Post-Chandler Trade: Is Iverson the Answer?


By signing Allen Iverson, the Bobcats could salvage the upcoming season

Could Iverson salvage the Bobcats season?

I did a little math last night.  Nothing complicated like you’d see over at, Queen City Hoops or with John Hollinger.  I’m not mathematically brilliant like those guys.  Just some basic addition.

If you take the Bobcats current top eight players Point Per Game averages from last season and add them up, you get 90.6 points per game.  Last season, the Bobcats finished 30th out of 30 teams in scoring at 93.6 (The League average was around 100 per game).

The Bobcats leading scorer from last season, Gerald Wallace, averaged 16 and a half points a game.  Diaw put up a career high 15.0 ppg after the trade from Phoenix.  Those are your two top offensive threats, Bobcats fans.  Are you as worried as I am?

It’s pretty obvious that the Bobcats could benefit from A.I.’s scoring presence and we’ve talked about that here before at length.  What a lot fans might not understand is how precariously close the team is to this year’s $69.92 million luxury tax level.
After the Chandler trade, the team stands at $59.84 million and this is BEFORE re-signing Raymond Felton and shoring up their backup PF position.  And since there’s no way Bob Johnson is paying luxury tax this year, the Bobcats will basically have to choose between re-signing Raymond or bringing in Iverson.

With such a dearth of scoring on the roster, I’m not sure if it’s even a choice.  The Bobcats need a scorer and Iverson is the last one out there on the open market.

Now, you could argue that Detroit, San Antonio and New Orleans all made the playoffs last season scoring less than 97 points per game.  The only difference is is that all of those teams have guys on their rosters who could drop 30 on any given night.  As much as I love Gerald and Boris, I wouldn’t put them into the scoring class of Rip Hamilton, Chris Paul, David West, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker or Manu just yet.


Would Golden State take Raymond Felton for Brandon Wright?

Signing A.I. to a two year full mid-level deal starting at $5.85 million would leave a little less than $2 million (via bi-annual exception) this offseason to sign a dependable backup PF.

Since Felton is a quality player who the Bobcats invested four seasons in, you wouldn’t want to just withdrawal the qualifying offer and renounce his rights when you could get something out of him in a sign-and-trade.

Of the three or so NBA teams that are currently without a decent starting PG, perhaps the best fit for Raymond would be Golden State.  Would Don Nelson be interested in dealing his least favorite Tarheel (Brandon Wright) for Felton?  The Warriors don’t have a “pure” PG and instead have two shoot-first, smallish SGs in Monta Ellis and Steph Curry (as well a roster full of guys who need shots).  Maybe Nellie would be interested in a team-oriented, super-quick point for his run-and-gun offense?

As long as Raymond doesn’t sign for anything above 20% of last year’s salary, he sheds the Base Year status and could be either dealt straight-up for a player like Wright (if the Warriors have a trade exception — I couldn’t find a definitive answer) or packaged with Mohammed or Radmanovic for Speedy Claxton’s dead weight contract.

What do you guys think?  How would you improve team scoring?  Is there a trade or two out there that could bring in a better scorer than Iverson while enabling the Bobcats to retain Felton?


66 thoughts on “Post-Chandler Trade: Is Iverson the Answer?

  1. spectre

    What would I do? That's hard to say with Felton unresolved and the mandate to not exceed the tax. Supposedly the FO has said they'd match a reasonable offer that could go up to at least Full MLE type money. Even if it ends up being the QO that'd only leave us like 2-2.5 million…Warrick for example got 2.4 million. What else is there?

    Looks like Juwan Howard at the vet min. Doesn't look like there's really much else we can do.

    We could trade Boris for Jason Richardson! (joke)

    Kidding aside, I doubt LB is worried about the points as much as you are. He said himself "our defense initiates our offense". Defense first.

  2. spectre

    "As you and I have discussed before…do you really think that Raymond is getting more than $5 million/year?"

    Adam…he's got a guaranteed 5.5 million due to the qualifier. Why would he approve of a trade (and he HAS to approve the trade!) that will pay him less?

    At least 17 teams have positioned themselves for a max FA next year. If you were Felton…would you settle for a low contract this year when there's no FA money vs. next year when over half the teams will have it?

    Ariza got the full MLE. Charlie Villaneuva got 7 million per year. Felton's skill set is better than both those guys. Just because he's got no offer sheets (as most RFAs don't…look at Ben Gordon/Mek last year) does not mean he won't get a good FA deal next year (look at Ben Gordon).

    I know you guys are desperate to move Felton so "the future" can start (and play 48 mpg I guess)…but when we made that QO it's pretty much guaranteed he's going to be in Charlotte this upcoming season. It's not 100% but it's darn close to it.

  3. Whoever said that he'd have to get paid less than the qualifying? My hope was that he could be signed for less than 20% over what he made last year in a sign-and-trade. If it's more than that, he could still be traded but the receiving team would be obligated to take on more than they return. Could still be accomplished.

    My question to you is, as a virtual GM, would you sign Raymond Felton to a multi-year deal that paid him more than $7 million per year? And if the answer is yes, then you are both crazy and qualified to be a GM for at least 15 NBA teams.

  4. spectre

    So you think last year was just a "blip" and had nothing to do with AI's age?

    You think he can go back to being the AI of Philly? Do you think we should be comparing Felton of today with the AI of 8 years ago? LOL do you really think that we'd be getting that AI from 8 years ago moreso thanthe one from last year?

    Apples and Oranges?

    BTW…who did Larry Brown pair AI with at Philly? Wasn't it a defensive minded PG in Snow?

  5. spectre

    Neither do I…but instead it once again got turned into "all about Felton" and how much he sucks.

    I think Moreau is pretty "out there" in thinking Brown will supplant Boris in the starting lineup…but I guess stranger things have happened.

  6. Uh, Iverson made the All-Star team last season and is so popular that he'll probably be voted in until he stops playing.

    I love that quote from Coach Brown.

    "Final Score: 90 – 97. Where Charlotte NBA Basketball Happens."

    This team is going to make Van Gundy's Knicks look like D'Antoni's Suns.

  7. bobcats orange?

    Dig the dialogue guys, hard to find ANYBODY that will talk about the Bobs. Ever thought about adding a forum to your site?

    If the question came down to Felton OR Iverson, I would take Iverson ten times out of ten. That's still really not the question though, why would Iverson play the remaining…what two, three years of his hall of fame career on a team that's not a contender.

    Even Iverson can't be as arrogant at this point in his life to consider himself good enough to take a team to the playoffs by himself.

    At this point it's bring back Felton, or blow bits and pieces of the MLE on scrubs not worth commanding the whole thing.

    We were almost a playoff team last year. Even with all his flaws, I feel like keeping Felton would keep us closer to the playoffs than losing him.

    Sign Felton, and overpay him, sure. Let him play a year, and then deal him like we did Mek. Maybe get back some better pieces before giving the team to D.J.

  8. spectre

    Heh, then we should sign him! Think maybe Stern will just let us ignore the luxury tax this year?

    "This team is going to make Van Gundy’s Knicks look like D’Antoni’s Suns."

    Eh…this team was playing .500 ball and was pushing for a playoff spot after a dismal start to the season until Raja went down (and that's with the setback of Crash's collapsed lung). If we'd gotten Henderson last year and he'd had most of the season under his belt we'd probably have gotten in. During that stretch we got up to 3rd in the League in defense.

    All with that weak offense!

  9. Just to be clear, you are talking about Gerald Henderson, right? The guy who lit up the Summer League in Vegas? I haven't given up on him but lets see Gerald play a single NBA game before hitching the team's playoffs hopes to him.

    And how can somebody be so down on a 1st ballot HOFer like Iverson and so high on a dude that just stunk up the Summer League?


    That's probably what'll end up happening. I can't fathom Felton being here for any longer than 3 seasons (when DJ is up for a raise). We've been talking about a forum but are concentrating on a few other things like T-Shirts, promotions, etc to gear up for the upcoming season. Thanks for the kind words!

  10. spectre

    Ah…so you don't like Henderson?

    What do you like about the Bobcats other than our "future"?

    We needed depth Adam…that's what killed us last season. Without depth you had Felton as the starting PG AND the backup SG. Not only did Raja have to guard the opposing team's toughest player he had to pull a lot of minutes…not so easy for a guy his age.

    Not only that, but DJ was out for a stretch…so we only had 2 legit players at the 1 & 2.

    But you know what? That starting group had the SIXTH highest +/- in the NBA with the 2nd highest minutes! Great stuff eh? Not bad for a team that can't score!

    Just think how much it'd help if Henderson could fill in just 15 minutes a game and give the starters some rest. Wouldn't that help just a little bit Adam? Wouldn't that make a difference?

    I'd think you would at least understand that instead of quickly jumping to the conclusion that I'm just so high on the guy.

    All this going off tangent has made me forget…how we sign AI for the full MLE again?

  11. Just back from an awesome Thai restaurant…spicy!

    It seems that I've touched a nerve!

    "how we sign AI for the full MLE" is the question folks, so lets find a solution!

    1.) Dump Henderson or Ajinca in a trade. Dumping Henderson would be unpopular and Ajinca's $1.37 million might not be enough to put the team under the luxury tax after you add in both Raymond's qualifying offer and AI's full MLE. (it's close but I don't remember the exact terms of Derrick Brown's deal to see just how close it would be).

    2.) Sign Iverson, have Raymond play for the qualifying and hope that you can deal Raymond before the deadline. As I understand it, you don't have to pay the tax until the end of the season, so if Raymond is gone by the trade deadline, he won't count against the tax. *I'm not 100% certain on this but if I'm wrong, I am 100% certain a certain someone will call me out on it.

    Any other strategies out there? What would you guys do to sign both AI and Felton (IF YOUR LIFE DEPENDED ON IT!!!).

    Thanks to everyone for the comments, btw, and hope you all have an incredible weekend.

  12. leroy

    im just assuming the things here…

    the thing is, with the pride that iverson lives up with thruout his nba career, he actually doesnt care about a ring no more, rather, he would like a chance to prove himself still a elite scorer that can lead the NBA.

    here is what i did in 2k9…

    okafor+felton+someone for d.rose, tyrus thomas and drew gooden…

    hahahah that would be tight if it happens in real life.

  13. spectre

    "It seems that I’ve touched a nerve!"

    Why would you think that? Just because I asked you to give an actual legitimate way to do what the whole premise of the thread is based on? Kind of faulty reasoning there, but you do seem to jump to conclusions pretty quickly.

    I'm actually having fun! That is why most post on these sites right?

    Anyway…Lex + Henderson for basically nothing. Maybe we could get OKC to do that. I'd be a little leary of playing out the season maxed out cap wise with 2 over 30 guys at the 2. Also giving up a 12th and a 20th pick wouldn't be very business smart…but this could possibly work!

    Signing him and then hoping we can dump Felton for nothing at the end of the season (you are correct on when the tax is calculated) is a move I don't see Johnson going with nor is it very feasible; why would teams bail us out like that when they'd only be hurting their bottom line (they get more from the tax dispersal by keeping us over). Also Felton would STILL have to approve the trade.

    So…first is probably possible, second not so much.

    If my life depended on it I'd probably have to look at a 3 way where we send Crash out, get a lesser version (like Outlaw for instance) and capspace.

    Off the top of my head (and not looking at any salaries):

    Crash to Portland

    Outlaw to Charlotte

    Rudy to OKC.

    Course I'd only do that if my life depended on it…in my view Crash is better than AI+Outlaw.

  14. Jared


    How come you were so upset over trading Okafor, a move that is in some ways a salray dump, but are so easily throwing out the idea of us dumping Henderson, Ajinca, or Felton for no talent in return. In the Chandler move, we get roughly equal talent in return (the big concern is the injury issue for Chandler, not talent).

    Now you're talking about dumping players with presumably nothing but cap room in return? All that just to take a chance on Iverson? Remember I like the idea of Iverson, but dumping two younger, cheaper players who can add more depth to the roster, even if they are unproven in the NBA sounds like a short-sighted move in the range of picking up Nazr and Vlad.

    I don't understand how trading Felton mid season would help us cap-wise if he's playing on a 1 year QO. At best, wouldn't we be trading for a contract of roughly equal value that expires at the same time that his would. Even if we could get decent cap room by trading Felton, giving up that kind of talent for nothing but cap room in return is a trade on the same level of the Chandler/Okafor deal, if not much worse.

    I understand that there is a Felton/Okafor dichotomy out there among Bobcat fans, though I think that's mostly an emotion fueled dichotomy created by turning one or the other into a scape goat for what has really been a poor front office in Charlotte. I like both Okafor and Felton. If we look at them honestly, they've both been solid starters and they both have their weaknesses.

    Sorry for the little tangent, but I think we should look at Felton and Okafor on equal terms. Both are good players, but neither should be held as sacred on our roster.

  15. Jared-

    This is about scoring, not about giving away something for nothing. [It's basically an Iverson for Felton swap, btw]

    Get creative! Send me your ideas! How does this team score more than 95 ppg next year and stay under the luxury tax???

  16. Jared

    I'll bring up the point again, how does trading Felton if he's on a 1 year QO give us cap relief anyhow? Unless we trade him and then buy out or waive the player that we traded him for. What's the point of that?

  17. Jared-

    There are dozen or so teams out there (like the Bobcats) who have trade exceptions. This means that they could take on more salary in a trade than they return.

    All the Bobcats would have to do in my second scenario is find a team with a ~$2 million trade exception and swap Felton for a player making around $2 million less. The thinking goes that a team thick in the playoff hunt come FEB would roll the dice and take on more salary if a player like Felton could put them over the top.

    I STILL haven't heard any ideas from you!!!!

    Get creative! Send me your ideas! How does this team score more than 95 ppg next year and stay under the luxury tax???

  18. Jared

    But you are giving away long term solid play for a couple, maybe 3 productive years at most for Iverson. Hence the similarities to the Chandler/Okafor deal.

    I just don't see how one deal is better than the other.

  19. Jared

    Well like I said weeks ago, if you're bringing in Iverson, Raja is the player to replace. AI is a drop off on defense, but he gives you that much more in scoring. Raja makes 5.25 mil. Raymond and hopefully Henderson can play strong defense. see QCH's assessment of Iverson:

    Iverson has some interesting numbers – his opponents' per minutes stats are all down, but their PER against him was significantly better than (over 1 point difference) expected. That improvement was due almost entirely to their improved shooting percentages when facing The Answer. 4.2% better from the field with a 2.8% increase in true shooting percentage. On top of that, it seemed teams were going after Iverson, as opponents averaged a half point more per 100 team possessions than expected, with most of that increase coming in his brief time at SG. Does Iverson need to have a bigger guard on the court beside him, to handle some of the defensive burden? Maybe, but considering the job Raymond did at the 2 this year, that may be possible for the Bobcats to handle (see Ray's Season Review for a refresher).

    For reason's I've already stated, I prefer Felton/Iverson in the back court over Iverson/Bell. I'll add to that, Iverson and Bell are both in the twilight of their careers. Making them our starters means we can look to replacing our entire back court in 2/3 years time. That may work if Henderson develops into a capable starter (or we use our new found cap room) and D.J. stays on course. I just prefer the versatility of playing Iverson and Felton together now.

    No matter how you bring AI in, it's a big risk.

  20. spectre

    In regards to scoring…

    First off, are your numbers for the entire season or since the Phoenix trade? That makes a huge difference as we are not the same team now as we were last November.

    Using Felton's opponent's PER as an example, when you read Brett's piece over at QCH he says Felton was just average until that trade…then suddenly he got very good. Since that 13.0 is for the year can you imagine what it would have been for the 2nd half of the season with the roster we have now?

    It's not just him; we became a defensive force, jumping from the middle of the pack to 3rd. Same thing; if you just look at post all star break our defense had to have been pretty darn stellar.

    I'd like to see all that stuff run for the 2nd half. If what I'm thinking is correct then I think our scoring will be more than what we give up.

    Even if we only score 90 we still win if the opponent's only score 85.

  21. I like it Jared. Thanks!

    Felton/Iverson is a small backcourt but is much younger than an Iverson/Bell duo. I also think that Raja would be EVEN EASIER to deal at the deadline than Ray. Good call!

    This just reminded me of something. I've been reading a lot about how Felton's "Defensive PER" was so strong last year. Maybe you stat-minded fans can clue me in on something:

    Is there some sort of "Reverse D'Antoni" calculation somewhere in there that accounts for the fact that Felton (and the rest of the Bobcats) played on one of the League's slowest paced and lowest scoring teams?

    I mean, if Duhon, Robinson and Lee can put up near All-Star offensive numbers on the Knicks, shouldn't the same hold true for defensive numbers on this squad?

  22. By the way, if D'Antoni's Suns are referred to as the "Seven Seconds or Less" team, shouldn't we have some sort of catchy nickname as well?

    I'm voting for "Twenty-Three Seconds or More." Or maybe, "I Can't Believe It's Not the End of the Third Quarter." Or "Is This a Basketball Score or Did the Panthers Go Into Overtime?"

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