The trade deadline came and went, and as Bobcats fans we saw our team involved in discussions but ultimately standing pat and not getting anything done, preferring to consolidate cap space for the future and looking to get better in the coming drafts.
In Portland things were a little different as management decide to hit the reset button and conduct a good old fashioned fire sale.
Former Bobcat Gerald Wallace, who had come to Portland at the cost of 2 First round draft picks and some role players at last year’s trade deadline, was dealt to the New Jersey Nets for the Nets protected 2012 first round draft pick, Mehmet Okur and Shawne Williams. Veteran Marcus Camby was dealt to Houston for Hasheem Thabeet, Jonny Flynn and Minnesota's protected 2012 second round pick. Nate McMillan was also fired after several seasons as head coach.
Why am I writing about Portland on the Rufus on Fire blog you may ask – because Portland owe us their protected 2013 first round draft pick (top 12 protected in 2013, 2014 and 2015 drafts, and unprotected in the 2016 Draft). When they traded this pick last year they were at the height of their powers, looking to take that next step into the top echelon of the Western Conference and to contend for the title, and both Charlotte and Portland probably thought that this pick would be in the 20s.
That is no longer the case. With these trade deadline moves it looks as though Portland is trying to do a quick retool of their roster for another push built around All Star LaMarcus Aldridge. They are far from being horrible, but they have definitely gotten worse at least in the short term.
This could be good news to the Bobcats as I am pegging them to try a develop whoever they snag in this years draft with 1 or both or their first round draft picks (assuming the Nets one is passed on this year as it is only top 3 protected). This will hopefully mean that they drop in the standings for year or 2 and make the pick they owe us more valuable (as close to pick 13 as possible).
With the pick we have this year, and potentially another top 5 in 2013 thrown in with a mid teen pick from Portland in what some draft websites are saying could be another strong draft we could be well on the way along our Cho rebuild.
With picks, young talent and most of our dead in the water contracts off the books at the end of next season we should be sitting in a great situation to improve our basketball team in a number of different ways. Let us all have patience and stay the course as exciting times are ahead.