Considering our (lack of) trade chips and salary structure, I think our best bet is to start acquiring more young players with much room for growth and keep our salary as close to the cap as possible. Approaching the tax line with this group (as will happen very soon if nothing is done), would be a terrible idea.
I assume Rip is virtually untradeable. While it would be nice to be out of Rip's contract, I just don't think it is going to happen.
Up until he got hurt, I don't think Jod would have ever considered moving Tay for anything other than a proven player. With the emergence of Jerebko and the potential of Daye, however, I could see him moving Tay for cap relief and a good prospect.
Considering that, I've been looking around the league to find a team that could potentially offer just that and have interest in Tay. I landed on the Cippers. While all the pundits keep saying the Clippers will be major players in free agency this summer, I don't see how. They have about $39M committed to just 7 players if Telfair exercises his option next year. Small forward is their weakness position, and they have long had interest in Tay.
So, Pistons trade Tay , Wilcox, Atkins for Rasual Butler, Craig Smith, Ricky Davis, Brian Skinner and DeAndre Jordan. Butler, Smith, Davis, and Skinner are all expiring, but we would have to buy Skinner out ($1.3M) to get back to 15 players.
Then, the Pistons trade Kwame and Bynum to Orlando for Gortat and Anthony Johnson (AJ needed since Gortat is a BYC player). Would Orlando do this? If I were them, I would. They would save around $6M this year, still have a serviceable backup to Howard and get a game-changing guard off the bench while committing nothing in long-term salary.
Going into the summer, the Pistons would look like:
with a salary of about $48.6M (under the cap but by less than the MLE, so we still get to spend it).
Then with our draft pick, I pick up one of the many promising PFs. I resign Wallace for the minimum. That leaves the MLE, of which I spend part on a back-up PG (not sure who yet). I probably don't spend it all since there aren't any point guards worth spending a full MLE on. Depending on the back up PG, we could grab another with the veterans minimum, just in case.
That is a very young team that would struggle to reach 0.500. But, Stuckey, Jerebko, Daye, CV, Draft, Gortat, and Jordan all have significant room for growth. Obviously Stuckey's development is a huge key to any success this roster would have. I just don't see us contending anytime soon.
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