Post-Chandler Trade: Is Iverson the Answer?

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By signing Allen Iverson, the Bobcats could salvage the upcoming season

Could Iverson salvage the Bobcats season?

I did a little math last night.  Nothing complicated like you’d see over at 82games.com, Queen City Hoops or with John Hollinger.  I’m not mathematically brilliant like those guys.  Just some basic addition.

If you take the Bobcats current top eight players Point Per Game averages from last season and add them up, you get 90.6 points per game.  Last season, the Bobcats finished 30th out of 30 teams in scoring at 93.6 (The League average was around 100 per game).

The Bobcats leading scorer from last season, Gerald Wallace, averaged 16 and a half points a game.  Diaw put up a career high 15.0 ppg after the trade from Phoenix.  Those are your two top offensive threats, Bobcats fans.  Are you as worried as I am?

It’s pretty obvious that the Bobcats could benefit from A.I.’s scoring presence and we’ve talked about that here before at length.  What a lot fans might not understand is how precariously close the team is to this year’s $69.92 million luxury tax level.
After the Chandler trade, the team stands at $59.84 million and this is BEFORE re-signing Raymond Felton and shoring up their backup PF position.  And since there’s no way Bob Johnson is paying luxury tax this year, the Bobcats will basically have to choose between re-signing Raymond or bringing in Iverson.

With such a dearth of scoring on the roster, I’m not sure if it’s even a choice.  The Bobcats need a scorer and Iverson is the last one out there on the open market.

Now, you could argue that Detroit, San Antonio and New Orleans all made the playoffs last season scoring less than 97 points per game.  The only difference is is that all of those teams have guys on their rosters who could drop 30 on any given night.  As much as I love Gerald and Boris, I wouldn’t put them into the scoring class of Rip Hamilton, Chris Paul, David West, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker or Manu just yet.

TURNING FELTON INTO AN ASSET

Would Golden State take Raymond Felton for Brandon Wright?

Signing A.I. to a two year full mid-level deal starting at $5.85 million would leave a little less than $2 million (via bi-annual exception) this offseason to sign a dependable backup PF.

Since Felton is a quality player who the Bobcats invested four seasons in, you wouldn’t want to just withdrawal the qualifying offer and renounce his rights when you could get something out of him in a sign-and-trade.

Of the three or so NBA teams that are currently without a decent starting PG, perhaps the best fit for Raymond would be Golden State.  Would Don Nelson be interested in dealing his least favorite Tarheel (Brandon Wright) for Felton?  The Warriors don’t have a “pure” PG and instead have two shoot-first, smallish SGs in Monta Ellis and Steph Curry (as well a roster full of guys who need shots).  Maybe Nellie would be interested in a team-oriented, super-quick point for his run-and-gun offense?

As long as Raymond doesn’t sign for anything above 20% of last year’s salary, he sheds the Base Year status and could be either dealt straight-up for a player like Wright (if the Warriors have a trade exception — I couldn’t find a definitive answer) or packaged with Mohammed or Radmanovic for Speedy Claxton’s dead weight contract.

What do you guys think?  How would you improve team scoring?  Is there a trade or two out there that could bring in a better scorer than Iverson while enabling the Bobcats to retain Felton?

-ASChin

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66 Responses to “Post-Chandler Trade: Is Iverson the Answer?”

  1. reggie
    August 1, 2009 at 10:11 am #

    i think its apparent that unless Gerald and DJ have an All-Star year, and we get D-Wade, then the Cats arent going to average 95+ per game.

    we are a defensive minded team. defense does win games (and in rare cases championships), and although it may not be exciting to watch, it gets the job done.

    our D was ranked pretty high last year, so i say we take this team and if we drop 98 one night, then it was a good day.

  2. spectre
    August 1, 2009 at 11:48 am #

    Adam…you're a fan of Hollinger right? If I remember correctly every one of our starters got honorable mention in his "all defense" review.

    Pace certainly helps, just like it helped our starting 5 be 6th in the league in +/-. It's one of the ways you combat not having scorers.

    The slower pace may not be sexy, but it works.

    BTW…that trade exception idea? There are rules governing those as well (for example…they can't be combined). There are very few TEs much over a million bucks…and in these economic times teams would want compensation for giving up space. It'd be a shame to have to give up assets along with Felton just to save some money.

    The Bobcats need to get away from looking like they're run by Mickey Mouse.

  3. Adam
    August 1, 2009 at 12:08 pm #

    I'm a huge fan of Hollinger! He's great.

    From what I have read, defensive PER is still a very grey science. I would love to see how pace and scoring effect this number.

    What do you think spectre? Do you think that a team can make the playoffs scoring under 95 points a game? If no, what would you do to rectify it? Looking forward to your ideas!

  4. Adam
    August 1, 2009 at 12:50 pm #

    Also spectre, as far as trade exceptions go, you don't have to look any further than our division to find two big ones:

    Orlando (a team that could use some point guard depth especially if Jameer goes down again like last year) has a MASSIVE exception (something like $8 or $9 million) from the Hedo trade.

    Miami has a $4.3 million dollar exception from the J. O'Neal trade as well. They could definitely use an upgrade at PG, especially if they make a serious playoff push.

  5. spectre
    August 1, 2009 at 1:29 pm #

    Yeah, but Miami would never use it. With TEs a team would be taking on salary and Riley is mandated not to exceed the luxury tax. Been that way for years.

    Orlando is interesting, esp. if Nelson went down again like you said. Until this season they'd been tight with money, but it does look like they're going all out for a title.

    Maybe Felton would approve it for a title…but one other thing we haven't touched on; Bird Rights. I'd have to check, but being traded on a QO could possibly mean Felton would lose them…and since he's looking for years that would affect the % of raises he could feasibly get.

  6. Adam
    August 1, 2009 at 2:57 pm #

    I tell ya what.

    If the Bobcats opponents average 85 pts a game for the entire year, you might have to put the team in contention for Top 3 Defensive squads of All Time. (Keep in mind that Cleveland led the League last year with a beyond stellar 91.4 ppg against average)

    I like the chutzpah!

  7. Adam
    August 1, 2009 at 3:04 pm #

    mike15!

    No you didn't!

    That is the best video I've seen in months!

    I'm putting it up as a post. Even though its not about the Bobcats, it is definitely about Charlotte NBA basketball. Man, I miss the old Hornets!

  8. spectre
    August 2, 2009 at 9:51 am #

    “I tell ya what.
    If the Bobcats opponents average 85 pts a game for the entire year, you might have to put the team in contention for Top 3 Defensive squads of All Time. (Keep in mind that Cleveland led the League last year with a beyond stellar 91.4 ppg against average)

    I like the chutzpah!”

    Good thing we only have to outscore our opponent roughly half the time to get into the playoffs.

    It’s all going to depend on health (just like with most other teams).

  9. spectre
    August 3, 2009 at 8:11 am #

    Adam:

    I’ve been wondering how the main group’s numbers would look…basically to see how those scoring numbers (30th in the league) by the games pre-trade. I went over to QCH to ask Brett to run those and come to find out he already has…at least partially:

    http://www.queencityhoops.com/Optimism071509.php

    “The results: 106.7 offensive efficiency, 101.0 defensive efficiency. That offensive mark would have been 20th last season (and a large improvement over the Cats overall mark of 104.1 at 27th). Defensively, 101.0 would have placed 1st overall, by 0.2 points below Orlando.”

  10. RobC
    August 3, 2009 at 10:40 am #

    Adam:

    I love the idea of not extending Felton and signing AI to a 2 Year deal. By the time AI's contract is over DJ is ready to be iour starting PG and we can go after a backup PG in the market.

    I also beleive that AI will be great as or PG as long as Diaw is part of the starting line up. This would be similar to what the Magics did with Nelson and Hedo. AI would be our #1 scoring option while Diaw will be the one actually running the offense. Another thing is that with Chandler in the lineup this will be a run-&-gun team similar to Phoenix, but with one HUGE difference: our complete starting lineup (AI, Bell, Wallace, Diaw & Chandler) is pretty darn good in the defensive side (The suns never where good in defense). Even our 2nd unit is not too bad in defense with (Henderson, Brown & Diop). That could actually work.

    A sign & trade with Felton could be great, we can try to see if Golden State might be willing to get Felton straigh for Anthony Randolph instead of Brendan Wright. That would be a dream come true. By the time Diaw is a FA, Randolph will be the next Rashard Lewis.

  11. Jared
    August 3, 2009 at 5:11 pm #

    Randolph is likely untouchable, at least for Felton. Randolph had a great summer league and has some buzz going into next season. Wright is more realistic because it's apparent that Nelson doesn't want to give him any playing time.

  12. RobC
    August 4, 2009 at 3:41 am #

    I know Jared, but trading Felton for Wright is a waste of a good asset in Felton. Wright is not that good. He will do nothing for this team. He is way to skiny, is not a good defender and is way to raw. Wright is not the kind of guy for whom you should trade your best PG, which happens to be one of the top 10-15 PG in the league, (whether people in NC like him or not).

  13. tommy
    August 4, 2009 at 4:48 am #

    i love felton but in all honesty DJ is a better point guard and our future. Hew was as good if not better than felton last season. He shot the ball way better and he proved he can run the team. not as many assist as felton but he got to the line more and shot 90% when he got there. Love felton but his time is done here in NC. Wright may not be the best PF in the game but he is talented and we need him. This late in the game with most of the good big men in FA gone (Warrick was the last good one left) Wright would be a welcomed sight. with Wright TC and Crash in the front court…. thats a long athletic group of guys that can defend and run the floor.

  14. Jared
    August 4, 2009 at 5:46 pm #

    RobC,

    I never said Felton for Wright was a fair deal per se. It would be a salary move more than anything. If you’ll read all the comments you’ll see that I think he should play Felton along side Iverson (hypothetically of course). I was just remarking that Randolph is probably untouchable.

  15. Fan
    August 5, 2009 at 6:58 am #

    You ungrateful ignorant people. Felton has lead the Bobcats well. There are great players out there who have bad seasons. Raymond has been in the NBA a short period of time. Have you idiots ever heard of giving someone time and a chance. You can't do what he do, so you all need to shut up. Raymond, Allen both are great players. When Raymond carry the Bobcats all the way, you all will eat your words. I bet all of you are fat couch, chicken eatting stank disgusting, don't have a love life haters. Leave Raymond alone, he has enough pressure reading mess that you dish. You sorry dogs!

  16. spectre
    August 18, 2009 at 12:02 am #

    For the AI fans:

    "If you think that I am just going away-Think again! I am getting ready for the NBA season. Waiting for the call. [b]Charlotte[/b], Miami, NY. about 3 hours ago from web"

    From twitter.

    If we make him an offer (which means LB thinks he can make it work) than I'm fully behind it. If nothing else he'd bring an X factor and get the talking heads thinking about us again.

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