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

66 thoughts on “Post-Chandler Trade: Is Iverson the Answer?

  1. Jaxon

    I expected to see Wallace in a lineup like this last year when they were talking about trading him… Just not in a Bobcats uni. Where did the Bobcats go?

    Larry Brown pretty much came here last year and said to the organization, you have done everything completely wrong.

  2. Jared

    I like the idea of signing Iverson. I don't love the idea of making him our starting PG though. Though his by position numbers show that he was more effective as a PG in Denver (for context, he also had a PER of 35 when playing SF one season in Philly), his primary asset is scoring. Like many, I see him as a 2.

    He needs starters minutes. Starting AI alongside Felton not only gives Charlotte an unprecedented scorer, but 3 solid playmakers (Felts, AI, and Diaw), and intensity on defense. His 2.2 steals per game average is matched by John Stockton. Now I'm not saying AI is a superior defender to Bell, I'm saying he's going to bring full effort on both sides of the ball.

    That's my preference though. Dropping Felton instead of Bell is an interesting scenario as well. Wright is a relatively unproven commodity. His per 36 stats look good (16 pts, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks), but he hasn't played even 40 games in a season yet. I don't really see that particular deal happening though it may be worth the risk. I mean, if we're blowing up team, might as well have fun and do it right!

  3. Gregster

    Your logic on Iverson makes a lot of sense and reuniting with Larry Brown seems likes a perfect fit. Here's the only problem: A.I. is worthless and anything above veteran minimum is too much. Who is he going to guard? Forget about him guarding quick 1's and he's too small to guard 2's. On the offensive end, yes he'll score, but he'll be inefficent and shoot a low percentage. Let D.J. and Gerald get their minutes and at least lose with youth. I do, however, like the idea of dealing for Brendan Wright.

  4. spectre

    Felton is BYC if he gets a new starting salary of 5 million bucks or more…so he'll most assuredly be BYC. He also has to approve of the trade (think he'd do that for less than 5 per year?).

    The Bobcats also CAN'T withdraw the offer; the deadline for that was July 23rd.

    If you want Iverson and stay under the luxury tax hope he'll take around 2 million per year…that's about the only way it'll happen.

  5. Bobcat orange?

    I would love to get Iverson, but this still doesn't look like a realistic proposition. Why would Iverson come to Charlotte other than to play for a coach that he didn't really like, or agree with, all that much?

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/news/

    Does that sound like a great relationship to you? Something he would want to repeat for the end of his career?

    Iverson to the Bobcats has always been a pipe dream. He doesn't have any reason to play here. Besides, I'm not convinced that Iverson taking 30 shots a night is the 'answer' to anything at this point in his career.

    Iverson is going to the Clips or the Heat, somewhere he can play with some talent that can win a title, or at least make the playoffs.

    As to solving our scoring woes this season? We should sign Iverson, but we'll re-up Felton instead. I predict another season of over penetration, off balanced jumpers to finish games.

  6. spectre-

    As you and I have discussed before…do you really think that Raymond is getting more than $5 million/year? Right now they are ABSOLUTELY bidding against themselves and I can't contemplate them signing him to a multi-year contract of anything over $6 per. Prefer to have him back at the qualifying offer and make him earn a big contract next season.

    Hell, even if he does sign for over 20% of last year's salary (full mid-level) the BYC won't effect a trade like the one that I have listed above because the 'Cats would be taking back slightly less in salaries to begin with.

    Good call on the July 23rd deadline (I thought it ran until today, the 31st).

    We should all be following the Ramon Sessions situation. Not only do they both love Myrtle Beach but I'd bet that Raymond ends up signing for around the same money.

    Gregster-

    If you think Iverson would be a disaster, I think "Brendan Wright" would be an even bigger one. Doesn't he pull third shift over at the Steak and Shake?

    All-

    I'm still looking for answers. If Iverson doesn't get the call, who is going to score points for this team next year? (And if reggie says that "Ajinca will beast next year" one more time, I'm officially going to lose it.)

  7. michael raciappa

    If the Bobcats want scoring "the answer" is Dino Radja, not AI.Or someone who fits the scene around here, a Rafeal Addison or a Dana Barros would work perfect. AI is too primetime for Charlotte. If Iverson did sign with the Bobcats maybe Charlotte gets an NBA on NBC Sunday game at 3:00. Bigtime! I can here Marv Albert now shouting about womens panties and a vicous two handed slam by Kevin Duckworth.

  8. As Joey would say, "Whoah!"

    Felton better than Ariza and Charlie V?

    I thought I was the one who overvalued local players. If Felton wants $7 mil/per, then he needs to go. No way a PG who shoots a career average of 39% from the field (that's not a typo) and has never dished more than 7.4 apg earns that kind of dough. Especially with DJ waiting in the wings. Let somebody else overpay him. We've got plenty of dumb contracts already (Vlad, Diop, Mohammed). And decent backup PGs (ex. Anthony Carter) can be had for less than the bi-annual and you know that DJ wouldn't need to play 48 mpg.

    Trivia: What has a better chance of happening next year:

    a.) Felton shooting over 45% from the field (has never happened, btw).

    b.) Ajinca "beasting."

  9. spectre

    Yah…CV was so great that the Bucks didn't even extend the QO of 4.6 million. You know why? Because he gave up more than he provided. Just because you can put it in the basket does not mean you aren't still a liability.

    You do realize players' value isn't based solely on offense right? Behind Felton we had the 2nd best opponent's PER in the LEAGUE. Now let me see…isn't our coach a Defense First type of guy? Didn't he say he wants Felton back?

    Duhon got the full MLE for 3 years for Christ's sake…yet you only want to play Felton 5 per year!

    But your getting off track…tell me again: Why would Felton approve of a trade that nets him less than the qualifying offer?

  10. spectre

    Oops…LESS than 5 per year!

    BTW, it's disingenous to be quoting his career % (which is 39.9%). Why not use last year's unless you just want to show a lower number? He was at 41% last season and coincidentally…the guy who's the subject of this thread shot 42% last season. One of those guys actually plays defense…yet we're looking for ways to dump the one that does to bring in the other that doesn't?

    For the full MLE no less…what you don't want to pay Felton!

  11. Ross-

    Dino Radja would be a solid backup 4, for certain. I could see him putting down 10 and 8 off of the bench. I'm still holding out for Blair Rasmussen though.

    All-

    I'm still looking for ideas! (Yes, I'm desperate as a fan.) Is there anybody out there who the Bobcats could realistically sign or deal for that could put points on the board next season???!!!

  12. spectre

    Whoever said that he’d have to get paid less than the qualifying? My hope was that he could be signed for less than 20% over what he made last year in a sign-and-trade.

    Adam…his last year's salary was something around 4.1 million…120% of that is a little over 4.9 million.

    Read this carefully now…

    To not get into BYC he'd have to get paid 4.9 million or LESS…which is smaller than the 5.5 million qualifying offer.

    Your first post to me in this thread:

    "As you and I have discussed before…do you really think that Raymond is getting more than $5 million/year?"

    Since 5 million is less than 5.5 million it looks like YOU said it.

  13. M15-

    We need to start a new poll.

    WHO IS A BETTER VALUE OVER THE NEXT TWO NBA SEASONS:

    a.) Allen Iverson at $6 million per.

    b.) Raymond Felton at $7+ million per.

  14. spectre

    "My question to you is, as a virtual GM, would you sign Raymond Felton to a multi-year deal that paid him more than $7 million per year? And if the answer is yes, then you are both crazy and qualified to be a GM for at least 15 NBA teams."

    Nice…so if I disagree with you I'm crazy.

    If you look at the average salary and comparable PGs out there and what contracts they're under now I think Felton easily has an argument for 7 per. Due to this economy and teams not wanting to take on long contracts however this does give the Bobcats some leverage.

    As GM I would certainly hold out for the best contract I can get (after all…that would be my job), but I would not want him playing on the QO as odds are it would mean we get no compensation for him next year. We do not have the assets to let one go without compensation, so most likely in the end I'd do exactly what the team did with Emeka last year; grudgingly pay him and then look to trade him as soon as the BYC goes off.

  15. spectre

    Adam LOL…so it's went from not wanting to pay him 5 million per year to 7!

    All I said was that Felton was worth more than CV…did I also say that CV was worth 7 million?

  16. Seems like every post I read here is advocating trading Felton. What's y'alls beef? Am I the only one that thinks he's coming into his own and needs to be kept?

    Look at Chauncey Billup's stats his first couple years…very comparable to Felton's, and both were on shady teams.

  17. Dude, have a sense of humor. You didn't get that joke about being a qualified NBA GM, did you?

    Anyway, I think we're getting our signals crossed. The debate comes down to this:

    Is Felton worth a contract over the MLE?

    My position is is that he's not. And no, if you re-read what I said, I think $5 million is a great value. I still would rather him play somewhere else and get a quality big in return but that's just me. DJ is making rookie money and is ready to start. That's great value on a team with at least 3 other bloated contracts weighing them down. To add Felton and his $7+ million per deal would just further bog them down financially. And "losing" Raymond to UFA isn't the worst thing ever. The Bulls just "lost" Ben Gordon and aren't exactly crying about it heading into the season.

  18. PS – I think if the choices are Iverson at 6 per or Felton at 7+, I would still take Felton at 7+

    (not saying 7+ is an option, but if those are the two choices, the CLEAR answer is Felton. It isn't all about putting points on the board. You can score 115, but if the other team drops 125 on you, you still lose. Felton has more quality years and room for improvement. Iverson is a used car that you just drove off the lot)

  19. spectre

    Last season:

    Raymond Felton's opponent's PER = 13.0

    Allen Iverson's opponent's PER = 18.8 (PG)

    Allen Iverson's opponent's PER = 21.7 (SG)

    Felton's net difference in PER = +2.9

    Iverson's net difference in PER = -1.1 (PG)

    Iverson's net difference in PER = -4.6 (SG)

    Maybe you should do a poll.

  20. So…you are going to judge a career 27 ppg scorer by his worst season ever? A season in which he was injured, traded and misused?

    How many MVPs has Raymond won?

    How many All-Star appearances has Raymond had?

    How many All-NBA teams has Raymond made?

    How many Playoff games has Raymond played in?

    How many Finals games has Raymond played in?

    How many scoring championships has Raymond won?

    Run those stats. (HINT, Raymond's answer to all them is "ZERO")

    Please…

    A.I. has at least two good seasons left in him. Watch out.

  21. spectre

    I missed you saying that the trade above would work because we'd be taking in less salary…it wouldn't. GSW would be taking in too much salary. They only have 2 TEs (which can't be combined) and both are less than 1 million bucks.

    I think a full MLE deal is perfectly fine (which seemingly from your last post it is for you too as you just said "Is Felton worth a contract over the MLE?"). You do realize what a full MLE deal is on average don't you? Something like 6.7 per.

    BTW, comparing Gana & Vlad to Felton in saying that they would all be "bad" deals is just false. Felton is a starter, logs just under 40 mpg. Neither of the other guys come close.

  22. Stop skewing the facts. Iverson averaged over 26 ppg only a year ago with Denver. Not "8 years ago" with Philly.

    Boris would run the offense with A.I. playing next to Raja in the backcourt. This is a non-issue. Eric Snow was also 6'3" and not 6'0" like Raymond.

    Another great question: "How many future All-Star games will Raymond Felton play in?" [crickets]

    Everybody is counting A.I. out and that is exactly what is so dangerous. On the right team like the Bobcats, Iverson could come in drop 24ppg easy.

    I still haven't heard any solutions from you either. If not Iverson, then how are the Bobcats going to score more than 95 ppg next year? Ideas?

  23. spectre

    “How many future All-Star games will Raymond Felton play in?” [crickets]

    How many future All-star games will Allen Iverson play in?

    Look, I like AI and I wouldn't mind him on the team IF Larry Brown wanted him. Apparently he doesn't…so that's good enough for me.

    This is all moot anyway as the opening post isn't really feasible…there was no need to go off on a tangent of Felton's "worth".

    *We can't renounce the QO.

    *Felton isn't stupid enough to agree to a contract smaller than the QO.

    *Any contract over 4.9 makes him BYC.

    *Only 2 or 3 teams with capspace and all are not wanting to add salary (Sacramento, OKC are two).

    *He gets to approve or kill the trade.

    Therefore…we won't spend the full MLE on AI because we won't go over the luxury tax limit. You "wishing" it doesn't make it happen outside the NBA rules nor within the team's own.

    Besides, Whitfield told some season ticket holders that "AI's needs don't match our own".

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