I just want to make sure that you guys understand that we are not going to get a perennial All-Star for our expiring contracts next year. We are not going to get Monta Ellis, an extended Rudy Gay, Andre Igoudala, Kevin Martin, or even Stephen Jackson the way he's been playing lately. We'll probably have to get an old, overpriced player that is on the downhill of his career, a good player with a major flaw (for example; Jermaine O'Neal and his inability to stay healthy), a ridiculously overpaid player (like Elton Brand, Rashard Lewis, or Baron Davis), a young and unproven player (Anthony Randolph, for example) or a good player that Bird wouldn't take for PR reasons (Gilbert Arenas or Ron Artest). Houston can't get Andre Igoudala for a $23 million dollar expiring contract, even though Tracy can still play, and they were willing to take back Samuel Dalembert, a Murphy-bad contract. So realistically, I'm looking into next year at the deadline, and this is who I see:
Old, overpriced players: Jason Kidd, Al Harrington, Baron Davis, Elton Brand, Kirk Hinrich, Andre Miller, or Antawn Jamison, or Gilbert Arenas for either Troy, TJ, or Dunleavy.
Good players with major flaws: Jason Kidd (Bad defense), Steve Nash (Slow, bad defense), Elton Brand (Injuries), Caron Butler (Ineffectiveness), Kevin Garnett (Injuries, quickness dissappearing), Pau Gasol (Softness, the IT factor), Zach Randolph (Bad Defense, history of being a black hole on offense), or Devin Harris (Not a game changer, not much of a playmaker, with history of injuries) for Troy, TJ, or Dunleavy.
Young and unproven players: Greg Oden (potential, but injuries and hasn't done much), Anthony Randolph (Thinks he's a shooting guard), JJ Hickson (Works off of the talent around him), Mario Chalmers (Slumping), Courtney Lee (Slumping) plus a bad contract for TJ, Troy, or Dunleavy.
Good young players we will not be able to get because they will be given extensions, plus if they are good, common sense tells you that the other team won't give them away for nothing, unless if we take ANOTHER bad contract back, which we simply cannot afford to do. For example, Thaddeus Young and Elton Brand for Mike Dunleavy. Brand will be riding the bench, never playing by the time that contract expires.
Good players that we won't take: Gilbert Arenas, Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson, Baron Davis, Tyrus Thomas, Rasheed Wallace, Kevin Garnett, and Zach Randolph.
Also keep in mind, we will have to give Roy, Rush, and Price extensions that offseason, and Roy will be making big money. I wouldn't be suprised to see him signing a 4 year/$50m contract. AJ and Rush will also get a nice paycheck too, so we really don't have all that much money in free agency. So we can't get an All Star in trades, and we can't get one in free agency, so what can we do?
The only possible thing we can do is trade our expiring contracts, plus future chips, like Boston did to get Kevin Garnett. For example, we could do Roy Hibbert, a first, TJ Ford, and AJ Price for Monta Ellis. But I'm sure many of you would die if we did that. So, in conclusion, its not as easy making these decisions as you may think.