A thought prompted by one of DFiB's and my patented ramble-offs.
So things got pretty dire pretty quickly up front. Biedrins is out for at least two weeks, according to the latest reports... Ronny could conceivably come back as early as tonight, but even if he does, we've only got three big men, one of whom is close to useless. We need to do something about this. It'd be great if we could wring a big out of whatever deal gets Jack off our hands, but it's not clear when that deal will happen... it might not happen till December or February, and we need help now.
A complicating factor is that we don't have many roster spots available. Almost every spot is filled by either a rotation guy, (Biedrins, Ronny, AR, Wright, 'Buike, Maggette, Morrow, Jack, Monta, Curry), a useful expiring contract (Law, Speedy) or a guy who can't yet be traded (CJ, Mikki). But there is one spot left to play with.
Devean George is currently hurt, and even healthy, would give us nothing on the court. He's one of the worst offensive players who still has a job in the NBA, his fading lateral quickness has made him a non-asset on defense, and he rebounds horribly for his size. We wouldn't get any value from playing him. I don't think we'd get any value from packaging him into a bigger trade, either... his $1.6M expiring contract is only our third-biggest, and you don't see teams taking on bunches of little expirings in trades, due to roster constraints. We could just let his deal expire, but I'm not sure what the point would be... even if we managed to dump Jack for a '10 expiring, we'd only be a wee bit under the cap, essentially in the same MLE territory we'd be in otherwise.
Simply put, Devean George isn't really worth anything to us. We should turn his roster spot into a big body we could use right now. There are three way to do this:
1) We could simply drop George and pick up the best available big we can find. He doesn't have to be great. Even if he's worse than Mikki Moore, he'd still help us right now... better that some big scrub waste fouls on Shaq than Maggette or somebody. We're starting to face some bigger teams. We're not going to last long without a fourth big body we can use.
2) We could trade George to a team looking to save a tiny bit of dough, for a big whose contract is a year longer. Possibilities on that front: Alexis Ajinca of the Bobcats, James Johnson of the Bulls, Hamed Haddadi of the Grizzlies. All three guys have failed to make their teams' rotations thus far; all three play for franchises that might want to shed '10-'11 payroll for one reason or another; all three have some potential; most critically, all three are not Devean George. It's more than possible that these teams wouldn't want to punt on these guys' potential so quickly (although I'd bet Haddadi's available, even with Thabeet's injury)... we might get hung up on if we offered these trades. That doesn't mean it's not worth making the calls.
3) We trade George for a big who also expires this year, sending money along to make it worth the other team's while. Essentially, we use George to buy a player, in much the same way the Raptors used George to buy Marco from us. Devean and cash to the Heat for Jamal Magloire? Devean and cash to the Nets for Sean Williams? Devean and cash to the Blazers for Juwan Howard? Devean and cash to the Raptors for... dare I say it... Patrick O'Bryant?
I'm not gonna lie. None of these options are pretty. But in my mind, they're a lot prettier than playing Cleveland, Boston, Portland, Dallas and San Antonio in eight nights with two credible big men and Mikki Moore, which is exactly what we have to do starting Tuesday. That stretch is gonna be ugly either way, but it's going to be soul-killingly horrible unless we add another big body. Dumping Devean George seems like the best way to add that big body.