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

44 thoughts on “Raymond Felton or Andre Miller?

  1. reggie

    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

    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

    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. 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

    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. spectre

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. spectre

    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.

  9. jeremy

    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

  10. spectre

    “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).

  11. 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.

  12. reggie

    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.

  13. reggie

    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.

  14. spectre

    "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.

  15. Jared

    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.

  16. spectre

    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.

  17. Bob

    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.

  18. spectre

    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.

  19. 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.

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