You mean the articles written 12 days before the one I quoted? and the comments that you wrote under her article?
I don't think Doc and Ray would have had those quotes if all they could offer was the minimum. Even West came out after Ray's quotes and admitted he had the choice to go to the Celtics and chose the Pacers. If the Celtics couldn't have offered him the 8M/season, he could have just said that.
I admit I don't know the details of how NO and Boston would have made it work, but all indications were that the JO/West trade could have still happened without the Paul 3 way deal.
Yes, the articles from people who are paid to follow what the team/league is doing on a day to day basis. Not a columnist working on a Shaq book.
Doc and Ray aren't GMs. They hear they had David West locked up, then they didn't get him, so they're disappointed they didn't get him when asked. Not surprising. I don't think a guy like Ray who's OCD with his focus on improving himself thinks, ooh the David West deal fell through, let me hop online and check out the salary cap rules why that might've happened. I think he just says oh shit, guess Sasha is playing if Paul gets hurt, that sucks.
Why would West after signing with Indiana, come out and say Id've preferred to sign with Boston but the trade fell through, so I signed with Indiana as a backup plan? That helps him how? I'm sure the Indiana fans he'll be playing in front of for the next two years would've enjoyed hearing they were his fallback plan.
And no, there are zero indications the JO/West trade could've happened without the Paul 3 way deal. Every guy reporting on it says NO couldn't find a team to flip him to.