Trade Speculation: Chandler for Heat’s Marion?

The trade rumor about the Hornets that is floating around right now is a trade of Tyson Chandler to the Heat for Shawn Marion.  At first glance, this galls me no end because it’s a clear salary dump.  Marion will come off the books at the end of the year, and we’ll probably be left with nothing to show for it, since some team somewhere will probably make a run at him the Hornets won’t be willing to match.  Marion is a fine rebounder, but he’s not going to improve our interior defense.

Plus, I’m a HUGE fan of Tyson Chandler, no matter how his season has been so far.

That said, I’m going to try to be unbiased and talk about this. 

First, there are some realities to the Hornet’s situation that are relevant here.  Next year they will be over the luxury tax unless they find some way to cut salary.  That’s just not acceptable for a small market team, no matter how well they are doing.  Salary must be cut somewhere.  So remember there is some economic incentive behind this.

Next, this can’t be the entire trade.  Marion’s salary is 17 million this year, Tyson’s is 11 million.  That means the Hornets have to also provide another 5-6 million worth of salary to make it work.

The easy answer is they are throwing in Morris Peterson.  Peterson still has some value around the league, so this makes the deal worse in my opinion.

Here’s one thought I had – Pat Riley has proven he’s willing to pull the trigger on a big deal containing bad contracts if he thinks it will propel his team to a title.  Here’s a Mega-Trade I could consider:

Hornets Give: Tyson Chandler + Peterson + Posey + Antonio Daniels
Heat Give: Shawn Marion + Udonis Haslem + James Jones + Daequan Cook + Mario Chalmers
Hornets Depth Chart:
C: Haslem\Armstrong\Marks
PF: West\Ely\Wright
SF: Marion\Butler\Wright
SG: Stojakovic\Cook\Wright
PG: Paul\Chalmers
(Jones is hurt)

Heat Depth Chart:
C: Chandler\Magloire\Blount
PF: Beasley\Anthony\D. Wright
SF: Posey\Peterson\D. Wright
SG: Wade\Peterson\Diawara
PG: Quinn\Daniels\Banks

Essentially, the Heat get to start Beasley next to Chandler, have a nice SF in Posey, and get some decent depth at the SG and PG positions.  The Hornets cut salary, upgrade their wing position, stay fairly static at their center position(at least for this year), and gain a nice, developing point guard they already liked a lot.  Unfortunately, the Hornets remain in the position of having no backup big worth anything.

Oh and another option would be to keep Posey and either Peterson or Daniels, and offer Peja instead. 

I’m torn on trades like this.  I hate the idea of gutting this team – though I recognize we need some upgrades.

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