I've been reading here on RF and other message boards about potential trade ideas for Jermaine O'Neal to strengthen our team, and it just dawned on me: it's not going to happen. Not this year. Not unless something absolutely ridiculously fortuitous falls into our lap (like Pau Gasol for Kwame Brown type of lunacy).
Jermaine is an injury prone ex-superstar with 1 1/2 years left on his contract. His trade value right now is next to null; at the very least, he'd need to play a solid 20 game stretch to reassure GM's of his health.
We won't (and shouldn't) trade Bargnani
because teams are all looking to get him on the cheap, and that especially won't happen with how well he's been playing lately. 29 GM's just let out a collective sigh after Andrea's recent play.
The plan has always been to develop Bargnani
internally; on draft night Colangelo said that he was a 3-4 year project, and nothing has changed, except the opinions of fickle, fairweather fans (again, including yours truly). We all think we know what Colangelo is thinking, but we really don't. We are just making biased speculation from our armchairs.
Once again, Colangelo has set us up for a nice move long term.
All of a sudden, once this season ends, Jermaine magically becomes a very valuable trade asset because he's not only a solid role player, but an expiring contract. All of a sudden, next season he may be able to net us a very good player on a bad contract. This year he's not an expiring contract, he's a salary albatross.
It is stupid to dump Jermaine for nothing this season, when he has value as both a player for us now and a trade asset next season. It is stupid to dump Jermaine for nothing, when he can still teach a few things to Andrea and Nathan Jawai, be a veteral locker room presence, and (hopefully) return healthy and help us get into the playoffs. It is stupid to dump Jermaine for nothing now because any plan that involves Jermaine-for-an-expiring-contract this season because of the massive cap space he gives us fails to consider the fact that we only have 8 players under contract for next season, and just to fill out our roster with role players will eat most of that cap space.