Fantasy GM: Draft-day wheel & deal redux

Since Part VI of our fantasy offseason series was crushed when OKC swooped in and acquired Daequan Cook and the No. 18 pick in the same fashion we suggested that Dallas should, we figured we’d take another stab at some draft day wheelin’ and dealin’. Target: Some dynamic youth courtesy of Nawleans.

The Basics: The Mavericks will alleviate New Orleans of the financial burden that leads people to speculate that Chris Paul might be available -- possible but very doubtful. But the financial burden is real, it just seems that the Hornets can resolve that issue without giving up one of the best players in the league. If the Mavericks are to do this, they deserve a lot in return. If not, why bother?

The How: Dallas will use their Kris Humphries trade exception to acquire Julian Wright and his two buckets a night production at the wing position as well as New Orleans No. 11 selection in Thursday’s draft. Obviously they key for Dallas is the pick since Wright has done very little to suggest he’ll ever even approach Stacey Augmon heights.

Dallas will also send J.J. Barea, Eddie Najera and Jason Terry and cash considerations to the Hornets in exchange for Darren Collison, Darius Songalia and James Posey.

The Why: For Dallas this move is about getting younger and more athletic. Plain and simple, Darren Collison is a stud. Collison and Roddy Beaubois coming off the bench together for Dallas would be absurdly dynamic. And the idea that Dallas would ever have to worry about Jason Kidd piling up ridiculous minutes as he did this past year is gone. There’d also be no pressure on Roddy to learn the point. He is a natural scorer, but if he does develop into a true lead guard, then Collison will have great trade value. But truth be told, Roddy’s minutes should really be coming from JET’s stash, not J Kidd’s. It also eliminates the inevitable unfortunate scenario of having to reduce the role of a guy who has meant so much to the team in the past. As for the pick, there should be a player with vast potential at No. 11. Whether it’s Paul George, Ekpe Udoh or Greg Monroe, someone worth having will be there.

For the Hornets, this is all about saving money. There’s no way they want to give up Collison (though Barea would soften that blow somewhat as a solid back-up to CP3), but they need the financial relief. Their hope would be that perhaps JET could give them some of the same-combo guard bench production they got from Janero Pargo in the '07-08 campaign. Plus, they could monitor JET’s minutes so that only $5 million of his contract is guaranteed for 2011-12. They won’t miss Posey, and Najera could somewhat approximate what Songalia does if New Orleans doesn’t opt to release him and save an additional $500,000 this upcoming season.

And how much does New Orleans save for 2010-11 if they agree to all this? The difference in salary is in the neighborhood of $3 million plus whatever Dallas would be willing to pay them in the deal. If it is the league maximum of $3 million and you factor in likely luxury tax numbers based on New Orleans' bottom line and what last year’s threshold was (approximately $69 million), you’re talking about a $9 million dollar swing.

The Bottom Line:

Dallas gains some much needed youth and a dynamic playmaker in Collison. He played like a lottery pick last year. They also pave the way for Roddy to become a scoring juggernaut off the bench in the old JET role and they jump into Thursday’s lottery fray without touching any of their main trade assets (we’ve mentioned them a million times -- Dampier’s non-guaranteed contract, Haywood S&T, Butler expiring deal, etc) . It would only be the beginning to what should be a very active summer and jump-start some excitement for a team trying to distance from a past of playoff letdowns.