Some fans over at DetroitBadBoys.com posted some comments earlier today theorizing a potential Rip Hamilton for Emeka Okafor swap. Then came a second hypothetical scenario in which the Pistons and Bobcats would also swap Tayshaun Prince and Gerald Wallace in the same deal with the Bobcats getting a little something back in compensation such as a prospect or a future Piston 1st Rounder.
At first, this deal sounds ludicrous.
You’d be dealing a 26 year old Top 10-15 center and a 27 year old face-of-the-franchise forward for a 31 year old shooting guard who’s owed over $48 million over the next four seasons and a wispy 4th option small forward whose biggest impact in the League came almost a half decade ago.
But then I started to think about it…
Why trade Okafor for Rip?
- Rip Hamilton is on the hook for $49.5 million over the next four seasons.
- Emeka Okafor is owed $62.7 over the next five.
- The Bobcats have two players behind Okafor who make the full mid-level and the team has recently inquired about the availability of Samuel Dalembert. The other two centers (Gana Diop & Nazr Mohammed) are basically unmovable due to bloated contracts.
- Even though Rip will be 36 when his contract expires, his game and his build is much like that of Ray Allen or Reggie Miller. He should be productive for at least the first three of those seasons, after which he turns into a huge expiring contract.
- The Bobcats desperately need scoring and since Larry Brown tends to favor players he’s coached before, it would not be a reach to suggest that a deal for Hamilton would be attractive to LB.
Ok, so that kind of makes sense but Wallace for Tayshaun!!!???
- Larry Brown likes defenders at the SF and likes guys that he’s familiar with.
- Tayshaun’s contract pays him $21.5 million over the next two seasons.
- Gerald’s contract pays out $41 million over the next four seasons.
- Over the past 5 seasons, Tayshaun has played in 82 games every one of those seasons.
- Over those same 5 seasons, Gerald has logged: 75/55/72/62/71 games played.
Yeah I know, Gerald is the face of the franchise and it would really suck to lose two of our home-grown guys for players whose prime may or may not be behind them.
But what if JoD sweetened the pot with this:
Nazr Mohammed’s contract for Jason Maxiell.
Could it be anymore perfect?
Although the Bobcats would take on an additional $250k in the deal, over then next five seasons, they’d save arond $35 million in payroll (which is apparently a good thing for a franchise up for sale).
In the meantime, Charlotte could compete immediately in the Eastern Conference with a balanced, veteran squad and would be in position to go after whomever they wanted in Free Agency during the summer of 2011.
With Hamilton on the roster, Raja would be expendable so there would be a potential for the ‘Cats to package Vlad Radmanovic and Bell together in order to complete the long rumored Dalembert trade (another big expiring deal in 2011).
The first unit would feature five strong defenders and a dependable wing scorer (for once) in Hamilton.
The reserves would feature two very promising younger players (Augustin and Maxiell), a potentially promising 1st rounder in Gerald Henderson and a dependable, defensive-minded center in Gana Diop.
A Win-Win Deal
From Detroit’s perspective, they hit a homerun.
- They get a HUGE upgrade at center in Okafor (to replace Kwame Brown).
- They get a dynamic wing player in Gerald Wallace to team with Charlie V and Emeka in a completed revamped frontcourt.
- Suddenly, Detroit’s core players go from early-mid 30s to all under 27. Amazing.
It all sounds great but I’m still kind of torn. If the Bobcats had decent (or settled) ownership, maybe it would be a better idea to hold on to Emeka and Gerald and build for the future. Unfortunately, that’s not the case and the organization finds itself needing to make the playoffs and grow the fanbase while not adding to the payroll.
If the above scenario unfolds, those things just might happen.