10/20/09 Bobcats vs. Bucks (Preseason)

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Some quick thoughts and links after the Bobcats preseason win over the Bucks, 94-87 at the Cable Box on Tuesday night:

  • AP recap here, box score here, Bonnell’s Observer story here, Observer’s photo gallery here.
  • No Bell (more on that later), no Ajinca.  Chandler was suited up, though.  Cats started Ray, DJ, Crash, Diaw and Chandler.
  • Chandler only played 16 minutes and didn’t contribute much on the stat sheet, but looked fine.  Great energy cheering from the bench, too (for real, not facetious).
  • Box score lists the attendance at 7500 — amazing pie-in-the-sky number.  In reality, there were no more than 2000.  Even that may be generous.  It will be interesting to see the attendance for first Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday night game against a non-marquee Eastern Conference foe during the regular season.
  • Nazr was awesome in the second quarter, going for 12 points with several dunks and some o-rebs.
  • Gerald Henderson was easily the most impressive Bobcat, going for 14 points (on 7-8 shooting) in 14 minutes and a big +17 +/-.  He had a sweet baseline move with a great finish that the Observer photographer captured nicely — check it out in the photo gallery.
  • Bucks thoughts: check out Ridnour’s -24 +/- in 16 minutes — ouch!  I thought Hakim Warrick signed with the Bucks basically because he would be the default starter at PF — but he came off the bench for only 5 mins — just resting, or in Skiles’ doghouse already?  I was actually impressed with Brandon Jennings — that year in Italy may have done him some good after all.  Save one bad turnover in the first half, he played under control and did a seemingly good job running the show for the Bucks starting unit.
  • Referee thoughts: with word leaking to the media that the NBA is on the verge of coming to an agreement with the refs, the replacements are getting their last hurrah.  Aside from a couple of bad calls (Scott Skiles took umbrage a coupe of times, garnering a tech for his troubles at one point) I really couldn’t notice a huge difference with them.  As a matter of fact, it was nice that they were rather anonymous and that the vets/coaches were not palling around with them.
  • Raja Bell’s injury news casts a huge pall over the few positive bits in this preseason win.  After the game, Larry Brown revealed that Raja has a torn ligament in his left (non-shooting) wrist.  There is a chance he could rehab it and play this season, but he may need surgery that would require 2 months of recovery and 2 months of rehab.  That means we’d be without him for the bulk of the season.  Anyone want to bet on the rehab?  Because I’ll double your bet and place it on the surgery.  Raja’s going to a specialist in Chicago for a second opinion; a specialist whose specialty is to do surgery on wrists — what do you think his second opinion is going to be?  Good news if you’re Gerald Henderson or Flip Murray.  Bad news if you’re hoping for a playoff berth.
  • Speaking of playoff berths, here’s ESPN’s roster of “experts” predicting the season for the Cats.  While I don’t necessarily disagree that the Cats are going to struggle on the fringes of the 8th playoff spot, I just have to point out some of the more ridiculous assertions here: both David Thorpe and John Hollinger make me wonder what video/statistics of Emeka Okafor they have when they assert that losing Okafor hurts the Bobcats offensively.  Jalen Rose wonders if the Cats will re-sign Felton — I assume he means next off-season, which has no bearing on this season whatsoever.  Chad Ford has probably the most accurate take, and Chris Broussard the most biting.

- Dr. E

Observations: Charlotte Bobcats 2009 Open Practice

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lb-stop

Fellow Baseliners, I knocked off work early, leaving loose ends untied, in order to bring you some observations and thoughts on the Bobcats open practice.

To summarize: I came, I yawned, I played Bejeweled on my phone.

Got there a bit late.  They had about the first 15 rows or so blocked off, presumably so the players could still curse without offending the young ears in attendance.  The rest of the lower bowl was surprisingly full of folks enjoying the free popcorn and soda.  The team was running full-court five-on-five at about 75%, roughly starters vs. second team (except with Ajinca in Chandler’s spot, and guys like DJ and VladRad did time with both squads).

As anyone who has ever read anything about Larry Brown would expect, he stopped the action about every 7 seconds to point out mistakes and demand perfection in every offensive set.  If I had the graphic design skills of my brethren here at the Baseline, I would have mashed up some picture of Larry Brown in practice gear with a big giant stop sign to lead off this post.  Alas…  (UPDATE: Photoshop added.  Thanks, D)

It’s ironic though, as Brown’s main issue with the replacement officials was that they stopped the game so much that no flow was ever established and he wasn’t able to fully evaluate his young guys.  I can identify.  I realize it’s practice, but still, would it have killed anyone to let the guys scrimmage freely for a few minutes for the fans?

So with everyone at least 15 rows back, and the seats full of murmuring people, you actually couldn’t hear anything that was being said down on the court.  I might have tolerated all the stoppages if Larry Brown had been wearing a mic and I could hear the teaching he was doing.

At about quarter til 7:00, people started peeling off.  Kids were either bored out of their minds or on the verge of a fit, no doubt due to the absence of Rufus.  A few minutes after 7:00, practice wrapped up and folks were invited to come down courtside for autographs.  I’ve never seen a player as seemingly excited to sign autographs as Derrick Brown.

A few other items:

  • Nazr sat out; he looked left out and bummed on the sidelines.
  • Chandler sat out; “brooding” and “chomping at the bit” come to mind — he looks like he’s dying to get back on the court.
  • Diaw participated fully and looked great; so sneaky and fun to watch.
  • Ray finished as poorly in practice as he does in games.
  • No one respects Gerald Henderson’s outside shot.  I’m guessing they do, however, respect his dunking ability.  Guy has instantly supplanted Crash as our most exciting player and will hopefully get into the dunk contest.
  • After stoppages for teaching moments, the possession would often be wrapped up by token free throws, generally by the poorer free throw shooters.  Gana Diop was a frequent recipient of these extra practice shots.
  • There were two guys that played with the reserves who I didn’t recognize.  One was Antonio Anderson.  Absolutely no clue as to who the other one was.
  • The team store was full of the same drek from the end of last season, save for the new jerseys.  And all they have of those are the chintzy replicas — no swingmans or authentics yet.

-E

5 Things We Know About The Bobcats: Preseason Edition (vol. 1)

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Young guns are figuring it out this preseason

Even though the Bobcats are off to a meager 1-3 to start this preseason we at the Baseline find ourselves giddy with optimism.  Yes, it’s true – damn true.  What is it that has us so jacked for the October 28th opener at Boston?  I can think of at least, uh, 5 things…

1. The Youngsters are bringing it.

Or should we say, “wow, Larry Brown is actually playing rookies?”  Or, “the Bobcats’ roster is so thin that 2nd Round picks play 1st Round minutes!”  No matter how you slice it, the fact that both this year’s and last year’s rookies are putting in quality performances can only mean good things for an organization that has specialized in Draft Day Turnovers (of the unforced variety).

Last season we saw how good D.J. Augustin could be – especially pre-“8 Minute Aaaaabs” injury – and he’s been solid as expected this preseason playing the backup point, getting to the line often and shooting the ball from the field at a nice 53% clip (compared to 43% for Raymond Felton).  Nobody expected his 2008 Draft classmate, “Alex Ajin-ka” to “beast it” out of the gate (well, maybe reggie expected it) but “beast it” Ajinca has.
I’m not really sure why the beat writers aren’t making a bigger deal out of this.  Does anybody remember how terrible ‘Lex was last season?  His only memorable moment came during garbage time of a mid-season Chicago game in which he enticed Aaron Gray into a shoving match that resulted in Ajinca’s own teammates laughing at him.
Now all of a sudden Alexis is dunking in putbacks, tipping in missed shots, fighting through screens, attempting to defend the pick ‘n roll.  Does anybody realize that if he keeps this up, the Bobcats just might have an asset on their hands?  An athletic 7-footer with a soft touch and skills?  Ok, I have to stop…  Just keep it up ‘Lex and prove both Coach Brown and reggie right.

Meanwhile, this year’s rookie tandem is paying dividends right from the start.  Gerald Henderson is second on the team in scoring at around 11ppg and has got to the free throw line more than any other Bobcat so far this preseason.  Unlike Adam Morrison, Sean May and Jared Dudley, Henderson looks like a basketball player and his athleticism and understanding of the game has translated very quickly to the NBA.  Once he’s made it to the charity stripe, Henderson hasn’t shot the ball all that great (67%) but fortunately the team has assistant coach Capel on hand to teach guys named “Gerald” how to improve their free throw shooting.
Fellow rookie Derrick Brown has quietly put up consistent numbers over the preseason as well.  The Robert Horry-esque combo forward hasn’t dropped any 20 point games yet but netting around 8pts a contest in under 18 minutes ain’t too shabby for a dude drafted in the mid-second round.  The second coming of Bernard Robinson he most definitely is not.

2. The Bobcats are Competing against good teams without their starting frontcourt.

The fact that the Bobcats are playing quality opponents tight while starting Manny from Scarface at the 4-spot and Danny Glover at center is kind of mind blowing when you think about it.  And even though Radmanovic is struggling with his shot, his effort playing the four and doing all of what Coach Brown has asked of him is admirable.  We weren’t sure that Vlade was capable of something like that and it’s reassuring to know that the Radman can step in for 5 minutes a game and give Boris some relief.  Speaking of Diaw, I loved seeing Gerald Wallace’s face light up after the second Cleveland game when reporters asked him about Boris and Tyson Chandler’s return.  He didn’t even have to answer the question.  If the ‘Cats are playing this well now, this soon in the preseason, just wait until they get their starting center and PF back.

3. Larry Brown hates The Replacements.

Keanu Reeves could do a better job than these scrubs.  Coach Brown has been at the replacement officials in the media all week playing psychological games with them as if they were seven-foot one-hundred-and-ten pound frenchmen.  He has a point.
Practiced NBA officials are downright horrible and those guys do it on a night-in night-out basis for years.  The Replacements are a buncha dudes who weren’t good enough to take Steve Javie’s job.  Seriously?  How bad do you have to be in order to lose a roster spot to Dick Bavetta or Joey Crawford?  Can’t these new guys learn how to throw a game properly?

4. What’s up with Diop-It-Like-It’s-Hot?

One of the not so rosy developments of the preseason is Gana Diop’s devolvement into the team’s 3rd center. 
Now Diop can play him some defense,
all of the turbo-geek sportswriters and their formulas have pointed this fact out over the past few seasons.  Opposing centers just don’t dominate when Diop is on the floor.  So why isn’t Diop playing?
Brown has been openly criticizing Gana’s conditioning and that is probably true but I think that once the games start counting Diop will be the one backing up Tyson at the five.  Nazr Mohammed’s 19mpg has “showcasing him for a trade” written all over it.  Gana will play his way into shape and be fine come November.

5. Give Raja a “Hooligan”

In Jack McCallum’s excellent book on the ’05-’06 Phoenix Suns “Seven Seconds or Less” he relays a story about Boris Diaw’s inability to remember the English word “mulligan” and instead referring to it as a “hooligan.”  Apparently, Boris wanted a “hooligan” every time he missed a shot in practice.  Raja Bell has been missing a lot of shots this preseason.  And yes, he has proven that it is humanly possible for an NBA player to shoot 11% from the field.  But we must remember that Raja is a special case.  Now that Bruce Bowen has retired, Bell has taken on the official role of OLD MAN WITH DIRTY TRICKS WHO ONLY SHOOTS THREES and that role requires a special kind of conditioning and stamina training.  Mail it in during the preseason and work yourself into game shape early in the regular season, help guide your team to the playoffs after the Break OR if your team isn’t good enough to make the playoffs, play hard come New Year’s so that you can get traded to a contender.  Remember also that Raja is playing for one last decent multi-year contract this summer and he won’t get it by shooting 11% from the floor.  Go ahead and give him a hooligan for the entire preseason.

-ASChin

Cats Preseason Stats: Bobcats.com

The Biology of Belief: A Michael Jordan Comeback?

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The Bobcats Are In Need of a Scorer.  Is Michael Jordan the Answer?

Can MJ pull a Stallone?

Henry Abbott over at ESPN.com’s TrueHoop has posted an intriguing piece on the plausibility of a Michael Jordan comeback.

MJ, after all, started all of this chatter a couple of weeks ago when he made the following comments during his Hall of Fame induction speech:

“One day you might look up and see me playing the game at 50. Don’t laugh. Never say never, because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.”

Abbott cites the story of Jure Robic, a Slovenian cyclist (no relation to Primoz Brezec) who has repeatedly won races by doing things a little different.  Robic ignores common human frills like “sleeping” and “eating” in order to speed past his competition.  (One of the side effects of this strategy is that Robic temporary goes insane, accusing mailboxes of terrorism, going on rampages in his neighborhood, etc.)  Abbott goes on to say that:

Some researchers argue that the body may be able to perform far more than we ever imagined — if you can trick your brain into letting the muscles do the work. The limits that were once thought to reside in the muscles are now, some researchers say, really in the mind.

None of this is news to those of us who’ve studied alternative medicine, integrated medicine or spontaneous healing.  Dr. Bruce Lipton, author of the book “The Biology of Belief” has put forth these claims for over a decade.  Lipton believes that the “programming” of stem cells, in fact, is a subliminal request from the subconscious mind to the body – meaning that whatever is on your mind (whether it be athletic dominance or cancer), your body will attempt to fulfill.  So if Robic can program his body to reject sleep and food while he cycles 3,000 miles across North America, could a 46-year old, similarly delusional Michael Jordan play at a high level for an entire 82 game season?

Abbott is inconclusive in his post.  He calls up Attack Athletics (Jordan’s former trainers) and openly asks if a (near) 50 year old could play in the NBA.

In general, Procopio didn’t sound at all sure such an achievement was possible. But that was talking about athletes generally. Would Jordan — a man of unquestioned will — be subjected to the same limitations?
“Oh no no no no,” Procopio says. “I’m talking about everybody else.”

How is the unmeasurable defined?  How is Steve Nash more dominant than Sean Singletary?  How is Andre Miller more successful than Marcus Williams?  At what point would Jordan’s body be unable to perform the requests put forth by his mind?  Does that point even exist?

This past March I had the pleasure of traveling with some friends to a yoga and healing center in Kathmandhu.  My wife and I were bestowed the honor of staying in the “Sun Yogi” room – named so because it is where Sun Yogi stays when he’s in town.  I had met Sun Yogi about a year prior to this when he had visited Thailand, teaching his legendary “sun meditation” technique.  What is this legendary “sun meditation” technique, you might ask?  Well, it basically means that you don’t eat.  Ever.  You get your energy from the sun and Sun Yogi has purportedly not taken in a bite of food in over a decade.

As wonderful a human being as Sun Yogi is, I have to say that I wasn’t buying his story.  Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t like he was built like Charlie Weis or anything – the dude’s rails thin – my mind just couldn’t accept it.  A human being has to eat…right?

Whether it be by material technology or esoteric belief systems, it can’t be denied that human beings (unlike the Bobcats) have made a great deal of progress since our inception.  Maybe Michael Jordan can come back and play meaningful minutes.  Maybe he can achieve it through new techniques in traditional medicine and athletic training.  Maybe he can achieve it through a series of Stallone-grade HGH treatments.  (Did anybody see Rocky Balboa or John Rambo?  That guy is ridiculously ripped and he’s only five years younger than Bobby Cox!  That said, imagine if Bobby Cox discovered HGH.  I can’t think of anything funnier right now…seriously, I’m gonna have to stop writing about it before I soil myself.)
Or maybe MJ can achieve all of this with his mind.

Wasn’t it R. Kelly (in a song from the “Space Jam” soundtrack nevertheless) who sang, “I believe I can fly…”

Alright, alright.  Enough of this hippy, positive attitude crap.  Lets get back to stuff that really matters, like the Charlotte Bobcats!

So lets say that this really happens.  Realistically, MJ is going to need another two or three months (at least) to get into shape so maybe he’s on the roster following the All-Star break.
I don’t think that you bring him off of the bench.  A guy that age will be too cold.  Get him started during warm-ups, start the game and play a total of 12-18 minutes a night.  I think MJ gives you at least 10ppg in that scenario and adds a serious weapon during crunch time.  Consequently his starting the game delays pretty much every away date by around seven or eight minutes due to a standing “O.”  MJ Bobcats jersey sales light up the merchandise numbers and Bob Johnson sees a sharp upgrade in the team’s market value.

MJ and the Cats - Post AllStar Break

The starting five is ideal for Jordan.  Diaw, Wallace, Chandler and Felton are all above-average defenders and the pace of Larry Brown’s offense benefits a 47-year old MJ (he turns a year older on Feb. 17th).  Chandler (and in reserve, Diop) can hang around the paint and clean up when MJ’s man blows past him on the perimeter.
On offense, the starters are ideal as well.  Six years ago, MJ scored 20ppg on 45% shooting while playing 37 minutes per game.  It is reasonable to think that Jordan could keep the high shooting percentage and rebound rate (6rpg) while playing limited minutes for the Bobcats in 2010.  The nice thing about having Jordan around late in the 4th quarter is that he gives you a “Specialist” type player who not only CAN hit the big shot when the team needs it but WANTS to hit the shot.  Think: A Middle-Aged Ben Gordon.  Coming out of a timeout with fifteen seconds on the clock, Jordan could still potentially be deadly.

The beauty with MJ starting is now you have two backup SGs (either Raja Bell or Gerald Henderson) to play starters minutes off of the bench or replace MJ entirely if he happens to miss any time due to injury.  So basically anything that Jordan gives you on the court (outside of marketing and attendance) is gravy.

Post MJ Lineup - 2nd Unit

Now I’m pumped!  This makes total sense.  Lets get this done.  Yes, it’s a circus but it would be so much goofy fun that it may let us all temporarily forget the pain of being a Charlotte Bobcats fan.

So MJ, put down that cigar and pick up some Macca Powder, Bee Pollen, Goat’s Yoghurt, Goji Berries and Spirulina.  Schedule a conference call with Deepak Chopra ASAP.  Call your girl Oprah, she knows him well.

MJ for MVP in 2010!

-A.S. Chin

The Answer Awaits

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Iverson Bobcats Era Awaits (original: Slam Magazine)

We’ve been writing about it since early April.  Fans have been debating the move all summer.  And now Dime Magazine is reporting that the Allen Iverson Era is almost upon us.

The move is aggressive and smart.  Iverson will provide a much needed scoring presence on the court and a huge marketing boost for a team with little brand recognition.

As the Bobcats current salary glut illustrates, the team will need to make another move if they want to add quality frontcourt depth while staying under the luxury tax threshold.

Several prominent voices in the Bobcats online community (including the team’s beat writer) have speculated that the Iverson signing would signal a trade of Raja Bell and his expiring contract.

Not so fast.

For one, trading Raja would shackle the team with an impossible Raymond Felton/D.J. Augustin/Iverson backcourt rotation.  As none of these players measure greater than 6’0″, Larry Brown would have to depend on unproven rookie SG Gerald Henderson to check taller SGs and PGs.

Also, if Iverson’s contract runs for either one or two seasons, the Bobcats would be in perfect position to start two young players on rookie scale contracts (Henderson & Augustin) if Bell and/or Iverson decide not to re-sign.

This all points to the seemingly inevitable Raymond Felton trade.  He would have to approve any deal after the Bobcats extended a qualifying offer earlier this summer but there are still quite a few teams in need of a starting caliber PG and Raymond could potentially squeeze a nice multi-year offer from them in a sign and trade.  The Bobcats could then bring back some insurance at the PF position and be primed for a Playoff run in the coming season.

Though the ink hasn’t formally wet the paper, the Baseline applauds the Bobcats organization for their aggressive overtures in recruiting one of the NBA’s all-time greats.

-ASChin

Charlotte Bobcats: State of the Roster | FA ’09

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Post-Moratorium

Monta Ellis and Brandon Bass would make great additions to the Bobcats

No, “Post-Moratorium” is not a medical term for examining dead people.  In the NBA’s case it means that as of July 8, the temporary hold on free agent signings will be over, new cap numbers will soon be announced and teams can start officially trading and signing players as usual.

This is big news for the Bobcats because they can now officially re-sign (or re-sign and trade) Raymond Felton to a new deal.  This would remove his current cap hold of $12 million (300% of his ’08-’09 salary) and give the team a better idea of what their salary situation is as they start bidding for leftover Unrestricted and Restricted Free Agents.

So what should Bobcats fans expect to see in the next few months before the team heads into Training Camp?

This blog’s guess is that you’ll see one of the following two scenarios unfold.

SCENARIO ONE: GO WITH WHAT YOU KNOW

Okafor and Felton are A-OK

In this scenario, the Bobcats play it safe.
From a personnel perspective, they come to the conclusion that with the current lineup they are more than ready to challenge for a playoff spot in the East.
From a business perspective, they conclude that a team very much on the market should not add any unnecessary payroll and should keep lean heading into a potential ownership change.

If this is the direction the organization chooses to go, then expect some very minor tweaks to roster.

  • A veteran backup PF, such as former Terp Joe Smith, will be signed to relieve Boris Diaw.
  • A veteran backup PG, such as Larry Brown fave Kevin Ollie or former Nugget Anthony Carter, will be added for depth and leadership at a key position.
  • Coach Brown will continue to develop youngsters DJ Augustin, Alexis Ajinca, Derrick Brown and Gerald Henderson for the future.  Expect Ajinca and Brown to do a stint or two in the D-League.

Even if the team misses the playoffs in this scenario, they can still look forward to Raja Bell’s $5 million salary coming off of the books in the following summer and will have two more expiring deals (Mohammed and Radmanovic) heading into the ’10-’11 season.

This scenario might sound boring (it is boring) but you have to remember that with Radmanovic, Mohammed, Diop and (soon) Felton, the Bobcats will have four players earning between $6-$7 million per year.  You think they wanna add another deal like that in Brandon Bass?

SCENARIO TWO: “WHAT TIME IS IT?  GAME TIME!!!”
or THE CLIFF LEVINGSTON SCENARIO

In this scenario, There Will Be Ink: either on the contracts of a prime free agent and/or on the bodies of Allen Iverson or Monta Ellis.
From a personnel perspective, Higgins, Brown and Jordan decide that the landscape has changed dramatically in the Eastern Conference and that they need to upgrade or risk taking a step back.
From a business perspective, Bob Johnson and Jordan decide that the best way to increase the franchise’s popularity, attendance and, ultimately, its value is for the team to be very, very good.

The Bobcats know that they’re in a bind.  They’re a small market team that’s losing money and have around $60 million in payroll to answer to and praying for a winning season in a conference that just seriously jacked up over the past few weeks.  No less than 8 teams (CLT, IND, WAS, TOR, DET, ATL, PHI, MIA) will be jockying for the final four playoff spots in the East.  In order to bolster their roster, the ‘Cats are going to have to be daring and creative.

In my mind, the Bobcats only have two* assets to play with heading into next season:

  1. Emeka Okafor
    A quality big man who’s better than the suddenly-hyped David Lee.  Still young at 26 and a big cap number around $10 million.
  2. Raymond Felton
    Great presence on and off the court, only 25 years old and the Bobcats could pay him more money for more years in a sign-and-trade.

So, in this scenario, expect big moves to happen.  My personal preference:

Trade Scenario: Emeka to Golden State for Monta Ellis

Okafor for Ellis? - First Unit

Let’s face it.  The Bobcats aren’t going to unload Diop’s contract on anybody anytime soon and they sure as hell aren’t going to unload Mohammed’s contract until at least next summer.  They have over $100 million committed to the center position and they desperately need scoring.

This trade works because the ‘Cats can start Diop (remember that Gana started for Dallas during a playoff run a couple of years back and did fine) and substitute Mohammed for a different look.  Also, Boris is capable of playing some center (as he did with PHX in ’05-’06) when the team goes small.
Meanwhile, Ellis provides an explosive wing player who can play both backcourt positions and who can get to the free throw line as much as anybody.  Monta instantly becomes the Bobcats leading scorer and the clutch shooter that the ‘Cats have needed since 2004.
Of course, Golden State only does this deal if (or when) the proposed Amare Stoudemire for Biedrins/Wright/Belinelli deal goes down.  I doubt that Amare will want to play center every night and an Okafor/Stoudamire/Maggette frontcourt should play very well together.

This trade would give the Bobcats one too many PGs (I have Ellis penciled in as the starting PG) and not enough depth at the four.

Trade Scenario: Felton to Dallas for Brandon Bass

Felton for Brandon Bass? - 2nd Unit

Indulge me for a second.  I know that a sign-and-trade deal like this is difficult (if not near impossible) to pull off and we don’t know if Dallas still has any interest in Felton after reportedly coming to terms with Jason Kidd.  But with Kidd turning 36 and Jet Terry more of an off-guard, perhaps the Mavs would be open to bringing Raymond on board as a backup/insurance policy as they make one last push for the finals with their suddenly aging core.

The move would open up the “true” PG spot on the ‘Cats for DJ to take over and create a great four man backcourt rotation of Augustin/Ellis/Bell/Henderson.
Meanwhile, the Bobcats frontcourt would be stacked with Diaw/Bass/Wallace/Radman/Diop.  Although he’s only 6’8″, Bass has played a lot of Center for the Mavs over the past couple of seasons and could sub in behind Diop when needed for a dynamic Diaw/Bass/Wallace lineup.

I love this roster.

The Bobcats add a scoring, slashing wing who wants to take shots and a skilled, tough rebounder down low.  They have depth at every position and a nice mix of youth, prime and veteran players.  And the best part of all is that they wouldn’t have to add any serious payroll to do it (just the trade exception from the JRICH trade).

This roster is a playoff team now and in great shape 2 seasons from now when only Wallace/Ellis/Diaw/Diop/Bass/Augustin/Henderson will be on the books.

Come on Rod Higgins, work some of those connections that you have in Golden State and get this done!

*I refuse to count Raja Bell’s expiring contract as a potential trade asset as the team needs to stop their 2 year trend of dealing expiring deals for stop-gap help. That said, expect him to be traded after you finish reading this.

-ASChin

 


POLL : Who Should The Bobcats Sign?

  • Allen Iverson (47%, 23 Votes)
  • Brandon Bass (33%, 16 Votes)
  • Andre Miller (6%, 3 Votes)
  • Linas Kleiza (12%, 6 Votes)
  • Anthony Parker (2%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 49

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