I'm staggering right now, trying to put together all the pieces of this trade-and-tweak. So it seems best to lay out what we do know before we speculate on what might be.
1. Banks is back, but he's a little upset about being tossed back and forth as a bargaining chip. Danny never even called him (he needs to work on that I think).
2. Payton is our property, but it doesn't seem like he's all that thrilled about it. If the story below is true, he wants to be traded to a contender (or back to LA to the Clips). His expiring salary is attractive, but I think he's even more attractive as one of those final-piece-in-the-puzzle deals to a contender. On the other hand, that was supposed to be the script last year, and it didn't really work out. If you are curious about the effect of a possible retirement by Payton, read up on the rules outlined by Larry Coon.
3. Regardless of what happens this year, Gary Payton isn't the long term solution for us at point guard.
4. We now have 3 expiring salaries that total about $15M to shop now or at the deadline. If Fox retires, his deal is paid by insurance and becomes even more attractive to teams.
5. The Lakers got hosed (Beat L.A.!!!)
So, with that said, let the speculation begin.
I think anything goes at this point. I really don't think cap space is Danny's goal. We saw what happened this offseason to people with cap space. Some were able to spend wisely, most had to overspend to get their targets. I think Danny will absolutely trade his expiring contracts for players and picks. Right or wrong, I also believe that Danny will trade Ricky Davis. There is just too much writing on the wall for me to think otherwise. Additionally, it has been made clear to everyone that Danny believes Banks is expendable (at the right price).
This has been one crazy summer, and I really don't think its over.
Update: Will he show or won't he? The news out of LA (Orange County Register) seems to contradict recent rumors.
Payton has indicated to the Celtics that he will join them despite extensive protests about leaving the West Coast. If he refuses, he likely would be suspended without pay.