Ray Allen - To Trade Or Not To Trade

So A. Sherrod Blakely of reports that the Boston Celtics are interested in trading SG Ray Alley; Los Angeles Clippers among one of the interested. And the Clippers organization is deeply interested in a veteran player who could help fill the void of the shooting guard once occupied by Chauncey Billups.

The Clippers, as it stands today, have a team made up of youth and athleticism in Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe; with experience and leadership handled by the likes of Chris Paul, Caron Butler and Billups. You add a veteran player like Allen who can shoot the 3 ball (3-point shooting at 48%) and has been to the NBA Finals twice (2008 and 2010) - the Clippers could find themselves bouncing back into relevancy and conference talks.

Getting Allen, however, won't be a gimme. To receive him, the Clippers will have to surrender at least three players to the Celtics, and this could be costly in two ways: the roster count could shrink, and the team's stats could dwindle. The Trade Exceptions of Al-Farouq Aminu and Eric Gordon during the Chris Paul trade may help alleviate some issues with this particular trade, but cash alone may not be enough to ease the pain. They'll have to dig deep, or be forced to give up players whom they believe are the perfect pieces for this playoff-contending team.

Paul, Jordan, Billups and Martin cannot be traded as per the new NBA CBA restrictions. Good.

I absolutely would not trade Griffin for anybody else, not even for Dwight Howard.

Despite the scoring slump that Caron Butler and Randy Foye are experiencing, I'd keep these guys on the roster mainly for their relentlessness on the court.

Mo is a tricky beast. He was hoping for a contract extension with the Clippers since he was traded last year, and it has not happened. Without that extension, Williams believes the Clippers are only keeping him around as trade bait. But the Clippers like him as a part of the second unit, and his scoring has remained consistent. He may be traded, he may not be traded. Only way we'll find out is on the day of the deadline (as the NBA owners like to add some suspense).

Eric Bledsoe is foul prone and a newcomer, but I like his effort on the court. I'm torn with him.

Reggie Evans was brought here to help the team with rebounding and defense. His game against the Philadelphia 76ers was a highlight (and I can't find a video highlighting his defensive/rebounding prowess against his former team). He stays.

Kenyon Martin was a Billups acquisition. In Chauncey we trust.

Bobby Simmons didn't seem like a key fit at first during the Timberwolves loss, but he blossomed into form with his performance against the Kings. If Simmons signs another 10-day contract (assuming he might), we'll have ourselves a diamond in the rough.

Which leaves us with Ryan Gomes and Brian Cook. They haven't been productive as of late, especially Cook. These two players, along with Bledsoe and the rookies Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie, are trade chip candidates. But what are we willing to give up? Roster depth, youth, talent, athleticism, bargains? Fate has already smiled upon the Clippers organization six times with the trade for Paul, the claim off of Billups, and the signings of Butler, Evans, Martin and Simmons. Can the Clippers do it again?

Here are three trade scenarios available for getting Ray Allen:

Trade Scenario 1: Eric Bledsoe, Ryan Gomes and Brian Cook (plus Al-Farouq Aminu Trade Exception)

You give up one young player and two under-performing players in exchange for a veteran. Projected wins increase to +3. Sounds good, but looks good? Display-wise yes, but when you give up three players, your stats are going to dip. You want to make a good trade where you don't have to give up too many pieces, regardless if they're good or not. Bledsoe should be a keeper so that you could develop him into a much viable trade asset down the line. Do away with Gomes and Cook, but their values alone are not enough to get Ray Allen, so that's where the third player, Bledsoe, is "forced" into the table. If this trade does go through, which three players from the D-League can the Clippers get to help contend for a title?

Trade Scenario 2: Randy Foye and Ryan Gomes (plus Al-Farouq Aminu Trade Exception)

Projected win is a +1. A trade improvement, but not a better trade. If you want to keep Mo Williams as a second unit player, Foye must remain. But like Gomes, Foye has a $4 million value that can be combined with the Al-Farouq exception to equal Allen's contract. The overall team stats improve, and you'll only need to sign two D-League players. Keep this in mind as you fiddle with the trade machine. And remember: you still have that $3 million Gordon exception for whom you can exchange for a wing-defender.

Trade Scenario 3: Mo Williams (plus either Trade Exception)

No change in projected wins, but get this: Boston will lose 2 games. This is a mixed bag. You give up Mo Williams only because the Clippers aren't giving him a contract extension. But the team stats get a huge jump. No need for a D-League player to complete the roster, plus you can use the Gordon exception on Allen and save the Al-Farouq contract for a defensive enforcer like... Matt Barnes from Los Angeles Lakers. In fact, I created another scenario...

This combines Trade Scenario 1 with the acquisition of Barnes through the Al-Farouq Aminu exception. Projected wins increase to +4, AND you only need two more D-League players. You get much needed perimeter shooting and an additional defensive-minded player. Goodbye Gomes and Cook (shame for Bledsoe cause he's a good guy), but the team improves quite drastically.

This is just my thinking of how the Clippers should improve via trades. But here's my question to you:

1. Do we make the trade, or do we hold off for another player like Stephen Jackson of the Milwaukee Bucks?
2. What's best here: give up a multitude of players or just one in order to complete the roster?

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