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February 24, 2011

No more Brown-McGuire debate

-- Well, if nothing else came of today’s trades, at least it ends the silly Derrick Brown-or-Dominic McGuire? Debate.

          They’re both gone in the purge that was today’s two deals.

          Brown and McGuire (along with rookie point guard Sherron Collins) were waived, so that the Bobcats could add players from Portland and Oklahoma City and still stay within the NBA’s 15-player roster limit.

          You can’t simultaneously trade for and waive players. So even if the Bobcats would prefer to keep the guys they had over some of the guys they were getting, that wasn’t an option.

          Some people sure got in a lather over whether Brown or McGuire deserved what spare minutes were available at the forward spots. Ultimately this became one of those “None of the above’’ answers.

          -- I think you already know my perception of these less-is-more payroll-reduction trades. Everyone goes through them once in a while, but it shouldn’t feel like a trend for any one team.

          They’ve now lost Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton and Gerald Wallace for little or nothing. Michael Jordan can keep telling us he’s committed to excellence, but that would be a lot more believable if he’d show up at Rod Higgins' media availability Friday and actually discuss his motives and intentions.

          -- I don’t assume any of the former Portland and Oklahoma City players are keepers beyond this season, but I’d think the two best candidates are Dante Cunningham (Blazers) and D.J. White (Thunder).

          I’m told by Jason Quick of the Oregonian than Cunningham is a fine athlete who kind of got lost in Portland’s depth. White is a young guy who is big (6-9) and shooting 52 percent from the field.

          But if none, or maybe one, of the new guys is here at the start of the 20011-2012 season (which might not actually start in 2011), it wouldn’t be any shock.


Posted by Observer Sports on February 24, 2011 at 11:30 PM | Permalink


Sad day Rick. I moved here the same year the Cats got here and have been a big fan. I would root for GW to do well and win.

Truth, though: if we don't do this now, we are a 7 or 8 seed next two years at best, with a terrible year in the cards down the road in 2013 (and maybe 2012).

Long term - way may look back and say this allowed us to do something that makes us a much better team than a 7-8 seed, with an eye on 2012. It is clear what they are doing. They want to trade for a star and that could not include Wallace, Jackson and Diaw being on the payroll. Maybe they think they can convince Chris Paul to come here, now that the Knicks are capping out. Or, maybe acquiring the assets they need to get Chris Paul this off season in a trade if he forces his hand.

Posted by: HJ | Feb 25, 2011 12:22:54 AM

Ugh. Sad to see Derrick Brown go, but it's been pretty clear that all that promise from his rookie season has disappeared before our eyes.

I really like Cunningham. Liked him a lot when he was at Villanova, and yes, he kinda got lost in the shuffle in Portland. He's a better overall player than Derrick, so I think he's definitely a keeper.

Posted by: Juan José | Feb 25, 2011 12:26:59 AM

Rick, is it possible that we'll only have 8 active players available for tonight's game? I also hear that Przybilla, Peterson and Marks probably will never even play a game for us. Could we then sign Brown and McGuire back? Very concerned that this would leave us with Kwame Brown as our only center.

Posted by: frankie83 | Feb 25, 2011 12:45:42 AM

Don't know what hasn't translated about his game, but White is a former Big 10 Player of the Year, and was a freshman All-American as well as a second-team All-American at Indiana.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Feb 25, 2011 12:48:20 AM

Someone needs to give Higgins/MJ hell in the press conference. This can't stand. They have to be accountable to someone who can ask the tough questions. Do it Rick!

Posted by: I used to sit near Buzz | Feb 25, 2011 1:52:23 AM

Very smart moves by the Cats, this will make us better.

Posted by: trulytimely | Feb 25, 2011 5:40:07 AM

Finally. Great move firing Brown. Now they are actually trying to build a real team. I am sure Knicks, heat and nets fans felt like they were purging at some point as well. You might like covering a middling team Rick, but I don't like rooting for one. Kudos to MJ for making another tough decision. Of course now they need to make some good personnel moves, but at least they are in position to do it. Even if this team made the play-offs. it would have been with a losing record and would have been quickly dispatched. Plus they would have been no better next year. This was a necessary step.

Posted by: Gary | Feb 25, 2011 5:54:23 AM

It would've been a 7th or 8th seed with Wallace, Mohammed, Brown, Mcguire, & Collins if they made the playoffs, so getting rid of them isn't that big of a blow. Now they are in a position to build. I can't say enough how I like the aggressiveness of Jordan, he's not letting sentimental things get in the way of smart business decisions to build a playoff team.

Posted by: D.W.G. | Feb 25, 2011 6:24:55 AM

I'm kind of underwhelmed by the acquisition of 2 draft picks. Tell me again where all of our past draft picks are now? OOPS!!!

Posted by: Claydog | Feb 25, 2011 6:24:59 AM

very very VERY smart move by the 'Cats. ANYONE that knows ANYTHING about basketball would agree.

Posted by: john | Feb 25, 2011 7:27:09 AM

I will say it again, "there is absolutely no way Bobcats are getting a superstar". MJ can purge the heck out of this team, he still won't have anybody of "superstar" status to pay, unless he drafts them. These so called "superstars" want a ring,asap! They are creating these "superteams" by a. going to one that already has a superstar, Wade,Heat or b. going to a club that has a history of winning and desire to do so, Knicks. Charlotte has none of that. These men have money and are getting shoe deals and endorsements. They want to WIN! Yeah thay want to be paid too, but with endorsements that helps to fatten their accounts if the ball club is paying them as much as they are worth. Jordan, at this point is delusional. He's like the old playa at the club who is trying to holla at every chick that walks by and all the chicks do is laugh at him and tell him to take his azz home!

Posted by: digal704 | Feb 25, 2011 7:37:37 AM

Rick, there's no reason to like Cunningham or White more than one might like Derrick Brown. They're all lottery tickets of varying quality. Dominic McGuire is a known quantity, and thus, should not have been playing for this particular team. You've inadvertently indicated that the Brown/McGuire thing WASN'T "silly" by saying you think Cunningham or White are candidates to be keepers. If a guy is a candidate to be a keeper, he should be playing ahead of a known 8th man like McGuire so we can find out.

Posted by: David A. Arnott | Feb 25, 2011 8:15:59 AM

"Charlotte also received the Blazers' first-round pick in 2011 that was acquired from New Orleans in October's trade of Jerryd Bayless, and a first-round pick that is top 12 protected from 2013 through 2015 and unprotected in 2016."

Not quite as attractive as it sounds in our paper is it?

Got this from the Portland newspaper, since our local guys don't like to do any real homework on their stories.

No mention was made either that Bernie Bickerstaff is in Portland now and is the guy behind this deal.

Posted by: Sportsdon | Feb 25, 2011 8:39:11 AM

it doesnt matter where these 1st round picks actually happen. people are missing the bigger picture: under current age, payroll, lineup, we are AT BEST a 7 or 8 seed in the playoffs and we will get swept. then we are drafting 17th, a year older, and deeper into the payroll. NOW we can stink it up for the rest of the year, get a top 7-9 pick in the draft, have lots of cap room, and rebuild through the draft.

Posted by: Paul | Feb 25, 2011 8:47:21 AM

Another article from Portland does mention Bickerstaff's involvement/influence in this trade...
As for the pick this year being from New Orleans via Portland, that's probably good for the Cats, as it will likely be a better pick than it would have been coming straight from Portland. The other pick, the "protected" pick for the next few years, won't matter since Portland won't likely be picking in the top 12 any of those years anyway.

Posted by: The A-Train | Feb 25, 2011 8:56:00 AM

Team probable just as good,future brighter.

Posted by: horse7461 | Feb 25, 2011 8:56:31 AM

Derrick brown could have been the next wallace for us. He had the length athleticism and is a better shooter but hadn't quite learned the game yet. That's not easy on this team when roles have been poorly defined for years.

I have to pray that this is to make the deal work and that brown and collins will be brought back over peterson and marks but my brain tells me higgins and jordan are not smart enough to save money AND keep our young talent.

The worst part is that with wallace gone, brown is the perfect candidate to backup jackson at the 3. And dj white really better work out in this regard. I've seen far more of cunningham to know what we're getting there. If pryzbilla doesn't want to play here, save some money in a favorable buyout and run with marks and cunningham as your backup 5s. If they keep peterson over collins or brown that is just horrible management (again (again)).

Posted by: charlottean | Feb 25, 2011 9:37:30 AM

Rick, very sorry on the passing of your mother - I take it from your earlier comments that there was to be some peace from this.

Changing directions to your article . . . with Mo Pete and Pryz (my understanding) not expected to play a day here; do we have any indication what the FO plans to do w/ the open 2 slots on the roster (or 3 spots as some have said that Marks will never play a day either)?

Is there opportunity in shedding Collins and is there a NBA-DL PG prospect (or maybe someone very inexpensive that Memphis will waive ??? :)) to be the backup to SLiv's knee?

Posted by: Adam | Feb 25, 2011 9:47:40 AM

I really hope MJ knows what he is doing here, because it is starting to seem like he does not.

Two first round picks from Portland? Portland is going to be really good now, I'm not sure how much good that will do us. I see that the Bobcats are trying to repair the damage they did over the last couple of years when they acquired a lot of crappy, expensive, long-term contracts, but I don't think trading the fan favorite for peanuts is the solution.

Posted by: QCKing | Feb 25, 2011 9:48:22 AM

Very sad day for the Bobcats fans. Gerald was the heart and soul of the team - his hustle and leadership meant as much as his statistics. Without him, they will struggle. And Muhammad was a pretty effective scorer in the post, so he will be missed, too. What did they get in return? Some mid-round draft picks and expiring contracts.

Conventional wisdom says that if you aren't contending, then you should do what the Bobcats did and blow the whole thing up. But in the NBA, that strategy rarely works, especially for small market teams. Once you get branded as a losing team, then players don't want to play there.

The Bobcats weren't winning a championship this season, but at least they were competitive and in the playoff hunt. Don't see that happening now, perhaps not for a long time.

Posted by: GSO Cats Fan | Feb 25, 2011 9:55:25 AM

Those picks still matter. A lot of starters in this league were late picks even 2nd round and even undrafted. And picks are still assets to use to get other picks or players. Some teams like san antonio or dallas like later picks better because they cost less and can roll the dice more. They also have real scouting departments and real gms.

San antonio starts 3 late picks and has more off the bench. The celtics have or had several in their rotation. There's a lot of value in those picks. There isn't a lot of value in keeping wallace until he retires.

We don't. Rick you should do a report about our skeleton front office in comparison to the league (small markets included).

Posted by: charlottean | Feb 25, 2011 10:09:43 AM

The mood seems a bit somber. If anyone's interested, I just posted a piece on how this all may work out for the 'Cats in the long run:


Posted by: ASChin | Feb 25, 2011 10:44:33 AM

Have read your posts over the last few days and agree with most of them. I think a few of the common themes being written on these blogs in response to the CO Bobcat articles are a bit suspect. I really don't think that Chris Paul will come to Charlotte he needs a bigger market for his endorsements and from our perspective he is a good distributor of the ball but not a double team kind of player or game on the line type of guy (i.e Derek Rose.) Our past draft picks have been poor in general. The one pick that Jordan personally pushed and endoresed was Adam Morrison, we won't even mention Kwame. I would have much more confidence if MJ would hire people who can truly evaluate talent that is affordable in a small market (i.e. San Antonio) but that will never happen with his ego. Having $$ doesn't equal wise choices just look at the NY Yankees im the 80s. I truly believe that the basketball fans of Charlotte would come out if we had a hard working young team that competed everynight and got better each season. The fans who want stars and who come out to the Laker & Heat games are fair weather basketball fans anyway so why cater to them. I was invited to a cocktail hour for season ticketholders who have yet to renew and MJ was there smoozing and encouraging people to support the Bobcats. I couldn't attend but there is another one sheduled and I will be attending that it should be much more interesting assuming he has the cajones to show up.

Posted by: Bob | Feb 25, 2011 11:17:47 AM

Wallace is a great player - no doubt - but I like the trade. We get three things we need - more draft picks to build the team, more money to spend on FAs and more PT for Henderson. White and Cunningham are young and still have potential. Pryz needs to play for us - hopefully the Bobcats can talk him into finishing the season. I think the Cats will bring back Brown and McGuire after they buy-out Peterson and Marks. I know people are saying we gave away Chandler, Felton and now Wallace - but what did those guys really win? 8th place? I would rather not make the playoffs and get in the lottery than finish 8th...

Posted by: I-Like-It | Feb 25, 2011 11:48:45 AM

After this trade, the Bobcats can expect to lose many fairweather fans - mostly, those who started supporting the team when it was successful (the latter part of last season).
Like them or dislike them, fairweather fans are very important as a base of support for any small market franchise. Losing them in droves is unaffordable financially.

What's worse, yesterday's trades are also alienating true core fans. I went through all of the fans' comments posted since yesterday. There are 212 comments posted so far just under Rick's main article on this!!
You can clearly see that there are two main points of view between true fans: those who believe that these trades give an opportunity to improve the team in the following seasons, and those who doubt this, who are disappointed with the moves and see them as more negative than positive. And yes, some fans are in between these two opposites.

My point is: all sorts of fans - fairweather and even core - are among those disappointed with these trades, and this franchise can't afford financially to lose any of them.

Posted by: Sandy | Feb 25, 2011 12:35:32 PM


I agree that we need all types of fans to support the team. I think the key will be whether we are still in the playoff chase down to the final game. If so fans will still view the team as being competitive and having the potential resources to bring about a better future. I think the acquisition of OJ Mayo by the Pacers pretty much triggered this. The Knicks either stayed or got better at the 6 spot with Melo. The 76ers stayed even at the 7 spot and the Pacers got better at the eight spot. If we did nothing we would be trying to catch up to a better Pacers team and do not have the tie breaker on them.

We can only hope the CATS get their front office and scouting model together to best utilize these new resources. Dante Cunnigham may surprise people he has 18 points and 13 boards in 21 minutes against Kevin Love a few games ago. He also led Villanova to a final 4 and played well in the NCAAs

Posted by: Bob | Feb 25, 2011 1:29:01 PM

Bob, there was no Indiana acquisition of OJ Mayo from Memphis. The league office didn't receive the call in time (before 2pm) and there was mention that there was no agreement within the Memphis org. to make that trade (which is why it was late). So, the Grizz still have 328 guards and Josh McRoberts is still in Indiana (unless something has happened today that I didn't catch)

Posted by: Adam | Feb 25, 2011 1:36:09 PM

I should have added to my post that the deal fell through but at the trading dealine ESPN and other notable sources wre reporting the deal and you wonder whether it pushed Jordan's hand a bit.

Posted by: Bob | Feb 25, 2011 1:44:42 PM

Bernie Bickerstaff didn't have anything to do with this deal. It's just coincidence that he's in Portland now. Portland wanted Wallace two years ago when Raef Lafrentz was an expiring contract and Charlotte pulled out of the deal then because Portland wouldn't trade Batum then either.

Anybody who think Chris Paul is going to Charlotte needs to pull their head out of their ...

Posted by: wow | Feb 25, 2011 1:55:28 PM

And one more thing...Cunningham was the first big off the Blazer bench. He's a smart ball player with a ton of heart. If he sticks in Charlotte, the fans will love him.

Posted by: wow | Feb 25, 2011 1:57:30 PM

Bob, I like your optimism, especially because it's guarded, or moderate (not a fanfare-like one). I'll say it honestly, it's the first time in this team's seven seasons that I'm not optimistic (also, the first time I'm really angry at MJ!).

For the rest of this season, the team is weakened, and to me, that's unacceptable. I believe in an incremental approach to getting better, not in this kind of slash-and-burn.

We lost one of our two best veterans. We're losing intangibles that matter a lot - Gerald's heart and commitment to our team, team chemistry - and also, numbers: scoring from the wings OVERALL (even assuming, as I do, that Hendo will do well as a starter) and rebounding. Heck, we just lost our best rebounder, who also happens to be the top rebounding SF in the league!
We lost Nazr too. Przybilla can give us defense and make up for Nazr's rebounding, but he never had Nazr's offensive skills.
We are left with Jax only at SF.
Dante Cunningham and D.J. White have both been good college players, but, they have very little NBA experience. Also, we needed an additional back-up PF, not two.

About the future, who knows?! That's exactly what makes this a gamble. The two first round picks we got won't be high ones; so, we can forget about getting here "the new Derrick Rose" (or, Blake Griffin - you name him). We can both hope and worry (given the management's track record) regarding FAs signings. But it's not realistic to except any really big name signing, even if we have room under the salary cap (because top players look for contenders, not for rebuilding projects).
Anyway, if you look around the league, you see teams that have been struggling for years with their rebuilding projects, even when they got some really talented draft picks.

I would've liked to see an incremental effort to get better gradually. After all, this is a team that improved year after year in its first six seasons, and only LB's return this season to a place where he didn't really wanted to be anymore - with the consequence of his pushing his quirks one notch higher this season - prevented this season from bringing some measure of improvement over the last one.

It's not the approach we get from our gambler/team owner.

Posted by: Sandy | Feb 25, 2011 4:25:17 PM

Sandy the picks are still valuable. There are plenty of nba starters that don't go top 15. Wallace and jackson both. Parker, ginobli, blair, granger, turkoglu if I'm not mistaken, chalmers, boubouis, jrue holliday, ant morrow, david lee, turiaf, rondo, big baby, calderon, mcgee, ben wallace, hickson, varejao, sessions, gibson, etc.

Even if the picks weren't lottery protected the odds of a 1 or 2 pick are low and there's high risk with those high picks as opposed to the cheaper lower picks. There are a lot of top 15 flops out there too. The picks are very valuable if used properly.

Posted by: charlottean | Feb 26, 2011 12:22:37 PM

As you said, charlottean, IF...

Posted by: Sandy | Feb 26, 2011 4:18:11 PM

charlottean, Jackson and Wallace both were not contributors for a while, and Jackson wasn't even more than a bit player until he was on his third team! Trading Crash for guys that are likely to warm the bench for several years is HARDLY a way to get your fanbase excited.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Feb 27, 2011 9:50:02 PM

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