Three days ago Lucas put out a call to the Clips Nation Community to submit your best or favorite trades that you wanted to see the Clippers execute. While the Clippers have limited assets available to trade to other teams, we gave you the numbers and rules to get creative. With a variety of ideas having been discussed, earlier Lucas broke down trade ideas involving Marvin Williams and the Heat here. We will continue in this part by discussing the prospects of acquiring Taj Gibson and Markieff Morris.
*One note: when Lucas asked for ideas Hudson was a non-guaranteed contract. The Clippers likely waived Hudson yesterday, or if they didn't he has lost the majority of his trade value and that will be taken into consideration.
Jamal + CJ for Taj Gibson
One of the most popular names that Clippers fans have talked about acquiring has been Taj Gibson mentioned by citizens Clipnat4, Ballersgotstyle3, Clippersfan4471, rcreyesjr, and binboy92. The reason is obvious, the Clippers lack a third big right now and Taj has long been one of the best backup big men in the game. Gibson can play both the 4 and 5, which provides flexibility for small ball lineups, is terrific defensively, can hit a midrange respectably, and can easily slot into the starting lineup if an injury were to occur. So why are the Bulls reportedly shopping Gibson?
Looking at the Bulls roster, they're loaded at the front court with Joakim Noah, Pau Gasol, Nikola Mirotic, and rookie Bobby Portis. Last year Gibson saw a reduction in minutes and his play suffered from a nagging ankle injury that dulled his usually constant motor. Taj just underwent ankle surgery in June and is expected to be out for 4 months. With a salary of $17.45 million over the next two years, the Bulls may feel that Taj simply is paid too much for his new, minimized role and thus try to move him.
This is where the Clippers could potentially try and insert themselves into the Taj Gibson sweepstakes. Gibson will make $8,500,000 this upcoming season, so unfortunately a package of just Jamal and Jordan Hamilton can't bring him back; they are short about $40,000. So if the Clippers wanted to get Gibson, they would likely have to trade Jamal/CJ to take back Gibson. The only way Chicago could be talked into this type of deal would be if they are high on Crawford's bench scoring production; Chicago is a team that could talk itself into Crawford as they're contenders that have a real need for offense coming off of their bench. They may like CJ Wilcox as a prospect they could develop, as they have few young players at the guard position. Plus, if they are trying to dodge the tax this year as well as open cap room for next summer giving up Taj could actually happen.
Unfortunately, this trade doesn't bring the Bulls under the tax, they would still be above the tax line by about $50,000. Previous ideas were to include Kirk Hinrich in the deal to the Clippers to give the Bulls more financial flexibility, but the Clippers are unable to bring back that much salary, even when including Hudson into the deal. Of course if the Bulls really liked Crawford and still wanted to get under the tax they could include Aaron Brooks, but they seem to like him, or simply stretch Hinrich. However the Bulls can probably get more in return for Taj than essentially Jamal and Wilcox from another team or simply by waiting until the trade deadline.
Trade Grade: Unlikely; the Clippers would need buckets of king's blood for the Lord of Light to make this happen
Jamal + Filler for Markieff Morris
An interesting trade idea that was brought up by citizens squiggy and tcanes was dealing Jamal for Markieff Morris on the Phoenix Suns. Markieff like Taj is a power forward that has the flexibility to switch to the 5 in small ball lineups. Morris is a legit NBA player with loads of talent that is only starting to enter his prime at the age of 25. So why would the Suns be interested in trading Keef?
Markieff's relationship with the Suns organization currently seems to be a little rocky. They just traded away his twin brother Marcus in a straight salary dump and there were plenty of rumors circulating that Keef himself was ready to be dumped to a team with cap space if LaMarcus Aldridge had chosen the Suns over the Spurs. Secondly, Morris had beefed with head coach Jeff Hornacek repeatedly last season with concerns over attitude and the accumulation of technicals. Morris picked up 15, second most in the league (he could replace our technical quota now that Barnes left), and Hornacek was having such problems controlling Morris and the rest of his players that he instituted a rule that receiving a T meant you sat on the bench for the rest of the game. Markieff also called out Suns fans after a 27 point home loss to the Spurs. To top all of that off, both Morris twins are also currently facing charges of aggravated assault, which doesn't look good for any organization.
Markieff will make $8,000,000 this upcoming season meaning the Clippers could trade for him with a package of Jamal and Jordan Hamilton. The Suns may be interested in Jamal Crawford as they are in need of a bench scorer this season after having lost Gerald Green to free agency and having traded away Isaiah Thomas last season.
Unless the relationship between Keef and Phoenix has become so toxic that he must be dealt immediately, there is little chance Morris is getting traded from the Suns. They will likely give him another year to try and sort out whatever problems they may have, as he is a good player on a solid contract that fits their roster. Even if they were to shop Markieff around, there would likely be better offers coming in than essentially just Jamal Crawford. With Phoenix straddling the line between rebuild and contention, they want either young assets or pieces they can develop with their young core. Jamal provides neither. This trade would be an absolute home run for the Clippers, which tells you a lot about how Phoenix will view it.
Trade Grade: Not Going to Happen; there's a better chance Cersei finds it in her heart to forgive her dear brother Tyrion than the Clippers pull off this trade