That's right folks...These men are discussing what Larry Brown would do in free agency...
Just kidding! Actually, one big question on every-one's mind is whether our beloved Charlotte Bobcats will use the free agent market, barring the lockout, to get a quality guy that fills a need, or if we will just fill roster spots. As for the photo...Good versus evil? The CBA versus the NBA fan? You decide. In the meantime, enjoy this free agent breakdown by our good friend and newly married, Matt Thomas. Congrats to you Matt!
With the 2011 NBA Draft in the books and the soon-to-be infamous 2011 Lockout looming. I'd like to talk to you all about something a little on the lighter side of the doom planet, FREE AGENCY! i.e. a Bobcat fan's nightmare. Who's out there? Why can't we have that all-star? Why don't we just sign 7 power forwards? They're available! Look, this year's free agent class is much like this years draft class; a lot of role players and not a lot of superstars. Let's take a look at 'em anyway!
We'll start by going through a quick run down of players by position that we have under contract through this year:
PG: DJ Augustin/Kemba Walker
SG: Gerald Henderson/Matt Carroll
SF: Corey Maggette/Dante Cunningham (qualifying offer made)
Logjam Forward: Tyrus Thomas/Boris Diaw/DJ White/Bismack Biyombo/Eduardo Najera
C: Kwame Brown (Assuming we re-sign him)/DeSangana Diop
Needless to say, we do not need anymore PF's, which actually eliminates a solid amount of the better talent this year in FA (Reggie "the offensive rebound" Evans). This leaves us with 12 players under contract. Once again, we're limited. We are only able to sign 3 more players to the roster. Where are our areas of biggest concern? That would be our 6' and under backcourt. We're going to need a larger combo guard who can take on the big boys in the little guy range. Let's look at the guards available this summer: Carlos Arroyo, Delonte West, JJ Barea, Rodney Stuckey, TJ Ford, Eddie House (please not again), Patty Mills, among a few others. Guys like Barea are only going to keep us sub 6'. Guys like Arroyo are only going to make us cringe in fear. There are incredibly slim pickins' for a PG. We may have to make a shuffle or two in order to get ourselves a backup PG with some size and 3 pt shooting ability.
The SG situation - There are a number of mediocre/decent SG's on the market this year. Anyone from Sasha Vujacic to Jamaal Crawford can all be had. Is MJ going to spend on a SG right now? He most likely is not going to. We're in rebuild mode, and we have a potential B.A. Baracus brewing in Gerald Henderson. Who are some mid-level guys who could sit behind Hendo and help us out? Here's a few: Deshawn Stevenson, Arron Afflalo, Tracy McGrady (shut up...I know), Michael Redd, Marco Belinelli, and maaaaaaybe Jason Richardson (who is clearly nearing the end slope of his career). We have a guy on the bench who would actually fit our plans perfectly if he's feeling right in Matt Carroll. In situations where he was given extended and consistent minutes; Matt Carroll was able to find his shot and assert his overall massive levels of heart and glaring pastiness all over the court. He can blind players, refs, and fans alike with his mirror-like skin. I'd like to drink a little Kool-Aid on the subject of Matt Carroll and say that in a solid backup role, he can be effective*dodges objects*.
The SF position is pretty much locked in right now. We have Corey Maggette, our clear starter, and have given a qualifying offer to Dante Cunningham to back him up. I know for at least the hardcore fans, we're all happy to see Dante potentially coming back as he and DJ White did a lot of grind-it-out work for us at the end of the season with better than expected results.
The PF position is taken care of. We will not have all of these players come the start of the season. I predict at least 2, if not 3, of them will be traded before the deadline. There's no point to mention the FA PF's whatsoever.
As for quality Centers, that's any-one's guess. We won't have the cash or the star power to lure in a guy like Nene or Marc Gasol. Who's left? Well, pretty much any talent remaining is only worth giving vet min. to. We're looking at the Etan Thomas' and the Earl Clarks of the league. There is one bright spot in that we COULD sign Samuel Dalembert (a perfect fit for our system, and a solid defender at that), but that's doubtful.
There you have it! We have some opportunities to snag a few stop-gap role players here and there while we rebuild, and you should not be ashamed of whom we nab. At least we know that the days of Acie Law, Dominic McGuire, and Stephen Graham are over. God Luck, and Good Speed Bobcat fans!