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If you want to rebuild…

I’ve got a couple of ideas. While the Bobcats are just a game out of 8th place in the East – they’re 7 games back of 6th place New York – which they’d have to get to avoid Miami/Boston in the first round and another sweep. And really, even getting up to 6th/5th buys them what? Orlando – swept the Bobcats out last season and looking quite strong after their recent shakeup. Or Chicago – and Derrick Rose who would absolutely destroy D.J. Augustin night after night. Sounds good – sign me up – or not.   The point of all that? The Bobcats aren’t going anywhere new this year (the second round of the playoffs) so this seems like a good time to be realistic and look to the future.

And Caron Butler’s injury in Dallas piqued my interest: Wouldn’t Gerald Wallace be a good fit with the Mavs? A slashing scorer who doesn’t need the ball next to Dirk – sure, the Mavs already have Shawn Marion – but Gerald is the younger, slightly better shooting version of Marion. Maybe I’m way off – but at least look at the results of these deals I ran through ESPN’s trade machine (supplemental salary data from ShamSports.com – don’t believe the years listed on the Trade Machine – player options and unguaranteed money are not indicated).

The first one is the one with the least cost savings for the Bobcats – but with the most recent to believe it is conceivable, since Utah was ready to take Diaw while shipping out Ak-47 this summer:
Trade Machine look at CLT, Mav, and Jazz trade

What does this do for the Bobcats?  Here we go:

-This season, the Bobcats bring in $24.7M while sending out just $19.5M.  To keep the math easy, we’ll pretend like the trade takes place with 41 games remaining (half of the season) here and the rest of the way.  This would put the Bobcats just over the salary tax threshold ($1.2 mil over), costing them an extra million on top of the additional salary – so let’s say $3.8 million in extra spending this season ($5.2 million increase in salary cut in half by season being half over + $1.2 million for luxury tax payment).

-After this season is where it gets useful:  The Bobcats would only have Mahinmi (less than a million) left from the deal for one more season and even that is unguaranteed.  This would save them nearly $30 million dollars next season and the year after in the remaining years of Gerald and Boris’s contracts. Remember, both have player options for the last year of their contracts which ESPN is not including in the contract length.

-Final tally – one interesting young big man to look at in Ian Mahinmi and about $26 million in savings over the next 2.5 years (without considering luxury tax implications, due to potential sweeping changes in the upcoming CBA).

Does this seem like something you would be interested in? First up:
Dallas – I think yes, at least a little, because while Hollinger’s tool gives them a decrease in wins, it is not accounting for Butler’s injury and Gerald’s slow start to the season.

Utah – Again, seems like they would at least have to consider as they would be able to go from the $17M contract of Kirilenko to about $11.3 million in combined contracts for Diaw and change. If cost savings was enough to get them to consider Diaw for Kirilenko, more or less straight up for them, this offseason, it would seem this offers a still sizable decrease in overall player salaries for the team.

Charlotte – Maybe the Bobcats would push for a draft pick from someone to add to young talent they potentially get out of trading away two good/solid players – but even without that, it seems like something Charlotte would look at after the Dampier/Chandler swap of this summer was made, with no purpose beyond business considerations. Would it be popular? Not with fans – but Jordan’s wallet would not oppose.

More to folow (and please come up with your own in the trade machine and share in the comments)