Let's start by saying how I think (hope) it will go down in free agency this summer:
1) Trade for Josh Smith. He wants out of town and will be on the final year of his contract, so the Hawks could try to trade him before the season begins. This will take a while but it should be our number 1 priority.
2) Sign Jeff Green. Danny has to. If not, he'll have a very tough time explaining the Perkins trade.
3) Go after one of these centers: Hibbert, McGee, B. Lopez.
4) That's it.
Players like Chris Kaman, O.J. Mayo, Robin Lopez, Jason Thompson and J.J. Hickson would be nice to have moving forward, but only for the right price (cheap). Don't get me wrong, I would like Danny to sign Kaman and/or Mayo, but I also don't want Danny to make the same mistake the Pistons made when they signed Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva. And guess what, we don't have to!
If we can't get the players we want for the right price, we can play the KG/Ray card (one-year contract; two-year depending on Ray's price).
Can't get a PF? Sign KG. Can't get a C? Sign KG. Can't get a SG? Sign Ray. Have to sign and trade Jeff Green for Smith? Sign Ray. Have to sign and trade Green for Smith and can't get a C? Sign both Ray and KG. Can't sign Green, Kaman, Hibbert, McGee, or Lopez and can't trade for Smith? Sign KG and Ray. OK, I think you get the point
Say whatever you want about those two guys but they are still way more talented than some of the players available in this year's FA market. If there's no one to sign for the right price, DON'T PANIC! Sign KG and Ray for one more year, keep your cap space and spend it next summer, or keep your cap space and make the right trade.
It'd be wrong to think Ray and KG won't come back to Boston after this year. There are many scenarios in which we can and should re-sign them AND it'd be totally worth it.
P.S.: Please know that I think cap space is overrated. I don't want us to keep it just for the heck of it but I also don't want us to spend it unwisely. Even when making a trade, you need to have the right assets. No one wants your bad contracts. Teams trading superstars usually want cheap upcoming players and draft picks.
P.P.S.: Yes, I know I didn't comment on Bass, Pietrus and the rest of our bench. However, if you were following my line of thought, you know I wouldn't bring them back if it means hurting our cap space.
P.P.P.S. Blowing it up (hitting rock bottom by trading Pierce and/or Rondo and getting a Top 5 pick) is highly unlikely because I don't see Danny wanting to become the next Joe Lacob.