Bobcats 2014 Trade Deadline Scenarios – Part Three

Standard

I just couldn’t help myself. After last night’s statement win in Detroit, the 2014 NBA PLAYOFF-bound Charlotte Bobcats got the fake trade juices flowing! So here’s a little last minute scenario as we approach the Deadline’s final 24 hours.

The Allow Us to Help You Tank and ReGroup Scenario

TRADE: Charlotte sends Ben Gordon, Ramon Sessions and two 2nd Round Picks to the Nuggets for Wilson Chandler, Andre Miller and Darrell Arthur.

Denver is squarely out of the Western Conference Playoff picture and owes the least favorable of its own or the Knicks’ first rounder to the Magic in June’s Draft. As of today, they’d be conveying their own pick (13th) to Orlando and they’d wind up taking New York’s 1st in the Bottom ten.

With the widespread consensus being that this is a ten player Draft, problems arise for Denver if the Knicks push their way into the Eastern Playoffs (always a possiblity). The Nuggs would then send a mid-round pick to the Magic and keep their own late Lotto selection. Enter the Charlotte Bobcats.

Denver not only makes their team worse this year (insuring a higher pick in case of a Knicks Playoff run), they double down on the bet by empowering a New York eight seed rival AND shave nearly $15 million off next season’s books for a mini-free agent run in the summer. Ditching that much salary would be a godsend for the Nuggs as they are nearly up against next season’s tax threshold and that’s before signing any draft picks, etc. Also Andre Miller is a miserable distraction and wants out of Colorado as soon as possible. Boom-boom-boom.

That’s all great for the Nuggets but what does Charlotte get out of the deal?

For one, it really only costs them a year of cap space – but this time, instead of renting it out for pick-bait like Ben Gordon, they’d be gaining useful rotation players. Second, and most importantly,  this trade is really about youth. Stick with me for a moment…

Having Chandler on the roster gives Charlotte a one or two year rental (via team option) on a tough defending, three point shooting small forward who has proven over his career that he doesn’t mind coming off the bench. I mean, could there be a better platoon mate for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist? MKG stays in the starting lineup while Chandler closes out games. The Cats have been doing this very thing recently, playing Anthony Tolliver in crunch time to space the floor. Wilson could do much the same with a much more varied offensive game and with little drop off at the defensive end. Better yet, Chandler’s team-option would expire the summer of MKG’s extension – if Kidd-Gilchrist develops like Charlotte hopes, he’ll be handed the full-time gig then without straining the team’s books.

Arthur’s presence does much the same for Cody Zeller, giving the Cats a low cost/low risk pick ‘n pop alternative while Cody adds strength and works on his mid-range shot. Darrell’s struggled this season in a new system but has shown in the past to be a decent pick ‘n pop shooter slash pick and roll defender in Memphis. Either way, he’s only owed $3.5 million for one more season – so the risk is minimal.

Finally, there’s Professor Andre Miller. Exiled after his public controntation with Brian Shaw in December, the 37 year old veteran is still on the Nuggets books for next season at a little over $4.5 million. What on earth could Dr. Dre have to do with the Bobcats youth movement?

Barring some late season miracle, the Detroit Pistons won’t be making the Playoffs this season and they probably have too much talent to drop inside the Bottom Eight – which means that Charlotte will likely get their first rounder and be picking somewhere between nine and thirteen come late June. I’m sure Rich Cho’s database has precise odds on this scenario but I can only go with my gut and my gut tells me that it’s better than 50-50. Say 65-35.

One of these three prospects are going to be on the board when the Detroit pick comes up: Marcus Smart (stock falling), Tyler Ennis (stock rising) or Zach LaVine (stock all over the place). Charlotte could absolutely use a long-term backup slash co-ball handler to team with Kemba. Playing one season with The Professor can only speed up a young point guard’s development, am I right? Not to mention what Kemba could learn from the old man.

In summary, adding a few short term rental vets could take some of the immediate (and unwanted) pressure off the young Hornets by giving them a little breathing room to grow into their full-time roles.

As far as this season goes, it’s hard to imagine Arthur being any more of a liability at either end as Cody is today. Chandler provides distance shooting off the pine without sacrificing perimeter defense – Wilson can also slide over to SG for stretches, allowing Clifford to stay big on the wings. Sessions’ and Miller’s games couldn’t be any different – Chandler’s bench scoring and Miller’s post-game and passing wizardry should be able to offset Sesh’s second unit offense for the most part.

And before anyone screams “this kills our chance at a marquee free agent this summer!” – have a look at the list of guys coming up. The most intriguing names will be restricted and near impossible to get. The one intriguing unrestricted, Lance Stephenson, won’t be coming to the QC without a massive overpay (which could be dangerous).

By the time the next meaningful free agency summer comes along in July of ’15 (Hibbert, MGasol, KLove, Aldridge all unrestricted), Charlotte’s books would be clean enough that they could throw max money at a guy if either Henderson or Big Al opts out of their player options (wink-wink) and re-signs long-term. Charlotte could also sign and trade those players. They’d have options then without sacrificing winning today or major Draft chips tomorrow.

-ASChin

@BaselineBuzz

Christmas Eve: Jordan Goes Shopping, Bobcats Fans Can’t Sleep

Standard

We’ve all been there…

The week before xmas rolls around and there are only three gifts under the tree. One is obviously a book; the second is for your sister labeled something stupid like “From: Rudolph”; and the other appears to be a Nintendo game but after you take peek and discover that it’s a nail grooming kit from your Aunt Linda, you begin to worry…

“Am I getting the shaft this year?”

Your anxiety builds up until December 24th, but then, magically, throughout Christmas Eve day, the presents slowly appear. The gifts vary in size…like the gifter had no guidance whatsoever. The tallest one is covered in large trash bags held together by duct tape, the smaller ones are blatantly wrapped at a retail “wrapping station”.

Your mind begins to race…

How did this happen? Santa doesn’t come until xmas morning…who deserves the credit for such a bountiful onslaught of holiday cheer?

Your Dad.

Only your Dad puts off shopping until the very last day. Your Dad is the one who goes  to  Toys ‘R’ Us and “throws money” at anything left on the shelves. The result is a bunch of random-but-awesome shit that you didn’t even ask for…a hockey stick, a leather jacket, two catcher’s mitts…maybe a silk shirt.

My premise is this…Michael Jordan is the dad who shops on xmas eve.

Bobcats fans are in for a real treat when they wake up to a whole room of new players. He already blew the “big one” by giving us our new coach early, so…

What will Michael Jordan be getting us for xmas?

Baron Davis?

This has been widely rumored, and covered earlier by Mike here at Bobcats Baseline:

… [the] rumor goes like this – Bobcats will send promising offensive talent D.J. Augustin, misfit shooter Matt Carroll, and rarely-used backup center Desagana Diop to the Los Angeles Clippers. In return, the Los Angeles Clippers will send Baron Davis, an aging, injury-riddled point guard that is about a decade past his prime.

Don’t forget “out of shape” and “uninspired” when blessing B-Dizzle with adjectives. But hey, could a reunion with Paul Silas and a faster pace of play be the tune-up that Baron needs?  And if the Clippers would take Diop and Carroll’s contracts, Baron’s deal wouldn’t be that hard to swallow.  Can’t say we wouldn’t be intrigued to see this gift under the tree.

Chris Kaman?

Donald Sterling’s second favorite Clipper is also reportedly being aggressively pushed onto the trading block.  Kaman has been a decent traditional center for a couple years now, and actually made the All-Star game for the first time last season while averaging 18 ppg.

But that All-Star selection probably says more about the dearth of solid traditional centers in the West; and besides, it’s looking like it will be a one-time thing for Kaman anyways.  He’s only played 10 games this year due to an ankle injury and is averaging just 10 ppg/7 rpg. If Kaman is stuffed in our stocking with a packet of Fun Dip, we’d toss him aside while we assess what else we haven’t unwrapped.

Andre Miller?

Brandon Roy and Andre Miller have had a tenuous relationship in Portland’s backcourt.  Despite the fact that his long-term viability as the cornerstone of the franchise has been called into question due to his bad knees, Roy reportedly stressed the poor fit between he and Miller to the Trailblazers front office recently.

The Trailblazers have long been enamored with Gerald Wallace.  Connect the dots and you get the Andre Miller for Gerald Wallace rumor.  Miller is 34, but has a reasonable contract and has been amazingly durable and consistently productive for years.  He’d be an upgrade over DJ at the point, but how much of an upgrade?  Getting Miller would be kind of like finding a refurbished iPad under the tree.

Marcus Camby?

To sweeten the pot, the Blazers could include Marcus Camby.  The big man was brought into Portland last year to fortify their Oden-less frontline as they eyed a deep playoff run.  That didn’t work out, and it doesn’t look like it’s in the cards this year either — so Portland is apparently open to retooling.

Camby is 36, but still has a little left.  He’s an athletic big who has essentially become a rebounding and defensive specialist.  If Charlotte commits to running a more uptempo offense, Camby would be a better fit than Nazr Mohammed. If your brother got Gerald Wallace for xmas, and you got Andre and Marcus, would you trade gifts?

JJ Redick?

Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel points out that the net result of the Magic’s two trades was going small for big.  The Magic are now overloaded in the backcourt, with Gilbert Arenas and Jason Richardson pushing Chris Duhon, Jason Williams, Quentin Richardson and JJ Redick for playing time.  Meanwhile, sending Marcin Gortat to the Suns leaves Dwight Howard with no true backup.  The Magic currently go small with Brandon Bass or Ryan Anderson when Howard needs a rest or, god forbid, gets in foul trouble.

That proposition is a bit scary when you’re looking at potentially facing the Boston Celtics in the playoffs.  Could the Magic turn one of their many smalls into a big?  Maybe if they’re willing to part with JJ Redick and take Nazr Mohammed or Gana Diop?

From a basketball standpoint, Redick really duplicates Matt Carroll’s skill set.  That pesky issue aside, it would be hilarious to see Redick on the Bobcats.  In case you weren’t aware, Bobcats (Tarheel) fans have made booing JJ Redick one of the Cable Box’s best traditions.  At this point, the level of derision is so out of proportion to anything that Redick has ever done to affront Bobcat/Tarheel fans that it’s clearly taken on a life of its own.  It would be pretty cool to see Redick turn those boos into delirious cheers by nailing three after three in an uptempo offense. Still, for Tarcats (or Bobheels) Redick would be like getting a big pile of coal in your stocking.

So get to bed early (via Ambien and eggnog), Vitamin Water your tree, and leave out his favorite drink because Michael Jordan coming tonight.

- Deesdale & Dr. E

Raymond Felton or Andre Miller?

Standard

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