The Bobcats moved Corey Maggette to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Ben Gordon and a future first-rounder. Here are the most important parts:
Corey Maggette has one year remaining on his contract, for $10.9 million
Ben Gordon has two years remaining on his contract, for $12.4 and $13.2 million
There are lottery protections on the draft pick: Top 14 in 2013, Top 8 in 2014, Number 1 in 2015
And those are the relevant details. Not much basketball mentioned? Well, as John Hollinger spells out here, the Bobcats have salary cap space to use in the next couple of seasons and adding Gordon for 2013-14 helps ensure they’ll meet the salary floor. On the court, Ben Gordon provides the same shoot-first mentality that Corey provided (just in an entirely different way – actually shooting the ball, rather than driving into the paint and flailing for fouls) – though hopefully, he’ll see the court a bit more than injuries allowed Maggette. The swap machine does not like the deal, as Corey was actually among the Bobcats more efficient scoring options last season (yes, while shooting 37% from the field). But Ben Gordon won’t be replacing Corey Maggette directly, since he can’t play the three, so the real swap will be out of minutes from Matt Carroll, Cory Higgins, and, possibly, D.J. Augustin. Play around with those names in the swap tool, and you’ll see the Bobcats can expect an offensive boost.
But back to the focus of the trade, for the Bobcats: A future draft pick. With Charlotte still owing a pick to Chicago for the Tyrus Thomas swap, this will help negate the sting of whenever the protections either don’t apply or run out. Additionally, since the Blazers will be sending a pick to the Bobcats at some point for Gerald Wallace, the Cats could be looking at 3 first round picks in an upcoming draft. That’s how to build for the future – young, cheap talent. And, again consider it cheap, despite Gordon’s hefty contract – the Bobcats had to pay someone for these next couple of years as they build for the future, and Gordon can provide solid scoring on a team that needs it.