Bobcats on Eric Gordon’s radar; Free agency possibilities? « Queen City Hoops

Bobcats on Eric Gordon’s radar; Free agency possibilities?

Last night ESPN’s Chris Broussard tweeted that Charlotte was a team that was on Eric Gordon’s radar and that he may meet with the Bobcats sometime soon. Seven teams are reportedly interested in Gordon and he has expressed interest back- Indiana, Houston, Phoenix and Portland are teams that he will definitely meet with. Dallas, New Jersey and Charlotte are teams that have made themselves onto Gordon’s radar, according to Broussard. New Orleans is likely to match any offer that Gordon receives, at least that has been the widespread assumption as free agency has been approaching.

The likelihood of Gordon ending up in Charlotte, or at the very least, making them a finalists to acquire his services are very slim. The Bobcats are certainly planning to be active during free agency this summer, but not likely for max contract players. The Bobcats currently have three guards on their roster with Kemba Walker, Gerald Henderon and Ben Gordon. Charlotte must also make a decision on D.J. Augustin if he receives an offer from another team greater than his qualifying offer that the Bobcats extended to him yesterday worth $4,385,416. The likelihood of Augustin receiving an offer greater than that number are likely, in my opinion. If that were to happen it would make a lot of sense for Charlotte to go shopping for a serviceable PG, but definitely don’t see Cho pulling the trigger on a max contract player this summer- too soon. Next summer? Different story.

It seems quite unlikely that the Bobcats would even seriously get into the Eric Gordon sweepstakes for all the reasons above, but also because they’re in much more dire need of a PF or center. There are plenty of unrestricted free agent names that jump off the page when considering who the Bobcats might target to help the frontcourt, but allow us to magnify some guys that wouldn’t require max money, presumably.

Carl Landry- A slightly undersized PF that can score in many different ways. Would be the perfect offensive compliment to Biyombo down low. Has had some issues with injuries, but could probably be had for $6-7 mil/year.

Antawn Jamison- This may actually be the most likely scenario for Bobcats at PF. Towards the end of last season Jamison told the Charlotte Observer that he would be interested in the idea of playing in Charlotte to end his career. Would likely play for a mid-level offer ($5 milish’).

Ersan Ilyasova- This guy is quite possibly the most intriguing free agent of the summer. Last season was his coming out party as he averaged 13 PPG & 8.8 RPG. The one problem with Ilyasova- he may flirt with a few max $ deals.

Louis Amundson- A bit of a wild card here, but a very serviceable backup PF in this league that plays with incredible energy. For a guy that Charlotte could land for probably $2 mil/year, it may just be the signing that Cho is looking as a cheap bandaid for just a few seasons during the rebuilding process.

Ian Mahinmi- Personally, I hope the Bobcats offer Mahinmi a deal worth $3-5 mil/year over 3-4 years. The 6’11 center is just 25 years old and drastically improved in Dallas last season. Mahinmi could be a double-double player in this league with 30 min/night.

Chris Kaman- Kaman was linked to the Bobcats around the trade deadline last season and thought to be a possible target this summer for Charlotte, but considering the direction Cho wants to go, his age and the price he’s going to come at, seems unlikely.

Spencer Hawes- No doubt that he did himself a favor during the playoffs this season and he’ll get overpaid for it, just really hope it isn’t Charlotte that he cashes in off of.

Omer Asik- I love Asik as a center in this league. Defensive bruiser who can bang on the post with just about anyone in this league. Tough to find guys with this kind of size and ability like Asik. Offensively limited, but makes up for it with all the other things he does on the floor. His market will be interesting, but would assume Chicago makes a strong push to keep him.

Javale McGee- Sort of obligated to put his name here, but trust me, I’m praying Bobcats don’t flirt around. One thing is for certain, he’s getting a max contract from a team. There’s actually something else that is for certain- that team will regret it. Great talent, athletic freak, but will he really get it? Cho won’t go for McGee, no way. Just had to include him because his potential enamors me.

20 comments to Bobcats on Eric Gordon’s radar; Free agency possibilities?

  • HornetsBackinCHA

    Jamison and Hawes are 2 I would go after along with Omer Asik and Ian Mahinmi.

  • Edmond

    How much cap space before and after the TT amnesty? Any news on that?

  • Spencer

    Edmond- over 3 seasons, it would open up about $24 mil. Each year it would clear around $8 mil

  • Yash

    I thought we had a lockout because owners were concerned with players being overpaid? I don’t understand how guys like Asik are getting $25 million over 3 years – the guy can barely handle a basketball. If those are the kind of deals being handed out, I’d hope we just go for some cheap vets for this season (a la Jamison).

  • Barry

    When they take Tyrus Thomas off the books the bobcats will add 7.3 million back to their salary cap for this year/

  • charlottean

    Javale mcgee is NOT getting a max deal. Who are these guys writing this stuff?

    Illyasova wiilll get a big offer sure, but a max deal? there are only about 4 teams with the cap room to do so and they aren’t chasing 3rd tier talent. Batum gettin 4 years 50 mil is about the range the other guys will fall or lower.

    There’s no need to amnesty thomas. His contract will eventually become a valuable trade chip and we don’t need the cap room in the meantime. We’re at something like 56 million for this coming season with 13 guys under contract. You sign a jamison or thhe like to fill out the front court a bit and you work on a deal moving our expiring contracts for either a bad contract and picks or bad contract and young talent. Derrick williams should be our primairy target right now after not taking thomas robinson.

    Only way thomas needs to be amnestied is if a dream deal becomes offered. If the cap room becomes more valuable than the trade chip, you amnesty thomas next summer. But right now? Doesn’t make sense. Especially if reports of him being up to 240 in muscle are true. You don’t want to pay him 8 million and let him go earn it for the spurs. He’s too young to give up on and still have to pay him.

    Diop’s contract, is officially tradeable now.

    • Kyle

      You get it. One of the few. Thank you for sharing. The only way Charlotte can attract a free agent this offseason is to OVER pay them. Our roster may look awful, but there are lots of valuable trade assets!

    • K-dub

      Who in their right mind would trade a 2nd year player like Derrick Williams for an expiring contract?

  • SDS

    If tryus Is at 240 right now and if he stays unde 10% fat look for him to have a breakOut year
    If tryus gets that muscle charlOteen said then i take back everything I’ve said about him…

  • Nate

    Charlotte is in a very tough position right now. If they start spending too much on free agents, they will tie themselves down to long contracts that they’ll overspend on. Unfortunately, one of the most exciting and promising free-agents out there is Ilyasova but, as mentioned earlier, he’s most likely going to be getting big money elsewhere, and the Bobcats don’t need the second-coming of Tyrus Thomas (big money, underachieving results).

    That being said, Charlotte’s best move might be to trade for some veteran PF/C who only has one year left on their contract, regardless of how much the contract is worth. If Charlotte can unload Thomas’ contract to bring in a savvy vet that won’t take away too much growth from the rest of the team, it would really help the young Cats on the team now (Walker, Henderson, Kidd-Gilchrist, Taylor and Biyombo). Also, the vet in question will either adapt to Dunlap’s new up-tempo playing style and fit in, turning themselves into a long-term option, or use the season to help them earn their next paycheck. Regardless, someone who would take the scoring pressure off of the young guns might help them as they continue to adjust to the league and grow into their true potential. Here are a few options Charlotte could look at that fit the criteria of what I’ve described:

    PF Paul Millsap 16.6 ppg, 8.8 rpg, .495% FG, .792% FT, 1 year, $8.1 mil–While considered undersized (6’8″), Millsap has really grown over the past couple of years into a fringe All-Star player, who also acts like a team-player (2.3 apg). He’ll be looking to cash in big after next season, and bringing similar numbers to Charlotte will help him while helping the team.

    PF/C Al Jefferson 19.2 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 1.7 bpg, .492% FG, .774% FT, 1 year, $14 mil–Jefferson would provide more toughness down low on defense (more than Mullins, second to Biyombo) and a knack for getting to the basket. Jefferson has also developed a sweet midrange game that would allow him to play PF on the offensive side of the ball to stretch opposing defenses, and allow Biyombo to roam the defensive side of the ball as the PF, because he has better mobility. Also, everything seemed to click for Jefferson this season; while he may get the ball down low, he’s allowed to pass back out…a.k.a. he’s figured out how to be a team player, which will allow him to get his high numbers and keep everyone involved. I’m sure the Jazz wouldn’t mind the $6 mil paycut, seeing as they have Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter both waiting in the wings to take over for Jefferson (and/or Millsap) in the next few years anyways.

    PF Charlie Villanueva 7.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg, .385% FG, .333% 3FG .857% FT, 1 year, $7.5 mil–This one may be the most far fetched, simply because of Villanueva’s numbers. But Charlie V fought through ankle injuries most of last year and didn’t get much playing time by the end of the lockout-shortened season. That being said, V’s 36 mpg numbers were as follows: 18.2 ppg, 9.6 ppg, 1.4 spg, 1.0 bpg. Granted, 36 mpg aren’t always accurate, but given starters minutes, Villanueva might really impress. Also, Villanueva enjoys shooting threes, and isn’t half-bad at it (career .346% 3pt shooter), which would allow Charlotte to stretch the floor. While some may say “Mullins can do that”, yes, he can, but a center shouldn’t be that far away from the basket. Allow Biyombo to roam around the rim, and give Villanueva the green light on the perimeter.

    PF/C Brandan Wright 6.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg, .618% FG, .634% FT, 1 year, $915 K–Yes, Charlotte’s former first round pick makes a return to the team that drafted him. Like Villanueva, Wright didn’t get a lot of playing time last year (roughly 16 mpg) so his 36 mpg numbers are much more appealing: 15.5 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.7 bpg. A player with a similar playing style to that of Biyombo’s, a combination of these two undersized, yet quick, defensive-minded players would create havoc for opposing offenses that drive the lane. Wright, who’s much younger than the previous players mentioned, would allow for Dunlap to let the team run, as he wants. Regardless of Wright’s previous numbers, you can’t dismiss the .618% FG. That’s pretty impressive for someone who averaged close to 16 mpg last season.

    Granted, none of these trades seem very logical unless Charlotte can dump Tyrus Thomas’s salary on the team they’re trading with. That being said, Jefferson would be the best matchup financially for both teams…unfortunately, I don’t see Utah parting with one of the offensive centerpieces anytime soon to try and cut short term salary.

  • Nate

    Not to continue rambling, but here are a few other names that Charlotte could do the exact same thing with (trade away Thomas’s horrible contract, pick up savvy one-year-remaining vet to help the young ‘uns: Elton Brand, David West, Taj Gibson, Jason Maxiell, Andris Biedrins, Kurt Thomas, and of course, Dwight Howard…but seriously, he fits the criteria I described from earlier. It’s worth a shot hahaha.

  • charlottean

    We shouldn’t be entertaining anybody over 25. Otherwise you are just taking minutes away from guys that have potential and futures with the club. Mullens and biyombo can’t play 48 minutes each, but they should both play 32.

    Brandan Wright isn’t a horrible option but none of those other guys are even remote possibilities. I mean, we could have villinueva or maxiell or biedrins but why would we want them? better off bringing back ajincas.

    I still say derrick williams should be priority target, hickson/beasley back up plans.

  • Nate

    Stop talking about Derrick Williams for 3 seconds, I beg of you. Now go back and properly read what I wrote. Veterans will help the younger players GROW. This league is all about GROWTH, hence the Thunder’s appearance in this years Finals. Also, I did not say you need to sign any of these players to long term deals. Simply bring them in to allow them to teach the younger players, get their numbers so they can cash in the next offseason, and be done with them. And we would want Villanueva, Maxiell, or Biedrins so that Charlotte CAN DUMP TYRUS THOMAS’S HORRIBLE SALARY ON SOME OTHER TEAM. If Charlotte doesn’t offer to inherit a bad salary for one year, there’s no way they’ll be able to get rid of Thomas’s bad salary that extends for another three years.

    And I’m sorry to burst your little dream bubble, but Mullens is not the answer at C or PF. He’s too soft to play center, and doesn’t know how to create his own shot from the PF position. The only reason he was so “successful” this season is because every practical center allowed him to move himself 15-20 feet away from the basket because 1) no prototypical center can shoot from that far away 2) no center is going to leave the paint. THAT’S why Mullens got so many looks. THAT’S why Mullens rebounding numbers were horrible. And THAT’S why he’ll never be the answer for the Cats. He’s simply a player that excelled on the worst team in NBA history last season; doesn’t sound very impressive to me.

  • WilliamH

    Well if we decide to go with a big man, we need someone who can get up and down the court, I like Javale Mcgee, He brings defense and runs like a deer. He actually has good hands and being that Paul Silas is still there, he works well with big men, and could train this guy to be a allstar. And Nate, I feel where you are coming from and you have to realize one thing. The games is evolving and there are alot of big guys who if they don’t are working on a mid range game. I think picking up Byron Mullens was a steal. Nobobdy knew he could stroke it like that and no thought he could hit a three. Do I want my big man by the 3, Hell no!!!!!, but do I want that in his arsenal, damn right. Byron did a great job even though he looked lost sometimes, but it’s hard when you are not winning. It’s hard to stay focused because everyone thinks you are going to lose anyway. If he can get in the weight room and get stronger and find the will to rebound he can be an outstanding player.
    As far as a guard, I like OJ Mayo. I think he is ready for that next step.
    Bringing Antwain Jamison would help MKG and Jeff Taylor. They could learn from one of the best in the game and Twain could help our big men out. He has a versatile game and he would be effective as of yesterday. What do you think Nate?

  • Nate

    WilliamH, I understand exactly what you mean by being able to run the floor. I also agree that Mullens is a steal (only $1.3 mil, RFA end of next season) when it comes to his cost and offensive skills. Unfortunately, since he’s taller (7’0″) than Biyombo (6’9″), he’d need to play like Dirk at the 4. Also unfortunate, like I mentioned earlier, I didn’t see him creating his own shot much. Another drawback is that he’s listed at 275 lbs. I don’t know if strength is his weakness, I think its more his rebounding ability (ability to get a good read on the ball, and his nose for the ball). When they would put Biyombo at the 4 and Mullens at the 5, Biyombo still ended up getting more rebounds than Mullens. If they want to keep Mullens long-term, I say that he goes back and looks at some Ersan Ilyasova tapes from this past season and watches that guys growth. Otherwise, Mullens should start working towards being that go-to big man/6th man off the bench. If he and Gordon can lead the scoring off the bench, that’s not bad at all; I just don’t know if he’s got right skill set (a good one, just not the right one) to be the answer to their big man questions.

    Also, I suggested some of those guys still with one year left (Jefferson, Millsap, and Villanueva) because I know that they all have solid mid-range games as it is. That way, they can stretch the floor so Biyombo can continue to grab boards, garbage points inside, and dominate on the pick and roll, which he did very well in the second half of last season.

    I don’t know if we’ll see them make a move at shooting guard, though. They already have Henderson who still has some growing to do, and Gordon as their current 6th man off the bench, similar to Jason Terry. If the Cats get off to a slow start in a game, expect Gordon to be their man to get them back into it, as he’ll launch 3s all day (and make a good amount) to help spark the offense.

    I think if they want to bring in a vet, I agree, Jamison is the answer. Running up the floor, he can pick his spots in the high corner and drain it from downtown. That, and hopefully he can show MKG and Taylor how to size up w/ larger opponents, show MKG how to shoot the three, and Taylor how to play with more confidence.

  • charlottean

    You just said mullens can’t create his own shot. I’ve heard it all now. Dude can shoot over everybody not named manute bol from anywhere on the floor. And the toughness increased last year as the playing time went on. You act like that wasn’t basically his rookie year. 7 Footers with skills don’t come along too often.

    For all the veteran presence talk, that never applied to guys that never amounted to anything and also doesn’t apply to a guy like milsap who is in his prime. And i don’t think he has anymore experience than augustin. Jamison fits the mold. Nazr mohammed fits the mold. Not al jefferson. Those guys you named in contract years are going to be worried about their next contract, not mentoring our young bigs. You need a high character leader type guy too.

    Jamison’s name is not spelt twain by the way.

  • Nate

    Shooting over someone does not mean you’ve created a shot. It simply means your taller than somebody else. Creating a shot requires moving around the court and getting open, using a step-back, jab stepping then driving around your defender, driving through two defenders, etc. And, once again, of course he’s going to get open looks at the 15 to 20 foot range on the court because every other center in the league is going to hand him that shot; they are not leaving their position in the low post to try and contest a SG-stuck-in-a-centers-body shot. Likewise, by spreading the floor that much, it also hurts the Bobcats opportunities of getting offensive rebounds when you take the only natural 7-footer the team has and put him on the wing.

    “Last year basically wasn’t his rookie year.” In my mind, no it wasn’t. He should know better by now. He’d sat on an NBA bench for 2 seasons prior and watched and learned from the game. Doesn’t matter it you play on a team that won 7 games or 47 games, Mullens should know what he’s on the court to do, especially this upcoming season under Dunlap; get down the floor and defend, not pick and pop from 18 feet away.

    Big men who play like big men stay in this league (Dirk plays the floor and can actually move and create his own shot, he’s the exception). Big men who play like guards don’t hang around very much. Look at Nenad Krstic; he played too soft and too far away from the basket in OKC, so they traded him away for someone with toughnes who can defend the basket and rebound (Perkins). Since that time, Perk and OKC have made the WCF and NBA Finals in successive years, while Krstic bolted back to Russia because he couldn’t handle the physical play in Boston.

    Mullens is a short term answer to try and provide offense as a big man. However, his playing style suggests that he’s not a true big man. Charlotte can’t try to go unconventional in their rebuilding process. They need concrete players playing concrete positions.

  • charlottean

    Saying a guy can’t create his own shot suggests he can’t get his shot off unless he’s handed open attempts. Thats just not factual with mullens. If you ever watched the guy play last year, he had no problem creating shots. His problems were rebounding and shot blocking which got betterr as the year went on.

    Last year was his first year playing in the league. Skillled 7 footers last. He can be taught a post game. Guys that have had successful careers shooting jumpers aren’t limited to dirk. Camby hasn’t played the post in years. Sabonis mostly shot jumpers. Rasheed. Ryan anderson, troy murphey, chris mullins, larry bird, peja, hedo, robert horry, kukoc, mehmet okur, ilgauskus, van horn, bargani, matt bonner, derrick coleman, antoine walker, jamison, kurt thomas, etc. Etc. Etc.

    And biyombo is going to be our post presence. It’s a great combo. Are there better players than mullens? Absolutely. Are they available to us at a valuable price right now? do they make sense for a rebuilding team? No and no.

  • Nate

    Last year was not Mullens’ first in the league. It was his third. He spent the previous two seasons with OKC. First full season, yes. But not his first in the league. 13 games in 09-10 and 13 games in 10-11 prior to last season. And I watched Mullins plenty last year. I didn’t see it with him. He was a pick and pop player.

    And the fact that you just put Larry Bird and Matt Bonner in the same sentence shows as to how much you don’t know about creating your own shot. Bonner stands at the top of the key and launches threes. Bird was bigger than his opponents but created his own shot. And can you really teach skilled 7 footers how to have a post game? If they can, then please explain to me as to why Andrea Bargnani who, after 6 seasons in the NBA can average over 15 ppg during his career, but still hasn’t figured out how to play close enough to the basket to bring down more than 4.9 rebounds per game! (career average, best year was 6.2) Also, lets play close attention to his defensive stats: career average of 0.9 bpg and 0.4 steals per game. Really looks like he learned how to hone his defensive skills.

    I listed Dirk as an example of a seven-footer who’s been successful creating his own shot, not just shooting jumpers. You rattled off a list comprised of small forwards, power forward/center combos, and two true seven-footers, Ilgauskus and Bargnani. Your statement “guys that have had successful careers shooting jumpers aren’t limited to Dirk”. Yeah, let me add a few to your list: Ray Allen, Jason Terry, Vince Carter, Michael Redd, etc. etc. etc. Those men can successfully shoot jump shots as well, don’t forget to leave them off the list!

    Seriously, Mullens is not the answer. Keep Biyombo as center, and get either Jamison or draft someone else next year, but wasting time on Mullens is not worth it.

  • Edmond

    I’d like to see what Mullens can do under Dunlap first, because a lot of Mullens problems came because he lacked effort especially defensively and rebounding the basketball.. And with how diligent of a coach that Dunlap appears to be, I believe there’ll be a lot more motivation for guys like Mullens that were as uninspired as could be during our horrible season. Mullens could show that he could put up some points, but sometimes the guy looks like he’s never dribbled a basketball or played defense on an nba player. I’m not going to be as hard on Mullens as Nate was, but he’s right in that it hard to see him as the future with the bobcats when he plays in such an unorthodox style at a position where he lacks the typical skills needed. I think Mullens is talented, but mainly another casualty of Paul Silas’ retirement run.. Why MJ thought Paul Silas is a better idea than Larry Brown is beyond me to this day. But yeah, I say Jamison would be best because Mullens probably needs to sit and watch a guy who plays the position like he should, and who knows.. Maybe some more bench time would be good for him.