!Caution! Ridiculous trade proposal ahead
Many of the recent trade ideas and 2010-2011 season rosterbations that have appeared here lately have included John Wall. I think its fairly safe to say Wall will be the top pick in the draft next year and I think at least 95% of GSoMers would love to have him here. The problem is that the fans of almost all the other awful teams feel the same way about Wall and at least a couple of those teams are likely to finish with an even worse record, and thus better chance at Wall, than the Warriors.
The one exception among the league's bottom feeders might be the Nets. Despite a truly horrific start, the Nets are in a fairly unique situation as one of the few teams that could realistically attract a LeBron/Wade/Bosh type player in the offseason A new (possibly handpicked by the new players) coach, a new arena on the way (that now appears to be getting back on track despite delays) an intriguing ownership group, and playing around NY might be appealing enough to one of those guys. What would make NJ an even more attractive destination for any one of them would be the team's ability to sign two of them. I'm no cap expert but it appears to me that to clear enough room to sign two of the mega stars without asking either to take less than max money the Nets would still need to clear a large amount of salary cap.
To clear that kind of money and still have the pieces to convince 2 of the mega stars that they could compete for a championship in NJ the Nets would need a handful of extremely cheap but talented pieces. Obviously the best way to find that is with young players. The only players NJ has signed beyond this year are Devin Harris, Keyon Dooling, Yi Jianlian, Eduardo Najera, Brook Lopez, Terrence Williams, Courtney Lee, and Chris Douglas Roberts. Harris is certainly young and talented (though he seems to have regressed a bit this year) but his contract may be big enough to prohibit signing two of those big free agents. Dooling, Yi, and Najera aren't the kind of players who are going to make LeBron start thinking dynasty. That leaves only Lopez, Williams, CDR, and Lee with Lopez looking like the only one of the group that could be a major contributor on a team with championship aspirations.
The Warriors can't offer the Nets a significant talent upgrade but they can offer enough expiring contracts to match up with all the Nets' long term money and a couple of young and inexpensive pieces in Curry and Randolph who are the type of players that could attract LeBron and Wade without having contracts big enough to inhibit the team from signing them. A deal that could potentially attract both sides would likely have to look something like:
Nets trade: 1st round pick (or perhaps just giving the Warriors the ability to swap picks after the lottery), Harris, T. Williams, Yi, Najera, Dooling.
Warriors trade: Randolph, Curry, expiring contracts (Claxton, George, Bell, Moore)
There are certainly some significant obstacles on both sides of this deal-
New Jersey-The Nets have to be confident enough in their ability to land more than one of those free agents that the risk/reward would outweigh their roughly 25% chance at Wall and the opportunity to have Harris and Wall plus some cap space. To me, even a 1 in 3 shot at running out a Curry/Wade/LeBron/Randolph/Lopez lineup is certainly worth it, but its not without major risks. The Nets could very easily never get any serious interest from any of the big 3 free agents and wind up overpaying guys like Joe Johnson and Carlos Boozer. A potential Curry/Johnson/Lee/Boozer/Lopez lineup without much depth or future financial flexibility is probably not going to convince NJ to trade away Harris plus their shot at Wall.
Golden State-The Warriors have to be sure that John Wall (or two other players in this draft) is the kind of talent worth sacrificing their two most tradable assets for. They must also recognize that even after this trade they are extremely unlikely to enter the lottery with a better than 2 in 5 shot at getting the top pick via the lottery. Even if the Warriors and Nets wound up with the two worst records in the league their chances of landing the top pick in the draft would be less than 50/50. Losing the lottery and trading up to get Wall doesn't seem likely at this point. The team would also be sacrificing their financial flexibility for several years to come. While they aren't likely to have any money to spend in free agency this year anyway, dumping all their expiring money for longer term commitments a relatively uninspiring group of players would pose a significant risk to management and ownership. Williams, Yi, Najera, and Harris are all players that could have some appeal to the Warriors (especially Nellie) but Harris is the only one of them that even approaches the "upside" of Curry or Randolph and he's already older and being paid a lot more than either of them. Even if the team struck lottery gold and landed Wall they'd have most of the payroll invested in 3 smallish guards who dominate the ball plus several other players (Maggette, Buike, Morrow) who aren't exactly pass-first types and they'd still be undersized and and an even worse rebounding team than they are now. Its unlikely that Harris, Monta and Wall could all coexist on the same team for more than one season. Unlike the Nets, this would not be last major move the team would need to make before they were even back thinking about the playoffs, but if Wall really is the true franchise type player so many think he is then its definitely a big step in the right direction.