(This is from the FanPosts. A quick note before further rosterbation ensues: Tyson Chandler will be out for at least a week with a left foot injury. Not good times for a seven footer, and possibly enough to ensure that Nazr maintains present-day value to the Bobcats such that the brass feels they can't trade him. --DA)
So Joel Przybilla just went down for the year with a ruptured patella, and the Trail Blazers are starting to get pretty desperate to find healthy frontcourt bodies. Anybody think we can take advantage of this situation and pick up a quality player or two?
I haven't delved too far into the possibilities, but one trade that works:
This trade would make us younger and more skilled, while not also making our salary allocation more efficient.
In terms of skill, let's first look at Przybilla and Diop: Przybilla is injured, and may struggle to come back from a significant knee injury at his age, but even if we get nothing out of him, we'll be losing very little compared to Diop, who essentially provides nothing even when healthy. If Przybilla comes back next year to be even an average NBA bench C, we're much improved at that spot on the depth chart.
Next, let's look at a swap of Webster for Mohammed. This would leave us very thin in our post reserves, but in reality, Mohammed is not a player who should be terribly difficult to replace. He's essentially a league-average center or a little below, and he's one who's shown he can't sustain performance given starter's minutes (30+.) We tend to overrate him only because of Chandler's ineptitude. We'd still have an open roster spot to use on a a free agent, D-League player, or even one of Portland's little-used post reserves (Juwan Howard, Dante Cunningham, Jeff Pendergraph), who could all be included in a valid trade as an add-on to the above deal. In Webster, we'd get a young, athletic SF who has the size to be able to handle playing some spot minutes at PF like Derrick Brown has done this year. In fact, Webster even has experience doing just that in three of the past four years. Webster would also add a three-point shooter to the roster, something this team desperately needs. He also brings the experience of being a 70-game starter just two years ago. His rebounding isn't great, but it's good enough, and he's not going to make bad decisions with the ball (1.9 TO/48, a number that would rank above every Bobcat this year except Gerald Henderson and Brown.) He isn't regarded as a particularly consistent or great defender, but take a look at this article from SBN site Blazersedge, where they break down a defensive performance in which Webster served as the primary defender against Kevin Durant and held him to a single field goal in a game. A game like that certainly shows his potential as a solid defender, which would probably be tapped by Larry Brown. At worst, he'd provide solid insurance to a Gerald Wallace injury and energy off the bench.
Now, let's take a look at the financial considerations. Przybilla and Mohammed are the closest matches from a financial consideration. Mohammed is scheduled to get $13.35 million guaranteed over the next two years before his contract expires. Przybilla's contract runs at $6.86 million this year, with a $7.41 million player option next year that he's very likely to exercise given his injury. That would be a total cost of $14.26 million over the two years total, which would essentially be a wash. However, given his injury, Przybilla may well have part of his salary through the end of the year and/or next year covered by insurance, which would be a benefit to any team which employed him.
Webster and Diop are both under contract for the next three years with an option for a fourth, but that's where the similarity ends. Webster's owed a total of $14.40 million for the guaranteed years, while Diop is owed $19.45 million. And their option is different, too. Webster has a team option at a seemingly-reasonable $5.71 million, while Diop's is a player option at $7.37 million. Given that both options seem likely to be picked up, that'd be a total cost of $20.11 million for Webster and $26.82 million for Diop. In total, this deal would save the Bobcats about $5.8 million over the next four years, which, while not huge, isn't insignificant with the team losing money at a high rate and potentially looking to sell.
Unfortunately, the factors that make this trade attractive for Charlotte are also likely to make it unattractive for Portland, although crazier things have happened. Portland has shown a good acumen in personnel moves over the last few years while building a young and affordable team that's still a contender in the much-tougher Western Conference. We'd basically have to hope that they panicked and made a mistake because they want to contend this year and need healthy frontcourt bodies to do it. It would probably mean we had less of a chance to compete in the East this year, but it would markedly improve the team going forward, with a productive player replacing Diop's anchor contract. We'd be exceptionally lucky to pull off this dump, but hey, it never hurt anybody to make the call right? I'd love to hear thoughts below about this trade or others we might be able to pull off with Portland to help ease their frontcourt issues. Another option that Portland might be more receptive to might be to take Andre Miller off their hands. Even if you believe Raymond Felton has improved his game to the point he's worth resigning to the kind of big-money deal he wants, perhaps Miller and Felton could perform well in the backcourt together. Let me know.