The Charlotte Bobcats made a trade. Stop me if you’ve heard that before.
It wasn’t the rumored trade between the Bobcats and Raptors that would have netted point guard Jose Calderon — it was a deal with the Mavericks.
The Bobcats shipped out C Tyson Chandler and Alexis Ajinca for C Erick Dampier, Matt Carroll (yes, that Matt Carroll) and Eduardo Najera. Speculation is that Dampier and his $13 million salary will be dumped in a cost-cutting move sometime in the near future.
The possibilities of Dampier’s contract are evident to everybody – to (Bobcats Chairman) Michael (Jordan),” Bobcats GM Rod Higgins said on Tuesday. “He wants to make sure that we explore all of our options for our next move.”
John Hollinger of ESPN.com rips the deal, and the Bobcats for making it.
If the Bobcats flip Dampier for something of greater value than Chandler, I’ll take it all back, but it doesn’t appear they’re set to do that. Instead, they robbed Peter to pay Paul, cutting $8 million off the current year’s payroll but taking it on in future years. Among other casualties, this deal basically kills whatever slim hope they had of getting under the cap in 2011.
I thought this kind of silliness in Charlotte would stop when Robert Johnson sold the team, but I guess not.
Fans are mixed in their reactions. Some fans on the RealGM Bobcats board can’t figure it out, either. Still others on the BobcatsPlanet.com boards hope there are more deals coming.
“But we are trying to shape this roster, and you addressed the need of obviously the point guard position and that is something that is on our radar,” Higgins said. “And speaking to Michael and to Larry today, between the three of us, we have probably had six separate conversations today, so that let’s you know we are in tune to each other on our needs. We’re going to address those needs and continue to try to improve our ball club.”
The Bobcats still have a glaring need at PG, where they nixed a trade that would have netted them Calderon from Toronto to replace Raymond Felton, who recently signed with the Knicks.
“It needs to be addressed, and we are currently in conversations with guys that are free agents,” Higgins said of the team’s need for a point guard. “As you know, in this business we are already in the temperatures of trades. We have guys that we like on other rosters that address the need in the point guard position. I think that with D.J. Augustin as our only point guard under contract, we know that we have to get more depth and we will try at the end of the day to improve that position. We addressed that need during the draft. I think that after we finished the season, that as a group, that was one of the things we were going to try to address and that is ongoing and part of our roster still has to take form.”
What’s really terrible in all of this is that the Bobcats have wasted two more first round picks — Alexis Ajinca and the first rounder they traded away to get him. Emeka Okafor, Raymond Felton, Sean May, Adam Morrison and Jared Dudley all are former first round picks that are no longer Bobcats, too.
I guess it’s only a matter of time before D.J. Augustin and Gerald Henderson are officially disappointments, too. Augustin played poorly last season and has given the team reason to search for another point man. Henderson, who showed flashes last week during the Bobcats summer league games, barely got off the bench last season.
What do you think of the trade? Pencil me in as “too soon to tell”.