An AK-47, A Burly Frenchmen & A Providence Panther


Three Impact Trades for Power Forward Depth

Power Forward Depth

We’ve been talking about it since Training Camp and Larry Brown has been crying for it (via Rick Bonnell) for months: Rod Higgidy-Higgins needs to make a trade ASAP to bring in another Power Forward.

The Bobcats are playing the best ball in franchise history.  If they want to continue their push towards the top of the Eastern Conference, they’ll need another PF.  Here’s why:

  1. Even though Boris Diaw is regaining his ’08-’09 form, he’ll never be a rebounding force.  As much as we’d all like to see Gerald Wallace to win the rebounding title, logic dictates that he split ball-boards with another banger and save the wear and tear on his body for the Playoffs.
  2. Right now Wallace, Stephen Jackson and second rounder Derrick Brown are the backups.  You don’t want your two best players getting beaten up down low against bigger players.  The rookie Brown is giving up 20-30 pounds and a ton of experience on a nightly basis.
  3. Roster Imbalance.  The team features four point guards and five wing players.  Playoff teams need to be able to go big.

That brings me to the trades.  First off, let me establish the RULES:

  • No virtual trades with Eastern Conference Playoff contenders.  Let’s be realistic, why would a division rival and potential first round opponent like Orlando trade the Bobcats Brandon Bass for cap relief or a young player?  Makes no sense.
  • Virtual trades can only be made within the conference IF the other team is absolutely horrible with no chance at the Playoffs and wants to clean house or dump salary.
  • The Trade HAS TO MAKE SENSE FOR THE OTHER TEAM.  This automatically excludes 99.9% of the trades that you’ve seen posted on Bobcats forums and comment threads.
  • Don’t Mess with Chemistry: The Bobcats are playing great together right now, so you don’t want to trade away any player who is integral to this run.

Without further ado…

TRADE #1: Bobcats send Tyson Chandler and a Protected First Round Selection to Washington for Antawn Jamison.

Washington ditches the last year of Jamison’s deal ($15 million in ’11-’12) and can move Tyson’s expiring as soon as this summer AND they get a late first rounder for their troubles.

For one, the Charlotte Observer can kill two birds with one stone by writing updates on Jamison AND THE BOBCATS at the same time (we can only hope that the team can trade for Stephen Curry during the offseason as well).
Also Jamison could step in and either be the team’s electric frontcourt scorer off the bench OR start the game with an unselfish Diaw joining the lineup at Center as the sixth man.  Although Antawn isn’t known as an elite defender, he’s an above-average rebounder at around 9 per game over the past four seasons.
Finally, bringing Jamison home to Charlotte would likely do wonders at the turnstiles as the former Tar Heel/Providence Panther could combine his local celebrity with the promise of a suddenly formidable Charlotte NBA team.

TRADE #2: Bobcats send Gerald Henderson and Stephen Graham to Golden State for Ronny Turiaf.

Ronny isn’t getting much PT in Oaktown these days as Don Nelson seems hell-bent on playing a five guard lineup.  The Warriors get another super-athletic two-guard with lots of potential and shave cap-space to boot.

Larry Brown has fallen in love with the French.  He praised their national team this summer, drafted one of their youngsters in ’08 and traded for another last winter.  Turiaf would be a great complement to Diaw in Charlotte where he could spend 15-20 minutes (and six fouls) per game roughing up the opposing team’s low post players, blocking shots and taking up space in the lane.
Only two negatives with Turiaf:
1. (Mild Concern) Had open heart surgery in 2005 following the draft to repair an aortic artery.
2. (Moderate Concern) Once played at Gonzaga with Adam Morrison.

TRADE #3: Bobcats send Tyson Chandler, Acie Law and Gerald Henderson to the Utah Jazz for Andrei Kirilenko and a Protected First Round Selection.

The Jazz need to get out from under the luxury tax and Law (expiring), Henderson (rookie deal) and Chandler (two more years at a lower number) are infinitely more moveable than Kirilenko’s $16 million salary.

Seriously, do you have to even ask?  Kirilenko is signed to MAX contract that may seem ludicrous now but in 2005 (PRE-CARLOS BOOZER), the big Russian was worth every penny.  Back then when AK-47 was playing his natural PF position, Andrei averaged 15ppg, 8rpg, 4apg AND 3.3bpg.  Once Boozer came to town and the Jazz decided to play Kirilenko out of position on the wing, things went south and Andrei never regained his previous form.  Putting a still young (28) Kirilenko on the same line with Gerald Wallace might destroy the League record (if there even is one) for Most ReDonkulous Weakside Help In Your Face Blocks in a season.  Add to this fact that Kirilenko has shown that he has no problem coming off of the bench and you have the makings of a perfect small-ball, ball-hawking, transition team set with Boris at Center, Andrei at PF and Crash at the the Three.