The Most Incomprehensive Roster in NBA History

February 11, 2011 § 1 Comment

I just read on ESPN.com that Michael Jordan practiced with the team he owns, the Charlotte Bobcats, today. Apparently, this was an actual competitive full-court scrimmage, not some half-assed spectacle like the part-owner Mario Lemieux did with his Pittsburgh Penguins on HBO’s 24/7. Some Web sites even jokingly said Michael Jordan should come back. I say, why not?

First of all, Jordan has already “ruined his legacy*” by returning to play for the Washington Wizards back in 2002. He might as well “ruin it some more” and come back for the Bobcats. Second, Jordan surely still has some bullets left in the chamber. The man will always have that turnaround jumper working for him. I bet he could average 10 ppg until he’s 60. Finally, and most importantly, Jordan would legitimately be able to crack the rotation, assuming his knees hold up, because he has put together one of the strangest rosters I’ve ever seen.

*I put this in quotation marks because Jordan DID NOT RUIN HIS LEGACY, no matter what dumbasses like Jay Mariotti and other brainless sports pundits want to tell you. When my friends and I think of Jordan, we think of his days with the Bulls. Period. The only time I picture him in a Wizards uniform is if someone brings it up, and I say “oh yeah, forgot about that.” It’s the exact same concept as Joe Namath playing for the Rams, Willie Mays playing for the Mets, Emmitt Smith playing for the Cardinals and Isaac Bruce playing for the 49ers. Nobody ever brings up those players’ respective teams. Same with Jordan. Shit, one day Brett Favre might be the same way, although he made a much bigger spectacle of his situation and burned way more bridges than did Jordan, Namath, Mays, Smith, Bruce and the hundreds of other Hall of Fame athletes who have similarly switched teams at the tail-end of their careers. And if for some reason you think of Jordan as a Wizard (a team for which he scored nearly 20 ppg over two seasons), then I don’t know what to tell you.

Let’s break down this clusterfuck of a roster that belongs to the Charlotte Bobcats, in order of most tradeable assets. This means that salary, youth and length of contract count. Obviously, Gerald Wallace is more valuable to the team than DJ Augustin, but more teams in the league would be willing to trade for Augustin because of his salary and upside. (Contracts are all listed as they stand today a.k.a. if you got Augustin right now, you’d have to pay him $8 million over the next two and a half seasons with the salaries rounded to the nearest whole number and include player options, team options and qualifying offers. Here’s my source.)

  1. DJ Augustin, 23, two-and-a-half years, $8 million. When your most tradeable player is DJ Augustin, you might be in trouble. I’m not saying they were wrong in letting go of Raymond Felton, but how could you not use that money and trade exception in a smarter fashion?
  2. Gerald Wallace, 28, two-and-a-half years, $26 million. Wallace theoretically should be in the prime of his career right now at age 28, but take it from his fantasy owner, me, Wallace has taken a step back. He’s traditionally played a lot of minutes, around 40 a game, and I’m afraid he’s suffering the first steps of Jermaine O’Neal syndrome, in which a player inexplicably drops off in the middle of his career. I think the minutes are taking a toll on his legs because not only are his rebounding numbers down, but his shooting percentages have plummeted across the board. He’ll still provide a team with a solid 15 and 8 for a couple years, but he’s inefficient and has that nasty contract. Yikes.
  3. Stephen Jackson, 32, two-and-a-half years, $23 million. Captain Jack is more volatile than present-day Egypt, but the guy can ball. He shows little sign of dropping off, but he is 32, and he has a contract very similar to Wallace’s. Only reason he’s lower than Wallace is that Wallace has a better all-around skill set and Jackson was secretly the craziest player on the floor during the infamous Artest Brawl.

That’s it for tradeable assets! In case you were wondering, there are 12 more players on the Bobcats roster, but none of them have any real value. Here they are in alphabetical order.

Derrick Brown, 23, signed through end of season, $300,000

Kwame Brown, 28 (!), singed through end of season, $600,000. This is the same guy who once heard Jordan, who picked Brown no. 1 overall with the Wizards say this to him during a practice.

You fucking flaming faggot. You don’t get a foul on a goddamn little touch foul, you fucking faggot. You don’t bring that faggoty shit here. Get your goddamn ass back on the floor and play. I don’t want to hear that fucking shit out of you again. Get your ass back and play, you faggot.

I’m sure they’re getting along fine now, though.

Matt Carroll, 30, two-and-a-half years, $9.5 million. Who is Matt Carroll, you ask? Beats me.

Sherron Collins, 23, one-and-a-half years, $1 million. Nice to see some of these KU assholes struggling in the league.

/Ignores the fact that DeMarre is struggling.

Boris Diaw, 28, one-and-half-years, $12 million. On a team full of untradeable/worthless players, Diaw’s fat ass reigns king. How do you not stay in decent shape if that’s your job? You’re a professional athlete, Boris. For some unknown reason, the basketball Gods rewarded you with way more money than you ever should’ve received. Is it too much to ask to use some of the team’s exercise equipment, hire a personal chef and maybe stay in shape during the offseason?

Desagana Diop, 29, two-and-a-half years, $16 million. Despite being a spectacular bust taken just seven picks after Kwame, Diop has managed to stick around the league — much like Kwame. I guess there’s a pretty big premium on seven-footers these days. At least Kwame’s contract is reasonable. Diop’s is outrageous!

Gerald Henderson, 23, three-and-a-half years, $10.5 million. Probably a little early to throw out the bust label, but the Bobcats haven’t had a great history of developing their own talent. So….BUST.

Shaun Livingston, 25, two-and-a-half years, $8.5 million. I’ve always liked Livingston, so I won’t link to the video of his horrific knee injury. But man, was it ghastly. It pretty much derailed his career, and he hasn’t been the same.

Dominic McGuire, 25, singed through rest of season, $400,000. Never heard of him till now.

Nazr Mohammed, 33, signed through rest of season, $3 million. Large expiring contracts are important in the NBA. That’s all Mohammed is.

Eduardo Najera, 34, one-and-a-half years, $4 million. What? The Bobcats actually have an energy guy on their bench? Alert the presses! Too bad he’s old, has no discernible scoring ability and can’t play more than a quarter of a game.

Tyrus Thomas, 24, four-and-a-half years, $36 million. Sometimes, you know right away that a team just offered a really stupid contract to an inconsistent player, and you just want to scream. The Thomas contract qualifies as that. He can’t score, he can’t pass, and he can’t play without getting into foul trouble. And now he’s hurt, which will presumable impair his ability to do what he does best: jump to swat shots and grab rebounds. He’s also a apparently a surly teammate who is hard to get along with.

So what you have in the Bobcats is a team full of cast-offs with zero chemistry that’s destined to float around in no-man’s land for a few more years, meaning they’ll finish with something between 30 and 45 wins and be on the fringe of making the playoffs. This makes them completely irrelevant. At least the Cavaliers, who are suffering through an ugly season, will have a very high draft pick this summer, whereas the Bobcats will pick between 12 and 18, which assures them of stockpiling more Gerald Hendersons. The NBA is not the NFL. Seven and eight-seeds never sneak in the playoffs and take the field by storm. Seven and eight-seeds get their asses kicked, much like the Bobcats did last year. Nor do they have a chance of improving. You need a franchise player to build around in order to improve. Unless DJ Augustin becomes the second coming of Chris Paul or Gerald Wallace increases his numbers by 50 percent, the Bobcats absolutely lack a franchise player. The only way to find one in the NBA is with a high lottery pick or through free agency. But the Bobcats won’t be picking high, and even if the Bobcats could afford a high-profile free agent, no player wants to go to there because they have no future and they’re largely an irrelevant franchise…

Unless Jordan quits his job as the main personnel guy, which he so obviously sucks at, and comes back to play.

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