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July 05, 2013

A final word on Tyrus Thomas as a Charlotte Bobcat

    Some of you get really angry when I play contrarian, so get ready to become angry:

            Tyrus Thomas wasn’t as useless as he’ll be remembered. Him losing his way as a Charlotte Bobcat wasn’t entirely his fault.

            A lot of it was his fault. I’m guessing if you put former Bobcats coaches Paul Silas and Mike Dunlap in the same room, there wouldn’t be many things they would totally agree on. One of the few would be their mutual dismissal of Thomas as a functional, productive NBA basketball player.

            But everyone deserves some level of blame in the colossal waste of money Thomas represented.

            Did they make a massive bet on his potential after the playoff sweep by the Magic? Yes. Did he live up to that contract? Of course not.  Retaining Thomas was a way to placate then-coach Larry Brown, and there was a whole lot of placating Brown in those days.

            Thomas was an odd bird, no doubt. He seemed flighty and Silas became so exasperated with him that they had a brush-up at the end of Silas’ final season as head coach. (That did Paul no favors, by the way, in his case to get an extension to continue coaching the Bobcats).

            Things went south between Thomas and Dunlap, and I’m sure Thomas contributed to that breakdown. But still:

    I’m inclined to think players get too much slack and coaches get too much blame, but I have to say Thomas was treated poorly. Remember when they told him he wasn’t welcome to travel with the team on a West Coast trip? That was just demoralizing. And mean.

            Beat writers show up way early for games. I’d walk into arenas around 4 p.m. for a 7 p.m. tip-off and often Tyrus was either just in front of me or just behind me at the media/player entrance.

    I’d be mulling around, looking for information, and there would be Thomas running drills before any of his teammates were in the building. He was trying to do the right thing.

    Now the inevitable will happen, and the Bobcats will use the Amnesty Clause to move past this mistake.

    I hope Thomas finds a new team. I hope he figures out how to again be the guy who delivers 10 points and five rebounds a night.

    He’s an odd guy but not a bad guy. I’m not sure fans get the difference.

Posted by Observer Sports on July 5, 2013 at 12:10 AM | Permalink


goodluck Ttime wish you the best

Posted by: jaymoney | Jul 5, 2013 1:11:51 AM

You're right. The fans are too stupid to understand the difference. They're ignorant riffraff incapable of appreciating Tyrus Thomas for the Jim Morrison-type that he truly is.

Posted by: John W. | Jul 5, 2013 2:45:37 AM

Seriously Rick? 3 different coaches should not get anything out of him here. He didn't exactly get along with his coach in Chicago either. A complete waste of talent. Attempting to defend him is ridiculous. Hopefully that is the last bad contract the Bobcats ever give out.

Posted by: Mason | Jul 5, 2013 3:58:52 AM

Love the Jefferson signing. This is really coming together. Front line looks formidable. A low post scorer can change everything. I have never seen guards have to work as hard as ours to get shots. Kemba, Hendo, Sessions, etc should really benefit. Big Al was a big get for this team. They are doing slot of things right and signing Al and dropping Thomas are great moves!

Posted by: Skip | Jul 5, 2013 4:07:20 AM

Wow! Who said player won't come here? Who said the Bobcats will never spend the money to amnesty Thomas? These guys are getting it right. All reports are that Al is a solid guy as well. Really liking this team.

Posted by: James R. | Jul 5, 2013 4:33:55 AM

Man this was a great move. A low post scorer was by far their biggest need and the just landed the best me in the entire free agent class. That is incredible. Amnestying Thomas is icing on the cake. That is going to really help the new coach. Should be a much more fun season now.

Posted by: Bobnet | Jul 5, 2013 7:11:15 AM

Well, now that the Hornets have a much reduced chance at Wiggins or Parker in next year's draft, lets try to steal Klay Thompson from Golden State to help facilitate the Warriors clearing cap room for Dwight Howard.

Assuming the above doesn't occur, I think we let Henderson walk and start Taylor at shooing guard next year. Save Henderson's money, the cap space we have plus Gordon's expiring contract for free agents next year. If we sign Henderson it should not be for more than 3yrs at 6 per year.

Posted by: Steve | Jul 5, 2013 7:53:53 AM

I can't believe we signed Jefferson. Had to go an blow our load one year early. Anyone with a brain could see you tank one more year before making a big splash in free-agency. Milwaukee Bucks, look out we are coming for your yearly 8-seed sweep spot!!

Posted by: Timmy | Jul 5, 2013 7:54:33 AM

I was a big TT fan!!! Think he will be a big help to any teamnthat gets him. Watching him at the end of the bench supporting his team, tworling the towel in suport.... He WILL help some team be better and dont looke forward to us playing against him!
WHO says free agency is gonna be productive next year. The draft maybe but free agency????

Posted by: David Stern has to go!! | Jul 5, 2013 8:08:44 AM

Sorry Rick, but teams don't just tell their highest paid player to stay home for the sake of being "mean". This guy was an underachiever with a bad attitude. Watch him during huddles and it tells you all you need to know.

Posted by: Jamey | Jul 5, 2013 9:00:34 AM

So happy to see this thankless thug go. The guy is a bum with a horrible attitude. I would be suprised if anybody signs this piece of garbage

Posted by: Stanley | Jul 5, 2013 9:19:10 AM

An awful lot of talent placed in the wrong body. On the court, he seemed to always be a fierce competitor, but just somehow just could not keep the head screwed on correctly. Good luck, TT.

Posted by: eduardo | Jul 5, 2013 9:23:31 AM

I liked your article Rick. I can easily agree that Dunlap's way of treating Tyrus wasn't right. As for Paul Silas - the living definition of a "players' coach" - I think he was so awfully frustrated with the NBDL-caliber team he had to coach in his last season, that he let it all out in that outburst on Tyrus.

Your article also shows that blaming Tyrus for "bad attitude" is simply unfounded. "He was trying to do the right thing."

Still, I didn't find in your article the answer to the basic question: why did Tyrus underperform?
Why was he so below expectations, that they cut him (with 2 years remaining in his contract), much to all the fans' relief?

Was it his health problems? Those were reported in the '11-'12 season, but not in '12-'13 season, when he was supposed to be back, healthy and stronger? Was he trying hard in the training room, but, was he unable to bulk up, so he'll become stronger and more productive as a PF?

Even though I liked this article, I'd also like a sequel to it, addressing these questions.

Posted by: Sandy | Jul 5, 2013 9:51:07 AM

If it was just one coach that TT could not get along with I might buy it. 4 NBA head coaches could not work with this guy. At some point TT needs to look in the mirror and realize he is the problem, not everyone else.
The Jefferson signing is a great thing. He will make us a better team but not a playoff team next season so we will still get a high lottery pick.

Posted by: James Reed | Jul 5, 2013 9:56:40 AM

Sandy agree and the same. He was our biggest cheerleader 6'10" cheerleader. And where do u guys get all this info. on TT ? I dont remember hearing all these negatives when we brought him to charlotte.

Posted by: David Stern has to go!! | Jul 5, 2013 10:03:56 AM

I wish him the best. But I have never understood why our 6'10" or 7' people stand out around the three point line and just stand there and watch the other team get the rebounds. Maybe that's the game plan. The Bobcats have always been at the bottom in rebounds and I hope it will change and our players will hit the boards.

Posted by: Hal Pritchard | Jul 5, 2013 10:38:28 AM

If Portand finishes outside the top 12 for the lottery, and Detroit outside the top 8, the Bobcats could have potentially 3 picks in next year's lottery. Think about what that does to the percentages of landing one of the top 3 lottery picks. Bobcats may be in the 10 spot themselves. They didn't ruin anything by making this deal. It makes perfect sense!

Posted by: Movin' On Up | Jul 5, 2013 10:42:27 AM

Well, Well, Well.... Big Al is coming to town! Bobcats are making some quality moves and just added 15 wins with Big Al and Zeller. Now go ahead and lock up McRoberts for three years and start shopping MKG! I would offer Philly MKG and Portland's #1 pick for their 2014 #1 pick (unprotected)!

Philly will end up top three in the draft next year - while we likely are outside the lottery with Big Al coming to town. And if I am wrong - we would have two top five picks in 2014! Taylor can play thre three just fine - and McRoberts can play three also. We either commit 100% to MKG now or we move him - committing 100% means no Wiggins or Parker...

Posted by: Dom | Jul 5, 2013 11:16:00 AM

and BTW - if MKG comes into summer league hitting outside shots then I am fine keeping him. Dude plays hard, good defense and is a slasher. I just want someone at the three who can shoot the three... If that is MKG then i am good with that.

As far as Thomas goes - he just didn't have the drive to be an NBA player. I woundn't say he threw away his talent - he did make a ton of money and played in the NBA. Some guys are not suited for the grind of an NBA season - Thomas is one of those guys. I wish him the best and I hope he spends his money wisely - dude should be set for life (and his children and thier children).

Posted by: Dom | Jul 5, 2013 11:20:46 AM

I had my reservations about signing Jefferson, but, now that it's done, I'd rather look at the positive side of it.

We just got the best offensive center this franchise ever had. The defensive attention he'll be sure to draw will make driving to the rim easier for the other players.

Jefferson is now at the peak of his career, he's durable and can be expected to perform at his highest level for the next three seasons. AJ and Cody playing together will make a very big difference for our offense, and will also bring good rebounding.

The management got a very good deal. I was expecting his demands to be more like $56-58 mil. for 4 seasons; instead, it's $41 mil for 3 seasons.

He can be expected to be a major contributor to getting this team in the playoffs in '14-'15. For the 2014 Draft, of course we can't know anything now, but there is a good chance we'll be in the lottery again, possibly with two or three picks (that could be packed together for a higher one); on the other hand, for more reasons than one, there was no certainty of getting one of the few true difference makers that may be in that draft.

The front office made a whole series of good decisions this year, and I really appreciate this improvement in their work. Now, just don't miss out on Hendo and Josh McR !

Posted by: Sandy | Jul 5, 2013 11:25:06 AM

The more I think about it the more i lean toward the Bobcats signing McRoberts to start next season - at the three or four. MKG could slide into a 6th man role playing two, three and some four when the Cats go small. Or Zeller could play off the bench his rookie year. McRoberts can shoot and is a very strong passer. He would drop dime after dime to Jefferson and Zeller, or kick out to Henderson or Gordon for an open three, or hit MKG, Walker or Henderson slashing to the hole. McRoberts showed signs of becoming a great point forward - and with some new options under the basket he could average 10 assists a game next year.

Posted by: Dom | Jul 5, 2013 11:38:32 AM

AND BTW - as much as I really like the idea of adding Wiggins or Parker next season - the fact is we don't know what will happend between now and the 2014 draft. Those guys might not even come out - or we could end up pick 4th again - or maybe they are not as good as advertised. We need to build a winner now - stop waiting till next draft every year...

Posted by: Dom | Jul 5, 2013 11:41:53 AM

I had an unfinished sentence before. I meant to say: there was no certainty about getting one of the would-be difference makers in the 2014 draft EVEN IF we hadn't signed Al Jefferson.

Posted by: Sandy | Jul 5, 2013 11:41:55 AM

Yep, agreed with Dom on that draft.

Posted by: Sandy | Jul 5, 2013 11:43:24 AM

here's the thing about jefferson's deal........with it being a 2 year with a player option......there is a good possibility that he opts out after 2 years similar to how igoudala and kirilenko did this summer. i don't know if it's likely, but I give it AT THE MINIMUM a 25% chance of being a 2 year deal which makes this way more tolerable for me.

but seriously......i hate it. not because of jefferson, but because of everything else. We could have had bogut on a 1 year deal where he potentially could have stayed afterwards or potentially not, but it's a 1 year stop gap at the same talent level of jefferson (more defensive minded) and same price point.

we could have potentially taken back all of golden state's bad contracts and gotten klay thompson in return for amnesty to thomas and letting henderson walk.

I just hate that they gave up all the leverage we had, not just for this season, but a huge chunk of next year as well. there won't be as many free agents available next summer so it's not like we picked a bad year to pick a guy up (especially if it's only for 2 years) but the cap room allows for salary dump trades.

I just don't think that jefferson signing in any way leads us closer to becoming a contender. not unless both MKG and biz take a huge leap this summer and we have the most unlikely 6 seed type season ever and build from there. I don't see that being likely. far more likely we finish just well enough to miss out on potential stars and just bad enough for jefferson to want out by next summer.

on the draft notes.........the picks coming in from portland and detroit are determined AFTER the lottery. there is NO possible scenario where our odds of picking top 3 are improved by those picks. we only get them if they are outside of the restrictions AFTER the lottery. but we could have been sitting on a guaranteed top 6 or 7 pick plus 2 other picks to potentially move up if you had a situation where the top guy and the top picking team were not a good fit (like what sort of happened with cleveland and noel this year). i don't see that being likely as both parker and wiggins are probably 3's and that would really only rule out washington and washington very well might be an 8 seed this year if healthy.

so it looks like we'll have 3 picks in the teens next year. awesome. i really don't like this move. even if it works, it doesn't work long term unless he all of a sudden (at 28-29) becomes something greater than what he has been thus far. and stays.

as for tyrus....dude was a role player who got starter money. it's that simple. he IS a guy that can make plays, block shots, knock down a mid range (and now even 3 point) jump shot, used to be able to finish at the rim and in transition as well. gordon becomes the last dead weight on the roster as it appears currently. and he and sessions come off the books next year so we'll still have quite a bit of cap room next summer. for that, and the fact that it could very well be a 2 year stop gap deal......it's not horrible. i just don't like it a lot.

I HOPE that he, zeller, and biz all play 30 mpg. mcroberts is far less needed at this point, interesting to see who we can get as a 4th big in this scenario. mullens would probably be a MUCH better fit with jefferson on board. depends on how willing he is to come back for 3 million or less on a one year deal. can't see any other team throwing more than 2 million at him and even that would be few and far between. analytic fanatics hate mullens.

Posted by: charlottean | Jul 5, 2013 12:54:13 PM

i started out saying i hated it.....talked myself into "just don't like it" after a few paragraphs.

Posted by: charlottean | Jul 5, 2013 12:55:45 PM

This is a great move. Tell me where you get a better low post scorer this year or next? Draft or free agency? With Gordon coming off the books next year yous still have money to sign another piece. Or you load up in the draft or use all those picks to get another player you want. Tanking is never a good strategy since the lottery came into play. If Zeller is solid, we have a chance to have a very good front court. We already know the backcourt is solid. This team will be sneaky good next year with a chance to really interesting next year. People love to hammer the Bobcats, but it looks like the pain of the last 2 years was for a reason. Well done!

Posted by: JIMBO | Jul 5, 2013 1:05:47 PM

I'd like to see The Horncats bring back McRoberts an Hendo for sure. That could give us Jefferson 5, Zeller 4, McRoberts 3, Henderson 2, and Walker 1, with Sessions, Gordon, Taylor, MKG, and BIZ backing them up. Round out the roster with Pargo, Haywood, Adriens, and maybe Seth Curry.

Posted by: Hugo Panther | Jul 5, 2013 1:08:26 PM

Were is NASTARASS? Has anyone been more wrong than that clown?

- No one will sigh here. Wrong.
- Team won't amnesty Thomas. Wrong.
- MJ won't spend. Wrong.
- Team won't change name. Wrong.
- Kemba belongs in the Italian league. Wrong.
- Ben Wallace can shoot and handle the ball. Doesn't even deserve a response.

Probably a million more. That is all I can remember. I hope he is better at his day job.

Glad I locked in my season tickets and prime locations when I did. Have them for the first year of the Hornets as well. That is why you buy them idiot. 3 number ones next year. More cap space.

Go Hornets!

Posted by: Season Ticket Holder 2 | Jul 5, 2013 2:20:10 PM

Funny you say how we never real give Thomas a chance. You said how he's first in the arena a lot of times but never saw you write a letter or article about it .

Posted by: byebyeTT | Jul 5, 2013 2:24:42 PM

Henderson is about to become a star - I can see him averageing 24 a game next year. Walker is on the verge of being a top ten PG in the NBA. Add in Jefferson, McRoberts Zeller and MKG and you have a solid group to build around. Add Seth Curry and Cole Aldrich on one year FA deals. Plus Biyombo, Sessions, Taylor and Gordon - and you have a very nice rotation. All it takes is a couple guys to turn an NBA team around - those guys could be Zeller and Jefferson!

Posted by: Dom | Jul 5, 2013 2:29:25 PM

Players play better when they feel like it. (Boris Diaw, Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton, DJ Augustin, Gerald Wallace). Funny how all those guys were ex-Bobcats and on playoff teams this year...

Posted by: Bobcat Bucks | Jul 5, 2013 2:52:39 PM

Love these comments and optimism for a change. Great call out on NASTAR the biggest douche on these blogs for sure. No one comes close.

Hendo could very well thrive paired with a legit low post man. Might actually get some open looks. Kemba in the pick and roll with Zeller and Al sould be lethal. Who did he have lasr year. Let's tip it up now!

Posted by: Spencer | Jul 5, 2013 2:53:01 PM

Right here SLURPERS!

Yup, I was wrong, didn't think they would amnesty Tyrus! Ya'll feel better now that I said that?!?

Hey Holdr, glad you learned to spell!

Over 30 posts here and "The Next" (Biz) only mentioned twice! Forgotten man!!

"Al Jefferson reportedly agrees to a deal with the Bobcats, which should disappoint everyone"


Read it and weep...

Personally I'm inclined to like Big Al but if you think you got "someone", think again -- he had one offer, the BOOBcats. Nine (9) years in the league and he's on his 4th team, never an all-star, never an award for anything -- but the the BOBcats just agreed to pay this JOURNEYMAN $41,000,000 smackers! Can you imagine?!?

What happened to not giving outsized contracts to veterans?

Fact of the matter is this team is much improved, undeniable....maybe in a couple years they'll get into the playoffs and lose in the 1st round!

Where does The Next fit in? Cody, Josh and Big Al all run circles around him....guess The Next can get some minutes when games are already decided -- makes sense.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Jul 5, 2013 3:28:25 PM

i think cho's rationale here is........if a salary dump deal came available.......we could just package sessions/gordon/a vet minimum guy and obtain a max contract guy or package of other guys.

But the best deals are available with NO money being sent back, not just expirings. We could have milked golden state for ANOTHER 2014 pick, probably draymond green too and bring in either jefferson or biedrens. OR just bogut who has the injury red flag, but has a shorter deal AND is a 2 way player and the same age as jefferson. and taller/more true center.

then you would have bogut to flip again in a deadline deal. jefferson will be harder to trade having potentially 2 additional years.

I hope this helps biz' development as well. if he's as good a mentor as professed by the utah reporters......should be a great pairing to go along with ewing. he's NO DOUBT a great guy for biz to model himself after. he doesn't do anything biz isn't capable of learning to do. and biz is probably going to be as big weight wise and still more athletic than jefferson.

Posted by: charlottean | Jul 5, 2013 3:29:59 PM

Great signing and welcome to Charlotte Big Al!

This will give Ewing time to work with Biz especially and Zeller. Not only that, but Big Al might be able to give Biz some pointers too.

I was against signing Al if they overpayed. Looks like 3 years 40.5 million is okay.

Don't know why everyone is so down on MKG. I was too at first, but the guy is only 19. He was playing against grown men, some of whom have been in the NBA for five, seven, even ten years. MKG will be fine when he gets his minutes. I really felt like Dunlap hindered his development by sitting him out in games, sometimes the entire fourth quarter, regardless of how he was playing.

I think Clifford values MKG and we will see an improvement similar to Kembas improvement this past year.

Posted by: D.W.G. | Jul 5, 2013 4:16:38 PM

NASTAR99 - you made me fall out of my chair reading your rant - almost as bad as me - except anti-Bobcats... Adding Zeller and Jefferson makes this team 15 wins better at least. Add a couple more parts like i stated in my many earlier posts - and they are a playoff team - NOW! Shocking? Crazy? Let's wait and see...

charlottean - Howard isn't goint to Golden State... So they won't be trading any of those guys! Howard is going to Houston or Dallas. Golden State is not big enough for Howard - and if anything he is using them to up the price. They won't trade anybody unless they have Howard locked up - and they don't/won't.

Posted by: Dom | Jul 5, 2013 4:24:36 PM

McRoberts 2 year 6 million.

Posted by: David Stern has to go!! | Jul 5, 2013 4:29:11 PM

I can see Rick's point, and I hope that Thomas finds a home somewhere. Can we all agree that Thomas was a perfect expression of the dysfunction that surrounded the Bobcats for the past five years? A bad fit, a waste of money, poor coaching, and wasted talent. I'm guessing everyone, including Thomas, is glad to put that era behind us.

Posted by: MTBinDurham | Jul 5, 2013 4:32:24 PM

D.W.G - I love MKG's defense, hustle and slash - but I hate his outside shooting. I like him as a 6th man but not as a starter. We need a scorer at the three. I am hoping he dominates in the summer league and make me look stupid...

Posted by: Dom | Jul 5, 2013 4:34:57 PM

Nice work NASTAR. Find the negative in everything. Well done. Saying you were wrong once is a woefully short of your quota. Since you were wrong about everything else. Feeling even better about Al Jefferson. Thank you for that.

Posted by: Bobnet | Jul 5, 2013 4:52:30 PM

Honestly, Charlottean you keep doing too much fantasy GM. Way too much. You keep weaving those fantasy scenarios, and they're such head-scratchers.

- Bogut is damaged goods. He's still far from fully recovered from his ankle injury. That he'll be any good next season is at least equally iffy as with Len and Noel. So, pay him $14 mil., just to be happy when his contract expires ?!

- Take Golden State's bad contracts (that's $20 mil. for R.Jefferson and Biedrins, who became useless players), and in the process, give up on our salary cap flexibility (for next season) AND on Hendo?! What for?
I think this money-losing franchise has paid enough dozens of millions of dollars for bad contracts. No more needed.

First, you mentioned getting Klay Thompson. Then, you probably realized that either he's not going anywhere, or he's going to L.A. (in a sign-and-trade for Dwight). So, you replaced him with Draymond Green. Take those bad contracts, pay big money to useless players to get a 35th draft pick who shot 33% from the field as a rookie ?!
I know, his potential is better than that, but also, he's far from giving a reason for that kind of outrageous waste (and adding yet another 2014 pick doesn't change this).

At some point, you have to think less about increasing the draft picks collection, and more about starting to win. Our F.O. does it, and they clearly stated it.

- Nobody expects a championship contender here within the next three seasons. Most fans want real progress, though. What after these three years? It would be the most absurd of all time-wasting speculations to say anything about this now. So many unexpected changes WILL take place in this time (as they always do). It's enough to say that this franchise has the potential to get better and better every year from now on, and it will take who-knows-what-other-changes to the roster until turning it into a contender, in the future.

- You may worry about Biyombo's minutes. I frankly don't. He'll get the minutes he'll earn, and he won't miss out on continuing to develop his known strengths. But developing him for offense as well is as iffy as can be.

After Cody was drafted, I said that pairing him with Biz can give good results (because of their complementarity), and yet, that shouldn't be seen as preventing the team from getting a better center. That's what they did.

Biyombo and Al Jefferson are strictly centers. Cody should be PF in the NBA, and so is Josh McR. We'd better have all of the above on our roster, for depth (for a quality bench), and also for injuries insurance.

All sorts of fantasy scenarios are both totally unrealistic and uncalled for, when our management is finally moving in the right direction.
We can all appreciate the team's improvement, charlottean, without giving up on those high goals for the future.
Michael Jordan wants a championship contender, nothing less, but he's also sick and tired fo endless losing -again, that was 106 games below.500 in the last three seasons! - and he wants to see the real improvement taking place already - just like most fans do.

Posted by: Sandy | Jul 5, 2013 4:53:37 PM

What is wrong with the team adding a veteran player while a 20 year old is developing? Some people are real idiots. Biz should learn from Jefferson and Ewing. Really like this plan. Next get a superstar at the 2 or the 3 and you have a solid 4 seed on your hands.

The same morons running down the Big Al signing wanted to keep Wallace. There is no comparison. Great signing.

This whole team is becoming Chotastic.

Posted by: Michael | Jul 5, 2013 4:59:00 PM

Now McRoberts? These guys are getting it D O N E.

Posted by: Bobnet | Jul 5, 2013 5:02:26 PM


I made my comment before dwight announced (or at least before seeing it). they're still offering jeffersion and biedrins with 1st rounders attached because they are in WIN NOW mode and want to bring in somebody NOW. Josh smith, igoudala, etc. all being discussed.


I hear you, but again.....i feel like this is a half step. I'm ok with the fact that it will quite possibly be a 2 year deal, but I feel like we could have rode out another year as horrible instead of stepping into mediocrity at the wrong time.

Bogut IS damaged goods. but what does it matter? its a one year deal instead of 2. and no......we wouldn't lose any of the cap flexibility next summer.........all of those 3 guys are on expiring deals. they would not only be gone next summer, but be tradeable at the deadline for the next team to try and dump salary.

the klay thompson thing came down to this......they were offering klay or barnes to the lakers in the sign and trade. we could have gotten the same deal done for them by taking back biedrins and jefferson and thompson (renouncing henderson and probably mcroberts) and that would have left golden state with the room to sign howard and us with walker/thompson/mkg/zeller/biz and maybe an additional 1st in next year's draft as well. and definitely a higher draft pick next year than we will have with jefferson on board.

as much as we can miss out on the lottery and not pick 1st........the probability IS higher when you're seeded at the bottom. but the more important part is the guaranteed floor. if we finish 10th worst, our floor is 13th. it's not likely that the 10th worst team picks 13th, but still. there's way more value to our franchise finishing last-4th to last than there is in signing al jefferson for 2 years.

the hypotheticals were to make a point that we are giving up our leverage and flexibility to land a young star a la the harden deal. we gave that up. for al jefferson. no matter how you cut it, it's a half step. instead of drafting high and swinging for the fences, we signed a guy that's good enough to get us out of the cellar and not good enough to get us near the trophies.

we can STILL pull a deal using gordon expiring and sessions, but the better deals are in the dumps where we send nothing back.

the worst thing that happens is that we win 25 games instead of 35 games and we can still use the cap room next year. is that really a bad problem? that's the worst case scenario. instead we chose the scenario where we have less flexibility in trades and a lower draft pick in the wrong draft.

and it doesn't follow the model of any of the "small" market teams that have had success. indiana signed david west AFTER they made a playoff push. that was to send them over the top and fill the one hole they had (same thing with george hill deal). OKC did it with perkins AFTER they became a playoff bound team. Orlando did it with rashard lewis after they already had nelson/howard/reddick/turkoglu in place.

none of those teams made this kind of move. so we're going against history with this one.

and I am concerned with biz' minutes. 20 would be the floor. anything under 20 = another draft pick given up on wayyyy too early. now I would be ok if they sent him and ewing down to the d-league for a month to make him the 1st option down there and build his offense up. that's fine. but give up on him now? would be concerning. and I can't imagine a scenario where a guy drops below 20 minutes in his 3rd year and lives to tell about it. with mcroberts on board, there doesn't seem to be a ton of minutes to go around. we're talking 48 for zeller/mcroberts and 48 for biz/jefferson. definitely a more talented team but good enough to be anything worthwhile? no. so why play yourself out of contention for a big move?

never half steppin like i'm daddy kane©sigel.

Posted by: charlottean | Jul 5, 2013 6:38:55 PM


now they're saying only dallas and atlanta are out. and golden state DID trade 2 firsts along with 2 bad contracts (could have been us) to utah so they could sign igoudala.

writing is on the wall if you ask me......they're about to trade bogut and barnes to the lakers for dwight and be stacked as FFUGGGGGGHHHH. curry/thompson/igoudala/lee/howard?! insane if they can pull it off.

if this is all true......we could have been sitting right now on a bogut/barnes/ezili/green give away that i would have definitely taken over jefferson.

bogut has the same impact and then you get 3 young guys from last years draft class that IN A WORST CASE are great trade assets to have. i don't know if barnes and MKG could play together but I would definitely like to find out.

but instead we get al jefferson. how are more people not seeing this? it's not a horrible move getting jefferson, but are we going for "not horrible" or are we going for great? what's the end goal here? championship or playoff appearance(s?)?

morey and myers and even demps and hennigan are playing big boy ball and it still feels like we're the step child of the nba.

Posted by: charlottean | Jul 5, 2013 6:51:34 PM

now they're saying it's done? everyone except daryl morey. hmmmm.

Posted by: charlottean | Jul 5, 2013 6:54:11 PM

If not for the $41,000,000 I'd feel kind of sorry for Al as he seems like a solid guy.

What kind of playoff experience/record does he bring with him?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Jul 5, 2013 8:20:55 PM

T Time & Big Baby ! LSU Basketball LOL !

Posted by: chris in union county | Jul 5, 2013 8:50:06 PM

a whopping 11 games of playoff experience.

and phenomenal 4 game sweep last year at the hands of the spurs. and a 7 game 1st round exit that he played 20 mpg as a rookie with the celtics (the walker/pierce/lafrentz/ricky davis variety.......you know......the one where if it was a 3 point shot from inside the arena......sure you're open....enough.......eff it.......shoot it....).

so yeah. not much. and i wouldn't exactly put a whole lot of money on him adding to that number while here. maybe another 4 games.

Posted by: charlottean | Jul 5, 2013 10:20:28 PM

- The Warriors are the winners in their trade with the Jazz. They got exactly what they wanted: at the price of some draft picks (which, coming from them, can't be high), they dumped as much crap as they wanted on the Jazz. I'm glad we're not their partners in this. Now, the idiots from Utah are also losing their chance to re-sign Millsap (because of loading their payroll for next season; by the way, by next season I mean what I also meant on my earlier post: '13-'14, it starts in nearly four months from now, so evidently, this is the next season, not '14-'15).
If the Jazz want to sink, they're welcome to; we experienced this already more than most fans (including me) - and certainly Michael Jordan too - can take.
Every season is equally important to any other one, so I can accept ups and downs that just happen, not tanking.
It's better to care about competing in the real world, always, than to bask in a world of uncertain fantasies. For satisfying the latter craving, there is Playstation.

- That trade confirms what was very clear: the Warriors dump bad expiring contracts, but they stick to their young talent. They would've sacrificed Klay T., or H. Barnes (not both, as L.A. wanted) only to get Dwight; well, that won't happen. The Bobcats could've played in the G.S. plans the Jazz's part only.
Thank you, MJ/Cho/Higgins, for not falling into that trap, for the sake of some more wishful thinking.

- We take now the sane path, which was adopted during last season; use each and every way and opportunity to get better: develop young drafted players, take good trade opportunities, sign FAs who want to come here to improve the team, without being overpaid.

You really don't need to feel bad for this return to a realistic approach. You too should look forward to a team capable of steadily competing to win again. We can improve every year, and nothing that was done prevents us from becoming contenders down the road. On the contrary, we should stay this course, and take every opportunity to improve every year, step by step.

Posted by: Sandy | Jul 5, 2013 11:08:39 PM

$14,000,000 per year for a player who has 4 total games of playoff experience in the last 8 years and whose team was 0-4 in those games...

...and that's not overpaid?

There isn't a single player on the Spurs making as much money as Big Al is due to be paid! Not one!!

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Jul 5, 2013 11:42:54 PM

For what he gives, Al Jefferson is not at all overpaid. Emeka gets now about $1 mil per year more, for lower production. And I like Emeka, but he's overpaid. Players like Rashard Lewis, Gilbert Arenas, or Amare Stoudemire have been wildly overpaid in recent seasons.
Dirk Nowitzki is a great player, but, his salary is $22.7 mil next season; he had 17.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg last season. Less than Al Jefferson!
Overpaying is very common in this league, but, it's not the case for Al Jefferson.

The Spurs' management is by far the best and the smartest in this league. Grabbing stars, paying them a boatload of money, and then winning the title, a la Danny Ainge (a few years ago) or Pat Riley is not proving good and smart management; it proves boldness plus big market affordability.

How the Spurs manage their team is uncommonly smart and successful.
Still, it's not just this. Tim Duncan is too old (37) for max contracts, Ginobili is old too (and declining). As for Tony Parker, he could've boasted at this time of a max salary if he only wanted to, but he sacrificed (well, talk about "sacrifice" at $12.5 mil per year) just to stay with this wonderful franchise.
OK, you go find us the star who wants to take a lesser pay, just to play for Charlotte.
Then, they have younger players who can't claim yet huge salaries, but who will only become more expensive in the near future.

Posted by: Sandy | Jul 6, 2013 1:09:14 AM

emeka plays defense to offset those offensive numbers. and i think emeka IS overpaid.

roy hibbert is overpaid. amare is overpaid. rashard lewis was grossly overpaid. dirk is worth every dollar. he's a franchise guy who won a ring and lead his team(s) to an unprecedented streak of high playoff seeds in his career. none of the others have done that.

al jefferson is not making us even the caliber of team that amare made new york. that's the problem. he's just making us good enough to have a lower lottery pick. that's it. we don't accomplish anything and he's not even under contract during the years where we WILL be competitive. so what did we win? we got marginally better for the next year or 2. it goes against "the plan" that they've been selling. it goes against ANY PLAN that has ever worked. it's NOT a horrible move. but it's just not THE move. so why make it? it's playing your hand just to play instead of holding the cards for the right moment.

as for the golden state deal.......utah did not lose in that. they weren't planning on bringing back jefferson and milsap anyways. biedrins is a solid bench player if used properly (which is why he got a big contract to begin with) and you now have 2 extremely big trade chips for this seasons deadline. had we done the deal, we would have 4 potential picks in a draft that matters, + 3 large expiring contracts to make a play for a major salary dump. those are assets that are ALWAYS valuable. no we wouldn't win any more this year because of the deal, but zeller and biyombo and mcroberts would still be better than mullens, biyombo and mcroberts/warrick of last year just off the strength of zeller, older biyombo and having mcroberts the whole year. it would have been more sustainable growth while obtaining MORE assets instead of decreasing the value of our most important asset (our 2014 1st round pick).

how is this going to look if we end up the 17th or 18th team (1st out of playoffs) and we have to give our pick up to chicago, and all of the top 5 picks turn out to be absolute studs? I know you will say that would be hindsight and it's a major hypothetical, but it STILL has a better chance of getting us closer to a championship than this deal does.

you can ALWAYS land al jefferson caliber talent at that price point. there is ALWAYS a team willing to dump that level guy. we saw that with the jason richardson deal, we saw it with the stephen jackson deal.

It's like buying a house just to buy a house because at the moment there was nothing better on the market. you could rent for another year while you wait on the perfect fit instead of settling for mediocrity.


now for the golden state deal, there were 2 angles. we could have taken the jazz deal as I explained above, is NOT a losing deal in my mind.


after the jazz deal was done and the lakers refused to do the bogut + barnes or thompson deal..........we could have taken that deal (probably with an additional BS salary attached) clearing enough cap space for the warriors to sign howard + igoudala out right.

bogut if healthy is better than jefferson, if not, who cares. its a 1 year deal instead of 2-3. and you would land a young stud in the process. that is not the ONLY deal for a young stud that will be available in the next 18 months. and technically, it never came to fruition. but we gave up our flexibility to be available for that moment.......so we can win 10 more meaningless games.

it's a half step no matter how you look at it. no championship caliber team was ever built off of this kind of signing. it has NEVER happened.

thankfully the contract will become tradeable in 18 months and we still have the haywood/sessions/gordon package to land a salary dump, but that's only half as good as it would have been had we been under the cap to take back more salary.

again, not the end of the world, but it's not THE MOVE. daryl morey wouldn't do it, sam presti wouldn't do it, buford wouldn't do it, riley wouldn't do it, bird/pritchard wouldn't do it, kupchak wouldn't do it.

david kahn would do it.

Posted by: charlottean | Jul 6, 2013 1:24:05 PM

As usual, we have some points of agreement, but I'll go directly to the other points.

Dirk WAS worth his pay. When he earned it, he got his big contract. But, last season was the first one when he showed serious decline (after a slight decline in the previous season). He's already 35 years old. At this point, thanks to what the CBA made possible for his contract, he's awfully overpaid.

Biedrins used to be really good. Since he came back from his injury, he's a shell, a worthless player, and it's been so for years already. But, he got his big contract when he was healthy.

"you can ALWAYS land al jefferson caliber talent at that price point." Oh, NO! Absolutely NO.
You support this hyperbole with examples of wing players (who actually did a very good job for the Cats).
I assume that it's only for the sake of this argument - not otherwise - that you "forgot" how hard it is to get a quality center (vs. wings and even PFs). A durable one, too, one whose body parts don't crumble under his weight (where is Yao Ming now, or for the past few years?).
This goes for Andrew Bogut too. "bogut if healthy is better than jefferson". Right, but that's a very big IF. The F.O. didn't buy us another iffy proposition. They got a very good center who can make the team better. Why? Because this is the Plan: take every way and every opportunity to improve the team (vs. the narrower plan, of counting essentially and mainly on high draft picks, and only adding pieces of secondary importance by other means).

Al Jefferson doesn't make us a contender!
Well, that's where arguing with you becomes tedious and goes in circles. I already answered this: nobody could've expected our team to be no less than a contender within the next three seasons.

As for Utah, I also said it before: they can go play the lottery this season.
I understand that, having Enes Kanter (as their "center of the future"), they don't keep their starting center, Al Jefferson. But, to give up on Milsap too, who could've been very useful in a Kanter-Favors-Milsap three bigs rotation, that's too dumb.
Again, they're welcome to play the lottery.

We already did it the last three seasons, now it's time for change. Then again, we can still have lottery picks in 2014, and we can also package two for a higher one.

Posted by: Sandy | Jul 7, 2013 1:13:31 AM

For your last joke: you had better ones, to put it mildly.

Since we are weak in low post offense, and we have Kemba and Sessions, David Kahn would've gotten us a point guard, what else?

Posted by: Sandy | Jul 7, 2013 1:17:20 AM

This may sound shallow but I just want to go to a home playoff game in my hornet gear, a Kemba or hendo hornets jersey drinking a over price beer with my son. I don't care if we are a 7th or 8th seed I just want a playoff home game. The crowd at the magic vs bobcats was amazing and I want that feeling back

Posted by: Shutup bandwagoner | Jul 8, 2013 1:04:03 PM

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