(Note from Brett – this came in from an email, and I liked it enough I asked permission to post it. So, yes, I read your emails and it may get you posted on the internet. Hint, hint. With that, here’s Steven’s introduction to QCH. On to the ideas.)
So after a typical ho-hum 0-3 start for the Charlotte Bobcats, I scanned the rosters today to come up with a few scenarios where they could begin the rebuilding phase in earnest. I looked for teams that are ‘on the cusp’ but need one push to put them in the championship conversation. These are very realistic trades that considered what both sides would want, salaries, and that the Bobcats only have two actual assets on their 15-man roster.
Disclaimer: This assumed we have real basketball executives who care about winning and make smart decisions. IE – this is pure fantasy.
Bobs: Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson
Orlando Magic: Vince Carter + future #1 pick
VC gets to ‘come home’ and play out his days in front of some friends/family. The Magic hate him because he’s not tough enough and can’t close games, so they get the perfect ‘tough’ guy in Sjack and the perfect 6th man/energy guy in Wallace. Immediately makes them a threat to Miami and Boston, with a starting lineup of Jameer Nelson, Sjack, Rashard Lewis, Dwight Howard…plus Brandon Bass, Redick, Wallace, Gortat, Pietrus making a deep and talented bench.
The Bobcats get Vince to appease local fans who come to the games to root for college teams, but more importantly they get $17MM in payroll relief and can immediately make minutes for Gerald Henderson and Derrick Brown.
Portland Blazers: Joel Prizbilla, Nicolas Batum
Blazers get their other ‘guy’ to go with Brandon Roy and Andre Miller. Starting 5 of Andre Miller, Roy, Wallace, Lamarcus Aldridge, Oden/Camby. Pretty good.
Bobs get a big body so they can stop pretending Diop is an NBA player, plus they get payroll relief next year and a young guy with lots of potential.
Bobs: Wallace and Jackson
New Orleans Hornets: Peja Stojakovic, Marco Belinelli, Future #1
The Hornets know they’re losing Chris Paul in 2 years, so they want to load up and try to win while he’s around. Stojakovic is a fossil and has been replaced by Belinelli, but he’s too young and not ready for primetime. This gives them a starting lineup of CP3, Sjack, Wallace, David West, Okafor, with Bayless, Ariza coming off the bench. Pretty good.
Bobs could even release Peja after the trade, and he could resign with NO if he wants. Bobs get young sniper in Belinelli, and more importantly save $15MM from Peja’s expiring deal.
Bobs: Wallace, Jackson, Ed Najera
Nuggets: Kenyon Martin, JR Smith + future #1
Nugs are losing Carmelo after this year, they know it. So they load up to make one run and to prove to him and the fan base that they’re serious. Starting lineup of Chauncey Billups, Sjackson, Carmelo, Al Harrington, Nene, plus Wallace, Aaron Afflalo, Ty Lawson, Shelden Williams coming off the bench. Pretty good.
Bobs know that Martin may never suit up, and they don’t really care. JR Smith would be on a one-year tryout to see if he’s worth resigning, but this is all about freeing up $20MM and a #1 pick.
I did that in 35 minutes, what’s MJ doing? The only way the Bobcats improve at this point is realizing they have two assets anyone might want (Wallace/Jackson), so they have to give them up for basically payroll and picks. That’s how you rebuild, and that’s how you (eventually) win.
Brett again: I told Steven I think he is undervaluing Gerald’s contract relative to his production – and Steven pointed out that Gerald represents an injury risk with a skill set that may not translate well into his athletic decline of the coming years. Fair point and important to consider when pondering potential trades for Crash – his concussion history is a risk most players don’t represent.