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December 20, 2011

Bobcats get Cunningham offer sheet

Late Tuesday afternoon, the Charlotte Bobcats received the Memphis Grizzlies' offer sheet on forward Dante Cunningham. The Bobcats have 3 days to decide whether to match.

Rod Higgins, the Bobcats' player-personnel chief, told the Observer the team will at least wait until Wednesday to make a decision.

The deal is for three seasons, the third season at the team's option. Cunningham would make $2 million this season -- roughly double the Bobcats' qualifying offer to restrict his free-agency -- and slightly more in the second and third seasons. So by matching, the Bobcats would be obligated to about $4 million over this season and next.

Cunningham came to the Bobcats from Portland as part of the package for Gerald Wallace. He played fairly well the second half of last season, mostly as a reserve small forward.

Since then, the Bobcats traded for Corey Maggette and signed free agent Derrick Brown at small forward. Brown had an impressive performance  Monday against the Atlanta Hawks, with 10 points and 10 rebounds in 25 minutes. 

Posted by Observer Sports on December 20, 2011 at 05:58 PM | Permalink


do s sign and trade for Vasquez a bigger point guard

Posted by: fan | Dec 20, 2011 6:34:54 PM

Let him go. With the philly incident and that he doesn't offer much more than what we have, it isn't worth the spot.

Posted by: Altheus | Dec 20, 2011 6:38:12 PM

I'm ok with them letting him walk. I'd rather see UPS (Derrick Brown) get more playing time anyways.

Posted by: PantherDave | Dec 20, 2011 7:04:50 PM

Let him go and you'll be sorry. Maggette is not going to hold up over 66 games -- maybe not even 33 games -- and Brown will need some help.

Posted by: Onlooker | Dec 20, 2011 7:07:00 PM

We're full now anyway. Last I counted 15 on the roster. We do need some guard help though, make a trade. We have an abundance of forwards.

Posted by: Tim | Dec 20, 2011 7:08:59 PM

Last year I was really hoping that Dante would be back. After the Philly thing and with Derrick Brown back, I see no harm in letting him go. I slightly agree with the post above about Maggette not lasting, but I think we can take a risk. I feel Brown will deliver.

Posted by: Mike | Dec 20, 2011 7:25:40 PM

Sign him and trade him. Need a second rounder to replace the one lost in the Mullens deal.

Posted by: Cranky | Dec 20, 2011 8:45:29 PM

Ups can hold his spot. Prefer a 3 that can shoot consistantly, not be an adventure everytime he rises up for the jumpshot.

Posted by: C Ya Dante | Dec 20, 2011 9:23:15 PM

It's a tough call, but I say sign him. He's a VERY under-rated player. His jumper is money, something you can not say for Brown. In 22 games with us he shot 50% from the field, and most of those were jumpers. He also averaged 13 PPG off the bench in the month of April. I hate to lose him and watch him blow up elsewhere.

Posted by: Bobcat Matt | Dec 20, 2011 9:35:34 PM

For what it's worth, DC's shooting percentage in 22 games with the Bobcats last year was .508.

Posted by: Onlooker | Dec 20, 2011 9:36:40 PM

Match the offer. This guy has a higher upside than Brown, though I like his play. 4mil isn't a huge investment to see how he developed. Plus, he was a big plus in the Wallace trade. Let him go, and you pretty much traded Wallace and Jackson for Maggette and a high draft pick.

Posted by: Phillip | Dec 20, 2011 10:00:07 PM

I hope they resign him. I didn't realize Derrick Brown had earned a nickname already?

Posted by: Kevin | Dec 20, 2011 10:38:22 PM

Sorry, but there's NO VACANCY! Enjoy the ribs and BBQ in Memphis.

Posted by: Derrick Brown | Dec 20, 2011 10:59:48 PM

I think that they may match and will release Ely to make room

Posted by: Steve | Dec 20, 2011 11:06:58 PM

I would rather have cunningham on the roster than ely or najera but I d also rather he not take minutes away from derrick brown or dj white. All three are solid youngns who need minutes to grow.

He's worth the money though. And you never know when somebody will get injured. Deals like that....short term small money for quality players are never a problem. If you decide its a mistake there is ALWAYS a taker via trade.

Let's not blow the philly thing outta proportion. 9 Out of 10 pro athletes smoke weed. Esp. Nba players.

Posted by: charlottean | Dec 20, 2011 11:52:43 PM

Interesting stats. It's not horrible to keep the kid but a tall point guard is needed more right now.

Posted by: Altheus | Dec 21, 2011 2:11:11 AM

This is a tough one. I say match the offer. Maggette will not last all year and UPS will need help. 4 million is not that bad.

Posted by: D.W.G. | Dec 21, 2011 5:19:13 AM

sign him and trade him for a future 1st rd pick.. he's a great player and other teams would love to trade for his services.. i think he's got potential all star abilities.. him and ely on the block could be our startn front court for years to come!!

Posted by: red | Dec 21, 2011 8:20:21 AM

Phillip: We traded Gerald Wallace for Dante, Joel's expiring contract and Portlands 2013 1st round pick.

Is Dante better than some players in our 15 right now? Yes. Do we really have the minutes to allow him to play? No. I like him, like his game and what he brings. Unless we clear another contract like Najera's I'm not interested at the moment.

Posted by: DanielTDenny | Dec 21, 2011 8:55:50 AM

we got 2 first rounders for wallace. one was 2011 (which we traded to milwaukee and moved up to get biyombo) and the other is the conditional in 2013.

we got cunningham, pryz, 2 firsts for crash; and we sent jackson and livingston for maggette and the swicheroo on the first rounders. neither deal was bad at all. regardless of what we do, we got rid of aging high paid veterans who weren't winning and got solid young guys and a future pick.

and if we need a tall point guard....we can always sign cunningham, move everybody up a spot at the 4 and move boris to backup pg. it'd look something like this.

1 - augustin/boris
2 - henderson/walker/carroll
3 - maggette/brown
4 - thomas/white/cunningham
5 - biyombo/mullens

you could tinker with that 2nd team a bit but diaw can guard the 3 so if you have walker guarding the 1 and brown or maggette or henderson guarding the 2.

just another reason why we need to resign boris after the season instead of trading him at the deadline.

Posted by: charlottean | Dec 21, 2011 9:35:02 AM

I wonder if Diaw would have ever predicted that the team would be reliant on him? It's just hard to believe.

Posted by: long | Dec 21, 2011 9:51:58 AM

How many of these posts are from Rod Higgins and his minions over at the Bobcats?

Give me a f'ing break. Anyone who thinks a broken down Najera or Ely is better for this team than Cunningham is delusional or a Friend of Michael. There is a reason a better team signed the guy to an offer sheet and the worse team is supposed to just "let him walk" because some are of the opinion he can't play here? Sure, you know more than the front office of the Grizzlies.

If Higgins lets him walk its further evidence that there is no commitment or desire to win here, just save money.

Posted by: Ron | Dec 21, 2011 10:46:45 AM

Trade Boris Diaw to Boston for this 2012 First Round, 2013 Second Round, and 2014 Second Round and maybe a player we can cut. and sign Dante Cunnignham.

Posted by: dakingnc | Dec 21, 2011 10:52:31 AM

Long, The team has been reliant on Diaw the whole time:

1. Acquiring Boris and Bell for J-Rich and Dudley is the reason we had a big jump in wins for the 2008-09 season. We had nothing resembling a 4-man that year until Boris.

2. Larry Brown said that with a small market team you have to get versatile players to fill multiple roster spots. Boris is that concept personified. And that is what he has done.

3. For all the talk of Boris being lethargic year after year, he pretty much starts every game he is healthy. Now, why would that be? Maybe because he can switch out on picks and guard multiple positions with the best of them? Maybe because he keeps other teammates happy by feeding them shots?

Posted by: DeLaQuest | Dec 21, 2011 10:52:51 AM


I like the fact that you try to come up with creative ways to get this cluster of players to work. Diaw's PG tendencies from the forward spot combined with Walker's SG tendencies from the PG spot offer some interesting playcalling possibilities. Is there a term for a lineup where the players guard a certain position but then play a different one on the offensive end? We need to come up with one. An "end switch" lineup, perhaps? ("Diaw guarding the 4 and playing the 1. Walker guarding the 1 but playing the 2. Looks like we have an 'end switch' crew in here, Steve....")

Posted by: DeLaQuest | Dec 21, 2011 11:02:06 AM

The fact that Magette is already hurt before he's even played a game is reason enough to match the offer to Cunningham.

Posted by: apauldds | Dec 21, 2011 11:05:37 AM

just listen to the players we are freaking talking about... cunningham, diaw, ely, mullens, nahara?? who are these scrubs?? the bobcats could be the worse team in nba history this year... simply unwatchable

Posted by: red | Dec 21, 2011 11:18:42 AM

everyone harks on how out of shape diaw is yet he runs the floor better than anybody outside of our point guards. there is a difference between being overweight, and having mass. and i'm not talking on some mac from always sunny in philly ish either. hate to use the cliche of "big boned" but it completely applies here. sean may had a similar build but couldn't maintain it, and had bad knees and lacked athleticism due to the combo.

and everybody looks at his stats and shrugs but dude would probably lead the league in hockey assists, and while he doesn't rebound, he boxes out with the best and it allows our 1's and 2's to get rebounds. any good, well trained basketball player should know........you box out and if the ball comes right to you, you grab it but if not, the guards are supposed to crash in to recover the ball since their men are supposed to be getting back to protect. diaw stays doing the right thing in those situations.

as for red,

these are the same kind of scrubs that develop into solid role players. none are STARS (which we're hoping we land in the next draft) but all are capable of being great role players. nobody used to talk about kendrick perkins or rajon rondo either and now they make 10 million a year and get all-star consideration and considered franchise cornerstones. nobody talked about ibaka or sefolosha or maynor either. nobody talked about anybody until they were given a chance to prove themselves.

and the only thing any of us are saying about ely or najera is waive em. mullens is 22 and 7 feet tall. cunningham is 24 and 6 foot 8 with skills. dude could easily have a kurt thomas like career. you don't know these names because they're new. and diaw is some scrub for the hawks and suns to have employed him highly as well. for him to of been traded for names like joe johnson and jason richardson. some scrub. some guy who starts for and captains the french national team that includes names like batum, parker, noah, peitrus, seraphin, de colo, etc. and has included mahinmi, turiaf, petro, moiso, etc.

think about that for a second. some scrub THAT guy is.

but yea, they should sign cunningham and waive ely and or najera. the only reason NOT to sign cunningham is if his agent and he request that we not sign him. which would be surprising but given the amount of 4's we have, not crazy.

Posted by: charlottean | Dec 21, 2011 12:11:06 PM

Ron. Sounds like you know more than most front offices. It will be cool when you go from posting on the Observer blog to a job as an NBA GM.

Posted by: Cranky | Dec 21, 2011 12:44:18 PM


You're right and I remember that Joel P was in that trade, but I meant more in terms of players actually on the court. In my opinion, Wallace was too good to end up being salary cap relief and a first round pick, which is what it would end up being if Dante is allowed to walk. I remember people being high on (no pun intended, but still a little ironic) Dante and his potential. If you can get a guy for 4mil over two years, then I say keep him and see how he develops. I like Najera's tough play, but the team knows what he gives you. I also like the other players, but I think there are enough minutes to see what this guy gives you. Especially if the injuries keep piling up.

Posted by: Phillip | Dec 21, 2011 2:52:19 PM

I Don't trust Maggette to stay healthy.

I Don't trust Derek Brown to make smart decisions with the ball and not be a total spaz.

I Don't trust Najera for anything other than a quick substitute to give someone else a rest.

If you're trying to build a young team - SIGN Cunningham and struggle through this year looking for next year.

Posted by: on and on | Dec 21, 2011 4:04:25 PM

Hey Bobcats fan, hope all is well. I was reading some of these posts and some of you guys are slightly delusional. I am not a Boobcats fan but I will tell you from a 3rd person fan perspective, some of the proposed deals I see on here are comical. The only thing going for the Bobcats is Kemba/Biyombo/T.Thomas and the cap space the team will eventually have for being so darn cheap. To the kid that says they should trade Diaw to Boston for picks...lolwut? This isn't 2006, and Diaw's stock is not very high throughout the league. There is not an attractive player on the Bobcat's roster other than the 3 I named. Dante will probably be going to Memphis, but if the Bobcats do match it will likely not make a difference at all.

Posted by: Mike Wells | Dec 21, 2011 4:30:12 PM

Thanks for the input Mike Wells, but don't you think we know it's a rebuilding period? We're not talking about what to do to make the playoffs, we're talking about how to add the pieces, slowly but surely that will build a foundation for success. DC might not make a difference this season but he has a ton of potential. Like Charlottean said, you've got to have the roll players to be successful when and if a star is added to the roster.

Posted by: apauldds | Dec 21, 2011 4:44:55 PM

hate to break it to you mike but diaw's stock is actually pretty solid in the league as a roll player. i bet LA would give up artest for diaw immediately. might even throw in a pick or 2.

the reason that deal is comical is because boston can't trade for diaw without sending salary back because they are over the cap. not because boston wouldn't kill to have a guy like diaw on their bench right now. diaw is not a star or a 1st option, but the guy is a GREAT glue guy. ideal rotation player for a contender. and he's on an expiring deal of 9 million. A LOT of teams would be interested in a short term boost where they could clear some debt also.

thanks for not using logic.

Posted by: charlottean | Dec 21, 2011 5:46:32 PM

Where's your source saying that the Lakers would be willing to give up Metta for Diaw? Your opinion of Diaw is obviously higher than any GM in the league..even if he was a "GREAT glue guy" like you claim he is, only a GM like Michael Jordan would give up a 1st round draft pick for him. Diaw's stock is lower now than its been since 2005, before he had his breakout season. He's still overweight and is clearly on the down side of his career.

If your logic is to give up multiple draft picks for an overweight, soon-to-be thirty year old journeyman "glue guy"....I suggest that you question your own logic.

Posted by: Mike Wells | Dec 21, 2011 9:15:44 PM

1 - I wasn't the one that said multiple picks. and i also never said anything about lottery picks. contenders and veteran based high payroll teams like the lakers and celtics often give away their 1st rounders because they don't want to pay for a kid they aren't possibly going to play and ruin his career by doing so.

2 - it's not like here is the only place diaw started. he started and or played big minutes in atlanta and pheonix also. he's played significant minutes his entire 8 year career. like i stated above, he not only starts on, but captains a VERY strong french national team littered with nba starters and international stars.

3 - DUDE HAS AN EXPIRING CONTRACT. call danny ainge right now and ask him if he wouldn't give up a first rounder for diaw right now. guarun effing tee he would say "if stern would let me get an injury exception for jeff green" ARTEST is owed about 22 million over the next 3 years and is 2 and a half years older than diaw. he plays one position. diaw is owed 9 million THIS YEAR ONLY. he plays 5 positions. any gm is doing that deal. especially kupchak sorry. the lakers have been trying to move artest since about 3 months after he signed there.

4 - overweight and out of shape is a myth. dude has started ALL 223 games as a bobcat. hasn't missed one. not one effing game. dude logged 35+ mpg during that span. running the floor better than most guards. eff outta here with baseless misperceptions.

Posted by: charlottean | Dec 21, 2011 9:46:27 PM

Michael Jordan claims he want to bill the team though the draft and with young players, he has a chance to get a young skill player now for only about 2 mill a year let' see what he is going to do will he try to upgrade the talent on this team or will he keep using that lame excuse about about being a small market team,personally I thank owning a NBA team is way over his head he has no ideal what he is doing point in case he should of sign that Tyler kid his GM drafted in the 2nd round of the 2011 draft instead of selling him to Golden State for some more gambling money, he would had look good coming off our bench and developing when we let K. Brown walk also I should say to Golden State. A team that is trying to win and is not in it just for someones BIG EGO. Come On Michael you got Dante Cunningham's Offer Sheet MATCH IT or if you cannot afford the team do like you told someone else (SELL THE TEAM) to someone who can built a descend team for Charlotte we deserved it.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2011/12/21/2865226/bobcats-on-clock-for-cunningham.html#storylink=cpy

Posted by: TWC | Dec 22, 2011 2:45:22 AM

Cunningham is the only true sf . Magette is short for sf and is always injured. Hes injured now. Cunningham plays solid defense , good passer, runs the floor and takes great shots within the flow of the offense. He will get you 13 pts a night . Theres a reaon magette has never stayed with a team long and has been traded a ton of times. Hes very selfish on offense which will have a bearing on team morale. Watch.

Posted by: Ironman | Dec 22, 2011 6:11:42 AM

TWC. So every time the Bobcats decide to not sign a player it's about Money? How about the Biyomo buyout? The Mullens signing? Guess those were free.

Posted by: Cranky | Dec 22, 2011 6:17:38 AM

Had to lol at "point in case".

Posted by: apauldds | Dec 22, 2011 8:43:14 AM

I agree with Charlottean on the lakers trading Metta for Diaw. But the only way they throw in a first rounder is if they think they can get someone worth a first round pick during the following free agency period.

As far as the value of Boris Diaw, I agree with Mike Wells. Boris' value is not high at all. Other GM's in major market cities would love to have him as a back up and a rotational guy but what do they have to give up? A late first round draft pick? Later for that. Out of the 30 teams in the NBA there are maybe 5 teams that would actually make a move for Diaw because everyone else wants young talent.

Posted by: CJ | Dec 22, 2011 9:28:16 AM

I am talking about spending some money on a player that can help and grow with this team not 500,000 on a player buy off that you drafted, by the way he had to come up with the other 1 MILLION himself and trading for another SMALL MARKET TEAM as Michael puts it 3th center is not something you can point to with pride and say we are building something again I say CHARLOTTE DESERVES BETTER.

Posted by: TWC | Dec 22, 2011 10:40:30 AM

Charlottean makes perfect sense.

Posted by: mikey | Dec 22, 2011 10:54:57 AM

Yes. Lets considering passing on Dante Cunningham an example of not investing in the team. What a joke. Regardless of what postion Mullens plays, any idea what he makes? Of course you don't. Doesn't help your argument.

Posted by: Cranky | Dec 22, 2011 11:12:45 AM

CJ I hear you and agree except the 5 teams thing. I think the real number is more like 8-10. basically any contending playoff team.

obviously a rebuilding team wouldn't really want boris long term, but the expiring contract makes him an ideal trade partner for a team looking to get rid of a 2 or 3 year deal for the 1 year deal. not to mention his selflessness helps develop young talent.

AND I WANT TO BE CLEAR, I DON'T WANT THEM TO TRADE THE GUY. I THINK HE'S PERFECT FOR WHAT WE HAVE AROUND HIM EVEN LONG TERM. HE CAN BE THE ONE VETERAN AMONGST THE YOUNG'NS TO KIND OF GUIDE THEM A LITTLE BIT. KEEP IT STEADY. and dude has beena rock healthwise. can't say that about anybody else on the roster except maybe DJ or matt carroll and neither of them have logged the minutes diaw has.

I think you resign the guy to a 2 or 3 year deal after the season is over in the 5 mil a year range. go draft barnes and we're basically set. the only issue left would be developing the players, letting the cream rise to the top and figuring out which way to go with the pg position.

but to say dude has no trade value is just idiotic. to say he has low value with an expiring contract for an nba starter is idiotic. contenders hunt for guys like that every year.

Posted by: charlottean | Dec 22, 2011 11:14:30 AM

completely forgot to add that the lakers have a trade exception because of the lamar odom trade. conveniently right at 9 million or boris' salary for the year.

Posted by: charlottean | Dec 22, 2011 2:59:42 PM

Boris definitely has value. Might as well get a pick for him before the trade deadline.

Charlottean. Any idea how much Mullens makes?

Posted by: Cranky | Dec 22, 2011 3:51:59 PM

3rd year of rookie scale; this year should have been ~1.3 million; we have until the 25th to pick up his option for next year @ 2.25 mil, QO after that at 3.3.

june 2013 looks pretty effing sweet. between carroll, diop and maggette, we have ~21.8 million coming off the books.

bobcats fans pray we don't eff THAT up. if all goes right, we draft well the next 2 years and have cap room to extend the guys that will matter without overpaying. and we keep the core group together 5+ years and keep this coaching staff in tact as well. we can all dream about it and pray to the basketball gods every night for it. that and harrison barnes.

Posted by: charlottean | Dec 22, 2011 4:07:23 PM

Thank you for the info. We will definitely need a player at the 3. Should be interesting to see how this draft class shapes up. Looks good so far.

Posted by: Cranky | Dec 22, 2011 4:26:31 PM

***25th of january.

Posted by: charlottean | Dec 22, 2011 6:01:59 PM

you think MJ is gonna pay double????
see ya dante...

Posted by: Scott | Dec 22, 2011 8:04:34 PM

charlottean, as I said earlier. Your love for Diaw far surpasses most logical GMs in the NBA. The fact that he was the captain of the French national team that had maybe 4 or 5 notable NBA players means little to nothing. Do you want me to give you a list of international players who dominate non-NBA competition but did jack isht in the NBA? And him not missing games doesn't have jack isht to do with him being fat.

I am not saying he sucks, never did. And I never specifically called you out saying that YOU were the retard that said he's worth multiple draft picks, so I have no idea why you are so butthurt about it in the first place.

But if you think a team is gonna give up a 1st round pick (possibly a young prospect w/higher potential) for a physically apathetic Diaw, you should probably stick to being an NBA 2K virtual GM, because in real life that makes no sense.

And also, you referring to Diaw's days in ATL and PHX have is meaningless. That's like referring to Shaquille O'Neal last season based on his days in LAL and MIA. Stop it.

Diaw, to most a few GMs, is worth a 2nd round pick, maybe a late 1st rounder (26th or later) but definitely nothing higher unless there are no players with potential available in the draft..imo

Posted by: Mike Wells | Dec 23, 2011 6:02:20 PM

i clearly said "late first rounder to a contender" don't know where you got that confused. those teams give away their first rounders for cash. he has an expiring deal. any playoff team would take him if they could.

and the part about multiple picks you didn't say my name but you were clearly responding to me. you even questioned something i DID say in that post.

comparing diaw (at age 29) to shaq at age 39 IS retarded. stand the guy next to carmello anthony who is the exact same size. they list melo at 230 and boris at 235 but watch them when they play against each other. both 6'8. sean may was fat. robert traylor was fat. old shaq was fat. he looks fat next to tyrus thomas maybe. at 6 foot 8 he's not supposed to be 190. that whole boris is fat and lazy thing is just not factual at all. holds no merit. comes strictly from non-intelligent people. seriously.

Posted by: charlottean | Dec 24, 2011 4:56:28 PM

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