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December 20, 2008

Q & A: Wallace for Kings' Miller?

Two readers each emailed me an interesting question Saturday. Thought I’d share my response on both (and I’m paraphrasing the questions to get to the meat of each issue):

Q: Someone saw a report on ESPN.com that the Bobcats might have offered Gerald Wallace to the Sacramento Kings for Brad Miller. The report suggested the Kings weren't interested. Why wouldn't the Kings do this and why would the Bobcats be receptive to giving up 26-year-old Wallace for 32-year-old Miller?

A:
If this happened, I'm not surprised: I suggested Miller in a blog response weeks ago as a way to address what was then a lack of post scoring. The trade for Boris Diaw and improvement by Emeka Okafor have upgraded the post.

But the real issue here is probably Wallace's contract. He makes $9.5 million this season and each of the next three. Miller's contract expires after next season, which means the Bobcats could recoup about $12 million in cap space in July of 2010. That's the "Summer of LeBron'' free-agent class, and there seems a league-wide obsession with clearing cap room for that event.

By-and-large, teams like Wallace, but they see that contract as a bad deal – too costly and too long. So the market isn't what you might expect, relative to Wallace's effort and productivity.

Q: Another reader wondered what to make of Adam Morrison, who shot 5-of-20 in his last five appearances, and didn't play at all in the victory over Chicago. Is Morrison under-utilized or was he a waste of the No. 3 overall pick?

A:
I think Morrison may be a bad fit on a Larry Brown team. Brown expects his wings to cover a lot of court defensively and Morrison is never going to have the lateral quickness and reflexes to excel that way. And even after the trade of Jason Richardson and Jared Dudley, this team has an excess of shooting guards and small forwards.

I was mildly surprised the Bobcats exercised Morrison's contract extension. There was a technical advantage to that -- it made Morrison easier to trade under the collective-bargaining agreement -- but I'm not sure it was wise to guarantee him over $5.2 million for next season.

Posted by Charlotte Observer on December 20, 2008 at 03:29 PM | Permalink

Comments

I like Wallace's energy and heart. His will to win (each possession, lose ball, individual matchups, each game) is unmatched with most professional athletes and the only Bobcat with that outward zest is probably Felton. The reason a trade for Felton makes more sense is Augustin seems to have the inside track to being our elite PG of the future, in order to get value for Felton we need to move him before February's trade deadline, or we are conceding we will have 6' and 6'1" guards starting (because Augustin should be a starter). Wallace's situation is different, he's signed long term, we aren't risking anything by being patient with inquiries about Wallace, hopefully we keep him.

Posted by: BlockParty | Dec 20, 2008 10:54:37 PM

I like Wallace's energy and heart. His will to win (each possession, lose ball, individual matchups, each game) is unmatched with most professional athletes and the only Bobcat with that outward zest is probably Felton. The reason a trade for Felton makes more sense is Augustin seems to have the inside track to being our elite PG of the future, in order to get value for Felton we need to move him before February's trade deadline, or we are conceding we will have 6' and 6'1" guards starting (because Augustin should be a starter). Wallace's situation is different, he's signed long term, we aren't risking anything by being patient with inquiries about Wallace, hopefully we keep him.

Posted by: BlockParty | Dec 20, 2008 10:56:03 PM

I like Wallace's energy and heart. His will to win (each possession, lose ball, individual matchups, each game) is unmatched with most professional athletes and the only Bobcat with that outward zest is probably Felton (if you can overlook his poor shooting ability). The reason a trade for Felton makes more sense is Augustin seems to have the inside track to being our elite PG of the future, in order to get value for Felton we need to move him before February's trade deadline, or we are conceding we will have 6' and 6'1" guards starting (because Augustin should be a starter). Wallace's situation is different, he's signed long term, we aren't risking anything by being patient with inquiries about Wallace, hopefully we keep him.

Posted by: BlockParty | Dec 20, 2008 10:59:16 PM

Uhh, instead of "conceding" that we have short guards, we could just play Felton in the role he's best suited for: scoring off the bench.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Dec 21, 2008 12:28:26 AM

Oh... or we can just trade Felton and not worry about any of this...

The Bobcat's only 3 options are to trade him, let him walk for nothing at seasons' end, or re-sign by overpaying (most likely a 7-10 mil/season contract) him to take minutes away from Augustine, play a short SG, and shoot horribly.

I mean, shit guys... Anyone who thinks Felton is some great or even good PG, pull up both Felton and Beno Udrich's stats and see who is better... Beno Udrich is. Let's all agree Felton is no more useful to the Bobcats than Obama will be for the US.

Posted by: Nick | Dec 21, 2008 1:10:08 AM

I shouldn't have said that last thing... Sorry.

Posted by: Nick | Dec 21, 2008 1:38:01 AM

"conceding' that would assume we want to pay starters money for a bench player...I'm going with the assumption that Augustin is the starting PG and Felton is getting starters minutes from another team.

Posted by: BlockParty | Dec 21, 2008 8:34:20 AM

Please tell us why the Bobcats keep Sean May
He is not going to play hurt. Why don't they
Say good by to him it been good knowing you.

Posted by: Donald | Dec 21, 2008 9:33:07 AM

Rick Bonnell...would you agree you have the best job in America? Basically you sit around in your pajamas all day reading espn articles to steal from and making up "sources" you don't have. I would love to be you. Keep up the good work slacker!

Posted by: Bob Bonnellor | Dec 21, 2008 9:36:09 AM

^Whoa kid, easy on the jealousy tip. Anyway, I think Bonnell hit it on the head with Ammo. He's a volume shooter who needs lots of touches to be comfortable. I think his IQ and passing is better than Carroll's though and should warrant him some pt even if his stats aren't impressive like they've been.

Posted by: Bro. D. | Dec 21, 2008 1:59:08 PM

...So, just in case anybody was confused, this is what happens when our "good defense" plays an actual NBA-quality opponent. Thank goodness for that Raja Bell pickup! He's a real stopper! Felton led the team in shots and was only around 30% (...AGAIN) I'm glad Larry Brown preaches "playing the right way," because these guys haven't gotten it since Bickerstaff was forced out (err...left, right MJ?)

Posted by: Michael Procton | Dec 21, 2008 5:40:25 PM

Wallace for Miller would be idiotic. I don't even know why the Bobcats have him on the block. Wallace has been one of the only positives since we became a team. Felton needs to go ASAP. He is responsible for many of the Bobcats loses. If he would stop forcing so many shoots and pass first, he would be a valid NBA point guard. He is a 15 pt and 15 ast guy with 10 shots a game. Too late now though, we have D.J. Package Morrison and Felton for a good 4-5 and lets role. The team is starting to look respectable with Diaw in the lineup. Also, Michael Jordan should not ever be allowed to select another draft pick.

Posted by: Justin Goble | Dec 21, 2008 6:16:17 PM

Wallace for Miller would be idiotic. I don't even know why the Bobcats have him on the block. Wallace has been one of the only positives since we became a team. Felton needs to go ASAP. He is responsible for many of the Bobcats loses. If he would stop forcing so many shoots and pass first, he would be a valid NBA point guard. He is a 15 pt and 15 ast guy with 10 shots a game. Too late now though, we have D.J. Package Morrison and Felton for a good 4-5 and lets role. The team is starting to look respectable with Diaw in the lineup. Also, Michael Jordan should not ever be allowed to select another draft pick.

Posted by: Justin Goble | Dec 21, 2008 6:17:31 PM

Nick, you really are a NDick-Head. Keep your "I like Palin" right wing political views to the proper place...on toilet paper.
You aren't very smart about basketball either. Larry Brown will make this team better, not you.

Posted by: Saint Nick | Dec 21, 2008 8:07:25 PM

WOOO!! Just makin' a lil joke, somebody takes life way too serious, Mr Serious Saint Nick guy. You must hate life.

And I'm thinking Bickerstaff was a better coach for this team than Larry Brown... I'm not sure why you think he's gonna make the team a whole lot better. He's been given the reigns this year and woah! He is doing great, 9-19 I'm glad you're satisfied with that team! They know how to win.

Posted by: Nick | Dec 22, 2008 12:25:58 AM

1st,
Nick, you're comment was lame accept it.

2nd, Felton does shoot a lot, but if he didn't who would? Honestly, how many times do you see this team go down the court and miss 10ft jumpers? I like Emeka, but he does not have a jumper. Raymond creates a lot. Keep Raymond, he'll be a good six man in the future.

3rd, the real reason the Bobcats lose is Free Throw shooting. Its not effort its not defense. Its obvious, and its the reason why Kobe and Wade avg 20+ b/c they hit their FTs.

WHEN THE BOBCATS HIT THEIR FREE THROWS THEY WIN.

Posted by: Mr. Sir | Dec 22, 2008 10:35:38 AM

I think anyone can look at the team and see that after the trade, this team is actually an NBA team. Before, they were a top tier developmental league team.

I was surprised by how poorly they did on D v. crawford. That's the type of player the bcats are now missing, someone that might put up 50 on any given night.

As for the felton bashers, get over it. He's far better than you think, but not as good as Chris Paul, which many thought he could be. Do you honestly think there aren't about half the teams in the NBA that would love to have him starting at PG?

Not that it's all 100% accurate but there was a report that the only reason he's not in Portland is that the Bcats wanted them to take Nazr contract as well.

Posted by: A Fan | Dec 22, 2008 10:36:34 AM

At this point, trading Wallace for a guy like Brad Miller is an admition that this season is over and it is time to start clearing cap space... for 2010. So that means the Bobcats are also admitting that next season is hopeless as well(?). Wallace's contract may not be ideal, but he is one of the components on this team that works--the Bobcats should focus on trades that involve non-working parts of the team--like Adam Morrison. The Bobcats are a bad team, and having extra cap space does not guarantee that a good player will sign with them. They need to focus on getting better, not creating cap space.

Posted by: Deuce | Dec 22, 2008 10:38:52 AM

Deuce...ordinarily I would agree with you but look at what Joe Johnson did a couple years ago..we can catch a good young star if he sees promise to come to a franchise like this.

Thing about Wallace is (and I love the guy as a player) that he is wildly over-valued! To most teams he is legit 6th man with crazy energy. Only reason he shines here is bc we have no one..hate to say it but as Fox would say "it is what it is.."

Not saying Brad Miller is the cure-all but maybe with GW gone it will allow Morrison to play more and he might even surprise us..(LMAO..ok I couldnt keep that one in) but the point is..even with GW & J-Rich we were 10th in the East..cant get much worse without em, bring in some guys who have won a lot of games in the league..

Anyone want to join me in putting up 'For Sale' signs on Felton's house?

Posted by: Bobcat Terry | Dec 22, 2008 11:07:53 AM

No, AF. I can think of about two teams who'd rather have Felton: MIN (although Foye is a young player who's at least getting better, not worse) and SAC (although Udrih runs an offense better than Felton ever will.) The kid can't create for his teammates, and his jumper's basically as good as Okafor's.

As Deuce alludes to, I think it's silly to clear cap space banking on a big FA signing in '10. What top player would want to come to this team? What are the attractive features to sell? Seeing MJ once or twice a month? Guaranteeing you'll be surrounded by his fanboys and fellow UNC alums?

Posted by: Michael Procton | Dec 22, 2008 11:09:40 AM

Mr. Sir, I always believed in Felton's talent, but I don't defend his mistakes. After Golden State got a 9 point lead, late in the third quarter, and then in the fourth quarter, Raymond tried to take over the game and save the day. That's when he forced too many shots, and missed most of them; he went 3 of 10 from the field in the last 15 minutes of the game! He should've played with more patience, and remembered what worked against the Grizzlies: a lot of ball movement and setting up the big men for easy scoring. He did this in many other games. Also, he doesn't need to become "a good sixth man in the future". Because I know Felton's talent as point guard, and because this organization plans on Augustin as the point guard of the future, I'm all for trading Felton to Golden State. They need a starting point guard, they want him, and I definitely think he'll be a great fit for their uptempo style. Also, in that team he'd be surrounded by scorers, which would make it a lot easier for Raymond to choose using his great passing skills above forcing shots!

Posted by: Sandy | Dec 22, 2008 11:18:53 AM

BT, Johnson didn't exactly "choose" the Hawks. He was an RFA and went to ATL because Phoenix decided that that was the place they could get the most for him.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Dec 22, 2008 11:33:15 AM

Sandy, how hard is it for Felton to choose passing over shooting? He's only shooting 39%!!! To put that in perspective, the only guys who have a worse number are May and Morrison, the lambasted draft pick duo. Even Ajinca (who's shooting even more jumpers than Felton, 77%-69%), who's terrible, is doing better than that.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Dec 22, 2008 11:37:45 AM

can we not send felton, carroll and hollins to Golden State for randolph, turiaf, m williams and belinelli? we know felton is what they want and they are sure they want m williams gone, carroll for turiaf are a contract swap and randolph and belinelli are behind people there but would shine here.

C oakfor>> turiaf/mohammad
PF diaw>> ajinca/howard
SF wallace>> morrison/randolph
SG bell>> belinelli/s brown
PG augustine>> m williams/singletary

Posted by: brendan | Dec 22, 2008 11:54:13 AM

As I mentioned above, Michael, I see it as a mistake by Raymond to take too many forced shots (not only jump shots, but also forced lay ups in the middle of a tall forest of defenders, when they are all over him); unless you are Iverson or Dwayne Wade, you'd better not keep on doing this stuff! I found it important, though, to mention that he never makes this kind of mistake out of selfishness, but only out of a desire to help win games. Now, even in a team challenged for scorers, there is a better way Raymond can help the team: team work.
Brendan, I think in a trade with Golden State, besides a big man (and Brandan Wright is more advanced in his development as a player than Randolph, regardless of his pitiful showing in Charlotte), we need to get one of their many scorers. Once Monta Ellis is back, I think they could give up on Azubuike. I would take Azubuike (who can shoot and drive, plus rebound and play some defense) over Belinelli
(who is mainly a gifted shooter) any time. To make it work salary-wise, we should probably add Shannon Brown to the offer. As for Turiaf, I don't see how he would fit our needs at this time.

Posted by: Sandy | Dec 22, 2008 1:28:15 PM

First, to NICK, there is not 1 single stat where Udrich is better than Felton. I agree Felton is not a star nor he would ever be, but he is by far a starting PG and just FYI he has been in the top 16 PG in the LEAGUE the last two years. That just let you know that for 45% of the teams in this league, Felton would be an upgrade to ther PG position. And that make him valuable.

That being said, he is and should be the #1 option in trading for a legit scorer for our SG vacancy. Why, Augustine is better, Augustine will be better, he is not a SG and we desperatly need a legit SG that can hit 20ppg on a consistent basis.

Wallace for Miller is the most STUPID trade I've seen even if you want to clear cap for the Lebron summer. The main reason is because the Bobcats will never get Lebron. Unless you are at least 70-80% convinced that you can get 2 or 3 of those soon to be Free Agents in 2009-2010, trading Wallace is the most stupid decision this team can do. Wallace is one of the very few reasons why continue to people beleive in the Bobcats.

Trade Felton, together with anybody except: Okafor, Augustine, Wallace & Diaw. Get a decent and proven scorer and we have a playoff spot.

Who migh be available: Jamal Crawford (after 1/21/09), Vince Carter and Ben Gordon (Appealing & Interesting).

Posted by: RobC | Dec 22, 2008 1:51:53 PM

Is there any way we can give up Felton, Wallace, and Okafor to get Andres Biedrins, David Lee and pick(s)? I would love to see a starting 5 of Augustin, Bell, Diaw, Lee, and Biedrens with subs Singletary, Carroll, Morrison, May, and Ajinca! The rest of the team would then be Brown, Hollins, Howard, Mohammed, and a veteran PG for insurance...

Posted by: Morris | Dec 23, 2008 12:02:35 AM

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