The buzz around the soon-to-be-resurrected Hornets is that a dependable small forward will surely be their top target in free agency ... and MJ will again have money to spend, if he can find a willing taker. Or Charlotte could certainly opt for trades to fill its nagging holes at both small forward and backup point guard if it fears the usual chilly summer chasing players on the open market. The rumbles have already begun that two players Clifford is said to regard with real fondness after working with them in Orlando as an assistant -- swingman Arron Afflalo and backup point guard Jameer Nelson -- will be among the Bobcats' trade targets.
Arron Afflalo, 28, is due to earn $7.5 million next season and has a player option for 2015-16, also valued at $7.5 million.
Jameer Nelson, 32, is entering the final season of his contract at $8 million, but only $2 million of that is guaranteed if Nelson is waived by July 15. ESPN.com
Nelson will most likely be waived and headed to Charlotte as Kemba's backup, now I'm not 100% sure about Afflalo. My guess, is that if we get Detroit's pick at number nine, we will trade Portland's pick and Gary Neal to Orlando for Aaron Afflalo.
We could probably get Afflalo and Nelso for a combined $10 million leaving us with another $10 million in cap space to sign that small forward... maybe Luol Deng.
So how about this...
PG: Kemba Walker, Jameer Nelson (free agency), DeAndre Kane (draft)
SG: Arron Afflalo (trade), Gerald Henderson, Jeff Taylor
SF: Luol Deng (free agency), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Chris Douglas-Roberts (free agency)
PF: Josh McRoberts, Cody Zeller, Aaron Gordon (draft)
C: Al Jefferson, Bismack Biyombo, Brendan Haywood
Not to shabby...
That could possibly be a top 5 team in the east in my opinion.
- Per Rick Bonnell, Josh McRoberts said that he wants to play in Charlotte for many years and is expected to opt in.
- Al Jefferson has been told no physical activity for two weeks, then two weeks of stationary bike only, then he should be good to go (out one month).
- The Bobcats made the first major free-agent signing in franchise history last July when center Al Jefferson accepted a three-season contract worth $13.5 million per season. Jefferson dramatically improved this team offensively. Now the coaches and front office hope the chance to play with Jefferson and point guard Kemba Walker will attract other talented players to Charlotte. “I would hope so,” Clifford said at his season-ending news conference. “Guys want to come to a nice place to live and where they have a chance to win. This is a step there. And guys know we have good guys.” Charlotte Observer
- Rick Bonnell: Rod Higgins says improving perimeter shooting is imperative.