Tuesday, July 28

Okafor for Chandler, part deux

In response to Ryan's post, I am sharing my thoughts about the big Bobcats trade. Firstly, we must consider Chandler's health. After all, his health was the reason his trade was rescinded. His foot injury, which was performed by the same doctor who deemed him unfit for the trade, is certainly a cause for concern. Chandler played in 45 games last year before playing between 73-80 games over the previous four seasons. For comparison, Okafor played in 82 games the last two seasons but far fewer in the previous three. Therefore, I don't entirely buy the idea that Okafor is so much healthier than Chandler.

Next, we look at the teams' motivations for the trade. The Hornets were acting out of financial interest, since their owner wants to avoid paying him the next two seasons. In my searches, I didn't find anything that made Chandler out to be a bad teammate, so at least there won't be any bad locker room energy injected into Charlotte. In my estimations, the Bobcats are trying to shake things up either because Larry Brown told them to or they want a contract that expires way before Okafor's so the team can be sold easier. Bob Johnson has expressed a lot of interest in selling the team and once he finds serious suitors I'll bet that will convince that Larry Brown that he could do better elsewhere, since Larry hasn't always been on the best of terms with owners and management.

As for the effect on the teams, I think Chandler will (surprise!) miss running the PNR with Chris Paul for easy buckets. He'll have better defensive help with the Bobcats, but you have to wonder who is going to be doing all the scoring when Gerald Wallace has an off night or inevitably gets injured. As for the Bugs, they will appreciate Okafor's rebounding and attitude (not that they disliked Chandler), but I've never seen Okafor move well on a PNR. He could very well have been trapped on the wrong team, but he seems to lack the fluidity Chandler has. We'll see what happens to his numbers from playing with Chris Paul. I think we'll have to wait and see as to who profits more. The sad thing, as Bill Simmons pointed out, that both teams wanted to dump salaries and that was the main reason for this happening. We'll see if either team benefits from their new centers.

Okafor for Chandler?!?!

Last night I was eating at Moe's (WELCOME TO MOE'S), it was $5 chicken-only Joey night, when I nearly spat my queso out over something I thought I saw go by on the crawl beneath the Cardinals-Dodgers game, "...eka Okafor for Hornet's C Tyson Chandler."

WHAT?!?? Why? How? Who? The Bobcats have only made a few successful draft picks, Okafor being one (at least relative to the others, and within his draft class). He's the rock and face of the franchise, an original Bobcat, he shot 56% from the field last season and he's a double double machine. OK, maybe machine is a bit generous, but he's a double double source. Put it this way, he's a double-double source only by nature of our base-10 counting system. If we admired 11 the way we do 10 he'd only have produced a single double double season once, and his points aren't that far ahead of his rebounds.

Anyways, I tried to legitimize the deal from the booth at Moe's. They're probably the same age (since Chandler entered the league from high school). It is likely a salary dump, they're just not reporting that Nazr Mohammed is included in the deal.

As I returned home and was able to look into all the details a few things became obvious and the deal came into focus. 1) Larry Brown doesn't like Okafor, for all his hard work 'Mek doesn't have the basketball instincts or ability that Brown wants. 2) Okafor has a 6 year contract while Chandler has a 2 year deal for less average money. 3) The 'Cats are not significantly worse with Chandler than they are with 'Mek (this one has a huge condition, that Chandler can stay healthy).

All in all two main things make me happy about this trade. The Bobcats are making business decisions. The easy way out would be to let Okafor's permanence with the team blind them, but they're making a tough choice for the good of the team (think of the Panthers letting Dan Morgan or Will Witherspoon go). They're also planning for being good in the future, not just mediocre. If this deal works they will have cap space in 2011 without being significantly worse next year. This allows for the team to get much better that year as opposed to settling for sneaking into the playoffs as the number eight seed.

This year the deal favors the Hornets, who get a quality big man and about 1 mil of cap relief, but from 2011 to 2014 they'll be paying 30+ year old Emeka Okafor 12 mil per year to be an undersized, aging bench player. In the NBA cap space is as valuable as not screwing up draft picks, the Bobcats seem to be learning at least one of these lessons.

Cason is much more NBA knowledgable than I, so that said any thoughts Mr. Dwyer?

Tuesday, July 14

I'm pretty sure we didn't make this up...

Quentin Thomas, of "Just the Two of Us" fame from 2005's Midnight Madness, is going to be providing the intro to NBA Live 2010. We'll be checking for YouTube clips in November, when the NBA Season really starts.

Here, Thomas is seen clearly fouling Gerald Henderson, now of the Charlotte Bobcats.

From the N & O: