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August 03, 2010

Back to Wilmington for camp

-- So the Bobcats are headed back to UNC-Wilmington for training camp, after spending last preseason at home at Time Warner Cable Arena to save money.

In one sense, this makes great sense: Coach Larry Brown prefers to get his team out of town for camp and former Bobcats executive Buzz Peterson (one of owner Michael Jordan's best friends) now coaches UNC-Wilmington And there's the obvious connection that Jordan grew up in Wilmington.

Still, I didn't notice any disadvantage last season to holding camp at the arena training facility. And since they're still working to pay the bills, I guess I agreed with Jordan last summer that going out of town was an unnecessary expense. (I felt very differently about them not fielding a summer-league team; it was a predictable mistake that hurt rookies Gerald Henderson and Derrick Brown).

-- A couple of you have contacted me, either by email or in comments under recently blogs, expressing disappointment that the Bobcats haven't done more to improve the roster. You have the right to feel however you want, but I'd argue you can expect only so much as they undo previous mistakes.

Jordan doesn't give a lot of interviews, but I give him this: When he speaks, it's with candor. He met with several beat writers the day he was introduced as controlling owner. I asked him off the top about the payroll fix they're in, and Jordan was open in saying they might have to do a deal that makes little sense basketball-wise but great sense in terms of payroll management. That deal was Tyson Chandler for Erick Dampier's unguaranteed contract.

I don't blame Jordan for refusing to pay luxury tax for a team competing just to make the playoffs. I like the Shaun Livingston signing, after talking to people in the Wizards organization, and I see improvement in Henderson and Brown.

I don't think they're better than last season, but I also don't think they're worse. And, barring major injuries, I don't think it will be dramatically harder to reach the playoffs this coming season than it was last season.

Posted by Observer Sports on August 3, 2010 at 08:34 PM | Permalink


I agree with you, Rick. However, I wouldn't get too happy about the Livingston signing until mid-2011. The dude's got size, vision, and talent... but that was a major knee injury. Everyone is going to whine about the PG spot, but after Felton got torched by Nelson... it's understandable. I still hope Felton eventually finds a Billups-like career down the road.

Chandler looks great for Team USA, but how long will that last? Not 'till Christmas, for certain. Jackson, Wallace, Thomas: motivated. Hopefully DJ steps up, Henderson is as good as the Observer summer league article suggested, and MJ finds Herrman's agent. Nuff said.

Posted by: The Dark Knight | Aug 3, 2010 10:08:04 PM

PS- we still have one of the true masters of the game as our coach-GO CATS!

Posted by: The Dark Knight | Aug 3, 2010 10:09:36 PM

I think the bobcats have done a great job so far this year. Tyson Chandler for Eric Dampier was not a bad trade. Nazr Muhammad and Eric Dampier splitting minutes is going to be just as good as Tyson and Nazr last year. Not to mention the Bobcats will save a ton, because you know Eric Dampier will sign for a cheaper rate if he is not traded. Losing Raymond Felton was not a good thing, but I he is not worth 7-8 million a year.

Posted by: Adam Smith | Aug 3, 2010 11:17:35 PM

Here here I'll drink to bringing Fabio back!

Posted by: tattoo | Aug 4, 2010 12:29:06 AM

LOSING FELTON is going to hurt....No more playoffs for a while....Let's see how many DJ fans there is when he goes 2 for 9 and can't guard anybody....

Posted by: JC | Aug 4, 2010 1:26:35 AM


Going "2 for 9 and can't guard anybody," so you're saying that D.J. will equal Raymond's production at the starting PG spot?
I'm confused.

Posted by: ASChin | Aug 4, 2010 2:40:22 AM

I gotta agree with Tattoo........... Bring Fabio back! I never understood why he got so little playing time. EVERY SINGLE TIME he hit the floor it seemed he was a scoring machine, both from the perimeter and driving to the basket. I think he is one of the most unappreciated NBA players out there.

Is he still in the NBA? I haven't heard much about him since he went to the Pistons.

Posted by: redhotdave | Aug 4, 2010 7:35:05 AM

Bring back the "Baseline Bandit", the man, the legend, Walter Hermann. Release Dampier, trade Matty C, and Najera we gotta make room for the Argentinian THUNDER. League MVP! However, we must do this fast. I heard Lebron wants him down in South Beach.

Posted by: JDW317 | Aug 4, 2010 8:48:36 AM


the dampier trade did not cut payroll. it added dead contracts. they aren't limited that much by prior bad moves, they're limited by CONSTANTLY MAKING bad moves. we went from having diop and expirings to having diop, carroll, najera and no center outside of mohammed. the only thing that freed up was being able to bring in livingston. so we traded our starting center with an expiring, for 2 more contracts that won't play and a backup pg.

i'm not complaining that they aren't doing enough, i'm complaining that they make negative moves. if they had just sat patiently this offseason, searched for some good guys to bring into camp and fight for spots instead of signing mcguire and waited for the RIGHT move to upgrade from diaw and chandler....that's how you move up. we would have been hovering around the tax if we had done so. instead, we're hovering around the tax with no center. we still haven't seen the breakdown of tyrus thomas' contract but the original reports were that thanks to the nets it was frontloaded at something like 10 million but i've also seen that it's backloaded starting at 6 million. depending on which way that goes determines whether we're right at the tax or a bit under. either way it wasn't a good move unless you could move dampier for something legitimate.

it blows my mind that you don't get this. and you have the gaul to defend this. disservice to basketball fans and basketball in general in the charlotte area. moves like this will lead to us losing a second team.

and adam.....dampier is not going to be on the team. we can't afford to keep him. mohammed is on his own.

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 4, 2010 9:44:35 AM

So, is the current roster all we can expect from the Bobcats for next season? No attempts for other trades?

Evidently, the Bobcats can't be expected to go into luxury tax territory, but they definitely failed so far to improve through trades (or, through signing of low-price FAs). I can't agree that they are about at the same level as last season: losing Felton and Chandler, getting Livingston and Dampier (he could be waived, then re-signed at low cost)- that makes them a weaker team.

Couldn't they trade for a reliable starting PG? Not using Diaw as a valuable trade asset hurts the chances of getting a good trade done.

For starting "bigs", we have now Diaw and Dampier. These are both low-motivation players. After last season and that serious back injury, we know that Nazr can be effective in limited minutes (15-20 per game) only. Livingston's talent is undeniable, but so are his post-injury limitations too. I like Matt Carroll, but I don't see him (and Diop) leaving the bench for too many minutes under Larry Brown. I always liked Walter Herrmann, but honestly, he's not a Larry Brown type of player (he works hard in defense, but lacks in lateral quickness, and is better at shooting 3s than at driving; he's great for back door cuts, though).

I just hope the management still has some tricks left up their sleeve, and they'll suddenly come up with a really team-improving trade. If not, much as I hate being pessimistic, this is a mediocre team that doesn't go anywhere far. (And Jax came here because he saw a commitment to success, which was missing at Golden State, right? How will he feel about this team next season?).

Posted by: Sandy | Aug 4, 2010 10:20:16 AM

Hermann had the best one-handed ball fakes I've ever seen, the most suave hairstyle on the team, and also the only person ive seen run with their thumbs up at all times. What's Larry Brown not to like? Additionally, when not getting playing time, he could sub in as one of the Bobcats male cheerleaders! (For free, of course)

Posted by: JDW317 | Aug 4, 2010 10:41:46 AM

Dampier was a big player on a 50 win team last season. He wasn't great but I'm sure he can do what Chandler did and more. Mainly, catching the ball. Our turnovers were passes to Chandler in every spot other than a strike zone right at the rim for an alley-oop. That alone will be an improvement.

All of the last two years of deals made led us into the playoffs. I'm prepared to trust the front office and coaching staff at this point.

DJ and Livingston can survive and at the worst will be average pgs. That's fine. Dj stuck to his man better than Felton did against Orlando in the playoffs. Our 2, 3, and 4 spots will still be solid. Otherwise, we generally can still run a lot of smallish ball with Tyrus or Diaw at the 5.

Diaw vs other starting 4s last year was a defensive ace. Does anyone remember what January was like and that we put a hurtin' on Stoudemire and the Suns.



Posted by: Altheus | Aug 4, 2010 11:50:50 AM

hey mike good luck to you this year, i think bringing in some old school players will help your team be alot better or bring them in an make them guys play basketball, well you always the best an i wish you all the best good luck to you.

Posted by: calvin carson | Aug 4, 2010 12:26:00 PM

I think we're a tad better than last year. Dampier is more durable than Chandler (I hope we waive him and re-sign him for less). While Matt Carroll doesn't drive much, he's instantly the most reliable outside shooter on the team - and he is very underrated on defense. I remember back when we started our domination of the Lakers, Carroll guarded Kobe all night and gave him fits. I think we're a 46-48 win team, good for about 6th place in the East.

However, I would like to see us grant Flip Murray's wish and re-sign him.

Posted by: J | Aug 4, 2010 1:31:11 PM

I understand the Cats have their hands tied, so I wasn't expecting anything major this offseason. Still, it is frustrating as a fan when you see other teams improving and you are standing pat. I don't understand why every decent depth player out there has to seemingly sign with the Miami Heat, but I guess the lure of a ring is strong. Hopefully, if the Cats were more of a legit contender things would be different, but as Rick points out, it doesn't make much sense to really overpay when you are just fighting for one of the last playoff spots. Still, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that some more depth can be added to start the season, especially a bit more scoring punch. You can never have enough shooters as the old adage goes, though I hope MC finds some kind of role on this team and helps in that regard. It will be interesting to see if Dampier is still on the roster too. I'm not convinced of that yet, but if he is in Charlotte, he could contribute pretty nicely, despite getting up there in age. He is pretty solid, and those Chandler turnovers did kill me sometimes. If he could improve on that, it would be an added bonus.

Finally, while I remain somewhat cynical on this team's prospects, hopefully that ESPN power ranking article was overblown. Man, was it depressing about the coming season and the future of the team as well.

Posted by: Ari | Aug 4, 2010 3:35:47 PM

Blow the whole thing up, this roster will be lucky to make the playoffs...let alone past the 1st round. Better to just tank and pick up a superstar via the draft, only way to compete in this league. The fans aren't going to show up either way. Get a Kevin Durant/John Wall type talent that can bring the people in on a nightly basis. But lets face it, this city is full of bandwagon fans that won't support anything except a winner, something the 'Cats aren't going to be for the long term future.

Posted by: I used to sit near Buzz | Aug 4, 2010 8:36:47 PM

Charlotte could acquire Carmelo,Billups and Smith for Wallace, Jackson, Dampier and Carroll. The swap, plus some additional salary cuts (Nazr's expiring contract to start) for the Bobcats would improve Denver's luxury tax situatiion while still fielding a competitive playoff team and Charlotte's increases is level of talent to compete in the East. Carmelo wants out and is on his way out to someone!

Charlotte could also trade for Monta Ellis and Andris Biedrins, by send Diaw, Nazr and either Henderson, Najera or Carroll to Golden State. I've been begging for the this trade for ever. I don't know why, but the Warriors simply don't want either of them. I hope the front office has its eyes on one of these deals.

Posted by: Larry | Aug 4, 2010 11:39:08 PM

Rick, This team will make a trade - Brown will not be satisfied with this roster and start complaining two weeks into the season (unless Livingston turns into comeback POY or DJ wins most improved.) My prediction is that they play Gerald a lot to improve his trade value (aka another Jared Dudley/Shannon Brown) and make a trade a few weeks into the season.

Posted by: HJ | Aug 4, 2010 11:52:55 PM

And my sources (decent, been right a lot on this stuff) in D.C. tell me that Gilbert physically is fine (yes, that knee), seems like he wants to grow up, but that Wizards ownership brass is banking on John Wall being a super star and freeing up cap room next summer as a dark horse for Carmello. (He is from the DC/Balt area) The only way they do that is trading Gilbert so they will take pennies on the dollar. Larry Brown can handle this guy and it would improve our team dramatically. (Young core, too)

Posted by: HJ | Aug 5, 2010 12:00:51 AM


Seeing as you are the team's beat writer (and I just a lowly blogger), do you have the power to quash this Carmelo nonsense once and for all?

If so, it would be highly appreciated.

Posted by: ASChin | Aug 5, 2010 6:09:39 AM


Whatever Thomas's contract is ....

any signing bonus gets charged over the life of the contract for salary cap and luxury tax purposes

the annual salary can't be increased or decreased more than 10.5% each year calcluated on the 1st year (meaning no compounding).


Posted by: bobfan1 | Aug 5, 2010 7:25:32 AM

When will Jordan move the DL team from Maine to Wilmington?

Posted by: knhart | Aug 5, 2010 9:27:07 AM


Why do you keep that picture with the mustache ou shaved off over a year ago? Is it easier to go incognito?

Posted by: Musson | Aug 5, 2010 10:16:10 AM

dampier played 23 minutes per game over 55 games last year. he was hardly "a big player on a 50 win team"

a lot of people are holding out hope that livingston will be this diamond in the rough guy but i have a hard time buying in given that he wasn't shh before his injury so it's hard to think he'll be better afterwards. i think he's a SOLID pickup a backup and gives us huge flexibility in playing him along with DJ and allowing augustin to go nuts when his shot is on.

the only big hole i'm seeing is center and i think if we had thought long term we could have talked tyson into an opt out, re-up 3 year deal to lower the cap hit to get livingston and stay under the tax but instead we're stuck with mohammed and diop at the 5.

prepare for small ball and another bad trade. diaw can guard a lot of 5's in this league but nowhere near all of them.

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 5, 2010 11:24:09 AM

"More than 20 point guards have been traded or signed this NBA offseason, further limiting the Pacers' options. The Pacers likely will have to trade for a point guard because they don't have the money or roster space to sign one." From hoopsworld.

Obviously we had some hands in that but that points to that fact that there's not a lot left to get excited about. Hence the CP3 craze.

Dampier will do no worse than Chandler, Charlottean. That gaping hole is smaller than it was last year due to that and the fact that Tyrus is a FC. We have a better bench and mainly solid starters. Now the real problem is that most of the east trumps us by their upgrades.

Small ball; I agree. Trades are the Bobcats motto. Only nine players see real time per game with Larry Brown and he likes to have a third PG and Collins didn't seem promising.

So what trades do you see coming?

Posted by: Altheus | Aug 5, 2010 12:48:06 PM

(we're assuming we waive dampier and sign him to a minimumish deal for 1 year)

even if dampier DOES miraculously perform as well or slightly better than chandler, we took on 2 worthless contracts at positions that we didn't need to do the deal. assuming we do end up signing sherron collins, he might end up being better on livingston which realistically was the only thing that we couldn't have done if we kept chandler. so instead of clearing 15 million off next year's payroll, we clear 8.

and i'm not in the line of thought that the 35 year old is better than the 28 year old, i'm just painting the scenario out that he does play up to that this year.

and that's not even talking about how tyson chandler could have helped us move boris diaw for a nice piece. we cashed in our best trade chip and got nothing back. that's not a good move. no matter how you chalk it up. we sent a great trade chip, and got back 2 bad contracts.

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 5, 2010 6:51:53 PM


They could have have gotten a better player for chandler but that is not what they were looking for. Do you understand they were going to do whatever it takes to not pay the tax? And I think you are underestimating Livingston. I don't think they signed him to even back up DJ. I think they are quietly looking at him as their starter. If healthy Livingston has a chance to be the best pg this team has ever had. He is a pure pg who would not only know how to bring the ball up court but also run the offense.

I am also almost sure that Livingston will/has spend/spent most of this summer with mj's trainer in chicago where he is from.

Posted by: fan | Aug 5, 2010 11:26:18 PM

genius....if you reverse the dampier trade, their cap figure is 70.9 million. that's less than a million over the tax line. you mean to tell me we couldn't have made any other moves to shave a million off the payroll by the end of the year? you mean to tell me we couldn't have negotiated a buyout for tyson chandler or even a contract extension that gets us that 1 million under this year? you mean to tell me it was THAT necessary to take back matt carroll and najera in the dampier deal? no. it wasn't. stop trying to justify this move it was idiotic.

i don't think i'm underestimating livingston at all. i like his game, I like the pickup. i like it a whole lot better than trading for calderon or tinsley or ford or one of those jokers. but the guy has had a lot of injury problems and even when he's been healthy he hasn't shown that he can outplay or even matchup with upper echelon talent. it's not like he came out with the clippers and put up big numbers or blew people away with his talent. but he was really young and he's still young. he had a great end of the season last year but in most cases in games that didn't matter. i hope that translates but you don't spend a top 10 pick on a guy......watch him show A LOT of promise as a rookie, cut his minutes year 2, and then bring in a comeback story to take his minutes in year 3.
if they have a brain in the department (which at this point i'm doubting big time)
they brought in livingston because in a rotation the 2 can play at the same time and matchup well and give a lot of offense.

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 6, 2010 12:08:59 AM

Charlottean beats his wife and kids...

Posted by: I'm Smarter Than You | Aug 6, 2010 12:03:53 PM

So I was wrong about collins.


Charlottean couldn't marry nor have kids so obviously he beats his mom.

Posted by: altheus | Aug 6, 2010 2:28:56 PM

so you guys are mad because I can add and subtract and know that tyson chandler is better than carroll/najera/dampier/livingston in the context of our current team roster?

that's cute.

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 6, 2010 6:23:06 PM


Does that $70.9 figure include the 4 or 5 other players that would have had to be added to the roster? By the way, signing chandler to an extension would have been horible. The guy is made of glass.

Posted by: fan | Aug 6, 2010 9:55:43 PM

I'm with you guys, let's go out and get Walter Hermann back!!He'd be the perfect back up for Wallace and D.Brown, and then sign Earl Barron from the Knicks! Center problem solved!

Posted by: jah p | Aug 7, 2010 2:31:35 PM

i know he's made of glass, the point was sign him for another year or 2 to lower the cap hit THIS YEAR and move him while he's playing well. it was just an idea or scenario that would have been better than trading him for bad contracts and to waive dampier. there were better options is the point.

70.9 is approximate based on public releases of numbers that i've seen and includes.....

chandler, ajinca, diop, mohammed, thomas, diaw, brown, mcguire, wallace, henderson, jackson, livingston, augustin.

that makes 13 which is the minimum allowed. idk what sherron collins will make but i think the rookie minimum is like 480k or something and i thiiiink brown's figure is something like 750k and i think i only counted 500k towards the 70.9 figure i came up with. add it up if yall like and come back with something else but it's something around 71 million without collins and half a million more with. the thing I look at is.....you can shave a few million off the cap during the season, utah did it with relative ease last year and STILL made the playoffs and competed.

the bigger thing is that coming off the cap at the end of the year would be chandler, ajinca, mohammed, a few minimum guys AND we would atleast have chandler when he's healthy. now we don't have chandler AND we don't have as much future cap room. how does that possibly sound good? and i really hope they found a gem in mcguire because I don't understand that signing given that it wasn't necessary and he doesn't really look like he'll play much. but we really didn't need carroll or najera's contract even though they're both good guys and generally good ball players.

bad move. you can't justify it. stupid. and if yall wanna check the numbers please do so.

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 7, 2010 7:21:43 PM

Yeah the cap space sounds nice but didn't you just watch new jersey come up goose? New York didn't get a home run either. The bulls barely made it. They got real lucky. can we do that? In Charlotte? No. We're cleveland in the whole our-cap-space-is-like-hot-cakes pitch.

The best want jersey sales, ad deals, national tv exposure, and to be with a contender. Which means a larger market. Which means fighting for the last couple playoff spots and being allowed to watch our team battle the top teams on our turf a couple times or so through the regular season and at least one half-good playoff round. The best we can hope for is being the Thunder or the Trailblazers and that won't happen by trades. However, Jordan isn't planning on tanking just for luck in the draft either.

We're barney.

Posted by: Altheus | Aug 8, 2010 2:25:38 AM

Charlottean is 100% correct in this debate. We've taken on bad contracts in this deal. Critics were pointing this out 24 hours after the trade.

Posted by: The Dark Knight | Aug 8, 2010 11:21:54 AM

.. don't look back, though, either.

Posted by: The Dark Knight | Aug 8, 2010 11:23:13 AM

Sorry, one more thing. The argument that the 'best' want ad deals, etc is rubbish. San Antonio Spurs, Detroit Pistons. Knicks unable to anything right despite the biggest media market in the world. I also believe that, after next years lockout, there will be more parity.

Posted by: The Dark Knight | Aug 8, 2010 11:28:36 AM

the point of the cap room isn't that we're going to go out and get a max contract. it's more that we're going to be able to retain talent we acquire when it DOES develop.

as it stands right now, let's say that over the next 2 years....gerald henderson, derrick brown, and augustin emerge as phenominal young talent that leads this team as wallace and jackson age out of their prime......good luck resigning them because we are going to be strapped by the taxline permanently if we keep taking on bad contracts.

i'm aware we're not in any position to land upper tier free agents until a homegrown guy comes along but picture a stephen curry getting fed up in golden state and deciding to come back home. it's far fetched but it's far more reasonable than chris paul who isn't from charlotte.

the idea is to NEVER take on bad contracts. fill the cap with your rotation players and the remainder be young talent you are looking to develop. as it stands right now we've got something like 15 million on the books this year that will hardly play and if they are playing that in itself is a bad sign.

you say "at best we can be portland or okc" well okc is a title contender already. anybody disagreeing obviously didn't see them against the lakers. you can't judge a 1st round exit as that and that only when they competed and they lost to the eventual champs. and portland has been in a tough western conference and has been competing for YEARS. that is EXACTLY what we want to be. in the mix. every year. the way we're making moves we're going to be post reggie miller indiana.

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 8, 2010 2:59:18 PM

i forgot to mention that the 15 million that probably won't play this year, is also on the books next year for about 13. great trade(s) right guys?

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 8, 2010 9:38:43 PM

Nba Trade Machine came up with these great trades and why they should go down so dont get to emotional if you dont like them
1.Bobcats would love to add someone like Iguodala because he is young and has great potential as a superstar and could use a 3 point threat in Kapono because everybody knows they need scoring and most inportanly they get rid of diop
2.76ers new head coach and rip would be together again and they will get rid of both brand's and iguodala's contracts and everybody knows if you give bad contracts you will have to take bad contracts diop's but they of course will buyout him out and they will have an unselfish player in rip who dosent mind coming off the bench and can also mentor evan turner
3.Detroit pistons really wants to get rid of Prince and rip and was rumored to want brand so this can benefit and they could get mo and move stuckey to the 2 his natural poisition
4.Clevland Cavaliers needs a starting 3 and prince should o be a great fit and they will have a solid team post lebron era and mo has been on the trading block
Conclusion each team should get somebody they want and get rid of the players they want

Posted by: t p | Aug 8, 2010 10:57:14 PM

my next trade would to get the rights to xavier henry because Memphis probably didnt expect Rudy to sign so they drafted him and made a lame excuse not to give him an extra $300,000. Next we trade boris diaw to toronto for $9 million of the trade exception and they send jose calderon to the pacers for t.j. ford i read that the pacers should pursue http://bleacherreport.com/articles/430443-pacers-search-for-point-guard-cure-jose-calderon-could-be-the-vaccine
Toronto would do it because they tried to trade up for diaw before and the want to get rid of calderon's contract and basicaly are waiting for a top 3 lottery pick in 2011 so it really dosen't matter to them
Then we should use the exception on Andre Biedriens and sign and trade henry for monte ellis but have to waive Dampier first golden state would do it because henry, lee, and curry would be a good fit and the new owner only said he was excited about lee and curry then they should send collins to the d-league for the first of the season then use livingston as trade bait
The new starting lineup would be
PG Ellis/Augustine/Livingston/Collins
SG Iguodala/Henderson/Carroll
SF Wallace/Henderson/Kapono/Mcguire
PF Thomas/Najera
C Biedriens/Mohammed
and the bobcats will have almost $20 million in cap space

Posted by: t p | Aug 8, 2010 11:55:11 PM

but my trades are just a fantasy the front office isnt that smart they need to fire rod higgins and hire that portland's exact that got fired on draft night he did rebound after taken oden over durant

Posted by: t p | Aug 9, 2010 1:40:16 AM

"I don't blame Jordan for refusing to pay luxury tax for a team competing just to make the playoffs. I like the Shaun Livingston signing, after talking to people in the Wizards organization, and I see improvement in Henderson and Brown.

I don't think they're(the Bobcats) better than last season, but I also don't think they're worse. And, barring major injuries, I don't think it will be dramatically harder to reach the playoffs this coming season than it was last season." From article above.

I agree with this. Felton was not that much better than DJ. Dampier isn't a scorer but we didn't have a real scoring center all last season. Nazr only lasted so long. So we played small alot of games and we'll do that again a lot this year. All of our positions are as solid as they were last year defensively. Only center is a little less so offensively. I'd say overall, I believe our scoring will rise this year. I think the lesser parts of the Dampier trade will help with that scoring, if they're here.

Chicago is facing the task of holding onto Rose when a new deal comes around but thats not why they had a glut of cap space. But as that time comes that they'll need it, they'll do the work, or art least have in place, the deals necessary to hold him. If we had talent worth truly holding onto we'd try to have that space. None of our younger talent is a build-around type of talent. They've all been tradable.

"you say "at best we can be portland or okc" well okc is a title contender already"

At best meaning with some good luck, a couple prayers, and someone teach the FO how not to get robbed in trades.

From your posts, I hear you saying we're screwed now and for later.

From my posts, I'm saying we're screwed now and for later and that a title is out of the question, ever.

Rubbish? Yes. Putting Detroit and New York in the same breathe saying "biggest Media Market in the World" is rubbish.

Posted by: Altheus | Aug 9, 2010 1:54:35 PM

Hey Altheus-- try not to be such a genius, you make yourself look bad.

Your post had stated that 'the best' want jersey sales, nat'l tv exposure, etc. from playing in a major media market. I said: we don't need to be a major media market to compete for titles as exampled by San Antonio and Detroit. THEN i said- look at NY, it's the biggest media market in the world and the Knicks haven't been able to compete since the year the Rockets beat them for the title.

As far as your "we're screwed for now/later/forever" perspective, You are what you think about-- good luck with that.

Posted by: The Dark Knight | Aug 9, 2010 3:33:54 PM

Ouch. that hurt. Thanks for deciphering that post of yours. Still conflicted. Good to know the Dark Knight is an optimist.

Posted by: Altheus | Aug 9, 2010 3:39:32 PM

i'm actually an optimist also, but that doesn't mean i say "wow that dampier trade was awesome" it just means i say "i don't know why our front office are idiots, but i think we'll do okay regardless"

i'm high on augustin and thomas being a formidable duo added to our starting 5. we're really a SOLID 5 man away from having a very larry brown-detroit pistons-esque lineup/rotation.

and i really think that as complacent as diaw played last year, if he came off the bench as kind of the stud of the second team, i think he might flourish again. not to mention he's down to 2 years make it break it to decide whether he gets another contract to retire off of or he gets crumbs. better to ride him out than to trade him for another bad contract.

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 9, 2010 6:45:08 PM

But thats my point with the FO. It makes sense to let it ride with Diaw but they (along most that ever make comments) seem to feel a need to move a piece just for the sake of. Now, my prediction of this continuing for a while is based on the FO philosophy. They don't seem to wanna eat at the same table as the rest of the league. Which is why ESPN has the Bobcats Future Power Rankings as very dismal.

As to optimism, in bball a good season is a .500 record. Imagine if that applied to the rest of your life. So to me, occasionally being a realist and saying as you just said, that the Bobcats will be "okay" is just fine. I just want a team that competes and occasionally shocks the world in beating the big teams and, sadly, angrily, loses to the Nets, when I'm sitting third row!

I still maintain a title is not happening. I think the NBA has it's favorite darlings and occasionally a cinderella comes up nice. Maybe a pedigree that no longer includes Bob Johnson will help.

So Dark / Charlottean(or Rick Bonnell's alter ego), would a Decent move of Dampier's contract, Najera actually rebounding and getting a few solid points, and MC sealing a few wins from downtown this season change your mind on that deal? I still maintain that Dampier himself, is not a big drop off from Chandler but I wouldn't say MC and Najera were worth Chandler if they produce averages.

PS i stated that "The best want jersey sales, ad deals, national tv exposure, and to be with a contender". Might I note, with a contender. Pistons and San Antonio had that pedigree and the Spurs still had a crazy chance at the start of last year.

Posted by: Altheus | Aug 9, 2010 7:43:38 PM

Obviously we're into the booooring part of the offseason. Why is rick on vacation.

Posted by: Altheus | Aug 9, 2010 7:54:17 PM

i forgot to mention the fact that....

theo ratliff >>> ericka dampier.

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 10, 2010 3:14:03 PM

I think the answer, Altheus, lies in what exactly are we going to get in return for the Dampier contract. If we rob a team of a top-shelf talent b/c the front office is under a mandate from the top to trim payroll at all costs, then the front office looks like a genius-- and having the Najera/Carroll contracts as a by-product is ok. As it stands at this moment... I can't say that it's worth it. To credit the deal though, Coach Brown is a 'system' guy and if Najera/MC can rise and excel, then I'm all for it. Also, after reading the decipher thing, I went back and read my original post on the markets- it wasn't that clearly written, so my bad.

I agree that Dampier isn't a big-drop off from Chandler only for the simple fact that Chandler is so injury prone. When healthy, Chandler is the better choice. I do expect either Diaw (whom I really like when he's playing great) and/or Dampier to be gone before the deadline. I also expect these trades to be more about talent than moving payroll. Which leads me to ask...if MJ said some trades were more about payroll..... why did add to the payroll long term with Najera and MC? I will always support the 'Cats (and I am obviously.. an optimist), looking at Chandler/Dampier/Najera/MC..... we are losing at both the talent and payroll ends of deal. The key to this debate is what the Dampier contract materializes into. Still gotta go with Charlottean at this point.

As far as what ESPN says, although I read ESPN/SI all the time-- their forecasts are entertainment... at best. I was livid this time last year when all those guys were consistently calling the 'Cats at 11th in the East and BEHIND Indiana. What a joke-- this was pre-Jackson-trade, but (1) I thought the 'Cats were going to on the verge of making the playoffs, (2) even if we hadn't made the Jackson trade to have us below the Pacers was either an insult to us-- or a testament to those writer's stupidity.

And yes, it is a boring month for the Bobcat faithful..... you can start calling your post-Coach Brown forecasts at this point.. GM's (Danny Ferry-- what a joke)... need to learn how keep the eye on the ball now AND in the future.

Posted by: The Dark Knight | Aug 11, 2010 5:09:55 PM

I beginning to think LB actual wanted Carol and the other guy that came with Dampier. They are his type of players.

Posted by: fan | Aug 11, 2010 10:32:58 PM

Rick you slacker! what do you guys think of this rumour? apperantly the Bobs still want calderon


Posted by: Matt | Aug 12, 2010 8:51:49 AM

thank god they didn't. then we would be way over the tax, with 4 pgs and 1 center and another bad contract.

they are really incredible. really. we are making david kahn look normal.

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 12, 2010 10:15:38 AM

and if they are so hell-bent on landing a pg WHY WOULD YOU HAVE NOT WANTED COLLISON INSTEAD OF CALDERON? these guys are seriously the most ignorant group of decision makers in the league.

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 12, 2010 10:58:47 AM

ya man but to get collison the Bobs would have had to take on jame posey for 2 years and $13.5 million. then you have a good PG but still another bad contract. at least with calderon the bad contract is a player who can start

Posted by: Matt | Aug 12, 2010 12:34:56 PM

are you even paying attention to what we just did and what we could have done?

instead of trading tyson chandler for collison and james posey, we traded him for najera, carroll and dampier's contract to waive to sign shaun livingston. not to mention calderon would start for 2 weeks before brown realized that augustin was better and we'd be eating 11 million a year for a backup pg. posey and collison combined is less than the 11 mil a year. collison is so much better than calderon it's a joke. and now because we let indiana make that move instead of us.....there's another team that just improved itself drastically this offseason. collison, granger, hansbrough, hibbert, rush and a whole lot of cap room sounds like larry bird might just have figured out what to do up there.

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 12, 2010 2:25:12 PM

lol when you put it that way ya that does sound pretty bad. It seems like these things are going right over Jordan and the GM's head.

I agree Collison is not only better than Calderon but is also wicked cheap as he is on a rookie contract.

Im positive they could've traded chandler for a guy as good as Ariza and flipped him to the NOH for collison. why didnt they? maybe Jordan didnt even know about this deal. maybe it wasnt in play back when they had chandler. maybe they knew but coudlnt get in because other GMs didnt want to risk Jordan screwing up the trade at the last minute like he did with the Calderon and TJ Ford trades (which in all fairness would've been bad either way

Posted by: Matt | Aug 12, 2010 3:24:57 PM

PG - Collison
SG - Jackson
SF - Wallace
PF - Diaw
C - cheap FA.

thats a pretty good Starting five.

Posted by: Matt | Aug 12, 2010 3:27:19 PM

let's just put this in perspective for a minute.......michael beasley went for a 2nd rounder. darren collison went for an expiring contract. we could have been looking at...


or some sort of concoction of small ball lineup AND STILL BE UNDER THE TAX without giving up anything we haven't already given up. and without taking back bad contracts other than james posey for 2 years.

i want a formal written and published apology by jordan/higgins/brown or somebody for this atrocity. this is just mind blowing.

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 12, 2010 4:17:09 PM

Charlottean. it must be rough being a Bobcats fan

Posted by: Matt | Aug 12, 2010 4:31:44 PM

To follow up on what I believe was someone else's posting.....

has anyone picked up (GM) Kevin Pritchard yet?

Posted by: The Dark Knight | Aug 12, 2010 5:17:02 PM

brilliant advance reporting on the Bobcats open house this evening-

Posted by: The Dark Knight | Aug 12, 2010 6:34:28 PM

it was easier being a hornets fan, george shinn aside.

actually...george shinn >>> bob johnson. the jury is still out on jordan but he's gotten off to a horrible start.

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 12, 2010 6:46:57 PM

Charlottean makes a lot of excellent points (although he/she may want to work on lowering the word count) about players that are getting traded for pennies on the dollar that we keep missing. I have blown this blog up about Gilbert, but I will throw another name out there (also suggested by JA Adande as a good idea for the Cata) - Monte Ellis.

Posted by: HJ | Aug 13, 2010 11:07:02 AM

plus ur team's coverage sucks

Posted by: Matt | Aug 13, 2010 3:29:26 PM

my gut feeling is that they contacted new orleans about chris paul, new orleans said "we'll give you collison instead" and they passed because they actually thought they had a chance at landing paul if they played hard ball.

and i don't think gilbert arenas or monta ellis are the answer either. i'd rather have ellis than calderon, but he's not really a pg and he's not really that good of a 2. and i'll limit my word count when the bobcats limit their stupidity. then i'll just log on here and say "this is awesome" every once in a while.

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 13, 2010 7:29:02 PM

ok, charlottean, tell me what you would try to do then to make this team better than this lineup:

pg: M. Ellis/Livingston (assume DJ part of Ellis trade)
sg Jackson/Henderson
sf: Wallace/Brown
pf: Thomas/Brown
c: Mohammad/Ratliff/Diop

Posted by: HJ | Aug 15, 2010 9:50:52 PM

Rick, two weeks man? Seriously, give us something new.

If any of you saw the France-USA game you know the Bobcats loss of Chandler AND Ajinca are gonna hurt a little more than we think if this roster stays the same.

I still prefer Carolina Copperheads, Flight, Flyers, Skyers, etc that was cooler than Bobcats. I'm sad that argument died.

So, an announcer on that France-USA game said Calderon couldn't guard him..nor the other announcer. I'd still like to see him actually fight Garnett though.

Nevertheless, I can't wait til the season starts. twill be a nice ride.

Posted by: Altheus | Aug 16, 2010 11:32:05 AM

augustin is probably better than ellis in the context of our roster. he's a better shooter (which we lack desperately) and he's more of a PG than a SG. not to mention he seems like a team guy not a me-guy.

the biggest hole in our roster is the fact that we DIDN'T get ratliff. we let him and every other minimum wage center go to other teams. we have to pray that diop pulls a 2009 nazr and actually starts earning his joke of a contract.

the only problems i have with personnel are at center and overpaying guys that aren't in the rotation. if you allocate all of your payroll to the rotation and the remainder to low end veterans (like a ratliff) and developmental guys (like an ajinca) you're going to see a better roster all in all if you aren't overpaying the rotation guys. i don't think any of our rotation guys are overpaid except maybe diaw.

guys like ellis and gilbert are overpaid for what they do. they put up stats at inefficient levels on bad teams. arenas is way better than ellis but costs way more, has worse injury history and more baggage. neither are worth it. collison would have been worth it. and better than ellis. and much cheaper.

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 16, 2010 12:59:49 PM

lol apparently after the team went to Wilmington for camp not one single thing happened in the world basketball wise.

Posted by: Matt | Aug 16, 2010 1:55:23 PM

wow and i thought this was a basketball meccha

Posted by: Matt | Aug 17, 2010 4:26:38 PM

I know it's sacrilege to mention, but what about trading Wallace and Diaw for Carmelo Anthony.

The trade gives Charlotte a huge offensive upgrade at SF and gives Denver young hustle machine Wallace and Diaw's expiring $9M contract to free up some cap space to make a play at Chris Paul next year.



Posted by: Dr. Bobcats | Aug 17, 2010 9:38:10 PM

diaw's contract isn't expiring, he has 2 years left. and you're giving up 2 valuable pieces for 1 season of carmello. if he signs the extension its only to demand a trade to the knicks.

it's a great move if you're trying to blow the team up and start over and its a good move for denver to remain competitive (somewhat).

to get a guy like chris paul or carmello....we have to draft a guy like chris paul or carmello or trade a guy like chris paul or carmello to get the guy like chris paul carmello. chicken egg situation. and we're not even on a poultry farm.

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 18, 2010 9:30:35 AM

Espn.com reported today that monta Ellis is on the block. With the right coaching this guy could improve. He shot poor FG because of what je was asked to do. I really believe brown could leverage his abilities to be an outstanding pg, in the mold of an iverson but not as good. Is this the perfect answer? No, but it would be a very good team for the next 3 years, as opposed to whatever are building now.

Posted by: HJ | Aug 18, 2010 6:42:21 PM

This some bull...Felton sucks he is the worst charlotte pg ever...we need bernard robinson to come back and run the show...also i think primoz could be a viable candidate at the 2 guard spot with matt carroll subbing in for him...Go (can't get a good point guard or center) Cats!!! atleast i like the sherron collins pick up

Posted by: johnny | Aug 18, 2010 8:47:17 PM

I think Monta Ellis would be a bad move. Besides with his contract we would have to trade something of real value to get him. As bad off as GS, may be.... I don't think they are going to take the Diop contract for Ellis.

Posted by: The Dark Knight | Aug 19, 2010 9:21:29 AM

the thing about ellis is.....if you give D.J. augustin his minutes and touches/shots....you're going to get similar if not better results for a fraction of the cost.

guard is not our weakness anymore. center is. and payroll. management. coach after brown leaves after this year. fanbase. we have one of the worst fanbases in pro sports right now. we should trade the majority of the current fanbase and a future 1st round pick for the seattle supersonics fanbase. it might be bigger and less ignorant.

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 19, 2010 11:20:21 AM

Dark Knight - I don't think we would have to give up that much at all. Dampier's expiring contact, Diaw and maybe DJ.

Posted by: HJ | Aug 19, 2010 11:21:21 AM

Rick, how about an update on all these trade rumors I'm hearing? I heard a Dampier, Ford, Calderon deal nearly went down the other day. Also any thoughts on any of the remaining free agents? Flip, Stackhouse, and AI available... What about Earl Watson or Rafer Alston to fill our PG gap? Personally I thought Hughes played great for us too. I'd enjoy seeing him brought back.

Posted by: flanahan32 | Aug 19, 2010 12:11:13 PM

Rick can't talk right now. He is inside an opium den in Chinatown, passed out in his own filth. In other new the Cats are still in Wilmington

Posted by: Matt | Aug 19, 2010 4:00:15 PM

larry hughes played great for us last year. the guy almost shot 33% from the field.

and giving up dampier/diaw/augustin for ellis WOULD be giving up too much and also wouldn't work without taking back another bad contract. you guys are so good at this.

ellis is a career 31% 3 pt shooter. 5.3 assists over 3.8 turnovers. ON HORRIBLE LOSING TEAMS. how is that attractive to pick that guy up? and give up 3 rotation/starters for him? if augustin had been drafted by golden state he would have put up the same ppg if not at a more efficient rate.

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 19, 2010 7:20:28 PM

what pg gap? we have 3 pgs signed. 2 of which are far more qualified than rafer alston, earl watson, flip murray, larry hughes or whoever. we have 1 center, 1 weird contract center and 1 special olympian center. i would say that center would be where the gap is.

somebody call sandy, i'm about to start calling people idiots again. it's hard not to around here.

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 19, 2010 7:23:06 PM

LMAO at the chinatown reference and the breakdown of our center situation..... still can't believe that Rick/CO completely fubar'd the open house last week....

Point is: we should have kept Chandler's expiring contract, not taken on Caroll's and Najera's, contract and signed one of the under-performing guys for a one year deal on the cheap.

HJ, I know Diaw has under performed since his first season here, but the guy has talent. I gnash my teeth every time I reflect on Higgins taking DJ before Lopez, but I like the idea of putting DJ out there this year and saying "it's all yours, kid.. show us what you really got".

I am surprised no one on the board is jumping into the Rudy Fernandez foray...

Posted by: The Dark Knight | Aug 20, 2010 9:24:31 AM

i'm a big rudy fernandez fan and i think he can be a ginobli/turkolu/jackson wing playmaker type of guy. he makes a pretty good % of 3's and he finishes at the bucket. if we could get him AND greg oden for stephen jackson, I'd take that move. I know it's super risky but the upside would be phenominal. that situation will probably end badly.

fernandez is worthy of playing time and I would love to see him in NY. its the perfect scenario. d'antoni, stoudemire, felton, randolph, fernandez, azuibukwe or however you spell it. its perfect. and portland would be retarded not to take wilson chandler in a straight up trade. then again portland just fired kevin pritchard so yes they probably are retarded.

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 20, 2010 11:12:56 AM

@charlottean true but your have to consider the fact that he DOES NOT want to be in the NBA. For him its Europe or bust and he even said he is willing to sit the entire duration of his contract then bolt to Europe. How do you even trade for him? your cant give anything other than maybe a 2nd round pick. even then theres a chance once he gets here he still wont be happy.

Posted by: Matt | Aug 20, 2010 11:57:20 AM

he'll play in the nba, just not for portland. and he wants starters minutes. that's why new york is so ideal for him. and if portland could get wilson chandler straight up for him.....they are retarded not to take it. then again they just fired kevin pritchard, so that confirms my suspicions on their mental capacities. fernandez can be ginobli. he's a little less rugged but probably a slightly better shooter. he won't kill any bats though.

he just doesn't fit with us and our slow pace. it just doesn't make sense. not unless we're shedding a bad contract and getting oden aka the next antonio mcdyess who had no business being taken over durant EVER (no 20/20 hindsight, i've said that since they were in college)

i want to see rudy wind up with the knicks. it will make the knicks insanely fun to watch. I mean imagine a starting 5 of paul, fernandez, anthony, stoudemire, randolph. tell me that isn't equal to if not better than the heat. even if you swap paul for felton they're contenders.

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 21, 2010 11:17:06 AM

Since Rick is missing for a month, I will break some news. We just signed Kwame Brown. Will be news shortly.

Posted by: HJ | Aug 23, 2010 2:28:58 PM

Beat me to it. I was hoping to be the one to beat Rick to the punch.

Posted by: tom P | Aug 23, 2010 2:55:58 PM

Wow, Kwame Brown.
Not quite Lebron, Melo, or CP3 – though he does have a ring (as a Laker).

Can't believe that the Cats would do this if they weren't prepared to trade another of their big men (Diaw, Diop, Mohammed, Dampier)

Posted by: Ballercat | Aug 23, 2010 3:05:11 PM

wow former 1st overal pick. thats gotta count for comething right? $13 contract to trade...

Posted by: Matt | Aug 23, 2010 3:16:32 PM

Old habits die hard eh MJ?

Posted by: I used to sit near Buzz | Aug 23, 2010 3:21:00 PM

im pretty sure we can trade dampier around september 13 with other people so this might be the reason for the signing.

Posted by: jeremy | Aug 23, 2010 3:27:40 PM

hopefully Dampier/Diaw for another guard, prob a PG. Anyway we could swap those 2 for J.R. Smith? I hear he is on the market, and maybe LB could get his head straight, b/c hes awfully talented.

Posted by: tom P | Aug 23, 2010 3:49:55 PM

This is ok; cheap, above average post-defender, one year deal. Points to a future trade of one of the other centers. Really, it's Tyson Chandler at a mere fraction of the cost.

The CO truly amazes me. I'm surprised they finally reported the story.

Posted by: The Dark Knight | Aug 23, 2010 8:39:31 PM

tyson chandler is way more polished than kwame brown. he's got more of a motor and a lot more PT experience.

i called this about a month ago as the best available option half jokingly not expected them to actually make this move.

and for the millionth time, we can't trade dampier. we trade him, we are wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy over the tax. unless its a weird 4 team deal and even then i'm not sure but a 2 team deal there is no way. our payroll is around 79 million right now. we waive dampier and we're a few million under the tax line. we trade him and we're atleast around 76ish. best case scenario.

let's review for all the idiots that can't figure it out. waive him = under the luxury tax line. trade him = way over the luxury tax line.

dumbest front office in the league (minnesota edges us out because they got beasley for a 2nd rounder).

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 24, 2010 9:20:01 AM

Higgins says they plan to trade not waive. So either they are planning for being over the tax or getting a bad contract to go away with it and miraculously getting under it.

Is Chandler 11mil better than Kwame? Nah. Tyson has bigger hands but he's still glass and can't catch. Neither can shoot free throws the way true pros should so I'm more worried about that. We still need a center. I'm happy with every other spot on the roster.

Posted by: Altheus | Aug 25, 2010 11:29:37 AM

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