I just read some quotes from Rashard about how he wants to sign a new long term contract with Seattle and play his whole career there.
He must have heard these rumors ;)
The FA is obviously Peja -- can't believe I didn't think of him in earlier post. But he just turned 29. He's already played 9 years in the league, and he's had some injury issues. (Foot problems scare me.) Maxing him out for 5 years would be somewhat risky and leave you with few options to make big changes without losing other key parts. On the other hand, if healthy he's a perfect fit. Great shooter, great attitude, underrated defender, thrives in Princeton offense. Paul/Peja/West/Speedy with some long shot shotblocking rebounding bigs and athletic wings could become a contending combination.
Would there be a need to trade PJ then?
A trade involving PJ and JR and/or Dez, would probably be about another team trying to free up cap space. Unless Seattle thinks its going to lose Lewis -- who has a "reasonable" contract -- why trade him for PJ, etc? He's their second best player. Why get rid of him? (And why trade for him if you want to sign Peja?)
Other teams trying to save some money down the line:
NEW YORK -- Crawford anyone? Howbout Lee too? Francis as a 2?? No to Q-Rich. But would you have the heart to trade PJ there? I wouldn't.
Phoenix -- MARION? -- thats the guy all the rumors revolve around? But it doesn't seem like enough to give uo without adding picks. Pre-Nash/D'Antoni, Marion was average. But the Hornets have their own Nashesque playmaker, and perhaps Nash and West could coexist at the 3-4 positions?
Portland is trying to dump Zach Randolph -- NOOOO!!
Denver wants to dump Kenyon -- doesn't fit with West.
Minnesota may want to get rid of Ricky Davis -- no 'tudes please.
Wally - No thanks.
Golden State -- Troy Murphy is expendable, but redundant here. I wouldn't mind if they added Pietrus. Sending PJ to play with BDoodie? Ouch.
Dallas dumping Marquis Daniels? I'm listening, but I'm not convinced he's the answer. He's still unproven in my book, and seems to operate best with the ball in his hands. (I like Mbenga their RFA)
If Peja is the FA, and PJ is part of it, then wouldn't you think the deal brings back another big man? Getting a guard without a big man would leave them quite thin on the inside.