Meet DeSagana Diop and Matt Carroll, two players the Bobcats acquired to get out of bad contracts. Two players who combine to make $10 million this season on the Bobcats payroll.
Carroll was traded by the Bobcats in 2009 after signing a six-year, $27million deal two years before. The player he was traded for? DeSagana Diop, who signed a contract worth over $30 million a year after Carroll. Diop made a noticeable impact on the defensive end in Dallas, but was dealt to Charlotte in exchange for Carroll and Ryan Hollins, as the Mavericks preferred Carroll’s frontloaded contract over Diop’s escalating salary and regressed play. That play, along with his health never picked up in Charlotte and Diop permanently became an immovable contract.
While Diop remains a lost cause on-court, Carroll has been the opposite as a Bobcat. Carroll was dealt back to Charlotte in 2010, and while he had a brutal season last year, management and coaches still see on-court value in the 10th-year veteran. Carroll currently has played the most seasons of any current Bobcat. If he plays in at least 58 games this season with Charlotte, he will be the all-time leader in games played as a Bobcat.
His first run with the team saw Carroll bring productive and efficient sharpshooting to the team and he was rewarded with a big contract, which he didn’t live up to initially. Currently though Carroll stands as a player coach for one of the youngest teams in the league and has been applauded for his communication and leadership skills. It’s no shocker that he was named one of the two team captains for this season.
But the most important value of these two might be on the trade market, where both combine to make over $10 million in expiring contracts. The Bobcats have a flexible payroll and could be open to taking on salary if it brings future assets or a player who could help make them better in the long-run.
We’ve seen how Rich Cho was able to use Corey Maggette’s $10M expiring contract to land Ben Gordon and a future non-protected first round pick. These are the type of deals the team is looking for, and Diop and Carroll could bring similar results. Both players could be bought out after a trade, and in Carroll’s case could be interested in returning to the team on a cheaper salary. It’s realistic both players could combine to bring nothing on the court this year statistically, but that’s not important. This time the focus is back on their monetary value, and it could potentially pay dividends this time.