After the draft, the most pressing issue for a Bobcats fan at the moment is probably Raymond Felton's fate. DJ Augustin has proven that he deserves starter's minutes this upcoming season, and unless Felton sees an unlikely mid-career jump in productivity, he's going to have to settle for a backup role wherever he goes.
Therefore, it seems to make little sense to offer him a qualifying offer that will have to be $5.5 million. It's not a good idea to pay backup point guards that kind of money. It's simply a waste to give those resources -- money and minutes -- to someone who, while apparently a lovely guy and a hard worker, doesn't have a future on the team. On top of that, I can't imagine any other team would be willing to pay that price for a low end starting PG when they can take that money and sink it into other parts of their organization, like... I don't know... paying support staff to work for them.
I mean, that $5.5 million doesn't have to go anywhere. We could just use Dontell Jefferson and a guy signed to the veteran minimum (think Tyronn Lue) to be the backups, then keep throwing crap at the wall and digging up D-Leaguers to practice on 10-day contracts until one of them sticks (think Will Bynum).
The Bobcats are losing tens of millions of dollars, so this seems like a beautiful dovetailing moment when a little financial pressure can be relieved by a sound basketball decision. If only.
Buried deep at the end of the AP story about Tyler Hansbrough's workout is this nugget:
Bobcats GM Rod Higgins said they'll make a qualifying offer to G Raymond Felton, an impending restricted free agent, by the June 30 deadline. Higgins said they still haven't decided whether to do the same for F Sean May, who has battled weight and injury issues.
This is baffling. May's qualifying offer would be roughly $2 million less than Felton's. May has had injury issues wreck two of his seasons, so the talent he flashed early in his career still hasn't had a real opportunity to present itself. That, alone, gives me reason to think it's not such a bad idea to give him another year to see what he can do. However, we know who Felton is and what he's capable of producing, and the Cats are, apparently, set to bring him back. Or, the Bobcats could simply save 8 million dollars (7 million if you want to bring in a more known quality like Anthony Carter) by not bringing either player back and instead paying for minimum players to stock the end of the bench.