By Ed Niser
The proposed deal to send Tyson Chandler and Boris Diaw from Charlotte to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Jose Calderon appeared to be a case of crossed signals.
Diaw for the time being remains a member of the Bobcats, but the possibility of a future trade still looms.
The Raptors seemed to have the notion that the deal was finalized when Chandler’s agent had told him that the deal was done. Chandler also believed this to be the case as he sent the Associated Press an email statement saying that he was now a member of the Toronto Raptors.
Charlotte General Manager Rod Higgins persistently expressed the trade was never finalized and that he had no contact with Diaw about a potential deal being struck.
“We had conversations with Toronto, no secret there. At the end of the day, we didn’t come to a deal. It’s one of those things that happen in this business all the time. A lot of times you don’t hear about it, but those things happen all the time.” Said Higgins on the meltdown of trade talks with the Raptors.
The glaring reason why Bobcats front office personnel pulled their hat from the ring was due to the 10 percent trade bonus in Calderon’s contract, which would amass to a total of $30 million over the next three seasons.
“Our main goal this offseason was finding a way to reshape this roster and position ourselves to compete beyond the first round of the playoffs and continue the momentum we have established” said Higgins on the direction the team was taking this offseason.
Charlotte has recently completed a deal with Dallas sending centers Tyson Chandler and Alexis Ajinca to the Mavericks in exchange for Erick Dampier,Eduardo Najera and Matt Carroll.
Chandler came to the Bobcats as a result of a deal last July that sent Emeka Okafor to the New Orleans Hornets. Chandler saw playing time in 50 games for the Bobcats during the 2009-2010season where he accumulated averages of 6.6 points and 6.4 rebounds a game in his stint with Charlotte.
Ajinca heard his named called in the first round of the NBA draft in 2008 as the 20th overall pick by the Charlotte Bobcats. Ajinca appeared in 37 games for Charlotte where he posted 2.2 points per game while only averaging 5.7 minutes a game. Ajinca made his presence felt in the NBA’s D-League where he was selected to the 2010 D-League All-Stars, where he averaged 14 points and 7.3 rebounds a game. The 7-foot Frenchman will find himself in Dallas next season alongside fellow big man Chandler.
The Charlotte Bobcats acquired the thirteen year veteran Dampier from Dallas with the option of releasing his $13 million dollar contract in lieu of a more tempting trade or free agent signing. Dampier’s spot on the Charlotte depth chart can be for the time being considered penciled in, since the team as of right now views him as potential trade bait in the future.
“You look at Dampier’s number and it if the scenario comes where we decide to waive his contract, you are going to minus $13 million dollars and that looks pretty good on our books, but I don’t want to say that that is going to be the deal because we haven’t gotten that far,” Higgins said in a statement released to the media. “The first piece is getting the contract and getting the player, and then we’ll determine what’s best at that point.”
Dampier has put together an impressive career that spans over a decade, where he averaged 7.8 points and 7.4 rebounds a game. The six-foot-eleven center gives the Bobcats a veteran big man, who will provide a spark on the defensive side of the ball.
Najera is most well known for his defensive mindset and rebounding ability, he has a career average of just under four rebounds a game. He is a pioneer for aspiring Mexican NBA players being the only player of Mexican descent ever drafted.
The Mavericks took the six-foot-eight forward in the second round of the 2000 NBA Draft after scouts gave the University of Oklahoma stud rave reviews.
It has been a rocky road to the NBA for Carroll; the Notre Dame alum entered the 2003 NBA Draft and went undrafted. He later signed a free agent contract with the New York Knicks only to learn that he was one of the team’s final cuts.
Carroll then tried his luck with the Portland Trail Blazers in 2004, but he appeared in only 13 games averaging just one point per game.
In Carrolls’ five seasons with the Bobcats, his career best performance occurred in the 2006-2007 campaign where he averaged 12.1 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.
“We have a history with him (Carroll) and know his game having allowed him an opportunity to be successful with our club,” said Higgins on the addition of Carroll. “Matt just simply wants to compete and earn his minutes”
The Charlotte Bobcats are in the rebuilding stages and hope to make a push past the first round of the playoffs in the 2010-2011 season, but they still need to address the needs at the point guard position with the departure of fan favorite Raymond Felton to the Knicks.