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March 15, 2012

Charlotte Bobcats' Rod Higgins on trade deadline

The Charlotte Bobcats discussed numerous proposals with other NBA teams leading up to Thursday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline. But in the end, nothing they heard was worth chipping away at their future salary-cap space.

“The last thing we wanted to do is make a trade just to say we made a trade,’’ Bobcats president of basketball operations Rod Higgins told the Observer. “The last thing we want to do is deal away our cap flexibility for an older player, past his prime, making $8-$9 million’’ a season.

Sitting out the deadline was a departure from the past three years. In successive years they moved ex-lottery pick Adam Morrison to the Los Angeles Lakers, acquired Tyrus Thomas from the Chicago Bulls and – most recently – dealt the last original Bobcat, Gerald Wallace, to the Portland Trail Blazers.

This year, despite wide-spread discussions involving Boris Diaw and D.J. Augustin, the Bobcats stood pat. That preserved what could be anywhere from $5 million to $21 million in salary-cap flexibility next summer and potentially in the summer of 2013.

Were the Bobcats close to anything?

“I don’t know if I’d classify anything as close,’’ Higgins said. “We had good conversations and a lot of activity. But most of what happened (around the league) was late in the game.’’

Diaw and Augustin were both in play for different reasons. Diaw has an expiring contract with a $9 million salary figure this season. That was attractive to teams looking to create future cap space. But naturally teams looking to acquire Diaw wanted to send players with multi-season guarantees to the Bobcats.

Nothing those teams offered in the way of a draft pick or young prospects was sufficient to part with cap flexibility. Now, with Diaw playing little for coach Paul Silas, it might make sense to negotiate a buyout that would allow Diaw to sign with a playoff team. Spurs guard Tony Parker has said Diaw would be welcome in San Antonio.

Higgins indicated any buyout discussions would happen in the next few days, if at all. Diaw would have to be waived by March 23 to be eligible for a playoff roster.

Point guard Augustin becomes a restricted free agent in July, and he and rookie Kemba Walker are similar in size and skill set. Sources indicate the Bobcats spoke with the Blazers, Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder, among other teams, about possibly dealing Augustin.

“D.J. Augustin is our starting point guard and we like him a lot,’’ Higgins said. “We tried to extend (his contract) back in December. Now, on July 1, he’ll be a restricted free agent and that will dictate what happens next.’’

Along with Augustin, power forward D.J. White will be restricted this season. That means the Bobcats would have the right to match another team’s written offer for either one. If Augustin and White choose to play under their qualifying offers, they would be tied to the Bobcats through the 2012-13 season before becoming unrestricted free agents.

Posted by Observer Sports on March 15, 2012 at 05:37 PM | Permalink


It just seems like this team is just driving in circles heading nowhere fast.....

Posted by: Smitty | Mar 15, 2012 6:36:24 PM

A blind man would say that.

They're finally doing the right thing and the complaints are coming by the boatload. Speaks to the lack of intelligence of the fanbase here.

This team plus 2 lottery picks, time, and eventually a younger coach = contender.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 15, 2012 6:51:15 PM

Higgins and Cho need to lift this beleaguered team up by making/creating trades for players like Tyrus, Augustin, Diaw, & hopefully Maggette. This is when talented Prez of BB Ops & GMs earned their money.

Posted by: CarolinaFlight | Mar 15, 2012 7:02:32 PM

It sure seems to be that coach Silas has lost the team, or is at least getting much closer to that point then anyone wants to admit. Over the past 3-4 weeks, it sure seems to me that the team just doesn't play hard anymore as a unit. Sure, some players (Biz, Kemba) aren't on that list, but most others (at least at times) are.

When will they start looking at possibly replacing Silas? Two good coaches were fired/resigned in the past few days .....

Posted by: mlbriggs24 | Mar 15, 2012 7:07:29 PM

Do you think D'Antoni or McMillan (NCState) would be better fits? D'Antoni has the offense and Nate M has the defense.

Posted by: CarolinaFlight | Mar 15, 2012 7:15:10 PM

Diaw is gone after this season. If someone makes an offer for DJ (either one of them) then they are gone. Tyrus might be waived with an exception so he is removed from the cap numbers - or he could be kept around and maybe improve. Bobcats best move is to draft Davis to start at power forward with Bismack at center. Mullen can play both center and power forward so he would be a great backup. Kemba full time at the point will also be good. Bobcats can pick up somebody like Miles Plumlee or Benard James or Xavier Gibson (or all three) as a rookie free agent. Any of those guys would provide solid 5 minutes a game at four or five so the starters can catch their wind. All three of those guys could move into the second round but I suspect at least one can be had as a rookie free agent. So that leaves the first pick in the second round to use on the best two guard on the board to backup Henderson at two. Then the Cats can add a couple mid-level free agents to add more depth.

Posted by: dirt | Mar 15, 2012 7:16:35 PM

I personally would like to have both coaching the Cats next season. Thoughts?

Posted by: CarolinaFlight | Mar 15, 2012 7:16:45 PM

How About Steven Silas as HEAD COACH With his dad, Mike D'Antoni & Nate McMillan by his side. any thoughts ? lol

Posted by: Donovan Watson | Mar 15, 2012 8:27:00 PM

I believe that Nate M. and/or Pat Ewing will be the frontrunners for the job. I don't believe that Silas lost the team, they have not sustained injuries or played together which they are very young and inexperienced.
That is what I mean about DJ, He is going to request a good payday and I believe he deserves a fair contract. We will see it is a business. Let's see if Charlotte will match it. (This team is being evaluated hoping we keep players like Mully, Kemba, Hendo, DJ (depend on contract), DJ White, Williams, Brown, Biz, Tyrus (if not amnesty). With some draft picks and maybe veteran help this is a nice nucleus. Charlottean I am wit u on waiting for a good team. Some people just think you are supposed to be great after rebuilding after it takes time. I would not mind Najera for veteran help because this guy plays hard.Well we will see.

Posted by: tbird | Mar 15, 2012 9:23:36 PM

R u kidding me? I know it is the 1st half and Dallas will come back. But r they leading the Mavs in Dallas by 12. WTF? But u know how the second half will end.

Posted by: tbird | Mar 15, 2012 9:25:08 PM

@dirt....like the thought process there. It's thought out and shows patience too by not rushing to make bad draft choices, trades, or FA signings.

Posted by: Rick | Mar 15, 2012 10:18:37 PM

Kemba 3-21 on 3-pointers in March...hello Italian League!

Posted by: George Hanson | Mar 15, 2012 11:05:33 PM

NATE MCMILLAN + Rich Cho = contenders

Posted by: Downtown Sports | Mar 15, 2012 11:17:22 PM

Trailblazers today: now THAT'S how you blow up a team...

Posted by: Downtown Sports | Mar 16, 2012 4:51:54 AM

Biyombo will be outstanding; but I have grave concerns about our pick on Walker. Too short and the guy can't/won't pass.

Posted by: Funky | Mar 16, 2012 6:58:53 AM

You guys that constantly talk about getting rid of augustin do realize that letting him walk in free agency in no way helps the team. He isnt a cancer. He isnt overpaid. He is probably our best player.

Only way we get value is if we see who offers contracts this summer, sign him and keep him or trade him for solid pieces. You dont win by letting top 10 draft picks walk away. We dont need cap room, if and when we amnesty thomas, we literally only have kemba and bismack under contract past next year. We could give augustin, henderson and mullens 6 each plus get the top pick (davis) and have about 30 under the cap for the remainder. And thats with 6 core guys under contract. You fill in with some veterans and other youngns or draft picks, a derrick brown or d,j, white, and keep your money for bismack and davis/barnes extensions.

Thats how you build a contender. And everything they are doing right now suggests that cho knows it. They didnt trade diaw because the best offer they got was a 1st rounder to take 7 million for next year. They can buy 1st round picks for cheaper from teams over the tax.

There was a dilluted need and ability to make good deals this year because of the amnesty clause.

We should all be thankful they didnt trade diop and maggette for 5 bad contracts and erick dampier. Their contracts will expire.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 16, 2012 8:02:48 AM

I don't see the reason to speculate about Paul Silas. He hasn't been the coach of this team for months. It's incredibly obvious that his son is the coach. And I think we should keep him, with a 2-3 coaching vets as his assistants.

I'm not sure what to do about PG. Augustin is better than Kemba, because Kemba can't shoot. That used to be true of Henderson too, so we have to hope he can improve.

I hold no illusions that we will get Anthony Davis. Y'all keep forgetting that to get him, we have to win the lottery. And that will never happen. For some reason, some teams always have good luck in the lottery (Hornets, Bulls), and some teams always get screwed (T'Wolves, Bobcats). We're going to have the worst record in the NBA, then the 3 teams in the West with .500 records will get the top 3 picks.

Posted by: J | Mar 16, 2012 8:46:24 AM

What game were u guys watching last night? Kemba had a good night and shot pretty decent if u ask me. No, he is not a better shooter than DJ coming in to this season. But the guy is fearless and the Bobcats need that fire. Don't judge a guy in the first season. He had 12 points 4 out of 8 shooting for 16 minutes. I think that is pretty efficient. Ok Davis is a beast no doubt if don't get him there are other draft picks people. Yal fail to realize that I don't think we made that bad of commitment with contracts. Yeah we hit and miss a few years. But I don't think GDub, Steven Jack, Felton, May, Morrison, Dudley, Shannon Brown, Okafur, Bell, Kapono, Chandler, Richardson, Radmanovic are bad players. Some are proven, some are not but at the end of the day we made the playoffs 7th seed that is a hell of an accomplishment. Jameer just ate Ray for breakfast that year so MJ wanted to be a contender. I believe they have made way better choices than locked in high paying contracts. End of story.

Posted by: tbird | Mar 16, 2012 9:52:31 AM

25% chance we get davis. 75% chance we don't. but out of the 75% there's a HUGE chance that barnes will be available. it's probably like 25% davis, 50% barnes, 25% somebody else.

I just hope we don't pick 2nd or 3rd, have barnes on the board and take drummond. that would be a monumental eff up. i think barnes vs. robinson is like roy vs. gay minus the injuries (which are unknown). i think barnes is roy-esque and I would take him 10 times out of 10. I would seriously consider taking barnes over davis but Its hard to argue against a big man of davis' quality.

but if we end up with either barnes or davis, we are destined for success and this year and last were completely worth it. walker will be a keeper, he's just not anything more than a 6th man type. Lower the expectations and he looks great. He IS just a rookie. He'll never be steve nash but he might be jason terry.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 16, 2012 10:19:47 AM

Ok I am glad they held tough. Next year won't be an amazing year either but between three in a row lottery drafts we will have no excuses come 2013/2014 season.
And Kemba is looking better and passing much more. He is a rookie that got thrown in with no support. And let's not forget if 1 of 2 pan out thats great and BB looks like a future stud.
Only guy in draft I 100% don't want is Drummond. I hope he stays in school. way hype.
Robinson and Sullinger would be great also

Posted by: Chris | Mar 16, 2012 10:40:18 AM

Barnes. LMAO. No surprise that the powder blue peanut gallery would be cheering for him to be in Orange next year. If we miss out on Davis, we better have Robinson or Sullinger targeted next. Barnes is not the 2nd - or 3rd - or 4th - best player in this draft.

Posted by: Zed | Mar 16, 2012 10:53:23 AM

Terrence Williams just got released. Bobcats we got to claim him! What is it going to hurt? Wen had Gerald Green in summer league and look how he is playing with what he probablt felt was his last opportunity. I think this kid will be highly motivated!

Posted by: Bobby Harris | Mar 16, 2012 1:41:46 PM

You are probably right, barnes is probably the best player in the draft.

You anti carolina guys act as though carolina players haven't frequented the nba since the get go. Like its unusual for a guy like barnes to be a great pro prospect.

The guy has put up great numbers for a stacked team where he plays less than 30 mpg, shares the ball with 3 or 4 other future nba stars and wins. He's 6'8 strong skilled and a solid shooter. What more do you want? It's funny because i dont formulate my opinion about duke players' game or draft status based on them having gone to duke. Yet duke fans tend to do that.

Barnes is mashburn with knees. Dude is legit. As is sullinger, as is davis, as is robinson. Any pick after 1, barnes is the pick if he's there.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 16, 2012 2:09:18 PM

Charlottean, comparing barnes to mashburn is a bit of a stretch here is why? He is a not post scorer more a create your shot, pick and pop type shooter. He may be your poor man's Kevin Durant. Which is a good thing? But Anthony Davis is def. no# 1 but I would pick Barnes no #2. Then Sullinger, and T. Robinson after that. I think we draft one of these players. I also like Terence Jones from Kentucky. Duke or Unc fans should on talent only. I am Kansas fan and has been since Danny Manning and Larry Brown. But yes the bobcats have hope with patience and some st. pattys day luck.

Posted by: tbird | Mar 16, 2012 6:07:07 PM

where you put question marks is mad confusing.

mashburn developed a post game when he lost his knees. barnes is mashburn with knees.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 16, 2012 6:35:05 PM

nice thanks for sharing

Posted by: asif | Mar 17, 2012 6:17:10 PM

Ya know!

I might comment... If Effort was applied!, other than the most common technology was popular!!!!!

I have never attacked in anyway......!~


Posted by: David Stern has to go!! | Mar 18, 2012 1:16:27 AM

The first of the season........, yes.. A PASS!! Not now Rick!!

Posted by: David Stern has to go!! | Mar 18, 2012 1:18:31 AM

OH and I am not talking about your column................................................................. This "BLOG" !!!!!!!!!!!!!! We all have diff. ways of communicating! Blah! Blah!.... I have kids and don't have time too log in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: David Stern has to go!! | Mar 18, 2012 1:23:02 AM

Seriously I go to this "blog" everyday for info!!!!!!!!!!!! OK!!!

This is all I can say or care to say NOW!!!!!!!!! OTHERWISE I WILL FIND A DIFFERENT OUTLET!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: David Stern has to go!! | Mar 18, 2012 1:29:34 AM

Now is not the time to start beating teams. Let's delay that a few more weeks until we get that top lottery spot locked up. I dont want to be picking 6th.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 18, 2012 10:12:16 AM


Any way that Gerald Wallace resigns with the Bobcats after the season when he can opt out of his contract or have those bridges been burned with his trade to Portland?

Posted by: Jeff | Mar 20, 2012 8:57:03 AM

it would do us no good what so ever to pay the guy 11 million a year at his age (which is why we traded him) and it would do him no good to opt out and leave 11 million on the table.

you don't rebuild with old guys that never won anything anyways. the guy walked away from game tying free throws for a non-injury. eff gerald wallace.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 20, 2012 4:44:57 PM

Barnes is staying in achool and his game resembles Bernard King before his knees wore out!

Posted by: joe cool | Mar 20, 2012 11:15:01 PM

i would take that. i don't think barnes will be quite the scorer king was but I could be wrong. I mean I can see 22 a game year in and year out but i don't know about the 28's and 32's per game.

Don't see him staying in school either.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 21, 2012 1:43:55 PM

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