With all hope for a decent season gone, the Charlotte Bobcats are one of the teams expected to be active before the NBA trade deadline.
The team is mentioned in several trade scenarios, mostly involving Ben Gordon, DeSagana Diop or Gerald Henderson moving out in exchange for various pieces. The Bobcats have had three top 10 first round draft picks in the last two NBA drafts, so it’s not very likely they’re in the market for a draft pick. Instead, the Bobcats will no doubt look for a difference making player, but do they have what it takes to get one?
Some of the stories have been a bit ridiculous, linking the Bobcats with the likes of DeMarcus Cousins. That trade is extremely unlikely of course with Sacramento unwilling to deal anyone really given the uncertainty of the franchise’s future. Charlotte was also one of the teams rumored to be in the Rudy Gay discussion, but we saw where that went. Now a fresh pair of names has the press reeling to figure out what’s next for Air Jordan’s squad.
One of the names being thrown around is Kris Humphries given that the Nets were trying to move him along to Atlanta as part of a deal for Josh Smith. Humphries $12 million salary is identical to that of Ben Gordon, so some have reasoned that a straight trade is in order to give the Bobcats some more front court muscle.
This reasoning is flawed, however, as the Bobcats are reasonably stacked with front court options and would not likely part with a reliable scorer in Gordon simply to bring in a guy who is having the worst season of his career and is as well known for his off the court relationship drama as he is for anything he’s done on it. If the deal, however, was to include MarShon Brooks, Charlotte might want to consider it.
Gerald Henderson’s exit is looming and Detroit is said to be interested. Last year, the two sides swapped Corey Maggette for Ben Gordon and a top 14 protected pick this season. The Pistons will retain that pick for this year, but could send Jason Maxiell to Charlotte this season to give the Bobcats the aforementioned front court player that some people believe them to be looking for. Maxiell’s $5 million contract expires at year’s end as does Henderson, but Maxiell would allow the Bobcats to clear more space than Henderson’s $3.5 million deal.
Detroit may wait and attempt to acquire Henderson on their own in the summer as a free agent, but if Charlotte can upgrade an expiring contract and give the Pistons the man they want now, the deal works out better for everybody.
As for Diop, the potential value that could be returned to Charlotte in any sort of trade is negligible. His only value to any team that takes him is his expiring $7.3 million contract. What is that worth? Well, that is of course up for negotiation. Charlotte would do well to use this outlet if they intend on getting a future first round pick or a couple second round picks, but it’s hard to see them doing better than that, however.
Lastly, there are rumors that Charlotte will be receiving calls from Indiana regarding taking Danny Granger in exchange for a few of these pieces and possibly their first round pick. Whether or not the Bobcats would listen to it given Granger’s recent injury troubles and the fact that he’s not really a game changer nor a developing talent at 29-years of age, will be interesting. The big question is, does Granger make the Bobcats better? The answer is no.
In my opinion, Charlotte is better off leaving this one on the table. With two rookie small forwards in Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Jeff Taylor, there really is no point in the Bobcats acquiring Granger unless they plan on relegating one of the two youngsters to the bench for a few years or moving Taylor to the two guard. Granger’s ability to shoot is something they can acquire in a younger player, so they are better off using Henderson and Diop’s deals to acquire more picks or an expiring contract.
If they brought in Granger, they are forced to then build around him as their key player rather than the up and coming talents of Kemba Walker, Kidd-Gilchrist and Bismack Biyombo. While the Bobcats could listen to what Indiana has to say, ultimately they should leave that option sitting unless Indiana can offer them another valuable piece other than Granger.