Every day, Pick and Popovich will post one fake trade and explain why it makes sense for every team involved to make it. There are no parameters beyond fitting within the salary cap. Sometimes the trades will involve stars, others role players. They are not grounded in actual rumors, they just make sense on paper.
Chicago Bulls Receive: Dallas Mavericks Receive:
Justin Anderson Pau Gasol
Why Chicago Would Make This Trade: As injuries and losses continue to mount, it’s becoming apparent that Chicago’s slim championship chances this season are gone. Gasol is a 35-year-old free agent to be, so if the Bulls want to reload for a sustained run it probably makes sense to cash in for him now. Anderson projects as a solid three-and-D shooting guard if he develops properly, a need next to Jimmy Butler. Oh, and he’ll make around $7 million over the next four years. That’s incredible value.
Why Dallas Would Make This Trade: The Mavericks are probably best suited to rebuild, but as long as Dirk Nowitzki is on the roster that can’t happen. If they sense that the Clippers are vulnerable, and considering everything that’s happened with Blake Griffin that seems likely, it makes sense to add a win-now piece and make a run at the second round. Gasol fits perfectly within Rick Carlisle’s motion offense and slides right into Zaza Pachulia’s starting spot (which has the added benefit of beefing up the bench). Winning a playoff series obviously isn’t a championship, but it helps the organization build some momentum and show free agents that they’ll be contenders for the next few years. And hey, who knows, maybe Stephen Curry gets eaten by a giant salmon or something before the second round.