Okay, so for whatever reason, Orlando is talking to Washington about acquiring Gilbert Arenas for Vince Carter. You'll also notice that they drafted Daniel Orton, which could signal a move back to a traditional lineup where Rashard Lewis plays his natural position at 3, or it could mean they are willing to deal one of their long-term big men (Gortat or Bass). Howard pretty much said he wanted some changes, and while Orlando sounds stupid for giving up an expiring contract for a gun-brandishing, cap-killing guy like Arenas, if they're serious, here's how we could get involved:
Washington gets Vince Carter ($17.3 mil) and Troy Murphy ($11.9 mil).
Washington outgoing salaries=$22.5 Washington incoming salaries=$29.2
Orlando outgoing salaries=$28 Orlando incoming salaries=$21.3
Indiana outgoing salaries=$15.5 Indiana incoming salaries=$15.5
So, by the rules, Washington is allowed to take back the $6.5 million in excess salaries because they're under the cap. The other two teams either break even or take back less.
So here's what we end up with:
Indiana does it because it addresses the team's three biggest needs: Starting PG, starting SG and athletic, floor-running PF. Meanwhile, it nets something for Murphy now instead of waiting for the free agent period to probably yield nothing, and it doesn't cost the team anything in the short-term. As you can see, the salaries exactly match. Nelson's a viable NBA starter at point, who, besides his injury problems, is a helluva deal at under $7 mil. He'd obviously need a landing spot if the Magic acquired Arenas. And Foye could start at SG until George was ready to make the position transition. The Wizards have already said they're not picking up his RFA tender for $4.8 mil, so this would put him in a situation to get playing time as a starting two-guard and part-time backup PG for a raise on what he was going to make anyway (though it might be slightly less than what he's worth in the open market, which I assume is something close to the mid-level exception). Bass is the sweetest part of the deal. He's no star, yet, but could certainly shine in a system where his only responsibilities are to hustle, crash boards and play aggressively on offense. He compliments Hibbert perfectly and is just the type of athletic big man, capable of playing some D and running the floor, the Pacers need to upgrade the frontcourt. On the downside, the Pacers would take back ALL long-term deals and would give up a future pick. But since we've established they're probably not signing any big name free agents next summer anyway, why not improve in a way that doesn't cost any money right now?
Orlando does it for obvious reasons. Despite acquiring Arenas's horrid contract, they're saving what will amount to $7 million in dollar-for-dollar taxes they'd have to pay otherwise (since they're well over the luxury tax threshold), and they'd be ridding the team of Carter, who's worn out his welcome. Obviously, this is a stupid move on their part, but they're already talking about it. Why not sweeten it up a little and soften the blow by saving some cash up front? Besides, they'd be gaining a pick, and a couple cheap youngsters (Rush and Sol Jones) in the process. The downside for Orlando is clearly Arenas, but again, they're the ones already considering him.
Washington does it because it's a no-brainer. They basically pay $7 million in cap space they weren't going to use this year anyway so some idiot will take Arenas off their hands and they don't have to buy him out, play him out of position, or risk him poisoning John Wall. And this way they get to deal away Arenas without packaging one of their own picks (they get to use ours). Washington's the team that makes out like bandits here, as they'll enter next summer with almost $30 mil in expiring contracts they didn't have before. You think some free agent won't jump at a max deal to play with John Wall? Carmelo might have his ears open...
So for the Pacers, we'd be looking at a rotation of:
Yeah, there's some long-term money in there, but none of these guys we'd be acquiring are stiffs, none are too old, and we'd still have, including Tinsley, around $30 million coming off the books next summer to fill out the roster with role players.