Counteroffer: Al Horford for Blake Griffin?

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There are some things in Philadelphia that are extremely popular and for good reason too. To name a few: cheesesteaks, water ice, the Eagles, oh and Al Horford trade ideas. In the third part of our new series “Counteroffer” we’ll be looking at yet another Al Hoford trade scenario. In our first piece, we took a look at an idea to send Al Horford to Houston, you can view that below.

Now, we look to add a third team into the mix. This trade came from Bleacher Report’s own Greg Swartz who wrote about “1 Course-Changing Trade Every NBA Team Could Actually Make”. In this piece, Swartz aims to make both the Sixers and the Pacers more competitive, while finally starting Detroit’s much needed rebuild.


The TRADE

PHILADELPHIA RECEIVES

Blake Griffin (PF)

DETROIT RECEIVES

Myles Turner (C), Jeremy Lamb (SG)

INDIANA RECEIVES

Al Horford (PF/C), Detroit’s 2020 first-round pick

There’s a modicum of benefit for each team but it’s certainly uneven. The Pacers come out with a player who can be a key Postseason piece AND a top 10, possibly top 5 pick. The Pistons would obtain a young talented defensive center and a quality wing in Jeremy Lamb. The Sixers trade in one older expensive player for a slightly younger, more expensive, often injured player.

The Pacers crush this trade, the Pistons make out fine and the Sixers get fleeced. This is unacceptable for the Sixers, there’s little reason to believe in Griffin’s health given recent history. Though he played in 75 games last season, over the past five seasons, Griffin played in 247 out of 394 potential games for a percentage of 63% games played. On top of this Griffin is a player who relies primarily on his athleticism. Players like that decline quickly as they age and especially when they face injuries.

While the trade works for 2/3 partners (which is better than most three-way trades), we’re aiming for a trade that goes 3/3. I actually like the idea of sending Turner to the Pistons so we’ll be keeping both teams involved. In Turner, the Pistons would have a young defensive anchor who would set the tone defensively and wouldn’t cost them their future.

The Atlanta Hawks recently acquired Clint Capela for a pick that will likely fall outside of the lottery and the Pistons traded Andre Drummond for peanuts, so the market for centers shouldn’t be too high. It’s also been long documented that Turner is a poor fit next to Indy star Domantas Sabonis. Turner is only losing value so the Pacers need to sell high now.

The goal here is to make both the Pacers and Sixers better while giving the Pistons ammunition for their rebuild (this means not trading a top five pick).


The COUNTEROFFER

PHILADELPHIA RECEIVES

Derrick Rose (PG), Jeremy Lamb (SG), Tony Snell (SF)

DETROIT RECEIVES

Myles Turner (C)

INDIANA RECEIVES

Al Horford (PF/C), Furkan Korkmaz, Philadelphia’s 2020 first-round pick (via OKC), Detroit’s 2021 first-round pick (lottery protected)

In this trade the Pacers get their new big man, replace the shooter they lost with a cheaper version, and pick up two first-round picks (albeit not as high). The Pistons still add their new anchor while unloading Tony Snell’s contract. The Sixers, meanwhile, add Derrick Rose (who they were linked to at the trade deadline), Jeremy Lamb, and Tony Snell.

Rose would run the second unit as one of the best bench players in the NBA. He would be the primary ball handler, giving Ben Simmons a break and allowing him to either sit or run off screens. Swapping Korkmaz for Lamb would sacrifice some shooting but Lamb could slide into the two-guard spot allowing Richardson to move to the bench (where he can be better utilized). Another option would be for Lamb and Richardson to both come off a very deep bench if the Sixers decide that Shake Milton has earned a chance to start.

Tony Snell is an interesting piece. On the surface, he looks like salary filler and to a degree he is, but that’s actually what gives him value to the Sixers. Many will remember Snell for the following stat line:

NBA Retweet on Twitter: "CJ Watson had a stat-line for the record ...
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Snell would be helpful in a pinch contrary to the photo above, but his real value would come at the trade deadline. The Sixers would be able to use his salary to match a deal for another player. Between Snell, Richardson, Mike Scott, and Zhaire Smith, the Sixers could clear nearly $30 million to try and add another star. They don’t have to star-hunt though, as Snell’s contract could just go towards a role player. Either way, Snell would have more value than most would think.

Giving up the Sixers’ only first-round pick hurts, but THIS is the type of “win now” move the Sixers should make. It improves the Sixers in the short-term without mortgaging the future.

The Sixers would add unreal depth from this trade which is needed for a deep playoff run. The Pacer’s end up more competitive while restoring draft picks, the Pistons are able to add Andre Drummond’s successor without giving up their top 10 pick, and the Sixers become contenders with a flexible future. In an extremely rare case, teams go a combined 3/3 in this trade as they all reach their goals.

Mandatory Credit – © Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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