[Any team] gets: Spurs G/F Danny Green
Spurs get: Two players you’ve never heard of, who will soon be instrumental parts of a championship team
Danny Green’s not shooting all that well, and he’s eating up valuable cap space. Surely it crossed Gregg Popovich’s mind to just pick up a couple of random dudes from the Magic bench and turn them into household names, because that’s what Gregg Popovich does. Pop could take most Crooked Scoreboard writers and make them Sixth Man of the Year candidates. But when you’re as good as the Spurs are, you’re not really in the mood to make big moves like signing sportswriters to multi-year contracts. (But if you’re reading this, Gregg, I’m tenacious on defense.)
Minnesota Timberwolves get: Marco Rubio
The 2016 presidential campaign gets: Ricky Rubio
Let’s dispel once and for all with this fiction that the Minnesota Timberwolves don’t know what they’re doing. They know exactly what they’re doing. The T-Wolves are undertaking a systematic effort to change the NBA, and to make ineptitude cool again. After his surprisingly strong showing in Iowa, M. Rubio’s chances of winning the GOP nomination seemed high. But after a robotic debate performance and a fifth-place finish in New Hampshire, the Republicans are looking to free up some cap space. The 25-year-old Spanish point guard would probably not fare well in the already crowded electoral field, primarily due to his flip-flopping on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But a Ricky-Marco switch would have brought a much-needed jolt of energy to the somnambulant Minnesota squad, and given both Rubios a rest from their very difficult positions.
New Orleans gets: the nickname “Jazz”
Utah Gets: the nickname “Pelicans”
With apologies to the dozens of Utahns who probably are very passable jazz musicians, the Salt Lake City area isn’t exactly a hub for great music that isn’t of the Mormon Tabernacle variety. Jazz in particular is a genre that is better associated with virtually any other major city in America. It’s the most absurd sports name in the history of American sports, hands down (and the Redskins are a thing). The Jazz name should have returned home to New Orleans, a city that actually has a jazzy reputation. Meanwhile, while Utah isn’t really known for its bird life, ornithological research shows that there are indeed pelicans in Utah. This needs to happen, but it will have to wait until the offseason.
Los Angeles gets: The St. Louis Rams
St. Louis gets: The Los Angeles Lakers
Ah, the old team swap. The fine people of St. Louis really wanted a basketball team, because their football team was so terrible. Their baseball team is good, so they thought that maybe a basketball team would make better use of the city’s sporting capacity than the Rams. The Lakers would have become the St. Louis Flyovers, who would have been coached by Chingy and played in a new arena built in the ruins of what is believed to have once been the city’s central business district. But Los Angeles, with their fancy suits and their paisley ties, swindled the good people of the Gateway to the West and took their football team without giving them a basketball team. Darn!
2016 Chicago Bulls get: 2013 Joakim Noah
2013 Chicago Bulls get: 2016 Joakim Noah
Joakim Noah isn’t having a great season. He’s injured, he’s only started two games, and only one species of marsupial has shown up to his Ark. But it wasn’t always that way! For two seasons, Noah was a rock inside for the Bulls, making the 2013 and 2014 All-Star Games and averaging a double-double in both of those seasons. The Bulls would have loved to have had that Joakim Noah back. They put the astrophysics researchers at the University of Chicago to work searching for a wormhole or a time machine or something. They even drew up a contract for 2013 Joakim Noah to sign. Unfortunately, though, time travel wasn’t mastered before the trade deadline, so all of those researchers have to go back to doing boring normal physics stuff.
76ers get: Stephen Curry
Warriors get: Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel, Nik Stauskas, Ish Smith, JaKarr Sampson, TJ McConnell, Elton Brand, Isaiah Canaan, Robert Covington, Jerami Grant, Richaun Holmes, Carl Landry, Kendall Marshall, Hollis Thompson, Brett Brown, Charles Barkley, Mark Sanchez, The Delaware 87ers D-League franchise, Pat’s King of Steaks, Independence Hall, the rights to create a Rocky remake set entirely in Oakland, Villanova men’s basketball head coach Jay Wright, the headquarters of QVC, a year’s supply of Philadelphia brand cream cheese, The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Marcel Duchamp’s 1912 masterpiece Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2, a 2018 second-round pick, and cash.
The 76ers have hit rock bottom. They’ve tried trying, they’ve tried not trying, and nothing has worked. But then, GM Sam Hinkie had an idea. He was watching an actual basketball game and saw someone named Stephen Curry playing. “He can play basketball pretty well,” said Hinkie, “I want him.” So he sent some proposals to the Golden State Warriors. He was surprised that Nik Stauskas wasn’t enough to nab Curry, so he kept going, until he offered most of the assets of the city of Philadelphia. It was the offer of the film rights to a Rocky reboot that tipped the scales in Philly’s favor. The deal was almost signed, until both sides noticed that NBA teams have to have at least 13 players on a roster. No 12 individuals in the entire world wanted to take those spots.
Raynell Cooper is a writer who’s glad he wasn’t traded to The Ringer. You should follow him on Twitter.