Rumors of a Gerald Henderson trade surfaced recently, and it’s well known that the Charlotte Bobcats would like to move Gana Diop and his expiring contract.
I think the ‘Cats would also love to unload Tyrus Thomas, instead of amnestying him, but that would be the hardest sell of them all. GM Rich Cho has done hard things before, though.
So what possible deals actually exist for Charlotte, and would any of those moves help the team?
Well, it’ll be hard for Charlotte to land any of the big names on the block like Pau Gasol, Kevin Love and to a lesser extent Anderson Varejao and Andrea Bargnani. For one thing, Gasol and Bargnani are hurt. For another, the ‘Cats don’t have any package at all to trick Minnesota into sending Love down south.
There are other players Charlotte could target, though. Non-star players on non-star contracts who could make the team better.
Here are two trades that make sense both for Charlotte and the team they’re trading Hendo or Diop to:
Charlotte trades Gerald Henderson to Houston for Patrick Patterson. The Rockets are loaded with depth in the front court, but after Jeremy Lin and James Harden, their guards are Daequan Cook, Toney Douglas and Scott Machodo. Henderson is an upgrade over all those players. Likewise for the Bobcats, Patterson is an upgrade over almost every Bobcats big, except maybe Brendan Haywood. Patterson is still on his rookie deal, and is putting up more-than-solid numbers in just in his second NBA season.
It’s hard to say if Houston really wants to upgrade their back court and let Patterson go to do that, but they are saddled down with young players, and after the draft everyone was talking about them moving more than just Jeremy Lamb who they traded away to Oklahoma City.
Next, the Toronto Raptors are stuck in the doldrums like the Bobcats, so maybe they’d want to take a shot at adding some talent in this summer’s free agency extraveganza. The only problem is they have just one contract worth more than a $1 million coming off the books this year in the form of Jose Calderon’s $10 million deal. The Bobcats could help ease Toronto’s by trading Gana Diop for Aaron Gray and Ed Davis and Quincy Acy.
With that trade, the Raptors would shed around $18 million off their roster when the season ends, and they’d only have to trade away two guys who play less than ten minutes per game each and their second round pick from the last draft to make that happen. For the Bobcats, this deal would basically swap one overpaid bench warmer for a cheap bench warmer in Gray, and add a talented, but little-used power forward in Davis. They’d also only be taking on two year salaries (except for the $665,000 per year deal Acy has), and which will leave them more room to work with in 2014 than they already have with three big earners on two year deals already.
Again, that deal is dependent on how flexible Toronto would like to be in this summer’s free agency.
Neither of these deals are imminent or even likely, but they are the types of deals Charlotte is going to have to look for if it really wants to move Henderson and Diop.
And, if the Bobcats don’t move either player, they’ve got over $10 million in new cap space after the season.