If we are going to make a run at anyone, it has to be this summer. Why do people think we will be flush with cash in the summer of 2013? Using this
as a guide. Any attempt to have money next summer relies on us going into next season with only Duhon as a PG and only Big Baby and Dwight up front. If Dwight signs an extension kiss, any money goodbye. If we try to fill holes this summer, they will have to be one year deals, but what kind of player is going for that? All the good players think they deserve to be signed long-term. And you can't use this previous offseason as a guide because free agency and training camp opened at practically the same time. Guys were desperate. How do we get rid of Richardson and Turkoglu? No one with that many expiring contracts is giving them up to take on our dead weight.
Basically, the options are to 1) get rid of everyone we can this summer and be horrible because of it which will lead Dwight to leave and no free agent to want to come in his place 2) try desperately to trade Turkoglu/Richardson on draft night (which will be hard unless we get a GM pronto), hope Jameer opts out, let Ryan walk, and land someone this summer.
Am I missing something?
This summer we have nothing but the MLE and cutting space against Turk, JRich and Duhon is stupid instead of letting them expire and keeping better players now, or having even more space. Deron ain't coming, and Nash is the only FA left who's worth our full MLE or any minor space we can get.
You're options are wrong. If Jameer opts in, then he's a 1 year expiring, but also set to have bird rights in Orlando since the 2013 FA's aren't really PG's like Paul, Nash, Deron. You can say Jameer opted out all you want, but Jameer hasn't made the decision yet. More on this later.
The only player this team has to start gutting now this summer, is probably Ryan, its possible to get him on a 1 year expiring deal like Jameer, but not as likely. This is you're granted point, but it's not the cap killer like you suggest. More on this later. The only other sacrifices are more in asset-holding than anything else, we'd have to use 1 year deals only with MLE, exceptions, and also not look at taking Fran over unless we're confident in his contract-to-performance value and his tradeability (Minny with a Rubio reunion? Magic get future 1st down the line in 2014?). The only other significant 2013 cap hits would be Turkoglu at 6mil and then Duhon/J Rich at around 1.5 and 1.9mil~ and Davis at 6.4mil or 1.6-2mil-ish range.
When we're cutting all that space from Turk, J Rich, Duhon's deals in the 2013 summer (not including any trades at all), we've saved up around 11-12mil in cap space (like 15-16mil if Davis is cut also but he's all time high on performance and trade value at the moment) that we can't get for this summer right now (unless you want to cut the likes of Jameer, JJ, Ryan, Liggins, etc......). That space now is enough to not only give us space, but if we back loaded a contract to Jameer or Ryan, we would still retain them on the 2013 books while still gaining cap space. (Now if we retained Jameer, Ryan, AND Fran, even with backloaded deals we'd probably not be reserving enough cap space at that point. It has to be one, maybe maybe two of those three retained). So, again, you're looking at the same roster, with 1 year deals added and only one or two of Jameer, Ryan, Fran subtracted. If you're one of the rookie proponents, this means, we're still going to be a great team because Harper, Clark will step up, or Ish will at PG. (I would rather resign Jameer cheap on a backloaded deal if he doesnt opt into his 1 yr deal over Fran, and probably Ryan too. Ryan's clearly the keeper with Dwight but maybe the new coach can get BBD/Harper/Clark working better alongside Dwight. This also opens up the spot for Josh Smith.) This version would be the same roster, minus Ryan, added 1 year deals. Not exactly the roster you thought'd it be in the original post.
As for 2013 cap space, the FA class is so loaded. My dream scenario is getting Chris Paul and James Harden but settling for either one. We have space for two 13mil-ish contracts also, so after the pipe dream is over (unless we do a frontloaded, max type offer sheet at Harden with the before proposition to OKC to trade picks/player for Harden's offer sheet unmatched), we can still go for a very loaded team anyways with more realistic targets at Monta Ellis and Andre Iguodala, or Josh Smith, or the couple other RFA young stars.
The cap space hits are reduced via no trades occuring at all like this: 1.5mil hit for Duhon waived, 6mil hit for Turk waived, BBD and J Rich range from 12.6mil hit to 3-3.7mil hit because of Stretch/Cut provision being applicable to them. Dwight and Jameer or Ryan is going to be like a 27mil hit. Total is 35-42mil hit in 2013 with a cap level around 58 leaving around 22-14mil cap space (please realize Im not being detailed here and you should pull up mine or a couple other threads from the CBA talks ending when we already projected it with cap holds and more accurate info).
At that point, you go away from worst case scenario (unable to make any trades at all and making 14-22mil 2013 cap space anyways) and work at trying to realistically come up with one-three plausible trades to lower cap space hits in 2013. Restructuring Q Rich's contract since he is on a 2013 PO could save up to 1mil-ish maybe also, or something at least. Then you try to package the #19 pick and 1-2 prospects like Clark, Liggins with Turk (who represents the only real 2013 cap hit at 6mil) for anything that expires in 2013, even if its a bigger cap hit during the season.
(Off the wall example: Show CHA you can save them 6mil THIS next season by taking on Maggette and Diops' contracts, while ALSO GIVING them a #19 pick in a loaded draft and offering 1-2 prospects like Clark, Liggins (maybe any player that gets the deal done). The only take-away for CHA: While Turk is also an "expiring" deal, in reality, the CHA books will have to pay him 6mil of his 12mil 2013 year as part of Turk's minimum guaranteed portion of his final year, unguaranteed year. This makes the 14-22mil cap space projection now 20-28mil 2013 cap space). *I made this deal as lopsided as I could for CHA to display realism. Taking on Diop and Maggette is more money now than paying Turk, even tho both expire in 2013, and the pick plus player(s) is a king's ransom imo. But the general idea is there, maybe now without the pick included can the deal still be made.) (CHA has insane cap space for 2013 so 6mil from Turk is not only not that bad, but probably essential to minimally maintaining a noncommittal-type cap floor that is required and larger than the old CBA's cap floor, meanwhile Turk would fill Maggette's ball handling spots as a better system passer for the younger prospects to gain experience with than the drive-to-the-bucket and high usage Maggette. For us, Maggette should bring us more driving and FT's while Diop should be a solid backup C/big for Dwight. Thus we maintain playoff competitiveness at the same time.)
Finally, the big men situation is the only other significant cap hit besides Turk. Mainly if we kept Ryan AND Jameer, or any two of the Ryan, Jameer, Fran FA's this summer. We'd have to find a way to trade one before the midseason deadline, but those three (or if we trade Glen's deal) all represent good performing players, ergo requiring less imagination to see a deal.
While it would be nice to trade J Rich off for a good pick or cheaper prospect, in reality he (and even Glen, Fran*) could be Stretched/Cut from the new CBA provisions, and their cap hits would only be in the range of 1.4-1.9mil cap hit each (depending on my lost details), and thus, it's not a big deal move as many think. The only big deal moves to watch out for is: how much 2013 space we lost this summer (if any, at all), and if Turk can be traded. So, as you can see, there is much less gutting than anyone thinks (unless you really are trying to gut for summer right now with no viable FA's realistically available..). And the possibilities of such an upgraded 2013 roster stand out so clear. (This is where Walsh did a similar process in NY and I'm hoping he comes to ORL to help us in this strategy and onwards).