The Importance of Intangibles (or Turnovers)

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INTANGIBLES

Can Experience and Leadership Always Create Positive Results?

For the past year, there has been an emerging divide amongst the Bobcats fans. One camp views Raymond Felton as the undeniable leader of the team. The general view from this perspective rests upon Felton’s success as a college athlete and last season’s promotion to the starting point guard position. One of the biggest arguments for Raymond is that he’s shown leadership, “intangibles”, and holds much more experience than his backup. The other side of the Felton coin is given special attention by the so-called “Raymond Haters.” This group of fans sees Felton strictly for his statistics and his contribution to Charlotte’s losing nature over the course of his tenure with the team. The old bit about “the grass is always greener” seems to be the mantra of those hoping to see Raymond replaced.

Felton does provide leadership. For better or for worse, he stands as the struggling Bobcats’ most decisive offensive player. Unfortunately for the Tarheel, his pro career statistics have shown little to prove he should start at point guard at the NBA level. Like another local fan-favorite, Panthers QB Jake Delhomme, Felton has received a load of praise about his demeanor, leadership in the locker room, and those ever-so-hard-to-describe intangibles.

Just like Jake, Raymond started off this season with a boat load of turnovers and very few passes leading to scores. The local football fans turned on Delhomme despite his great status as a teammate with stellar intangibles. The quarterback’s tendency to hand the ball to the opposition made him nearly impossible to watch. Now, the Bobcats seem to be enduring the same situation. Oddly, the expectations for this team are so low that no one is really that upset over the point guard’s high rate of failure.

NBA Starter or Reserve

Felton has shown promise as a solid pro player. He’s found ways to score and he’s been able to play defense up to Larry Brown’s high standards. The question mark for NBA fans of Charlotte is Raymond’s ability to truly lead such a desperate club as the Bobcats look this season. He’s shown grit, heart, dedication, and toughness but that only gets you so much.

So, one group of fans will inevitably ask “What’s so wrong with Raymond running the team’s offense?” The answer for this would be three-fold. First off, Felton is the leader of the worst offense in the NBA.  Secondly, a starter on an NBA team should not turn the ball over so much. Lastly, and most importantly, Felton’s hard work and intangible efforts still don’t make him a star basketball player (which is what this team needs).

It’s hard to define that frequent sports compliment of “intangibles” because you don’t really hear anyone talk about truly great players having “intangibles.” I don’t hear as much about Kobe’s “intangibles” as I hear about his scoring, his defense, and his rings. Having a lot of “heart” or determination might make the great players into legends, but it doesn’t do the same for those simply good-enough-to-go-pro guys. While folks used to love watching Jared Dudley overachieve here and there and score 4 or 5 more points than he should or get that extra “hustle” rebound, no one wants to build a team around Jared Dudley. When it’s time to make a deal, most of us would take a guy that can show us a career of solid stats over the guy that can only claim “intangibles.”

Bobcats Next Step

For Charlotte’s banker crew, let’s pose this question – “Are there any means to measure the value of a player, other than recorded statistics?” Looking at Felton’s numbers, would a speculator even bother considering this investment? Without a definition of the core intangibles that Felton seems to possess, it’s tough to have a proper debate about the pros and cons of #20 playing starting point guard for the Bobcats.

Next month, the Bobcats will have the ability to trade Felton (with his permission). Obvious needs have come to light early this season and the team will likely attempt to move any asset in order to improve.  Raymond Felton poses such a complex dilemma for the club.  The perpetually confused Bobcats organization must commit to a direction.  Will they reward Felton for his hard work or evaluate him based upon his production?

-Mike

30 thoughts on “The Importance of Intangibles (or Turnovers)

  1. Good stuff, Mike. There are some other, more broad comparisons between the Bobcats and the Panthers right now — namely that they both bet heavily on last year's roster going into this season, without making many significant tweaks.

    Thankfully, the Bobcats didn't offer Raymond Felton a huge extension this past offseason like the Panthers did with Jake.

  2. Ross

    Leadership doesn't take nights off. Leaders practice harder than the next guy. The other guys on the team notice his work ethic, they respond to it. The bar is set with your teams "leader" ,if the best you have is a Felton or a Delhomme then what do you expect? I'm not saying those guys don't work hard, what I'm saying is that the team doesn't seem to respond to them.(consistantly) Remember Patrick Ewing back in the day he was the face of the Knicks team throughout the 80's and 90's. The Knicks never won a title but they were competitive and to win the title you gotta be competitive. Ewings work ethic and attitude rubbed of on Oak, Starks, Mason, Anthony, etc…hell I think Brad Lohaus was a better player for it. Bottom Line is experience comes from consistently striving to be better and actually getting better. If Felton can find a way to make the other guys on the team better they have a legit chance to compete, you can't count out a team motivated to win.

  3. reggie

    ok. ASChin kept talking about getting Kevin Martin right? well, here you go.

    Charlotte gets:

    Kevin Martin (from SAC)

    we need a scorer. period. Raymond/Kevin/Gerald/Boris/Chandler. we do get a smaller backcourt however, and i question Martin's ability to effectively defend SGs in the southeast (D.Wade, Joe Johnson ect)

    Sac Gets:

    Raja Bell (from Charlotte)

    Brian Cardinal (from Minny)

    huge salary dump. both have expiring contracts that add up to 12 million this summer.

    Minny Gets:

    Vladimir Radmonovic (from Charlotte)

    this is almost a slary cut. Rad makes the same as Cardinal, but through the next two years. kinda like the Chandler/Okafor trade. they also add another SF to their team, lacking at that position.

    thoughts?

  4. spectre

    Felton has been turning the ball over way too much and that will get him in LB's doghouse quicker than anything. Right now however he's the best option. DJ did pretty well vs. the Nets and Rafer Alston, but he's not done so well vs. the other teams we've played against. He also is behind the curve on running the offense and leadership.

    Not to mention his defense on the drive is flat out awful…something that will keep him in LB's doghouse.

    We're 4 games into the season, and we're not the only team who's struggling. Obviously Felton isn't going to average 7 TOs a game and DJ isn't going to go 18% from 3 for the season.

    That being said…I'm not averse to trading them both for an upgrade at PG as neither has shown me that they'll ever overcome their weaknesses.

  5. CharlotteHokie

    I've been a Felton hater, but have come around. However; I do think a lot of the Felton love comes from Tarheel fans who have a vested interest.

  6. Bobcat orange?

    Bobcats to Panthers is an interesting comparison, but more likely I think we are the Detroit Lions. How many years in a row did the draft a wide receiver in the top 5? How many stunk? Raymond is yet another Bobcats draft failure. We reached for him with the four pick, and when we drafted May it was abundantly clear we were more interested in fans than wins. Only problem with that is fans come to see wins, not Tarheels.

    Great teammate, sure, and if the NBA kept stats on high fives and pats on the back I'm sure Ray would be in the top ten.

    Until we make a good move in the draft and get a player with star potential, not mediocre at best like the rest of our picks, we're going to remain in the cellar of the NBA. Heck, I don't even need a star, just draft the player we should draft for ONCE.

    Look at what the Thunder or the Blazers have done in three years of high draft picks. Those teams are set up for the next 10 years.

  7. spectre

    Is there really that much Felton "love"? To be sure there was his first and second season…but it seems to me that it's been more a matter of "Felton stinks" vs. "Felton's solid".

    I know AsChin has dubbed me a "lover", but in reality that's far from the truth. I can get just as ticked at the guy as anyone…but for the most part I don't see him being THE biggest thing we need to improve, esp. with DJ here. They have different strengths and weaknesses, and until we can get a player that can do what they both do I'm happy enough to have each of them.

  8. Felton for Pres

    As usual, I'm with spectre on this one. It amazes me that fans focus so much on the 'cats PG position when it should be viewed as a position of strength. A more applicable focus of angst should be towards the 2, 4 and 5 spots (we'll save that for another day).

    This isn't like the Panthers where there is no viable back up. Do you really think Jake would stil be QB if there was anyone "DJ-like" behind him? No chance. We've got a good problem on our hands at PG, let's embrace it instead of it being a divisive force amongst the fan base.

  9. RobC

    Trade Felton, Bell and Diop to Detroit.

    Get Hamilton, Bynum and Maxiell in return.

    Raymond Felton will be a solid backup for any team. He has not improved in any stat in the last three years. We might as well get something from him now, than lose him at the end of the season. Any contender that wishes to get a solid backup PG can offer Felton $7M/Yr easily. Again, as a backup, he is the best in the league, any contender will like him and he will be tempted with playing for a contender.

    On the other hand, DJ put up same or better stats than Felton in almost every category when you compare their rookie seasons. Let DJ be the PG of this team for the next 3 years with a rokkie salary. We have Hamilton and Maxiell in our team, which will make us a playoff team instantly, which will translate into positive media exposure. Plus, we still have $26.5M dollars coming of the books in 2011 (Ajinca, Radmanovic, Mohammed & Chandler). By then, we will have in our team: DJ, Hamilton, Wallace, Diaw, Maxiell, Brown and Henderson. Those are some pretty good assets that you can complement with one or two solid free agents in 2011 (D. Nowitzki, D. Williams, C. Paul, D. West, T. Parker & P. Gasol among others) http://www.realgm.com/src_freeagents/2011/

    That amount of Cap Space, plus two playoffs apperances in a row (this season and the next) and the positive media exposure will be good enough to get some big names to play for the Bobcats along side DJ, Hamilton, Wallace and Co. that I already mentioned.

  10. Jared

    I've always hated the idea of bringing Hamilton in because of his age and contract. Rob C's trade actually sounds good though.

    Is there anyway that works with the contracts? I know Felton can't be traded just yet, but Diop and Felts alone barely make up hamilton's Salary. How can we get Max in the deal as well?

    Bynum is CHEAP and I'd love to have him as a solid PG.

  11. RobC

    Continue-

    Our roster this season and the next could be:

    PG: DJ/Bynum/Murray(PG-SG)

    SG: Hamilton/Henderson/Graham(SG-SF)

    SF: Wallace/Brown/Radmanovic(SF-PF)

    PF: Diaw/Maxiell/Ajinca(PF-C)

    C: Chandler/Mohammed

    Dj's biggest issue is his defense. I would not be concern by that, in the East there are not that many big scoring PG's (Arenas, Harris & Mo Will) and DJ can outplay any of those guys any given night, just like he did vs Rondo and Derrick Rose last season. Bynum will be a solid backup that can also defend and score. Plus, with Hamilton and Crash playing their game, that will spread the floor and open the lane for Diaw and Chandler to be effective. The Bobcats will be a solid playoff team, MJ and BJ will make money, the city will beleive in the NBA again and everybody will be happy.

  12. spectre

    No way would Dumars take on Gana's contract.

    DJ has issues defensively and in running the team. He's also not demonstrated the pass first mentality that was the hype predraft.

    I wish he was ready to take over if for nothing else than it'd help get our financial house in order…but it's just not the case.

    Also, a lot are ignoring the strong probability that Johnson will refuse to take on any longterm deals. Martin & Rip are fun to talk about…but very unlikely.

  13. spectre

    "Dj’s biggest issue is his defense. I would not be concern by that, in the East there are not that many big scoring PG’s (Arenas, Harris & Mo Will) and DJ can outplay any of those guys any given night, just like he did vs Rondo and Derrick Rose last season."

    More specifically, DJ's biggest issue is stopping the dribble penetration.

    I disagree that DJ outplayed those guys. It's hard to determine for sure since Felton typically took the harder cover when they played together…but in the last Chicago game they were matched up and Rose easily outplayed him (I remember specifically because Gordon pretty much blistered Felton for almost 40 points).

    And most teams do have guards that drive.

  14. John

    You actually think detroit would ever make that move? hahaha. that would be the most lopsided trade i have ever seen. Every detroit player is better than the player they would be getting in return. Never happen.

  15. Bcat2.0

    The problem with the Cats is a lack of a scoring 2 Felton has shown both sides this year the ability to make a play and carry his team to a win (knicks) and the turnover side that hurts the team. Consistinsy is the issue. If DJ can show that He will play agressivly every night like the Nets game then He would be the starter. The fact is DJ has shown 2 sides as well. When DJ is not agressive our offense completly stalls. We need to keep both PGs and recognize both players flaws. Play the guy who is having the good night. Felton is the least of this teams worries.

  16. br2850

    Baseliners ,

    I know this trade might be a trade that might never happen but look at it. We automatically become a 4 or 3rd seed in could make to the second round of the playoffs. Reggie and Aschin maybe are dreams will come true.

    Here is the link :

    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId

    We can play D.J at the Shooting Guard position until Raymond Felton can be traded on December 23, 2009. He will be a great complement to Kevin Martin.

  17. br2850

    Sorry the link doesn't work but the trade said this:

    Bobcats Gets-

    Kevin Martin (From Sac)

    Corey Maggette (From Golden State)

    Monta Ellis (From Golden State)

    Golden State Gets-

    Vladimir (From Bobcats)

    Diop (From Bobcats)

    Raja Bell (From Bobcats)

    Sacramento Gets-

    Gerald Wallace (From Bobcats)

    2nd Round Pick 2011 (From Bobcats)

  18. Bobcat orange?

    you guys are funny…Here's a trade, Diop for Lebron, Wallace for Kobe, and Felton for Dwade. Giving up bad players for good players only works in the trade machine.

    Why would GS possibly want Vlad, Diop, and Raja at the cost of their two leading scorers?

  19. Bobcat orange?

    BTW Martin is the opposite of a 'Larry Brown type' player. I watched the guy play for two years at Western Carolina, and he's a scorer who's never played D in his life, and has flawed, albeit effective mechanics. Brown would never want a player like that.

  20. RobC

    Spectre-

    Why would Dumars take on Diops contract? Because it makes perfect sense business wise (see below). Also, on DJ, worst case scenario, he'll end up like Felton. So far he's been better than Felton in his rookie season, even after playing injured the last half of the season. Why BJ & MJ should go for it (see below).

    1.) Joe Dumars will get a backup 7 foot C, decent defender which he'll need in the East. It'll cost him $6.5M over 4 seasons including this one.

    2.) In return he'll get rid of $17.3M (Hamilton, Maxiell & Bynum), and two of those are unhappy players because they are expendable (Hamilton & Maxiell).

    3.) This will provide Dumars with $10.7M of cap space for next Summer (2010) and over $30M in savings for the next 3 seasons. He'll be a great buyer in 2010, imagine Amare in a Detroit uniform.

    4.) The Cats will have a great team and a more committed coach, since he'll be able to redeem himself better and easier from the NY debacle. Nothing is better than a happy L. Brown.

    5.) This move will make us a playoff team instantly for the next two seasons. This will put A WHOLE LOT of butts in the seats (more revenues), A LOT more positive media exposure due to the playoffs (more sponsors and revenues). This will increase the value of the franchise (BJ will like that).

    6.) Now how will this allow BJ to sell the team? Increasing the price is not the best way, right? Well, wait and see. After this move you'll have a playoff team 2 years in a row, a better and more open NBA market in Charlotte, more media exposure, more sponsors and more revenues. That's important for a buyer. Plus, by the end of next season (2011) this team will get over $35M in cap space (Chandler, Diaw, Nazr, Vlade & Ajinca). Still, we have DJ, Hamilton, Wallace, Maxiell & the rookies to build around (that's a really good core).

    7.) Those core players, plus 2 playoffs in a row, a better NBA market and $35M+ in cap space will be great to add some great Free Agents in 2011 (i.e.: D.Nowitzki, P.Gasol, T.Parker, C.Paul and D.Williams among others).

    8.) On DJ, worst case scenario, by 2011 he'll be another R.Felton, a solid PG in a rookie scale, also a RFA. We have several options: if he's worth it-resign him; if not-trade him or let him go (RFA) and or resign him as a backup PG and go after C.Paul, D.Williams or T. Parker.

    9.) Honestly, I think he;ll be a lot better than Felton. He was better if you compare their rookie season. Plus Felton was competing against and old Brevin Knight, DJ competes against a young Felton (in his peak). Also, DJ played the last helf of last season with an abdominal injury, and still caught the eyes of everyone. He was one of the top rookies last year.

    This is why this deal makes perfect sense for everyone. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if BJ and MJ are smart enough to think of this, even less understand it.

  21. spectre

    RobC:

    Thing is Gana flat out sucks now and I'd be shocked if anyone and especially Dumars would take his contract on. Felton is similar to Stuckey, and tho he's somewhat better of a distributor I don't think Dumars would consider him much more than an expiring. He's also not as big as Stuckey, which makes for an even smaller guard rotation with Gordon. I do think he'd want Raja however.

    You don't think most teams could trump that package? There are a lot of midrange bigs on much shorter contracts plus someone besides us could probably add a pick. Heck, I think Jake Voskuhl would be a better option.

    But hey…if Detroit goes for it I'm down.

  22. spectre

    On DJ…you continue to say that he was better than Felton in his rookie season, but that's not the case. Shooting wise, absolutely. Thing is we have Larry Brown as a coach…and that's not his priority when it comes to PGs. Felton had one of the best opponent PERs in the league for PG (got honorable mention from Hollinger for his all defense team) and he's a better on court leader…something else DJ lacked (and reportedly what the Bobcats were most concerned with). On the last point I think he's somewhat better so far this year, but he's still struggling hard to keep the dribble penetration under control.

    You didn't see LB reaming his arse on the sideline after Duhon beat him to the paint a couple of times? Listen to LB…his latest comments have been 1) turning the ball over and 2) allowing dribble penetration. First one's on Felton, 2nd on DJ.

    That's why I want to keep both unless we can possibly trade 'em both for an upgrade.

    Here's an idea from RGM's trade board:

    http://www.realgm.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=2&am

    Harris

    Najera

    Dooling

    $3m

    2010 #2

    for

    Augustine

    Felton

    Bell

    2012 #1 (top 3 protection in 2012, #1 protection in 2013)

  23. spectre

    I have a few errors in the above (need a preview button!), but basically LB isn't the kind of coach who will allow a PG to grow while running the team. He's here to win. That's why I think we need both of them right now unless we could upgrade that spot. As it is I think the PG spot is a strength of ours (anyone remember McInnis & the Midget?), so the focus should be on other positions.

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