Just messin around here but below is one (astute :)) fan's blueprint for a successful offseason. Offseason, offseason but we still have 1X games to go in THIS SEASON, I hear you sayin. I know and I certainly hope that we start trending in a positive direction to close the year. The Washington win was a good sign, lot's of energy, good movement and passing, tight rotations. But, this is the Bobcats so its never too early to look toward the offseason, especially one which has the potential of being as formative for the franchise as its first.
Feel free to agree, disagree and add your own thoughts.
Oh, and this is meant to be as realistic as possible not some fantasy league stuff.
I still don't have strong feelings for anyone at this point. "Best Player Available" regardless of position should be our mindset but all things being equal our biggest need is frontcourt. I'll trust the front office to make the difficult choice(s) here.
Without the benefit of NCAA Tournament performance to go on, I tend to lean toward Shabazz or Noel at the top of the draft, but again no strong opinions.
Tender qualifying offers to both Henderson and Mullens.
Henderson will likely have other suitors so match anything that is reasonable, and to me reasonable would be something in the $7 -$8 mn range or less.
As for Mullens, I think we need another year to evaluate his growth as a frontcourt player. McRoberts has already passed him on the depth chart so I wouldn't be comfortable extending a multi-year deal to Mullens just yet. Hopefully we can get him on the qualifying offer for another year. If he has a multi-year deal somewhere else then God speed.
The only UFA on our roster that I would want back is McRoberts. If we could get him for 3yrs/$12mn I think that would be reasonable.
Free Agency and/or Trades.
Option A. Many of us, myself included, would like to sign JJ Hickson to a long term deal. Problem here is that we wanted to sign him last offseason and he went with a one year with Portland instead. So, I see JJ Hickson as a long shot unless we overpay, which I hope we don't. Something around $9mn per is reasonable. If market says anything over $10mn then I would walk away.
Option B. If Hickson doesn't work out, another scenario would be reopening discussions with the Nets for a Gordon - Humphries swap. This would be more likely if we draft McLemore but nonetheless I think it makes sense for both teams. Nets balked at the trade deadline so they may not be as interested in Gordon as the media let on. Plus, Gordon makes $1.2mn more than Humphries next year so maybe the Nets don't want to add to their already high luxury tax bill.
Option C. If the Nets don't bite, then I'm looking at Boozer for Gordon plus our 1st round pick back. We take on an extra $2mn this year and $16.8mn next year but we get someone solid in return for Gordon (offense for offense trade) plus our pick back which makes Boozer's last year somewhat more acceptable. I think Boozer can perform well here and helps us on the boards - an area in which we really struggle. Bulls do this because Taj Gibson's extension starts next year and their cap situation is pretty bleak. Gordon back to Chicago is a stretch but its worth a try.
Seems like the Wolves are ready to match any offer for Pek so I'm not sure how realistic it is for us to make a push. Plus he would likely command at least $11mn per. The Wolves cap situation looks pretty good so not sure an Asik type 'poison pill' contract really works in this situation.
Not really enamored with any other centers out there this offseason - again trying to be realistic and say we have no chance at Howard. Of the two centers with bad knees, I would rather go after Oden than Bynum for the simple reason that it seems Bynum is still gonna get paid.
Other than that, I might consider someone like Brand or Kaman on a short term, veteran's minimum (or thereabouts) kind of deal just as a stopgap.
I'm in the camp that says only use the amnesty on Tyrus (somewhat redundant I know) if we need the cap space to sign our or other free agents. Otherwise there is no need to use it just for the hell of it. So, if we have a chance to sign Pek and Hickson then by all means amnesty Tyrus. But if we strike out on some of the deals and we don't need the cap space for a signing, then I don't see the point. You never know when a Maggette - Gordon situation will present itself.
Our cap situation looks pretty good with all these scenarios. If we somehow sign Pek and Hickson we would be over the cap, even after amnestying Tyrus, but I think for those types of players it is worth going over the cap because you're talking about a 5/6 seed in the East with a young roster, and that's not including our draft pick(s). Then you have Gordon's $13.2mn coming off the books the following year. Throw in Detroit and Portland 1st round picks and things are definitely trending in the right direction.
This will be a crucial summer for the Bobcats and will have a lasting impact on the direction of this team. Hopefully this team will finish the year strong to instill some confidence in the current roster; couple that with a strong offseason and a great draft (no. 1 pick!) and the future of this team looks very bright.