The Jordan Ultimatum
There's been something a little different about the crowd in attendance for the last couple of Bobcats road games. Mentioning that, something was different about the crowd at the Portland Trailblazers vs. the Sacramento Kings game as well. Michael Jordan and Rod Higgins were in the crowd. Why would the owner and general manager of the Charlotte Bobcats be following the team on the road? Let alone going to games not featuring the Bobcats. Sounds a little fishy if you ask me. What would MJ and Higgybear want with those teams? Scouting? Future free agents? Draft picks? Happen to really like the weather out there?
Let's look at the teams really quick. Assuming Portland is not in these talks (just assuming).
The Sacramento Kings:
- Have a plethora of young talent. Few veterans with winning experience let alone playoff experience. No real chemistry.
- Have an abundance of large talented gentlemen on the team.
- Need veterans.
Who do the Kings have that we might be interested in?
1. Jason Thompson- At this point in his career. He's basically a poor man's Tyrus Thomas, but not in a less similar situation than Tyrus was. He may not have some character issues like Tyrus had, but he's certainly got the raw athleticism that makes a lot of coaches and GMs drool. Might have a skill set a little too similar to Tyrus for the Cats to be that interested.
2. Omri Casspi- Been at the center of a lot of the Kings trade talks. Has a small favorable salary, and is only 22 years old. He's averaging 9 pts and 4.5 rebounds a game at around 23 minutes a game for the season. When he gets extended minutes he rebounds well, and he's not afraid to shoot.
3. Carl Landry- Also been in a considerable amount of trade talks surrounding Sacto. Young, huge upside, and a fair contract. Averages 12.6 pts per game and 4.8 rebounds. He's 27, but he's the perfect role player for a team like the Cats. Coming off the bench behind Tyrus (once healthy), we'd have an incredibly solid 1-2 punch. Both have differing skill sets and would compliment each others game in the situation that they're both on the floor at the same time.
4. Samuel Dalembert- A nightmare of a contract for a player with minimal output. Still, he's a solid big man with good shot blocking and defensive ability (something that would compliment Kwame's game well).
The Phoenix Suns:
- Look to be a rebuilding team. The real question is, around whom?
Who do the Suns have that we might be interested in?
1. Marcin Gortat- Doesn't fit anything about this team. Seemed to be a way to rid them of some contracts. Gortat is unhappy with the teams defense and seems unhappy with the team overall. Has a fair contract, and would be a great fit in front of Kwame on the rotation. What it would take to get him is uncertain. He and Tyrus on the floor would be much like having Theo and Tyrus last year, but with a much higher scoring ceiling.
2. Robin Lopez- Say I'm about as off as you can get, and Gortat is their long-term answer. They seem to want at least one big man with a completely different skill set than the other (they have that in Frye and Gortat.). He's a WORKER. He hustles and loves his team. Knows his role and can have explosions of productivity.
3. Mikael Pietrus- Not getting almost any playing time with the Suns. Would be another player opposite of Tyrus that would come in and give our second team a whole new range of looks. The Bobcats would have yet another decent sized guy with 3pt shooting abilities. Still need another 4. Pietrus is more efficient when playing the 3.
The Orlando Magic (This is why I left out the Blazers)
1. Jason Richardson- Jordan wants to shed money. What better way to shed long term contracts while making a run at the playoffs? J-Rich’s contract will expire at the end of this season (and boy it is a BIG one), and he loves Jordan. Maybe, just maybe, Jordan can keep J-rich around after this season with a decent offer. One he would be able to make if we were to shed a player with a long-term contract.
2. Ryan Anderson- I can't imagine that they'd really want to get rid of him. Considering his incredible production as of late (see: The Thomas Report-Premier Edition) and his marginally low price tag. I would think the Magic would keep him around.
3. Dwight Howard- Dude is a pain. SVG hates him. He can't even play, but he's PERFECT for MJ's Bobcats! HA! Caught you sleeping. Kidding, this would never happen.
1. Stephen Jackson- Long term contract. Volume scorer. Volume shooter. Volume talker. Sets the tone for a lot of games, and not in a good way. Has a decently sized contract, and few years left in his tank. Can light the floor on fire, but gets technical fouls at the drop of a hat. Possible replacements:
- OJ Mayo- Fresh off of a 10 game suspension (handed down today), and an in-flight-fight (*chuckles*) with Tony Allen. Mayo is officially in the doghouse with the NBA and his team. This is a grand opportunity to have him for an incredibly low price.
- Jason Richardson- Expiring contract. Has already played for the Bobcats. Has plenty of years left in the tank. Does not run his mouth. Decently efficient scorer, and absolutely loves MJ (might stick around for cheap).
- Mikael Pietrus- When given solid minutes, he's produced. He's definitely a poor man's Jack, but could be a stop gap player for the time being. Added with the increased minutes of Gerald Henderson, and the increased madness of DJ Augustin's rise to the top, and it may just work out.
2. Boris Diaw- This dude is long overdue for being shipped out. After this summers Jose Calderon/Reggie Evans (!) talks. We all thought le capi-tan non-chalant was going to be out of the building. He's saved our butts on a few occasions, but he's had his share of disappearances as well. If the Cats were to trade him now, we would HAVE to get another 4 in return. Possible replacements:
- Carl Landry- As talked about above. He's a great addition to put behind Tyrus. He's accustomed to starters minutes, so he'd do a fine job in Tyrus' absence.
- Reggie Evans- Be aware, TSP followers, that I will NEVER bring up potential trades without mentioning Reggie Evans. This former Iowa Hawkeye (my home state) is a rebounding monster. He's a decent shot blocker and will grit it out with ANYONE. He's got an expiring contract, and will be more than ecstatic to see me in the crowd waiving my Iowa Hawkeye flag in a Reggie Evans Charlotte Bobcats jersey. Seriously though, he compliments our game and adds toughness to our frontcourt.
3. Nazr Mohammed – Great guy. Good heart, and is seriously contemplating retirement. Why not get something for him? There's also a good chance that the team he goes to will buy out his contract and we can claim him off of waivers. Possible replacements:
- Marcin Gortat- see above.
- Robin Lopez- see above
- Samuel Dalembert- see above.
There are certainly more players that will be in these trade considerations, but this is all purely speculative. The Bobcats have more going for them than one would think, and it's a great thing to see. It seems like Jordan is more prone to attempting the playoffs while still managing an enormous salary dump. We'll see what this summer and the falls CBA talks bring. Until then. GO BOBCATS!