Raja Bell will have his wrist operation today, and could be out for the season after it but, in the most optimistic scenario, he could be back in one month and thus traded before the February 18th deadline.
Golden State is eager to trade him because they would rather get something in return for Bell than nothing by letting him expire or buying him out.
So, knowing that Bell has an expiring contract of 5 million dollars, I think he would be a perfect fit in Boston and the final piece of the puzzle : an excellent wing defender who hits his threes with consistency and fits in the "we, not me" mold. He could allow us to rest Ray and Paul even more in the regular season and he could be a huge asset in the playoffs because he can defend on the other's team wing star (LeBron for instance).
People may argue that he isn't as good as before and that we won't have enough minutes for him and Marquis. Bell's production may have dropped a little bit these past few years, but he is still really good for his role. As for the minutes with Marquis... well, since Bell's contract expires this summer and that he would be a 4 months rental, I say just do it if you can because he could be huge for us (and wouldn't bring any negative assets with him).
So, now, assuming he can be traded in February, the problem is that we don't have anything attractive to offer. Scal + T.A would make the trade work salary wise but I don't think GS would agree with that. Maybe some salary cap expert can give us some details here : would the expirings of T.A and Scal save more money to GS than Bell's contract?
Anyway, I just looked at the other teams' players' salaries and I think New Orleans and Sacramento are two teams that could make this deal work. I know it's very unlikely to happen since it would have to involve 4 teams but who knows?
So, here is the scenario :
Golden State trades Raja Bell, Speedy Claxton. Golden State receives Peja Stojakovic, Sergio Rodriguez.
Sacramento trades Kenny Thomas, Sergio Rodriguez. Sacramento receives Speedy Claxton, Julian Wright.
Now, let me explain the interest for each team, because I think this trade makes sense for all of them. Remember, this trade is supposed to happen in February (or January).
Boston gets rid of two players useless in their rotation to acquire a key player to their championship run. Raja Bell's contract expires this summer so you don't have to worry about the team's future payroll when acquiring him.
New Orleans is struggling right now and I guess we can all assume it will be even worse by February. They are not going to make the playoffs with their current roster and they have no ways of improving this summer because of their big contracts. So they decide to dump Peja Stojakovic to receive 3 expiring contracts that will free them 15 000 000 $ this summer. Great financial move. They have to get rid of a young and promising wing in that process (Julian Wright) but they don't mind because the still have Marcus Thornton (good young prospect) and James Posey on the wings.
Golden State wants some value in return for trading Bell : they acquire Peja Stojakovic, an excellent shooter who would fit perfectly in their system. Plus, his contract expires in two years so it will be a huge cap relief to see 14 millions dollars get off their books in 2011. Plus, they get Stojakovic and Rodriguez by trading two useless players in their rotation since Speedy Claxton never plays and they already have Monta Ellis and Azubuike as guards.
So, from now until the financial relief of 2011 with Peja's contract off the books, they have a starting 5 of : Curry/Ellis/Stojakovic/Radmanovic/Biedrins and a bench of Rodriguez/Azubuike/Maggette/Randolphf/Turiaf. Not excellent but still pretty good for their run & gun ways.
Finally, Sacramento. They get rid of Kenny Thomas' expiring to acquire Speedy Claxton's expiring. No big interest here. Still, in the process they also get Julian Wright, a promising wing that they could use since they are tight at this spot, and his contract is not really costly (4M$ for 2 years).
They don't get much value in return but they don't dump some talent either by doing it so... I guess you can see them as a "facilitator" in the trade but they don't get screwed nor are the big winners in this scenario, so why not?
So, that's my trade idea. Maybe a little complex but I think the 4 teams would do it, Sacramento being the biggest question mark. What do you think?