Michael Jordan’s franchise is stuck in a perpetual motion of doom. Defensively, the Bobcats are great. Overall, they are a mess with lottery picks given away in trades. Do they want a point guard or a center? Why not try to get both? The Bobcats never had a superstar. They were hoping that Emeka Okafor would become that guy, but that did not work out. They’re stuck with a team that is somewhat formulated just like the Detroit Pistons of 2004 considering that Larry Brown is there. Unfortunately, the team is not as good as Detroit.
This subject is barely discussed among NBA hardcore aficionados. I once thought about the Hornet’s problem, but figured that it was too farfetched. I am sure that many fans thought about something similar, but dismissed this. As the 2010 NBA Playoffs are humming along, there are some elite stars that did not make it. One of them is fantasy statistical standout Chris Paul.
That's where three key pieces come into play: the expiring contracts of Jeff Foster, Mike Dunleavy, and TJ Ford. The plan had been to let those contracts, totaling $27 million, fall off the books and make the Pacers a significant player in the next two free-agent classes.
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It is the ultimate wild card.
On July 1st the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement will expire, and the new financial system the owners and players agree to will be different –very different.
Of course, nobody knows how different. Or, what exactly those differences will be, so teams are modifying their plans for the future.
Case in point: the Indiana Pacers. The Hoosier state planned on letting Mike Dunleavy, TJ Ford, and Jeff Foster’s combined $27 million salaries come off the books and wanted to use their newfound cap space to sign a star free agent.
This big-ticket free agent would then combine with point guard Darren Collison and Danny Granger to form a solid big three.
However, the uncertainty over the CBA is forcing the Pacers to re-think this plan. Like the other 29 teams, they have no idea what the new financial system will be.
So Executive Larry Bird and the Pacers have no choice but to entertain trade offers for Dunleavy, Ford, and/or Foster’s expiring contract. Their thinking is simple: better to get something than be left with nothing at all.
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Last night, the Indiana Pacers’ struggles were temporarily forgotten when they defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 99-86 and made national highlight packages with a pair of fierce facials.
Facial one: newly acquired table-setter Darren Collison stole the ball, sped to the hoop, and powered over fellow little-man Lou Williams.
Facial two: T.J. Ford, freed from Coach Jim O'Brien's bench, tossed an over-the-shoulder pass to Josh McRoberts, who then welcomed Evan Turner to the NBA by giving the rookie poster job treatment.
Pacer-nation hasn’t had much to cheer for. Not lately, at least. However, Collison and McRoberts gave the former Eastern Conference power some much-needed shine and publicity.
While Indiana fans undoubtedly loved both dunks, HoopsVibe News wants to know which facial you preferred: Collison or McRoberts?
Watch the above videos, form your opinion, and get at us with that opinion in the comment box below.
According to a source with knowledge of his plan, Chris Paul has requested that the Hornets trade him to the Knicks, Magic or Lakers before the season begins.
"He wants out," the source told Ken Berger of CBS Sports. "He wants to play with another superstar. He wants to follow LeBron's model of teaming up with other great players."
"Speaking of Collison, the Pacers have reached out to New Orleans about the former UCLA point guard."
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Indiana and New Orleans are two of the NBA’s smallest markets. Both have limited budgets. Yet, both are desperate to upgrade their roster.
And this is Corporal/Commissioner David Stern’s post recession problem: his league has become increasingly fractured and polarized into have and have-not franchises.
The have franchises – think Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, and New York – will spend their summer trying to land big-ticket free agents.
No expense will be spared. Mayors, politicians, celebrities, rap icons and even a president have tried wooing the game’s elite player to their club of choice
The have-not franchises – think Indiana, Minnesota, New Orleans, Milwaukee, and Memphis – will spend their summer scheming up creative and cost-effective ways to compete.
With this in mind, a Darren Collison deal would make some sense for the Pacers and Hornets.
Larry Bird’s club has to get better at point guard. TJ Ford – and his $8 million dollar salary – isn’t the answer. And Jamaal Tinsley’s $5 million pact is still on the books, even though he was released years ago.
Collison, a lightning quick table-setter, filled in admirably for injured superstar Chris Paul. Best of all, the UCLA alum has three years remaining on his rookie pact.
Meanwhile, reports that the Hornets and Paul were considering parting ways are false. Team and player are apparently committed to each other and sticking together.
However, New Orleans was always a poorer NBA market. Then Hurricane Katrina hit. Then The Great Recession came. And now there’s the Gulf Coast oil spill.
All contributed to the city’s struggling economy, which means there’s less disposable income for citizens to spend on disposable goods –like NBA tickets and luxury boxes.
So the Hornets can't generate the revenue to sign high or even medium priced free agents. Their best and only option this summer is trading the young and inexpensive Collison for other young, and inexpensive players.
They've got lockdown defender Dahntay Jones, athletic swing Brandon Rush, and blue-collar bruiser Tyler Hansbrough.
All are young. All are cheap. And all could play a role in The Bayou. Perhaps, Bird, Indiana's head suit, lets New Orleans pick two of these three players.
That said, nothing is imminent between the Pacers and Hornets. Expect them to keep talking. As mentioned, in today’s NBA, their options are limited.
Get at us with thoughts on this deal?