Raymond Felton or Andre Miller?

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The Bobcats might be better off withdrawing Raymond Felton’s qualifying offer and instead signing Andre Miller to a 2-3 year deal.

Is Andre Miller or Ray Felton the best option at PG for the Bobcats?

Raymond Felton and the Bobcats are “far apart” in contract negotiations.  The team is hoping to use Felton’s Restricted status, the weak economy and lowering cap as leverage in negotiations.  They would love to get him at or around the full mid-level exception (~$6.5 million per).  Raymond is apparently expecting something more than the full mid-level and a length of at least 4 to 5 years; potentially a 5-year $40+ million dollar deal.

So the obvious question is, “Is he worth it?

The answer is that Raymond could probably command around $7 million plus per season if he was an unrestricted FA.  $8 million if a team was desperate for a young point guard and willing to overpay.  The better question is, “Is he worth it to the Charlotte Bobcats?

Although there’s no reason to go over the organization’s financial nightmare again in this post, let’s just say that it’s not pretty.  Add to that the fact that the team already has it’s point guard of the future, DJ Augustin, on the roster on a rookie scale contract for the next three seasons.  If the team re-signs Raymond, they’ll more than likely be paying two PGs big money contracts in 2012 and 2013.  This just doesn’t make any fiscal sense.

Andre Miller is floating around out there looking for (maybe even begging) a team to sign him to a 2-3 year deal at the full mid-level.  Miller is a proven playoff point guard.  We all saw what happened when he took over the Sixers in the Iverson trade.  He’s crafty, a surprisingly adept open-court player, durable and a decent defender.  He’s also a “big” PG at 6’3″ | 200 lbs; which would be a nice complement to DJ and playing the two together would be a viable option in a pinch.

What’s even better is the fact that Andre’s contract would come off of the books at the exact time DJ would be up for a contract extension in ’12-’13.

All the Bobcats would have to do is agree with Miller on a deal and withdraw the qualifying off it made to Felton earlier in the summer.  The “trade” of Miller for Felton makes the team more experienced and more playoff ready while weakening a conference rival.  Makes perfect sense.

-ASChin

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44 Responses to “Raymond Felton or Andre Miller?”

  1. reggie
    July 20, 2009 at 9:13 am #

    we could also let felton sign the one year extension, then trade him mid-season for some value before he winds up as an unrestricted next year.

  2. reggie
    July 20, 2009 at 11:14 am #

    hmm… this is better. but id call Miller's age into question. in 2 years will he still be able to play at the same level that hes at now?

    you also have to take team chemistry into consideration. Raymond has been the glue to our offense for a good while now, and ditching him could be pretty bad.

    also, signing Miller doesnt help us with our true need–a backup PF. trading for him would almost force us to resign May at a minimum, then hope that we can dump a contract.

  3. Jared
    July 20, 2009 at 1:14 pm #

    Thats not a risk, that's a steal. Philly gives up a solid PG and allstar talent for Nazr and Diop. That's exactly who they want playing along side Dalembert right?

  4. Adam
    July 20, 2009 at 1:31 pm #

    leroy-

    I love the chutzpah but Jared's right. That's grand theft larceny – if Jordan pulled off a move like that, he'd rate right up there with Dillinger.

    Reggie-

    Not sure what you could get for Felton mid-season going into an unrestricted year. You're not going to get much for a 4 month rental. Agree with your point about the backup PF and it looks like the organization has decided to sit back and wait to see who falls through the cracks and will play for the minimum. Sean May might not be the guy as it looks as though he's about to sign with the Kings. Joe Smith anyone?

  5. leroy
    July 20, 2009 at 4:30 pm #

    brand (injury prone)+miller (6m) felton(8m)+nazar+diop+future picks and sign like malgorie at minimum for the backup C position

    what do you guys think? worth risking it?

  6. leroy
    July 20, 2009 at 8:55 pm #

    did either warrick or jeff foster signed with their team yet??

  7. spectre
    July 21, 2009 at 4:38 am #

    Miller isn't begging someone for a full MLE deal…the dude wants a 3/30 deal. He's already turned down the Sixers' offer of 6 for one year (where he'd be UFA during the season where over 17 teams will have capspace)…he wants one last big contract while he's declining.

    Why are you worried about what the PGs will be making in 3 years (when DJ will be due a contract)? Starting PGs will always have value and most likely either we wish can be traded with something good coming back.

    Instead of proclaiming that either PG is "The Future" why not run with a solid PG rotation that will make less than 10 million per year for the next 2-3 and let their play determine that.

  8. Adam
    July 21, 2009 at 5:54 am #

    spectre-

    Miller is "asking" for a $10 million deal but knows that he's not getting it. Odds are that he'll receive at most the full mid-level and his people are aware of that – what they want is length and the Knicks one year offer isn't going to do it. The Bobcats offering the full MLE for 3 just might. The combo of DJ and the veteran Miller makes much more sense as well. Not many examples in which two young point guards developed fully while on the same team splitting minutes.

    leroy-

    Last I read, Warrick wants to re-sign with Memphis and Foster is not a FA; he has two more years on his current deal with the Pacers.

  9. reggie
    July 21, 2009 at 7:18 am #

    unless we can nab CP3 or Brandon Roy, we need to focus on our backup PF before we think of anything big.

  10. spectre
    July 21, 2009 at 8:17 am #

    Adam:

    Same goes for Felton…he might be asking for 8 million but probably knows he's not getting that either. It's a negotiation thing…start higher than for what you'll settle.

    "The combo of DJ and the veteran Miller makes much more sense as well."

    Why…just so we can declare now that DJ is "The Future"? Shouldn't we be more worried about getting this team into the playoffs vs. throwing all our eggs in DJ's basket?

    LB's game plan says our defense initiates our offense, and if you look at last season's stats Felton blows them both out of the water in that regard.

    He survived a year under one of the most difficult coaches for PGs and now that same coach wants him back. He will come in this season more able to run Brown's system vs. Miller. IF DJ doesn't develop in running the team like some hope (look at his assist numbers, esp. after he came back from the injury) then we'll have given up an above average defensive PG for a declining Miller that won't have any value at the end of his deal. Felton on the other hand will still be very tradable throughout the life of his contract (assuming he'll get something on average between 6-7 per).

    This team is much more concerned with getting into the playoffs this next season than determining who "The Future" is.

  11. jeremy
    July 21, 2009 at 8:59 am #

    the bobcats need to sign nate Robinson to the MLE since the knicks arent going to offer him a contract. Then let felton go/trade and get a PF and money

  12. spectre
    July 21, 2009 at 9:40 am #

    “we could also let felton sign the one year extension, then trade him mid-season for some value before he winds up as an unrestricted next year.”

    Felton from the time the QO was offered gets to approve of any trade. Odds are if that happens we won’t find a trading partner that will satisfy both him and the team (see Ben Gordon last season).

  13. Jared
    July 21, 2009 at 11:23 am #

    Yea let's get shorter at the PG!

  14. Adam
    July 21, 2009 at 12:56 pm #

    reggie-

    4 Years, a total of 82 Games, $5.5 million, twenty pounds and several knee surgeries later…Sean May is finally gone. We shall miss the "Round Mound of Rehab" very, very much.

    spectre-

    I didn't realize that there was still a debate out there about whether DJ was a better PG prospect than Raymond.

    There's a strong argument that DJ had a better year this year than Raymond has EVER had during his four year career. Statistically that's very much the case and we'll be doing a full post on this sometime in the next couple of weeks.

    jeremy-

    If the Bobcats sign Nate, we'll need to bring back Brevin Knight, Earl Boykins and Muggsy Bogues ASAP.

  15. reggie
    July 21, 2009 at 12:57 pm #

    Jared,

    although signing Robinson would make us shorter and therefore more exploited on defense, it would be a great move in that:

    1. Robinson can effectively score

    2. Robinson can effectively play the SG position as he did in NY.

    3. Robinson would bring a bit of marketability to the Cats. being a 2 time dunk champion does you well.

    so its not a curse. id be welcome to it. but even if we do sign him to the MLE, that means we are begging for a trade partner for Felton. that or we're depending on Derrick Brown to fill in the backup PF.

  16. reggie
    July 21, 2009 at 6:32 pm #

    now that sean may has officially signed with the Kings, i hope we can put this behind us.

    but if he decides to produce a 82 game season averaging 20 and 10 a night, imma have a problem.

  17. spectre
    July 21, 2009 at 7:05 pm #

    "spectre-

    I didn’t realize that there was still a debate out there about whether DJ was a better PG prospect than Raymond.

    There’s a strong argument that DJ had a better year this year than Raymond has EVER had during his four year career. Statistically that’s very much the case and we’ll be doing a full post on this sometime in the next couple of weeks."

    I'd LOVE to see it…as from what I've seen DJ accelled in 3 pt FG% & FT%…that's it. Even in his shooting (which everyone busts Felton for) he was slightly worse than Felton in 2 pt FG %.

    BTW, I'm not a big fan of rounding up stats; adding 10+ minutes and adjusting up the numbers is shaky at best. That discounts fatigue, who he's matching up against, etc.

    You can start out by discounting this:

    http://www.queencityhoops.com/Ray0809Review.php

    You can also look at 82games rankings for opponent's PER for PGs (Charlotte 2nd in the league behind Felton's stellar 13.0 at the PG position) and that our starting lineup ranked 6th in the league in +/- with the 2nd most minutes.

  18. Jared
    July 21, 2009 at 10:59 pm #

    As much as I like Nate Rob( I like knowing a guy who's as short as I am can dunk like he does), what does he add to the team?

    D.J. is our undersized, efficient scorer who can play the SG position. Nate pretty much replicates what we already have. I'm not going to argue who's better between Felton and DJ, but Felton brings some skills that Nate can't replace.

    As Spectre has been so nice to point out, Felton is a good defender (not the liability that Nate and DJ would be). Plus, Felton has Larry Brown's backing. Chemistry is so important in Brown's complex system, why would we want to start all over this season by adding another undersized combo guard to the mix? I wouldn't mess w/ our starting lineup unless it meant adding true all star talent.

    I personally like Felton and Dj as a tandem. The team is better for having them both playing together.

  19. spectre
    July 22, 2009 at 1:40 am #

    BTW…I'm not saying who's the better "PG prospect"…I'm saying it's not been decided yet. The situations between the 2 are totally different; Felton came in and got thrown into the fire as mostly a 2 pairing up with Brevin Knight under an atrocious coach. After 2 years of that he got handed the reins so to speak but under an even more inept coach. DJ on the other hand came in under one of the best coaches in the league and has been brought along a lot more slowly.

    This is why we have rookie contracts that last for 3 years. One season usually isn't near enough time to determine what the future is. Besides, our "future" is now…we desperately need the playoffs THIS season. We stand a much better chance with Felton vs. without him.

  20. leroy
    July 22, 2009 at 10:20 am #

    Indiana just waived jamal tinsley. Any thoughts??

  21. Adam
    July 22, 2009 at 11:23 am #

    leroy-

    Thoughts?

    How about "fear" and "dread." Would be worse than the Jeff McInnis trade a few years back.

  22. Bob
    July 23, 2009 at 1:21 am #

    no. dont get miller. hes only got a few good years left and why mess with what already sort of works. felton should get what he wants and lets avoid any chemistry shake ups. theres a big difference b/w djs minutes last year and handing him the starting job. no guarantees. i swear if i sit through another non playoff season b/c we refused to pay felton im gonna kick bob johnsons ass myself.

  23. Adam
    July 24, 2009 at 5:30 am #

    So much for that.

    All it took was exactly what we discussed here. Three years, $21 million.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=43542

    Do the Bobcats think that they're gonna get Raymond for less? $5 or $6 mill? My guess is that Raymond balks at anything less than $7mil and plays out the qualifying offer instead.

  24. spectre
    July 24, 2009 at 7:46 pm #

    Not true Adam. Miller got an above MLE deal at 7 per. We could have only offered the MLE which starts out at around 5.8 million per.

    Who knows if Felton is going to be that particular over a million bucks give or take. What this team HAS shown however is if a player is pretty adamant that he's worth more than what management is offering they will compromise on a shorter deal and let him prove he's worth what he's asking. See Crash's first deal…wasn't it like 3/21 with the 3rd year being a player option? That worked out pretty well IMO.

    As Felton absolutely wants to remain here I feel pretty good in saying something will be worked out.

  25. Adam
    July 25, 2009 at 11:42 am #

    spectre-

    It is true that the mid-level has dropped this year to $5.85 million.

    The deal that Miller signed is actually only guaranteed for 2 years with the third year only partially guaranteed. This brings the total guaranteed value of the contract to ~$14. My hope was that the Cats could've convinced Miller to take a guaranteed 3 year mid-level (with raises) for around $20 million.

    I have a hard time believing that Felton will sign for $5 million per but if the Bobcats can somehow pull that off (3-5 years with early termination), then there's just too much value there to turn down.

    As it stands, with all of the cap space around the League drying up, the even lower cap looming next year coupled with the uncertainty surrounding the economy at large, perhaps Raymond does do a mid-level deal with the 'Cats at around $5-$6 million. In any other year, I'd argue with you further but in this situation, you may very well be right.

  26. spectre
    July 25, 2009 at 7:54 pm #

    Leroy no…once a contract is signed those are the terms.

    Adam…the MLE has been pretty much the same for the last few years and a 3 year deal would NOT have got up to 20 million.

    Remember when we signed Varejao to that full MLE 3 year deal with a player option? The total worth of the contract if Varejao had opted in was 17.4 million.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=31410

    Did you see the latest article about Felton and his contract? Sounds to me like he's determined to get a deal regardless:

    http://www.wmbfnews.com/Global/story.asp?S=107883

    5 million? IMO that's underpaying him (his QO is 5.5…pretty lame to make him take a cut this year don't you think?). Guys like Ariza have pulled a full MLE deal and Felton is worth more than guys like him. A deal similar to the full MLE starting at about 5.8 with raises would be fair in this economy for a starting PG…ESPECIALLY one who survived Larry Brown enough where he wanst him back.

  27. spectre
    July 25, 2009 at 8:08 pm #

    Leroy: I looked around and found one on Ebay (2x) for 80 bucks but couldn't find one anywhere else which I thought was interesting. I got a blue alternate right after the season ended 2 years ago for 35 bucks (and no…you can't have it!).

    BTW…any way you guys could get an edit button?

  28. leroy
    July 25, 2009 at 10:21 pm #

    i have one question, if a player sign under a mid-level deal, does his salary changes according to the mid-level changes by the NBA????

    *side question….

    anyone have a gerald wallace jersey for sale?? since im living in LA and i had been waiting for one appear on ebay for like…..3/4 of a year. contact me by e-mail if anyone is willing to sell his!!! (i dont know if i can ask this question here or not, if not, please delete this post SORRY)

  29. Adam
    July 26, 2009 at 12:49 am #

    spectre-

    We should also note that the mid-level limits the annual raise at 8% of the contract's first year. Thus a full mid-level deal this season would increase around $500k/year of a (maximum) 5-year contract:

    '09-'10: $5.85

    '10-'11: $6.32

    '11-'12: $6.8

    '12-'13: $7.3

    '13-'14: $7.8

    I still say that Felton is worth keeping at around the mid-level (especially if they can get him for a short 3 year deal) but am not very excited about a long mid-level or greater contract. Raymond's poor shooting just kills this team. He'd be great on a team like Portland or Dallas that has actual "go-to" offensive players but Charlotte has absolutely zero guys that can get their shot every time.

  30. Adam
    July 26, 2009 at 1:53 am #

    leroy-

    According to NBA.com, you can still have Bobcats replica and authentic jerseys custom made from their shop.

    http://store.nba.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=

    On the bright side, you can get an Adam Morrison replica for $19.95!!!

  31. spectre
    July 26, 2009 at 4:59 am #

    Adam:

    I agree on the 3 year but it looks from the articles that both sides want a longer deal. If we did that I'd prefer to make it flat so it's still tradable after 3 years. Besides, we're not going to spend any significant money…why not eat a million or so this & next season.

    I won't disagree on the shooting, tho he did do fair after the all star break…43% average, very good last month of 45 & change. Thing is (and I'm sure you'll discover this in your comparison) DJ didn't shoot the 2 ball any better…in fact he was worse in most of the hotzones inside the arc. The 3 ball is what kept his % up.

  32. spectre
    July 26, 2009 at 5:01 am #

    BTW, I just mentioned the lack of a "go to" guy on the team on another site. I imagine both PGs would look a lot better if they had a Bosh they could just throw it to with 5 seconds on the clock and he bail them out.

  33. RobC
    July 26, 2009 at 10:38 pm #

    And if you want to make Felton's contract more attractive to both Felton or any other team that might be willing to take Felton's expiring contract, you can add a 5th year Team Option to it. Felton will get the option for a fith year in his contract and any team that get his expiring contrat will have some leverage to negotiate.

  34. RobC
    July 27, 2009 at 3:30 am #

    The Bobcats can offer Felton a 4Yr/$28-30M deal ($7+M per season). He is a pretty good PG and he does have a great value for the Bobcats both as a player and as a teammate. He' already drawn a lot of interest from other teams and he really comes to play every night; plus he is very durable.

    I do agree that DJ is our PG for the future, that being said, if Felton is signed for 4 years, by the time DJ is up for his contract, Felton would be an expiring contract and a really good trading chip an we can really get something good in exchange.

    Then use the MLE (maybe less) to sign Hakim Warrick to a 2-3 Year deal. That guy is good and that $$$ is not bad for a backup PF that can really play and is only 26 years.

  35. reggie
    July 27, 2009 at 6:41 am #

    they sayin Mek for Chandler!!!!

    http://www.charlotteobserver.com/bobcats

  36. reggie
    July 27, 2009 at 9:09 am #

    i only like it if Chandler is healthy. but if hes out 50 games a year, then im shaking my head.

    i never thought the cats had it in them to pull off something gutsy again, but after the trade with Phoenix, i have full trust in LB. so maybe he sees something we dont.

  37. Jared
    July 27, 2009 at 9:11 am #

    I was wanting Charlotte to go after Warrick, even though he is a tweener he's the best option for a backup 4 right now. I hope they don't overpay for him though.

    I need time to process this trade before I can really have an opinion on it.

    At first thought, it seems like a short-sighted move given Chandler's recent toe injury, though he's played more than 70 games 6 out of his 8 seasons so I can't really call him injury prone. I don't like it right now though. Not unless something else is going on as well.

    Seems like a salary dump further tarnishing Bob Johnson's legacy in the NBA

  38. reggie
    July 27, 2009 at 9:28 am #

    i say we let it play out. if it doesnt work, guess who wont have a job.

  39. Jared
    July 27, 2009 at 9:39 am #

    True it's too soon to say. It's got all the signs of another shitty move by the Bobcats though. I'll gladly eat my words if this turns out well for Charlotte.

  40. reggie
    July 27, 2009 at 9:45 am #

    i would like to publicly say that if this move turns out to be garbage, ill switch to the Thunder for the 2010-2011 season. 6 years of nothing is a long time.

  41. Jared
    July 27, 2009 at 9:53 am #

    It's a good move salary-wise, but what are the Bobs going to do w/ the cap space? That'll really determine how good of a move this is.

  42. Bob
    July 27, 2009 at 10:14 am #

    make them stop!

  43. leroy
    July 27, 2009 at 1:43 pm #

    i dont know about that man….

    a injury prone, even if he is fully healed with diaw, i doubt he will bring much impact than before with his poor FT% and no offensive skills whatsoever except from those alley-oops passes from chris paul (and there is no chance that felton is close to chris paul……)

    what do you guys think….trading okafor away meaning signing warrick at mle for diaw back up?

  44. Adam
    July 27, 2009 at 6:09 pm #

    Can you say "Salary Dump?"

    Single worst move in team history. I'm stunned. A terrible signal to the fans who've stayed loyal to the team.

    http://scottfowlerobs.blogspot.com/2009/07/though

    Screw you Scott Fowler, Okafor was one of the most underrated players in Charlotte NBA history. Not many guys can get you double-doubles during their first 5 season in the League. And all of that sissy pilates & yoga stuff that you and Coach Brown are worried so much about kept Emeka healthy for two consecutive seasons. Unlike the guy who's coming back in return…

    Maybe the team is secretly hoping that Tyson has to retire and voids his contract for next season so that they can save even more cash. This is ridiculous.

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