With all that's been said and overdone by some rumormongers (like me!), there is a pretty good chance that nothing will happen by the trade deadline. Here's why.
1. We don't HAVE to do anything.
While Gary might bolt this offseason, there's a chance he might not. If he does, we'll still have $5M more in cap flexibility than we had before. (Note how I said "flexibility," not "ability to sign free agents" - you guys should be well versed in what this means by now, so I'll leave it at that). For the same reason, our expiring contracts (Yogi, Googs) could be valuable to us (just as they are to teams looking to trade for them).
I'm the first to point to Raef's contract as potentially dangerous. However, its not an albatross yet. If anything, the more he plays, especially if he plays like this, the higher value he'll have on the market. If/when our two young bigs take over the starting spots in the next year or two, provided Raef is still healthy, he could always be packaged to a contender looking for one last piece. Or he could just be a solid backup for a number of years. Right now he's mobile and versatile. If he ever gets a bit more gimpy, we can stick him on the perimeter like Robert Horry (or Waltah) and let him bomb.
2. Crystal Ball is Cloudy
I'll credit Chad Ford with this revelation: The collective bargaining agreement is coming up this offseason. With the uncertainty there is surrounding the next deal is reason enough to hold onto expiring contracts. If the restrictions increase, we'll need cap flexibility. If the restrictions are lifted (significantly), we might see more ability to go after free agents. Basically, the fewer long term deals the better.
In addition, it would be nice to see just how well this team can gel over a whole season. Doc is getting the kids some quality court time to develop, Pierce is getting used to his new supporting cast, and players (like Davis) are finding their nitch on this team. As Doc and the media have pointed out, some continuity (esp. after all the recent changes over the last few years) could be a very good thing.
So maybe Danny's famous itchy finger will not pull the trigger again this year. Or maybe the only deal will be relatively minor (apparently Jiri is available). Only time will tell. And for those of you who are quickly tiring of the trade talk, the deadline can't get here fast enough.