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July 05, 2013

Bobcats have deal to re-sign power forward Josh McRoberts

            For perhaps the first time in their decade-long history, the Charlotte Bobcats have assembled a deep and solid frontcourt rotation.

            Thursday the Bobcats came to terms with former Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson. Friday the front office closed a deal to re-sign power forward Josh McRoberts, who started 19 of his 26 games with the Bobcats last season after a February trade.

            McRoberts is getting a two-year contract with a total value of about $5.5 million, according to an NBA source. The second of those two seasons is at McRoberts’ option.

            Last month the Bobcats used the fourth overall pick of the draft to select 7-footer Cody Zeller out of Indiana. The Bobcats still have center Bismack Biyombo under contract. Combining these four players gives the Bobcats their most depth ever at center and power forward.

            Jefferson and McRoberts can’t be signed until after the NBA’s moratorium period ends July 10. Bobcats officials also are barred from discussing free agents with the media until then.

            But general manager Rich Cho said with conviction at midseason the Bobcats would address their deficiencies in low-post scoring and rebounding, either through the draft or free-agency. Turns out the front office used both paths to shore up the frontcourt.

            McRoberts, entering his seventh NBA season, was traded to the Bobcats last February from the Orlando Magic for Hakim Warrick. He won the starting job at power forward over Byron Mullens down the stretch of a 21-61 season,

            McRoberts averaged 9.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists with the Bobcats. He was particularly helpful as a high-post passer, rotating the ball to either side of the lane in a more efficient way than the Bobcats had done previous to his arrival.

            McRoberts, who played college ball at Duke, said at the season’s conclusion he was receptive to returning to the Bobcats, but that money would be a primary factor in his decision. McRoberts didn’t get big dollars in this deal but the second season being at his option gives him flexibility should he have a big 2013-14 season.

            The day after drafting Zeller the Bobcats chose not to make a qualifying offer to Mullens, which would have restricted his free-agency. With McRoberts back, it seems unlikely Mullens will return as a Bobcat.

            The Bobcats have yet to make a deal with restricted free agent Gerald Henderson, their starting shooting guard the past two seasons.

Posted by Observer Sports on July 5, 2013 at 04:28 PM | Permalink

Comments

I like the signing. If the NBA calculated the secondary or hockey assist, McRoberts value would look even greater than the 2.7 assists implies. Our frontcourt looks strong. We're probably an all star caliber scorer and a 3 point specialist away from being a contender. And Taylor may develop into the latter.

Posted by: Jeff | Jul 5, 2013 4:41:18 PM

Very good news. Josh made this team better late last season, and the price is more than right.

I used to summarize the Cats' failures in the last three seasons: 62-168 record, 106 games below .500. I was sick and tired of this mess. I bet it made Michael Jordan even sicker (not that he didn't have anything to do with it, but I look at that as past now).

Now, I can't even say how excited I am to see our management moving in the right direction, finally.

They took a whole series of good decisions in 2013: trading Warrick for Josh McRoberts, firing Mike Dunlap, bringing Steve Clifford as his replacement, not keeping Byron Mullens, drafting Cody Zeller, amnestying Tyrus, signing Al Jefferson, and now, re-signing Josh McRoberts. With each one of this decisions, this franchise moved one notch higher. Next step: keeping Hendo!

Way to go, Cats/Hornets!

Posted by: Sandy | Jul 5, 2013 5:07:45 PM

Iggy signed for 12 mil a year. Had to guarantee 4 years. Is 29 and his number have been declining. Bug men are much more difficult to find, signing Jefferson is looking better and better!

Posted by: Bobnet | Jul 5, 2013 5:08:14 PM

Of course, these (not "this") decisions.
Too much excitement, too little spell-check.

Posted by: Sandy | Jul 5, 2013 5:10:38 PM

Can't wait for the, but where is Biz going to his minutes? (Enter whiny voice here) What a jackass.

Nice work Bobcats!

Posted by: Season Ticket Holder 2 | Jul 5, 2013 5:12:06 PM

Are the Cats finally getting it right. Two years of torture looks like it is paying off in a big way. MJ is spending and more importantly spending it right. Not locked into any bad long term deals. When they replace Gordon next year, they will have a serious squad here. Ready for he schedule to come out.

Posted by: Special K | Jul 5, 2013 5:15:43 PM

Might not have to worry about Biz minutes. I might start him with Big Al and bring Cody and McBob of the bench. Would be one heck of a second team with Sessions at the point. These rotations are going to be very good next year.

Posted by: Davey | Jul 5, 2013 5:20:24 PM

The year Reggie Miller took the Pacers to the Finals I don't think his supporting cast was any better than the one the Bobcats have now assembled, and I think there are multiple transcendent scorers in the upcoming draft. The question is can we still land one? If not, can we land such a player by packaging our other two first round picks in a trade?

Time will tell, but we're either going to have the problem of being better than expected (and losing our 2014 pick) or hitting the sweet spot where we land a great pick to join a roster ready to support a franchise player.

Let's not forget Stephen Curry was picked 7th his draft year (Miller 11th, Pierce 10th, Dirk 9th). As long as we don't lose our pick, we might get it done with a scorer picked 6-10.

Posted by: Jeff | Jul 5, 2013 5:23:47 PM

Oh...and nice work Cuban. Good thing he has all that money and just got bumped from the D12 sweepstakes. They better hurray and sign Bynum and Milsap. Maybe they can keep Chris Kaman.....Ha

Posted by: Davey | Jul 5, 2013 5:25:42 PM

Bobcats clearly have a plan and are executing it step by step. That alone is exciting! Zeller (4), Jefferson (5) and McRoberts (3, 4 and 5) have made the team better by building the front court. I know they plan to match any offer to Henderson so you can count that as another good move.

I would also research signing Cole Aldrich too - if we can get him for around 2 M a year. He could be a great backup 5 for Jefferson and then we could play Biyombo more at 4. I would make a mult-year offer to Seth Curry too. Sure he wasn't drafted - but if he didn't play all last year with a broken chin this guy might have been top ten! Aldrich might get a shot at starting somewhere so we may have no shot at him - but i would at least research it. He would be a great backup to Jefferson.

Posted by: Dom | Jul 5, 2013 5:29:18 PM

I was going to say 25 wins max next season. But with this amazing signing, I'm bumping it up to 26.

Sad when we have to get excited about signing a mediocre journeyman

Posted by: Fred | Jul 5, 2013 5:38:01 PM

This team is much improved at every position... Without Big Al they were going to win 25 to 30 games just based on the late season improvement. He will add 15 wins - so I have them winning 40 games and making the playoffs. Sorry Wiggins fans - but he isn't coming to Charlotte.

Posted by: Dom | Jul 5, 2013 5:56:07 PM

This is the most action I've seen since the Bobcats have been in the league. Larry Brown got this team in a mess. We're just now recovering from this!

Posted by: MIke | Jul 5, 2013 6:11:21 PM

Quick. In the last 2 year show many players averaged 17 points and 9 rebounds. Exactly 12 players and you should see the list. Journeyman my a!%#. The bobcats got a player. Man. One more team and Lebron will be a journeyman,

Posted by: Davey | Jul 5, 2013 6:47:25 PM

KEEP HENDERSON AND A 7th seed in the EAST,,I really hope we don't trade Sessions,,bc a couple of the rumor mills had him going somewhere.I'm thinking maybe we could be in the Josh Smith sweepstakes as far as getting someone else veterans...

Posted by: JC | Jul 5, 2013 7:07:58 PM

I agree. Disassembling that playoff team was the right thing to do. Larry Brown put us in a horrible Cap situation. I wish Tyrus the best but I am glad he was amnestied. I'm sure he will be just fine. I like the moves being made.

Posted by: nucat | Jul 5, 2013 7:10:02 PM

Nucat, disassembling a playoff team just for the purposes of money was the dumbest and most selfish thing this franchise ever did. You don't throw away 4 seasons, just so you can perhaps put yourself in the same position as a lower seeded playoff team. That playoff team should never have been messed with and there are no guarantees, regardless. To simply toss away seasons and become the laughingstock of the NBA had many negative effects, most importantly the way it impacted fans.
Sure, there may be better days ahead, but the ONLY reason why the playoff team was dumped was because of MJ's struggling finances...don't kid yourself that it was any other scenario.

Posted by: No more seatcushions? | Jul 5, 2013 7:32:30 PM

Nobody talks about Byron Mullens. I like this kid. He shoots a high % and he is a decent post player. Not to mention a solid 3 point threat. Hey Mike can we keep him?

Posted by: GUESS WHO | Jul 5, 2013 7:35:07 PM

For the purposes of money? That is ludicrous. Jackson is basically out of the league. Wallace has been traded multiple times and is in serious decline. Diaw is a back up. Augustine? Felton keeps proving he is not a playoff point guard. The only player possibly player worth keeping was Chandler. Paying that group would have been a huge mistake and not because of money. It is clear now MJ did the right thing. More clear than than ever.

Posted by: Jimbo | Jul 5, 2013 7:48:02 PM

Sorenson is wrong. The Bobcats are formidable now.

Posted by: Special K | Jul 5, 2013 7:50:03 PM

glad its mcroberts (and cheap) rather than somebody worse (or better?). henderson will get done. I'm sure they're letting him determine his market value at this point and now that howard is settled in houstin.........and igoudala is off the market as well......things will start sorting out.

someone mentioned cuban failing in the howard sweepstakes....obviously it looks that way. but if bynum is healthy, i would take him and his hair over howard and his diva mentality any day. i know that's a big if but it's becoming an if for howard also.

dallas will put together some pieces and be in the playoffs and from there it's just a matter of dirk going off or coming up short. but at least they went for it with howard.

they could easily land barea, josh smith, bynum or pekovic and then sign a bunch of QUALITY vets for minimum type deals to go with some young guys. they have something like 25-26 million to play with and an owner that players love playing for. calethes would be a solid move for dallas if they can get him over.


if we can get hendo back in the fold AND add seth curry. I will be completely satisfied with the offseason moves. I'm not completely on board with the jefferson pick up, but the structure of the deal was solid and it could have been a lot worse. drafting zeller and resigning mcroberts are both solid moves I approve of and if the other 2 deals get done......that would make 4.5 or so out of 5. which is a lot better than rod higgins' batting average.

Posted by: charlottean | Jul 5, 2013 7:56:06 PM

Josh was the 'glue' that held the team together when he arrived...great sign and encouraging that players seem to 'want' to play in Charlotte under current staff. Now, get Hendo on the dotted line and GO HORNCATS!

Posted by: eduardo | Jul 5, 2013 8:13:49 PM

Guess Who I heard Mullins got an offer from the Lakers,,but don't know how true.

Posted by: JC | Jul 5, 2013 8:31:11 PM

could be a good fit with clark and howard gone. definitely a dantoni type of guy (see channing frye).

Posted by: charlottean | Jul 5, 2013 8:43:13 PM

Bobcats sign a top 5 free agent. Deal with it!

Posted by: Tom | Jul 5, 2013 10:47:18 PM

Jimbo, let's see if you have the patience to read through all of the following facts, which totally debunk your (and not yours only) crude oversimplifying of what happened to this team in the last three seasons.

1. The dismantling of the playoffs team was NOT one decision, taken with a plan.

First step was taken in the 2010 off-season: not keeping Felton and Chandler, exactly because of being unwilling to spend on players who just took a first round sweep. At the same time, they gave a big and totally unjustified contract to Tyrus. So, let's spend on wishful thinking (which failed), so there won't be money left for proven starters.
There was NO plan at that time, just overreacting to the playoffs failure.

One thing leads to another, and there came was the second step: weakening the team by losing two out of its main five players led to the conclusion that this became a hopeless bunch, and rebuilding through the draft is the only way left. The rebuilding started with trading Gerald Wallace in February 2011. This was predictably followed by trading Jax in the 2011 off-season.
The Plan was born more than half a year after the initial weakening of the team, and as a result of it; but that weakening was, in the first place, unnecessary.

2. Talking about what players did in 2013 is totally irrelevant hindsight, it has nothing to do with decisions taken in 2010 and 2011.
Felton got a very good contract for the Knicks in 2010, followed by his best season ever ('10-'11). This is relevant.
Chandler proved them wrong right away, as everyone knows.
Gerald Wallace was still playing well in '10-'11 (and '11-'12). Again, that's relevant to the trade, not 2013.
Stephen Jackson was good enough to be picked by a championship contender in 2012. Not that this is relevant. What happened in 2012 is irrelevant to starting the rebuilding in Feb. 2011.
Jax was traded after giving the Cats 18.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg and 3.6 apg in '10-'11. This is relevant. His trading had nothing to do with his performance, it was simply doing what obviously had to be done, AFTER it was decided to go into rebuilding (but, we didn't need to get there, in the first place).

3. Among those complaining about dismantling the playoffs team, NOBODY ever said: "this was such a great team, we should've kept it for ever and ever, until the wheels fell off!".
No. This is only the ridiculous distortion of this viewpoint, perpetrated endlessly by the rebuilding fans.

The actual viewpoint is: there was no reason to dismantle the playoffs team, and sink to the bottom of the league.
BUT of course, that team needed improvement, and there were gradual ways of achieving it.
I wrote several times about those completely realistic alternative ways.

The big difference was between the mess we witnessed, which is three seasons at 106 games below .500, and choosing a course of gradual improvement (trading players for real value - and such opportunities were missed, or letting expiring contracts expire in 2012, and then using the cap room in free agency, not to mention the possibility of trading up in drafts, without wrecking whole seasons), while still having a good, or a decent, team in those last three seasons.

This is all water under the bridge now. The only reason I'm still writing on this is, as I said from the beginning, to debunk some very cheap oversimplifications of what was done with this team in recent years.
We needed to, and we could, become better, without going through all this grief.

- - -

However, this is not I care about now.
I made it clear earlier that I'm very glad to see the management going the right way now.
I counted no less than eight really good decisions they made in 2013.
We'll have again a truly competitive team, we can be sure that we'll lose again in a first round of playoffs (maybe, in 2015, after being proud of the team during the regular season), but then, I'm sure, there will be no more overreacting.
We'll take it from there. The only way is up. Through gradual improving and changes (of the non-hectic kind) the Hornets have every chance to become a deep playoffs team, and eventually, hopefully, a contender.

Posted by: Sandy | Jul 6, 2013 12:30:56 AM

I never said dismantling the team was part of a plan. If you want me to read carefully, you should do the same. I said MJ did the right thing. Paying Chandler 15 Million would have been a mistake. Felton was not worth the money either, he makes 3 million and change now which is where he should have been all along. Wallace is not a 10 million a year player. Admire him all you like, but he was physically in decline and that has only been proven out. When we see what the next Portland pick ends up being, it could be even a better move.

Paying these 3 players would have been a massive mistake. Thomas should never have been payed either, but he was young and they had given up a first round pick for him. The smart play would have been to admit your mistake and let him walk.

Part of a plan? I agree that is not likely. It seems like a plan started to take shape the moment they hired Cho and it looks like it is being executed quite well. But keeping that group of players together would not have been the right move. Hindsight is what makes it clear not any plan. That team would have been an over payed group of marginal players just good enough to cost you MKG and Zeller.

As I said. More clear than ever.

You did do a nice job of debunking a theory that never existed in my original post. So at least there is that.

Posted by: Jimbo | Jul 6, 2013 7:28:47 AM

OJ Mayo got 8 million a year. That should help set a market for Henderson at least. Hopefully they can sign him for less than that.

Posted by: Steve | Jul 6, 2013 7:34:24 AM

Seriously. People are still debating dismantling that Bobcats "playoff team"
Only player worth keeping was Chandler and I am not sure at 15 million per. Wallace to 10 mil. Ray wanted how much then? That is alot of cap space for those 3 players. Not to mention what were Diaw and Jackson making at the time, That is some where around 50 million just for that group and what is the cap? No way.

Posted by: Burt Wonderstone | Jul 6, 2013 8:13:50 AM

Seatcushions, This franchise needed a makeover from top to bottom. Not just the players but everything from the TV deal to to public relations. I can still remember when I could only watch a few games per season on TV thanks to Bob Johnsons cable TV brilliance. MJ inherited the mess Bob Johnson created from day one. Next town Larry Brown assembled a playoff team but if you look at how those players are doing now it's obvious that wasn't a group that could make a deep playoff run.

Posted by: nucat | Jul 6, 2013 9:11:24 AM

tthe biggest thing we all fail to remember about the "dismantling" is that larry brown quit on the team after they went thomas over felton/chandler.

had brown actually been as equally vested in the augustin/jackson/wallace/diaw/brown......with henderson/mohammed/livingston/thomas off the bench.....

that was NOT a huge talent level drop off no matter how you want to count it. chandler was injured most of his year here. felton/augustin vs. augustin/livingston is marginal at best. there's a lot of give and take/pros and cons there.

brown gave up on that team before the season started. EVEN WITH THAT, and EVEN with the wallace and mohammed trades and EVEN WITH stephen jackson being an absolute D the entire year they still won only 10 games less than the team the year prior. had brown been invested and the trades not happened.......that easily could have been the exact same win total as the year prior and with a more sustainable group contract wise.


brown played a HUGE part in this. it was he who pushed for thomas to begin with and thomas played well for him.

summer league starts tomorrow...vegas in a few weeks. i'm excited.

roster update is.......

9 under contract with jefferson and mcroberts. zeller makes 10. henderson hopefully 11. still leaves AT LEAST 2 required spots and 2 more available spots and seth curry better be one of them.

Posted by: charlottean | Jul 6, 2013 1:33:52 PM

Horncats just announced offer to match any deal for Gerald Henderson which means he'll be back.

Posted by: Hugo Panther | Jul 6, 2013 2:21:10 PM

where do you see that?

Posted by: charlottean | Jul 6, 2013 2:43:23 PM

MJ is only worth about 750 million ass-seat

Posted by: Hugo Panther | Jul 6, 2013 9:19:39 PM

Jimbo, you started and ended your post yesterday by denying that dismantling the playoffs team was about THE MONEY. In hindsight, that team was basketball-wise too bad to keep, you say. Then, today you argue at length that said team wasn't worth THE MONEY it costed. So yes, it was the money (in 2010).

I answered earlier the claim that it was NOT about the money. Well, if not that, then there should've been a plan. There was none (in 2010).

To get something in this league, you HAVE TO pay up. Many NBA teams, in every season, load their payroll way more than the Cats did in 2010, and still have losing records. So no, that wasn't too much, to expect MJ to pay the guys who made the fans proud during the regular season (yes, for anyone who forgot this, we were proud and excited for that first winning season in team history).
A 44-38 team in the best league in the world is not a bad team; it's a good one - though, not at all a great one.

The playoffs sweep came as a very bitter disappointment. Yet, there wasn't one fan clamoring for breaking up that team and starting over at THAT time. Not one. It was very legitimate to ask for taking steps to improve on that team - not to break it up.

Hindsight is worthless in discussing past decisions. The decisions were made in 2010 (and beginning of 2011) based on information available at that time.
An example: in 2012-13, Gerald's body showed massively the signs of wear-out, due to mileage plus his manner of playing. This is his first really weak season after we gave up on him. It also comes AFTER his contract with the Bobcats expired anyway (in 2012, same as Jackson's).

All Bobcats' fans agreed in February 2011 that trading Wallace for non-starting caliber players AND two first round draft picks was the beginning of rebuilding. Trading Jax was just a matter of time (they actually started shopping him around too before the trade deadline of 2/11).

Cho was hired four months later because his thinking went in the same direction - rebuilding through the draft - but they trusted him more than themselves for the execution of MJ's plan (yeah, they were right about that...).

During the last season, the plan was tweaked: it's not a pure rebuilding through the draft anymore as the essential feature, it became a mix of taking every possible step and using every opportunity to raise our team: certainly, develop the lottery picks we have, look forward for some additional good draft picks, but also sign veteran free agents who can really make us better, and look for trades for real value as well. "All of the above" - this is the Plan.

If we wanted to continue the original plan, we definitely would NOT have signed Al Jefferson, we would've skipped on Josh McRoberts too (because, you see, these are guys who can help us win more NOW), and we would've continued to stink it up and hang our hopes on the lottery of 2014.
There are fans who became addicted to the lottery project, and wanted us to do precisely
this.

Again, all this is history (and, I love history, way beyond basketball), and it has nothing to do with how I look at the team now.
I'm very glad to see realism prevailing now, and I'm fully behind the current refurbished plan ("All of the above"). It wasn't realism, also no plan at all, just overreacting to a bump on the road (in 2010) that led us into the pits for three seasons.

Posted by: Sandy | Jul 6, 2013 10:50:09 PM

charlottean, you know very well I mentioned in several previous posts that Larry Brown was disgusted with the roster changes, and indeed, gave up on the team before the season even started.

Well, I can't blame him. When you see - just look at this from the perspective of the 2010 off-season - that MJ is angry after the playoffs, and wants to run the team on the cheap, with no plan to improve it, when a weakened roster is what he throws at the coach, then how did you expect him to react?

We're talking here about Larry Brown, who is not known for patience, who wants every season to be better than the previous one. If that's not possible, than his heart is not in it anymore. And MJ knew exactly that, if you want coach Brown, you get the whole package - a great basketball mind, and quirks as well.

Tyson Chandler was finally playing very well, and became an important part of the team, after taking a large part of the season to recover from injuries. There was no excuse for the ridiculous trade through which we lost him.

This is where we have a middle ground.
Even if we lost Felton, if we kept Chandler (without splurging on Tyrus) we would've been in better shape (you also said this, in your previous comments). That alone, most likely, wouldn't have made LB happy.

But then, Paul Silas came, with a very positive attitude, and the team immediately looked much better. Still, it wasn't as good as the one of the previous season.
Even without Felton, but with Chandler aboard, and with the other starters through the end of the season, coached by Paul Silas, that season would've been redeemed - and it could have served as the basis for improvement.

For those who remember only the worst part of Silas' stint with the Bobcats, here is a refresher: he went 16-13 before Gerald was traded (and after LB was 9-19), but, after that trade, he paid the price: 9-16. With an even weaker roster, the worst season in NBA history came next.

Posted by: Sandy | Jul 6, 2013 11:20:32 PM

I am not sure why MJ dismantled that team. Unlike Sandy, I was not part of those decisions. All I can say is thank god he did or the rebuilding process would have started later. And seeing how some of those players have performed, they would have been average at best. Also without doing the math it would have been tough to add any real talent to that team.

Screw the past. Here is to the future.

Posted by: Michael | Jul 7, 2013 6:16:32 AM

How is signing Jefferson abandoning the plan? Where did they ever say they would not add a veteran? Especially a coveted low post scorer that fills a huge need at decent price. Some great players coming out next year, but certainly no polished big men that can score. Any good ones in free agency?

It's amazing how naive people are. "Plans" in pro sports need to be fluid. Ask the Mavs and the Lakers. The Bobcats added picks and cap space and are now utilizing it. Looks like for some good pieces. Also, Gordon, Sessions and McBob are up next year. That alone is another 20 plus million in additional cap space.

The main part of the "plan" was to add picks and get out off cap jail. That has been done. What happens next is more about opportunity.

Posted by: Steve | Jul 7, 2013 6:24:24 AM

right but the plan was to build through the draft and capitalize on BIG opportunity's. jefferson is a mid level talent. so h's hurting our draft status while not making us significantly better. it would be a better move a year from now and we should be in win-now mode 2 years from now. but this jumped the gun a little bit.


all i'm saying is.....are we playing for playoff births or are we playing for championship aspirations? there's a model that won almost every single championship of the past 30 years with the last pistons title being a complete outlier and the heat's last 2 being of an unprecedented and non replicable model based on lebrons personal decision.

every other team won through the draft. and every small market team that came close during those years did so when you factor in deals like mitch richmond for chris webber.


and none of them made a big splashy signing of a mid level guy like jefferson UNTIL they were ready to win. reinvent the wheel if you want to, but i think the wheel's been rolling for years and can simply be improved upon in details.

again its not a horrible deal because of the short term, it just goes against "the plan" with the timing. we should have been absorbing debt for another year with picks attached. not for the purpose of drafting more guys, but for the purpose of accumulating assets to upgrade the roster and improve draft position down the road.

and mcroberts JUST signed a 2 year deal, no?

not an issue as its only 3 million a year (good value), i'm just saying. we're still moving in the right direction, i'm just critiquing the one move. like i stated above, i'm on board with 4.5/5 of the offseason moves thus far. 4.5/6 if you count the firing of dunlap, call it 5/6 factoring in approving the hire of clifford.

Posted by: charlottean | Jul 7, 2013 12:50:03 PM

Very funny, Michael.

Sandy wasn't part of the decisions.
He just read the news, including on MJ's statements, and didn't ignore, or forget, the most important things. MJ was quoted as saying, more than once, that he's ready to pay up whatever it takes for winners and a winning team, bur he's gonna be tight on spending where he doesn't see any high winning potential.
His actions confirm just this.

My comment explained why I disagreed with his approach towards the players we had in 2010.

Steve, you may have read somewhere that "they abandoned the plan". Not in my posts.

What I said is that they "tweaked" the plan, they "refurbished" it - and thus they improved it.

The plan, as stated in 2011, was to rebuild through the draft, "to get worse before we get better" (quoting Cho), by first dropping very low in the league, then getting high lottery picks, then developing these picks, and making them into the backbone of the young, rebuilt, team. You can get other players as well, but those would be marginal additions, not the core of the team.

Last season, they clearly restated the plan as what I called "all of the above". You're missing the big difference, which I explained in detail in my post on Rick's previous article (on Tyrus).

Rebuilding with the drafted players, and getting more lottery picks, will still happen. But, tanking seasons in order to improve the lottery chances ("getting worse in order to get better") is not a goal any longer.
Yes, we want to be better NOW (i.e., in '13-'14). To this purpose, we can add to the "young core" of players not just marginal rotation players, but also starters who make a difference and fill an important need (i.e., Al Jefferson), just like we used to do BEFORE rebuilding.

The plan (of 2011) was not "abandoned", but it underwent changes, until we got to the improved and more current Plan (of 2013).
If you look carefully at the facts, to the extent you acknowledged them in your own comment, they show clearly that "fluidity" (or flexibility) of plans means just this: tweaking the plan. Again, the management statements (of 2011 vs. of 2013) indicate this difference.

- - -

Good for Charlottean, that he has the intellectual honesty to acknowledge this difference in orientation. Tom Sorensen made a very similar point to his, expressing his disappointment with signing AJ, to be our starting center, and take us farther from those would-be "candies" of the 2014 draft (while teams like the Sixers and Jazz are, quite cynically (toward their fans), taking steps to get closer to said "candies").
As for me, I was against that 2010-11 original plan, and I'm fully behind the management current orientation.

Charlottean, we tanked enough, we got lottery picks, and we have more to come. But, it was time for changing the balance between sinking and winning.

Each season matters, players are paid big money every season, most fans want to see their team winning in every season, and that's why the time to change that balance came:
because being losers again, for the sake of uncertain hopes for the 2014 lottery, was sickening for most fans, and for MJ too, whose ultra-competitive nature can't be satisfied with endlessly dreaming of the future.

Charlottean, you also had the intellectual honesty to acknowledge that the continuation of the 2011 plan in its original, "untweaked" form, was uncertainty laden.
You mentioned yourself the several reasons for which being bad enough in '13-'14 doesn't necessarily secure getting a franchise player in the 2014 draft. More than one or two things can go wrong for those who hang their hopes on the next draft.

Yet, you would've preferred going that way, just for on more season, because that would've increased the probability of hitting the jackpot in 2014 (with no certainty of it).

I appreciate your intellectual honesty, and your better understanding of the processes this team went, and keeps going, through - as compared to the vast majority of fans.

But, we have different points of view (while we always have important points of agreement as well).

Posted by: Sandy | Jul 7, 2013 9:52:39 PM

Stop already with the "Larry Brown put us in a bad cap position" -- that is untrue.

MJ hired Larry as coach. Larry worked for MJ as a coach. Coaches coach. Coaches do not tell the managing partner/owner how to spend the money. Coaches have no authority to sign players or spend partner capital.

MJ put us in the bad cap position -- he has been in control for 7 years now.

So let me see if I have this straight, McRoberts has 6 years in the league and the BOB's are his 5th team. He has 11 games of playoff experience and only 4 has he played more than 10 minutes, started in none.

Big Al is now on his 4th team with 9 years of NBA experience. In the last 8 years he has played in 4 playoff games, all losses. He's the same age as Crash when he was traded because of "physical decline".

I'm actually inclined to like them both but if journeymen players like these (7 trades or cuts between them) are what the future hinges on I don't see any deep forays into the playoffs as promised by His Airheadedness.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Jul 8, 2013 1:01:14 AM

How many big time free agents have wanted to come play in Charlotte? Let's face it, we're not exactly a free agent haven. So when a consistent 17/9 guy is available and actually wants to play here you have to jump on that. Did the Cats overpay for him? Yes, but name another NBA big that isn't overpaid.

So far this offseason the Cats have:

1. Assembled a veteran coaching staff
2. Addressed front court needs through the draft and free agency
3. Kept the core of Kemba/Hendo/MKG/Biz
4. Announced the return of the Hornets name

Not bad. Not bad at all.

Posted by: apauldds | Jul 8, 2013 8:59:29 AM

i think the truth is........the plan was to wait another year before making a splash, but they looked at the free agent market for 2014 and said "if we want to get somebody next summer, we have to do it this summer"

and i can agree with that mindset. i can agree with the "we can't wait forever" mantra too. but the problem is that jefferson just wasn't the right guy to blow the load on.


j.j. hickson just signed 3 years 15 million. surely it would have cost us a bit more than denver (although maybe not because of the playing time available here). but still, comparing him with jefferson AND THE PRICE TAGS, i go hickson all day. even at 7 million a year. wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy better fit for our roster and younger than jefferson too.

only thing jefferson has over hickson is the "mentoring" aspect which I don't know how much I really buy into that being insanely valuable at the price tag he's getting paid. if you want a mentor, sign kurt thomas or juwan howard types who are way past their prime, won't play much and won't cost much.

the thing about building through the draft is that it takes patience. eventually you DO win. eventually ONE guy changes everything. but you have to be patient for it. even the clippers eventually got it right with their hall of griffin/jordan/bledsoe/aminu/gordon which they turned into what they have now. the cavs are doing it right before our eyes.

indiana, okc, denver, all contenders built through the draft. chicago too. it's the ONLY formula that has consistently worked so WHY NOT FOLLOW IT?

we jumped the gun for the wrong guy. it's that simple. it's nothing against jefferson, he's no doubt a player, but he does not make us a contender OR get us any closer to becoming one. he just gets us closer to the middle which is no man's land as mark cuban would tell you.

I bet cuban is looking at 2 routes right now.........bynum or trade dirk to the lakers for artest and scraps and rebuild. and he's completely right. you either go all in with your star or blow it up and start drafting high until you get another star.


once you land that franchise guy, you do EVERYTHING to keep him and you build around him and assuming you can keep him (which new CBA will no doubt help) you win for 15 years. so you build for 5-7 years if need be to land THAT caliber guy. you don't bail on the plan after 3 good drafts for a guy that puts you in the middle and nothing more.


even if they pulled off a monster deal to land a franchise guy (a la harden deal) by using gordon and sessions and whatever else........jefferson isn't good enough or young enough to be the #2 guy on a contender in that scenario. so while he doesn't prevent that from happening, he doesn't help it either. he doesn't make it AS easy as it would have been if we had just sat back, grabbed a hickson or somebody of the like.... and rolled on.


it was a half step where we needed a whole step or no step at all.

Posted by: charlottean | Jul 8, 2013 10:14:44 AM

"jefferson isn't good enough or young enough to be the #2 guy on a contender in that scenario. "

I think Big Al is gonna surprise some people.

Posted by: apauldds | Jul 8, 2013 12:56:45 PM

i would openly welcome him transforming into karl malone all of a sudden. but the nba is not accustomed to seeing 28 year old surprises that have been in the league for 9 years.

What may be the bigger surprise is MKG.

We could easily become a legit team with what we have already. It will take growth from kemba/hendo/mkg/biz and zeller being everything I think he can be.

Posted by: charlottean | Jul 8, 2013 1:24:34 PM

J.J. Hickson was a college center. In the NBA his basic position is power forward, who's able to play some center as well.
If you want to look at him as a center, then he's an undersized one. I like this player, but, as a power forward.

Al Jefferson is a true center; no PF/C here.
This is the hardest position to fill in NBA. This is why teams' rosters have lots of mediocre, or sub-mediocre, or seriously injured players at this position, like at no other one - or, they settle for PF/Cs; because it's so hard to fill it,
if you want a really good, and also durable, true center. Al Jefferson fills this need.

He makes the team better.
Look at our front court. It was the weakest part of the team last season, and it’s so much better now. Jefferson is very strong and effective in the low post, and at rebounding too. He can be at his best at his age now, and for the next three years. Afterwards, we’ll see, no need to speculate now.

The management is now on a right track, which promises to make this team better every year (while factoring in both new players added and the continued development of our drafted players).
I hope they stay the course.

Posted by: Sandy | Jul 8, 2013 2:10:40 PM

"Did the Cats overpay for him? Yes, but name another NBA big that isn't overpaid." (I just would've said: another NBA quality big).

You see apauldds, that simply means that, under the NBA market conditions, he is not overpaid! This is the market, you take it or leave it. We couldn't get a true center of this caliber at a lower price.

Posted by: Sandy | Jul 8, 2013 2:17:24 PM

hickson is less than an inch shorter than jefferson. and almost every single news release said "bobcats sign F/C al jefferson"

Posted by: charlottean | Jul 8, 2013 4:27:06 PM

charlottean, I did some check-up, and here are some quotes:

"Al Jefferson is one of the more intriguing centers available on the open market, and has reportedly landed in Charlotte." Bleacher Report.

"Sources told ESPN.com that the Utah Jazz center has verbally agreed to a three-year contract with Charlotte worth an estimated $41 million." ESPN.

"Jefferson, 28, is one of the premier big men in the game, a throwback back-to-the-basket center" cbssports.

"The Charlotte Bobcats agreed on Thursday to a three-year, $40.5 million contract with free agent center Al Jefferson from the Utah Jazz". Yahoo Sports.

Just RotoWorld named him a C/F, which means primarily center, able to do some forward work. About forward, it's their opinion. I wouldn't want to see AJ at 4, and I wouldn't like to settle for JJ at 5 more than for limited minutes.

- - -

Here are the facts that matter: J.J. Hickson - who is a PF/C (primarily a forward) is listed at 6'9" and 242 pounds, Al Jefferson is listed at 6'10' and 289 pounds. Mass matters, for a center. And, Cody Zeller is a 7 footer who should be primarily a PF in NBA - even when he'll (hopefully) bulk up from 230 to 240-245 pounds.

Not only mass matters for a center, but also Al Jefferson has great low-post moves, and not much shooting range. In other words, he has the game of a high scoring center, not of a PF.

Posted by: Sandy | Jul 8, 2013 8:26:59 PM

if we wanted a true center, we should have gone after bynum.

If he's hurt, we don't lose anything and end up with a high draft pick, if he's not, we have a franchise changing big man.

that would have been a full-step move.

Posted by: charlottean | Jul 9, 2013 10:49:05 AM

Bynum is as high risk as Bogut, or Len, or Noel. Nothing to lose, if he either gets broken again, or simply underperforms ?! Indeed, just $24 mil over to years thrown out the window... I'm not sure you'd be equally ready to literally burn $1,000 out of your pocket as you are to recommend MJ to risk trashing 24,000 times more than that...

We got a center who can actually play, i.e., who proved himself basketball-wise AND is
durable. As I said, someone like this is not easy to find.

I wish you stopped a moment "to smell the roses". Please stop griping, stop weaving utterly unrealistic scenarios - at a time when the team is moving up.

You sure can say I did plenty of my own griping, and I opposed my scenarios to the management actual steps for the last three years.

Exactly so. Here is the big difference: I was a "dissident" when the team was moving DOWN by design, you do it when it finally started moving UP by design.

Please stop this, and try to begin enjoying an improvement that promises to be continuous, sustainable and lasting.

Posted by: Sandy | Jul 10, 2013 2:20:54 AM

Another typo...
Evidently, it's "$24 mil over two years" (on Bynum).

Posted by: Sandy | Jul 10, 2013 2:23:42 AM

the thing is, i don't think it's sustainable. and losing 24 million over 2 years that we HAVE to spend anyways isn't a huge risk. he gets hurt, we're where we are and we have youth developing AND draft picks. if he's healthy, we are LEGIT CONTENDERS WITH A FRANCHISE BIG.

I wouldn't do it for a straight 2 years and that's it, i would only do it if it were a 4 or 5 year deal with a team option to terminate after 1 or 2.

bynum would make us contenders. jefferson makes us POSSIBLY a playoff team. whole step vs. half step. we already have a solid young core so we should be swinging for the fences with the cap room, not spending big money on "a piece"

that's all i'm saying. and I would risk my own personal money that way. I don't gamble, but as an investor.....I would absolutely put several thousand on something that could potentially "win a championship" vs. something that would bring a 2% return. not across the board for the entire portfolio but when you already have a portfolio of performing and growing assets (mkg, biz, kemba, hendo, zeller, taylor) you absolutely take some risk with a less than 20% of your portfolio move.

24 million for bynum vs. 41.5 for jefferson. it's not even an argument.

it didn't work for philly because they gave up THE HOUSE for him. we'd be giving up nothing but cap room which we have to spend next summer anyways. it's not like giving up vucevic, harkless AND igoudala.

Posted by: charlottean | Jul 10, 2013 9:59:10 AM

I thought it didn't work for the Sixers, because he didn't play a minute for them. With or without Iggy and the other two, a 0 minutes contribution is still 0.
I also thought that after this waste of nearly $17 mil, the Sixers decided not to take another chance on him, and preferred to start over, after they've already been in rebuilding for several years. Press the reset button on a rebuilding project - that's a good definition of "ridiculous".

Yeah, I know, you meant to say that the risk for our team wouldn't have been as bad as the risk the Sixers took, since we wouldn't have to give up anyone to sign him as free agent.
Whatever, I still see it as an unnecessary and unjustifiable risk.

More generally, I disagree with you, for the reasons I already explained in several previous posts.

We have, and we'll continue having, different points of view on the course this franchise is taking. This is what really matters: different perspectives on the course to take, beyond all those details and scenarios.
I want a solid, realistic and gradual approach to improvement, I think most fans want the same and the management too finally came around to it - while you won't be pleased with anything that doesn't match your grand plans based on lots of wishful thinking plus risk-taking, i.e., your high flights of the imagination.

It's a fundamental difference, which we always had, not just now.

Posted by: Sandy | Jul 10, 2013 5:26:17 PM

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