the combination of Rashard Lewis, Nick Young, and Iman Shumpert $50 million over the next four years has to be more appealing than the aforementioned $130 million option. In Lewis, they get a 3-point shooter who can help space the floor and in Young, they get a young shooting guard whose stock is rising because of his ability to score. We are not quite sure what Shumpert is yet, but he’s well known in Atlanta, having played his college ball for Georgia-Tech. This would represent a good haul for the Hawks. With Jeff Teague, Josh Smith, and Al Horford, the Hawks—though they might step back in the immediate future—would end up younger, fresher, and with more flexibility over the long term.
Why the Wizards do it
The team is a mess and they need a few veterans who actually play. Even more so, they need someone for John Wall to run with. Stoudemire and Williams both play well in transition and would both make fairly reliable targets for Wall. Though the deal would cost them Nick Young, they’re very likely to lose him this summer. Last summer, he felt disrespected by the Wizards lowball contract offer and accepted the one year qualifying offer. He’ll be unrestricted this summer and isn’t likely to return. The toughest part of the Wizards making this deal would be getting owner Ted Leonsis to invest serious money in Stoudemire and Williams. But if he has any intention of trying to build a winner in DC, he’ll have to pony up at some point.
Why the Cavaliers do it
The drafting of Kyrie Irving made Ramon Sessions expendable. They could jettison him and get Andray Blatche in return. Blatche might be a bit hard headed, but if Byron Scott was able to get positive production out of Kenyon Martin back in New Jersey, I think he can reach Blatche. With a reliable front court talent to play alongside Irving, I think the Cavaliers would be better having done their part in this four-teamer.