Since the Portland Trail Blazers won't get a game-changer like Dwight Howard or Deron Williams in free agency, I suggest a two-year tank job involving this lockout-shortened season -- which has already swirled down the drain -- as well as next season.
Yes, a two-year tank job. A true rebuild.
The minimum payroll threshold next season will once again be 85% of $58,044,000, which is $49,337,400. Yet, since Brandon Roy's amnestied salary counts against the salary floor, Portland's potential minimum payroll will be just under $33 million after counting Roy's $16,460,538 payout.
Financially, it'd make sense to tank and cut costs at the same time. That's 'cause countless fans often turn their backs -- particularly when it comes to buying tickets -- when a franchise goes through a true rebuilding process, even if it's much-needed. Since ticket sales would drop in both price and amount sold, a way to compensate for that lost revenue would be to spend less on player salaries.
And yeah, I realize that Paul Allen probably doesn't have the stomach -- or basketball acumen -- to trudge through two years of rebuilding in earnest. Yet, if the proposal is presented to him in a way that could get him running this franchise in the black, then he might just bite.