The New Orleans Pelicans Options Heading Into Free Agency

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Published: June 27, 2014
NBA: Preseason-Miami Heat at New Orleans Pelicans

The announcement of Asik being traded to the Pelicans was exciting, but somewhat limited on Wednesday night, as it was really just the first step of a series of moves that is set to take place masquerading as a singular move in a vacuum. The fact of the matter is, that as currently constructed, the trade of Asik for a future 1st round pick can not be done. The Pelicans simply do not have the cap space to absorb Omer Asik’s salary, so another move has to come first or in conjunction with the Asik move to make it legal.

If the Pelicans were to renounce the rights to all their free agents and team options on players, they would have just under $7 million in cap room, which is a problem because Asik is scheduled to make just under $8.4 million next year. Even if they were to dump Alexis Ajinca, they would still fall close to a million dollars short of the number. So that leaves us with a simple truth: At least one of the main guys (Davis, Anderson, Evans, Holiday, Rivers, and Gordon) will have to be moved or waived in order to bring in Asik.

There is no way around it. There is no magic that Mickey Loomis can help Dell Demps pull off, because this isn’t the NFL. Here, contracts are almost always fully guaranteed. Instead, Dell is going to have to make something happen with one of his six pieces. Process of elimination tells you that Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday are off the table, and Tyreke Evans likely is as well. That leaves us three guys (and four options).

Lets take a look at what the options are.

Trading Austin Rivers

How It Would Work: Moving Austin Rivers and declining Bird Rights on our free agents, as well as the team options on Luke Babbitt and Melvin Ely would allow the New Orleans Pelicans to absorb Asik’s contract into our cap space, as long as we did not take any salary back in the process. The downside of doing this, however, is that Dell Demps would lose his right to use the MLE ($5.3 mil) and his right to use the Bi-Annual Exception ($2.1) . He would be left with just the Room Exception ($2.8).

However, there is an alternative here, as Dell Demps can look for a way to make the Asik deal a three team deal that sends Austin Rivers, Melvin Ely, Alexis Ajinca, and Luke Babbitt to that third team. If Dell is able to do this, then he can maintain his Bird Rights on guys like Aminu, Roberts, Smith, and Miller while also giving him the right to use the MLE and Bi-Annual (but not the Room Exception)

Pros: If Dell can do the second form of the trade (the three-team deal), then he would still have multiple avenues to add one or multiple small forwards. He would also be able to go over the cap to bring back Aminu or Smith as back ups, which is probably a better role for them anyway. Same goes for Roberts or even Miller.

Cons: Losing Austin Rivers hurts, as you could see the signs of him just about to turn a corner. The loss of Ajinca doesn’t hurt as much because Asik is coming in, but Babbitt would have been nice to have as Ryno insurance. But then again, the third team can just decline Babbitt’s option and perhaps he can wind up back here eventually.

Trading Ryan Anderson

How It Would Work: In the eyes of the league, the deal could work as a three-teamer where Asik comes to New Orleans, Anderson goes to a third team, and that third team also sends players to New Orleans. If it is just Anderson heading out, then the Pelicans would be able to take about $4.3 million back in salary (in addition to Asik) in order to still be able to retain Bird Rights for their free agents as well as the MLE and BAE. But again, Dell could attach “fake” contracts to that (Babbitt and Ely) and get that number up to close to $8 million. Throw in Ajinca, and we are close to $9.5 million. Add Rivers and we are up to close to $14 million. So, you are looking at anyone from Gerald Green to a signed and traded Trevor Ariza, Gordon Hayward, Chandler Parsons, or PJ Tucker to a trade for Jeff Green or Thaddeus Young.

Pros: If you are looking at all the options that get you’re the most value in return, this is it. If done properly, Dell can walk out of a Ryan Anderson trade with Asik and a starting small forward, plus he keeps Rivers. Then, he can re-sign Aminu or Smith to give him some backup PF minutes and/or use the MLE to target a guy similar to Ryno like Channing Frye. This option also opens the need for a shooter and could entice Dell to bring Anthony Morrow back.

Cons: A three-headed monster of Ryan Anderson, Anthony Davis, and Omer Asik is impossible not to get excited about. You can split the 96 minutes up amongst those guys and guarantee that you always have two very good to elite big men on the court. Plus, with Omer Asik’s poor FT shooting, it was likely that Anderson would have finished games, and now it is likely that Asik will have to finish them next to AD instead. If you can’t replace Anderson with another stretch four this summer, then it limits your potential for spacing as well.

Trading Eric Gordon

How It Would Work: Again, the Pelicans could submit the trade so that it appeared as a three-teamer, or because Gordon’s salary is so big, they could just do two individual trades if they get little to nothing back from the team accepting Gordon. That would be the ideal, in fact. If the Pelicans could trade Gordon and take $6.6 million or less back, they would get a trade exception large enough to absorb Omer Asik’s contract without sending anything else out (but the pick). This would then leave the Pels with the option of using cap room, Bird Rights, MLE, BAE, etc.

Or, if the Pelicans want to just create enough cap room to absorb Asik, they can release rights to all free agents like in the Austin Rivers example and trade Gordon while taking back between 12.5 and 13.5 mil in salary (would depend on number of players coming back because of cap holds, etc. So, I can’t give an exact number). Doing this would allow the Pelicans to absorb Asik’s salary into cap space, but again would force them to lose the MLE and BAE (while retaining the Room Exception).

Pros: Um… Eric Gordon is gone. We can start there. And if it is the first option where trading him opens up a trade exception that can be used to absorb Asik, then we should all take bow down to Dell Demps. I almost hate to throw this scenario out there because it is too good to be true, but it has to be what Dell is looking for. Maybe he can trade Gordon, Ely, and Babbitt or Gordon and Rivers for OJ Mayo. If he did that, he would get an exception large enough to absorb Asik. Then, he could still have tons of options to add a SF while also being able to retain Morrow if he just sees Mayo as a guy he will look to move at the next possible chance like I would.

And the other option is not terrible either. You lose Gordon (addition by subtraction) and get 12-13 million dollars in, theoretically, somewhat useful players or trade chips, and get Asik too. You keep Ryno and Rivers and have the Room Exception and/or said trade chips to try to get a small forward.

Cons: The player coming back in the trade for Gordon can be even worse (Mayo or Gerald Wallace, for instance). But even then, their salary number is smaller. Sorry, hard for me to list a con when the topic is trading Eric Gordon.

Stretching Eric Gordon

How It Would Work: For over 3000 words on this, you can read a two-part article I did here. To make it as simple as possible, the Pelicans can waive Eric Gordon and stretch his remaining salary over the next five years. This would cut, at minimum, 9 million dollars off this years’ cap and allow them to absorb Asik’s contract while also giving them options with cap room, Bird Rights, the MLE, and BAE. And that is the minimum we would shed by going this route.

The Pelicans can work out a buyout with Gordon that can reduce his $30 million dollar cost and on top of that, when Gordon signs with another team, some additional money will come off the cap. Basically, a little less that half of what Gordon signs for will come off of whatever we owe him. And the less we owe him, the less dead money we have on our cap the next few years. Realistically, the dead money could be as low as $2.5 million per year and as high as $5.5 million each and every year over the next five years.

Pros: Again, Eric Gordon would be gone. And in this case, a ton of cap room could potentially open up as Dell would immediately clear between 9.5 and 12.5 million of the books not only this year, but next year as well. They would be able to absorb Asik and maybe still get to as far as 9 to 10 million under the cap if they wanted to pursue a Luol Deng or a Trevor Ariza. How excited would you have been if I would have told you 3 days ago that Gordon and a 2015 pick would be going out and Asik and either Ariza or Deng would be coming in?

Cons: Having dead money on the cap can never be considered a great thing and Dell Demps would also have to admit a huge mistake by doing this. Also, what if Gordon is planning on opting out next year anyway? You would be spreading money out over 5 years when you might of only had to eat his contract for another 12 months.

Conclusion

The Pelicans next deal will center around one of these four moves, there is no doubt about that. The question is which route is most viable, and the only way for me to know that is to get inside the heads of the other 29 GM’s, which I can’t. But the good news is that I have no doubt that Dell is hard at work talking to each and every one of them. Ideally, something with Gordon happens, as that would allow Tyreke to assume the role as unquestioned starter and could also open up a spot to bring Morrow back.

More realistically, however, we see Austin or Anderson leave and that decision will likely come down to how much value the Pelicans can get in either scenario. If the Rivers scenario causes them to lose depth and makes adding a SF hard, then perhaps Ryan Anderson would be the way to go if they can get a small forward that they like back in the deal and/or a draft pick that could help them move Gordon. At the end of the day, or more accurately by the beginning of July, Dell will have to pull the trigger on one of these four options and we will see the roster of the 2014-15 Pelicans finally take shape.

81 comments
CoReMeGa
CoReMeGa

I think Dell really pulls this one off. Trading Gordon to the Bucks or Hornets for a couple smaller pieces.

If he can't make a move... He better just stretch Gordon and allow us to keep Ryno and Rivers. That would allow Dell to fill out the roster with good no names like always and still keep a couple great tradable assets for the next move.

dschmid4
dschmid4

I think another option would be to combine Gordon with one of the other more attractive deals. If you add Ryno and Gordon that is a big chunk of change, but teams like Detroit and Charlotte have 23 mil plus in cap space to trade into. that would be a lot talent walking out the door, but it would give us flexibility to pursue free agents that fit our team's needs better.  In Detroit's case maybe they would send us back some small pieces like Caldwell-Pope and SIngler. Charlotte maybe its Gary Neal and a pick. On second though, this really does not sound appealing to me. 

The only teams i would see trading for Gordon straight up will want to send us their overpaid garbage (gerald wallace), in that case i'd rather keep Gordon. 

I think we should likely stand pat and play a 3 guard line-up with our two defensive anchors to start and then get, creative when we move Ryno in.  A year from now Gordon is an expiring and if he is still playing more like an anchor that weighs use down than an anchor you pay max money and build around. Cut him loose.

xman20002000
xman20002000

This is really funny that commentators are willing to take anything for our max player...  Frankly I don't care what someone says about the City with a whole bunch of negatives...  Gordon played at about 80% of his optimal level...  Bower gave up on Tyson Chandler then he went to Dallas now returning...  So if Bower had include Chris Paul in some of his decisions on players we were in pretty good shape.. 

Last season for a while Gordon averaged over 30 mpg... Now this guy as a basketball player has an all around game..  In reality he needs or needed a supporting cast...  Frankly, Gordon is a Pelican until they move him.. if they do... This is a business with no need to make emotional decisions on players..  Healthy, Gordon is an asset...  It is what it is and he appears a good team mate... What does the team see in him...  He brings a lot to the table...  It will be more interesting to see how the team deals with this new personnel complement...

Roberts is gone and there is one of the top PG in college looking at his numbers...  This guy is suppose to also be a real showman...  and he is out of New York a real basketball loving City..  including street basketball...  A healthy Gordon is worth a lot more than what's mentioned in the comments...  Let Dell Demps do his thing... 

PelicanSaints
PelicanSaints

Just read somewhere that the Timberwolves called and offered Kevin Martin for Gordon....Damn I hope that happens......

PelicanSaints
PelicanSaints

Dell should call the Hornets and offer Gordon for Henderson......throw in some cash, Ely exception and Babbitt. .....

lsutigers33
lsutigers33

Is it possible that dell n Houston have an extra attachment to this trade depending on what happens in the start of FA?

Anyway Houston can take on EG after melo says yes to Houston?

Anyway Houston wants EG as part of the trade if Melo says no?

I would like to know more on the timeline- fa can sign first, then you have to declare your roster and cap, etc...

For some reason, I feel the Asik trade has a " if x happens during FA, then we will do y".

DGaines22
DGaines22

We should look to get CJ Miles as a SF in free agency whether we get another one or not guy can shoot left handed and play Def

xman20002000
xman20002000

One of the things about discussing the cap is the lack of real knowledge of the language in the contract an teams can also go over the cap in a tax payer status..  In reality in depends on the ownership and the skill of decision makers in structuring the financial part of the franchise.. but the focus on whether Gordon stays is up to the team and they may not want to get rid of him...

Some in the media make Gordon a personal issue an some of us are interested in the health and well being of the team with respect to decisions on player moves that are taking place considering Monty and Dell are two proteges of Pop with the Spurs considered one of the best in the business including the front office..

Frankly I am impressed with the direction they  are moving... This is what happens in professional basketball an the beauty of being able to move on from certain  players an the converse..

If we have Morrow can or do we trade "Anerson.. NO.... add Rivers and Ajinca an that's a pretty decent bench...  Morrow is a journeyman that has been with a number of teams... He has value and wants that veteran contract... Monty and the circumstances did a lot for his development...  Look at the players that they have produced who went on and did well...

mazonmafia
mazonmafia

Question: If Gordon is stretched, can the team choose the spread of the cap hit each year or is it equally pro-rated over the next 5 years?

Also, is there potential for Gordon to legally confirm he will opt out of his contract next year and THEN exercise the stretch option making it only about 1 million per year of dead money (assuming he signs with another team)? Probably wishful thinking...

mojart
mojart

I would love to have the greek freak from the bucks...they have like 3 SF on that roster even if it cost us ryno...

dalshearer
dalshearer

If we do end up having to keep Gordon next season, have him come off the bench for Evans and he'll almost certainly opt out.

PelicanSaints
PelicanSaints

I like the first Gordon scenario......send somewhere with a bag of cash. Hopefully we can keep on our exceptions......which is paramount to have, so we can bring in a decent SF

504ever
504ever

My first choice is trading Gordon, but the Cons there are it is unrealistic, or you likely take back cheaper but longer contracts that are short term gain but longer term pain.

My second choice is trading Rivers.  He isn't core to this team, and Asik for Rivers is a deal you do every day and twice on Sundays.

I wouldn't trade Anderson, plus his value must be low coming off of surgery, and I wouldn't stretch Gordon until I know what he will do with his option year.

I suspect there are some more trade Rivers scenarios where we can keep the MLE and Bi-Annual, I just don't know what they are.  Wish I could talk to a capologist. (Rivers plus Ely is $4.6M of salary.  So adding $3.8M gets you there. Renounce Smith and Roberts, guys you figure to sign for cheap anyway?)

polofr3sh
polofr3sh

@Michael McNamara @polofr3sh  Don't see how you wouldn't agree @Michael McNamara .....

Harrison Barnes is a flat out physical freak on the level of a Andrew Wiggins, He has a better form on his shot release, and he's cheap. Its a no brainer plus because of his age he will be an attractive movable piece if doesn't pan out. Look at our current roster , all overpriced players or just second round value.We couldn't even attract a team to want one of our players for a late first round pick.That shows the vaule of our roster . Can't move Evans because he is overpriced , Gordon overpriced , Anderson too inconsistent , He jacks up more shots than the energy he uses on defense. Even with all we risked in Asik trade, we still not even a Playoff team Warriors, Spurs, Rockets, Thunder, Portland, Dallas, Los Angeles Clip are still far more better teams, healthy Pelicans roster or not. So looking back at trade, We lost another valuable first round pick and another year of not rebuilding in a very important 2015 free agent draft class. Moves like this is the reason why LeBron left his own home to play in Miami..... Demps is not different than the Gm for Cavs. So lets just see how long Anthony Davis waits for management to get things right. He'll be out like Shaq did Orlando , or even more recent. K.Love leaving Minnesota


why enjoy a Player in his development stage just to watch him leave and win with a different team like  (Cp3)

Lebron2Pels2014
Lebron2Pels2014

Gordon,Ajinca and Ely or Southerland to the Bucks for Mayo, Middleton and Iiyasova and Anderson and Rivers to the Celtics for Jeff Green,Joel Anthony  and 2015 2nd.

C Asik-Withey-Anthony

PF Davis-Iiysova-UDFA

SF Green-Babbit-Miller

SG Evans-Mayo

PG Holiday-Roberts-Smith.

nolafredo
nolafredo

I can't see any way we can trade Gordon this offseason with $14 and $15 mil still due to him.  Usually, such a salary dump, requires giving up something like a draft pick (which we don't have) or a young piece (which we're fast running out of).  And I don't see any kind of market for highly-paid, constantly-injured star-caliber player who hasn't lived up to his promise of so long ago.  At half his price? Yes.  But not at his current rate.


So that, by default, means it's Austin Rivers who has to be moved in order to make room for Asik. 

xman20002000
xman20002000

@PelicanSaints  Who plays better with Doc Holiday of the guards we have on the roster... Then what are they going to do with Evans..  A complication but a nice one to have...  Holiday can really play...  Are we better off with or without Gordon an why...

CoReMeGa
CoReMeGa

I was thinking the same thing.. I think the new Hornets might strike out on lance Stephenson and a couple other targets.. And we might able to trade Gordon ajinca and maybe even sweaten it with a future 2nd round pick. Maybe get Henderson and some other filler from them.

PelicanSaints
PelicanSaints

Can't see the Rockets taking Gordon. ..They could just keep Lin.....

jmbell7
jmbell7

@mojart I just read that he's grown to 6'11" from 6'9". But the Bucks also believe he can play power forward with Jabari at the 3.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes moderator

504, check your email on file with the site.

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara moderator

@504ever Why do you need a capologist? I can tell you anything you want to know. 

First, your numbers are wrong and/or assumptions are wrong on a few things here. I have laid out the scenarios very clearly in this piece. 

Ask me a specific question, and I guarantee I can answer anything any capologist could. 

jmald1
jmald1

@polofr3sh @Michael McNamara  havent dell demps proved that players are willing to come here such as tyeke evans and ryan anderson yes they was signed and traded here but who recuited dem dell demps im tired of ppl like u seeing the glass half empty instead of half full this roster have amazing talent and btw evans is not that overpriced he is on a moveable contract we are not a normal small market franchise and plus u need to see dat we have pieces we dnt  wanna move i love da asik trade because asik is proven and a quality big that is very expensive in todays basketball to get asik and have his bird rights what happen if we lose asik we lost a first round pick in a very weak draft class i dnt want anymore rookies on this team i want more veterans for dis team because we average a age of 23 so give dell demps and ask urself dis who else have accomplish what dell demps accomplish we have players dat have been all stars SO I WILL END IT WIT THIS JUST OFF EDDIE MURPHY RAW; HAVE A COKE AND A SMILE AND SHUT THE FUCK UP 

504ever
504ever

@polofr3sh

The same Harrison Barnes  who was called out by his college coach his last year in college for being a wus who didn't rebound or drive, and only took jump shots?  The Harrison Barnes who never passes? The Harrison Barnes nicknamed "Fools Gold"?  NEVER!

Lebron2Pels2014
Lebron2Pels2014

@polofr3sh @Michael McNamara CP3 was a crybaby from the start, he was playing for an penny pinching owner (Shinn) and with the new ownership with Benson who knows what this team could be like.They're some small market owners who are so afraid to deal with their diva player(s) but at least Benson is not Shinn.It's his way or the highway.

jmbell7
jmbell7

I was hoping for this but don't think it would happen. I have a feeling he will be one of this draft's undrafted players that sticks around the league for a long time.

jmald1
jmald1

i pray and hope roberts dnt come back even though russ smith is basically roberts but can actually play solid defense 

Lebron2Pels2014
Lebron2Pels2014

Could flip Mayo if you planning on bringing back Murrow

Lebron2Pels2014
Lebron2Pels2014

@nolafredo If you trade Gordon to a rebuilding team that's not going anywhere and take scraps yeah it can work.You buy him out you gave him a chance to go to an contender as rotation player most likely the Bulls. Rose+ Mello+ Gordon=AAU

PelicanSaints
PelicanSaints

@xman20002000 @PelicanSaints Well, first of all his contract is to big considering his production or lack there of.....if we get Martin, he makes half of what Gordon makes...plus his career numbers are better.....his salary would allow Dell to have more options to improve the roster......It's not personal, just business....he got a max contract because of his potential...Dell's mistake...but, Gordon has had ample opportunity to show everyone he's a max guy...but it hasn't happen....Dell can't afford to wait on him any longer.......

504ever
504ever

@Michael McNamara @504ever

Also, would signing Aminu (or Smith or Roberts) into cap space an trading him for a pick help us keep our MLE, etc. by increasing cap space?  Why does renouncing Bird rights not help us keep our MLE, etc.?  If players we trade are cut, are there limits on when we can resign them?

504ever
504ever

@Michael McNamara @504ever

What are the cap numbers for Asik, Rivers, Ely, Southerland, Smith, Aminu, Roberts, Miller, Withey, Babbit and Ajinca?  (I assume Rivers is $2.439M, Roberts and Miller are $1.115M each, Withey is $0.816M, and Babbit and Ajinca are $0.981M each.)

If we trade Rivers, how much more salary do we have to shed to keep our MLE and Bi-Annual? ( I assume around $6M.)

polofr3sh
polofr3sh

@Lebron2Pels2014 @polofr3sh @Michael McNamara No panic button, but do some of you actually watch full basketball games instead of stats? GS gave up on him after his amazing previous playoff performance by signing Over rated Andre from the nuggets. Paul George in his early years was  very similar to what Harrison Barnes is now.

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara moderator

@504ever @Michael McNamara Okay, you are right - this would be way easier in person. 

If we go the trade Rivers route, we have to trade Rivers and an additional 3.4 million to keep our MLE and BAE. 

If you renounce all your Bird Rights, you are doing so to create cap room. If you use cap room, no MLE. So, they are indirectly related. 

We would have to wait 90 days to sign that player (in this case Babbitt. Would still be before the season starts)

Your salary numbers above are right. It was Ely that was wrong before. It is 1.4. Your confusion might be that you can take back up to 2.2 by trading it. 

504ever
504ever

@Michael McNamara @504ever

Thanks! This helps me and perhaps other readers.  

So Rivers and Ely plus about $2M of salary need to be traded out.  So could we  sign Miller and Babbitt, unguaranteed, and trade them to get to $2M?  Then if Miller and Babbitt are cut, we can resign them before camp?  

Does Southland figure in here as a guy we can sign unguaranteed and trade, too?  If so for how much? $0.816M, or can we sign him for $2.0M and trade him to balance this out?

polofr3sh
polofr3sh

@Lebron2Pels2014 @polofr3sh @Michael McNamara I think Monty would value a player like Barnes and get the most out of him. Him and AD are very athletic and could cause problems together. Once Barnes sees how hard Anthony Davis works , would do wonders for him. It would just make sense to have him because of his salary , age, and shooting ability. If Monty Williams molded Batum, don't see how he couldn't make a very productive Barnes.


Warriors been trying to trade him. So Pelicans should take him

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara moderator

@504ever @Michael McNamara The issue with resigning guys and including them in the trade is that team would have to want them because it would be a guaranteed contract. "Fake contracts" like Ely and Babbitt work better because they are unguaranteed and the team can just cut them. 

Why I mentioned Rivers, Ajinca, Babbitt, and Ely as the trade that works in the piece. The third team would get all those players, but only Rivers and Ajinca are guaranteed. Babbitt and Ely can just be let go with no salary reprecutions. . 

504ever
504ever

@Michael McNamara @504ever

Thanks, Michael.  I don't mind Asik for Rivers.  I see Rivers as an NBA minimum salary type player this past year. I don't see him being worth the $3.1M option for 2015-16 we would have to choose to pick up this October.  So he might have been gone for 2015-15 anyway.  I see Babbitt as getting cut by the team that gets him in trade and we get Babbitt back if we want him.  I am trying to salvage Ajinca, who I like as a backup C and who is cheap.  Maybe and somehow we acquire a small trade exemption (or a fake contract) we can ship to Houston.  Maybe the big miracle happens and we trade Gordon for enough less salary to keep Ajinca (and possibly Rivers).  Even if we ship out Rivers and Ajinca, I like the Asik deal.  The possibility of keeping Asik longer term is real, and that is a big deal to me.

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara moderator

@504ever @Michael McNamara One thing I have learned is that Dell can replace fringe players, so if he loses Ajinca, I am okay. Our center rotation could be Asik, Withey, P. Young and/or Jason Smith - with AD getting mins. there when Ryno is on the court. That is more than enough, so Ajinca can go if he helps this whole thing go down. 

Rivers will be an unfortunate loss because he was getting close to below average on offense and getting better while being very good on defense IMO. But I will be happy if he can go somewhere where he can get some time and continue to improve

504ever
504ever

Yes, but I think it is harder as the height requirements go up. There are only so many skilled 7 footers on the planet. And my belief is Ajinca will benefit greatly from an off season with the Pelicans

I strongly suspect Dell has a plan to allow him to keep Ajinca, of not Rivers and Ajinca.

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara moderator

@504ever Well I think the plan is certainly to do that, and ideally move Gordon. But if I get Asik and a good SF coming out of this summer, I don't think I will lose any sleep over losing Ajinca

504ever
504ever

@Michael McNamara @504ever

Getting Asik is great, because he is a big time upgrade and a near perfect C for us.  Getting a starter quality SF would be a very good upgrade, too.  

My concern isn't limited to Ajinca; it's losing so much of last year's 2nd team: Rivers, Roberts, Aminu, Jason Smith, Ajinca, and likely Morrow.  Who are our current projected 2nd teamers?  A 'coming off surgery' Anderson, a 'cancer on defense' Eric Gordon, a 'near rookie' Withey, 'blah' Miller, and rookie Russ Smith? And, after the Asik trade, how much money will we have to sign to get better 2nd teamers?

Everyone in the West is staying the same or getting better.  So our bench becomes a big deal.  Usually when you upgrade, the prior starter (at C and SF in our case) become the back-up.  We may not retain either experienced back-up and lose several other guys.