(DA -- From the FanPosts)
On the eve of our first playoff appearance in franchise history, the complaints seem to be rising from Bobcat fans about Larry Brown's lack of interest towards building Charlotte into a franchise to compete for years, rather than now. Well, for all of you wishful thinkers, this is the season that could have been.The Tyson Chandler-Emeka Okafor trade took place before the year started, and it was a payroll move (since so many people are concerned about long-term finances like they are spending the money) so let's just say that move is kept in place. So, we are 3-9, with Raja Bell and Vladimir Radmonovic on the team, and we actually decide to keep these guys. Raja is playing with a pretty banged up wrist, so at any moment, he could hurt his hand more to the point where a season ending surgery was needed. I don't think I need to speak on Vladimir. His 4.9 points and 3.6 rebounds are absolutely ESSENTIAL to the Bobcats playoff hopes (do you feel my sarcasm). So, let's just completely erase the Stephen Jackson trade from our minds like it never happened (he actually ends up going to the Cavaliers in a trade, who then look unstoppable with LeBron, Jax, and Shaq and look to have the Eastern conference crown sewn up for years to come). So, we still have Raja, who holds a 1 year contract worth 5.25 and the snow board king who holds a 2 year contract with 6.8 mill counted towards the cap next year.
So, we're just playing out the year, ya know, probably at around 18-32 (that's actually a pretty favorable record compared to our performance without the Jackson trade), and other offers come along that we just turn down. Larry Brown is going to make some trades, it's the way of the world. But, theoretically, let's just say he doesn't for the sake of this thread, and he makes a Larry Brown like move in signing Kenny Thomas from the Sacramento Kings to fill our backup PF spot. The Tyrus Thomas deal definitely would not be able to happen at this point, because we don't have the Acie Law expiring contract from Golden State to package with Flip Murray in the trade. Although we could use Raja's, but, let's not go down that road, we need all the cap room we can get. And, we would still have to lose our first round pick two years from now. We would then obviously have no future without middle of the round draft pick players to fill out our roster with. We also don't trade our 2nd round pick for Theo Ratliff. So, let's just jump on through the All-Star weekend without making any trades. By the way, the Bobcats at this point have no players competing in All-Star weekend because although Gerald Wallace is putting up decent numbers, the team is mediocre, and players without mind boggling numbers on mediocre teams don't get All-Star votes. Well, maybe Hendo can get in the Rookie vs. Sophomore game.
Around the same time, Bob Johnson (still) has grown tired of running an NBA franchise and wants to sell. This time, however, George Postolos takes control of the team, because Michael Jordan has no interest in running the franchise, after his first hand look at how the people of Charlotte are responding to the team that will probably miss the playoffs for a 6th straight year. So, the league approves George's bid to become owner, which promptly leads to Larry Brown saying he will retire next year (only to really go on to coach the new look Clippers or assume the GM role with the 76'ers).
At this point, the season is an absolute mess. About 4,000 people are showing up for the games. Raymond Felton continues to show improvement and says that he wants to remain with the Cats, but sources are telling ESPN that he wants to be on a winning team and has Portland on his "wish list". Raja Bell ended up taking a pretty bad fall in the last seconds of a game against the Magic jostling for a rebound with Matt Barnes, and elects to have season ending surgery considering the team isn't making a run for the playoffs anyway. Flip Murray has assumed the starting SG position and Dontell Jefferson has been signed to replace the injured Bell's spot on the roster.. However, something I'm sure ROF fans would truly appreciate is the scenario leading to a 6th man role for Gerald "GOD" Henderson
(who at this point is averaging 14.2 ppg and is battling our with Brandon Jennings and Stephen Curry for number 2 in ROY race, still behind future hall of famer, Tyreke Evans). Also, Derrick Brown has capitalized on his opportunity as well, filling in for the worn out Gerald Wallace.
The team, far from playoff contention, however, makes a strong run over the second half of the season, shows improvement again, and actually wins 37 games to finish at 37-45 with hope for the next year. I mean, we traded our lottery pick this year for Ajincia, and only have 53 million committed in cap next year, so we should able to sign a dynamo role playing free agent.
But, all is well in Charlotte, because we can always look forward to the future. Combining that MLE signing and
lottery pick to the emergence of Gerald Henderson and Derrick Brown and steady improvement from our core, and whoever George hires to replace Larry will surely lead to a playoff spot next year and will turn us into championship contenders a few years from now, won't it? 2011, look out for the