After another disheartening 30 point loss to a team we should be "superior" to, I just don't see any reason for the misery to continue. Watching the likes of the John Wall-less Washington Wizards absolutely dominate your team can have a negative effect on your outlook for a team on any night, but last night really was about as rock bottom as a team in the NBA can get, and I really wasn't prepared for it. OK John Hollinger, you win this one. But unlike your "Future Rankings", I think there is a way for us to get out of this mess, and fast. Check out my exit strategy after the jump.
I made a post similar to this a few months ago (in which I predicted Dampier would be traded to us, although under different cirumstances - http://www.rufusonfire.com/2010/6/27/1539919/2011-free-agency-and-the-charlotte - ). I thought about making this post a few weeks ago, , but decided not to until I had some more solid evidence. Half of ROF was on the side of rebuilding, while the other half was on the side of trying to build on what we have to get into the playoffs again. I was leaning more towards the latter, and initially, this post was about making a case for both sides because I did see both viewpoints. However, this post won't even mention anything about holding on to what we have or trying to build on anything because it's just not worth it. Although I still hope this team can turn it around and make a run (for the sake of being a fan), I am now looking at the Bobcats the same way as I view the Panthers now, and that's as a team that can make a true run at the number 1 pick in the NBA draft. This month alone, the Bobcats have lost to the 76'ers by 18, the Celtics by 31, the Grizzlies by 33, and the Wizards by 33. NOT ACCEPTABLE!!! I hate John Hollinger and his idiotic rankings, but there has been one thing I have always agreed with him on, and that is that the win/loss point differential is the biggest indicator of how a good a team is. The Bobcats, though still 9-18 and better than some teams on paper, are in my eyes officially the worst team in the league.
A few months ago, I posted a thread about how easy it could be for the Bobcats to rebuild (all you need is patience)and now is the time to take advantage. However, I've revised my thinking about what we should do with the roster and the moves we need to make. I feel like if we follow these simple steps, we'll be back to mediocre in no time, because I don't even think we are mediocre yet, we're below it.
1. The first step that we absolutely must take is the dismissal of Larry Brown. I don't care if he re-signs, is fired, or just passes away in his sleep (I'm just playing!!!!), but he needs to go. Watching last night's game let me know that our players just aren't happy anymore. I didn't see ANY energy, effort, or will from anybody on the floor. It was quite possibly the worst performance I've ever seen a professional team put on in my lifetime. And when the team looks sloppy like that, the first man that has to take the blame is the coach. LB's old school ways are just too, well, old. It's almost like watching the Panthers offense. A typical four down possession goes like this for the Panthers.......Run the ball on 1st, lose 2 yards, pass the ball on second, incomplete pass, run a draw play on 3rd and 12, punt. The Bobcats offense has become predicatable in the same way and I think it can be highlighted entirely by a play I seen against the Hawks where Josh Smith perfectly predicted D.J.'s oh so predicatable cross court pass as soon as he crossed half court, which lead to an easy fast break dunk by Smith. We are also very predicatable on defense with teams drawing players away from the rim to chase the ball, only to sneak a direct pass to a player less than 2 feet from the basket for easy lay ups. I don't know how these players end up open so consistently, but it's happening. We need some new blood in Charlotte, and I honestly don't think M.J. has the gaul to fire Larry and do the right thing for the team because of the Carolina connection. Nevertheless, Larry's desire to play McGuire over people who can actually play and his inability to motivate players is leading to the franchise's downfall.
2. Re-assess the roster and by that I mean rosterbate, and by that I mean everybody on the roster. I don't think there are any true untouchables on our team, but I feel like it goes in this order...... Tyrus Thomas, Gerald Wallace, D.J. Augustin, Derek Brown, Gerald Henderson. I left out Boris and Jackson because I think we should move them for whatever now. An expiring contract for either is more than good enough for me. Crash is Crash, and I think he'll be the same player once he returns from injury but we should get a good value for him now while we can instead of overrating our own talent and holding on to mediocrity, like I feel we've already let go on enough. As for D.J., his defense is honestly making me lose faith in him as a starting PG in the NBA. His offense and ball handling are more than adequate for the job he's asked to do, but his defense has become such an issue, that it may not matter. Anyone who let's Kirk Hinrich dominate them is a liability. We should drop the nuke on the team, cut all loyalties, and get it started now. Here are a few trades that I think will be beneficial towards a long term building of a championship team.......
If the Nets end up with Carmelo Anthony, it will probably be because he agreed to sign an extension, killing NY's chances of landing him as a free agent next year. I think this would open the door for a trade of G. Force to NY to be reunited with Felton. As an NBA analyst noted the other day, having Gerald Wallace as opposed to Carmelo as your starting SF in NY wouldn't make as much a difference as the Knicks already have a lot on offense and don't need the ballhog Anthony there to become a black hole in the offense. They could use Diop to replace Turiaf and take on his contract as the cap wouldn't be as precious to them anymore and could probably become a true contender in the East. I honestly think including Diop in a trade with Crash is our only way of getting rid of him and his contract. No draft picks needed.
I think this trade makes sense because Utah is a borderline contender who apparently like Diaw (as evidenced by the failed N.J. trade earlier this year that would have landed them Boris and us Devin Harris) and have a huge hole at the SG (with only Raja Bell truly manning the spot). I also don't think they would mind giving us a 1st rounder either since it would likely be near the end of the first round. The only thing here that I think would really hold up this trade is them not seeing any value in Jackson. He's fallen off, but he's still valuable.
In the end, our roster would look something like this.........
SG, Dominic McGuire, Gerald Henderson, Matt Carroll
SF, Andrei Kirilenko, Derrick Brown, Shawne Williams
PF, Tyrus Thomas, Eduardo Najera
Extreme suckitude right? Yes, indeed, I know. But the important thing would be that
1) We would still have our building blocks for the future (D.J., Tyrus, Hendo, UPS)
2) Larry wouldn't dare stick around to coach this team
3)They would suck enough to net us a top pick in the draft
4)Only about 27 million in cap room for next year would be used
5) We would probably return to being known as one of those hardworking underdog teams that always overachieved, those are the Cats we fell in love with right? So what say you ROF. To rebuild, or not to rebuild? I'm prepared to face a dreadful season with Dominic as our starting SG because that's what I'm already doing anyway.