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May 19, 2009

Trade 12th pick to dump Mohammed contract?

I'm going to throw out an idea, and some of you will think I'm crazy, but hear me out:

If I ran the Charlotte Bobcats, I'd trade the 12th pick to any team willing to completely absorb Nazr Mohammed's contract.

That's a hard one to swallow, the idea of giving away a lottery pick to undo a mistake. But the value of moving the remaining $13.2 million-plus owed Mohammed over the next two seasons could exceed whatever the Bobcats get at No. 12.

The current front-office regime made two bad calls  -  drafting Adam Morrison third overall and trading two expiring contracts (Primoz Brezec and Walter Herrmann) for Mohammed. They addressed the Morrison mistake by dealing him to the Los Angeles Lakers for Vladimir Radmanovic. But to do so, they added to their long-term payroll.

If some team with abundant cap space would completely absorb Mohammed's salary, in return for the 12th pick, I'd do it in a second. I'm not a huge fan of this draft, so I don't know how reliable anyone at No. 12 will be. I know for sure that over $6 million a season in cap relief would be a big benefit, particularly as the Bobcats figure how to (a.) re-sign Raymond Felton and (b.) pay their bills while losing tens of millions annually.

I raised this notion in an interview Tuesday night with Bobcats general manager Rod Higgins. Understandably, Higgins isn't usually quick to speculate on hypothetical questions. So I found Higgins' reply intriguing; he said the Bobcats front office isn't "afraid of any scenario."

The center position is overcrowded and expensive. Barring a blockbuster deal, Emeka Okafor is the starter for the long haul and they made a major investment with the trade for DeSagana Diop. That makes Mohammed extraneous, costly and unhappy. He made it clear, the day after the season finale, that if the Bobcats don't want to play him, he'd rather be elsewhere.

I've found Mohammed to be a smart and classy veteran. I don't fault him for sounding frustrated. He should be somewhere else if that option is available.

You could call this idea a money-dump if you want, but it's far from unprecedented. The Denver Nuggets traded center Marcus Camby to the Los Angeles Clippers last summer, essentially for $10 million in payroll relief. As I write this blog, the first game of the Western Conference finals is taking place.

That Camby salary dump didn't work out so badly for the Nuggets, did it?

Posted by Observer Sports on May 19, 2009 at 11:29 PM | Permalink


You're right on Rick. The Bobcats would take that deal in a heartbeat. The problem is that it's a weak draft and the economy is tanking so I don't know who in their right mind would make such a trade. You'd essentially be moving Mohammed's $13 million over two seasons and 12th Selection's guaranteed $5 million (over 3 seasons) to another team for nothing. Unless Mark Cuban sees a player there at 12, I don't think it happens.
A better scenario is if the Bobcats could trade those same two assets for a talented backup shooting guard or power forward who wouldn't add anymore bulk to the payroll.

Posted by: ASChin | May 20, 2009 4:04:19 AM

Rick's idea is better than drafting another Tar Heel.

Posted by: Chris | May 20, 2009 7:21:54 AM

rick.......you are crazy. remember jamal tinsly? i still think a trade is in the works for him, if not find another similar bad contract/turd behavior player and deal Mohammed for that. we are talking two years, so in just one more year mo's contract becomes the much wanted expiring contract. the draft is somewhat weak, but at the 12th spot there should be value for what the bobcats need. who knows steph curry may be there(not a big believer in his nba game but, money rules all) to me it makes little to no sense to pair a terrible two year contract with the 12th just to dump it. i do think if mo stays mj should come out his own pocket and pay his salary.

making the playoffs will help if not take care the red in bobcats books. a 12th round SG will aid in that. besides say the bobcats trade the pick and the players gos on to have a solid nba career, it would just be another draft mistake made by the bobcats.

Posted by: happy | May 20, 2009 7:28:52 AM

and image if the nuggs still had camby(if he was healthy......), they would be favored over the lake show. im still puzzled as why the nuggs didnt want mcnugget in the ai trade.

paying a camby luxury tax would be laughed at now. nuggs would have EASILY turned a profit and have a better chance at a championship with camby still there.

Posted by: happy | May 20, 2009 7:35:40 AM

glad the haters are back...

I think the bcats either need to keep the pick or try to pull another jason richardson type deal. Saving money may be the only option, but they should realize that this current team doesn't have the firepower to do more than make the playoffs and lose in the first round.

Now, if they can dump Nazr and then pick up say Dionte Christmas and Toney Douglas in the 2nd round, I'm not sure that's not a great draft.

Posted by: A Fan | May 20, 2009 8:41:01 AM

I have to agree with Rick 100%. Given the situation the Bobcats are in, that's by far one of the best option. If we can trade Nazr and the 12th for a 1st round pick in the mid to late 20's, that would be great. Even though the Bobcats still need another good PF, their biggest need is a reliable SG.

By dumping Nazr's contract they can easily resign Felton and then Anthony Parker form Toronto. That would adress the Bobcats biggest need by giving them 2 reliable SG with great defensive ability. And with all the speculation in Toronto and their collapse last season, I think Parker will be willing to sign with a team that was one SG away of making the playoffs.

Then they can use that late 1st pick or a 2nd round pick to get a decent PF (according to this draft standards). Maybe someone like Gani Lawal from GATech or as much a I would hate it, if there is nobody else; well then, what the heck, Tyler Hansbrough.

Posted by: RobC | May 20, 2009 9:31:11 AM

Psycho T to the Bobcats? Yeah that is exactly what we need, draft another nonathletic player, worse off, a player from Carolina.

Posted by: Nuoc | May 20, 2009 9:42:31 AM

Grow back the mustache.

Posted by: Tremaine | May 20, 2009 9:51:44 AM

The unprompted Tar Heel bashing on this board is amazing. Rick's post has absolutely nothing to do with the Heels. Anyway, I am glad to hear that the front office is open to any scenario. I like Nazr's game more than Diop's, but Nazr should be moved if Brown isn't going to play him.

I'm not a huge fan of the draft this year either. If the Cats draft Chase Budinger or Henderson, I am going to cry.

Posted by: Jabari Talib | May 20, 2009 9:58:47 AM

This idea isn't the least bit crazy, Rick. Heck, I've been talking about it for weeks. If anybody would take the anchor that is Nazr's contract from around our necks, then good lord yes we should trade the No. 12 pick.

If not, we're going to be stuck with Gerald Henderson, and we all know the miserable track record of dookies in the NBA.

Posted by: Elevatorman | May 20, 2009 10:18:53 AM

I certainly agree with you, Rick. Although I like Nazr, he is not what Larry Brown wants at center, and therefore the Bobcats need to move his contract. And the only way to make his contract acceptable to another franchise is by adding some extra incentive to it. I'm just not so sure that the 12th first round pick will be a good enough incentive to make this work. If it is, let's do it. If not, we'll need to come up with some bolder offer!

Posted by: Sandy | May 20, 2009 10:30:40 AM

Elevatorman- who said anything about Henderson? Here we go with the DUKE hate..yeah bc Battier, Maggette, Hill, Brand, Boozer are all bad NBA players right? Ok thanks..

Anyway, good idea Rick! I don't think this draft class will offer much value at 12 so why not? We can always pick up a mid-level free agent in the summer. We are not far off from a playoff spot, in fact I think if we had the current roster playing the full season last year we would have made it. But let's not bank on another young player which may turn out to be a project anyway..

Clear some room on the roster for players who can actually contribute and clear the log jam and certain positions..my thoughts

Posted by: Bobcat Terry | May 20, 2009 10:36:43 AM

I'm a big fan of pulling up players from the D-Leagues. I think they are a fiscally responsible alternative to the draft.
So, I would consider your idea.

Posted by: Musson | May 20, 2009 12:16:37 PM

Battier = solid defender, mediocre at best athlete, very limited offensively. Hasn't won squat in the NBA.

Maggette = team-killing, ball-hogging cancer. The Warriors wish they could ship him back to the Clips. Hasn't won squat in the NBA.

Hill single-handedly set the Magic back a decade by signing a contract equivalent to the GDP of a small nation, then playing approximately 12 minutes over the course of however many years. Hasn't won squat in the NBA.

Brand just did the same thing to Philly. Hasn't won squat in the NBA.

Boozer stabbed a blind man in the back in Cleveland, and this past season's injury woes are what's known as karma. Hasn't won squat in the NBA.

And that is the best dook has to offer.

Don't even get me started on J.J. (aka D.N.P. or D.U.I.) Redick, Shelden Williams, Evil Kineival Williams, Trajan Langdon, William Avery, Josh McRoberts, Shavlik Randolph, Roshown McLeod, Tauntay Jones, Cherokee Parks, or the rest of the littany of NBA busts that Coach K has churned out.

If Tyreke Evans somehow slips to No. 12, or if Coach Brown thinks he can turn Earl Clark into the every-night stud he is capable of being, then ok, let's keep the pick. Otherwise, we should count ourselves lucky if somebody takes it off our hands and we eliminate even the possibility of adding a dookie.

Posted by: Elevatorman | May 20, 2009 12:45:19 PM

Great idea, trade Nazr and 12th pick for a future 1st rounder sounds good to me. And UNC-Duke people, seriously, there is a life outside college basketball.

Posted by: bro. D | May 20, 2009 2:37:14 PM

Yeah, em...Grant Hill, Boozer, Brand, Battier, Deng, Dunleavy, Duhon, Maggette, and Redick have all done TERRIBLY. Granted, they've all been starters, all but Dunleavy for playoff teams, but hey, they're TERRIBLE.

Oh, and by the way, "solid" defenders don't make NBA All-Defensive teams. Nor do players that "haven't won anything" play for teams that make the playoffs.

Posted by: Michael Procton | May 20, 2009 2:47:47 PM

Good Idea Rick, but I'm afraid I may have had it first...

"I like Tyreke Evans, but he'll probably go before we're on the clock. This draft class is lookin kinda thin. Maybe the Bobcats should take after the Panther's and trade the 1st round pick (packaged with one of our bad contacts i.e. any one of our centers) and use that space to actually pursue someone talented/proven instead of drafting an undersized local player in another move to sell more jerseys. Win games, sell tickets, then sell jerseys MJ, you know that.

Posted by: The Future | May 5, 2009 2:18:02 PM"

Don't draft Henderson! That's all I know.

Posted by: The Future | May 20, 2009 3:01:31 PM

Rick – First time posting, keep up the good work.

So you're telling me our "bait" is: the 12th pick in a mediocre draft plus one of the ten worst contracts in the league that expires one year too late (i.e. doesn't free up space until after the free agent bonanza in the summer of 2010).

And who exactly would take the other side of this trade?

Also, the salaries have to match up next year regardless (within a band of 125%), so those of you suggesting we unload and only take back picks - that doesn't work. Nazr is signed for the next two season. We have to take back ~$6.5 million of 2009/2010 salary in any trade. So the best we could do in theory we be to take back contracts that expired after that season - except that no one is willing to part with those easily because, again, of the free agent class that will come available that summer.

Unless we can find a very generous owner, we're stuck with Nazr for all of next season. During the 2010/2011 season, he actually becomes a bit of an asset for a team looking to dump salary for that year's free agents though.


Posted by: Brooks | May 20, 2009 3:52:22 PM

It's all about making the playoffs next year with whatever moves the Bobcats make. Every idea needs to be measured against that goal first. The money will come once the wins and the economy justify it.

Posted by: Mike K | May 20, 2009 5:22:42 PM

I just noticed an ETO (early termination option) for Nazr for the 2010/2011 season. I am a little unfamiliar with what this means exactly. Can anyone help explain?

Posted by: zach | May 21, 2009 9:53:05 AM

Michael, tell me how many NBA championship rings have been won, combined, by every dookie who has ever played for Coach K???

Answer: One. By Danny Ferry. Who rode the bench in San Antonio while Tim Duncan and Co. won a title.

One ring, claimed by a journeyman benchwarmer who was one of the biggest busts in NBA draft history. That's all you have to show for every Coach K-era dookie ever. Ever, son. EVER. You can't be happy about that.

Posted by: Elevatorman | May 21, 2009 11:48:19 AM

Who gives a crap about UNC and Duke? Honestly?

All you Duke and UNC clowns...I mean fans on here who, let's face it never had a shot of getting into one of those schools, need to shut up. UNC and Duke have nothing to do with the Bobcats, or how they'll do this [upcoming] season.

Is it football season yet? Where are my UNC and Duke fans at beginning in September? Oh, that's right, they don't show up until basketball season--they have "other teams" when it comes to football.

Please don't draft:
Hansbrough, Henderson, or Curry.

Posted by: How much longer until football? | May 21, 2009 12:34:55 PM

Frankly, no, em...I don't give a shit about NBA titles. Karl Malone never got one. Does that make Danny Ferry a better NBA player?

Posted by: Michael Procton | May 21, 2009 2:10:28 PM

Instead of who don't we want to draft, who should we draft?

Blair to get more size and strength?
Budinger (sp?) for more scoring (i say no)

I'd say if 12th pick for Nazr, and the two second round picks on any combination of dionte christmas, Toney Douglas, Danny Green. Wing players who can hit three's and play some D.

Posted by: A Fan | May 21, 2009 3:26:13 PM

Zach - That's a player option. Unless Nazr is feeling very generous, he won't opt out considering he's worth only the veteren minimum on the open market.

Posted by: Brooks | May 22, 2009 10:39:02 AM

the only problem trading nzar is that the only team stupid enough to take him is the bobcats and we already have him on our roster. take henderson from duke.

Posted by: gomer pyle | May 24, 2009 9:01:18 PM

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