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May 06, 2011

So how do they make this better?

I asked a simple question today of several NBA executives: Who is worse off than the Bobcats? Here’s what I heard, and I thought it was enlightening:

          There are four franchises clearly in a worse situation than the Bobcats: Cleveland, Detroit, Washington and Sacramento, according to these execs. Doesn’t mean the Bobcats won’t rebound. But they’re at a serious tipping point: They traded away Gerald Wallace because they thought they wouldn’t get any better with him.

          That very well might be true. The real question is whether they’ll convert what they got for him – draft picks, payroll reduction, Dante Cunningham – for something that makes them better than they were.

          That, inevitably, is the real question. Will they pull this off?

Posted by Observer Sports on May 6, 2011 at 11:13 PM | Permalink


I think Wahington is better because they have young players and are making an effort. The Maloofs want to move, but are staying put next year and their city is behind them.

Posted by: Digal704 | May 7, 2011 12:24:04 AM

I don't think they will. They have drafted poorly and made poor personnel moves since their inception. Why stop now?

Posted by: Brad | May 7, 2011 12:37:03 AM

Rick, remember what happened to the Chicago Bulls several years ago......well the Bobcats still have a 1.7% chance of landing the number one pick, if that madness occurred, we would be in good shape. And if we got a top 3 pick, I would renew my season tix for next year, which I decided not to do the minute they traded Gerald.

Posted by: Elliot Motaleb | May 7, 2011 12:54:11 AM

Is there any chance the Cats could move nine and nineteen to get into the top five; where a guard could still be available? DJ didn't break through to another level this year and had plenty of opportunity.

Posted by: HPCatsFan | May 7, 2011 1:29:11 AM

maybe the broader question would be whether the MJ's would have been better off with Chandler (or Emeka), Wallace and Felton

In this league you have got to be able to a) draft well, b) trade well, and c) sign the right FA's to complete. Balancing these three maximizes the efficiency of the payroll (look at how Memphis built their team)

best hope is that players and the league replace the luxury cap with a hard cap, eliminate the mid-cap exception, which will force good Free Agents to sign with Charlotte

Posted by: bobfan1 | May 7, 2011 7:12:42 AM

I occasionally try to watch an NBA game, and mystified how that sport continues to put people in the seats. I understand the players are great, but the game is awful. Either the people who attend are getting in free, or there's some sort of ego thing going on to be able to attend. You can see just as exciting a game at the local Y.

Posted by: JRUD | May 7, 2011 7:37:06 AM

As long as Jordan and his caddy/drink boy Higgins are making the decisions, the answer is a resounding NO.

Posted by: TP | May 7, 2011 8:35:08 AM

I think we'll start finding out this summer if the Bobcats are headed in the right direction. Armed with draft picks and more available cap space than they've had before (at least that I can remember), they have a shot. Just wish the draft was a little stronger this year though.

Posted by: PantherDave | May 7, 2011 9:37:00 AM

With the right trades and draft picks anything is possible. The main issue was the cap space, with Pryzbilla gone(7mil) and the right trade to get Diaw's 9mil gone we can get some young talent here. I would go after Kaman, Mayo whom Memphis I think would let go on the cheap and Young from Philly. Add those pieces with what we have would be a boost in itself.

Posted by: drew | May 7, 2011 9:37:52 AM

They can't trade both picks in advance of the draft. League rules require teams to exercise a first-round pick at least every other year, and they didn't exercise one in 2010. Now, there are ways around that (you pick someone and then trade his rights later), but it's complicated, particularly with a lockout looming.
My point: They could not simply trade 19 and their lottery pick right now for a top-5 pick.

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | May 7, 2011 11:02:19 AM

look at Chandler. He plays way harder in Dallas than he did here. What's the difference? Will players not just play for Charlotte but also play hard? A part of that is playing 5 on 8 bcz the refs help the other team so often that the Bobcats play heads down, also-ran type games. The other was Larry Brown. I think next season will be much better due to Silas and our players developing faster. The young guys are excited to play and can play.

Posted by: Altheus | May 7, 2011 12:01:15 PM

you and others complain but didnt watcha dam game last year, because if you did you would have know chandler was coming off ankle surgery during the summer and took time to heal, but in the playoffs he completely shut howard down, i said it and made the statements on these boards many times , that trading chandler was a big mistake, if wallace, felton, chandler, jackson would have played together we would have made the playoffs as a 7 seed..so jordan mess the team up by letting everyone go..now lets see what are his plans for the future..

Posted by: panther nation | May 7, 2011 12:18:32 PM

I'm a STH....did watch and so did Gerald Wallace, who called Chandler out on playing weak. Derrick Rose is playing on a bum ankle and he's still putting it all out. Chandler did not shut down Howard. If he did, our guys wouldn't have needed to play off the three point line on defense so much.

Posted by: Altheus | May 7, 2011 3:29:19 PM

Bobcats? Is there an NBA team in town? Do more than maybe 14 people care?

Posted by: BarelyCareAnymore | May 7, 2011 4:22:49 PM

Washington is clearly better having mcgee, wall, blatche on a talent level but wall and blatche aren't looking like they'll amount to winners at all.

Detroit is the worst because they are just lost.

Golden state is worse off than we are. New jersey too unless williams resigns there. Orlando is horrible if dwight leaves. Toronto is worse. They have no pieces. Minnesota is questionable. They have so many young pieces that in a few years they could either be okc/atlanta/indiana or they could be minnesota. Boston is a year or 2 away from implosion. Green davis and rondo won't equal rings.

We aren't 5th worst overall in future outlook. We have several solid young'ns we just need jackson's replacement (barnes ideally) and a legit 5 man.

Posted by: charlottean | May 7, 2011 4:46:26 PM

Rick - The 1st round rule is a little different than you wrote. The rule is you must maintain a FUTURE 1st round pick in consecutive years. What happened in the past (2010) isn't part of the rule. ("Ted Stepien Rule")


If on the night before the draft of every year you choose to trade away your #1 for that year, you can do that, since you are not violating the future consecutive year rule.

That stated, they can not trade away BOTH 2011 #1's prior to THIS year's draft because their #1 for 2012 is already traded away (conditionally) for Thomas and that would leave them with no FUTURE #1's two years in a row.

Since the rule is FUTURE, that ends the MOMENT the #9 pick is chosen (the #19 pick is Nola's). So a nano second after the #9 is chosen, they could package up the rights to that player plus the #19 pick (still in the future for another hour) and trade them to another team without violating the FUTURE 2 year consecutive year rule.

They can not trade their 2013 pick, since 2012 is conditionally gone. The conditional 2013 pick from Portland in the Wallace trade doesn't count since it is conditional.

Bottom line, you can't be in a position where the possibility exists that you don't have FUTURE 1st round draft pick two years in a row.

Posted by: bobfan1 | May 7, 2011 6:32:10 PM

K! maybe I am missing the point....... Did anyone see how well we played w/out TT,Livingston,Jack at the end of the season.... Like Charlottean said a "5" and I say Diaw gone for a Shooter.. I hate "shooters", but what are you going to do.

Posted by: 10-4! | May 8, 2011 1:17:40 AM

I know why we should keep Diaw... I am done!! That's it! Diaw could be like a "better" Randolph! I'm done that's it!
Move ON!!!! IT IS OVER WITH BORIS DIAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: David Stern has to go!! | May 8, 2011 1:32:45 AM

Diaw is in a contract year. If we are ever going to see him play to his full potential it will be this season. Of course then we will have to trade him or watch him walk at the end of year. It will be interesting to see then they move him.

Posted by: Gary | May 8, 2011 7:00:40 AM

We just have to be patient with Jordan and his crew. Let's see what they do in the future. Everybody around here is so ready to judge before the jury has had their say.

Posted by: acc04 | May 8, 2011 10:32:16 AM

You guys miss the whole point on diaw every year. Every year it's all "he's out of shape" " he's fat" etc. The guy is overpaid at 9 million no question. But better him @ 9 than jason richardson at 13 or 14 or whatever. The guy is clearly in great shape given that he runs the floor well EVERY play, racks up a ton of minutes and hasn't missed a game in YEARS.

All that said, his ceiling is clear because of his lack of aggression. He's still entirely to skilled and to versatile to not want to keep him as a role player for 5 million a year. You can't find guys like him for that kind of price. We can't just say "we'll replace him with young talent". Young talent isn't available. Unless a great deal emerges between now and next summer, you keep the guy and charlotte should embrace the guy that consistently shows up and plays hard.

Sure we want him to score more but that's asking ron artest to be level-headed. the whole fat and out of shape bit is misinformed. Not everybody has the genetics of dwight howard or lebron james or the gym mentality. But there's a lot of those guys on our team that don't run the floor as well as diaw either.

In his case, it's cheaper to keep her....him.

Posted by: charlottean | May 8, 2011 10:57:48 AM

I'm not ready to judge this team! I think the problem is, the Hornets got to fair of a shake from the local media and fans when they were here. The Hornets were awful and sold out every game. I just think expectations now for a pro-franchise are to high and absolutely ridiculous because the fan-base is spoiled! I believe the Bobcats are heading in the right direction, but in all fairness to them, small markets just struggle in this sport especially when they compete with what little sports dollars there are. The NBA needs to become more like the NFL and try to create a level playing field where every team has a chance to win, so fans in smaller markets don't become indifferent to the game. Right now, five or six teams control the whole league's finances. It's ridiculous!

Posted by: Clay | May 8, 2011 11:07:29 AM

I understand the point and what he(diaw) does and agree.... He is just irritating as hell to know what he could do if he wanted. For that I am ready for him to go. Stupid maybe.

As far as everything else, we are going to be alot better then many expect next season. I am far more excited about the Bobcats than Panthers next season(hopefully).

Posted by: David Stern has to go!! | May 8, 2011 1:37:52 PM

The way to do it will depend on the CBA. If teams are able to franchise players aka the NFL, the pressure for teams to trade great players goes down, ala the NFL. Second avenue is to look for the next Zack Randolph in a trade. Someone who is under 28, once showed great promise but soured somewhere. Rick, does anyone come to mind?

Posted by: HJ | May 8, 2011 2:13:36 PM

we might have the next zach randolph already in D.J. White. we want younger guys than 28. we have augustin, henderson, cunningham (hypothetically), white, thomas, and 2 incoming draft picks all under 25. that's what you build around. you keep diaw brown carroll and jackson on as the vets to help develop without being in the basement and you replace them with the draft picks over the next few years. we can be OKC if we hit on ANY of our draft picks over the next 2 years.

we're looking good. you've got livingston too. we just have to coach up the young guys. that was our problem to begin with. okafor, felton, morrison, may, ajinca, all should have been top tier talent and only morrison and may were due to injuries. the other guys had their development messed with by poor coaching and front office moves specifically lack of time for ajinca and playing out of position for felton and okafor.

we're finally on the right track though. i'm afraid of what this summer could bring though. seems they are any minute away from ruining what we have going.

Posted by: charlottean | May 8, 2011 6:32:48 PM

Seriously -- there's a part of me who enjoys your contrarian views. And D.J. White has some ability as a complementary player. He is NOT, and never will be, what Zach Randolph is in Memphis.

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | May 8, 2011 7:49:11 PM

You need to get true PG(Augstin is not threatening anyone during a playoff run, unless he can become a JJ Barea type..again he should be coming off the bench, which he won't like or accept unlesss someone is waaayyy better than him, a real center to move Tyrus to the 3 or a stretch 4..stronger bench..Gerald Henderson has had a dramatic difference in his game since he was drafted, Diaw has not played since he left Phoenix..Carroll good coming off the bench with Livingston, Cunningham can be good with more mins..I LIVE IN DC and Charlotte is LIGHT years ahead of the Bullets, I mean Wizards.. the mentality in DC is not one of winning nor do they study/work on their craft. They need a new coach and to trade some players away. Lewis, Young, Blatche... I'll take Tyrus thomas off your hands for Andray Blatche... My Lakers got swept.

Posted by: TD | May 9, 2011 9:22:00 AM

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