Sunday, September 23, 2007

Trade Ideas From Utah

The Salt Lake Tribune’s Steve Luhm recently wrote about a trade proposal sent in by a reader involving the Jazz and Bucks.

This is not to be confused with an actual trade offer. Still, the writer points out that the deal would work financially and personnel-wise, so it’s worth considering just for fun.

The scenario:
“Utah gets Charlie Villanueva, Bobby Simmons and Damir Markota (a throw-in). Milwaukee gets AK-47 and Ronnie Brewer."
Andrei Kirilenko wants out of Utah.

He doesn’t consider himself a good fit with the Jazz anymore, and has even indicated he would consider playing Europe, where he played and starred before coming to the NBA.

From the ESPN article:
He says he would like to play in Russia, although as long as he is under contract with Utah, that cannot happen as NBA and FIBA teams must honor each other's contracts. Kirilenko starred for CSKA Moscow in the Euroleague before coming to the NBA, but he says he'd also consider other European teams.

"I would like to be where I am needed and right now I feel that my country needs me," Kirilenko told Sport Express. "But I cannot exclude some European clubs. Trust me, I really am prepared to leave NBA. It certainly does not mean that I'm dying to go to Europe. I'm just ready."
This of course draws some parallels to the Charlie Bell situation. The difference being Kirilenko’s discontent apparently is based more on in-game issues. Whereas Bell's problems with the Bucks were business-focused, Kirilenko’s decreasing minutes and shots are seemingly the important factors. He also doesn’t feel suited for the club’s more methodical pace, and doesn’t exactly see eye-to-eye with coach Jerry Sloan.

If a more wide-open offense is what Kirilenko wants, then Milwaukee is a great fit. Kirilenko’s defensive ability also would benefit the Bucks.

He’s certainly a better player than his numbers from last season indicate. However, it’s a little worrisome that he was seemingly fine when he was the starring on a non-contending team and only became upset after a down individual year in which his team succeeded.

Luhm does make a decent case for why the Bucks would make the deal.
“As a result of this trade, the Bucks would get a starter who could battle every season for the Defensive Player of the Year award and would also contribute some offense. Their lineup would be Michael Redd, Mo Williams, AK, Yi and Bogut with Dan Gadzuric, Charlie Bell, Brewer and some other decent role players. All of their big-money contracts would belong to guys who start or play a lot of minutes. They would have a nice blend of offensive skills, and AK would head up the defense.”
He neglects to mention Desmond Mason as one of the key role players, but his point is made: The Bucks would gain a player many consider one of the most talented forwards in basketball and improve defensively.

In the end however, the Bucks aren’t likely keen on giving up Villanueva. Not only because they want to make good on trading away T.J. Ford for him, but because it would force Yi Jianlian or Jake Voskuhl into the starting lineup.

In addition, the Jazz would surely be hesitant to trade away someone they recently considered their franchise player for a couple players coming off injuries in Villanueva and Simmons.

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