What To Do with Dampier? – Part 1 (Addendum)


Jose Calderon - Tres Points, Bee-octch!

Before I get to my second Dampier Solution, I want to throw one more possible option into the “Waive Him” category.  Last week we heard from NBA.com’s David Aldridge that the Bobcats were trying to get involved in the Houston/NO/NJ/INDY four team trade.  The ‘Cats wanted to squeeze yet another team into the mix (the Raptors) in order to send Dampier’s expiring contract to the Pacers for the Rap’s Jose Calderon.  Aldridge is and has been a top notch NBA beat guy for decades so I’ll take him at his word: The Bobcats are still interested in acquiring Calderon.

Here’s the thing that I don’t get: Jose is at best an overpaid part-time starter for the Lottery bound Raptors.  At worst he’s a salary cap albatross who’s paid like a top 10 point guard and will probably start the season on the bench behind the average Jarrett Jack.  So why are the Bobcats trying to trade a real deal asset (Dampier’s immediately expiring contract) for him?

The answer, of course, could be that the front office is clueless (and there are many signs that undeniably point that way) or perhaps this is just a smokescreen leaked by Toronto management in order to try to raise Calderon’s value throughout the League.

A Better Deal for Calderon

If in fact the Bobcats are interested in Calderon then why not offer up a more palatable combination of Gana Diop and D.J. Augustin?  Diop’s contract matches Calderon’s in length with Jose due around $6 million more over the next three seasons.

Sure, Gana hasn’t done a damn thing to prove he’s worth the League minimum (much less a full midlevel) contract over the past year but he’d be the biggest body on the Raps thin roster and he’s still young enough (28) to contribute.  Meanwhile, D.J. would add another shooter and speedster to Toronto’s open court game.  He’s also an expiring contract or a cheap trade chip if the Raps don’t want him back after next season.  On the surface, Diop’s deal would be hard to swallow but I’m not sure if Toronto will see a better offer for Jose and his 3 years, $30 million than this one.

For the Bobcats, the trade would be a solid double.  Calderon has his flaws and is flagrantly overpaid but a combination of Jose and Livingston at point guard could work.  Both players have size (Jose is listed a 6’3″) and Calderon’s shooting will come in very handy when Shaun struggles with his perimeter shot.

Diop’s absence (combined with the eventual waiving of Dampier and loss of Tyson Chandler) heightens the team’s need for depth at center.  With Shaq signing on with the Celtics for a little over the League veteran’s minimum, I can’t see a 36 year old Erik Dampier walking away from a two year $6 million dollar offer from Higgins & Co.

Ironically, taking on Jose’s $30 million would help the Bobcats with their financial situation.  By unloading a bad deal for a bad deal, the ‘Cats could solve their point guard depth while staying safely under the League’s tax number.  The team would still have another two million dollars or so to pickup a street free agent or veteran via trade for depth (see Ratliff, Theo) this year and be around $9 million under next season’s tax line.

But if I’m Rod Higgins and MJ, I don’t stop there.  It’s time for a double down.

Double Down Trade

In what would be perhaps the League’s biggest two player trade (on a pound for pound basis), the Bobcats could then ship Boris Diaw (recently spotted doing a Biggie Smalls impression at the World’s) coupled with Eduardo Najera to the Knicks for “Disorderlies” body double Eddie Curry.  From a talent perspective, this is a coup for the Knicks.  Sure, they’d have to sacrifice $11 million in cap space for next season (even with Diaw and Najera on the roster, they’d only have $33m committed) but D’Antoni would reunite with one of his favorite players from his Phoenix days and Boris, when in shape, is one of the most uniquely skilled players in the League.  The reason the Bobcats make this trade is to clean up their books for next season.  Curry’s $11 million deal expires  next summer and the ‘Cats would go into the 2011-2012 season (if there is one) $11 million under the cap and nearly $20 million under the tax line.

Bobcats Baseline - Salaries (Post Curry/Calderon Moves)

In the event that Eddie Curry gives a crap about continuing his NBA career, I can’t think of a better place for him than Charlotte.  Teaming with Mohammed and Dampier, Larry Brown will utilize Curry’s low post scoring in ways that D’Antoni’s system can’t.  Pairing Curry with an athletic power forward who operates from the perimeter like Tyrus Thomas or Derrick Brown would also help.

Bobcats Baseline State of the Roster - Calderon/Curry - Addendum

In Conclusion

Ultimately, this roster isn’t going to win the Conference Finals.  They could however push the team a few games up in the standings and make a run at the Second Round while giving the organization some breathing room to make some moves and build the team while remaining competitive for the next three to four seasons.

Until next time, Enjoy the Offseason Bobcats Fans…


25 thoughts on “What To Do with Dampier? – Part 1 (Addendum)

  1. Jeremy Hipps

    I like this best of any suggestions on this site so far. I've mentioned Eddy Curry multiple times only to be shot down on other boards. He was a legit low post scorer 2 years back. It seems like a deal that benefits both sides.

  2. justin


    With the news on Melo, does anyone think the Bobcats make a run at him? Seems like the Chris Paul rumors are all but done, but there was some interest in Melo apparently…anything we can do that Denver would take back?

  3. justin

    Makes sense, in referring to Carmelo…my thought is that we'd probably get involved in some sort of trade, whether we get him or not. Seems like we're ready to deal, evidence is how we keep trying to obtain calderon…I also have this weird feeling either Rip Hamilton or Prince is going to be a bobcat soon. Just a hunch…

  4. RobC

    ASChin –

    This deal, if it works out the same way your drafting it, it would be a good temporary solution for the Bobcats current roster and it opens flexibility for the future. I would be all for it, if it happens just like that.

    Also, ading to your point, other than: Melo, Deron Williams and Tony Parker, there is no one else, worthy of a big contract for the 2-3 years. And none of those guys will play in Charlotte, unless they believe they have a legit chance to win.

    That being said, besides your previous two scenarios: Mo Williams & J. Calderon; the only two viable pertners to make a trade with the Bobcats seems to be: Golden State & Washington.

  5. justin-

    I think it’s worth looking at this from a historical perspective. Can anyone remember the last time a star has held out and demanded to be traded…to a smaller market???
    Can’t think of any examples in the NBA.
    Maybe Griffey to the Reds fits that description in baseball but he really just wanted to be near his childhood home in Cincy, which was my reasoning for Chris Paul.

    It would take a special personality to make that type of move and I don’t think ‘Melo fits the mold. All signs point to him angling for New York or maybe Houston.

    My stance all along has been that the Bobcats can only compete by making smart draft picks, crafty trades and deft under-the-radar free agent signings. Thus far, they are good at exactly one of those three things. If the organization ever wants to contend for a title, they’ll have to nail all three facets of the GM game.

    Which leads me to this: Why in the name of Pete (Chilcutt) has MJ not approached former Blazers whiz Kevin Pritchard to be the team’s GM? Sure, the team already has Rod Higgins but that’s kind of like Miami saying “we can’t sign Chris Bosh, we already have Udonis Haslem.”
    C’mon, MJ, your boy Rod will understand plus you could just bump him up to assistant team president or something.

  6. Jeremy Hipps

    I hope we can trade Diaw soon. He is grossly out of shape potentially worse than last year. I think it’s safe to say if he looks the same way he did at the world Tyrus will be starting.

    It’s easier said than done but for us to be successful we have to rebuild while still remaining in the playoffs. The trades about help with that immensely. Another piece to factor is Nazr will become more valuable as the season goes on if Curry can play at a decent level, he will be expendable either let him expire or move him for a pick and a player or something along those lines.

  7. RobC

    “Anthony could leave Denver via trade”

    This is the headlines in one of today’s stories in ESPN Insider. If that is the case, can the Bobcats try and make a push for Billups and/or Nene? That would be nice.

    How about: Diaw, Dampier, DJ and Nazr for Nene and Billups.

    That’s a little unrealistic…but who knows!!!

  8. RobC-

    Talked about Golden State as a trade partner in Part One, will be getting to the Wiz in Part Two.

    Zach from Garden State Gurus tweeted me earlier in regards to a Carmelo trade. He makes good points. Basically saying that the ‘Cats could offer Denver Gerald Wallace and Diop for ‘Melo, knowing that they’d only have him for a year. ‘Melo’s presence would heighten interest in the team during that season and when he leaves, the team will have around $20 million in cap space to replace him. Food for thought.


    Considering that Eddie Curry has played a total of something like 30 minutes in the past two NBA seasons, it would be safe to assume that he doesn’t start next season.

  9. Jared

    The Diop/D.J. deal is far more favorable for the Bobs, but does Toronto really go for it? It’s not quite the salary dump they were originally hoping for.

  10. RobC

    Yes, hopefully that 4th team can be the Bobcats.

    Ellis & Biedrins continue to be on the spot and Golden State can benefit from a good backup PG and some true PF’s:

    Charlotte recieves:

    Golden State recieves:

    Then resign Dampier for 2Yrs/$6-7M and offer the rest of the MLE ($2.3M) to Amundson and the Minimum Salary to Graham.

    Starting Line-Up:
    Ellis – Jackson – Wallace – Thomas – Biedrins

    Second Unit:
    Livingston – Henderson – Brown – Amundson – Dampier

    Bench Unit:
    Collins – Carroll – Graham – McGuire – Nazr

    The Warriors get a big body in Diop to come of the Bench behind Lee, a solid backup PG that can score, a decent beck up PF (which they need) and an upgrade to their current starting PF (Wright) in Diaw, plus some financial flexibility and trading chips.

    The bobcats roster will be pretty competitive for the next 2-3 Years. The Bobcats will be almost $7M under the Luxury Tax this year, and almost $15M under the Luxury Tax for next Season. This will provide the financial flexibility they need to make some good moves during the next 2-3 years, while remaining competitive and rebuild. In 3 years the contracts of Wallace, Jackson are up, Ellis & Biedrins are good players with decent expiring contracts and Tyrus Thomas will be more experience and still in his prime.

  11. Tyler

    anyone think we would make a trade for Josh Smith
    like maybe Boris,DJ, and Nazr for
    Josh Smith and Mike Bibby
    i know it probably wont happen i just love the idea of
    Gerald Wallace/Stephen Jackson/Josh Smith on the same team

  12. RobC

    Hey, let’s trade Gerald Henderson and a future 2nd Rd Pick to Portland for Rudy Fernandez. He would be great coming off the bench for Jackson or Wallace, plus he is actually a shooter!!!

  13. Why does everyone want to trade Gerald Henderson? He wasn’t terrible last year, LB just didn’t want to play him over Stephen Graham. If you watched him in Summer League, you’ll know he’s a great driver with a developing jumper, plus an incredible defender. Rudy Fernandez offers nothing Gerald doesn’t, and nobody wants a future second rounder, so don’t think that’s an actual trade piece. I expect Henderson to be a big contributor off the bench to spell Crash and Jack for a few minutes.

  14. RobC

    Ben –

    People don’t want to trade Gerald Henderson because he is terrible!!! Terrible players CAN’t be traded (exhibit A – Gana Diop).

    People would like to use gerald Henderson as part of a deal to bring some who is better. Is the same reason we talked about trading players like DJ and even Diaw. none of them are terrible, even though they played below expectations.

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