So, you remember when I outlined all those possible trade targets for the Bobcats, as they looked to possibly deal Emeka? It was just yesterday, so you probably have not forgotten, “Is This Goodbye, Emeka?”. Well, if you have not read it yet, you can skip it. Why? Well, as Spectre pointed out in the comments, Emeka is going to be regarded as a “base year compensation” player once he signs an extension – and that complicates the trade process a great deal.
As a handy reference, you can review some of the quirks of the NBA's Collective Bargaining Agreement at NBA Salary Cap FAQ. There is a section on byc in there and it should help explain what the Cats are going to have to deal with, if they do attempt to trade Emeka. In a slight simplification of the subject, just consider it this way: If Emeka signs an extension with the Bobcats for $12M a year, he will only be regarded as making $6M when it comes to trading him this year. Again, as Spectre said, salaries going in and out during a trade have to be within 125% + $100,000. So, Emeka as a BYC at $6M can be traded for someone at $7.6M – meaning the Bobcats would most likely be bringing back a far lesser player.
To see this phenomenon in action, check out this trade made using the NBA trade machine on ESPN.com: Matt Carroll for Al Jefferson. While Al will be making about $11M this season, as a byc player, he can be traded for Matt, who makes only $5M. That is the conundrum the Bobcats will find themselves in while trading to find a trade partner for Emeka.
Oh, and trading byc players for each other is practically impossible – because they only count as the lesser value one way. Say the Bobcats resign Emeka for $11M, like the Wolves have Al Jefferson at: The two cannot be traded straight up because going out, they count as $5.5M, but receiving them counts as $11M – meaing the salaries would not be within the $125% + $100,000 range. Confused, yet? Good, me too. And a lot more worried about what the Bobcats are going to do with Emeka. I am not leaning a bit more heavily to the “resign him at any cost” option than I was just yesterday.