With players transferring basically at-will, 5th year seniors shaking things up, and the landscape of college basketball constantly shifting, let’s just do it. Let’s allow for in-season trades. The one caveat is that both the student and coach have to sign-off on it. Here are some win-wins I could envision for current programs.
Trade Proposal 1:
Purdue receives: Darius Thompson, G Virginia
Evan Nolte, F Virginia
Virginia receives: Isaac Haas, C Purdue
Big man Isaac Haas played 8 minutes in the last outing for Purdue. Meanwhile, at Virginia, explosive sophomore Darius Thompson played 7 in a win versus Syracuse. I propose a trade between the two teams. Adding Isaac Haas could elevate Virginia to a national championship contender (if they weren’t already). Virginia would have to throw in Evan Nolte to compensate for size. Purdue could use some help handling the ball, but they have an embarrassment of riches with big men and senior center A.J. Hammons demanding around 25 minutes a game. If Purdue added Thompson, it would give them a nice scoring option at point guard to compliment some nice swing players they already have. Thompson is not just a feed-the-post-then-watch type of guard. His ability to attack the basket and slash without the ball could make Purdue’s length at the rim even more dominant. The emergence of freshman power forward Caleb Swanigan at Purdue has also made this trade possible. Avid college basketball junkies like myself have been salivating over the prospect of Haas and Hammons seeing the floor at the same time, but it is just not to be.
Trade Proposal 2:
West Virginia receivers: Brannon Greene, G Kansas
Cheick Diallo, F Kansas
Kansas receives: Devin Williams, F West Virginia
I understand that coach Huggy Bear loves Devin Williams. But our ficticious, Eye Test GM has to step in with a simple observation. Williams struggles at times to defend in West Virginia’s full court pressure. He has fouled out of 3 of the first 20 games and finished another 3 games with 4 personals. Meanwhile, Bill Self doesn’t play that full-court havoc defensive style. Kansas loves to feed the post, but Landen Lucas and Hunter Mickelson aren’t dominant offensive players. Adding Devin Williams with a starting five that could include Perry Ellis, Wayne Selden, Devauntes Graham and Frank Mason III would put the Jayhawks in the UNC and Maryland neighborhood as far as the best roster on paper. Meanwhile, despite the glut of publicity the “Free Diallo” movement made, the freshman can barely find a role in KU’s rotation. However, when he finds the floor, his tenacity and hustles quickly allows him to find a niche. This versatility and high motor would work perfectly in West Virginia’s system. Brannon Greene would get his shots and help boost West Virginia’s scoring punch.
Trade Proposal 3:
Arizona receives: Derrick Gordon, G Seton Hall
Seton Hall receives: Dusan Ristic, C Arizona
Arizona has lost two straight Pac 12 games and needs to get right. The Wildcats still have a void of a court-general point guards after T.J. McConnell graduated. The veteran leadership for the Wildcats has been based, instead, in the post with the addition of Ryan Anderson. With Kaleb Tarzewski back from injury, Dusan Ristic is only averaging 18 minutes-per-game, which is on the decline. At 7 foot, he would instantly become the tallest post player for the Pirates. Seton Hall has a full cast of ball-handling sophomores. As a bubble team, Ristic would balance the team and allow a strong run in the Big East tournament. Gordon, meanwhile, is one of the better backcourt defenders in the Big East. His experience will help against remaining Pac-12 point guards like Gary Payton Jr. and Bryce Alford. Gordon, a Massachusetts transfer, is a 24-year-old senior and ready to win now.