I firmly believe they should be patient. The current cap situation is so bad they have 2 options: Be patient and wait for some of these contracts to roll off the books or keep living in the moment and try to plug gaps that allow us to squeak into the playoffs. When you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging!
Here is what I would do this year:
1) Wait until the deadline to see what to do with Nazr. If we're in the playoff hunt and he's a key contributor, I'd hold onto him and let him expire. If we trade him, it needs to be for a player that expires in 2012.
2) Ride it out. Don't make any trades that affect long term financial flexibility. For the sake of my example, let's assume we traded Nazr for a player that expires in 2012 with roughly the same salary - 7 million.
Here is the plan for next year (When we make our move):
1) We have some expirings in 2012 that will finally open the door for some cap flexibility (19 million). We'll also have the pieces that could be very attractive to some teams at the deadline.
- Nazr trade guy (7 million)
- Diaw (9 million)
- Najera (2.5 million)
2) Obviously the Nazr trade guy and Diaw should be moved at the deadline or before.
3) We won't be able to trade all of these guys but let the rest expire. But 2 guys with 7+ million expiring contracts is a good situation to be in.
4) Start plugging in some high value free agent deals as well since we should have some cap space. Don't overpay. Actually, don't ever overpay!
1) Too far out to go into too much detail but we'll have the Carroll, Jack, and Diop expirings. These total 22 million. I think the key is Jack. He'll be nearing 35 and would be a valuable asset to a contending team, barring he's still healthy. This could be the year we really net a guy and can afford to take back a long term deal.
I know this will tick off a lot of guys who want to win now but I don't think that's prudent given the Bobcats situation. Small market teams cannot keep taking on long term debt to sustain a fringe playoff team. The good news is I don't think we have to blow the team up and rebuild entirely. We just need to be patient with a fringe playoff team for 2 years and then start making our move. Rome wasn't built in a day and it will take awhile to fix the financial mess MJ has inherited (even if it is partially his fault). If he keeps going all in, we could be sucked down into full on rebuilding mode and 20-62 seasons again.