Earlier this season I made a "Realistic Discussion about Jermaine O'Neal" thread where I couldn't figure out what should happen with Jermaine. Not, without a doubt is the best time to make a move and here's why:
We have the Lakers to thank for maximizing Jermaine's value. By getting Pau Gasol, they added a piece that would help them compete with the Spurs. Seeing what the Lakers did, the Suns must have seen their roster and their failures to reach the finals, and realized they too need to do what it takes to match up with the Spurs. They went an got Shaq. Utah is already in good position with Boozer, and the Blazers have Aldridge with Oden coming back next season. Even the Warriors made a half-assed attempt at getting bigger by signing C-Webb.
So, what's the remaining team that's almost been there but doesn't quite have what it takes? The Dallas Mavericks. Even though they're tied for first in the West with the Phoenix Suns, they know more than anybody else that the best record means nothing. They know come playoff time, they're going to need someone inside besides Dirk (who isn't much of an inside player) that can get baskets when the rest of the offense is shut down. Dallas has Erick Dampier and DeSagana Diop that rebound and block shots, but on the offensive end you hardly get anything from them.
I thought of a deal today that makes a heck of a lot of sense for both Dallas and Indiana. Here's the deal, read my reasoning after before you go crazy:
First question I asked myself, if I was Dallas would I really want to trade Josh Howard? My answer was in most circumstances, no. But to get some you have to give some. While in this deal I'd take a slight downgrade at the SF position (very slight), I'd get a huge upgrade at the center position with O'Neal. Dallas gives up Josh Howard, who can Shoot, Create, Defend, and is capable of being a go to guy. They get Danny Granger who can shoot, is getting better at getting to the basket, and can defend and block shots. All they really lose is the creativity and the capability of a go to guy. Something they already have in Jason Terry and Dirk Nowitzki. Dallas also gets rid of Dampiers 4 remaining years on his deal in exchange for O'Neal's 2 years. Worst case if it doesn't work in 2 years, they lose Jermaine, and can afford to pay Danny (who's contract is also up in 2 years).
What I do have to mention though is that I'd offer them Shawne before Danny. I think they'd be better off with Shawne than Danny too. Because in their style they need to get up and down the court. Danny isn't the best in making a decision with the ball when running the court. Shawne is much better at that. It all depends on what Dallas would rather have. Travis Diener is involved because they're not going to take Jamaal Tinsley, no, they're not. But he's showing that he can be a legitimate backup and has had some good games. He's also good at keeping the ball moving, something Dallas likes to do. Of course with Harris leaving, Jason Terry would go back to his natural position at point guard. That brings either Eddie Jones or Jerry Stackhouse out as the starting 2-guard.
Question number two if I'm Indiana would I want to trade Danny Granger? For Josh Howard? Yes! Here's why:
From the Jim O'Brien show [taken from Unclebucks thread about O'Brien discussing Pacers roster needs]:
1) they need defensive toughness. he said his greatest disappointment about this team is the lack of defensive toughness to play defense for 48 minutes. It isn't that the players don't try, but they lack a certain toughness that is needed on the defensive end.
2) that one offensive player - perimeter player that you can just give the ball to late in games, when the defense is set, when they have scouted you - that one player who can create a shot when things break down, when the shot clock is winding down. Pacers don't have that. OB mentioned Kobe and Paul Pierce type of player.
Josh Howard isn't Kobe or Pierce, but we're not going to get Kobe or Pierce. Josh Howard can be a go to guy and he can create. He's a tough defensive hustler. Devin Harris is probably the fastest point guard in the NBA, and he's pretty decent defensively. He too can create, and he gets to the rim very quickly and is improving his shooting percentages. Erick Dampier while having a bad contract, his contract isn't 19 million. Getting him makes it easier to afford to lose Jeff Foster or David Harrison (or both).
Jim O'Brien is obviously here trying to win. As much as we want to rebuild, we're probably not going to see that happen the way we're talking about doing it. This is a deal that at least gives both teams something they can use (provided Jermaine can come back before the deadline).
As I said, the idea of us getting Josh Howard sounds crazy at first, but on the Dallas end, if you can put Danny Granger in his spot and Jermaine O'Neal up front with Dirk, would you say no to that deal at this point when you see what your Western Conference competition has done? I doubt it.