25 May 2012
Fundamentally Flawed and Finding Fixes
I Got 29 Trade Proposals, but all the Jazz Need is 1
WRITTEN BY PETER J. NOVAK | 25 MAY 2012
Part II – Playoff Team Trade Proposals
Part I Can Be Found HERE
What follows below is a list of potential trades made with both the Jazz team needs and objectives and the counterparties needs and objectives kept in mind. I am cognizant of the fact that my opinion on what teams’ need and want to do is highly subjective, but hopefully this exercise will give Jazz fans an idea of what type of moves might be available to help the team improve. The types of trades you’ll read below are both large and small, as sometimes it is the small roster moves that can provide a team with the extra variable it was missing.
For the purposes of cutting this already long article short, we broke it into two parts. What follows below is a trade proposal between the Jazz and each playoff team, organized from worst to best. Part I of this article featured a trade proposal from each non-playoff team from best to worst (LINK). I also outlined some of the Jazz’s prime assets to use when making a trade this offseason, so please refer back to that article for more detail on the Jazz’s major trade used below. In parenthesis next to each player is the reported remaining year(s) and salary on each players’ current contract.
The Trade: Philadelphia trades Andre Iguodala (2yrs $14.7m, $15.9m early termination option “ETO”) to
Utah for Al Jefferson (1 yr $15m).
Why Philadelphia Does It: Sixers fans have been trying to push Iguodala out the door for several seasons as they believe he has not lived up to his large contract. Jazz fans have been pining for a perimeter defender who can stop other teams from hitting so many open three’s against their team. This trade proposal is nothing new for Jazz fans as it seems to make so much sense for both sides. While Iguodala has been the heart of the Sixers during this playoff run, they were just barely a playoff qualifier and really got some luck with injuries in order to advance to round two. Jefferson brings a consistent low post scoring option that the Sixers thought they were getting when they acquired Brand. If they re-sign Spencer Hawes and Lavoy Allen, the team would have a solid frontcourt rotation for the next several years. This trade also opens up minutes and bigger roles for Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner, two players the Sixers have invested considerable resources in.
Why Utah Does It: Iguodala put up his best shooting year from the three point line this year, averaging nearly 40%. While that may prove to become an anomaly, the Jazz have to at least consider taking the risk that Iguodala could keep up that shooting touch, or something close to it. Even if he is not a great offensive player, Iguodala is a good rebounder from the small forward position and has the ability to match up defensively on an opposing team’s best offensive wing player. The Jazz may be reluctant to pay $30m for two years of Iguodala, but with his ETO it is possible he would opt out after next season and test the free agent waters. While he isn’t likely to obtain another contract paying $15m a season, he and his agent may decide a low eight-figured salary over four seasons is preferable and the Jazz would hold his bird rights in order to submit a competitive offer.
Who Says No: The only thing preventing this trade is each respective front office having emotional ties to their own player and his place on the roster. This trade really should have happened last year.
The Trade: Dallas trades Shawn Marion (2yrs $8.4m, $9.1m ETO); Roddy Beaubois (1yr $2.2m, $3.3m qualifying offer “Q/O”) and up to $3m in cash considerations to
Utah for Raja Bell (1yr $3.5m). Utah would have to use $8.4m of the TPE to consummate this trade.
Why Dallas Does It: Every NBA fan knows by now that the Mavericks are in hot pursuit of Deron Williams. While the Mavericks were hoping to pursue Dwight Howard as well, that ship appears to have sailed since Dallas does not have the trade chips necessary to convince Orlando to ship him to them. In order to entice Williams to come to Dallas they will need to improve their core beyond 34 year old Dirk Nowitzki. With this trade, and by Amnestying Brendan Haywood, the Mavericks would have additional salary cap space to pursue another high end free agent this offseason to help lure Williams to the Dallas. With a revamped core many of the older veterans on Dallas’s roster may consider re-signing for veteran minimum contracts in order to make another title run.
Why Utah Does It: Marion recently turned 34 and put up a surprisingly productive season doing the things he has always done best, playing defense and rebounding. Those are two skill sets the Jazz could certainly use upgrades on at the small forward position, even if they have to overpay Marion for the next two seasons. Beaubois has not progressed much over his career to date, but he still can provide a spark plug of energy off the bench and is signed to a relatively affordable contract. The Jazz would have a year to evaluate if he could develop into more than a bit producer in Utah, and if not they could pass on him in restricted free agency before 2013-14.
Who Says No: It is probably too big of a risk that Marion keeps up his current level of production into the next two seasons, so the Jazz would likely continue to shop for better uses of their TPE.
New York Knicks
The Trade: New York trades Amare Stoudemire (3yrs $20m, $21.7m, $23.4m) and sign and trades Jeremy Lin (Estimated 4yrs $25m total) to
Utah for Al Jefferson (1 yr $15m); Devin Harris (1yr $8.5m); and Raja Bell (1yr $3.5m)
Why New York Does It: New York had a tumultuous season on and off the basketball court, which might have proven that their current big three of Carmelo Anthony, Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler are not good enough to realistically compete for a championship. Unfortunately for them, they are hamstrung with Stoudemire’s contract, which makes it nearly impossible for them to make any significant moves to upgrade their roster over the next three seasons. This trade enables them to deal what many say is an untradeable contract, due to the lack of insurance provisions covering Stoudemire. In order to entice a team to take that contract they will have to part with Lin who had spurts of outstanding play mixed in with turnover prone basketball. New York may also be willing to move Lin as it is debatable if he and Melo are an ideal basketball pairing. At this point the production the Knicks receive from Harris and Jefferson may be equal to or better than what they get from Stoudemire and Lin. If it doesn’t work out, then this trade would get the Knicks within striking distance of the cap space they would need to pursue Melo’s good friend Chris Paul after next season.
Why Utah Does It: This trade may help lure Steve Nash to Utah and give the Jazz a real opportunity to compete for a title sooner rather than later. Even if Nash doesn’t come, Lin could be the Jazz’s future at the point guard position and his affordable contract makes the latter two years of Stoudemire more bearable. The acquisitions of Lin and Stoudemire would likely lead to the Jazz returning to more pick and roll sets, which may be ideal for the reamining players on the team after this trade. Finally, this move would not severely impair the Jazz’s ability to extend contract extensions to Favors and Hayward, even with the latter two inflated years of Stoudemire’s contract.
Who Says No: This trade is probably the greatest cockamamie scheme I concocted in this article. Let’s just move on to the next one.
The Trade: Orlando signs and trades Ryan Anderson (Estimated 4yrs $40-45m total) and J.J. Reddick (1yr $6.2m) to
Utah for Al Jefferson (1yr $15m) and Alec Burks (3yrs $2.1m, $2.2m, $3.0m, $4.2m Q/O)
Why Orlando Does It: Orlando isn’t doing anything until they decide whether Dwight Howard is staying or going. It appears for the moment that even after ownership cleaned house, that Howard is still intent on demanding a trade. If that is the case, this trade helps Orlando rebuild by trading away two players that were heavily reliant on the defensive pressure that Howard commanded. In return the Magic get a low post scoring presence to replace Howard and a wing player who has the ability to create his own shot.
Why Utah Does It: If Utah’s biggest need was outside shooting, this trade fulfilled that need with room to spare. While Anderson is likely the beneficiary of a great outside looks as the result of attention paid to Howard, the Jazz would hope they could replicate that situation with Favors and Millsap. This would give the Jazz a real inside out game in the frontcourt. Additionally, while Reddick isn’t the all around player and does not have the potential that Burks does, he does have the ability to spread the floor from the shooting guard position and would likely start next to Hayward.
Who Says No: Orlando may be content on rebuilding around Anderson and whatever big man it gets back for Howard (Brook Lopez? Andrew Bynum?). Until they know what’s going on with Dwight, this trade idea would clearly be secondary consideration.
The Trade: Denver trades Al Harrington (3yrs $6.8m, $7.1m, $7.6m, years 2&3 are only partially guaranteed) and the #20 pick in the 2012 NBA draft to
Utah for future 2nd round draft considerations. Utah would have to use $6.8m of the TPE to consummate this trade.
Why Denver Does It: Denver had a surprisingly successful season and has proven itself to be one of the deepest teams in the league even though they do not have any real stand out stars. As a result, Denver has spent much of the post-Melo era extending mid- to high-seven figure contract extensions to its young core. On tap this offseason, is a restricted free agent contract for Javele McGee and a contract extension for Ty Lawson that would go into effect the following year. Accordingly, the Nuggets do not have many open roster spots and will be pushing the luxury tax in a few years unless they cut payroll. This trade frees up some future cap space that they’ll need to retain their core guys.
Why Utah Does It: Utah may have use for Harrington as he has proven to be a streaky bench scorer with the ability to put in minutes at both forward positions and center. While his salary does not match his production at this point of his career, he does have above average outside shooting abilities that the Jazz currently do not get from any of their other big men. This trade also gives the Jazz a draft pick to address the team’s needs at point guard or on the wing.
Who Says No: In order to get back in the draft, Utah is paying about $21.5m in salary to Harrington (or as little as $14.15 if they buy him out early), a price that his average production and advanced age probably doesn’t justify at this time.
The Trade: Boston trades Rajon Rondo (3yrs $11m, 11.9m, $12.9m) and Brandon Bass (1yr $4.3m P/O) to
Utah for Paul Millsap (1yr $8.5m); Enes Kanter (3yrs $4.3m, $4.5m, $5.7m, $7.5m Q/O); and Alec Burks (3yrs $2.1m, $2.2m, $3.0m, $4.2m Q/O).
Why Boston Does It: Boston will enter this offseason in a rebuilding mode after Kevin Garnett’s and Ray Allen’s contracts expire at the end of their current playoff run. While Danny Ainge has toyed with making big moves in the past, it would appear that he may be ready to move on completely into the next era. That could make Rondo available, despite his outstanding season. In this deal Ainge gets a borderline all-star power forward, a young center with massive girth and a shooting guard with the ability to get to the rim. This move will make a lot more sense if Boston is able use its cap space to sign one of the available all-star free agent point guards, either Deron Williams or Steve Nash. With those moves, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen may be willing to return to Boston and chase another ring for a discounted price, with Paul Pierce still there to round out their starting lineup.
Why Utah Does It: Since trading away its all-star point guard, Utah’s biggest need has been…well….an all-star point guard. The Jazz had initially hoped Harris would be competent at the position, but the initial year and a half of results have been less than impressive. Rondo is a different point guard than Deron Williams to be sure, but his up-tempo game and distribution skills may make him the perfect match with Favors and Hayward long-term. Jazz fans may scoff that the price is too high, but consider that Utah is paying less then the Nets paid when they acquired Williams.
Who Says No: Depending on what Boston plans to do this offseason, Rondo may be the sole major piece left of its championship roster, accordingly they may feel compelled to keep him for the time being.
The Trade: Atlanta trades Marvin Williams (2yrs $8.3m, $7.5 ETO); Zaza Pachulia (1yr $5.2m) and #23 pick in the 2012 NBA draft to
Utah for Raja Bell (1yr $3.5m). Utah would have to use $8.3m of the TPE to consummate this trade.
Why Atlanta Does It: Atlanta will struggle to get below the luxury tax line each year it has a major financial commitment to Joe Johnson, Josh Smith and Al Horford. While the Hawks have fairly routinely made the playoffs, they have not been considered true title contenders. This trade will clear up some room to operate under the luxury tax and enable Atlanta to be able to afford to re-sign Smith long-term after this year. While the Hawks may be reluctant to give up two role players that have contributed to their success, this trade opens up about $10m in breathing room for them to make upgrades on the roster elsewhere.
Why Utah Does It: Williams has never lived up to the hype of the 2nd overall draft pick, but he shot a surprising 39% from the three point line this year and by all accounts is a willing defender. The Jazz have a history of trying similar high draft pick reclamation projects like when they acquired Donyell Marshall and Danny Manning. Pachulia may not have much of a role on this Jazz team, but he is a bigger body that can give you spot minutes in certain matchups and has plenty of experience as a starter.
Who Says No: I think the Hawks would jump at the chance to trade Williams into the Jazz’s TPE, and this trade works without Zaza or Raja included, but I think O’Connor will hold out hope he can get more for his value than this.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Trade: Los Angeles trades Eric Bledsoe (2yrs $1.7m, $2.6m, $3.7m Q/O) to
Utah for Alec Burks (3yrs $2.1m, $2.2m, $3.0m, $4.2m Q/O)
Why Los Angeles Does It: Los Angeles is in a tricky situation where Chris Paul is only locked into the team for one more season. While Paul may decide his pairing with Blake Griffin gives him the best title opportunity, the team will likely need to make some moves this offseason to convince him that this is the place for him to be. Chauncey Billups appears to be planning on returning to the Clippers and the odds that Mo Williams opts out of his contract are probably about 50/50. That leaves the team with an extra combo guard in Eric Bledose, and the need to find a long-term solution at shooting guard. Burks gives the Clippers more size on the wings and someone who can get to the hole with ease. Both Burks and Bledsoe have high NBA potential, but both have decent bust potential as well.
Why Utah Does It: While the Jazz have to be encouraged by what they got from Burks this year, it is hard to ignore the things that Bledsoe did in the playoffs. At times he looks like he can dominant a game physically from the point guard position, much in the way Russell Westbrook does. At other times he looks like he will never be able to take care of the ball well enough to be a lead guard. This trade may give the Jazz their long-term answer at point guard, but at the very least they have a combo guard that can help score off the bench, which may be Burk’s ceiling as well.
Who Says No: O’Connor, because even if Bledsoe becomes an outstanding point guard, he may not be the ideal fit for the Jazz at the position.
The Trade: Memphis trades Rudy Gay (3yrs $16.4m, $17.9m, $19.3m P/O) to
Utah for Paul Millsap (1yr $8.5m) and Raja Bell (1yr $3.5m).
Why Memphis Does It: With all of Memphis’s contract extensions over the past few years, they are going to be butting against the luxury tax line for several seasons to come. This from a team that didn’t make it out of the first round of the playoffs this year. This trade alleviates about $5m in cap space which may allow Memphis to re-sign OJ Mayo to a reasonable contract and give him the role that Gay had previously held on the team. Additionally, Memphis was weak along the frontline after Darrell Arthur got hurt, and this gives the team a very good 3-big man rotation of Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol and Millsap. This trade also gives Memphis insurance at power forward, in case Randolph never returns to his pre-injury form.
Why Utah Does It: While Gay is set to make far more than his production is worth, the Jazz are in a cap position where they could absorb his contract into the framework of the overall budget and not have to worry about an inability to extend any of our young guys. Since his sophomore season in the NBA, Gay has fairly consistently averaged 19 ppg, 5.5 rpg on 35% three point shooting. Gay can also play spot minutes at power forward to fill in for some of the minutes lost with the Millsap’s departure.
Who Says No: Gay’s contract would give O’Connor heartburn, but ultimately I think Memphis will probably let Mayo walk instead and try to cut costs elsewhere.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Trade: Los Angeles trades Pau Gasol (2yrs $19m, $19.3m) and Steve Blake (2yrs $4m, $4m) to
Utah for Paul Millsap (1yr $8.5m); Devin Harris (1yr $8.5m); and Raja Bell (1yr $3.5m).
Why Los Angeles Does It: Los Angeles is running out of time with the Kobe Bryant era. Additionally, the team has some serious salary cap restrictions that prevent it from making any significant changes to the team going forward, unless they find a way to shed salary. If the Lakers cannot make a trade for Dwight Howard or Deron Williams this offseason, they may try to focus on building around Andrew Bynum and Bryant for one or two more title runs. This trade gives them a younger and more versatile power forward to play with Bynum and gives them a serviceable point guard in Harris that will allow them to let Ramon Sessions walk after his disappointing playoff run. With all three of the acquired contracts expiring after next season, the Lakers will be in better position to make tweaks going forward.
Why Utah Does It: For Utah this is about putting a better center next to Favors and allowing him to grow into the team’s franchise guy more gradually. Gasol is still a very crafty scorer and might be better off without having to guard quicker power forwards on defense. If the Jazz made this trade they’d also want to find a deal for Jefferson, as those three post players would not be an ideal fit. Ideally, they’d get a point guard back in return.
Who Says No: Jazz fans would never want to send a beloved player such as Millsap to the enemy, but they won’t have to worry about it because Los Angeles will think they can get more for Gasol.
The Trade: Indiana trades Danny Granger (2yrs $13.1m, $14.0m) and Darren Collison (1yr $2.3m, $3.3m Q/O) to
Utah for Paul Millsap (1yr $8.5m) and Earl Watson (1yr $2m)
Why Indiana Does It: Indiana is in the middle of a deep playoff run and even finished the season with the third best record in the east. Such success would lead one to believe that they would not be looking at making a lot of offseason moves, but in fact Indiana is at a bit of a crossroads as both Roy Hibbert and George Hill are eligible for extensions to their rookie contracts this offseason. This trade frees up about $3.5m in cap space for Indiana and with the cap holds for Hilbert and Hill they would still have room to pursue Eric Gordon, Goran Dragic and/or Jamal Crawford in free agency. This trade also allows Indiana to move Paul George to his more natural small forward position and gives the Pacers a deep group of big guys with Hibbert, David West and Millsap. Both Millsap and West will be free agents the following year and the Pacers could decide to bring back one or both of them.
Why Utah Does It: Danny Granger at $13m a year is not as valuable as Millsap at $8.5m, but this trade helps the Jazz diversify its roster and brings a former borderline all-star player at the small forward position. Granger is a career 38.5% three-point shooter, who will help spread the floor with the Jazz. Additionally, Collison has had stints in New Orleans and Indiana when he appears to be prepared to take over the starting point guard position on a team. In Utah he would compete with Devin Harris for that starting spot and potentialy provide a future answer for that position beyond 2012-13.
Who Says No: Indiana is taking the risk here that they’ll be able to fill in for the loss of Granger using their cap space in free agency. If they aren’t confident in their ability to do so, they’ll probably pass on this trade for now.
The Trade: Miami trades Mike Miller (3yrs $5.8m, $6.2m, $6.6m P/O); Norris Cole (3yrs $1.1m, $1.1m, $2.0m, $3.0m Q/O); and cash considerations (Up to $3m) to
Utah for Raja Bell (1yr $3.5m) and Earl Watson (1yr $2m).
Why Miami Does It: Many of the Heat’s free agent acquisitions after Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have been a failure. Perhaps the biggest one being Mike Miller who is eating a significant amount of their cap space for three more seasons. Due to the luxury tax and general ineffectiveness in his role, the Heat will likely be looking for a taker for Miller’s contract this offseason, unless they just choose to Amnesty him. Bell and Watson don’t represent upgrades for the Heat and there would be a good chance each is bought out. This is a financially motivated transaction to free up cash flow in future years to find pieces that work better with Miami’s core.
Why Utah Does It: Utah may actually have some use for Miller who shot 45.3% from the three-point line this year, but they wouldn’t be happy with his salary. Utah is also making this trade to take a look at Cole, who has put up some decent games when he has gotten an opportunity to play in Miami. Cole will only be a 2nd year player next season and has room to grow into a lead point guard, or settle into a role playing combo guard off the bench. In any event his roughly $4m total salary in the next 3 years is affordable for the production he provides and helps to compensate for the Jazz having to overpay Miller.
Who Says No: The Jazz may have had more interest in Miller 1 or 2 years ago, but he is probably too far past his prime to commit to his 3 year contract even with the Cole sweetener.
Oklahoma City Thunder
The Trade: Oklahoma City trades Kendrick Perkins (3yrs $7.8m, $8.5m, $9.2m) and Eric Maynor (1yr $2.3m, $3.4m Q/O) to
Utah for Devin Harris (1yr $8.5m).
Why Oklahoma City Does It: By now every NBA observer agrees that James Harden is playing himself into a max or near max contract extension offer. Serge Ibaka has played well enough that he is looking at an eight-figure contract extension as well. Add those future contractual obligations to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook’s maximum deals and Oklahoma City will have somewhere between $55m-$60m tied up in those four key players for the 2013-14 season. At that amount, it almost becomes a necessity for the Thunder to trade Perkins away to avoid an eight figure luxury tax bill in 2013-14 and 2014-15. With this trade, the Thunder obtain the salary cap flexibility to be able to keep Harden and Ibaka. Additionally, Harris is still good enough to give solid back-up minutes at point guard and shooting guard for the Thunder and would be a rotational player in their attempts to win a championship in 2012-13. The loss of Perkins hurts the team defensively, but the Thunder would look to free agency to find a more affordable replacement.
Why Utah Does It: This is the reverse Matt Harpring trade for the Jazz, as they would be reacquiring Eric Maynor, with whom they reluctantly parted with in order to avoid luxury tax penalties previously. Maynor had a significant knee injury this past year, so his health status will play a big part of this transaction, but his prior play had some professional commentators questioning whether the Thunder would be better off starting Maynor instead of Westbrook. The Jazz will obligate themselves in this trade to three years of Perkins, who has never exactly filled up a stat sheet. Rather, Perkin’s impact on title contending teams has been in the small things he does on the basketball court. Perkins would start next to Favors until Kanter eases his way into the lineup and gives us one of the better defensive frontcourts in the league. Also, if you are a fan of the Jazz trading for Rajon Rondo as well, he and Perkins are reportedly really close from their time spent together in Boston.
Who Says No: Oklahoma City is so close to a title that they may be willing to pay significant luxury tax penalties to achieve one, thus I think they will be reluctant to trade Perkins away at this time.
The Trade: Chicago trades Kyle Korver (1yr $5m, only partially guaranteed to $500,000) to
Utah for future 2nd round draft considerations. Utah would have to use $5m of the TPE to consummate this trade.
Why Chicago Does It: Chicago enters the 2012-13 season with roughly 10 guys under contract for close to $76m. Without filling their final 3 roster spots, the Bulls are already in luxury tax territory. The team may be in a situation where they feel they cannot afford to bring Korver back in his current role at his current cost. While they could buy out the remaining portion of Korver’s contract for $500,000 (a number that is compounded if the Bulls are paying the Luxury Tax), they may be able to find a team like the Jazz who wish to acquire him and thus eliminate all financial obligations they would have otherwise had to pay. In this scenario the Bulls hope that Rip Hamilton stays healthy next season and provide the production they received from Korver.
Why Utah Does It: By all accounts, Korver’s last stint in Utah was successful as he did what he was brought in to do, hit three-pointers in a limited bench role. He then hit free agency at a time when the Jazz just could not afford to extend him a marketable contract offer. Two seasons later and Korver is still able to shoot the three-ball and the Jazz have still not found a consistent deep threat. Korver is only owed $5m total for one season under his current contract and could provide the team with floor spacing, without tying the team’s hands financially into the future.
Who Says No: O’Connor was fine with letting Korver walk before and may not have that much interest in bringing him back due to his advanced age. I’d imagine the Jazz look for younger options instead.
San Antonio Spurs
The Trade: San Antonio trades Tiago Splitter (1 yr $3.9m total, $4.9m Q/O) and Stephen Jackson (1 yr $10m) to
Utah for Paul Millsap (1 yr $8.5m) and Raja Bell (1 yr $3.5m).
Why San Antonio Does It: San Antonio is playing as well as anybody right now and it is hard to see them wanting to make any significant roster changes to their current team. At the same time Tim Duncan is 36 years old and a free agent this offseason and by all accounts should be re-signing a multi-year extension with the team at the conclusion of the year. Father time will eventually catch up to Duncan and the Spurs will have no choice but to start to rely on secondary options. That is where Millsap may be appealing to the Spurs. Millsap is the type of player that can mold himself to the Spurs need at any given time, playing inside or outside as needed. Dejuan Blair may have been all set to take over that role previously, but his minutes have fallen off in recent times and he is coming up on free agency himself and the Spurs may be reluctant to pay him with so much other money locked into Duncan, Parker and Ginobli. A big bonus to this trade is eliminating the financial obligation they owe to Jackson in 2012-13.
Why Utah Does It: Splitter is surprisingly 1 month older than Millsap, and he has had far less success in the NBA to date. While a benefit of Millsap’s game is his versatility, Splitter is more of a defender with length who puts up points at a high percentage but doesn’t score in bulk. Going forward, Splitter may more of an ideal pairing with Favors and allow Favors to guard the opposition’s smaller frontcourt player, which will allow him to conserve energy on defense. Jackson would almost certainly be an upgrade over Bell for the Jazz but his days as an NBA starter are probably over. The Jazz would look forward to his contract running out at the end of the upcoming season.
Who Says No: I’m guessing the Jazz would rather commit long-term to Millsap as a known commodity, but a pairing of Favors and Splitter has to at least be a bit intriguing to the Jazz.
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