Exchanging Hands: LA Aquires HP From Las Vegas for Dvoracek + Future Assets
- By Jron Magcale, Day 44, 2021
LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Fireballs have found a solution to the hole they have at the SG position by acquiring Las Vegas All-Star G/F Hilton Phillips (and seldom used guard Jay Jones) for Fireballs Center Vlado Dvoracek, Garret Cue and Fireballs 2024 1st Round Pick. The trade will address what seems to be the Fireballs weakest position coming in to the 2021 season but would have to find someone to step up in the new hole that Dvoracek will leave. HP is a reliable wing that can play 1-2-3 effectively at 6'9" he is a mismatch waiting to happen, also a perimeter defensive stalwart back in Las Vegas title run. HP played PG with the slow grind Scorpions that have seen dominating the Western Conference of the JBL of old. His versatility and championship experience will be helpful with the Fireballs who wants to compete in the tough Pacific Division.
This trade is an inter-division trade and will for sure be under microscope from critics all over the league. Las Vegas Scorpions is now a new look team ever since legendary GM Bedouin who delivered a ring to the Desert left for Baltimore to start anew. The new fast-paced high scoring Scorpions are flying eventhough HP has seen limited role in the first 42 days of the season. Los Angeles is a different story as they have experimented on their lineup eversince the Travon Fortune experiment proved to be a bust. GM Jron is known for bold moves throughout his career to get his team in a position to win games. This move is nothing new. HP will look to prove that he can help Los Angeles to win more games and to contend in the West but the future repurcussions of sending their best Center along with 2 future assets will be questioned for sure. Garret Cue in limited role shows promise, Dvoracek a starting Center with the knack on passing will surely be missed. The question is who will step into Dvoracek's role? Keemar Campbell looks like the obvious choice as the young post defender have shown he can run with the best of them, Beat Killer Jamarcus Norwood is also known to be a solid rim protector can see some added time at the 5 spot but at press time we don't have any concrete asnwer as to who gets the starting nod.
The deal is believed to be as follows:
Las Vegas Sends: G/F Hilton Phillips + G Jay Jones
Los Angeles Sends: C Vlado Dvoracek + Garrett Cue + 2024 1st Round Pick
One thing is for sure Los Angeles Fireballs perimeter will look scarier with the potential lineup of LaCruz-HP-iMac-Staff-Campbell/Norwood showcasing a tall lineup where the smallest player will be LaCruz at 6'6", it will be interesting what LA can do with a player such as HP who at 33 years old has still some gas left on the tank. HP can fit into any system due to his versatility and with his skillset he won't have a hard time fitting in with LA's run and gun tradition. Another weapon in the perimeter in both sides of the basketball but we'll see how he fits. LA has also one of the oldest starting 5 if they acquire HP, LaCruz (24), iMac (31), Staff (35) if they elect to run with Norwood (29) and of course HP (33). If it all works then it will be great for Los Angeles, if not then back to the drawing board. Los Angeles (11-8) is 3rd in the Pacific Division and Las Vegas (13-8) is 2nd trailing Seattle (15-4) who leads the division. Oakland (9-11) is at 4th who is struggling this season and surprising expansion team Portland (7-11) is not far behind Oakland.