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. Jake

    I much prefer this one. We'd be taking on a huge risk in Arenas, but its the kind of ballsy move the Bobcats need to make.

  2. christian

    Why not? It's not like the current lineup's been kicking ass all over the league. Felt's a good guy, but a back up PG for a good team, and the thought of having both Wall and Arenas in the same team's a joke — Wall's already talking about being the Alpha dog and he hasn't even been drafted yet.

  3. Newsinz

    I guess they call him Agent Zero because he's got so many on his check. I never understood why Washington gave him that deal. The crazy thing was, at the time, Arenas was basically bragging about how he "took a paycut" to help the team! Amazing…

    I don't know if the potential upside to this deal is worth risking the worst case scenario. Not having to look at Diop's ridiculous contract figures anymore would be a nice start, though.

  4. mjfan

    It's too risky to take Arena's contract but I will rather take that risk instead of having Diop on the roster. I also like Javale Mcjee as our future starting center and it will comlplete all the positions that we are developing ( PG-DJ, SG-Henderson, SF-Brown, PF-Ajinca, C-McGee ) and that will be the bright side of that trade so go for it.

  5. jj

    Tyson C 12750000
    Raymond F 6000000
    Desagana D 6478000

    25228000

    Monta E 11000000
    Andris B 9000000
    Anthony R 1965720
    Anthony M 1029389
    2nd rd

    22995109

    Stephen J 8450000
    Andris B 9000000
    future 1st rd

    LB james 17450000

    Boris D 9000000
    cash

    randy foye 4795095
    JaVale McGee 1601040
    2nd rd

    6396135

    DJ Augustin

    NY 2x 2nd rd

    PG Monta E, randy foye, 150
    SG LB james, Anthony M, Gerald H 205
    SF Gerald W, Derrick B, 105
    PF Anthony R, Tyrus T, 80
    C Nazr M, Alexis A, JaVale McGee 100

  6. Bobcats Orange?

    If they would do this we definitely should, but as much trouble as Arenas has been into this year, and with all his injuries, he’s still worth more to them the chump change you offered there.

    With all the issues, we get a 20 ppg point guard, a good young center, and a lottery pick for over paid dead weight?

    The only way this happens is if they are absolutely desperate to get rid of Arenas, as the warriors were with captian jack last season. Long shot if you ask me.

  7. leroy

    could also mean more playing time for dj augustin….if arenas turns out to bust his knee again or have a off night lol good way to develop our youngsters

  8. Thanks for the nice comments guys.

    For the people questioning whether or not the Wiz would make the deal, my response is that you really have to look hard at Washington's financial commitment to Arenas.

    Take Emeka Okafor's contract, add another $30 million to it and then factor in Gilbert's three knee injuries, his off the court antics and criminal record and you can see how much a problem he is for the Wiz.

    He's basically a combination of Emeka Okafor, Tracy McGrady and Stephen Jackson. Not your ideal building block.

    With the trade outlined above, Washington would be able unload $35 million of long term money, get two solid years out of a slightly overpaid Boris Diaw and have an expiring Nazr Mohammed come off of the books next summer. The Wiz could also move Boris either this year or next to a team in need of his versatile skills (Raps, Suns and Knicks come to mind).

    The price would be steep but I just can't see another team coming up with a better offer for such an unstable and expensive player.

  9. spectre

    Sorry, you hit on the knees in your post.

    Here's an idea: Cleveland is looking for another big and they have Delonte West's contract (4.5 million, but only 500k guaranteed if cut before July 1st). On the RGM trade board a Cav's fan inquired about Chandler using West, Moon & Telfaire. I want to include D. Brown and they include Hickson (they're not fond of that)…which would allow us to entertain S&T ideas for Tyrus.

    We could cut 4 million off our cap to either re-sign Felton or go another route, get another PF project whose still on his rookie deal for 2 more seasons and get some value out of Tyrus without paying him retail for next season.

  10. I used to love watching Gilbert Arenas – 3 years ago. Considering his level of play, it would be tough to count him out for the rest of his career. He might be a step slower, but that hasn't killed Jason Kidd. Still $80 mill is stupid money for someone that isn't the centerpiece of your franchise.

    As for Spectre's trade idea – I don't see Cleveland letting go of Hickson. The Bobcats would love him, but he was Cleveland's only aggressor on offense beyond Lebron and Mo Williams. His upside is too great for them to trade away. Additionally, I think there's a serious beef between Gerald Wallace and Jamario Moon. So, I don't think you'll see them on the same roster.

    Wallace vs. Moon Link

  11. spectre

    Except for the Jax trade I don't think we've ever gotten real value in our transactions…so I'd have to agree prying Hickson out of Cleveland would be a looooonnnggggg shot.

  12. spectre

    Heh…after typing that post do you still want to trade for Arenas?

    Gilbert will be 31 during next season and his contract lasts until he's 34. Over the last 3 seasons he's played a grand total of 47 games…that's out of a possible 246 (heck, didn't Sean May beat that???).

    Considering that putrid contract, his age and his recent games played (doesn't he have knee history?), what it'd do to our cap over the next couple of years as well as his off the court antics I don't see this as being an option at all.

    Cudos for giving it a go though.

  13. spectre

    Last note…that above deal also upgrades our backup SF spot. UPS might end up being better than Moon, but right now Moon is definitely the better player.

  14. spectre-

    as the Fonz pointed out, Gilbert was born in 1982, which makes him 28. He’ll be 32 when his deal expires.

    As for the Cleveland deal, no thanks. Arenas is at least worth the risk because he’s been an All-Star, has gone to the Playoffs, has some prime years left in him and is still young enough to turn it around (much younger than JAX, btw).

    West and Moon? The team’s strongest position is SF when you figure that JAX is a natural three and they still have Crash and Derrick Brown. I like West’s shooting on the court but not really crazy about it off the court. He’s a one dimensional player. Like a better version of Eddie House.
    Hickson is alright. I like his energy and aggressiveness but I think his value is overrated because he’s played so much on national television with a high profile team. He and McGee are pretty much on the same level skill wise.

    “Cudos” for trying though.

  15. Jake

    With the recent news of the Nets turning down a trade of Kenyon Dooling for Michael Beasley, we should be all over trying to pick Beasley up. He's been miscast as a SF in Miami, yet still has been a good scorer and is relatively cheap especially considering his age (just 21) and production. Nazr Mohammed for Michael Beasley, plus whatever sign-and-trade Miami includes to make the salary match up. Then there would be no need for Thomas, freeing up $6MM to be used elsewhere. By trading for Beasley and a player to even up the salaries, making the Diaw-Hinrich swap, and letting Felton and Thomas go, the Bobcats would actually have around $14MM to spend. That should be enough to fill whatever holes we have.

  16. spectre

    Ah, I was off 1 year…he’ll “turn” 33 during his last season (born in January). I appreciate you pointing that out, but with his injury history I doubt that one year makes a very big difference.

    In the Cleveland deal West would be cut for the cap savings…he’s only guaranteed 500k if that happens before July 1st.

    ASChin you did notice who pulled the most minutes last season right? It’s our “strongest” position becuase LB plays Crash for most of the game. Maybe another backup SF would reduce that just a little since Larry doesn’t want to play the two rooks?

    47 games in the past 3 seasons. We don’t know what Arenas has left. As you noted we dumped Emeka because of his salary (and he played all the games!) and Arenas makes 30 million more.

    You might think Hickson is overrated, but the FO has had a thing for him since he was drafted and have tried to trade for him at least once.

  17. Jake-

    If the Beasley for Mohammed swap were an option, I'd jump on it. A risk for certain but the move doesn't cost you much and could pay off big.

    I don't think that you'd be forced to let Tyrus walk in that instance either. You could sign him and move Boris somewhere down the line. Or sign and trade Tyrus for another player or draft pick. Just don't see the 'Cats giving up a first round pick for a five month T2 rental.

  18. Jake

    ASChin-

    Good point about the sign-and-trade with Thomas. To be sure someone will be interested enough in him for us to be able to get something in return. After all, his rights do belong to the Bobcats. I'm glad you agree with me on Beasley's potential: This is a young stud that the Bobcats could potentially build around.

    Dr. E –

    Well, at least we know we'd have one year of LB supervising Beasley. MJ and Wallace will still be here after next year, and I'm sure any coach that gets hired will be in the same strain as Coach Brown. I think the support system here, both this upcomming year and in the immediate future, is going to be enough to keep him in line. Sadly, its these kind of players Charlotte is going to have to rely on to get top-notch talent right now. There's no denying Beasley's immense talent and if Coach Brown can help set him straight, he could be the face of this franchise for years to come.

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