All of the attention for the past two weeks has been focused on the Clippers/ Celtics deal as it should have been. Now that there is some resolution there, everyone's attention is swinging to what happens to KG and PP. This too is as it should be since they are at the top of the food chain and their futures are uncertain.Yet there are others that whether those two stay or go, did not pan out to be especially complimentary pieces. Perhaps their salaries could be better utilized otherwise.
About the only rumors surrounding any of them was for possibly Terry or Lee to be included in the Clips deal. It was said to be to eliminate their somewhat lengthy deals. Personally I think that since they were the two which Doc was credited with recruiting had something to do with it also. Regardless, both underperformed expectations and don't really fit in a rebuild.
In "Some Things Remain" I proposed Jordan Crawford to the Lakers - Chris Duhon (non-guaranteed) to Dallas - the #13 and Vince Carter to the Celts. VC can still put up really good numbers at the 2 or 3, if PP stays, Carter would be a great back up, and he is a 3.5M expiring contract. But, he has a secondary value that I'll get to in a minute.
Looking at New Orleans, they have a gaping hole at SF and they would like to upgrade at center. They also seem to have remorse that they matched the offer sheet on Eric Gordon who has said repeatedly that he wants out.
The Lakers need to cut payroll, Kobe probably won't be back before New Years, and they have virtually no bench.
Utah needs back court help badly.
Indiana has a dilemma. Danny Granger is expecting his starting job back, but how do you do that since Paul George became an All-Star in his old slot. They too need back court and bench help. Re-signing David West is a priority and they have very little cap space.
So here is the deal with two variations: New Orleans sends Gordon and Ryan Anderson to LA for Pau Gasol's expiring. They have their upgrade at center. The Pacers send Granger (a New Orleans native) to N.O. They have their SF on an expiring. The Celtics send Brandon Bass, Courtney Lee (an Indianapolis native), and Vince Carter from the above deal to the Pacers. They now have back up at three positions for roughly one million more than Granger's contract and enough money for West and a free agent back up point guard without getting too close to the tax. New Orleans sends Robin Lopez and maybe their #6 pick to the Celtics. We need a center and while Lopez isn't elite, he is very serviceable, and his contract is only 5.1M this season with a non-guaranteed 5.3 next. If he doesn't work out, there is no problem cutting him. Plus it gets about 9M off the payroll.
The variation would be Gordon goes to Utah in a sign and trade for Jefferson. This is actually better for the Pelicans as they could keep Anderson and a starting front court of Davis, Jefferson, and Granger would make them a dangerous team to reckon with. If you look at their respective shot charts, Davis and Big Al are a perfect match as each is strong where the other is weak. For Utah, they would be a point guard away from having a solid core going forward.
Yes it is a lot of moving parts, but a rapid rebuild would require being aggressive. For the other teams, it could also be a win -win - win if only someone (Danny) would suggest it.
For the Celts, it would allow you to keep KG and PP if they wanted. There would be a legitimate back up center which would allow Melo more time to develop. You would still have Sully, and possibly Randolph and could re-sign Wilcox on another vet minimum at the 4. Also there would still be PP, Green, Terry, Bradley, Rondo, and Williams. Plus you would have up to 3 picks and enough room to use the full MLE on a free agent if needed. In other words, you would have a lot more options so that you could both compete and rebuild simultaneously.