I Don't Think the Bobcats Will Have Cap Room in 2010

For anyone who thinks the Richardson trade is getting us sweet sweet cap room, it doesn't. We'll need to trade Diaw, somehow, in order to realize significant cap space, which might be more difficult than trading the far more talented Jason Richardson.

Consider:

-- The salary cap will be at about $61 million in the summer of 2010.

-- We only have about $45 million committed to the next season.

-- However, we will also likely have two high lottery draft picks in the 2009 and 2010 drafts. That means we'll be paying roughly $7 million to two young players. So, really, we have about $52 million committed to that season.

-- But wait, there's more! We have to commit roughly $2 million more dollars (on the low end) to fill out the roster with minimum low salary guys. That leaves us projected at roughly $7 million dollars under the cap. Filling out the roster with minimum guys is possible if we're over the cap, but that means we likely won't have a competitive bench. If we want to sign even one low-cost, above-minimum, bench player, we're cutting in to the cap room. In the end, the point is that because of Diaw, at most we'll probably have $9 million to sign a free agent or two in 2010 instead of $14 million in 2011. Good times. (EDITS 12/12/08)

In conclusion, we have to trade Diaw sometime before the summer of 2010, for a deal that expires then, in order to make this make sense. Simultaneously, we'll have to build the roster into something that isn't rock bottom, that is at least mildly attractive to one of the top free agents that summer. We can't be a bottom feeder; we have to have some flashes of talent beyond Emeka.

If we trade Gerald? That's a horse of a different color. If we go in a different direction, I don't think we'll ever get the return on our dollar that we get from him; for the money we spend on him, we won't get the same production. Just for example, I love Josh Smith. J-Smoove is a guy I'd love to have on my team. I'd even choose him and his salary over Wallace for the rest of their deals, only because I would take the chance on Smith becoming a transcendent player. However for just this season, Smith and his $10 million would bring virtually the same performance Gerald does for a little less money.

===

And if you don't regularly check out Ball Don't Lie and its Basketball Jones videocast, you should. I'm proud to point out that some Bobcats blog called Rufus on Fire got mentioned around the 6:45 mark today.

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