All-Star Saturday Wrap-Up

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Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Slam Dunk Contest

Along with former Bobcats Shannon Brown, Gerald Wallace was eliminated in the first round of the least memorable Slam Dunk Contest in years on Saturday night.  After a missed attempt, Gerald threw down a two-handed, double-pump reverse jam for his first dunk, garnering a 38 from the judges.  On his Flip Murray-assisted second dunk, Gerald again missed his first attempt.  On a second try, Gerald took a bounce pass from Flip while flying from right to left underneath the basket, eventually throwing it down one-handed.  That one got a 40 and ended Gerald’s night.  Oh well, here’s a nice profile on Gerald from the Observer’s Scott Fowler anyways.

Nate Robinson and DeMar DeRozan went on to the finals, where Nate finally finished off the yawnfest with a “pretty great for a little guy” reverse jam after a toss off the backboard.  Good for Nate, as it’s a record-setting third Slam Dunk Championship for him; but unfortunately Charles Barkley stole the show with his sarcastic “maybe no one will win” comment while they were waiting for the internet votes to be tabulated.  Good luck to the league as they will undoubtedly be looking into ways to spice up the Dunk Contest next year (if they don’t kill it off altogether).

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Taking Care of Business

Two interesting stories that concern the Bobcats emerged from David Stern’s media availability.  First and foremost, Stern confirmed that the Bobcats sale will most likely go through within the next sixty days.  It’s been reported in the past that former Houston Rockets president George Postolos is leading a group that has made a respectable offer; it’s also known that current minority owner Michael Jordan has some kind of right to match any offer.  What isn’t known at this point is whether or not Jordan is rounding up the partners to match said offer.  He probably is — at the craps table at Atlantis.

The other interesting story is the ongoing quest by the NBA and the Players Union to come up with another Collective Bargaining Agreement.  Stern projects almost $400 million in losses league-wide this year, which does not bode well for the players as the current CBA has less than a year to go.  One thing that would help the Bobcats (and other small-market teams) in the new CBA would be some kind of revenue-sharing agreement, and both Stern and players’ rep Billy Hunter have mentioned strengthened revenue-sharing as a likely component of the next CBA.  Donald Sterling cannot be pleased.

Trade Rumors

The Wizards have finally begun their demolition, dealing Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood to Dallas for Josh Howard + flotsam + jetsam.  This should start to loosen everyone else up, and things will likely be fast and furious on the transaction front between now and Thursday’s trade deadline.  The next piece to fall into place may be Amare Stoudemire to the Cavs.

The Bobcats are almost certainly still on the lookout for a power forward, with DJ being the likely bait.  I haven’t seen any new published rumors, except for the tidbit that the Cats rejected the Wizards offer of Andray Blatche for DJ.  Easy call, we’re looking for someone that will help us in the playoffs this year, not a young guy who still has a ways to go.

All-Star Game

The big game is at 7PM ET on TNT, live from Cowboys Stadium.  I’ll be tweeting as Gerald Wallace will become the first Bobcat to play in an All-Star game, and we’ll be back with some postgame thoughts either later tonight or tomorrow morning.  Happy Valentine’s Day, Baseliners.

-Dr. E

Blazers Use Depth to Hammer Bobcats 7-Man Rotation

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Bobcats Baseline Observations: Charlotte @ Portland 2/1/10

No running diary tonight as I’m furiously preparing and packing for a trip to Western Australia (or “WA” as the locals call it).

Bobcats end a three game road winning streak against the Blazers at the Rose Garden 98-79.  AP recap here.  Box score here.

Simple Arithmetic

When you commit 21 turnovers on the road while launching a barrage of errant three pointers (6-23 for 26%) and allow your opponent to drop 53% shooting on you WITHOUT their best player AND their two centers, you are going to lose.  Bad.

The Bobcats (mostly) seven man rotation looked tired against a deep Portland team, settling for long jump shots and lazy passes.  Boris Diaw was a major culprit in the TO department, logging 5 while maintaining his “Laissez Faire” status.  Stephen Jackson and Flip Murray shot a combined 4-13 from behind the arc.  Ouch.

While it’s amazing that Portland can still trot out 9 quality players while missing three of their top 8 talents to injury (Brandon Roy, Greg Oden, Joel Pryzbilla), it’s perhaps more astonishing that Larry Brown insists on going with an EXTRA-abbreviated bench five games into a six game West Coast road trip.  The ‘Cats looked tired and uninterested for most of the game outside of a nice 10-0 rally late in the third.  Let’s hope that they were just saving their legs for another Lakers upset Wednesday night in LA.

Bullets

  • For those of you hoping for a D.J. Augustin Renaissance, don’t hold your breath.  D.J. continues to turn the tables on an excellent rookie campaign.  17 minutes, 0-5 (0-4 from three), 2 assists, 1 turnover, -9 plus/minus.  I hope his Junior Rebound is as dramatic as his Sophomore Slump.
  • The Portland crowd is one of the top 3 in the League without a doubt.  It sounded like a Playoff game in there tonight.  Can’t help but believe the Bobcats players felt a little jealous hearing and seeing this.  C’mon Charlotte!  Let’s re-create the Hive!
  • The Blazers Nic Batum and Martell Webster, two players who have been mentioned in Bobcats trade rumors for years, played great tonight, torching the ‘Cats D from the outside for a combined 25 points.  The ‘Cats have never had one of those long, silky smooth jump shooters.  Wonder how long that will last?  Rod Higgidy-Higgins?  Anybody?
  • Not to keep ripping on D.J. but aside from Brook Lopez (I won’t go there again), we can now easily make the case that the team should have drafted Jerryd Bayless instead.  Bayless seems to be everything that Augustin isn’t: explosive scoring mini-2-guard who can drive and shoot.  At 6’3″, 200 Bayless is bigger than Augustin and much less of a defensive liability.  Seriously, Michael Jordan should bring in a specialist DRAFT DAY GM.  Isiah Thomas is out there somewhere in rehab.  Let’s do this!

Until next time…Enjoy the Loss Bobcats Fans…

-ASChin

2008 Draft Haunts Bobcats in Loss to Nets

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Lopez Dominates, Augustin Sits in New Jersey’s First Win of the Season.

The Bobcats have done a great job of illustrating the many different varieties of “EMBARRASSING” thus far during the ’09-’10 NBA season.  There have been road blowouts, home blowouts, needing three overtimes at home to beat the Knicks but tonight’s apathetic approach towards the winless Nets might be the most painful.  Just seventeen months ago, Bobcats management made the questionable decision to draft D.J. Augustin over Brook Lopez and this game demonstrated that it was the second worst draft day decision in franchise history.

AP recap here | Box score here

1. Fact: Michael Jordan Sucks in the Draft Room

Brook Lopez is a force in the middle for the Nets.  He’s currently averaging 18pts and 9rb and a little over 2 blocks a contest.  He has the best low post game of any center in the Eastern Conference and if weren’t for the fact that his team stinks, he’d be a sure-fire All-Star in just his second season.  Tonight Lopez exploded for 31 points and 14 rebounds and thoroughly dominated Tyson Chandler on the block.

Also in this game D.J. Augustin received his first ever DNP CD (Did Not Play Coach’s Decision).

Augustin has struggled all season and after showing flashes of brilliance during his rookie year, has never looked the same since coming back from an abdominal injury last Spring.  D.J.’s miserable 5ppg / 2apg averages are only surpassed by his 35% shooting from the field.  His current PER is just 7.  Lopez currently rocks a steady 19.

Why the Bobcats selected Augustin ahead of Lopez, I’ll never understand.  You can’t teach size.  We all know that.  And given Jordan’s pathetic draft record, why not go for the safe bet in Lopez?  Selecting D.J. over Brook and Adam Morrison over Brandon Roy (as well as the Kwame disaster in D.C.) are marks of either a gambler or a moron and I am very afraid that this franchise is being run by some horrible combination of the two.

Remember: If the Bobcats select Lopez, not only do they have their shot-blocking, rebounding, intelligent, low-post presence for the next decade plus, they also don’t have to move Emeka Okafor for an overpaid Tyson Chandler and could instead experiment with them together in the frontcourt or find a solid PG in exchange via trade.  Ugh.

2. Boris Diaw: “Rebounding is so bourgeois.”

Is Diaw passive-aggressively demanding a trade?  He knows what Larry Brown expects of him and injury or no, Boris needs to at least provide the consistent effort that he’s capable of or Brown will ship him out for someone who can.

Both Golden State and New York would love to have him and I’m sure the Suns wouldn’t turn him down.  There’s been some chatter of a Jared Jeffries/David Lee deal out there and I could definitely see the Bobcats jumping on that one provided they get a feel for Lee’s intentions going into a contract year this summer.  A Brandon Wright/Ronny Turiaf package from the Warriors might be enticing as well and Bobcats GM Rod Higgins seems to be running both front offices anyway so that might work.

Either way, when the team’s SF is outrebounding you 20-3 and you are averaging under 5 boards a game as an NBA starting PF, it doesn’t matter how good of a passer you are.  I’m a big fan of Motivated Boris but Lazy Boris?  He’s gotta go.

3. Silver Linings

Raymond Felton played a superb game going for 28 points on 11-14 shooting.  He only turned the ball over twice in just under 40 minutes and went on a personal 9 point run for the team when nobody else could score in the 4th quarter.  Again, Felton is not an elite PG but he’s starting to find his niche as a Derek Fisher-type who takes care of the ball and makes open shots.  Great effort by Raymond.

I mentioned it earlier but Gerald Wallace had 20 rebounds tonight.  Crash has never averaged more than 7.8rpg for his career and is suddenly pushing 12.  Simply outstanding.  Another incredible effort from The Original.

Stephen Jackson is doing exactly as advertised: 28 points tonight on a high volume 10-23 shooting over 43 minutes.  JAX makes baskets, plays good D and logs a ton of minutes.  Say what you want about Jordan’s drafts picks (THEY ARE WORSE THAN TERRIBLE) but his trading skills aren’t so bad.

IN CONCLUSION:

The sad irony in Larry Brown shortening his bench to just 8 players this evening is that he DNP’d all of his youngsters.  Neither Derrick Brown, Augustin or Gerald Henderson sniffed any PT.  This is especially disconcerting since the top six players tonight for the Nets were under the age of 26 and are paid a combined $16 million dollars.  The Nets top two players this evening (Brook Lopez and Courtney Lee, who exploded for 27 points and basically sealed the win with a steal late in the 4th) are on rookie contracts.  Chris Douglas Roberts and Josh Boone are late round draft picks.  Terrence Williams is this year’s lottery pick.  The Nets may be bad now but their future looks a heck of a lot brighter than the team they beat tonight.

Enjoy the Loss Bobcats Fans

-ASChin

Bucks Take Down Bobcats at Home to Go 7-3

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Bucks Charlotte Bobcats @ Milwaukee 11/20/09

Bucks play another outstanding game tonight as they turn away a directionless Bobcats team 95-88 Friday night at the Huey.  The Bucks are now 7-3 for the season (good for 5th in the conference) and 6-1 at home.  Box score here.  AP recap here.

1. Be Thankful for Brandon Jennings

A Karmic Shift has occurred.  Not sure how it happened but after suffering through years of lackluster effort and constant rebuilding, the Bucks have finally seemed to put it all together.  We here at Bucks Baseline have been through it all, the injuries, ownership hijinks, salary dumps, coaching changes, pissing off the Chinese government, you name it but on June 25th, when the Bucks selected Brandon Jennings with the 10th overall selection, our luck finally changed.

Just six days ago, on November 14th, Jennings officially started “beasting it” (as our friend “eddie” likes to say, lol!) by dropping 55 points on the Golden State Warriors.  Brandon came into tonight’s game with the Bobcats ranked 9th overall in the NBA in scoring and bettered his 24.8ppg average by dropping 29 on the Bobcats (boo-yeah!) on 12-23 shooting from the field.  Jennings looks so smooth and natural out there scoring easy basket after easy basket.  It seems that his quickness, combined with his left-handed shot and total belief in his game just throws opposing defenders off.  No part of Brandon realizes that he shouldn’t be this good this fast!  I think he’s an All-Star this season for sure.  Basically, he’s the complete and total opposite of Charlotte’s PG combo (Raymond Felton/D.J. Augustin) as those two guys look completely mechanical and have no confidence in their jump shots.  I think maybe Larry Brown has been over-coaching them.  Glad I’m not a Bobcats fan!  It would be tough to watch those two guys try to lead a team for 82 games, that’s for sure.  In fact, maybe we should call them “Matthew” and “Fox” because they’re totally LOST (LMAO!).

2. Future’s So Bright We Gotta Wear Shades

Did I mention that the Bucks took out the Bobcats tonight despite playing with three of our starters?  That’s right, Andrew Bogut (16ppg/9rpg), Michael Redd (career 20ppg) and our best defender, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, all sat out with minor injuries.  Can you imagine how easily we would have dismantled this lottery bound Bobcats team if we had our full roster?  What’s best is that during the 3rd quarter (when the Bucks stretched out to a 16 point lead) I had a little time to compare salary cap situations between the two teams.  Did anybody realize that the Bobcats are basically capped out until 2013?  Ha!  Hey MJ, Isiah is on the phone, he wants his cap management strategy back (lol)!   The best part is is that the Bobcats don’t even have any All-Stars or potential All-Stars on that expensive roster.  Stephen Jackson, Boris Diaw and Gerald Wallace are nice veteran complementary players but neither of those guys will ever sniff an All-Star game before 20-year-old Brandon Jennings does.  Oh, and those three Bobcats players are owed a combined $90 million over the next four seasons (YOWSA!) while 25ppg scorer Jennings is only owed $10 million.  Just shows you that the teams that drafts well will always beat the ones who don’t.  And yeah, MJ, at least Isiah knew how to draft (HA!).

Our other young players played very well tonight as well.  Hakim Warrick came off the bench tonight to play 31 minutes in Bogut’s absence and scored 16pts and grabbed 9 boards.  He looked a little bit like a younger, more energetic, $3 million a year Gerald Wallace.  Our 2nd round selection, PG Jodie Meeks played some nice minutes in relief of Ridnour and Jennings by dropping 8pts (7 more points than that combined outputs of Bobcat lottery picks Gerald Henderson and Augustin).

Have to say that the Bucks immediate future (with the return of Redd/Bogut/a Moute) and long-term future (just $19 million in guaranteed salaries as of July 2011) look amazing.  Timbuk3 said it best: The Future’s So Bright (I Gotta Wear Shades).

3. Tale of Two Coaches

Scott Skiles and Bobcats coach Larry Brown share a lot of similarities.  They’re both former PGs who are known for their emphasis on defense.  Both have been accused of over-coaching in the past.  This season, Skiles seems to have turned it around though as the entire Bucks team looks loose and the offense looks as liquid-fluid as we’ve ever seen.  The Bobcats meanwhile look like they are thinking through every possession.  You would have thought that Charlotte would be less mechanical after trading Mr. Roboto himself, Emeka Okafor, during the summer but they look even more unnatural this season without him.  Sucks to be them.

IN CONCLUSION

The Bucks look like a guaranteed Playoff team come this Spring and when Bogut & Redd come back into the lineup to join the League’s newest Superstar Brandon Jennings, LOOK OUT!  Everybody have a great weekend, enjoy the win and be thankful that you aren’t a Charlotte Bobcat fan.

Peace Out.

C.S. Adams

Wallace Powers Bobcats to Ugly Win Over Nets

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Charlotte Bobcats vs. Nets, 11/2/09

The Skinny

The Bobcats move to 2-2 (2-0 at home) with an ugly victory over the Nets: AP recap here, box score here, Bonnell story here.  Quick caveat/reminder here: I was out of town for the first three games and only saw highlights/recaps/boxscores, so this was my first full game.  I say that because I hadn’t realized just how offensively challenged the Cats were.  I mean, I knew on an intellectual level, but to see it in person is horrifyingly reinforcing.

At home, against a fellow Eastern Conference lottery team missing its best player (Devin Harris), the Cats struggled mightily out of the gate.  After 9 minutes of the first quarter, the Cats had more turnovers than points, but only trailed 12-4.  Both teams picked it up a bit in the second quarter, with the Nets maintaining an 8 point cushion at the half.  Then, halfway through the third quarter, the Nets began a stretch of ineptitude that made the Bobcats slow start look like child’s play.  With the score 48-39, the Nets would not score for over 9 minutes, whilst the Bobcats practically exploded for a 24-0 run and a 63-48 lead.  From there, the Cats would coast to victory.

To say it was all ineptitude on the Nets’ part would be disingenuous — the Cats did play very good defense during the stretch.  And Gerald Wallace had a strong game, eventually totalling 24 points (7-14 FG, 10-13 FT), 20 rebounds (7 offensive) and 4 steals.  DJ came to life with 21 points.  But that’s it for the positives.  Otherwise, this was a dreadful game between two bad teams that was hard to watch.

The Bobcats shot 24-74 for 32% and 1-15 from 3PT.  Raja Bell returned to the lineup with a 1-8 night; Radmanovic shot 0-7.  Diaw’s line looks OK, but we need him to be contributing more.  Both he and Chandler look like they are going at 80-90% and need to round into mid-season form pronto.  Despite not getting much from Bell, Radmanovic, Felton or Graham, Gerald Henderson only played 4 minutes.

As currently configured (and barring Flip Murray going for a career best 16+ PER and 25+MPG or Gerald Henderson turning into Brandon Roy) the Bobcats aren’t going to sniff the playoffs this year.  Sorry, Baseliners, just isn’t going to happen.  We just had to play our starters/veterans extended minutes with a superhuman effort by Gerald Wallace to eek by the Nets (who were without their best player and are essentially rebuilding with a shot at getting Lebron next summer) in an excruciatingly ugly game.  That’s where we are.

Quick Thoughts

  • Weeks ago, without looking at the schedule, I had written something about wondering what the attendance would be for the first Mon/Tues night game against a non-marquee Eastern Conference team.  We got our answer tonight: no more than 5,000.  That’s generous; upper deck was almost completely empty.
  • Both Michael Jordan and Bob Johnson were at the game.  MJ in his usual seat at the end of the bench, BJ at midcourt (at least for the first half, didn’t come back out for second half).  Must be a weird dynamic there.  Conspiracy theory: Jordan puts this crummy team on the court, knowing that it drives BJ’s selling price down, maybe so low that he can buy controlling stake?  Conspiracy theory falls apart as it presupposes that Jordan has a clue what he’s doing in helping to put the roster together.  He’s never shown that he does.
  • During a particularly grueling stretch in the 2nd quarter, a fan in the section behind the Bobcats bench yelled for Jordan to sub himself into the game (yes, you can hear this stuff when there’s only a few thousand people in the arena).  Everyone in section cheers and laughs, Jordan puts his head in his hands and chuckles.
  • Raymond-hating note of the game: Raymond gets home-cooking on his turnover numbers.  Late in the second quarter, I had an unofficial count of 5 Raymond Felton turnovers — official count at the time was 3.  I may have to start paying closer attention to this.  It is noteworthy, as Raymond’s official totals on the year are 18 assists:20 turnovers.  For comparison, Aaron Brooks’ ratio for the year is 34:14.  Just sayin…
  • Be sure to check out our Twitter feeds for more thoughts, including plenty of in-game tweeting: mine and ASChin’s.
  • A few days off before the next game, hosting the Hawks at the Cable Box on Friday night at 7PM ET.

-Dr. E

Delonte West, Cavs Shoot Bobcats Down In Cleveland

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Bobcats Charlotte Bobcats @ Cleveland 10/31/09


More of the same tonight at the Q as the Charlotte Bobcats follow up a solid first half effort with only 13 third quarter points and lose to the Cavs 90-79.  Box score here.

1. Find somebody who can score by December 1st and the Bobcats make the Playoffs

The Bobcats played very well in the first half, negating Lebron James and held Cleveland to just 45 points per half.  In the second half, Lebron, Mo Williams and Delonte “Have You Seen This Boy?” West got hot and the Bobcats started playing Hot Potato again, unsure as to who should be shooting the ball and when.  This has to stop in order for the Bobcats to be taken seriously.  Charlotte did a great job of forcing turnovers (17) but committed just as many themselves by taking errant shots or passing the ball two or three too many times.  Cleveland’s Mo Williams led the way for the Cavs with 24 points (including 5-8 from downtown) while the ‘Cats were lead by Vladimir Radmanovic off the bench.  He scored 12 points.

The Bobcats had a very good chance of stealing this game in the third quarter when both teams started slow and if they’d had someone whom they could have gone to consistently for offense they probably would have.  I’m starting a list right now of scorers who could be available to help now.  Thus far: Rip Hamilton, Monta Ellis, Michael ReddPlease send me anymore that you could think of.

2. Silver Linings?

Gerald Henderson played well tonight.  He played 18 minutes and guarded Anthony Parker and Delonte tight on defense but his best play was during a second quarter Cleveland fast break when the rookie raced down the court and pulled a ’05-’07 era Gerald Wallace monster stuff on 6’9″  J.J. Hickson.  The Sequel came out of nowhere and just threw it back.  Play of the game for the Bobcats.  Henderson’s shot selection was mixed (went 2-4 from downtown but 1-4 from in close) but he finished with 11pts and 3rbs.  Not a bad third game in the NBA.

After a shaky start, the Radman finally resurfaced as Vlade dropped 2 of 3 from beyond the arc and played his sneaky good defense mostly against Anderson Varejao.  Speaking of Varejao, the Cleveland broadcast color man calls him “Andy” but does so in such a voice that he basically mimics Morgan Freeman’s “Redd” character from The Shawshank Redemption.  I kept waiting for him to go all sentimental and reflective, “My friend Andy never had the most skill or the most athleticism but devil-be-damned he hustled and that’s what kept him in the League.”

3. On Second Thought, Maybe Raymond Isn’t The Man

After two quality starts to begin the season, Raymond struggled against the Cavs turning the ball over 8 times against just three assists and the team played visibly better when D.J. Augustin came in and took over late in the third and into the final frame.  I’m not “hating” here.  If Raymond could develop a consistent three pointer, he’d be every bit as good as Mo Williams, especially if he was on a team like the Cavs.  For the time being however, the lack of respect the opposing teams have for his jumper makes him a liability in the half-court set.

IN CONCLUSION:

Nothing new here.  Bobcats play comparatively stellar Defense but can’t score on offense which leads to turnovers which leads to easy buckets by the other team which leads to Charlotte being forced to shoot itself back into the game which is something that they are currently not configured to do.

Cross your fingers Bobcats fans, let’s hope that MJ and Ron Higgidy Higgins got the memo and are working on bringing in reinforcements before it’s too late.

Next up is Brook Lopez and the Nets at the Cable Box on Monday night.  Dr E will tweet you there.

-ASChin

Post-Iverson Fallout: 5 Reasons Why Bobcats Fans Should Put Down the Razorblades

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It seems like the darkest of times for Bobcats fans.

Are You Having Difficulty Coping with Being a Bobcats Fan?

Allen Iverson has agreed to join the Memphis Grizzlies, having been unable to come to terms with the Bobcats.
Meanwhile, rumors abound that the knuckle-headed Rashard McCants will be wearing a Charlotte uniform soon.
Fingers are still collectively being crossed in hopes that Tyson Chandler will be able play most of the upcoming season.
The team has yet to come to contract terms with Raymond Felton and a backup Power Forward has yet to be found.
Worse yet, Bob Johnson is still the team’s owner.

But I urge Bobcats fans to postpone the cutting and self-mutilation for at least a few more months because there is still some hope for the city of Charlotte’s 2nd NBA Franchise.

1. The Egos of Larry Brown & Michael Jordan.

MJ may well be a Hall of Shame evaluator of talent but he – along with Rod Higgins and Larry Brown – has shown a willingness to correct the roster in places where the roster needs correcting.
Last season it was an issue of passing and chemistry.  The Diaw & Bell trade remedied the problem spectacularly.
Thus far this off-season it is an issue of scoring.
While McCants would help a bit with this as an eighth or ninth-man role-player, the team still needs a starter who provides scoring for 40 minutes a night.
The Monta Ellis rumors are surfacing again and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if such a deal were to occur before training camp.
With MJ being inducted into the Hall of Fame and Coach Brown still remastering his degraded image, it is doubtful that either one of them wants to be made a League laughingstock anytime soon.
Expect a move to be made.

2. Boris Diaw & Gerald Wallace.

Regardless of what transactions occur in the next few weeks, the Bobcats find themselves currently with one of the best Forward combos in the League.  While neither player is currently an All-Star, they are both entering their primes as excellent complementary players: Wallace with his hustle, energy and defense; Diaw with his court-vision, high skill-set and underrated defense.
A scoring presence in the starting five would result in nothing but improvement from both of these players.

3. DJ Augustin & Gerald Henderson.

We’re not certain of what Henderson is going to provide at the NBA level but we know exactly what DJ is capable of.  The 2nd Team All-Rookie shot lights-out last season and looked much more comfortable than most players (including Raymond Felton in his rookie season) leading a team at the point during his first year.
The fact that the Bobcats have two young, talented backcourt players on rookie-scale contracts will go a long way in remedying the current salary cap horror that the team finds themselves trapped in.

4. Sean May and Adam Morrison have been ejected.

No one likes to wear an albatross of past mistakes.  Having both Morrison and May on the roster last season was a constant reminder to both management and the fans of what could have been and what should not have been.  Yes, taking on Vlad Radmanovic’s contract for an extra year is a sour pill (especially when the team could’ve simply chose not to extend Morrison’s Q.O. last summer – giving them plenty of cash to sign Iverson this summer) but what’s past is past and Radmanovic is still young enough and talented enough to offer some value as a 7th or 8th man.  Radman could be utilized this season as a type of Rashard Lewis hybrid-four, lessening the need for a traditional backup PF.
Sean May’s ceaseless “potential” will move cross-country to Sacramento, relieving the Bobcats of having to depend on one of the League’s most undependable.  Let casino owners like the Maloofs gamble on May’s potential while Larry Brown finds someone who can provide consistent NBA minutes.

5. The Raymond Felton contract situation.

The current stalemate between Felton and the Bobcats speaks to a new maturity in the front office.  The organization has finally come to its senses when evaluating its own players.  Raymond Felton is reportedly asking for $7 million per season.  Meanwhile, a similarly talented young player (Ramon Sessions) has signed a 4 year/$16 million contract with the T-Wolves.  There is hope here that the Bobcats can either sign Felton for a contract closer to the value of Sessions than what Raymond is asking for or bundle Raymond as part of a trade for a scorer.

The cliche is that it’s always darkest before the dawn and I can’t see why it’s not true for the Bobcats.

There is talent, there is a Hall of Fame coach, and there are two basketball legends who are undoubtably concerned with their legacies.  Expect something good and expect it soon.

-ASChin