In Part 1, we looked at the “Overpaid and Tough to Move!” group. Part 2 will dive into the six players we have that will be free agents this summer, either restricted or unrestricted. Naturally, the retaining percentages will be lower because there may be competition for their services.
1) Derrick Brown
Odds of Being on the Roster Next Year: 75%
Why He Will be Here: Brown is an unrestricted free agent this summer but I expect him to be back in Charlotte next season. He was one of the few bright spots on an otherwise awful team this season and his all-around game continued to show improvement. No one on the team scores more efficiently than Brown and he rebounds and defends well off the bench. Brown likes Charlotte and I would guess the Cats lock him up on a cheap deal for a few seasons.
Why I Could be Wrong: With the Bobcats in full on implosion mode, it’s hard to feel too safe about anything. My gut tells me they would like to keep Brown around since we have invested a lot of time in developing him but I know that Derrick would love the comfort of a multi-year guaranteed deal. It’s possible he might get a better offer elsewhere.
2) DJ Augustin
Odds of Being on the Roster Next Year: 50%
Why He Will be Here: This is a tough one so I’m bailing out and going 50/50. One of five things can happen:
1) Cats sign DJ to an extension before July 1st (not likely)
2) Cats do not pick up his qualifying offer and let him walk
3) DJ accepts the qualifying offer and plays one more season before becoming a free agent
4) Another team signs DJ to an offer sheet and we match it
5) Another team signs DJ to an offer sheet and we decide not to match it
Honestly, I have no idea how this one will play out. The greatest likelihood DJ ends up back in Charlotte is #3.
Why I Could be Wrong: My gut tells me DJ will be somewhere else next season. The Cats drafted Walker last year and clearly intend to turn the job over to him and see if he can develop into the long term answer at PG. I think there is a chance we don’t extend a qualifying offer and I feel pretty confident the Cats aren’t matching any offers he may sign with other teams.
3) DJ White
Odds of Being on the Roster Next Year: 40%
Why He Won’t be Here: The Bobcats are interesting in clearing as much cap space as possible and certainly won’t be negotiating a long term deal with White. Even his qualifying offer ($3 million) is a bit expensive for a one year rental given his current productivity. White’s game is pretty much limited to midrange jump shots and I don’t think it is difficult to find players of his skillset for cheaper.
Why I Could be Wrong: I could see the Cats extending DJ White his qualifying offer and taking a look at him for one more season. The question is whether or not someone else will offer him a multiyear deal this summer.
4) Cory Higgins
Odds of Being on the Roster Next Year: 25%
Why He Won’t be Here: Higgins was signed as a combo guard before the season because we only had one open slot on the roster and needed depth at both guard positions. Unfortunately, he wasn’t particularly good at either position. In reality, Cory needs to spend some time in the D-League and work on his game while the Bobcats fill his spot with a more NBA-ready player.
Why I Could be Wrong: His dad is the President of Basketball Operations. The Bobcats: Where Nepotism Happens.
5) Eduardo Najera
Odds of Being on the Roster Next Year: 10%
Why He Won’t be Here: Eddy is miles past his prime and the only way he really contributes to a team is by playing hard. Najera is a free agent and could very well be contemplating retirement. Either way, I’m not sure how he helps this team get better next season.
Why I Could be Wrong: If he wants to play another season and would come back on a minimum contract, I could see the Cats biting due to the example he sets with his hustle.
6) Jamario Moon
Odds of Being on the Roster Next Year: 5%
Why He Won’t be Here: Charlotte signed Moon late in the season due to an influx of injuries at the SF position. It was a good opportunity for Moon to audition at the NBA level but he shot the ball very poorly and otherwise wasn’t memorable. Considering he will be turning 32 this summer, I don’t see the point for a young rebuilding team.
Why I Could be Wrong: Hey, I was wrong once before …….. I guess.
Coming Up in Part 3: I’ll take a look at the final segment of players, “The Building Blocks.”
1) Derrick Brown