I really like LMA. The more I've thought about it, the more I think this is the only scenario in which I'd consider blowing things up and trading him:
1) Trade Scenario (Plus: #10 to Orlando, #1 and #2 to Portland)
2) Draft Oladipo, Noel, Nate Wolters, Trevor Mbakwe, and Norvel Pelle.
3) Waive Harrington and Pav.
4) Throw 22 million at Howard.
4b) When that doesn't work, try something else.
5) Maynor bla O'Neil bla bla
Why Portland does it: We shore up our bench at the 2, 3, and 4; get roughly $22 mil in FA money; and have an exciting, young core that is set to Lillard time.
Why Cleveland does it: LMA
Why Orlando does it: They get the point guard that they've been wanting in Bledsoe, have a microwave-ready starting 5, and still retain a lotto pick.
Why LA does it: They get some good talent in Afflalo and Gee in exchange for Butler's big contract and a backup PG.
Our team looks like this:
Lillard, Maynor, Wolters
Oladipo, Waiters, Barton
Batum, Harkless, Papa
Noel (or 22-million-dollar PF), O'Quinn, Mbakwe, Pelle (draft-and-stash)
Noel (or 22 million-dollar C), O'Neil, Leonard
Our options are decent. Josh Smith, Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, and David West are all (technically) available at PF; Dwight Howard, Nikola Pekovic, Al Jefferson (again), and Tiago Splitter are all available at C. We also become a viable option for sign-and-trade scenarios involving any FA on the market.
The team is young, and with a lot to prove. However, each of the pieces has a terrific upside, and we may end up with several of the best contracts in the NBA without worrying that our star PF will pass his prime before we can contend.
Again, I like LMA. This is just a fun, pass-the-time option.
What do you think?