Matt Carroll is all that’s left from a very bad deal that Charlotte made two years ago when they practically gave away Tyson Chandler to Dallas for Carroll and the expiring contract of Eric Dampier. The Charlotte front office watched Tyson Chandler win his first NBA Championship last season, blinked, scratched their heads and then realized that the only physical asset they had to show for in the trade (Mavs roster donation) was Carroll. A guy that rarely played last season, especially before the Gerald Wallace trade and who is on the downswing of his career at the age of 31.
It’s hard to focus on any other numbers except for the ones after the Wallace trade because Carroll simply never saw the floor when Gerald was in town unless the team was in serious foul trouble.
After the Wallace trade Carroll’s minutes saw a very significant increase. They were still quite sporadic, but, nonetheless, the minutes went up and his production rose as well. Carroll averaged 13.8 MPG after the trade. Coach Paul Silas used Carroll on certain nights more than others, but it has to be assumed that Carroll’s minutes will look much the same this coming season. Carroll averaged 5.8 PPG after the trade and shot a respectable 49.6% from the field. An interesting shooting stat, comparing Carroll’s numbers before and after the trade, was the amount of attempts he had a game to go along with his overall percentage from the field. Before the trade, Carroll only averaged 2.9 FG/game, where he made 38.6% of the shots he took, but after the trade Carroll averaged 4.6 FG/game and made 49.6% of the shots that he attempted. The more shots that Carroll attempted, the better his average was and this cannot really be explained by him attempting more high percentage shots. Carroll took practically the same amount of 3FG attempts before the trade as he did after; averaging 0.8 3FG/game before trade and 0.9 3FG/game after. The only fair assumption here is that Carroll saw a increase in shooting percentage from an increase in minutes and, therefore, an increase in confidence.
Matt Carroll’s immediate future with the Bobcats should see him flirting around the 10 min/game area and averaging around 6-7 PPG. Carroll is really the only pure shooter that this roster has.
I pointed out in my Bobcats season preview video (can be found on Bobcats ESPN team page) a few months ago that I thought Coach Silas might look into moving Augustin back into the combo guard role, as he was his rookie season, and having Kemba Walker become the primary PG. If that were to happen, then Carroll would see a decrease in minutes as Augustin would take on much of the shooting guard role, but I won’t spend a lot of time on this as D.J. will be the player I take a closer look at next week.
In closing, Carroll is on the decline of his career and will never be more than a shooting threat, role player type of guy regardless of where he goes in the league from here. In Charlotte, as I pointed out, he’s still the only true pure shooter on the roster, so he will see more minutes, consistently, next season than last season. Don’t be surprised if the coaching staff puts in some sets to get him more open shots from behind the arc, especially now with Kemba to draw more defensive attention at the guard position. Carroll is obviously nothing to get overly excited about here, but he will play a role for the Bobcats in the upcoming season.