I think JO signed his ticket out of here with his vociferous 'discussion' with TPTB immediately following the 8th game of the season. Also, his comments here and there about maybe him and team being better off apart isn't going to help his longevity here either.
I know some of you think he's having one of his best seasons. I think that is because TPTB made a decision to appease JO in order to showcase JO. It's all about JO. So at the end of the year, JO individually will look pretty good. But, as always, it's at the sacrifice of the team (and the coach). That's why our record with JO and without JO is remarkably similar.
If JO could blend into a team concept he's a very good player and could make the others around him better and make the team more formidable. But he can't... and won't... He made that perfectly clear 8 games into the season. He will not sacrifice any of his game for the betterment of the team. Whether this is ego or a lack of basketball IQ I don't know. He talks a good game off the court. It's a shame he can't bring that same diplomacy to his game on the court.
This is similar to what I think is happening with Tinsley... except things aren't all about Tinsley. It's just that he's being given a lot of lattitude as a vaccine against sinupoutinitis.
Carlisle showed he was willing to try something else with this team. JO showed he was not willing to give it a chance. And that's not what this team needs now.
The more I think about it, Murphy, Dunleavy and Iogu(sp?) weren't brought in to compliment JO as much as they were brought in to have players already in the system that could play the style of basketball we'll see without JO here. And a style we've seen under Carlisle when JO hasn't played.
We're not going to start from scratch but by the 07-08 season I think the brawl performers will be elsewhere.
We know what the fans want.... we know what at least Bird wants... and we know JO has already balked. The 'lightbulb game' where JO 'gets it' that I was waiting on isn't coming. He can never take a backseat here. Maybe somewhere else he could, but here his ego won't allow it. He clearly showed that 8 games into the season. That was a slap in the face to the franchise and a wakeup call. IMHO
Whether this could happen before the deadline is anybody's guess. I'm not saying TPTB will have a firesale for JO. They know he has value.... but IMHO we're watching his last season here. And Tinsley shouldn't be too far behind him if he doesn't go first. But I wonder if a package deal is in play (JO & Tinsley). In any case... this is something that might be discussed now, just too big to pull together mid season and so not finalized until summer. Once the back channels start buzzing maybe more offers will come in than can be analyzed and negotiated. Or maybe everything will come together this week and the trigger will be pulled (figuring the best offer at the deadline might be better than gambling on Tins and JO staying healthy for the rest of the season).