This will be a painful off-season, and to get better we will have to entertain trading Randolph, along with either Monta or Andris. Some of you will stop reading right there, and refuse to entertain those possibilities but I’d challenge you to suggest how we’d improve markedly by standing pat – and hoping everyone develops and stays healthy. To my knowledge, non-playoff teams do not stand pat and become playoff teams. Even factoring in a healthy Ellis, and improved Wright & Randolph, are you confident going into next year with this roster?
Our FO backed us into a corner that will require a difficult and painful decision to extricate ourselves from: it's not a question of who would we want to trade but who do you want to get and what player(s) will it take to get the deal done? Thanks to decisions made last summer, notably the Jackson extension and Crawford contract, we really have few pieces of value to other clubs to improve this off-season.
Lots of Role Players. Our roster is littered with several players of limited trade value, but who could fill in gaps left by including other players in a trade. We have several role players who wouldn't fetch a starting PF much less an All Star even if you added them all together: KAz, Marco, Morrow, Watson, and Turiaf (yes, he's valuable, yes we love him, but he's a role player on a playoff-caliber team). But depending upon who we have to move in a trade, any could be contributing rotation players next year if not relied upon to start. Leave Kurz and Davidson out so as not to insult people's intelligence.
Crawford simply isn’t going to be desirable due to his contract. Jackson is a Nelson favorite and Rowell tied his wagon to him last summer. Although he’s overpaid, Maggette could have some value if paired with other player(s).
We have two young, inexpensive players with p-p-p-p-potential (spit it out) but who'd have to be packaged together and/or paired with contract(s) to match to fetch a starting PF much less an All Star: Randolph & Wright. Randolph’s stock is certainly on the rise, Wright, more quietly, is acquiring a body of work that can be assessed. Both could be starters in the league down the line, and maybe more. But it’s still maybe. And please don't even suggest moving either of them for another PG. We do not need another PG (see below) and we should never trade big for small again.
So, that leaves Monta and Andris as our only legit talent who also have reasonable contracts that would be the center-piece of a trade for a starting caliber PF. Monta is coming off an injury and hasn't sustained a stretch of playing healthy yet, so other GMs may be a bit wary still. Andris may be more valuable to GSW than he'd be to many other clubs due to our style & lack of depth, but that's just a guess.
Trading Andris to land a PF doesn't make us enough better that we’d improve our position dramatically in the West. So we might entertain the right trade using Monta (ya, I know, blasphemy. name a better option and I'm all ears)
Target a PG or PF? We have Ellis & Jackson slated to start next year, backed up by Crawford (who isn't likely to be traded nor opt out) & CJ (Marco, improvement noted, is not a PG). We need a Bosh/Amare-type PF more than a PG. (The fact both are FA-to-be yet we can't even entertain that option thanks to prior FO decisions makes this hurt a bit more, but reasonable arguments have been made for why we weren’t likely to land them as FA anyway.) Add the right PF and everyone else slides into place: Turiaf backs up Andris and we have the C position locked, Wright backs up at PF if he’s not dealt.
If we could trade Maggette + Randolph + another role player for the right PF, would you?
We'd be stronger inside, use Maggs' contract and AR's potential to land a legit PF to pair with Andris and Monta and Jax. Slide in remaining role players at SF. With Crawford off the bench we'd have scoring + rebounding & defense (Turiaf).
If we had to trade Monta + Wright + another role player for a legit PF?
(Skeptic & goldenboy your votes don't count, we know, we know ...). We'd slide Crawford into the starting PG alongside Jax, draft an heir apparent, and use CJ as a backup. Randolph could be used at both backup PF & SF, perhaps in concert with Maggette, so we’d still be strong offensively.
Do you want to stand pat?
We aren't getting squat without losing Monta or Andris, and/or Randolph/Wright + Maggette. If you don't want to allow for that possibility then we are relying on the same cast of characters to develop and take us to the promised land - anyone want to go into next season replacing Kurz and Davidson with just our middling draftees (based upon our current position in a weak draft)?
Nice corner we're in, eh?
Do we stand pat & draft, or do we have to entertain moving Monta and/or Randolph to realistically compete in the West? Truth hurts, but anything less isn't realistic.