Watching the NBA pre-game show on ESPN and it was just announced that the Bobcats have traded Primoz Brezec and Walter Herrmann to Detroit for Nazr Mohammed. And I am thrilled…mostly. A little sad to be losing Walter, it was fun to watch him play at the end of last season. But gaining an actual center outweighs that negative. Here are a few benefits:
-Nazr is an actual center…so Emeka does not have to play as undersized center (or at least has to less). While not a mountain, Nazr Mohammed is a legit 6'-10″, and 220 pounds. And he will bring some defensive fortitude to the center spot, something lacking with Primoz on the floor.
-Solid rebounder, with a career rebound rate of 17.4 (Emeka is at 18.2, Primoz 12.5 for comparison).
-Defense- Mentioned previously, but the defense should improve with Nazr on the floor – this season with the Pistons, they surrender 98.7 points per 100 possessions with him on the court, 106.4 without him.
-A bit of offense too- While not a great offensive player, Nazr has a career mark of 15.2 points per 40 minutes, on 48.2% shooting. For the season, a full 84% of his attempts are either dunks or from in close (thanks 82games.com), so he knows his role on offense.
I would be remiss to not mention the downsides to the deal: First is the loss of Walter Herrmann, who showed last year that could play, and play well, in the NBA. However, with the added scoring of Jason Richardson, a long term deal for Matt Carroll, and Adam Morrison still to figure out, the Cats were running low on spots for designated gunners. Combined with his expiring deal, and the chance for his price tag to increase considerably, it probably made sense to move him. He was a fan favorite in his brief time, and will be missed.
The other negative? Well, the Bobcats lose some flexibility. 2 expiring contracts were sent away…and a 4 year (counting this season) deal is coming back, that totals over $20 MM. The Bobcats now have 9 guys who are sure to be back next year (I am counting Emeka in that, I do not see how they can let him leave) and about $48 MM committed to them (to rise with Emeka's deal).
All told, I am pleased: The Cats added a player who can come in and contribute immediately, in an area of weakness. Now, if he could just grow out a big fro or something, to offset the loss of personality with Walter departing…
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