2 Reasons Why Tyson Might Opt Out

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Tyson Chandler is thinking about leaving $12.75 million on the table?  What???!!!

Ladies and Gentlemen...Tyson Chandler!

So let me get this straight, Tyson Chandler is owed almost $13 million for next season and he’s reportedly thinking about opting out of the final year of his contract and testing the open waters of free agency madness.  Hmm…

We are talking about the same Tyson Chandler who limped through fifty one games last season averaging 6.5 points and 6.5 rebounds, right?  The same dude who was unable to unseat the paleolithic Theo Ratliff during the franchise’s inaugural Playoff run in April and May?  The same player who OKC general manager Sam Presti  (the NBA’s equivalent of Steve Jobs) rejected in a deal for table scraps due to a lingering foot injury that was supposedly healed last summer?  Huh?

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not ripping Tyson Chandler the human being or even Tyson Chandler the basketball player (he’s shown in previous seasons that he most definitely belongs in the League), rather I’m questioning the logic that would lead Tyson and his agent to walk away from an incredible sum of guaranteed money for a player of Tyson’s production level.  Is there brilliance hidden away in this seemingly illogical proposition?

1. Tyson and Rod Higgins have a long-term deal worked out.

To me, this makes the most sense.  I couldn’t find any CBA restrictions against it (though some of our more cap versed readers may) but Tyson could very well opt out of his current contract in order to sign a three or four year contract for slightly above market value, say 4 years, $32 million.  I still think this is way too much to throw at a player who hasn’t been healthy in three years but if Higgins, Coach Brown and MJ think that Chandler will eventually return to NOHo form, then it’s at least justifiable.  A healthy Tyson Chandler at $8 million per as your starting center is far from the team’s worst case scenario.

Re-signing Tyson at this dollar figure would give the team an extra $4.75 million of wiggle room going into free agency, allowing the team more flexibility to re-sign Tyrus Thomas and add a point guard via free agency or trade.  In summary, the ‘Cats get some much needed short term cap relief and Tyson gets some extra fiscal security in case his foot never fully heals.

2. Tyson and his Agent are Genuinely Worried about the New CBA

The NBA is losing money and is intent on fixing the broken labor model as the League (and the country) heads into a new economic era.  The salary cap has already lowered in consecutive seasons and there is talk of reducing the maximum year and dollar limits on player contracts.  In this forthcoming scenario, only the very cream of the League’s crop (Lebron, Wade, Anthony) will receive massive contracts as their supporting cast members will be left to divvy up the leftovers of a smaller pie.

Chandler and his agent may see this future clearly and decide that after 2011, a third tier NBA starting center will be earning considerably less money.  In this scenario, Tyson “gets” while the “gettin’ is good.”  Sounds logical to me.

-ASChin

Charlotte Bobcats @ OKC Thunder 4/10/09

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Bobcats fall to Thunder, Chad Ford Loves the Thunder

1. The Playoff Hunt is officially over for the Bobcats as they fall 84-81 to Chad Ford’s favorite team (OKC) Friday night.  The team stands at 35-44 with 3 games remaining in the season.

2. Ugly, ugly, ugly game for the Bobcats.  Charlotte shoots a combined 33% from the field (29 of 87) and commits 14 turnovers.  Quick question:
Name the 6 Charlotte Bobcats Players who shot:

  • 4-13
  • 8-21
  • 1-5
  • 3-12
  • 4-16
  • 6-16

Answer: The 6 guys who played the most.
The starters sucked it up bad and then DJ came in and sucked it up in reserve.  It wasn’t like the Thunder were playing Championship Defense (although the OKC broadcast team thought so).  The Bobcats as a team just couldn’t get the ball to stay in the basket.  I lost count of how many fast breaks, put-backs, easy 2-footers, etc that just didn’t fall.  And no disrespect to the Thunder, they played very good defense (notably 2008 Bobcat 2nd Round Pick Kyle Weaver on Gerald Wallace) but hardly the kind that should inspire 33% shooting.

3. So, is Thunder GM Sam Presti secretly just taking orders from ESPN.com’s Chad Ford?  Seriously, take a look at OKC’s roster:

  • Kevin Durant (phenom in the making)
  • Jeff Green (Scottie Pippen meets Dwight Howard in the making)
  • Russell Westbrook (ESPN Insider equivalent to The Hottest New Band Nobody’s Talking About)
  • Nenad Kristic (Super-skilled Euro Center with strange male-pattern baldness)
  • Thabo Sefolosha (Euro wing defender, kind of a young Raja Bell)
  • DJ White/Kyle Weaver (late first round gems in the making)
  • Shaun Livingston (former Chad Ford idol; 6’7″ PG making a comeback at the ripe old age of 23)

Add this to the fact the OKC has about 37 first round picks in the next two drafts and we can all rest assured that Portland’s Kevin Pritchard will be receiving far less bon-bons and roses from Mr. Ford this June.

4. Jeff Green (btw) looks fantastic.  He finished the game with 10pts and 11rbs but scored his 5 buckets in every way imaginable.  Kristic was the real surprise though.  Even though he came back from Europe looking like a Rasho Nestorovich mannequin, the dude really lit it up with 19pts on 9-12 shooting and made Emeka look pretty useless all evening.

5. Speaking of Okafor, how is it biologically possible that a human being as atheletically endowed as Emeka can’t jump more than four inches off of the ground?  Someone please explain this to me.  Looking at the guy, you’d think that he’d be able to out-jump assistant coach Capel but in reality…  no dice.  And isn’t his inability to put back a shot (while jumping) completely incongruent with his proficiency at blocking opponents shots?  Rebounding?  I have a theory on Emeka and it goes something like this:
A few years ago Emeka Okafor read Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Blink.”  He then decided to dedicate his life to doing the opposite of whatever that book had to say.
I honestly think that Okafor is too damn intelligent for the NBA – his mind is just too analytical and he doesn’t have the ability to shut if off when he’s on the court.

6. OKC’s crowd went into this game (their home court finale) like it was Game 7 of the Finals.  Seeing the arena jam-packed and the crowd completely attentive and excited brought back some fond memories of the old Charlotte Coliseum and the glory days of LJ, ZO, and Muggsy.  [HEY!  RON GREEN, SR. stop hacking into my computer!]

7. Speaking of the old Hornets, OKC’s pre-game interviewer (their version of Stephanie Ready) is none other than Matt Pinto, who served as the Charlotte Hornets radio announcer (and Gerry Vallaincourt’s radio co-host) back in the early 90s.

8. Bright spots for the Bobcats?  Well, Dontell Jefferson came in and played very well in a cameo scoring 6pts in 6 minutes.  Other than that…well Radman had a steal in the open court early in the first and then finished it off with a reverse EURO-JAM! but then proceeded to brick a bunch of threes and get burned on defense by guys getting paid an eighth of what he does.  Hmm…more bright spots?  Maybe I’ll have some for you after Saturday night’s game in Chicago against the Bulls.

Till then, enjoy the loss Bobcats Fans…

-ASChin