Biyombo became an unrestricted free agent when the Hornets decided against extending him a qualifying offer last week, and there was some belief the team wanted flexibility but intended to bring him back. We now know that was not the case.
This is frustrating, as Biyombo's qualifying offer was just $4.05 million. His cap hold did nothing to the Hornets' ability to make moves in free agency, as they were over the cap with his hold and are still over the cap without it. By tendering Biyombo his qualifying offer, the Hornets would have had the ability to match any offer made to the center, or even work out a sign and trade. Instead, the Hornets just gave him away for free. That is not good asset management.
The only negative for the Hornets would have been that by giving Biyombo the qualifying offer, the team, or more specifically, owner Michael Jordan, would be paying the luxury tax if the team used its mid-level exception.
Biyombo's time in Charlotte is difficult to describe. To some, he was an improving defensive anchor. To others, he was simply an anchor weighing down the team. The truth is somewhere in the middle. While Biyombo's offensive game leaves a lot to be desired, his defensive ability was legitimate and he did show some use on offense in certain lineups. (Most notably when playing with Lance Stephenson last season, whom assisted Biyombo on 17 of a total of 52 assisted field goals.)
Toronto picked up a 22-year-old big man on the cheap, and the Hornets look foolish. We should probably be used to that by now.