As far as I'm concerned, Gerald Wallace is the only vaguely untouchable player on the Bobcats. The problem, of course, is that to get better, the Cats are going to be hard-pressed to find trades worthwhile to both teams.
DeSagana Diop's contract is possibly the second most toxic in the league (behind Gilbert), so he's staying.
Everyone else has a little bit of present-day value, but we've pretty much exhausted the avenue of taking on other teams' problem contracts in exchange for lesser talent. Even if we assume Tyrus Thomas stays merely for the qualifying offer, and Raymond Felton leaves, that puts us at roughly $9 million below the luxury tax threshold with 3 more players to sign (bringing the roster to 14, one above the minimum, and one below the maximum). If we make trades, we'd probably have to take on payroll, but I can't imagine Jordan would pay tax in order to do it unless we're getting a guy who's capable of leading a championship team -- which we're not getting in trade.
The Cats can sign minimum -- or close to minimum -- players to create some wiggle room, but unless one of 'em turns out to be a tremendous bargain, we're looking at adding more bench players, which will have minimal impact, given the talent already on hand.
If we do make a trade, the two places we'd absolutely have to improve are center and point guard. Our wings are locked down. We can hope Tyrus doesn't get any silly money offers, pushing Diaw to sixth-man. Once we take care of one, we can hope to get someone useful in free agency. I, for one, would embrace the Brad Miller era. (sigh)
Some rosterbation-ish trade ideas after the jump.
Trade 1: Tyson Chandler and Nazr Mohammed for Monta Ellis and Ronny Turiaf
There's almost no way Golden State does this, because it's a pure reboot move. They'd pay more this year, but get out from under Ellis's long deal and hand the reins over to Stephen Curry, making it his team. Turiaf would immediately get the starting center nod, which isn't saying much for the Bobcats, but suddenly we'd have a real third scorer without giving up much on defense. It would be an open question as to how the offense would actually work. And is it really a good idea to try to re-create the Warriors of the past few years?
Trade 2: Baron Davis?
Is there any way to pry him from the Clippers? I've tried to figure out a way to route Chandler to Oklahoma City and get Eric Maynor to Los Angeles, but nothing's working.