ReFraming the Sweep and 5 Must-Dos for the Offseason

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DHO Framed

Nothing in this world happens in a vortex.  All is connected and in this connection comes the dynamic results that we refer to as life.  How we perceive stories is no different.  We’ve heard a lot about “framing” in recent years in regards to how political issues are “framed” in the mass media.  Is the issue “Should the US military increase its efforts in the Middle East: Yes or No” or is it “Should the US even be involved such international conflicts at all?
The world of sports is no different.  In the aftermath of the Orlando sweep three weeks ago, Bobcats fans and pundits collectively framed the argument as “How bad are the Charlotte Bobcats and What Needs to Happen to Make them Better?”  Now, with the added dynamic of time and another reference point by way of the Orlando/Atlanta four game non-series, the frame in which we view the ’09-’10 Bobcats changes once more.

The Magic absolutely decimated the Atlanta Hawks in four games by a combined total of 101 points.  Average that out and the Hawks lose by 25 points a game.  Those are blowouts, folks.  The Magic averaged a blowout for the series.  Contrast that with the now suddenly respectable Bobcats sweep in which the ‘Cats lost four games by a combined 37 points, averaging out to a little over 9 points per game.  If the Magic manhandle the revitalized and dangerous Celtics in a seven game Conference Final series, then we’ll have to re-frame the Bobcats First Round exit yet again.

The point is that without playing another second of basketball, the Bobcats don’t look as bad as they did three weeks ago.  You could argue that if they had they drawn ANY OTHER TEAM in the first round besides the Magic (and maybe the Celtics) they would have either had a real shot at winning the series or at the very least would have avoided a sweep.

Don’t get me wrong, the Bobcats still have many things to take care of over the next five months.  The Eastern Conference isn’t standing still and there’s a good chance that New York and New Jersey will be much improved by early July.  The ‘Cats are going to need to resolve a few major issues in order to stay in the Top Eight:

  1. Settle the Larry Brown situation.
    The way that this thing has played out so far, my gut tells me that Larry will be back on the bench next year for a last hurrah.  It seems like his comments to the media are to incite sympathy for his family situation which will make him look like a martyr for coaching the team next year.  And then when the season’s over, he’ll leave the team — playing the “I was man enough to stick it out another year” card.
  2. Figure out the Boris Diaw/Stephen Jackson Dynamic.
    These two can’t play together.  The chemistry is way off and we witnessed this in gory detail during the Sweep.  Since JAX is the alpha, it looks like Boris will be the one who will be on the move.  It’s tough to gauge the market for Diaw.  On one hand, there are few big men in the League with his diverse skills — D’Antoni’s Knicks and Colangelo’s Raptors would love to have him as part of their teams.  On the other hand, Diaw is overpaid at $9 million a season for the next two years and I’m not certain what exactly the Bobcats could get back in return for him.  Since both the Knicks and the Raptors are in the free agency mix this summer (Bosh & David Lee) I could see the Bobcats getting involved with Diaw going to one of those squads in a multi-team deal — perhaps a deal that would send Charlotte back a…
  3. Point Guard.
    Congrats to Michael Jordan and Rod Higgins for standing firm last summer and not overpaying Raymond Felton.  Over the past eight months, we found out exactly who Raymond is as a player: A high quality locker room guy, a spot starter or solid backup who can get hot a few games a year and can be somewhat of a liability on defense against smaller, quicker guards AKA Derek Fisher’s replacement AKA the ’10-’11 Los Angeles Lakers starting PG.  Thanks for the memories, Ray.  So glad that you and Sean May were so good that we turned down the chance to have either Deron Williams or Chris Paul.
  4. Tyrus Thomas.
    Sign him.  No brainer.  One more year with Larry Brown and Tyrus could move into the top 15 power forwards in the League.
  5. Hold onto both Tyson Chandler’s and Nazr Mohammed’s Expiring Contracts.
    Unless an incredible deal comes along that would net the team a star player (unlikely) the ‘Cats will be much better off just holding on to the $18+ million in expiring deals.  This way they win if
    a.) there is a lockout and the team has less dead payroll going into the shortened or cancelled season or
    b.) there is no lockout and in the summer of 2011 the team can lure a big name free agent.

The Bobcats aren’t far away from becoming a second round (plus) team next season.  Having Jax, Tyson and Tyrus for another year with Wallace will help.  As we’ve seen from the Spurs, Lakers and Celtics during the Playoffs, consistency + familiarity goes a long ways and can give you an added edge in the postseason.

-ASChin


POLL : SHOULD CHARLOTTE RE-SIGN RAYMOND FELTON?

  • YES
    (32%, 59 Votes)
  • NO
    (68%, 127 Votes)

Total Voters: 186

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18 Responses to “ReFraming the Sweep and 5 Must-Dos for the Offseason”

  1. etothet
    May 14, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    Glad we agree! Look forward to it.

  2. etothet
    May 14, 2010 at 7:18 pm #

    Ray will get paid. Charlotte may not, but there are teams looking at signing Ray. I am kind of glad for Ray and I hope he gets out of dodge. It is tough after you have played big the whole year and have a bad series and all of a sudden he can’t guard the quicker point guards. Hogwash! He was the best on the ball defender the bobcats had. He is ranked even after a bad series as the top point guard in free agency. I hope he will get out of hatersville. This year he took less shots, increased his field goal percentage, cut down turnovers, increased steals, increased 3 point field goal percentage and did’nt take nights off. I agree with constructive criticism, but some remarks are just garbage and imply dislike for Felton.

  3. ASChin
    May 14, 2010 at 9:14 pm #

    Agreed. I sincerely hope that he gets out of Hatersville too. Immediately. 12:00am on July 1st to be exact.

  4. spectre
    May 15, 2010 at 12:05 am #

    ASChin…so you're advocating we start DJ?

    If/when we QO TT we'll have around 1-2 million left and only 1 PG (I think we're still calling him a PG). If we let Felton walk what's the solution at the 1?

    And here I thought you'd finally come around on Felton! I guess those 4 games, his 1st ever playoff series (which you're now saying isn't as bad as was originally thought) trumped the whole season?

    Y'know we were 32 and 20 for the 2010 part of the season, and as MJ pointed out the team hasn't been together that long. Seems to me you'd try to build on that vs. being so concerned with the 4 games that "weren't that bad".

    I'd still give him a MLE type deal and move TC for cap relief later into the season. THAT way we don't backslide.

    But who knows what we'll do.

  5. ASChin
    May 15, 2010 at 6:14 am #

    Those are good points spectre (as usual). I’d counter with:

    A.) I’m not advocating starting DJ. My post states that I’d rather find a taker for Boris that would net us back a starting PG. This would take care of the salary situation as well even after we sign TT.

    B.) This isn’t a rash judgement on Felton. I still like Felton more today than I did this time last summer. Not by much but more. He just isn’t worth the type of money that you’re talking about (MLE or above) and I’d much rather have someone else at that price on a shorter deal to see what they can do. Would love to have a PG with Ray’s skillset who could consistently shoot.

    C.) As reported by Chad Ford, a lot of teams are wary about trading for 2011 expirings because of the looming labor dispute. Tyson and Nazr become less valuable with this new attitude. Better to hold on to them and go after a real game changer in Free Agency or via Sign & Trade in July ’11.

  6. RaleighCatsFan
    May 15, 2010 at 7:35 am #

    I’m excited hearing the off season comments on the Cats. Don’t know what’s gonna happen at the PG position, but TT is the man and needs to stay. already looking forward to a new season with the Cats, go ahead Charlotte!

  7. spectre
    May 15, 2010 at 8:35 am #

    ASChin you have to think that if Felton's value took a hit during the playoffs (and I certainly do) then Boris' had to have went thru the basement floor. I'd be literally shocked if anyone would take him and his salary off our hands unless we're really getting snookered.

    You're looking at Nazr & TC as only expirings. Nazr had a stellar year before he went down and he's already in the gym now (chk his twitter page). He's going to have value for his position and him being an expiring will only make him more desirable. Same with TC…I was really liking him after he finally declared himself healthy. So much so that I actually hate the idea of giving him up. Assuming he can stay healthy I'd definitely consider offering him a contract in after next year around the MLE.

    What are the alternatives to Felton in FA this year? Ridnour? Blake? For LB (assuming he's back) I don't see it at all. I think maybe Watson, but he'd still cost in the 4-5 range and we'd probably have to give him a minimum of 3 years as it'd be part of our MLE.

    Felton knows our system, LB likes him and his contract would be very tradable the first 2 or 3 years. IMO if we don't want to step back he needs to be signed if it's reasonable.

    If he got an unreasonable offer I'd probably suck it up with Watson as his D is pretty good and LB could probably deal with him.

  8. etothet
    May 15, 2010 at 11:48 am #

    Felton's value has not taken that much of a hit.

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=1618

    Still ranked the number point guard in free agency.

  9. mike15
    May 15, 2010 at 2:10 pm #

    The thought of holding onto both Nazr and Tyson is tough, considering that we’ll be stuck with Desagana Diop. I think the team spent about $18 million for those guys last season and still had to bring in Theo Ratliff to get through the year.

    One would expect more for $18 million, you know?

    If Nazr recovers from his back injury, he could be valuable to another team.

    I’d love to see Tyrus Thomas return. He could really develop under Larry Brown. Plus, he could fill some of those late-game small-ball minutes at the center spot.

    Lastly, I hope that Ajinca goes for an average of 12pts / 7 rebs this season. I can’t believe that his thumb took so long to heal. Maybe he’ll be adding some pounds (kilos) by eating at Boris’ restaurant this summer.

  10. mike15
    May 15, 2010 at 3:04 pm #

    Also, I agree with your intro about the “vortex.” I mean, you go to Carowinds and it’s loaded with rollercoasters, and still everyone gets in line for the Vortex. I mean, compared to the Cobra and the Nighthawk – nothing happens on the vortex.

    Yet, we must agree that all in life is connected with Carowinds’ newest coaster – “The Intimidator

  11. spectre
    May 16, 2010 at 2:00 am #

    To be fair tho etothet I think that says more about the other unrestricted FAs than it does about Felton…they all pretty much suck. It probably will help him tho.

    With us being over the cap I think all of the RFAs are out of the picture (Ford already said he's taking his option…thank goodness), but it wouldn't hurt to try and take a shot at Lowry. IMO Houston would match tho.

  12. ASChin
    May 16, 2010 at 9:31 am #

    Guys, Raymond Felton finished the regular season as the 29th overall PG in PER. We're not talking about Magic Johnson or Steve Nash here.

    Lowry would be a decent upgrade if he could come at a similar price, agreed but there's also a few other PG candidates out there on the trade market.

    If NJ wins the John Wall sweepstakes then Devin Harris will be shopped. Same goes for Tony Parker, Jose Calderon, Baron Davis and either Darren Collison (or in our kindest of dreams) Chris Paul.

  13. spectre
    May 16, 2010 at 9:36 pm #

    “If NJ wins the John Wall sweepstakes then Devin Harris will be shopped. Same goes for Tony Parker, Jose Calderon, Baron Davis and either Darren Collison (or in our kindest of dreams) Chris Paul.”

    …and I’m pulling for the Nets to get that overall pick just so Harris will be available. Realistically though…what do we have to part with to get either him or Parker (who going to want a max/near max deal next year)? Both are going to want Crash and I don’t want to give him up for either as that’d just create another hole.

    Same with Collison or Paul (I don’t see them moving Paul).

    Caleron? No way would I trade anything for him unless maybe Gana. Davis isn’t worth his contract either.

    Felton’s PER might have been 29th, but his D was one of the better of the PGs, and LB demands that moreso than offense.

    There just aren’t a lot of better options, and there’s no need to downgrade if we can keep Felton on a reasonable deal. To keep fan support I think it’s imperative that we at least “hold serve” on next year.

  14. spectre
    May 16, 2010 at 11:33 pm #

    SA also wants to keep competing for as long as Duncan can still play. they're not doing a quality for quantity trade right now.

    Free Agent PG Depth Weak
    http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=1621

    Blake is a fringe starter and more a backup.

    Baron Davis is due 41,650,000 over the next 3 years and he just turned 31 years old. The last 3 years where he's been "relatively" healthy (82, 63 & 72 games) he's shot 0.426, 0.370 & 0.406. From 3: 33%, 30% & 28%.

    I can't imagine why you'd be against giving Felton an MLE deal yet advocate for bringing BDiddy back.

    Caleron…it's not "all" his fault, but it's well known he plays matador defense.
    http://community.raptorspace.com/reply/182642

    (you'll like that one because it actually mentions Felton!)
    http://dimemag.com/2010/05/the-2010-nba-all-no-de

    2010 all NO defense team…starting Caleron!

    I'd probably trade Gana for him…but Gana is probably about the only contract the Raptors wouldn't trade Caleron for.

    • ASChin
      May 19, 2010 at 9:02 am #

      It's really not about Felton. Like I said it has to do more with the Cats cap situation. See my post on the cap. The team will have to trade for a point of they want to bring back Tyrus.

  15. ASChin
    May 17, 2010 at 4:04 am #

    Not sure that Parker couldn't be had for less than Crash. Looks like clearing salary is at the top of SA's wish list. Could see a Chandler/Diaw/Augustin package with maybe a future first rounder (after the '10 draft) for Parker/McDyess. More likely though they'd want either Jackson or Crash and Tyson for Parker/McDyess.

    As for Calderon, the guy is on the worst defensive team in League. It's not all his fault. Plus he's light years ahead of Ray offensively. That would be a great deal. Diop (and change) for Jose. I'd do that.

    I also like Baron coming back to the Queen City for one last go. Think Coach Brown would be good for him and the JAX/B-Diddy backcourt has worked before in SF. With Baron's massive contract, I wonder if Sterling would be cheap enough to move him for Nazr's expiring and Diop? Would pull that trigger immediately.

    Also, forgot to mention Steve Blake. Portland played great with Steve as a starter. Would make a great backup/spot starter.

  16. RobC
    May 24, 2010 at 5:19 am #

    Hey, I like Felton and I think he is a solid PG, but he is not good enough to be a starter (never been) and he is not this teams future.

    As for the "listed as the #1 PG" comment, PLEASE…look at the whole list again. There is NOT ONE PG in that league that is a stater for his team, excluding Fisher and we all know what team he plays for. Raymond is the Top PG among all the role players and benchwarmer PG's in the league. Not one of those guys was a starter by the end of the season, except for Fisher. Please, that comment makes more harm than it helps Felton.

    We should trade Mohammed and maybe Henderson for TJ Ford, also an expiring contrat after next season. He would be able to fit the bill during this next season and that will give the Cats over $21.5M in cap space for next season. That is the best move right now, plus resign Tyrus Thomas, Stephen Graham and Flip Murray.

  17. b dog
    May 24, 2010 at 9:13 pm #

    Diaw may of lost alot of value in playoffs but the Knicks would LOVE hime with mike dantoni. My vote is diaw and something else for their first round pick and then draft a PG that Larry Brown can mold. and make sure you resign T TIME

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