If there's two things we know about Michael Jordan it's that he is a competitor and a gambler. So, MJ... let's compete and let's gamble, the time is now.
It's clear from the aggressive signing of Tyrus Thomas that the Bobcats are no BS this season, and I think MJ will be damned if he lets everyone else step forward while he stands pat, luxury tax or no luxury tax; look at Tyrus' contract it is $12.5 million up front. This ensures that they go into luxury one year, but avoid it in the future. So, here's my idea that I believe put the Bobcats right behind the Heat as the most relevant team in the South East, and could arguably challenge them, and Boston for the #1 team in the East. It's simple too, get Chris Paul.
Why would this happen? Why would the Hornets trade him? Simple, because they almost did. At the 11th hour before the draft the Portland Trailblazers got cold feet about taking on Emeka Okafor's contract which was an absolute prerequisite to trading for CP3. New Orleans wanted cap flexibility and draft picks and the Blazers weren't willing to pull the trigger. Now, the Bobcats have the ability to offer both.
The steps it would take? Granted, my plan took a slight turn when I heard the Knicks were about to sign Felton... so it added an extra step.
1) Sign and trade Felton to New York for a trade exception. Nothing more, nothing less... let the Bobcats switch second rounders in 2016 or something with a ridiculous stipulation that would never happen.
2) Who wants Diaw? It'll cost you just a second rounder. Obviously someone is interested in Boris Diaw, so if it's a team with cap space ask for nothing but a second rounder. It clears the books and gives someone a player for nothing.
3) The Trade:
Bobcats trade: Tyson Chandler, Nazr Mohammad, DJ Augustin, Future 1st round pick, Two future 2nd round picks
New Orleans trade: Chris Paul, Emeka Okafor
With the trade exception from Felton this deal goes through. $20 million expiring to New Orleans and draft picks.
So, with the front loaded Tyrus Thomas deal the Bobcats are into luxury for roughly $4 million... but in trading Boris and a drop off in Tyrus' money next year they are under the cap (provided the cap stays the same).
What do we think of this roster:
PG: Paul/ Collins
PF: Thomas/ Jawai
C: Okafor/ Ajinca/ Diop
I'm not thrilled with Sherron Collins as the backup at PG or Jawai at PF, but Chris Paul is good for 38 minutes a game, I trust Collins for 4 minutes; and Tyrus will easily be good for over 35 minutes.
What about the 5? Well, we know what a workhouse Okafor is.
Take another second to look at that roster and tell me the Bobcats couldn't outhustle most of the Southeast. Chris Paul would be the best point guard in the division, they have rebounding, they have scoring, they have shooters... this is a team that could give the Heat a run for their money, despite all their stars the Bobcats exceed them at all 5 positions when you combine them all.
This is a possibility simply because of two reasons:
1) The Hornets are now desperate to shed money
2) Michael Jordan seems willing to take it on and make a run of this now while the iron is hot.
What better way to show LeBron James that he's no Michael Jordan than for Michael the executive to beat LeBron the player?