Six Trade Deadline Deals for the Charlotte Bobcats

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Let’s hope Rich Cho and Rod Higgins have an unlimited minutes plan. With up to $19 million in expiring contracts, multiple 1st Round draft picks and a roster devoid of Playoff talent, it’s a near certainty the front office duo are working the phones to acquire talent before the February 21st deadline. Let’s have a look at some of the options available as we approach the frenzy:

Expirings about to Expire

In particular, you can all but guarantee Charlotte will attempt to move the expiring contracts of upcoming free agents Gana Diop ($7.3m), Hakim Warrick (team option, $4m) and Reggie Williams ($2.6m). The Queen City’s never been a major free agent destination so acquiring a quality player already under contract with this space is imperative. While fishing out a highly paid psuedo-star like Rudy Gay is an option, the team could also use the expiring contracts in the form of a salary dump to bring in a prospect or pick, for example:

TRADE PROPOSAL #1 CLT trades Gana Diop, Hakim Warrick to SAC for John Salmons, Thomas Robinson.

Nothing says “fresh start” like the dumping of a truly terrible contract. As much fun as it would be for a guy named “Salmons” to play in Seattle, he’s extremely overpaid for his production. With John off the books, the soon-to-be-Sonics could both re-sign Tyreke Evans and dip their toes into a decent Free Agency pool. The price for taking on Salmons’ additional two years would be Robinson, who has the potential to be a league-leading rebounder and a decent post player.

TRADE PROPOSAL #2 CLT trades Diop, Reggie Williams to DAL for Shawn Marion, Jae Crowder, 2nd Round Pick.

Mark Cuban is going all in this summer and the only thing standing in his way is the final year of Marion’s contract. By dumping it, Cuban will have nearly $25 million to blow in free agency BEFORE utilizing all the Mavs’ cap exceptions. Meanwhile, Charlotte rents a fading yet useful combo forward for 18 months. If Shawn pouts, the Cats can buy him out midway next season but if not, they’ll have a highly useful rebounder/jump shooter in their rotation. The real bounty in the trade is Crowder, a high-energy, rebounding machine on a pint-sized contract for two more seasons. Dallas’ 2nd Rounder would replace the one Charlotte traded to OKC for Byron Mullens.

Big Names, Big Deals, Big Risks

If Cho and Higgins were to roll the dice to bring in a youngish, All-Star-ish, type of player there are a few options out on the trading block:

TRADE PROPOSAL #3 CLT trades Tyrus Thomas, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Diop to MEM for Rudy Gay, Darrell Arthur.

As controversial as it sounds, this deal could ultimately help both teams. Memphis dumps Gay’s massive contract and adds another wing stopper in Kidd-Gilchrist, freeing the team to pair Mike Conley with another scorer instead of re-signing free agent-to-be Tony Allen. The price, of course, is taking on the last two years of Thomas’ laughable deal. Though overpaid, Gay gives Charlotte exactly what they need as a dynamic offensive SF while Arthur provides a steady two-way presence at the other forward spot. Also, trading Tyrus alleviates the need for using the amnesty clause on him – a move that could save Michael Jordan up to $18 million over the next two years. Before you scoff at the idea of a penny-pinching owner, keep in mind that the cash could be spent on the next coach hire (Stan Van Gundy, anyone?), the Hornets rebrand, front office help and a quality bench player or two. Next season’s Kemba/McLemore/Gay/Arthur/Biyombo lineup and deep bench could certainly compete for a Playoff spot.

TRADE PROPOSAL #4 CLT trades Diop, Williams, 1st Rnd Pick (via PDX) to TOR for Andrea Bargnani.

A straight salary dump for the Raps with a mid-round pick thrown in for their troubles, Toronto officially moves on from the disappointing Bargnani era, allowing the assurgant Ed Davis to claim the starting spot for good. Charlotte gets a sweet-shooting big man who actually makes good on his stroke – Bargnani takes Byron Mullens’ re-signing out of the equation come July and provides the Cats with a niche outside-in complement to Biyombo and MKG in the frontcourt. Also, did I mention that Bargnani makes Mullens redundant?

TRADE PROPOSAL #5 CLT trades Gerald Henderson, Williams, 1st Rnd Pick (DET) to SAC for Tyreke Evans.

If the soon-to-be-Sonics are convinced that they can’t or don’t want to sign Evans to a $10 million plus per year deal in July, they can make a trade like this one. Henderson gives them a less expensive backup plan for a starting two guard and the pick from Detroit adds to the new management’s stash of assets. The Cats roll the dice here by adding Evans and his upcoming near-max deal but the payoff could be huge. Evans is only 23, taller and bigger than Henderson and a very good ball handler AKA a near perfect long-term complement to Kemba Walker. Tyreke is a consistent jumpshot away from an All-Star game. This is exactly the sort of player the Cats should be targeting.

TRADE PROPOSAL #6 CLT trades Diop, Warrick, Williams, Two 1st Rnd Picks (via DET/PDX) to ATL for Josh Smith.

By far the most prepostorous of the scenarios, Charlotte would “win” the right to pay Smith $18 million or so per year over the next four seasons. Atlanta seems less than thrilled with that very idea so have been shopping Smith over the past few months. While the concept of trading Smith within their own division (much less the same Conference) might seem abhorant, acquiring two mid-round draft choices and $14 million in cap space may alleviate the sting. Smith would immediately become the Cats’ most dynamic scorer and a fine match with MKG – but factoring in Smith’s contract demands, maturity issues and Atlanta’s division-rival status, it’s a definite longshot.
-ASChin

Bobcats Down Raptors; Trade Deadline Approaches

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DJ (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE/Getty Images)

The Bobcats handily defeated the Toronto Raptors, 114-101, on Tuesday night at the Cable Box.  DJ Augustin led the way with 23 points and 8 assists/o turnovers, while Gerald Wallace relentlessly drove at Toronto’s weak interior defenders en route to 14-15 FTs and 20 points.

AP Recap |  Box Score

The Bobcats took the lead late in the first quarter and never looked back.  They stretched the lead out to double digits in the second and nearly out to 20 briefly in the third.  A meaningless Raptors rally cut the Cats lead to 11 midway through the fourth before Gerald Wallace closed the door for good by getting to the line for 5-6 free throws on three consecutive possessions.

Boris Diaw had a strong game with 16 points (6-10 FG), 9 assists and 4 steals.  Gerald Henderson added 15 points (5-11 FG) and 6 rebounds in 27 minutes off the bench.

The Raptors are pretty much a mess, and it starts with their best player.  7’0″ center Andrea Bargnani is about as soft as they come, and his nonexistent defensive ability and effort set the tone for the rest of the young team.

Notes

  • Stephen Jackson left the game in the third quarter after taking contact and landing awkwardly during a layup.  Jackson left the floor limping and holding his left hamstring.  He soon returned to the bench, but did not re-enter the game.  Jackson said after the game the injury was not a concern and that he could have played if called upon.
  • Nazr Mohammed did his best Kevin Love impression, grabbing 14 rebounds in just 24 minutes off the bench.
  • Boris capped his night of with a breakaway dunk that was rather out of character.  After a feed from DJ, who had stolen the ball in the backcourt, Boris cocked it back behind his head before stuffing it two-handed.  I would say that he was inspired by this past weekend’s slam dunk contest, but you and I know there’s no way Boris watched that.
  • Weird line for Jerryd Bayless.  He was about as relentless going to the rack as Gerald Wallace and had 11-12 FT, but was 0-4 from the field.   He also tallied 10 assists, but gave up 4 turnovers and committed 4 fouls.
  • The Pacers took care of the Wiz tonight, so maintain their one game lead on the Bobcats for the 8th playoff spot.
  • Bobcats don’t play again until Friday night when they host the Kings at the Cable Box, 7 PM ET start.  The Kings will be without Tyreke Evans, who is missing time with plantar fasciitis, and Carl Landry, who is about to get traded to the Hornets for Marcus Thornton.

Thoughts at the Trade Deadline

Bonus trade deadline thoughts!  Now that the Carmelo deal is done, some other smaller deals are starting to go down.  The deadline is at 3 PM ET on Thursday.  Several sources have indicated that the Bobcats have been active on the phones.

But Paul Silas has been quoted both Monday and Tuesday as saying that he doesn’t think the Bobcats will be making a trade; his quote from Tuesday made it sound as if the Bobcats had only received ludicrous proposals from other teams: “We’re not just going to give people away and that’s what most teams want you to do.”

That’s basically code for: “You know who we’ve got on the block.  We’re ready to deal, but you’re going to have to step your offer up.”

And while I agree that the Bobcats should only trade Gerald Wallace if they get a Godfather offer, and should be pretty picky about giving Boris Diaw up, I wouldn’t be as choosy about a Stephen Jackson trade.  I’d jump on a mix of an expiring contract and a draft pick in a heartbeat, but that’s probably not happening.

Whatever the case, despite Silas’s proclamation that “nothing’s happening”, expect to hear the Bobcats continue to come up in deadline buzz over the next day and half.

-Dr. E

POLL : What should the Bobcats do at the trade deadline?

  • Trade Gerald Wallace (23%, 12 Votes)
  • Trade Boris Diaw (17%, 9 Votes)
  • Trade Stephen Jackson (34%, 18 Votes)
  • Stand pat and make a playoff push (26%, 14 Votes)

Total Voters: 53

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Bobcats Blow Fourth Quarter Lead In Loss To Raptors

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Charlotte Bobcats vs Raptors, 3/29/10


The Charlotte Bobcats dropped another winnable game to the Toronto Raptors, 103-101, on Monday night at the Cable Box.  The Cats led by six points to start the final period before falling behind.  A mad scramble in the closing 90 seconds resulted in one last chance for the Cats, down two, to tie or win.  However, Raymond Felton couldn’t connect with a cutting Tyson Chandler and the ball bounced out of bounds to ensure the loss.

AP recap here |  Box score here

Things looked pretty good for the Cats after three quarters.  No one was playing extraordinarily; instead it was a pretty well-rounded effort.  The Cats had contained Chris Bosh, and kept Andrea Bargnani and Hedo Turkoglu very much in check.

But some issues lurked.  Stephen Jackson was in full-on “I’m more interested in barking at the refs instead of beating the Raptors” mode after being in foul trouble all game.  The Cats had not been able to turn the Raps over very much (10 Raptor turnovers, only 7 fast break points for the Bobcats).  The Cats were outrebounded 38-31.

Furthermore, the Cats had not taken enough advantage of the Raptors notoriously bad defense (only 24 points in the paint).  Being without the high-flying antics of  Tyrus Thomas (ankle) and the low-post scoring of Nazr Mohammed (back, still) didn’t help here, but the Raps also usually give up more penetration into the lane than the Cats were able to manage.

These shortcomings allowed the Raps a chance to make a few clutch shots in the decisive fourth quarter and overcome the Cats.  Jarrett Jack, Andrea Bargnani and Hedo Turkoglu all hit big threes.  Jarrett Jack then added three free throws after drawing a foul on Raymond outside the arc to push the Raps lead to 100-93 with just under 3 minutes left.

From there, Stephen Jackson’s five straight points and the Raptors’ 3-6 performance from the free throw line conspired to make the finish interesting.  With 13 seconds left, the Cats got the ball down two.  With Stephen Jackson, Boris Diaw and Gerald Wallace camped out along the three-point line for the kickout, Raymond Felton drove into the lane, moving from right to left.  As the defense collapsed on Raymond, Tyson Chandler cut to the basket.

If you want to blame it on Tyson, say that he didn’t take a great angle to the basket on his cut (or that he probably wouldn’t have caught the pass if it came right to him — probably true).  If you want to blame it on Raymond (more appropriate) say that he flat-out threw an errant pass.

Whatever you choose, they didn’t connect.  The ball bounced out of bounds with a couple seconds left, leaving the Raps to simply complete an inbounds play to steal the win.

Tidbits

  • I’ll keep my bitching brief, because “he is who he is” and on balance, he’s been a big positive for the Cats.  But if Jack could channel half the vitriol he directs at the officials towards his opponent, he’d get that All-Star recognition he supposedly covets so much.  The Cats would also probably get an extra couple of wins over 82 games.  In the third quarter, after fouling Bargnani, getting under his skin and drawing a tech on the Italian, and hitting the technical free throw, Jack couldn’t stop yapping at the ref about the loose ball foul that started it all, eventually garnering a tech of his own.  Pointless…
  • Tyson Chandler rolled an ankle in the second quarter and left for the the locker room.  After a retape (I presume) he did return.
  • Owner Michael Jordan was back in his benchside seat and got into it with the refs in the fourth quarter when the Raps were taking the game over.  Didn’t help…
  • Shame about that last turnover for Raymond — before it he had played another really nice game with 18 points (7-12 FG, 4-5 3PT), 5 rebounds and 7 assists.
  • The loss drops the Cats to 38-35 and 7th place in the East.  We’re 1.5 games behind 6th place Miami and 2 games ahead of 8th place Toronto.  Tonight’s loss gives Toronto the season series at 2-1, should we finished tied with them.  Hollinger’s playoff odds are currently predicting that we’ll finish in 7th place, 1 game behind Miami.
  • 9 games left: 5 home, 4 away.  Next one is Monday night at home against the 76ers — follow me on Twitter for in-game tweets.

-Dr. E

Bobcats’ Road, Turnover Woes Continue In Toronto

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Charlotte Bobcats @ Raptors, 12/30/09

New Year’s Resolutions: Less Turnovers, More Road Wins

The Charlotte Bobcats were defeated 107-103 by the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night in Toronto.  AP recap here, box score here.  The Bobcats drop to 12-18 overall and a dismal 1-13 on the road.  For the Raptors, the win is their fifth in a row; they improve to 16-17 overall.  The Raptors played without starting PG Jose Calderon; Hedo Turkoglu sat out the second half after suffering a knee bruise in the first half.

It was more of the same for the Bobcats as they committed 23 turnovers.  The Raptors took advantage with 33 points off those turnovers.  In the first quarter, the Bobcats shot over 70%; however, they committed 9 turnovers and finished the period down 31-26.

The Bobcats also had trouble slowing down Chris Bosh — the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent had 33 points (11-20 FG, 11-11 FT) and 13 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 assists and a block.

Want A Microcosm?

The last couple minutes of the game serve as a pretty good microcosm for the whole thing.  Down five with under 3 minutes left, the Bobcats were able to get 3 straight buckets in the paint to take a 1 point lead — the Raptors don’t offer much resistance.  On the next Toronto possession, however, Chris Bosh got a easy basket after a clutch post move on an overmatched Boris Diaw to put the Raps back up 1.

Next Bobcats possession (just over a minute left): Stephen Jackson badly misses a 20-footer trying to draw a cheap foul.  Belinelli then missed a wild layup.  Next Bobcats possession: Raymond Felton turnover as he tried to dribble between his legs against a defense that had collapsed on him.  30 seconds left as the Raps go for the win.  The ball goes in to Bosh and the Cats are forced to double; Bosh then makes the right pass out of the double, to Bargnani spotted up at the 3-point line.  Nail in the coffin, as Bargnani nails the 3 — Raps up 4 with 10 seconds left.

Bullets

  • Gerald Wallace had a good game with 15 points/16 rebounds.  He was only able to get to the line 1 time, however, as the Raps were able to shut down his limit his slashing/driving.
  • Besides the 6 turnovers, Raymond Felton had a good game as well: 23 points on 10-12 shooting (!) and 7 rebounds.
  • Stephen Jackson continues to be the main culprit with the turnovers — he had 7 tonight.  What is it about Larry Brown’s offense that seems to cause the main ballhandlers/playmakers (Felton, Diaw, Jackson) to turn the ball over so much?
  • Larry Brown’s postgame comments to the media were very brief.  He was clearly disappointed with the team’s play.
  • Next game is Saturday afternoon (3PM ET start) at Miami — have a safe and happy New Year’s, everyone.

-Dr. E

Charlotte Bobcats vs. Raptors 3/16/09

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1.  The Bobcats end their three-game skid with a thorough beating of the Toronto Raptors, 112-86, on Monday night at the Cable Box.  AP story here, box score here.  The Cats improve to 29-38 overall, 19-16 at home, and more importantly, stay afloat in the race for the 8th playoff spot in the East.

2.  As the pics above show, the Raptors wore green unis in honor of St. Patty’s Day.  I’d love to relentlessly bag on them, but they actually looked pretty good.

Also, check Voskuhl in the background of the Gerald Wallace alley-oop shot sporting the warmup: a white longsleeve with green “Raptors” and a shamrock.  Red Auerbach is spinning in his grave right now.

3.  Save for a couple of minutes early in the first quarter, the Cats led this one from wire to wire and looked pretty good doing it.  Unlike the first two times these teams matched up back in November, Chris Bosh was held in check tonight.  CB4 only had 18 points (5-12 FG, 8-9 FT), but did dominate the boards with 14.  Overall, the Raptors shot poorly (38%, including 3-16 3PT).  (This morning’s film session must have helped.)

4.  Both Bosh and Calderon picked up technical fouls arguing calls.  Overall, the team looks like they were ready for the season to be over weeks ago.  And, so sad to see The Matrix like this: 12 points on 4-8 FG, 6 rebounds and 3 assists.  If Marion is Dirk Diggler, then this stint with the Raptors is definitely the “The Heat Will Rock You” segment.  Maybe next year will be like the scene where they try to rob/scam Alfred Molina.  Roko Ukic can play the little Asian boy with the firecrackers.

5.  I was honestly stunned to see that Andrea Bargnani had only 11 FGAs when I looked at the box score after the game.  It seemed like he was shooting the ball every other time down the court in person.  I would have bet a C-note that he shot over 20 times, yet the box score says only 11.

6.  For the Bobcats, everyone played pretty well.  A 16-4 run midway though the third quarter broke the game open, leaving the Cats with a 75-56 lead that they wouldn’t squander.  The Cats shot 49% from the field and 18-19 from the free throw line.  32 of the 44 baskets were assisted, versus only 12 turnovers on the night.  Pretty solid.

7.  Gerald Wallace led the way with 25 points (8-13 FG, 1-3 3PT, 8-8 FT), 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and a block.  Augustin led the bench crew with 15 points (6-10 FG, 3-4 3PT), 6 assists, 2 rebounds and a steal.

Despite shooting 1-7 3PTs, Radmanovic led the team with a robust +27 +/- in 31 minutes.  The 9 rebounds and 4 assists he notched probably had something to do with that.

8.  With the Bobcats in control early, Cartier Martin got some meaningful run in this one (9 points in 15 minutes).  Juwan Howard and Nazr Mohammed also got off the bench for a few minutes as well.  But the biggest applause was reserved for Sean May, who logged 3 minutes at the end of the game.  The fans ate it up as May went on a mini scoring binge of five points in garbage time.

In all seriousness, May looked OK out there — noticably thinner than he’s been in a long time.  And it was nice that none of the starters played 40 minutes.  In fact, only Felton and Wallace played over 30.

9.  New Jersey lost to Denver Monday night to fall to 2 full games back, while the rest of the 8th seed hopefuls were idle.

So Milwaukee and Chicago are tied for the 8th spot.  The Bobcats are 1 full game back, the Knicks 1.5.

10.  Next game: hosting Sacramento Wednesday night at 7 PM ET.  Go Cats!

-E

Charlotte Bobcats vs. Raptors 11/9/08

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1. Bobcats lose 89-79 to the visiting Toronto Raptors on a lazy Sunday afternoon to drop to 2-4.  AP story here, box score here.

2. Thankfully, the Wallace trade rumors seem to have calmed down – let’s hope they have completely died.  Sadly, it sounds like it took another team’s (the Warriors) trepidation about putting Gerald Wallace’s contract on their books for this to happen.  The money isn’t really that bad (between $8.2 million and $10.6 million per) – but the 4 years left on the deal translate into some degree of financial inflexibility for the roughly 20 teams around the league that all think they’re going to sign Lebron, Wade and Bosh in the summer of ’10.

3. Anyways, for three quarters, today’s game seemed alot like Friday’s vs. the Hornets.  The Cats had an especially good second quarter and were using good defense and a balanced offensive effort to give themselves a chance to grab a home win against a strong visiting team.

However, the Raptors figured it out and blew the Cats out in the fourth quarter.  Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani combined for 24 of Toronto’s 26 points in the quarter, while the punchless Bobcats had 5 shots blocked and could only manage 12 points.

4. After a slow start, Bosh was fantastic.  He ended the game with 30 points (on 12-19 FGs and 6-7 FTs), 15 rebounds and 2 blocks.  He punished the Cats with his ability to hit the 15-20 foot jumper, but also looked great going to the basket.  He had the dunk of the game at the end of the first quarter on a drive past Okafor from the left wing – fortunately for the Bobcats it didn’t count, as Bosh caught Okafor with an elbow while blowing by and got whistled for an offensive foul.

5. Sam Mitchell got a tech protesting the aforementioned call.  Carroll hit the free throw; then Felton got fouled taking a desperation three at the buzzer and hit all three free throws for a nice swing to end the quarter.

6. Bargnani deserves mention; he proved to be a difficult cover for the Bobcats and ended with 18 points on 6-10 FGs / 3-5 3PT.  Though he has clearly beefed up since coming into the league and looks better able to handle the paint, he still prefers to play on the perimeter.  Adam Morrison and Gerald Wallace drew the task of guarding him much of the game, and neither were very effective.

7. Mixed bag for the Bobcats.  Okafor clearly had an off game – not surprising since he was under the weather and faced with a bad matchup (Bosh/O’Neal/Bargnani).  Both Felton and Augustin played OK at the point, neither distinguished himself.  It’s nice to have Andre Brown out there for a few minutes per game to play tough defense and grab some boards; but when he gets his hands on the ball on the offensive end he’s an unmitigated disaster – he hurried and missed two putbacks today.

8. Jason Richardson continues to struggle, with only 12 points on 1-5 3PT.  On the year, he’s shooting 40% from the field and 37.5% from three.  This is well off last year’s numbers: 44% and 40%, respectively.  However, last year’s numbers were significantly better than his career numbers, so maybe this is the dreaded “regression to the mean.”

9. Carroll played 12 minutes, Morrison 18; again they played together for a bit.  It still seems to me that one of these guys is getting “showcased” to facilitate a trade.  Morrison, having proven that he’s healthy and a viable NBA rotation player so far this season, seems the more likely trade candidate, given that he’s still on his rookie deal.  Carroll’s deal practically makes him a Bobcat-for-life.

10. Sad, but true: two things that drove Bobcats fans/observers crazy last year (Felton playing at the 2 and Wallace playing at the 4) are happening regularly again this year.  I’m not as up in arms about Wallace playing the 4 as others are.  The argument that being forced to match up against power forwards was causing the concussions never made sense to me; the fact that he’s a skinny forward who is at his best when he’s flying (rather recklessly) to the rim or trying to get in the way of other dudes who are flying to the rim seems more likely the culprit.  In other words, his innate attributes and predelictions as a player put him in harm’s way; not the coach who decides whether he starts at the 3 or the 4.

But Felton playing the 2 bothers me – mostly because we have two other shooting guards (Richardson and Carroll) who are taller and better shooters.  But also because any failure by Felton to self-actualize as an NBA point guard is at least partially the result of a self-fulfilling prophecy.  He’s on his third NBA coach so far, and has been jerked around between the point and the off-guard all along.

11. Next game: Tuesday night, 11/11 we play host to the new-look Nuggets.  7:00 start, as usual.  Go Cats.

-E