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September 21, 2009

Some chatter 7 days 'til Bobcats camp

 -- There were just nine players available for pick-up games Monday, so the Bobcats (plus ex-Bobcat Brevin Knight) played a single game of 4-on-4. Best play I saw was center Nazr Mohammed, bounce-passing around his back to point guard D.J. Augustin, cutting to the basket for a layup.

 -- Rookie Gerald Henderson looks very much as I anticipated -- he plays long for a shooting guard and has good defensive instincts. His offense is limited; oponents are going to challenge him to make jump shots, knowing his strength is driving to the rim.

 -- Don't be surprised if Stephen Graham, twin brother of Toronto Raptor Joey Graham, is in training camp with the Bobcats. After playing for the Indiana Pacers last season, Graham has been working out here, and coach Larry Brown likes the kind of mid-size athlete Graham is.

 -- Many of you anticipate former North Carolina shooting guard Rashad McCants being in Bobcats training camp. I'm not saying that won't happen, but keep this in mind: Brown's ideal roster includes three point guards. So if Raymond Felton, Augustin, Henderson and Raja Bell are all here, the logical use of a fifth guard spot is a playmaker, preferably a big one.

 -- I'd place the odds at 60-40 that Felton plays this season on the one-year, $5.5 million qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent next summer.

 -- At last check, the Bobcats still didn't have a local radio home for the coming season. I think the most logical landing spot is WFNZ, but that was also the case in past seasons. Working out an arrangement with WFNZ is complicated by pre-existing commitments to North Carolina and Charlotte 49ers broadcasts.

 -- One of you emailed me recently, asking about the future first-round pick the Bobcats owe, as compensation for getting Alexis Ajinca. Specifically, the question was whether the NBA would allow the Bobcats to trade another future first, since the league bars teams from dealing away first-rounders in consecutive years.
 The answer: The league would allow the Bobcats to deal a future first, but only with trade language that the second pick would be conveyed at least two seasons after the first. Getting another team to agree to such conditions could be difficult. 

Posted by Observer Sports on September 21, 2009 at 02:53 PM | Permalink


my understanding is that WFNZ will have the games. they have already hired at least one person for the broadcasting team who will host the pre- and post-game as well as do halftime and sideline stuff. should be a familiar face for bobcats insiders.

Posted by: Derek | Sep 21, 2009 3:18:53 PM

I'm really anxious to see Nazr. He seems focused & dedicated to play this year. He shouldve got more PT last year, I thought he was the most complete true center on the roster. What a tall, defensive lineup that would be to have Nazr at the 4 with Chandler at the five.

Posted by: D.W.G. | Sep 21, 2009 3:57:30 PM

and bringing out this years scrubs LARRY BROWN.

Posted by: matt | Sep 21, 2009 3:57:54 PM

I don't know what Graham does for us. Are they really going to move Gerald BACK to the inside to cover for the fact that we don't have anything close to a backup PF?

Rick, another option when it comes to trading a pick is guaranteeing the pick that goes to Denver, instead of making it conditional.

DWG, if Okafor got shipped out because he couldn't guard shooting PFs on the perimeter, how the HELL are we going to get away with that stiff Mohammed doing it?

Posted by: Michael Procton | Sep 21, 2009 4:34:48 PM

WFNZ would not "own" the broadcast team even if the are awarded the broadcast rights. They could land back on WBT if the price is right. They would love the eastern seaboard exposure of the signal.

Posted by: Brian Fransco | Sep 21, 2009 4:47:44 PM


This doesn't happen very often, but for the first time I actually agree with you. Specially in the comment about Nzar. This is like the 3rd time I've heard that possibility and I would like for someone to try explain to me how in the world does Nazr fit in a PF role. That would limit the Bobcats in both sides of the court even if Chandler plays 4 on defense.

Posted by: RobC | Sep 21, 2009 5:20:22 PM

I don't think Graham's presence would have any bearing on whether Wallace played some spot minutes at power forward -- they're separate issues. Larry has always liked having mid-sized athletes around. Radmanovic is skilled, but he's not that kind of player -- an athletic, rugged guy.
As to that future pick, I didn't mean to get overly hypothetical. You're right that they could take the lottery protection off the pick, meaning they'd definitely lose it next season. But if I were them, I wouldn't do that unless there was some other deal out there that would positively make them a playoff team.

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Sep 21, 2009 5:24:51 PM

I think you will see some pairing of Mohammed and Chandler this season, but with Chandler guarding the 4. When healthy (and that's not always the case), he has the movement to guard away from the lane some.

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Sep 21, 2009 5:29:53 PM

Rick - I guess there is always the chance that late in the season, if we are close to but not going to make the playoffs, we 'put' the 1st rounder to Denver, just to alleviate the cap space and luxury tax issues (If we make the playoffs, it's moot because the draft choice goes to Denver in any event).

Posted by: bobfan1 | Sep 21, 2009 5:59:40 PM

What about the Bobcats going after Al Harrington? He averaged 20 ppg and over 6 rpg. He'd be another scoring option and if we sign him, we can play him at the 3 and 4. We can then try to move Radmanovic to pick up a back up power forward. We can go with a line up of Felton at pg; Bell at sg; Wallace at sf; Harrington at pw and Chandler at C. Your thoughts Rick?

Posted by: Tyrone | Sep 21, 2009 6:10:21 PM

We can also have a second unit of pg. Augustine, sg. Henderson, sf. Diaw, pf. Ajinca, c. Mohammed. That's a nice bench.

Posted by: Tyrone | Sep 21, 2009 6:15:38 PM

What you suggest would make a lot of sense, basketball-wise. Considering all the things they've chosen not to do, primarily for financial reasons, I doubt that would happen.

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Sep 21, 2009 7:45:04 PM

If they give up a late lottery pick, purely for financial reasons, then they're adrift at sea, don't you think?

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Sep 21, 2009 7:47:32 PM

What is the real reason as to Felton not signing yet? I know there are some monetary issues, but do Bobcats brass really feel like DJ is the long term solution? What do you think the market is for Felton, if say, a trade is possible? Whats your take?

Posted by: Mr. Charlotte | Sep 21, 2009 8:30:46 PM


Have you heard anything about the Monta Ellis trade. We need him if we want to make it to the playoffs anywhere this year.

Posted by: Br2850 | Sep 21, 2009 9:06:20 PM

i can't wait more overpaid players who only lose games in town. gets lonely being the only person who gives a half assed effort in town. charlotte, city of losers who have no heart. lots of great seats available, about 15,000 a game.

Posted by: julius peppers | Sep 21, 2009 11:12:53 PM

WFNZ already is running 'home of the Charlotte Bobcats' promo so I would say it is done.

Posted by: guest | Sep 22, 2009 12:04:41 AM

Rick - adrift at sea? Yup.....until they get the ownership resolved.....

if we don't finish beyond the worse 12 teams in the league, then we are adrift.

but otherwise, i take back the comment; the draft pick is top 12 protected; i was thinking it was top 16 protected when I wrote it.

Certainly, if we finish with one of the worst 12 records, we'd need fresh top talent and wouldn't want to put the pick to Denver (which p.s. they sent on the Minnesota!).

Posted by: bobfan1 | Sep 22, 2009 7:05:30 AM


In addition to the radio broadcast, have the Bobcats worked on improving the TV broadcasts? Last year I always had to scramble to figure out what channel the game was on and it was never in HD.

Posted by: redhotdave | Sep 22, 2009 8:52:03 AM

Compared to the alternatives at PF of rookie Brown, RadMan, & Diaw the Cats have no choice but to utilize the big three (Nazr, Diop, Ajinca) in anyway possible FOR NOW as long as Chandler can stay healthy Procto. Im not saying Nazr is the answer, but for now, how the roster is currently constructed, they have to make use of a big body in some way.

Posted by: D.W.G. | Sep 22, 2009 9:38:13 AM

someone said the bobcats have already hired a person to do pre, half and post game shows for the bobcats...as an avid radio fan i hope that personis sam smith...he knows basketball, is excitable and a very
friendly person to fans at the arena.
what do you hear?

Posted by: linda | Sep 22, 2009 10:18:36 AM

I have heard that the Bobcats have cut the cord on the broadcast team for the Bobcats...I don't know if that includes their play-by-play guy or not. Having listened to every road game and some home games
the Bobcats would sound a lot better on what-ever station with their studio guy, Sam from last year calling the action. The several games he did last year were very enjoyable and fun.
Is that possible?

Posted by: joyce | Sep 22, 2009 10:28:08 AM


Will WFNZ only be available in the Charlotte area or will it reach Columbia?

Posted by: Brett | Sep 22, 2009 10:49:50 AM

I doubt you'll get WFNZ in Columbia. The question is whether the Bobcats have/will have a radio affiliate down there.

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Sep 22, 2009 11:56:53 AM

Mr. Charlotte:
I think the "real reason'' on Felton is the obvious one; they can't agree on a number to do a long-term deal. I think D.J.'s presence has some small impact on that, but not much.
It's about Felton being a restricted free agent and no other teams forcing the Bobcats' hand by signing him to an offer sheet. And it's also about these miserable economic times both in general and for the Bobcats.

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Sep 22, 2009 12:11:52 PM

I just got off the phone with a Bobcats spokesman who said the team hasn't finalized a deal with WFNZ or any other station yet to be the flagship station this season.
I think WFNZ is still the most logical option, but it's not a done deal.

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Sep 22, 2009 12:41:03 PM

Rick, have you heard or is there any rumors about what the Bobcats are going to do pertaining to acquiring a back up power forward or bringing in anyone who can come off the bench and give the Bobcats some offense? I know that I stated earlier that I'd bring in Al Harrington, but what free agents that is available still that you'd like the Bobcats to bring in?

Posted by: Tyrone | Sep 22, 2009 1:40:34 PM

Rick, my other concern is that we've got more than enough athletes at wing. If you sign Graham, what does that say about your feelings for Brown, who we signed to a guaranteed deal for some strange reason? Henderson and Wallace are also long, athletic wings, so where does Graham find minutes? I understand Radmanovic doesn't fill that role, but there is only so much PT to go around. And as for playing Chandler at PF, he's simply not a good enough athlete and lacks the lateral quickness to guard perimeter PFs. Just ask anybody who watched him regularly in NO. Is he better than Okafor? Sure, but that's like saying he's got better vision than a blind man.

Also, as to giving up the lotto pick: Considering all the things they've chosen not to do, primarily for financial reasons, I [have no] doubt that [c]ould happen.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Sep 22, 2009 4:28:59 PM

Well Rick, as I stated earlier, I'd bring in Al Harrington (whom can play the 3 and 4). What free agents out there would you love to see that Bobcats make a play for?

Posted by: Tyrone | Sep 22, 2009 4:40:36 PM

Rick - What is going on with the sale of the team??

Posted by: BobCats | Sep 22, 2009 5:08:30 PM

If nazi's as focused as its being portrayed by rick, and ajinca has developed a little bit, I think the Power forward thing is a moot point. you got diaw/wallace on the smaller athletic end, ajinca in the middle and mohommed on the bigs. diop is dead weight, I understood the trade before the morrison deal but not after. Mohommed should have been focused and hard working last year.

as for mccants, I still think it makes sense. Bell and augustin missed time last year and mccants isn't just a vet, he's a vet with chemistry with felton, a chip on his shoulder, and he's always been a finisher of games. that's the #1 thing we lack. he's a much better prospect long term than henderson and I think the pair make perfect sense as a yin and yang in the future assuming bell is gone after this year. to get mccants at the minimum is more than worth it. he's gonna get picked up, i'd hate to miss out.

Posted by: charlottean | Sep 22, 2009 5:40:19 PM

Finally. Felton accepted 1 year qualifying offer for $5.5M.

Posted by: Les Porter | Sep 22, 2009 6:48:49 PM

i read that felton signed the QO

Posted by: Danny | Sep 22, 2009 7:32:43 PM

I'd up that 60-40 guess....ESPN page reporting that Felton will sign the one year qualifying offer making him an UFA July 1! May, Okafor, Chandler, now this. A great summer to be a Bobcats fan!

Posted by: mp | Sep 22, 2009 9:52:27 PM

WFNZ can't even reach Huntersville after 7 pm. Seems like a great choice.......

Rick reports are surfacing claiming Felton is signing the qualifying offer... what's the scoop?

Posted by: David | Sep 22, 2009 10:48:38 PM

Brett and Rick,

There's a better chance of hearing Bobcats games in Columbia on an affiliate than in Charlotte. After the sun goes down, WFNZ's already dismal signal drops to about 150 watts. And now their other AM signal (1660) is facist talk format. I love WFNZ but ownership won't give them the power they need.

Posted by: Catfando | Sep 23, 2009 12:11:50 AM

i don't know why my posts always seem missing but in short.....mccants for the minimum is a steal. especially with bell aging and in the last year of his contract.

Posted by: charlottean | Sep 23, 2009 10:04:05 AM


In response to the question about Bobcats radio broadcasts in Columbia, WZMJ-FM carries Bobcats games.

Posted by: LaMichael | Sep 30, 2009 8:52:17 PM

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