The wait is finally over. Hakim Warrick is a Charlotte Bobcat. The Bobcats acquired the journeyman power forward in exchange for longtime Bobcat Matt Carroll. Coach Mike Dunlap touted Warrick for his ability to play at both forward positions, while shooting a high percentage from the field. This trade isn’t something that will have NBA circles buzzing, but there are some potential effects of the trade, specifically Tyrus Thomas.
Thomas, who has $26 million left on his contract through 2015, has underperformed since signing an extension with the team in 2010. In the offseason there were rumors that the team was shopping Thomas to anyone who would listen, but ultimately didn’t find a match.
It’s clear that Thomas isn’t in the Bobcats plans going forward, as his minutes have decreased since the departure of Larry Brown. With Warrick and Thomas ultimately being very similar players, there doesn’t seem to be much chance they’ll play together unless the Bobcats go small. Even then, these are two players that just shouldn’t play together.
Warrick is only guaranteed to be under contract for this season at $4M. The Bobcats hold a team option for 2014 at the same amount, an option that seems reasonable to exercise if Warrick performs well this season. Regardless if Warrick’s option is exercised, the writing seems on the wall for the Bobcats to use their amnesty provision on Thomas next summer. ‘
They would still end up paying him the roughly $18M left on his deal, but would clearly have more to gain by freeing up the $8M that would have counted against the cap for next season.
Now since next summer is still far away, the Bobcats can always continue looking for a buyer on Thomas. They’ll have a tough time doing so though due to his decline in production. A deal would also require the Bobcats to probably take on a similar bad contract of a player likely to give you nothing.
We’ll see what happens, but it’s clear that Warrick’s acquisition isn’t good news for the future of Tyrus Thomas in Charlotte.