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What if... Baron was Traded

The problems of this team have been well documented, namely the lack of a post presence on offense, the lack of a post presence on defense, and oh the lack of a post presence anywhere in the paint. Those aren't the only problems, there's also an obsession for shooting the 3 at a low percentage, no backup point guard, a starting small forward who doesn't deserve to start, poor coaching, and awful free throw shooting. That's a wonderful recipe for return trip to the lottery. The biggest problem is clearly the interior post offense and defense. First, the offense. Can anyone post up? We saw what Adonal can do, airballing a bank shot. Murphy's game is tailored for spotting up from the wing rather than banging inside. Ike is still raw and too inconsistent. Biedrins has played well the last 2 games, but the only shot he knows how to make is a dunk. If there was a consistent post player, the number of 3's taken would go down and open up lanes for cutting and maybe some open mid-range jumpers. And the defense? While Adonal does get blocks and play decent defense, it's the rest of the big men that have problems. Murphy is one of the worst post defenders I've ever witnessed, while Biedrins and Ike are decent defenders but foul a ridiculous amount of times. It's not a coincidence that Kwame Brown, Stromile Swift and Mark Blount all had career games against the Warriors. We need a veteran big man or a talented younger yet established big man.

Now, let's throw loyalty aside and imagine if we traded Baron for a talented young and established big man. A high quality low post presence who can bring it on offense and defense is rare, but I'm sure there are teams who would be willing trade for Baron. He's the best player on the team and his stock is probably at its peak right now. He's been hailed as responsible for the turn around, putting up 18 points and 9 assists per night, and can simply take over a game when he wants to. So if there were a team looking for a fresh face and a new start, Baron could be the answer. So let's look at some teams who have young talented big men that we could hypothetically swing a deal for.

Minnesota Timberwolves - Kevin Garnett
Okay stop laughing, might as well start big. McHale would be crazy to trade this guy, but they don't have a point guard. Marko Jaric is probably better suited to be backing up, so Baron would be a great fit. He could set up Ricky Davis as he slashes to the basket and penetrate like Marbury used to do for them. Could a package of Baron, Ike, and (hopefully) Dunleavy bring the Big Ticket to the Bay Area to team up with Murphy and JRich? I don't see how the Twolves give up KG without getting a star in retun. But if Mullin can pull it off by keeping JRich and Baron, I'll be amazed. (Photo -

Orlando Magic - Dwight Howard
If not KG, this young big man would be the next best prize. He's so young yet so good. In just his second year, he's putting up big numbers. I don't really see Orlando trading him to anyone outside of getting Lebron or Wade, so Baron for Dwight really isn't a possibility. Baron and Ike? Probably not either. How exciting would a Baron and Franchise backcourt be for Orlando? There's a 0% chance of this happening though. How nice would it be to have a dominant PF/C for the next 10-15 years? (Photo -

Toronto Raptors - Chris Bosh
There were rumblings out of Toronto that he wasn't feeling the Air Canada Center and he was going to bolt after his rookie contract expired. If he's available, the Warriors should make a desperate attempt to go get this guy. If not this year, he's going to be an All-Star year after year. Will Baron be enough to pry him from the claws of the Raptors? Probably not. Teams just don't give up young big men easily. But if Toronto is scared that he'll leave after his contract is up and get no compensation for him, they might be looking to deal because they still have Charlie Villanueva and Rafael Araujo, 2 young big men with potential. As far as guards, Mike James is probably gone after his contract is up and Jose Calderon is too inexperienced and nowhere near the talent that Baron is. It's a stretch, but if the Warriors can include Baron in a package for Bosh, I would do it. (Photo -

Memphis Grizzlies: Pau Gasol
He's putting up huge numbers this season. Think KG-lite. His numbers are up across the board from his past couple years since he's getting about 7 more minutes of playing time per game this year. But he's showing what he can do given big minutes, 19 points, 9 boards, 4 assists, and 2 blocks. He's also leading Memphis to another playoff berth without a bonafide big man to help him out down low. They've been looking for a guard since Damon went down and Bobby Jackson isn't cutting it. Heck they recently started Chucky Atkins at the point. Baron would help them big time, but losing Gasol creates a huge void in the middle. So, throw in a young big man for the Grizz and you might have a deal. (Photo -

Okay so that's my hypothetical plan and my top 4 big men to trade for. I can't see how a package without Baron or JRich would return any of these guys. You can't trade 2 decent players for one star, most GM's just don't work that way. So a Murphy + Dunleavy combo doesn't get you a star. If you want to trade for a star, you have to give one up. It's always interesting to think about what if...

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