Making Logic Of Michael Jordan’s Roster Moves in CharlotteBasketball, Bull City — By Joe Simmons on April 30, 2012 at 3:00 am
One has to ask what in the hell Michael Jordan is doing to the Bobcats? You know your team is bad when your go-to player is former Duke star, Gerald Henderson. The Bobcats took the former Duke Blue Devil a few years ago in the lottery, and everyone was wondering if he would become the star athlete that everyone made him out to be as a prep star.
The Bobcats mortgaged their team away last year as they traded Gerald Wallace to Portland and sent Stephen Jackson packing for a bag of Skittles and a box of Cracker Jacks.
It seemed like a dummy move at the time, and the more I thought about it, the less sense it made. I kept asking myself, can you really build a team around Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson? When put into that context, the answer is probably no, since they are both aging players. However, having veterans around can help you mold your younger players into form.
Jordan was probably thinking that these guys were at the end of their great years, and it might be better to stockpile some picks and get something for them while he could. However, he left his team in shambles as they are being led by a group of players that very few people could recognize outside of their uniform.
Only time will tell if that trade was a good move or not. However, if this season is any indication, it might not have been as good a move as people thought at the time. The good news is that the Bobcats should have figured out that Gerald Henderson is not the cornerstone of the future. He is a solid player, but a superstar, he is not.
Last year’s first round pick, Kemba Walker, is a solid addition, but the Bobcats already had a score-first point guard in D.J. Augustine, so picking Walker was more of a P.R. move than a necessity. That means that the Bobcats are one more year behind the curve in building a roster that fans will pay to watch.
If Jordan does the right thing with the first round picks he has acquired, he can make his mark on this team, and then you can judge him on whether or not those trades were a good move. The Bobcats will have more balls in the lottery than any other team, so if the lottery balls fall his way, he should secure Anthony Davis as the anchor of a defensive team. Getting Davis is a good start to the rebuilding process. He should also have options in the future, whether through the draft, or with trades for better players, and that is something that the Bobcats haven’t had in the past.
If I were Jordan, I would do a few things to make life better. I would definitely hire a new general manager. Michael Jordan the GM is conflicting with Michael Jordan the owner. It’s not good practice for a franchise that is struggling financially to have an owner making financial and personnel decisions. He’s going to be too cautious and when things go bad he has no one to fire but himself.
The reality of the situation is that the cap room that Jordan freed up isn’t going to make that big of a difference if the Bobcats don’t start winning basketball games. I will be the first to admit that there are times when you have to strip it down before you build it up. Let’s give Mike credit; he stripped the hell out of his team. They are so bad that at least three college teams would beat them if they played them this season.
You can’t really blame Jordan for trying to get his team sharper. He could have kept his team in tact and probably been close to making the playoffs this season. However, if just making the playoffs was all that mattered, then a lot of franchises should be content. The point of playing in the NBA is to win a ring, and let’s face it: the Bobcats weren’t on pace to win anything with the roster as it was. It seems to me that over two-thirds of the league has no shot at winning a title anyway.
Go down the past champions list, and you see the usual suspects. Lakers, Celtics, Bulls, Spurs… We need to stop kidding ourselves and acting like these moves actually mean something. The future of the NBA is OKC, Chicago, Miami, and NY. Everyone else is just playing for a paycheck, and some darn good cardio.
Stay Breezy ~ I’m Out!