Would the Mavericks and Celtics invest in the present to facilitate the Pistons trading Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince?

This is trade-deadline week, so each day PistonPowered will bring you a trade-idea post. We’ll try to keep some parameters in mind — a realistic idea of the value of Pistons’ players to other teams, cost and the fact that the Pistons most likely can’t add short or long term salary with the team’s sale pending — and we fully encourage you to present your ideas in the comments.

Trade

Pistons trade:

Pistons receive:

  • Caron Butler
  • DeShawn Stevenson
  • Jermaine O’Neal

Mavericks trade:

  • Caron Butler
  • DeShawn Stevenson
  • Jermaine O’Neal

Mavericks receive:

Celtics trade:

  • Jermaine O’Neal

Celtics receive:

  • Shawn Marion

Salaries

Data from ShamSports.com

Pistons trade:

Player 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14
Richard Hamilton $12,500,000 $12,500,000 $12,500,000 $0
Tayshaun Prince $11,148,760 $0 $0 $0
Chris Wilcox $3,000,000 $0 $0 $0
Total $26,648,760 $12,500,000 $12,500,000 $0

Pistons receive:

Player 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14
Caron Butler $10,561,960 $0 $0 $0
DeShawn Stevenson $4,151,786 $0 $0 $0
Jermaine O’Neal $5,765,000 $6,226,200 $0 $0
Total $20,478,746 $6,226,200 $0 $0

Mavericks trade:

Player 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14
Caron Butler $10,561,960 $0 $0 $0
Shawn Marion $7,055,500 $7,725,932 $8,396,364 $9,066,796
DeShawn Stevenson $4,151,786 $0 $0 $0
Total $21,769,246 $7,725,932 $8,396,364 $9,066,796

Mavericks receive:

Player 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14
Richard Hamilton $12,500,000 $12,500,000 $12,500,000 $0
Tayshaun Prince $11,148,760 $0 $0 $0
Chris Wilcox $3,000,000 $0 $0 $0
Total $26,648,760 $12,500,000 $12,500,000 $0

Celtics trade:

Player 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14
Jermaine O’Neal $5,765,000 $6,226,200 $0 $0
Total $5,765,000 $6,226,200 $0 $0

Celtics receive:

Player 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14
Shawn Marion $7,055,500 $7,725,932 $8,396,364 $9,066,796
Total $7,055,500 $7,725,932 $8,396,364 $9,066,796
  • Early-termination option
  • Partially guaranteed

Pistons’ perspective

The Pistons obviously want to trade Richard Hamilton, and after Tayshaun Prince’s comments yesterday, they might want to trade him, too. This trade offers a fresh start, which the Pistons definitely need.

Ideally, the Pistons could acquire building-block assets while trading two of their better players of yesteryear, but that might be asking for too much. Clearing a couple malcontents from the roster, lowering next year’s payroll by $6,273,800 and acquiring the to-be-expiring contract of a veteran big man could be Detroit’s best-case scenario.

I think the Mavericks like Hamilton, but they don’t want to his contract (who does?). I think the Mavericks like Prince, and they’d take take him and his expiring contract in a heartbeat. Would getting Prince be enough to entice to Dallas to take Hamilton? Maybe. If not, I don’t see many other ways to lose Hamilton and his heavy contract.

The trade works without Chris Wilcox, whom the Pistons probably wouldn’t mind keeping or trading separately. But because the Mavericks play Shawn Marion a bit at power forward, which Prince has objected to doing in the past, Detroit would probably have to include Wilcox.

The Pistons could waive Butler and Stevenson, all but freeing them to re-sign with the Mavericks (unless a team claims them on waivers, which, given their salaries, appears unlikely). That move would likely save Karen Davidson a little extra money, and Detroit wants Butler and Stevenson only for their expiring contracts, anyway.

Once the team is sold and the Pistons can take long-term salary, Jermaine O’Neal’s expiring contract could help fetch a valuable piece this summer.

Mavericks’ perspective

Rob Mahoney of The Two Man Game:

This isn’t a bad trade for the Mavs by an means, and it would likely make them a better team in the short-term. That said, Dallas is currently on the cusp of contending, and has a lot to lose. Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson have never been ones to shy away from big deals if they felt their team couldn’t cut it as is, but they seem genuinely confident that the Mavs — as assembled — can get it done. So even if this deal would be a technical improvement, it’s still rather unlikely from the Mavs’ perspective.

Regardless, there are some very interesting pieces here. Supposing that DeShawn Stevenson is waived and eventually finds his way back to the Mavs, Dallas loses very little. Trading Shawn Marion for Tayshaun Prince is essentially a lateral move, but one that gives the Mavs a better three-point shooter and likely saves the Mavs money over the long-term.

Those savings are hedged, of course, by the two full years remaining on Richard Hamilton’s deal. Cuban may be reluctant to add Hamilton if he, Donnie Nelson, and Rick Carlisle don’t view this trade as a significant upgrade. Given the money the Mavs committed to Dirk Nowitzki and Brendan Haywood last summer (in addition to the run they plan to make at re-signing Tyson Chandler), Cuban will be even more reluctant than usual to take on a contract like Hamilton’s. That’s not a deal-breaker in itself, but it’s another small red flag.

That said, the Mavs also would pick up a competent role player in Wilcox for relatively cheap while getting a substantial discount on Stevenson’s contract (should he sign with Dallas after being waived). Wilcox could fill in some of the minutes behind Nowitzki at power forward that were normally taken by Marion, and gives the Mavs an extra big to combat sizable contenders like the Lakers.

So essentially, Dallas would lose Shawn Marion and the right to re-sign Caron Butler in the off-season, and gain Richard Hamilton, Chris Wilcox, and a player comparable to Marion in Prince.

Hamilton is still a very useful player, and would look quite comfortable running around the baseline screens normally used to set up Jason Terry. Plus, having Jason Kidd orchestrating the offense and willing passers all around will only facilitate Hamilton’s scoring abilities.

There’s definitely enough here to make the Mavs think long and hard about completing this deal, but I’m just not sure it’s enough. Cuban, Nelson, and Carlisle like their team — any trade proposal that’s going to disrupt the established roster is going to have to knock their socks off, and this one doesn’t.
Plus, one last point to consider: Butler fits well in this Mavericks locker room, and he and his teammates genuinely seem to like each other. I don’t know that Dallas would shy away from trading him in general for chemistry reasons, but it’s worth noting that Butler is working very hard to rehab and return for the playoffs, and that fact isn’t lost on the Dallas brass.

I also sent Rob an alternate proposal. We agreed the Mavericks would probably rather keep Dominique Jones and take Chris Wilcox’s expiring deal than get Jermaine O’Neal. But the Mavericks showed interest in O’Neal this summer, so there’s a chance they’d prefer this alternate version. Rob breaks that down, too:

Dominique Jones wasn’t going to contribute in the immediate future anyway. Cuban may not be thrilled that the Mavs are trading away Jones – on whom Cuban spent $3 million to acquire on draft day — so quickly, but I don’t see Jones as the hang-up that would keep Dallas from making a deal like this one.

Jermaine O’Neal is pretty superfluous, honestly, but there’s nothing wrong with acquiring as many competent big men as possible in the hope that they might come in handy in a possible playoff series against the Lakers. If this deal were to go down, Dallas would have Chandler, Haywood, Ian Mahinmi, and Jermaine O’Neal as their center rotation, would could be the deepest set of 5s in the entire league.

Celtics’ perspective

Brendan Jackson of Celtics Hub:

Getting a strong perimeter defender and a solid rebounder for Jermaine O’Neal? Yes, please.

There is just one huge problem: this particular player, Shawn Marion, still has three years on his deal.

Danny Ainge has made it well known that he does not want any contracts that go beyond the 2012 season so the Celtics can go into full rebuild mode if necessary. Marion has a contract that would make him a Celtics for two years beyond that deadline. To make matters worse, he’ll be making over $9 million in the final year of his contract. If this were a month ago, I would have said this puts the definite kibosh on any deal for Marion. Now, with the indefinite nature of Marquis Daniels’ injury and the recent setback suffered by Delonte West, this deal deserves a second look.

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Tags: Chris Wilcox Richard Hamilton Tayshaun Prince

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