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.