After Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov came out and told his team to stop bothering, the talks between Carmelo Anthony and the New Jersey Nets are officially dead. I’m going to discuss other players that will likely see themselves move on, and possible landing spots for these athletes.
Andre Iguodala. His time is up in Philadelphia. It doesn’t seem like Iggy is meshing well with the coaching staff and the direction the team is going. The 76ers drafted Evan Turner this year and with the team’s abysmal record, Philly will likely try to ship him out. Iggy is not washed up whatsoever; he provides some great highlights and might be the missing contender. I could see him going to the Knicks or the Nets. Both teams wanted Anthony and both failed. Iguodala would be the next-best for either team. Like Anthony, he’s explosive—not as great of a jump-shooter, but he plays better defence. Iguodala will also command less of the back then Anthony would. I could see the Nets shipping a couple of their five first-round picks in the next five years for this guy.
Tayshaun Prince. Prince will likely be gone, for the same reasons. Tayshaun’s time has come up in Detroit. Prince has an NBA ring to his name and was part of the Pistons’ run in the early 2000s, which saw them as the top team in the East for a couple years. Prince is an outstanding man-on-man defender with a reputation for being able to guard the opposing team’s best player. One team that I believe would benefit greatly from Prince’s services is the Oklahoma City Thunder. I love Prince in OKC, because if they’re going to get to the NBA finals they have to go through LA—and Kobe Bryant. No one on the Thunder can match up one-on-one with Kobe Bryant, but it changes with Prince. He’s a vet who can help the young guys develop as they get older and better, and he’d definitely benefit from a winning atmosphere.
Richard Hamilton. Another Detroit Piston on the list here. Detroit has to start over and can do this by getting rid of their heart and soul, Rip Hamilton. He’s a crafty vet who has the respect of players and coaches across the league for his heart and tenacity. The Baby Bulls are a team that I can see grabbing Hamilton, for the same reasons as OKC. They’re a young team on the cusp of something special. The Bulls don’t have a guard at the shooting guard position and they lack a great veteran presence (I discount Boozer as a vet because he’s still under 30 and hasn’t really accomplished much). I love Rip in Chicago—it’s a change of scenery and he’d be a great mentor on the court to Derrick Rose. Make it happen, Chicago!
As for our hometown Raptors, I don’t see them being big players at the trade deadline. If we are going to get rid of anyone it should be Jose Calderon. I think his time is up in Toronto. It’s time to give Jarryd Bayless the reigns as the starting point guard. Calderon can’t play defence and I’m personally tired of Bryan Colangelo’s European movement. It’s not working and it’s time to shake things up. We need a true small forward that can slash and get to the basket, and we need to grab another big man in the draft this year to fill the centre spot. Bargnani should be playing PF, à la Dirk Nowitski. Ed Davis has shown flashes of potential, but he’s very raw and will need another couple years to develop into a true NBA player. I can’t wait to see what happens at this year’s deadline with so many teams believing they’re in the running. Regardless of what happens, the East seems to run through Boston and Miami while the West is owned by the Lakers and Spurs. This season should be yet another exciting finish to what has been a season of surprises already.