The NBA's highly anticipated trade deadline is this Thursday, and there continues to be buzz that New Orleans could deal Eric Gordon. Dallas, Houston and Golden State are three teams reported to be interested in the sweet-shooting two-guard out of Indiana, but Milwaukee could offer a good fit.
Here's the thing about Milwaukee. The Bucks currently have two talented guards in Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis that probably aren't long for the roster. The feeling is that Jennings' decision to recently change agents was made to set him up for a big pay day in a bigger market, and just yesterday Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe wrote that Ellis is expected to decline his $11 million player option for next season and become a free agent.
It's clear that the Bucks need more stability and certainty in the backcourt going forward, and the irony is that Gordon -- someone who has done the exact opposite in New Orleans -- is a player who might be able to offer it in Milwaukee. Now, this is pure speculation on my part, but if Milwaukee offered up Ellis and a young talent like Tobias Harris for Gordon, which team would say no?
Such a deal would not only work, it would also allow Milwaukee to get past the Ellis era with a young player in Gordon who is from the Midwest and also signed for three seasons beyond this one. Adding a talent the caliber of Gordon via the free agent route is pretty much out of the question in Milwaukee, and other than getting lucky in the draft this is one of the only ways the Bucks can add a borderline star. The big question is whether Gordon would stop being a headache in Milwaukee, and if he could stay injury-free as well.
From New Orleans' perspective, they would be able to shed the money owed to Gordon and also would get a dynamic scorer in Ellis who is from the South and thus, might be more inclined to return for $11 million (his player option) with the Pelicans next season. On top of that, adding someone like Harris would give New Orleans a young talent with big potential at their weakest position.
Again, this is pure speculation, and it'd be a serious roll of the dice by both teams, but it's a trade that makes a lot of sense on a number of levels.
A guy like Ellis is probably Gordon's ceiling. He is still relatively young and has been pretty healthy while logging huge minutes for GS and MIL. He did have the ankle injury back in 2008. He is from Jackson, MS. The big question would be his player option and possibly a new contract after that.
Harris is in his 2nd year out of Tennessee. I remember him being pretty good in college but haven't followed him since he's been in the league.
Position: Small Forward
Size: 6-8, 225
School: Tennessee, Freshman
Handles the ball in an almost point forward type role
Board and then lead the break
Can take bigger defenders off the bounce
Able to post up smaller opponents
Great touch around the basket
Guards the perimeter or the post
Needs to be more aggressive on the glass
Relies too much on his finesse rather than being assertive at the rim
Has to be stronger with the ball
Lacks a killer instinct
Summary: Because of his comibation of size, ability to handle the basketball and inside/outside game, Harris is an intriguing draft prospect. He would be a safe bet to go in the first round this summer ranging anywhere from the mid-teens to the late 20s. He may be better served returning to school though because I am not sure he makes an immediate impact at the next level.
Player Comparison: Boris Diaw. Both players are combo forwards who rely on their finesse game, and ability to step outside and knock down shots rather than banging around inside. Diaw can handle the basketball and shows great passing instincts for a forward, areas that also add to Harris' game.
ETA: Harris is only getting around 12mpg. Here is his per 36 for an idea of what he could possibly bring.
This post was edited on 2/18 at 2:20 pm