Six Trade Deadline Deals for the Charlotte Bobcats



Let’s hope Rich Cho and Rod Higgins have an unlimited minutes plan. With up to $19 million in expiring contracts, multiple 1st Round draft picks and a roster devoid of Playoff talent, it’s a near certainty the front office duo are working the phones to acquire talent before the February 21st deadline. Let’s have a look at some of the options available as we approach the frenzy:

Expirings about to Expire

In particular, you can all but guarantee Charlotte will attempt to move the expiring contracts of upcoming free agents Gana Diop ($7.3m), Hakim Warrick (team option, $4m) and Reggie Williams ($2.6m). The Queen City’s never been a major free agent destination so acquiring a quality player already under contract with this space is imperative. While fishing out a highly paid psuedo-star like Rudy Gay is an option, the team could also use the expiring contracts in the form of a salary dump to bring in a prospect or pick, for example:

TRADE PROPOSAL #1 CLT trades Gana Diop, Hakim Warrick to SAC for John Salmons, Thomas Robinson.

Nothing says “fresh start” like the dumping of a truly terrible contract. As much fun as it would be for a guy named “Salmons” to play in Seattle, he’s extremely overpaid for his production. With John off the books, the soon-to-be-Sonics could both re-sign Tyreke Evans and dip their toes into a decent Free Agency pool. The price for taking on Salmons’ additional two years would be Robinson, who has the potential to be a league-leading rebounder and a decent post player.

TRADE PROPOSAL #2 CLT trades Diop, Reggie Williams to DAL for Shawn Marion, Jae Crowder, 2nd Round Pick.

Mark Cuban is going all in this summer and the only thing standing in his way is the final year of Marion’s contract. By dumping it, Cuban will have nearly $25 million to blow in free agency BEFORE utilizing all the Mavs’ cap exceptions. Meanwhile, Charlotte rents a fading yet useful combo forward for 18 months. If Shawn pouts, the Cats can buy him out midway next season but if not, they’ll have a highly useful rebounder/jump shooter in their rotation. The real bounty in the trade is Crowder, a high-energy, rebounding machine on a pint-sized contract for two more seasons. Dallas’ 2nd Rounder would replace the one Charlotte traded to OKC for Byron Mullens.

Big Names, Big Deals, Big Risks

If Cho and Higgins were to roll the dice to bring in a youngish, All-Star-ish, type of player there are a few options out on the trading block:

TRADE PROPOSAL #3 CLT trades Tyrus Thomas, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Diop to MEM for Rudy Gay, Darrell Arthur.

As controversial as it sounds, this deal could ultimately help both teams. Memphis dumps Gay’s massive contract and adds another wing stopper in Kidd-Gilchrist, freeing the team to pair Mike Conley with another scorer instead of re-signing free agent-to-be Tony Allen. The price, of course, is taking on the last two years of Thomas’ laughable deal. Though overpaid, Gay gives Charlotte exactly what they need as a dynamic offensive SF while Arthur provides a steady two-way presence at the other forward spot. Also, trading Tyrus alleviates the need for using the amnesty clause on him – a move that could save Michael Jordan up to $18 million over the next two years. Before you scoff at the idea of a penny-pinching owner, keep in mind that the cash could be spent on the next coach hire (Stan Van Gundy, anyone?), the Hornets rebrand, front office help and a quality bench player or two. Next season’s Kemba/McLemore/Gay/Arthur/Biyombo lineup and deep bench could certainly compete for a Playoff spot.

TRADE PROPOSAL #4 CLT trades Diop, Williams, 1st Rnd Pick (via PDX) to TOR for Andrea Bargnani.

A straight salary dump for the Raps with a mid-round pick thrown in for their troubles, Toronto officially moves on from the disappointing Bargnani era, allowing the assurgant Ed Davis to claim the starting spot for good. Charlotte gets a sweet-shooting big man who actually makes good on his stroke – Bargnani takes Byron Mullens’ re-signing out of the equation come July and provides the Cats with a niche outside-in complement to Biyombo and MKG in the frontcourt. Also, did I mention that Bargnani makes Mullens redundant?

TRADE PROPOSAL #5 CLT trades Gerald Henderson, Williams, 1st Rnd Pick (DET) to SAC for Tyreke Evans.

If the soon-to-be-Sonics are convinced that they can’t or don’t want to sign Evans to a $10 million plus per year deal in July, they can make a trade like this one. Henderson gives them a less expensive backup plan for a starting two guard and the pick from Detroit adds to the new management’s stash of assets. The Cats roll the dice here by adding Evans and his upcoming near-max deal but the payoff could be huge. Evans is only 23, taller and bigger than Henderson and a very good ball handler AKA a near perfect long-term complement to Kemba Walker. Tyreke is a consistent jumpshot away from an All-Star game. This is exactly the sort of player the Cats should be targeting.

TRADE PROPOSAL #6 CLT trades Diop, Warrick, Williams, Two 1st Rnd Picks (via DET/PDX) to ATL for Josh Smith.

By far the most prepostorous of the scenarios, Charlotte would “win” the right to pay Smith $18 million or so per year over the next four seasons. Atlanta seems less than thrilled with that very idea so have been shopping Smith over the past few months. While the concept of trading Smith within their own division (much less the same Conference) might seem abhorant, acquiring two mid-round draft choices and $14 million in cap space may alleviate the sting. Smith would immediately become the Cats’ most dynamic scorer and a fine match with MKG – but factoring in Smith’s contract demands, maturity issues and Atlanta’s division-rival status, it’s a definite longshot.

Bobcats Withstand Furious Kings Rally, Again


Charlotte Bobcats @ Kings 1/30/10

Running diary-style as the Bobcats attempt to go 3-1 on the road trip.  Our Gerald Wallace “SarcophaCrash” t-shirts are moving fast, and we’re not printing many, so get one while you can!

First Quarter

The Bobcats jump out to an early 12-9 lead four minutes in, leading to the first timeout; but the Kings bounce back with an 9-2 run.  Diaw is going to have to sit for awhile after picking up his second foul — Derrick Brown in early.

And now Brown picks up two quick fouls — might see the Bobcats have to go small tonight.  The Kings go on lead by as much as 9, but the Cats finish the quarter strong to pull to within four, 33-29.

Both teams over 60% FG for the quarter, but a few too many easy baskets for the Kings early on and Cats made only 1-5 FT to account for the margin.

Second Quarter

Gerald Wallace starts the quarter off with a tough three point play, defensive stop, then another Gerald Wallace bucket in the paint to briefly take the lead, 34-33.

Derrick Brown with just his second three of the year — Cats 3-4 from behind the arc early.  Make that 4-5 as Flip drains another one to give the Cats a 43-39 lead into a timeout.

Gerald Wallace is up to 14 points, 7 rebounds already — 6-6 FG.

I missed the MLK Day matinee game in Charlotte between these two teams, so this is my first time watching the Kings.  I can see why they’re excited.  They really nailed the draft with Evans and Casspi, huh?  And why does everyone think that Evans and Martin can’t play together?  Evans is a powerful slasher, Martin is a shooter — that’s perfect.  Even better when you want to bring in a backup PG and go small.

It’s 56-54 Cats at the half in a fun one — not much defense being played as both teams are still over 50% FG.  Too much of Kevin Martin and his fugly shot: 21 points on 7-14 FG/3-7 3PT/4-4 FT.  Tyreke Evans has been quiet (2-4 FG) — not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

Nazr with 13 points on 6-8 FG and Flip with 10 on 4-6.  Cats need to watch the turnovers — 7 already in the first half.

Third Quarter

Boris Diaw back after sitting most of first half with two fouls — almost forgot about him.  Naz kicks things off with a bucket off a post move.  Now Felton steals an entry pass to Evans, Jack with a sweet feed to Wallace on the delayed break for a layup, and Donte Green fouls Boris underneath trying to get over to challenge the layup.  Boris hits the free throw for the odd “three-point-play by two different guys.”  Another miss for the Kings and Gerald Wallace gets a runout dunk.  7-0 run for the Cats to start the half, 63-54 now — Kings need a timeout.

Gerald Wallace now limping badly, causing enough concern that Larry Brown calls a timeout.  But apparently Crash just banged his knee and is fine.

Raymond Felton is working so hard to deny Tyreke Evans the ball — and he’s been very effective at it so far.  Evans can’t get going.  Cats get a turnover as Hawes can’t get a good angle on the entry pass to Evans and throws it away.  Strong work by Ray-Ray.

Bobcats stretch the lead to 10, 69-59 on Gerald Wallace free throws.  Crash is up to 22/8 halfway through the third.

And a 20-footer by Wallace extends the lead to 73-59.  Kings need a TO and a momentum shift as they are starting to wilt.

Gerald Wallace is killing the Kings — gets a backcourt steal and draws a clear path foul.  Hits both free throws, then Jack splashes a jumper.  Stop on the other end, alley-oop to Gerald to push the lead to 20, 79-59.  Another Naz bucket, another alley-oop to Gerald and the Bobcats are running the Kings out of the building, 83-59.  28 points on 11-13 FG at this point for Gerald, still stuck on 8 rebounds, though.

Wow, Cats win the third quarter 34-13 and will take a 90-67 lead into the fourth.  About as good of a quarter as you’ll see.

Fourth Quarter

Would love to see Gerald and the rest of the starters get some rest tonight, but remember, these are the same Kings that made a huge 4th quarter run and pushed the Cats to the limit back on MLK Day.  Then again, that was mostly Tyreke Evans’ doing, and Paul Westphal seems to have buried Evans on the bench in the second half tonight.

Right on cue, Gerald comes out: 35 points on 12-15 FG/2-3 3PT/9-11 FT and 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals.  Can’t say enough.  That’s two straight games with 30/10 for the All-Star, on a West Coast back-to-back to boot.

Cats go a little cold without Gerald, but still maintaining a healthy cushion as the Kings aren’t exactly lighting Arco Arena on fire either.  Now Gerald is back in.  Come on, Larry — not only are you needlessly risking an injury, but I’m going to have to retype his line!

Oh no — Kings on a 15-3 run and cut it to 95-82.  Cats have missed 11 FG in a row.  Now 12 in a row and Kevin Martin with a three to cut it to 10, 95-85.  Very aggravating.  Gerald and Jack should be icing their knees by now.  What is it with these Kings and their fourth quarter runs?

Flip finally stops the bleeding with a bucket for the Cats, but then fouls Casspi on the way to the basket on the other end.  Casspi with a three-point-play to cut it to 97-90, 2 minutes left.

Now it’s down to 4, 100-96 with 35 seconds left.  Felton with a layup, and then Jason Thompson misses two free throws, Bobcats end up with the ball after a scramble.  Exhale, Cats lead 102-96 with the ball, 17 seconds left.  Felton inexplicably misses two free throws, but it’s too late for the Kings anyways.  Kevin Martin misses a desperation three, Gerald gets the ball, draws a foul and hits one of his two free throws to end it.  103-96 Bobcats final, box score here.


Whew, that was a needlessly heart-stopping fourth quarter.  The story should be about Raymond Felton shutting down Tyreke Evans and Gerald Wallace adding to the legend of Gerald Wallace.  But the lead has to be the fact that this one was almost a clone of the MLK Day game.

The difference was that tonight’s big fourth quarter run was led by Sergio Rodriguez, Kevin Martin and Jason Thompson, not Tyreke Evans.  (Late in the game, word came down that Evans was sitting because of a bruised hip, not Raymond Felton-itis.)

In his post-game interview, Gerald commented that he thought the Cats went into “prevent mode” trying to run out the clock too early.  I’m not sure I agree; with a 22-point lead with 9 minutes left and the opponents’ star player on the bench, you should be able to give the starters some rest and salt the game away.  Maybe Gerald is right, though.  These Kings are young, good, and foolish enough to not know that they’re supposed to lay down when down 22 with 9 minutes left.

Gerald’s final line: 38 points (season high) on 12-18 FG/2-4 3PT/12-15 FT, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks.

The Cats improve to 24-22 overall and 3-1 on the road trip, which guarantees them at worst a 3-3 trip with 2 games left.  Things get hard, though, as we’re at the Blazers Monday night (10 PM ET start) and the Lakers (10:30 PM ET start) Wednesday night.  Brandon Roy will reportedly be out Monday night, but Andre Miller will be coming off a career high 52.

-Dr. E

Bobcats Hold Off Kings in MLK Day Matinee


Charlotte Bobcats vs. Sacramento 1/18/10

Bobcats squeak past a pesky Kings squad at the Cable Box to notch their eighth straight home victory and fifth straight overall.  The team is a game over .500 in mid-January.  Final Score: 105-103  Boxscore here.

Running Diary Recap:

First half can be summed up simply as: Gerald Wallace.
19 points on 5-9 with 9-9 from the charity stripe.  Two blocks, three boards and a steal.  Bobcats up by twenty plus points for most of the half.  Damn.  If Crash isn’t an All-Star this season, then the All-Star game is a joke.*
(*Insert Bill Walton Voice for emphasis

As some of you may have deciphered from my PF trade column yesterday, I’m not a big fan of Tyson Chandler.  Why even bring him back?  NaGana Diophammed is a nice little Under-The-Radar platoon.  No reason to ruin a good thing.

Anybody realize that Paul Westphal is coaching the Kings?  What?  Were Bill Fitch and Dick Versace booked?

Classic Boris Diaw sequence between 5:30-5:00 in the 2nd quarter:

  1. Slow on weak side switch, lazily fouls Kevin Martin for an And 1.  (Should have clobbered him Anthony Mason-style or at least Kurt Thomas-style)
  2. Martin misses the freebie, Felton finds Diaw on the perimeter during the resulting fast break: Three Point Swish.
  3. Boris out position as the Kings push the ball the length of the court, offensive rebound Sacramento.
  4. Boris replaced by Derrick Brown.

Brown, btw, was spectacular in the first half.  7 points in 6 minutes and two of those came on a rad Everybody Loves Raymond assisted Phi Slamma Jamma.

2nd QTR, Raymond has 8 assists in the first half.  Is he winning me over?  In reggie language, “methinks he is.”

Also early in the second, DJ nails a long two after the ball loops around the rim and finally drops.  Steve Martin and DC4THREEEEEE! wax nostalgic about how WarDell never needed these new soft Spalding rims to knock down shots.  I get as misty-eyed as Ron Green, Sr. at an Arnold Palmer/Andy Griffith Charity BBQ.

FINAL SECONDS, 2nd QTR, Spencer Hawes with a throwdown putback to send the game into halftime.  I finally figured out why I keep thinking “Spencer Hawes” is a professional wrestler:

  • a. He looks like some local dude that works dark matches when the WWE tours through the midwest.  All he’s missing is some “tribal” tattoos** criss-crossing his rhomboids down to his wrists.  **BONUS NOTE: I was just informed recently by a good friend that this style of tattoo is affectionately known as a “Turd Jacket” amongst the serious Ink community.
  • b. The name “Hawes” sounds a lot like “Hoss” which, of course, is one of Jim Ross’s favorite descriptors of large human beings.  “Oh my gawd King, that hoss Spencer Hawes just Turd Jacketed Jon Brockman right onto his spine!!!

3RD QTR, Tyreke Evans at 6’6″ is just unfair.  If he and Derrick Rose are the future at PG, then the Bobcats need to unload Augustin right now.  Immediately.  Take anything for him.  Anything.  Even a Turd Jacketed Jon Brockman.

3RD QTR, Stephen Jackson a non-factor thus far with 2 minutes to go in the third with four fouls and nine points.  Sacramento goes on a 14-0 run.  Strangely, for the first time in franchise history, I’m absolutely not in the least bit nervous at this.  Bobcats have turned into one of those good teams that’ll toy with you at home.  I like it!

And just like that, the run is broken up by a MONSTER Derrick Brown MAN-DUNK to take us into the 4th.

Bobcats playing their third game in 72 hours by the way.  AND THEY’RE STILL TRAPPING like an obsessed college team making a run into the Sweet Sixteen.  Wow.  Nice effort.

Oh crap7:29 LEFT IN THE GAME and Gerald is down, staring at his ankle.  Not good.   Andreas Nocioni just pulls a Tully Blanchard by stepping on Crash’s heel and then nails a three that cuts the Bobcats lead to ten.  Ouch.  Then nails another one a minute later to cut it to three.  Tyreke cuts it to one and I’m catching up on my nervousness at light speed.  How important is Gerald Wallace to this team?  You’re seeing it right now.

4:30 to go in the fourth, Gerald Wallace back from the locker room and Raymond nails a three.  Udrih fires back with a long two–that’s later deemed a three.  What happened to the 24 point cushion?  What’s the deal with the King’s and massive comebacks?

3:02, Crazy series ending with a Stephen Jackson fast break “Goal-tended” hoop that has Westphal acting like Bobby Heenan on the sidelines (I promise that will be the last 80s wrestling reference in this 2010 NBA game recap).  Meanwhile, Dell Curry is insisting that this is the time of the game when Raymond Felton wants the ball in his hands.  I’m more than a little scared.

2:00 – 1:12, Jon Brockman screws up Every Which Way But Loose (then again, he did get Turd Jacketed in the spine) culminating in a offensive goal-tend.  Raymond comes through with a huge running layup after JAX whiffs on an easy basket and the Cats are up by four.

:24, Tyreke with a sweet sweep to the hoop for his 34th point.  What’s this guy’s ceiling?  Durant?  Lebron???

FINAL SCORE: 105-103. Raymond came through.  I’m going to reserve comment on this.  For now.

Enjoy the win Bobcats Fans.