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« on: August 09, 2008, 03:29:24 am »

After having a conversation with Pacers general manager David Morway on Tuesday morning, I strongly believe that Indiana will do everything within their power to trade Jamaal Tinsley prior to the 2008-09 season.

“We won't buy Jamaal out. That's not even a consideration; we're not even looking at that,” Morway told me. “Right now we are in conversations with a few teams and we'll see where that takes us, but our intent is to trade Jamaal and try to find the right situation for both him and the franchise.”

No one in the NBA is untradeable, but unfortunately for Morway and team president Larry Bird, Tinsley won’t be an easy sell. However, a handful of teams are in need of help at point guard, which should allow the Pacers to accomplish their goal of unloading Jamaal and the three years and more than $20 million he has left on his contract.

Taking into account which teams need and are known to be looking for a point guard, here are a few scenarios I’ve come up with as possibilities.

These are in no way rumors, as they were born in my cobweb-infested mind.

Trade #1
Tinsley goes to Cleveland for Eric Snow
Snow hasn’t played since February, but in reality Indiana wouldn’t need him on the court. He has an expiring contract, always a valuable trade chip, and could provide the Pacers with a much-needed veteran presence. Sure, they’d have four point guards under contract (Snow, T.J. Ford, Jarrett Jack and Travis Diener), but they’d be ridding themselves of Tinsley.

The Cavaliers are searching for a true point guard, and Tinsley could be that player for the next three years at a relatively low price. Cleveland won’t have to pay him all that much and would only be giving up Snow in the process. With a number of guards choosing Europe over the NBA, Jamaal might be one of their top options.

Trade #2
Tinsley goes to Miami for Udonis Haslem
Haslem would provide Indiana with instant help inside the paint, something the team needs despite the presence of rookie center Roy Hibbert in blue-and-gold. The forward’s contract also ends a year before Tinsley’s, and the Heat appear willing to deal him as his name has popped up in rumors since this past season’s trade deadline.

Miami drafted Michael Beasley in June, and he should step in as the starting power forward from Day One. Haslem isn’t large enough to switch over to center, so he’s partially expendable to Pat Riley. Tinsley would immediately become the team’s best option at point guard, even if Jason Williams returns unexpectedly. Rookie Mario Chalmers is NBA ready, but he shouldn’t be playing a ton right off the bat.

The Heat might ask for something else, whether it is a future pick, another player or for Indiana to take a bad contract back in such a deal. As long as it means Tinsley is out and Haslem is in…they should probably take it.

Trade #3
Tinsley and Shawne Williams go to New York for David Lee and Malik Rose
The Pacers add two big bodies, with Rose having an expiring contract. Lee could come off the books next summer as well if Indiana decided he didn’t fit well in Jim O’Brien’s scheme. The deal allows them to get rid of both Tinsley and Williams, who has had his fair share of issues in the past as well. The size would be welcomed in Indiana, as would Lee’s work ethic.

New York executive Donnie Walsh might want to stay away from these two players, having gotten to know them rather well in Indiana. However, if Stephon Marbury is off the roster this season, Tinsley would team nicely with Chris Duhon for a two-headed point tandem. Lee has been rumored to not be a favorite of new coach Mike D’Antoni, making this idea a plausible one.

Trade #4
Tinsley goes to Orlando for Brian Cook and J.J. Redick
Cook can play inside for the Pacers, or never last through camp on a bloated Indiana roster. Redick would provide a nice outside threat, something that O’Brien counts on more often than Stan Van Gundy. A fresh start on a new team could help the former Duke sharpshooter jumpstart his NBA career.

The Magic could use a different look at point guard, and Tinsley could provide that change while sharing the load with Jameer Nelson. Redick seems to have had one foot out the door since he was drafted and Cook isn’t needed with a ton of big men under contract in Orlando. Such a move would relieve the pressure placed on other players to handle the ball while Nelson is on the bench as well.

Trade #5
Tinsley and Williams go to Phoenix for Boris Diaw
Diaw doesn’t have the most appealing of contracts, but he would fortify the interior while allowing the Pacers to shrink their roster in the process. Leandro Barbosa could be an option in a trade with the Suns as well, but with a ton of perimeter players capable of playing the two and three on the roster, I doubt Morway and Bird would want to create even more of a logjam.

The Suns are looking for someone to lessen the strain on Steve Nash, and both Diaw and Barbosa appear to be their most likely trade chips this offseason. Steve Kerr would love to rid himself of the $9,000,000 per year that Diaw will earn in each of the next three seasons as well.

Trade #6
Tinsley, Travis Diener and Stephen Graham go to Sacramento for Shelden Williams, Quincy Douby and Francisco Garcia
The Pacers would add a nice jump shooter in Garcia, a new third point guard in Douby and a banger in Williams. Under the rules of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, a multiplayer deal would likely have to be executed. That is, unless Indiana wants perennial loser (in the win column) Shareef Abdur-Rahim.

Beno Udrih is Sacramento’s only “established” point guard, which might scare some fans. Tinsley would step in right away and could split time right down the middle with Udrih, while Diener brings a different look than Douby as a third option. Of course, the “pending” Ron Artest trade that would bring Bobby Jackson to Sacramento could prevent the Kings from pulling the trigger on a deal for Tinsley.
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