It took a little more than three months for Larry Brown to trade Adam Morrison. While the trade isn’t surprising (not many people around the League thought Morrison was a “Brown” type player), it should be noted that Coach did give it the old college try by repeatedly giving Adam opportunities to succeed.
EXHIBIT A: Training Camp. Coach Brown talks Adam up in the local press saying that Adam is, “one of the smartest players” on the Bobcats roster with “an extremely high basketball IQ” and that he has come back from the torn ACL injury at an “amazing pace.”
EXHIBIT B: December trade. Coach Brown approves a trade that sends Matt Carroll and Ryan Hollins to Dallas for Gana Diop. One of the immediate impacts of this trade is to eliminate the glut of one-dimensional bench “scorers” and allow for Morrison to be the prime scoring threat off of the pine.
EXHIBIT C: Gerald Wallace injury. Coach Brown opts to insert a still struggling Morrison into the starting lineup after team captain Wallace goes down with a collapsed lung. Morrison stays in the starting lineup until the day that he’s traded.
So, do you think a guy like — I don’t know — Linton Johnson got this many chances to succeed? And how does Morrison respond after being given the opportunity to start for his injured comrade? Apparently by grumbling privately to Coach Brown and asking to be traded. Way to pull a Kerry Collins when your team needs you the most AMMO. Dude! Your coach was talking you up in the media as recently as last week saying that you were playing “much more confident in practice than in the games” — he was trying to tell you that you had the ability to succeed!!!
Well, maybe Morrison is just a troubled kid (remember, he’s only 24) who needs a change of scenery and now he’s closer to his roots back on the West Coast after the ‘Cats sent him (along with Shannon Brown) to the Los Angeles Lakers for Vladimir Radmanovic. How does the deal breakdown for the Bobcats? Some initial thoughts:
1. MONEY. By taking on the Radman, the Bobcats have added another $8 million to their payroll over the next two plus seasons and have ostensibly (barring any sort of miracle salary dump) taken themselves completely out of the SUPER HYPED Free Agent Summer of Love in 2010. Rad’s contract has a player option in 2010 at $6.8 million where Morrison’s deal paying him around $5.3 will expire after next season. ADVANTAGE: LAKERS.
2. TALENT. So why exactly would you take on another $8mil for a guy (Radmanovic) who’s been averaging a 12.0 PER over the last three seasons??? Maybe it’s because the guy that you are trading (Morrison) has been setting a new standard for uselessness during the same time. Morrison goes to the Lakers with a whopping 6.02 PER!!!!! That’s even lower than his rookie campaign two years ago when he clocked in a dubious 7.91 (UGGHHH). Also Radmanovic has actually had some success in the NBA in terms of starting for a conference champion team (’08 Lakers), in the running for Most Improved Player (in Seattle ’04) and has been in and around the League enough to figure out the pro game — something that Morrison has never shown. Plus, having Morrison around is a CONSTANT reminder to Michael Jordan and Bob Johnson that they royally screwed up in the 2006 Draft. I mean, every time the ‘Cats play against Brandon Roy or Rudy Gay, MJ must be going through one of those “THE WRONG SON DIED!!!!” melodramatic meltdowns when looking down the bench and seeing Chris Cornell with his head in his hands. ADVANTAGE: BOBCATS.
3. PSYCHOLOGY. As the headline says, the Bobcats traded away one weirdo for another one. On one hand you have a troubled but genuinely good kid who is a long way from home, who came into the League with a lot of hype and who has valiantly continued his career in spite of having diabetes. On the other hand you have what many around the League refer to as a “Space Cadet” or “My Favorite Martian” or “Caveman” who’s level of play changes more frequently than his hairstyle. He forgets assignments, loses focus, lies about snowboarding accidents that occurred over an ALL STAR WEEKEND (??!!??) and is generally erratic. Advantage Lakers, right? No so fast. Yeah, the Space Cadet is a nut-job but AT LEAST he’s going to give you some productivity every once an a while, which is — I’m very sad to admit– a lot more than the ‘Cats have received from a depressed Morrison in the last two and a half years. ADVANTAGE: DRAW.
Bobcats fans should probably expect to see another deal or two go down before the trade deadline as Bonnell has mentioned in his latest blog entry. There now seems a chance that the ‘Cats are even willing to trade DJ Augustin (perhaps packaged with Nazr) in exchange for a veteran backup PG and some shooting guard depth. Will Charlotte make the playoffs this season? The odds are slim given all of the trade chaos and the injuries to key players (Bell/Wallace/Augustin) but I’m liking the aggressiveness that Brown and Jordan are exhibiting and I haven’t given up all hope for a late season push into the post-season.
Things just get more interesting from here, ‘Cats fans…
THE STEVE JOBS – “OH, AND ONE MORE THING” COMMENT:
What’s up with the Bobcats getting all international all of a sudden. How many foreign players did the Hornets ever employ in their 12+ seasons in Charlotte? George Zidek? Vlade Divac? The ‘Cats are more multi-lingual than the Raptors these days. Between Raja Bell, ‘Gana Diop, Boris Diaw, Alexis Ajinca and now Radman, Charlotte may as well be using the Spurs scouting department. Bring on Ricky Rubio dammit!