Five trades we’d like to see (and we’re not talking ‘Melodrama)

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It’s been quiet. Too quiet.

Serious trade chatter is down around the league. People are talking but there is less meaningful dialogue going on than in an Adam Sandler movie. Maybe it’s fear of the new CBA. Maybe it’s Carmelo Anthony creating a bottleneck. Maybe people are too busy playing Angry Birds.

Well, we are not a patient people. We want action, not empty words. So we’re just going to throw some trades out there. What follows are trades that work under the cap but are not things we’ve heard or things likely to happen. In fact, we’d be shocked if any did happen. Just consider this a list of things we’d like to see.

Knicks get Steve Nash; Suns get Raymond Felton and Danilo Gallinari. I know the Suns are not going to trade Nash until this summer, if ever. I know Nash doesn’t want to be traded. But by not moving him the Suns are only admitting going to be mediocre until they start the rebuilding process when he leaves. The window has closed, time to move on. Yes Knicks fans, Felton has been good, but he is no Nash and Chris Paul (more than ‘Melo or Dwight Howard) should be the ultimate target. Nash is the two-year stopover. The city loves him and he the city. The Knicks become much more of a threat (not a contender, a threat). The Suns get a good young point guard and a guy who can knock down the outside shot, guys that don’t fit the system. They don’t get much worse. Both Felton and Gallo have two-year deals so the Suns can move them again next season depending on their direction.

Orlando gets Troy Murphy and Johan Petro; New Jersey gets Jason Richardson. This works for both teams on some level. For the Nets they get more money off the books this summer to help with rebuilding and don’t give up any talent that is not replaceable in Petro. For Orlando, if Murphy is healthy and can play he is the kind of stretch four they miss along the front line. And his help defense rotations can’t be worse than Hedo Turkoglu, can they?

Chicago gets Anthony Parker; Cleveland get Omer Asik. I know, trading a young promising big for a steady but not spectacular wing is not usually a good move. But the Bulls are a threat this season and they need better play at the two spot, Parker will give them that. He is a veteran steady hand. The Cavs should not turn down anyone young with potential.

New York gets Joel Pryzbilla and Greg Oden; Portland gets Eddy Curry and Kelenna Azubuike. This has no chance of happening, but it’s a relatively harmless move for both sides because every deal is expiring. The Knicks need some more steady play in the paint without screwing up their cap, they get that with Pryzbilla. The Blazers certainly will try and may be ale to get more for Pryzbilla. But this gives them the chance to try out Azubuike and still clear out cap space at the end of the season. And they can still re-sign Oden. If they really want to.

New Orleans gets Chris Kaman; Los Angeles Clippers get Trevor Ariza, Marucs Banks, Marcus Thornton. We’re throwing this out there but frankly we’re not convinced we’d do it if we were the Hornets. New Orleans GM Dell Demps is working it hard right now to find some more help along the front line. Chris Kaman, when healthy, is a good NBA center. He can score, defend, makes smart plays. Chris Paul would like him. For the Clippers, they need to go with DeAndre Jordan at Center and this gives them some guys on the wing that would be a good fit with the current roster.

Okay, none of those are happening. But hopefully soon we can see something real to talk about.

Brandon Jennings no fan of the NBA’s new Awards Ceremony event

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Come June 26, Drake will be on stage in New York City, handing out the NBA’s awards — Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, and so on. (We need to set an under/over on the number of players Drake hugs that night.)

The NFL does it. The NHL does it. And the NBA has decided to follow suit with a broadcast awards ceremony where everything — except the All-NBA Team — will be announced that night. It’s happening because the broadcast partners want it.

Brandon Jennings is not a fan. Here is what the Wizards’ point guard Tweeted:

Jennings took down a Tweet that said if he had won the award he would have wanted to get it with the organization and his teammates around him. (And no, he knows he’s not winning the award. If you were going to put that in the comments be more creative.)

There’s something to what Jennings is saying. The NBA award roll out was awkward at times in previous years, but it gave the fans a chance to celebrate the awards with their favorite player. Now, everyone will watch it unfold on television from a ballroom in NYC. That feels a little colder. Also, we will get to see the reaction of those who don’t win (particularly this season, where several players can make a strong case for MVP).

It will be interesting to see how this first year goes, and how the league tweaks it going forward. The more than two month gap between the end of the regular season and the awards could feel a bit awkward. But we’re not going to knock the idea until we’ve seen it in action.

Portland GM makes it official, Festus Ezeli will not be back with team next season

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This season the Portland Trail Blazers found their center of the future (and the present) in Jusuf Nurkic.

Which makes the next step fairly obvious: Portland will not pick up the option on Festus Ezeli for next season, GM Neil Olshay confirmed at the team exit meetings Tuesday.

Portland signed Ezeli on what they thought was a great contract (one-year, $7.4 million, with a team option for the second year) because he was coming off knee surgery last summer. However, Ezeli was never healthy, needed a second surgery, and never got on the court. After taking it slow over last summer he practiced with the team twice in mid-October, there was more swelling, so he pulled back.

This summer Ezeli will not draw any guaranteed money from teams, but some teams may take a look at him. Athletic bigs get a lot of chances in the NBA.

Gordon Hayward will play for Jazz in Game 5 without minutes restriction

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Gordon Hayward has averaged 20.5 points a game in these playoffs — and that includes a 40 point outburst in Game 3 — but what has been more impressive is he has done it efficiently, with a true shooting percentage of 61.1. While Joe Johnson and others have stepped up, Utah will need Hayward’s shot creation if they are going to win this series.

They will have it Tuesday night in Game 5.

After missing the second half of Game 4 due to food poisoning (he tried to play but was ineffective in the first half), he is back and ready to go this time around.

So is Rudy Gobert. The Jazz will be at full health, while the Clippers remain without Blake Griffin for the remainder of the playoffs.

Having those two back is a boost for the Jazz, they need to score more consistently against the Clippers, but the bigger key will be defensively trying to deal with Chris Paul on the pick-and-roll. He has been masterful this series, and the Jazz need to keep him in check to give their offense a chance.

When NBA switches to Nike uniforms next season, Hornets will move to Jordan Brand

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There are not going to be dramatic changes to the look of the NBA when Nike takes over the apparel contract for next season, replacing Adidas. Instead of the Adidas logo, there will be a swoosh, sleeved jerseys will fade away, and some teams will modify their alternate jerseys, but the league is not getting a total uniform makeover next season. Things will look basically the same.

Except in Charlotte — they will not have a swoosh, they will have the Jordan Jumpman logo.

The why is obvious — Michael Jordan is the primary owner of the Hornets and, obviously, the guy the Jordan brand was named after. The Jordan Brand is part of Nike. The Hornets made the announcement this week buried in a press release about moving the fan shop at the arena, hat tip to Sole Collector for finding this. Here is what the release says:

The re-opening of the Hornets Fan Shop will coincide with the launch of the team’s new Jordan Brand uniforms as Nike becomes the NBA’s uniform provider beginning this season.  The Hornets will be the only team in the NBA wearing Jordan Brand uniforms, and with the agreement taking effect, the Hornets Fan Shop will have even more of the popular Jordan Brand Hornets merchandise than it has had previously.

While it’s not like the Lakers or Celtics are going to be changing up their traditional uniforms, even teams like the Hornets will keep a similar look under Nike.

What should be interesting to see is what the Christmas Day and All-Star uniforms look like under a Nike touch.