Offseason Prescriptions for the Capped-Out Cats (Part 3)

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Chapter III: Prescription B (Not for the Faint of Heart)

capped-out-cats3

Alright.  We’ve made it this far.  First I stated the problem.  Next was an easy and elegant solution.  Now we go all in.

Quick Recap:
1.    The Bobcats are capped out before re-signing Tyrus Thomas or Raymond Felton.
2.    Team needs more consistent play from the PG position, more scoring from the low post, and more scoring in general.
3.    Team has no draft picks and few assets outside of their core players to trade in order to improve.

On the evening of June 24th, the Washington Wizards will select Kentucky PG phenom John Wall with the first overall selection in the 2010 NBA Draft.  It’s a no-brainer.  After trading away stalwarts Antwan Jamison, Brendan Haywood and Caron Butler during the season, the Wizards are marching confidently along the rebuilding path.  Wall will step in and immediately be the team’s poster boy for the future.  With one timely drop of a ping pong ball, things suddenly look rosy in the District.  There’s just one small, $80 million, gun-brandishing problem.  His name: Agent Zero.

PRESCRIPTION B

arenas-cats

Step 1. Charlotte trades Boris Diaw, Nazr Mohammed and Gana Diop to Washington for Gilbert Arenas, Javale McGee and a first round draft selection (2012).

The Wiz are posturing something ridiculous about having Gilbert move to the off-guard position in anticipation of John Wall.  Uh, yeah.  Does anybody really think that Washington wants The Outlaw anywhere near their new Savior?  Sure, taking on a poo-poo platter of Diaw, Diop and Nazr while giving up a potential star in McGee and a high draft pick would suck but let’s face it, having Arenas anywhere near the Wiz bench pretty much negates any new excitement that Wall would bring to the team.  Gilbert is a 28 year old Point Guard with $80 million dollars left on his contract who was just released from a halfway house and has had three knee surgeries in the past three seasons.  If somebody is willing to take a guy like that off their hands AND save the organization $35 million in the process, you gotta make the move, right?

So why would I propose such a trade for the Bobcats?
First off, let me just say that Gilbert is a PR nightmare for certain but if Charlotte fans were willing to accept Stephen Jackson (y’know, the guy who charged into the stands and attacked fans only to later one up himself by unloading a gun at a strip club), then I think we can deal with a some of the Arenas quirkiness from time to time.

Secondly, well, there’s quite a few positives so let me just list them:
1.    Bobcats get to unload The League’s Worst Contract a.k.a. Gana Diop a.k.a. Black Shrek.
2.    Diaw’s exit clears space for Tyrus Thomas to start.
3.    Team replaces Raymond Felton with an electric scorer (and, when motivated, an underrated defender) in Arenas.
4.    Javale McGee is one of the League’s best offensive prospects at the Center position.
5.    The draft choice that the Bobcats receive would recoup the one that the team traded away in the Tyrus Thomas trade.
6.    The trade would save the Bobcats over $3 million in cap space next season, allowing the team to add depth via free agency.

Obviously, the biggest drawback to the trade is long term money.  Gilbert will be 32 years old when his deal expires in the summer of 2014 (see chart).  He’ll be paid over $22 million for that season alone.  Ouch.  Yeah, the numbers are ugly.  The move is overly aggressive and could either propel the team deep into the Playoffs (if Arenas stays healthy and focused and McGee develops) or could cripple them for the next three seasons.  MJ is known as a gambler, I think he’d be inclined to make the move.

Step 2. Charlotte Re-Signs Tyrus Thomas.

Same as in Prescription A.  Three years, $18 million sounds about right.  A starting spot might pique his interest in returning.

Step 3. Sign a backup Power Forward.

As discussed in Prescription A, possible low-cost candidates include Drew Gooden or Kris Humphries.  I like Humphries potential.

Step 4. Fill out the bench.

Arenas’s scoring abilities sort of negates the need to bring back Flip Murray.  The team could go in another direction here and sign a veteran “pure-playmaking” PG in the mold of Eric Snow as well.  Theo Ratliff has at least another year in him and could serve as a mentor to McGee and Ajinca.

Prescription B Chart

CONCLUSION:

The move is ballsy. Could a volatile nucleus of Arenas, JAX, CRASH, Tyrus and one or two of their youngsters (most likely McGee and Henderson) be enough to propel the Bobcats into contention in the East over the next few seasons?
The risks are HUGE.  Zero could play another stupid prank or blow out his knee(s) again.  Jax could unload one of Gilbert’s guns in a public place.  Crash may wonder openly why he’s the only sane person in the locker room.  The team would be capped out until 2013.
But take a look at the depth chart going into next season:

PG: Arenas, Augustin, Murray
SG: Jackson, Henderson, Murray
SF: Wallace, Brown
PF: Thomas, Humphries, Ajinca
C: Chandler, McGee, Ratliff

If the ‘Cats can win 44 games with last year’s squad then upgrading via Arenas and McGee while having Thomas and Chandler (contract year) for an entire season could very well propel the team to 50 plus wins and home court in the first round of the Playoffs.  The team would also have enough draft picks and young prospects on the roster to make a move for a veteran during the following summer if they so choose and make a run for local favorite (and certain turnstile mover) Seth Curry after he completes his second and final year at Duke in the 2012 NBA Draft.

As for Prescription C, I’ve decided to save that one for later.  Let’s see how the Draft and the early days of free agency play out first.

-ASChin

46 thoughts on “Offseason Prescriptions for the Capped-Out Cats (Part 3)

  1. Fonz

    and wait…dont they already have enough cap space for 2 max free agents anyway? I know Beasley is a headcase but DAMN…its not like hes Darko or something.

  2. Count me out on the Beasley talk.

    With Michael Jordan, Larry Brown, Gerald Wallace and Raymond Felton, the Cats have enough structure in the front office/locker room to keep a couple of knuckleheads in line: Stephen Jackson and Tyrus Thomas.

    But with Felton likely leaving, and Brown almost assuredly a lame duck coach next year, adding one of the premier young knuckleheads in the league (Beasley) to the roster would probably lead to a chemistry disaster. You just can't have too many clowns in the mix.

    I suppose this also counts as a good argument against the Arenas idea as well.

  3. spectre

    Miami beat writer is saying it's bogus, but at any rate the trade was for instant cap relief this year as Dooling (like Delonte West) can be bought out for 500k.

    We don't have anything like that.

  4. Fonz

    yeah…but damn giving up on your second pick for 3.5 million in cap???? thats messed up even if they got another max free agent

  5. Jake

    The thought behind my proposal is that they're not going to find instant cap relief anywhere since most teams are going to buy out those guys and get the cap relief for themselves. Mohammed would give Miami at least a back-up center and an expiring contract for next offseason.

    And yes, they've got enough room for two max free agents without trading Beasley. And Beasley is a headcase, but there's something you can't deny: results. Over his short career, his per 36min stats look like this:

    18.9pts 7.8rbs 1.5asst 1.0stl 0.7blk

    He's a good offensive player, and solid defensively according to Win Shares. While he's not the rebounder or shot-blocker that Thomas is, he's at least his equal in other categories and a clearly superior scorer.

    It makes sense for Miami to hold on to Beasley, keep D-Wade, and put a team around those two. If they want to get rid of Beasley though, Charlotte should be waiting with open arms.

  6. spectre

    Moving Beasley would give Miami room for 3 Max guys.

    I get what you’re saying though. If Miami really wants to do this (their beat reporter denied it BTW) I think they’ll eventually find a taker.

  7. Jake

    He's a pretty good PG, but his contract blows. I'm tired of the Bobcats bailing other teams out of their bad contracts.

  8. Cheese

    This is the best suggestion yet. Look, I would rather take a big risk and have go into next season with some hope at being a better team than simply looking at a 7th or 8th seed at best and another first round exit.

    I believe the biggest problem the Bobcats franchise has had is that they never hit it big in the lottery and the lack of having a true star on the team has been the main reason for lack of fan interest.

    I don’t care how they get a star, blowing up this team in hopes of a top draft pick, or taking a risk on someone, they need to do something to get a big name.

    Hell, right now I’d be down with them taking a risk on McGrady and I can’t stand him. Right now this is a boring team without much hope.

  9. Ronal

    I like the idea of mo but if that wouldn't happen I think we should sign Jordan farmar who's qo is 2.5 mil not bad and let him and dj battle throughout the season. Who knows mayb one will he a star

  10. The DJ for Mo swap only works if the 'Cats include either Nazr or Diop in the deal. Given that Mo's contract goes until 2013 and pays out around $9 million per, I'd much rather the Cavs take back Gana instead.

    As far as Mo being on the team, he's a huge upgrade from an offensive perspective, slight downgrade from a defensive one and has enough post season experience to add some intangibles come Playoff time.

    Huge contract though. If the 'Cats can move Diop and Augustin for him, I'd give it an A+, if it's Mohammed and DJ then I'll give it a B-/C.

  11. Jake

    All it says is that “trade rumors are circulating” but it doesn’t give an actual source. Most of the time Bleacher Report is about as reliable as asking somebody on here what the Bobcats are going to do.

  12. Brandon

    Mad hatter, I like where your headed maybe with extra cap bring in nate Robinson to battle dj and sign tyrus Thomas. Trade jack and nazr for al and then sign Ray Allen

  13. RobC

    ASChin,

    That scenario is not bad, however is a little to risky. Another team that is also in rebuilding mode, is being sold and would love to unload Cap Space; plus they also have a new face in town is golden State Warriors.

    How about if Bobcats trade:
    Boris Diaw: $9,000,000
    Nazr Mohammed: $6,883,800
    (Sorry, but we’ll be stuck w/Gana Diop for a long time)

    For Golden State’s:
    Monta Ellis: $11,000,000
    Rony Turiaff: $4,000,000

    Then we resign Tyrus Thomas, Stephen Graham and Flip Murray. Plus some other minimum salary players as needed.

    Golden State will save over $25M in the deal and they really want to get rid of Monta Ellis, now that Stephen Curry is in town.

    The Cats will get an immediate upgrade at the PG position, plus Ellis is a decent defender. Turiaff is a backup PF/C, which we will need both.

    Starting Line-Up:
    PG – Monta Ellis
    SG – Stephen Jackson
    SF – Gerald Wallace
    PF – Tyrus Thomas
    C – Tyson Chandler

    Second Unit:
    DJ Augustin
    Gerald Henderson
    Derrick Brown
    Rony Turiaff
    Flip Murray
    Stephen Graham
    Alexis Ajinca
    Gana Diop

    That is as efficient or better as the Arenas trade, is less risky and all players are younger and more athletic. They all can play multiple positions, which Larry Brown loves. The Bobcats will be about $500,000 UNDER the Luxury Tax.

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