Bobcats Trade Rumor: Felton to Dallas?

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What Felton and May get you these days...

Another month, another weird trade rumor.  This one has some serious legs apparantly as the ‘Cats were all but ready to send Raymond Felton, Sean May and Nazr Mohammed to Dallas in a three team deal that would return Thunder backup PG Earl Watson and Mavs backup C Desagna Diop to Charlotte.  ESPN.com’s Mark Stein reports that the deal is currently “dormant” and that once DJ Augustin returns from his “abdominal strain/sports hernia” the deal may go down.

Some quick thoughts on the potential trade:

1. I really hate to keep bringing this up but if Felton/May get dealt together in this trade, we’re basically saying that instead of trading the two (as the 5th and 13th pick in the 2005 draft) for Portland’s #3 pick that year (your choice of Chris Paul or Deron Williams), we’ll instead hold on to them for four modestly-to-completely unproductive seasons and then unload them to Dallas for DeSagna-freakin’-Diop.  You gotta love being a Bobcats fan.

2. That said…this deal could turn out to be somewhat positive for the Bobcats.  If DJ is your man at the point for the future, then you could do a lot worse than Earl Watson.  The 29 year old has pretty much equaled Raymond’s PER over 7 years in the League and is more accustomed to playing in a backup capacity.  At $6.2mil and $6.4mil over this season and next, he’s paid about $2mil more this year than Raymond but he’ll come off of the books completely before the summer of 2010.  Yeah, Earl won’t provide the “heart” that Ray Felton has brought over the last four seasons in Charlotte but he won’t provide any of the “I’m going to drive to the hole at the end of the game indescriminately and throw up a shot and see what happens” as well.  We all like Raymond but his leaving the team won’t be as big of a hole as some might think.

3. DeSagana Diop coming to the ‘Cats is both a plus and a minus.  On the plus side, he provides a very good defensive presence in the lane as a backup C or together with Emeka when the team plays against the likes of the Cavs, etc.  Yeah, his offense sucks, but I’ll take 82 games of Diop playing defense and altering shots over Nazr laboring and incessantly fouling any day.  On the minus side, Diop’s contract is for roughly the same amount per year as Nazr’s but with 2 MORE additional seasons.  Not sure if I want to be paying my one-dimensional backup Center $7mil per in 2012 but hell, the world’s going to end in 2012 anyway so may as well go out in style.  Plus, Diop’s only 26 so we’ll only be paying him until he’s 30.

4. Sean May gets to eat all the Tex-Mex his heart desires.  And he can try out East Texas Burger.  As J.T. from “Planet Terror” would say, “Best in Texas, heh-heh.”

5. The minute that the JRICH/Diaw-Bell trade went down everybody from the local Charlotte online forums all the way up to the major sports networks trashed MJ and Coach Brown.  But guess what, since the trade the ‘Cats have played .500 ball, have looked more balanced, hungry and overall more like a pro-team.  So I’m giving LB the benefit of the doubt on this one.  He clearly sees that DJ is PG to run the show when the game is on the line and that getting another 7′ foot/280lb shot-blocker in the process is going to make the team that much more defensively capable.

Take a look at Boris Diaw’s post trade numbers btw.  Bell‘s too.  Now compare that to JRICH.

The Suns are getting around 17pts, 4 boards, and 2.5 assists per.  The ‘Cats get back a combined 25pts, 7.5 assists and 10 boards.  Not too shabby.

6. DIRECTION:  With all of this, we’re still looking at the ‘Cats building around Okafor, Augustin, Diaw, and (if he doesn’t get traded) G-Force.  They’ll have a decent bench with pro-depth and around $20mil to spend come 2010 if they can recruit someone to come play in Charlotte.  Hardly “State of Suck” worthy in my estimation.

-ASChin

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14 Responses to “Bobcats Trade Rumor: Felton to Dallas?”

  1. David Arnott
    January 12, 2009 at 2:01 am #

    Assume this deal happens, and the Cats act logically from here on out. In the Summer of 2010, Nazr for Diop is a wash, and Felton and May aren't going to be back beyond their qualifying offer years, anyway. What does this do? It adds Diop for another few years beyond what Mohammed's deal was. Remember that we've got two lottery picks coming our way that we've gotta pay unless we sell them, which makes little sense. We have to deal Diaw to make any real cap room.

  2. Adam
    January 12, 2009 at 3:19 am #

    David-

    If we use your number of $61mil for the 2010 salary cap, then that would leave the 'Cats (as currently configured with or without the Diop trade) at around $20mil below. Now you are right about the lottery picks. A top 5 pick would account for something like $4mil a year and a top 13 would average out to something like DJ's deal at around $2.5mil per. You also assume that the 'Cats won't make the playoffs next year. I don't see that happening. Hell, all they'll have to do is play as good as they are now for a whole season and they'll slide right in to the East's 7th or 8th seed. And if they do that, the pick goes to Denver anyway. So we're looking at no more than maybe an additional $6.5mil for the one or two rookies. That's takes them out of the top tier list of FAs (seriously, who thinks Bosh/Wade/Lebron is gonna sign with the Bobcats?) but puts them in the running for a second tier star (Josh Howard, Tay Prince, Pau Gasol) or in the middle of sign & trade talks.

  3. Jaxon
    January 12, 2009 at 6:58 am #

    I understood the JRich/Diaw-Bell trade. Brown is a defensive coach which JRich lacked… and his offense wasn't consistently winning games for us.

    But this one makes no sense, unless you just want to unload Felton. I just can't see any way that this trade does anything but make us worse?

    C'mon Brown! After the Panther's debacle, this city desperately needs something exciting to happen!

  4. morestuff
    January 12, 2009 at 8:35 am #

    Adam – I'm assuming you're looking at HoopsHype's numbers, which currently lists us as having 41.5 million on the books for 2010.

    The catch is that only 5 players account for that number. Adding in the 2 million it'll take to pick up D.J.'s option, it goes up to 43.5M. Sure, we could spend 12-15 million on a star free agent, but that would only leave some spare change to spend on the remaining 9 players. That'd be a bunch of scrubs.

  5. Adam
    January 12, 2009 at 8:54 am #

    Thanks morestuff.

    All I can say is… It worked for Boston. Bring back Eddie House!

    Seriously, after picking up DJ's option and signing the "second tier star" you're looking at 7 total players on the roster (using Hoopshype's numbers). Add one or two of the rookies that we previously talked about (picks in this years draft and next) and we're at 8-9 players of "value." Still means that you'd have to find 3-5 more stiffs (hopefully more in the mold of Juwan Howard and less in the mold of Othella Harrington) to round out practice. I think you'd also have to keep Ajinca on the roster as well and pick up his team option for the year as one of the "stiffs" at $1.4mil. Maybe by that time the kid might actually be useful.

    It might take a little brain power (something 'Cats fans aren't used to seeing in the front office) but a serious FA signing in 2010 can be done.

  6. Johnny J
    January 12, 2009 at 2:46 pm #

    I really hope this deal goes down. Larry Brown does not care about FA's in 2010. He wants to put this team in a position to win now! And in this league young, solid 7footers with playoff experience are at a premium. Bottom line, defense wins games; Brown took a front line of Mutombo, T.Hill and G. Lynch to the finals. The X factor Diaw will get Okafor and Diop easy shots. If they can control possessions on D and limit second chance opportunities, the cats will be in the playoffs this year guaranteed.

  7. Reggie
    January 12, 2009 at 6:24 pm #

    wow, first off let me say that as my first time here, well done! refreshing blog that doest paste and copy crap from the AP or ESPN! keep up the good work!

    but as a bobcats fan, its always hard to see one of your better players go. hell, i praticly cried when JRich left. but i am learning to trust LB.

    im ok with giving away felton, but please, lets get some good quality players in return. i think we could send felton and get a starting SG or a good backup SF.

    speaking of SF, i dont see why we would trade gforce/crash for any reason besides salary dump, and i highly doubt LeBran is dying to come to Charlotte in 2010.

    i dont think this trade will get us to the playoffs, but it MAY get us to 40 wins. lets face it, that 2005 draft will go down as possibly the third biggest mistake in MJ's carrer (behind morrison and kwame) and the more that i think about us having talents like chris paul, deron williams, rudy gay, andrew bynum (yea, we could have taken him at 13 i think. instead of McMay).

    but as much as i dont want this trade to go down, it probably is. and if felton leaves, i want him to do good. hes earned it. him and gerald are probably the only two cats that come out and play every night (well, excluding that washington game)

  8. Adam
    January 12, 2009 at 7:34 pm #

    Thanks Reggie.

    Y'know, I've been thinking about these moves (or rumored moves) and the pattern seems to be bringing back "role player veteran" types to the 'Cats in exchange for Charlotte "local stars" with no playoff experience and a history of living within a losing culture. While the 'Cats rarely make out in the raw talent end of these trades, they do bring back guys who've been in the playoffs and have been well coached.

    This is why I foresee not only Felton moving along but also Wallace at some point. Looking back at GForce's comments post-Bucks game a few weeks ago (the "classic Bobcats" line), I think it's safe to say that on some level Gerald EXPECTS this team to lose (or not get the calls) and Coach Brown is going to need a different mentality from his starters if this team is going to consistently do anything. I think it is safe to say that the only Bobcat any of us should get used to seeing in Orange/Blue uniform is Okafor–other than that, everyone else is up for grabs.

  9. E
    January 13, 2009 at 3:48 am #

    "Dormant" is the word that keeps being used about the status of this potential trade. Interesting word — the implication is that it could come back to life at any time. I'm guessing that when DJ is ready to come back, this deal goes down.

    Unless, of course, someone comes along in the meantime with a better offer for Felton. That would be nice…

  10. mike15
    January 13, 2009 at 3:59 am #

    This is just my opinion of the matter, but it could very likely be that this "deal" was leaked by "sources" (which have yet to be named) in order to put the word out that all players involved are definitely on the trading block. This would be the "for sale" sign to the rest of the league that not only is Felton available, but so is Diop, Watson, and Mohammed.

    Did any news outlet get wind of the JRich/Dudley-for-Bell/Diaw/Singletary deal before it was announced? I don't remember a single word until it went down. I think the front office has a certain way they go about doing things, and I don't think leaking info weeks before the action is their style.

    Felton will be gone soon, but I think it will wait until we have a healthy Augustin and it's likely he'll be somewhere other than Dallas.

  11. Josh
    January 13, 2009 at 11:47 pm #

    anybody else see Brook Lopez score 31 the other night? sure, DJ's been a nice surprise, but clearly he's duplicating a lot of what they already had in Felton, which is why they're moving the latter. I don't know about you guys, but I'd be a lot happier right now with Felton and Lopez than Augustin and Diop.

  12. Reggie
    January 14, 2009 at 7:08 am #

    true. ill take lopez that night. but one guy i saw made a good point. mimicking felton, DJ is just as good as the rest of them. look at this: feltons numbers are better than derrick rose's, and obviously felton isnt rose.

    but with DJ duplicating felton: name another young PG other than CP3 (who should be in charlotte MJ!!!!) and Deron Williams who are putting up better numbers than Felton?

    not than many hunh?

    the point is (no pun intended. get it, point. im talking about PGs………never mind) that sure, DJ hasnt had a 31 point night, and the cats needed a big, but i think long term this DJ/Felton Diaw combo is better than a Felton Lopez combo strictly due to the versitility of Diaw. no other reason. im predicting a tripple double for Diaw in the future. maybe next year.

  13. Adam
    January 14, 2009 at 5:20 pm #

    Lopez is alright but I'd rather have Okafor in the middle and you couldn't really play them both for any significant stretch at a time because Brook's too stiff to guard athletic PFs and Emeka's already proven that he's not fit for it either.

    DJ will be fine. Once he gets back into shape, he'll be a very good floor leader who'll be a bit of a defensive liability because of his size but a huge offensive weapon because of his speed, decision making, shooting ability and free throw accuracy.

    Of all of the dumb drafting mistakes that this franchise has made over their five years, taking DJ over Lopez isn't one of them.

  14. Papa Irish
    January 15, 2009 at 11:59 am #

    Would yall be open to unloading Raja Bell or Adam Morrison to free up cap space?

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