Nice Move, Charlotte (He Says Sarcastically)

I need to go back to the events of Monday for a second because there was a lot going on and I haven’t had a chance to hit on it yet. Specifically, I want to talk about the Charlotte Bobcats. They clearly seem to have lost their mind. I mean, I know Larry Brown is getting older and all, but I didn’t  know he was totally senile. If you missed it, they have traded Emeka Okafor to the Hornets for Tyson Chandler. Bizarre deal.

If you were to put needs on a list, the biggest Bobcat need by far would be for more consistent scoring. They haven’t been able to score as much as they should, and they haven’t kept around the scoring talent they have had. They simply need more scoring. Explain to me, then, why it makes sense to trade away a defensive-minded center who has a decent scoring touch, and in exchange receive a defensive minded center who would struggle to score if he were sitting right in the basket. Okafor is no LeBron or Kobe with the ball, but he’s infinitely better offensively than Chandler. Beyond that, they are almost the same player – they are both the same age, they are both more fragile than you would like, they both play defense particularly well, and neither is ever going to be a guaranteed all-star type guy.

There’s another thing, too – don’t you find it a bit strange that the Hornets have been so desperate to get rid of Chandler? He can’t be that good if they are constantly shopping him around. They will say that a big part of the motivation is for salary cap relief, but I only partly buy that – they only saved just over a million by gettingOkafor , and they are locked into him for far longer than they would have been with Chandler. To take that on they obviously wanted to be out of the Tyson Chandler business.

As for Charlotte, they pay more money for a lesser player – good stuff. You can argue that what they gained is the freedom when Chandler’s contract ends sooner thanOkafor’s, but they only signed Okafor last year, so they surely can’t regret the deal already – Okafor played every game last year and was as decent as he usually is. You could hope that the Hornets picked Chandler up to flip him, but they’ll run into the issue that the Hornets know too well – no one wants Tyson Chandler.

I like Larry Brown, and I like the core of young players that they have built there, but this deal moves them backwards when they already weren’t good enough to compete in the increasingly tough Eastern Conference. Stupid.

There is only one possible explanation here – the city of Charlotte feels residual guilt for failing to support the Hornets, and this is the way they can ease ther collective vonsciences. If that’s the case then I guess I applaud their sensitivity.

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