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Right now might be the right time to look into a potential J.O. deal. Hear me out though.
I don't know if he's just not healthy, or if he's not healthy/not happy with his role on the team. He looks like he plays his role right sometimes, but he doesn't look like he is a big believer in the role he plays. We need believers. You can't turn a 29 year old 20-10 kind of guy that's never averaged more than 2.6 apg, into a guy that plays a Vlade Divac like role. It's just not working.
He's not necessarily bogging down the offense all the time, but sometimes is too much right now. I know we don't expect a championship right now, but the expectations set by our own coach is the playoffs. Diogu has shown a lot in his time this season and has shown he's taken his game to another level. Maybe Diogu can be put in J.O.'s role (if we can ever get him healthy).
The reason why I say now might be the time is because making a deal sooner than later gives the team a chance to learn each other in hopes of making a strong run after the All-Star break. Instead of doing what we did last season and making the deal mid-season which might have killed our playoff run.
I'm going to predict that Larry Bird is probably already looking at what needs to happen to improve this team. We've improved this teams chemistry, but what we still don't have is a whole lot of mental toughness. And we lack leadership. We need a player that can take over the game in a major way, but not necessarily an All-Star. I could be describing Ben Gordon (?)
I'm not bothering with the trade checker this time because I think this is a more difficult trade than the Al Harrington deal. But I think it's time. Don't wait for a potential opt-out. Don't wait for Jermaine to completely shut down (because it's almost looking like that might happen). Address our needs now. Unlike in the off-season, we have some tradeable players that can be packaged with Jermaine to actually help us. I haven't been for trading Jermaine in the past, but right now I just think it's do or die... And I do mean right now.