With the NBA Trade deadline looming (Feb. 20th, 3 p.m. ET) there’s a lot of rumors being tossed around as to how active the Bobcats will be and what type of move(s) they will make. To clear things up lets talk about what the Bobcats are looking for and what type of assets they have to give as well as what players may fit they’re needs.
What the Cats Want: The Bobcats are looking for some added scoring punch, especially someone who can bring some added shooting from beyond the arc. The Cats are also looking for additional depth in the front court. They have a pretty slim bench when it comes to the center position due to the preseason loss of Brandon Heywood and besides Bismack Biyombo lack any type of impact player on either end of the court.
What the Cats Have: The Bobcats have a few desirable assets to give that most teams would want. More specifically, the expiring contracts of Ben Gordon (2013-14: $13,200,000) and Ramon Sessions (2013-14: $5,000,000). Expiring contracts, especially one’s the size of Gordon’s, are Gold to NBA teams looking to open up cap space to keep under the luxury tax. The teams that would be most attracted to Gordon or Session would most likely be a team looking to try and snag a big super star talent in free agency this or next summer. It’d be unlikely that a tanking team would be interested in these contracts, but teams like the Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons and Cleveland Cavaliers who are trying to put themselves in position to make deep playoff runs next season would covet them. The Cats also posses possibly three draft pick this season that many teams are coveting right now. The picks include Charlotte’s own pick (owed to the Bull, top 10 protected), a pick from the Portland Trail Blazers (top 12 protected) and a pick from the Detroit Pistons (top 8 protected). The Cats will probably lose their own pick to the Bulls, but will probably have the Pistons (will probably be around 13th-10th) and Trailblazers pick (28th). Typically, both picks wouldn’t seem that valuable, but considering how deep this draft is, teams may be willing to spend quite a bit to get them.
What Players the Bobcats are Chasing: So far, the primary candidates to come to Charlotte have been:
Evan Turner SG, Philadelphia 76ers
Turner has been the focus of most Bobcats trade rumors. It makes sense, he’s a tall two guard (6’5”) who is averaging 17.5 points a game shooting 43 percent from the floor. He would be a welcome addition to the second unit, especially paired with Ramon Sessions. He could also be inserted into the starting line up, taking the place of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at the four spot.
My take: I don’t like the move, although Turner would add some additional scoring ability he is only a 28 percent shooter from 3pt range. The Cats need a player who can stretch the floor, not add to the traffic.
Brandon Bass PF, Boston Celtics
Brandon Bass has had his name mentioned a few times as a possible trade candidate for the Bobcats. He’s a short (6’8″) but thick power forward (250 pounds) who could add some nice depth for the Bobcats thin front court. He’s averaging 10.8 points and 5.8 rebounds a game this season for a surprisingly competitive Celtics team.
My take: I like it, Bass would not only bring some stability to the Bobcats front court, he would provide some valuable playoff experience to a team that has none what so ever. He’s been apart of some deep playoff runs in the past and could help some of the younger guys keep cool under the postseason spot light.
Pau Gasol C, LA Lakers
As of today, there have been some whispers that the Bobcats are interested in the 13 year Spanish big. He’s been injured of late, but has played well for a terrible Lakers team. He’s averaging 17 and 10 this season and runs the floor as well as any center in the league. The question is whether the Lakers would be willing to lose a little in return for his exit and whether the Cats would be willing to gamble on his health. He’s set to return to the court tomorrow night against the Houston Rockets.
My take: I like the gamble on Gasol to a point. The Cats really don’t have much to lose in this trade scenario but I feel like giving away a possible 13th-10th pick in the draft would hurt in the long run because there are a few players in this the draft (Gary Harris SG Michigan State, Rodney Hood SG Duke, Doug McDermott SF Creighton) that the Bobcats could take at that spot who could turn out to be a valuable starter or role players in the future. If the Cats can get him without giving away that pick then I think it’s a great move both in the short and long term.
Gary Neal SG, Milwaukee Bucks
The Current word on the street is that the Bobcats are aggressively perusing the former San Antonio Spur who was a key cog in their Finals run against the Miami Heat last season. It seems as if the Bobcats are trying to convince the Bucks to swap Neal for back up point guard Ramon Sessions. Neal is having a solid season; scoring a little over 10 points a game and shooting 36% from three.
My take: Its not the blockbuster movie most fans were hoping for, but swapping Ramon Sessions for Gary Neal would be a good movie for a Bobcats team that struggles to hit from deep (17th in 3pt efficiency) and has no real depth at the shooting guard position with the season loss of Jeff Taylor. Neal also bring valuable playoff experience and relentless drive (he was undrafted out of La Salle and spend a few years abroad trying to make it to the NBA before being signed by the Spurs in 2010)
Well for now that’s what I’m hearing from around the water cooler. I’ll keep this page updated with any new players or rumors coming to light. Be sure to keep it posted to Roberto Gato for the latest Bobcats news and rumors.