And we could get it without even using RLEC.
Team 1A on the lux-tax list is Washington, which needs to shed an estimated $6 million to $7 million from its payroll to dodge the tax next year. Wizards GM Ernie Grunfeld insists he can do this is in ways that do not include breaking up the troika of Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler and Gilbert Arenas, including packaging the team's lottery pick with a bad contract.
The likelihood of Washington's pick this year being worse than top 5 is almost nil, and they are definitely in the running for the worst record -- only the Kings and Clips are likely to compete for that. That would be a very valuable pick -- and apparently they are willing to sacrifice it for $6-7 million in salary savings.
This has caused me to succumb to temptation -- my first trade post ever.
Channing Frye's expiring contract plus our $3 million trade exception plus our first round pick this year to Washington for Etan Thomas plus their unprotected lottery pick.
Gives them a young guy who still might become something with some PT, saves them $3 million in salaries this year, solves their tax fears for next year, puts them clear of the luxury tax for this year, and gives them a first round pick with which they might be able to pick up a decent role player.
Gives us a very high lottery pick, which we can use to draft a very good player or as trade bait.
You can still trade RLEC plus whatever (perhaps even that first round pick) for the SF/PG of your choice.
We only do this if the pick is unprotected, because next year they could be a playoff team. That's why we probably have to include our first rounder this year, to convince them to leave it unprotected.