Should the Bobcats trade the #2 pick?


As we debate (agonize over?) the relative merits of Micheal Kidd-Gilchrist, Bradley Beal, Thomas Robinson, and Andre Drummond as potential selections for the Bobcats with the #2 pick, a tantalizing alternative has been presented.

Matt Moore of ProBasketballTalk makes a strong argument for trading the pick.  The argument boils down to this: the Bobcats desperately need both a franchise player and a more general infusion of talent; there is not a franchise player in this draft other than Anthony Davis; thus, the Bobcats should trade down in an attempt to add a couple of talented players — pieces, or assets if you will.

Moore also identifies some weaknesses in this strategy: one, while it seems unlikely at this time, it is possible that one of the above-mentioned candidates for the second pick could develop into a franchise player, which would make the Bobcats look even worse than they already do (if that’s possible); and two, that the Bobcats would be unlikely to receive full objective value back when trading away the pick.

For what it’s worth, I think the former weakness is the more important one.  Part of me thinks that the Bobcats should just decide which guy is going to be the best player, pick him at #2 and move forward.  Don’t over-complicate things.

But building an NBA team is complicated.  And the argument for trading the pick is admittedly compelling.  The next question is:  What could the Bobcats realistically get back for the second pick?

Speculation has mostly centered around the two teams with two first round picks: the Cavaliers (picks #4 and #24) and Trailblazers (picks #6 and #11).  Obviously, the first step is that one of these teams must fall in love with a player.

The Cavaliers are building around the core of Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao.  Most observers are putting the Cavaliers onto the prominent wing prospects in this draft: Bradley Beal, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Harrison Barnes.  The Cavaliers supposedly liked Harrison Barnes in last year’s draft, so if Barnes’ underwhelming 2011-12 season didn’t scare them off, they would certainly be able to sit back and get him at #4.  But if they fall for Kidd-Gilchrist or Beal, they could package #4 and #24 to move up to #2 to ensure that they get their man.

Getting #4 and #24 would be attractive for the Bobcats in that they could very likely still get Thomas Robinson at #4 (who may be the best fit anyways) and pick up an extra player/asset at #24.

The negative part of this is that the Bobcats already have pick #31, the first pick of the second round.  #24 and #31 aren’t that much different — are the Bobcats really going to give significant playing/development time next year to the #24 and #31 picks?

What you’d be hoping for is that someone who’s projected in the teens slips down to #24 so you get some real value there — Quincy Miller, for example? Or maybe you use one of those picks on a project (Fab Melo, Marquis Teague, Evan Fournier?) and stash him in the D-League/Europe while using the other pick on a more polished player who could contribute from Day 1 (Jeff Taylor, Draymond Greene, Andrew Nicholson?).

Moving on to Portland (picks #6 and #11), the Trailblazers are building around LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum.  Their biggest needs are a starting point guard and a big to pair with Aldridge.  They could try to fill those needs with #6 and #11 (Chad Ford’s Mock 6.0 has them taking Andre Drummond and Damian Lillard, respectively, while Jonathan Givony/ has them on Jared Sullinger and Kendall Marshall).

Or they could package the picks to move up to #2 to pick Thomas Robinson or Bradley Beal.  While Robinson is possibly too similar to Aldridge and thus not the greatest fit, he’s plug-and-play NBA ready.  Beal at 2-guard isn’t a primary need for the Blazers (they have Wesley Matthews there currently), but nonetheless keeps getting mentioned as as the guy that teams could really fall in love with.

Getting the sixth and eleventh picks would be supremely fun and terribly frightening for the Bobcats.  They might end up having to work out 50+ players when you add in the prospects for the #31 pick.

They could do the most Bobcatsian thing ever and pick Harrison Barnes at #6 and Tyler Zeller at #11 (harkening back to the all-Tarheels 2005 draft of Raymond Felton and Sean May).  People might riot, but those guys do fill needs — a wing and a big who meshes with Biyombo.

Or they could go with the two highest risk/reward prospects in the lottery: Andre Drummond at #6 and Perry Jones at #11 (again a big and a wing).  That would be fascinating.

Really, the possibilities are endless — the upshot is that you’re getting two lottery picks in a pretty deep draft.  And when you have as many holes as the Bobcats do, that’s probably the best move.

–Dr. E

POLL : What Should They Do with Pick #2?

  • Select Thomas Robinson (39%, 75 Votes)
  • Select Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (8%, 15 Votes)
  • Select Bradley Beal (15%, 28 Votes)
  • Select Andre Drummond (9%, 17 Votes)
  • Trade The Pick (29%, 55 Votes)

Total Voters: 190

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Gerald Wallace Traded To Portland? Updated X3


A Potential Dark Day In Bobcats History

So, the internet rumor reporters are spreading the word that the Charlotte Bobcats have nearly completed an agreement to trade Gerald Wallace to the Portland Trailblazers. The reports vary about what the Bobcats will receive in return.

We can only hope that the team will bring in some type of player that will outweigh the backlash that Jordan and Co. will face upon sending Wallace, an entertaining and respected fan-favorite, off to the Northwest.

Links To The Rumors : Report

NBC Sports – ProBasketballTalk Story

Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski Reports via Twitter



The barrage of rumors this afternoon were not followed by any confirmation, and now we have it on good authority that the Portland/Charlotte talks for Gerald Wallace are, in fact, dead.  The Bobcats will not be sending Wallace to Portland for Joel Pryzbilla’s expiring contract in a salary dump.

Around 6:00 PM ET, we began seeing Tweets from various reporters that the deal was “not done” and that others had “jumped the gun” in reporting it as nearly done.  Then word spread that Gerald Wallace was present and accounted for at an autograph session the Bobcats held this evening for season ticket holders (DJ Complete breaking news AND rockin the party!), making it highly unlikely that anything was going down tonight.

And just after 9:00 PM ET tonight, Rick Bonnell posted that the talks are indeed dead.  I’ll note again, as I have before here, that Bonnell is careful and conservative when it comes to addressing stories like this.  If he says it’s dead, it’s dead.

The implication here is that GM Rod Higgins was authorized to shop Wallace, but that Michael Jordan nixed this particular trade as the talks got serious.  Maybe that frustrates teams looking to deal with the Bobcats — remember how public and how far along the talks with the Raptors (Diaw/Calderon) were this offseason before the Cats pulled away?  But if Jordan gets a reputation as Mr. Cold Feet for nixing bad trades, then so be it.

The fact remains that Wallace and/or Jackson and/or Diaw are available, and that the Bobcats are considering dumping salary.  But apparently they won’t make a bad trade just to do so.

-Dr. E


Just as I was set to post this, here’s Mike Cranston via Twitter at 10:30 PM ET:

Talks between #Bobcats and #Blazers still ongoing. Lot of scenarios being discussed.

So much for “dead”.  Look for this to go right up to the deadline Thursday at 3:00 PM.

-Dr. E


2/24/11  – 4:30pm EST

Well, it looks like this morning’s report from the Observer gave us some hope that Gerald Wallace wouldn’t be moved by the deadline.

Then, this news pops up on – Gerald Wallace to Blazers


Bobcats vs. Trailblazers Open Thread


Trail Blazers Hornets Basketball

The Cats host the Trailblazers tonight at the Cable Box (7:30 PM ET).  The Trailblazers come in at 7-3; after defeating the Hornets last night, they’re 3-0 on their current 5 game road trip.  Hopefully we can catch them a little road-weary (worked in the Hawks game earlier this season).

Both ASChin and I are away from our homebases tonight and won’t be watching or Tweeting live.  We’ll have a post up later on Sunday, but in the meantime, feel free to post any thoughts/reactions in the comments here.

And here’s some weekend reading:

-Dr. E

Let’s Be Realistic


Five trade scenarios that make sense for the Charlotte Bobcats and the Other Team


Despite a 2-2 record going into Friday night’s home game against Atlanta, the ’09-’10 Charlotte Bobcats find themselves in a desperate situation.  They can’t score points and the last time I checked, scoring points was somewhat crucial to winning basketball games.  As fellow Baseliner Dr. E has pointed out in his recaps and comments recently, as bad as the Charlotte Bobcats were on offense last year they are even worse this year, ranking dead last in point per contest at 79.8.  To put this into perspective, the 29th team (Milwaukee) is averaging 8 more points per game than the ‘Cats @ 87.7.

This isn’t breaking news as anyone who has suffered the great misfortune of watching the opening 4 games will have come to the same conclusion: This Team Needs to Make a Trade.

First off, a couple of GROUND RULES:

  1. Trades must be logical for both teams, with a slight handicap given to the Bobcats trading partner as we fans tend to view our own players through the eyes of a new parent.  Must make sense for the trading partner first, Bobcats second.
  2. I used the Trade Machine as a reference and the screenshots have been pasted below.  The engine that powers the ‘Cats salary cap situation seems to be a little off so ignore the team’s cap number at the top.  All trades work cap wise for the Bobcats.
  3. The Bobcats have three primary needs: add more consistent scoring, depth at the backup PF spot, maintain or reduce their salary situation.  Trades will reflect one or more of those goals.

So without further ado…

1. The Charlotte Bobcats trade Gana Diop and Raja Bell to the Detroit Pistons for Rip Hamilton



Why Detroit Makes the Trade:
This one might seem lopsided at first glance.  Why would any team take on Gana Diop’s bloated, full-mid-level contract?  If the Pistons make this trade now, they’ll be close to $20 million under the salary cap this summer once Raja’s deal comes off the books.  Combine this with the fact that the team already has a nice young three guard rotation of Will Bynum, Rodney Stuckey and Ben Gordon and that makes Hamilton not only expendable but, by essentially shedding half of his contract, the Pistons will automatically put themselves in a situation where they can bid against anybody for any player come July.

Why Charlotte Makes the Trade:
On arrival, Rip would become the most dynamic and consistent outside shooter in team history.  His veteran leadership and ability to hit shots in the 2nd half are EXACTLY the kind of thing this team needs.  He’s a solid defender and knows Coach Brown’s system.  And even though Rip is already 31 years of age, his game looks to age well ala Ray Allen or Reggie Miller.  From a financial standpoint, the Bobcats are essentially trading away the albatross contract of a guy who is not playing (Diop) and receiving a bigger contract for a guy who will start.

2. The Charlotte Bobcats trade Gerald Wallace and Nazr Mohammed to the Golden State Warriors for Stephen Jackson, Ronny Turiaf and Speedy Claxton



Why Golden State Makes the Trade:
Are you kidding me?  S-JAX wanted out of Oakland a month ago and the team replaces an older disgruntled player with a younger, better one.  Warrior Fanatics will absolutely love Wallace in Oak-town.

Why Charlotte Makes the Trade:
There are already rumblings of Jackson coming to Charlotte but I don’t buy the Diaw rumor for an instant.  Boris is the most important piece currently on the Bobcats roster and everybody knows it.  In a situation where Stephen Jackson, a natural SF, comes to the Queen City, Gerald Wallace is the most likely man headed out of town.  While Jackson is a more gifted offensive player, the Bobcats would lose a lot defensively without Wallace.  Not to mention the fact that no one has been more loyal to the Bobcats organization than Crash over his 5+ seasons with the team while Jackson has just demanded a trade from the team that just gave him $35 million.
The reason that Charlotte makes this trade is because Turiaf is a HUGE upgrade at the backup PF/C spots and his toughness and rebounding will be needed when the team battles bigger squads like the Magic, Celtics and Cavs.
The other main reason for making the deal is money.  Claxton would come off of the books this summer and S-JAX’s cap number is lower in every year of his contract than what the team would be paying Wallace.
Bobcats give away a more talented player but get back quantity and cap space?  Sounds like a realistic Bobcats trade to me.

3. The Charlotte Bobcats trade Gerald Wallace to the Memphis Grizzlies for Rudy Gay and Marko Jaric



Why Memphis Makes the Trade:
Wallace is still young enough to grow with the Grizzlies’ young players (O.J. Mayo, Mike Conley, Hasheem Thabeet, Marc Gasol) and play right away with their veterans (Zach Randolph and Allen Iverson).  Perhaps more importantly, the trade would save the cheapskate Grizzlies at least $7 million next year as Rudy is likely to sign an extension that would pay him at least $9 million per season.

Why Charlotte Makes the Trade:
First off, let me say that I would feel absolutely terrible sending Crash into a situation like this.  He deserves better.  Unfortunately, it is a business measured in wins and losses and this trade makes a ton of sense for the Bobcats.  They get a younger, more skilled player in Rudy Gay to play the SF spot and would only have to pay Jaric one more season for their troubles.  With the salary cap potentially going even lower this summer, the ‘Cats could probably net Rudy (who’ll be a Restricted FA) for around the same money that they’re currently paying Wallace.

4. The Charlotte Bobcats trade Gerald Wallace to the Portland Trailblazers for Travis Outlaw and Martell Webster



Why Portland Makes the Trade:
The Trailblazers have been hot on Wallace for a couple of years now and there were multiple reports of a deal like this going down as recently as this past summer.  You could see why.  Wallace is the perfect fit for the Blazers in that he’s a reliable 3rd or 4th offensive option who doesn’t need plays called for him as he gets his points on sneaky post-ups, drives and put-backs.  He’s great in the open court and could be the final piece that puts Portland in the Western Conference Finals.

Why Charlotte Makes the Trade:
Surprisingly enough, Hollinger’s Analysis really liked this trade for the Bobcats, adding 9 wins to the Bobcats total.  Webster and Outlaw aren’t household names but they are both young and talented and could start for the ‘Cats immediately.  Both guys can shoot it and financially the Bobcats would come up WAY ahead, with Outlaw’s deal expiring this summer and Webster’s reasonable $5 million a year deal extending only through ’11-’12.  In an alternative scenario, the Bobcats could include Derrick Brown in the deal and ask for Nicolas Batum in exchange.  This gives the team insurance if Outlaw decides not to resign and adds yet another talented Frenchmen to the squad.

5. The Charlotte Bobcats trade D.J. Augustin, Raja Bell and Nazr Mohammed to the Sacramento Kings for Kevin Martin and Beno Udrih



Why Sacramento Makes the Trade:
Money.  The once proud Kings are in dire financial shape.  The team is going nowhere on the court and (probably) somewhere else off of it.  Between now and the summer of 2013, the Kings owe Martin $45 million.  During the same time frame, Sacramento owes Udrih (a decent backup PG) $27.5 million.  Making this trade with the Bobcats would save the Kings around $60 million over the next four seasons and provide them with a young PG to run the floor with rookie phenom Tyreke Evans.

Why Charlotte Makes the Trade:
An additional $60 million in salary commitments.  Any chance in hell that Bob Johnson would say yes to a trade like this?  I say yes and here’s why: Kevin Martin is currently averaging 30pts per freakin’ game.  And he’s only 26 years old.  And this is not a fluke as Martin has averaged over 20pts per game over the past three seasons.  Sure, his defense doesn’t exactly scream “Larry Brown Caliber” but Kevin Martin would be the perfect medicine for a team desperately looking for some offense.  As bad as Udrih’s contract is, he’s not a terrible backup PG and combined with Felton, would make a nice platoon with Martin in the backcourt.
Oh, and Hollinger’s Analysis adds 13 wins to the ‘Cats win total if a deal like this were to go down.  Thirteen more wins is a good thing, right?


Charlotte Bobcats vs. Blazers 1/17/09



1.  Nice win Saturday night at the Cable Box, 102-97 in OT over the Trailblazers, who were wrapping up a 4 game road trip.  AP story here, box score here, game flow here.  The Bobcats have now won three in a row and five of their last seven.  They are 9-8 since the J-Rich trade, have moved to 16-24 overall, and creep up a bit in Hollinger’s Playoff Odds.

2.  Let’s go ahead and get it out of the way: The Dunk.  With the Bobcats down two, six and a half minutes left in the fourth quarter, Gerald Wallace make a backdoor cut.  Felton spots him and tosses a nice, soft lob.  Greg Oden, patrolling the paint, realizes what’s going on — but just a beat too late.  Wallace is already way above the rim, slamming the ball towards the basket with his right hand.  Oden makes contact with Wallace’s body, forcing him backwards simultaneously.  Gerald barely finishes off the jam, and crumples backwards from Oden’s contact.

The immediate crowd reaction was kind of muted.  But enough people realized what they had just seen and leapt to their feet in amazement.  That was enough for all the rest of the fans to turn their eyes away from Rufus, or the dancers, or their kid making funny faces while he throws popcorn around and look towards the action.  As Gerald gathered himself and the ref made the foul call, they showed one replay on the video board, then another one.  By that time, a majority of the crowd was up, giving Gerald a standing ovation.

You need to see this dunk  — here’s a good version of the video.  Easily the dunk of the night in the NBA, and probably in the running for one of the top dunks of the year so far.  To top it off, it was Oden’s fifth foul, and Gerald hit the free throw to give us a one point lead.  And if it needed more topping, on the next trip down the floor, Gerald took the ball baseline and hit a whirling layup to draw Oden’s sixth and foul him out.  Gerald also converted that three point play to give the Cats a four point lead midway through the fourth.  Amazing sequence.

Now is obviously a good time to comment on Wallace’s overall game: it was awesome.  Gerald finished with 31 points (10-19 FG, 10-13 FT), 16 rebounds (3 offensive), 3 assists, 2 blocks and a steal.  The only problem with Gerald’s game is that he wasn’t involved much in the overtime period.  Not his fault, though.  Larry Brown seems intent on (showcasing?) putting the game in Raymond Felton’s hands almost exclusively down the stretch.

3.  Let’s not bury the lead under all of Gerald’s awesomeness, though.  This was another tough, close game that the Bobcats were able to pull out.  Winning these kind of games is really uncharted territory for the Bobcats, and it’s hopefully more than just a lucky stretch.  Ideally, it’s a real effect of Larry Brown and the personnel moves that he’s engineered.  The Cats have become a team that executes very well in clutch situations — it’s no longer a given that they’ll fold under pressure.

After that big sequence, the Cats continued to maintain a small buffer.  Felton hit a layup with a little over a minute left in regulation to give the Cats an 88-83 lead.  However, the Blazers came right back with a Rudy Fernandez three and a LaMarcus Aldridge jumper to tie the game up.  Felton and Roy then traded clutch buckets to leave the game tied at 90 with nine seconds left.  After a timeout, the Cats were able to inbound the ball to Felton, who probably waited too long to start his move and could only get up a contested, fading 20 footer that clanged off the rim at the buzzer.

In OT, the Bobcats played good defense and were able to limit the Blazers to 3-10 shooting and seven points on another Rudy Fernandez three, and buckets by Aldridge and Roy.  On offense, as I’ve already noted, Larry Brown put the game in Felton’s hands.  As a result, the Bobcats shot 4-7 in the extra period.  Felton was responsible for one of those buckets on two attempts, and assisted on two others.  He found Okafor with a nice pass for a big dunk, then later found Diaw for an open three.

Conspicuous by their absence from the play-by-play of the Bobcats OT possessions are any turnovers or shots being blocked.  Larry Brown preaches precision and accountability from his point guards, and Raymond Felton is delivering right now.

4.  Felton finished with 16 points, 5 rebounds and 7 asssists (vs. 3 turnovers).  Since we’re clearly going to be moving him before the trading deadline, his recent strong play has really been a boon.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to package Mohammed with him and get back someone (or something… a pick?) useful.

5.  Aside from Wallace and Felton, Okafor also played well: 22 points (9-14 FG), 11 rebounds (5 offensive) and 3 blocks.  The Blazers were never able to get any consisent inside offense going against him.  Aldridge finished with 21 points, but they were almost exclusively on mid-range jumpers.  And Greg Oden was decidedly underwhelming, fouling out in only 18 minutes with just 8 points.

6.  Quiet game for Boris Diaw (except for the huge three in overtime).  With Carroll gone and Portland sporting athletic wing players (i.e. no good matchups for Adam Morrison), Shannon Brown got some run and played OK.  And Juwan Howard continues to provide useful minutes off the bench, going for 8 points on 4-5 FG in 13 minutes.

7.  The Portland spin on this game is that it was the end of a 4 game road trip, so there was a fatigue factor in play (fair enough) and that Roy had an uncharacteristically quiet game with some really poor free throw shooting.

My quick thoughts on the Blazers: they have two young stars in Roy and Aldridge and a lot of intriguing potential talents.  The collection of young talent that they have amassed is certainly enviable; but I’m surprised that they’ve been able to win as much as they have with little to no veteran presence.  It’s really a testament to Nate McMillan, I suppose.

Anyways, looks to me like they need to figure out which of their young talents is the long-term solution at PG, either Rodriguez or Bayless.   Bayless had some really nice moments driving the ball for easy baskets last night.  If he can learn how to run a team and get everyone involved, they’re in good shape with him.  But it’s difficult enough for a “true” point guard to learn how to be an NBA point guard.  When making everyone around you better has never been an interest or a strong suit, it’s going to be even more difficult.  Plus, bad body language from that guy on more than one occasion last night.  Not exactly how I want the point guard for my young team behaving.

Additionally, the Blazers obviously need to give Oden some time.  He did not look good last night: mechanical and gangly at the same time on offense; slow and old, yet green on defense.

Once the Blazers figure out some of these questions, they will still have plenty of young talent to package in a trade for a veteran to put them over the top.  That is, if anyone around the league is willing to deal with them.

8.  One last note: Sean May must be down under 260 pounds, because he was activated and dressed out last night.  He did not see any playing time, but had giant ice bags wrapped around his knees during the first and third quarters while seated on the bench.  Does he really need iced down after jogging through the layup line?

9.  Next game is a Monday afternoon home matinee for MLK Day: the Spurs come to town for a 2:00 start.