As the NBA heads into the final few days before the trade deadline there seems to be a few rumors floating around of the Charlotte Bobcats wanting to make moves. Unlike in the previous few years however when the Bobcats were already long out of contention this year the Bobcats currently hold the 8th seed. This means that instead of being sellers at the deadline the Bobcats will instead look to be among the buyers.
Currently it seems that Bobcats seem to be most concerned with improving scoring on the wing and solidifying the power forward position. Early reports indicated the Bobcats were looking into acquiring players like the Philadelphia 76ers’ Evan Turner and the Chicago Bulls’ Taj Gibson. More recent reports that the Bobcats have also looked into acquiring the Boston Celtics’ Brandon Bass. This further underscores General Manager Rich Cho’s desire to improve the frontcourt.
While it may seem obvious, it’s important to consider some very basic things when executing a trade. First the trade should satisfy one or several of a team’s needs and preferably important ones. With the Bobcats offense currently ranking as one of the worst in the league the priority should above all else be looking to improve the scoring. In this case the addition of Evan Turner may not be the best move. While he is averaging a career high in points it’s not because he’s made a major leap this year. Instead with the 76ers’ being as bad as they are he’s their major source of offense. As such he’s handling the ball more than ever and currently ranks in shots taken. If he gets traded to the Bobcats he certainly won’t have the ball in his hands as much while sharing the floor with Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson. But considering the other option is the very unoffensive Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Turner would be an upgrade. Unfortunately though he won’t help improve the Bobcats woeful 3 point shooting.
Improving at the power forward position is also understandable but may not be the best move. Josh McRoberts is critical for helping the offense flow not only through his passing but ability to stretch the floor as well. Gibson and Bass are both better power forwards in the traditional since but may not be the best fit for a team built around Big Al’s low post presence and lack of 3 point production. They could potentially anchor the second unit but that wouldn’t make much of a difference. The Bobcats also already have pretty good depth at the position with Cody Zeller, Anthony Tolliver and Bismack Biyombo which could make for a crowded depth chart unless they’re traded.
It’s also important to try and get in return something equivalent or better than what you give out. The principle is true in economics and especially so in basketball. Any trade would likely result in the Bobcats giving up one of their three first round picks. With one of the picks likely going back to the Bulls if the Bobcats make some trades they could potentially be without a first round pick in what could be an excellent draft.
Not only could they miss out on the draft, there’s really no move the Bobcats could make that would get them very deep in the playoffs. The Bobcats have been so bad in recent years it’s understandable to want to make moves that guarantee a postseason berth. However, if a first round exit comes at the cost of hampering the team’s future it may not be the best move. So while making a big move isn’t the best option potentially working Ben Gordon’s large expiring deal to a tanking team in return for a piece that can help improve the offense could be beneficial enough to keep the team in contention.