I posted the second half earlier in italics.Originally Posted by GeauxSaints53Title: What are the Charlotte Bobcats thinking?
Usually when a trade happens, I'll write something like, "On the surface, it makes no sense," and then proceed to walk you through all the cap ramifications to show why a seemingly lopsided deal actually makes some sense.
This isn't one of those.
I'm just as puzzled as anyone why the Bobcats would agree to trade Emeka Okafor to the Hornets for Tyson Chandler, because in terms of both basketball and cap implications, the deal makes a lot more sense for New Orleans than it does for Charlotte.
The Hornets pulled off the rare feat of saving money while becoming a better team. Yes, Okafor's contract runs three years longer, but that matters much less than the near-term implications of having a lower payroll this year and next year because of the luxury tax calculations.
He'll save the Hornets $1.1 million in salary and another $1.1 million in luxury tax this year, and he puts them close enough to the tax line that they could put themselves under by bribing somebody to take Antonio Daniels at the trade deadline. That will be difficult, yes, but it's not impossible.
Ditto for next year. The Hornets already are threatening the lowered tax threshold for next summer, and the trade would give them an extra $1.2 million in wiggle room to add players. (This presumes Chandler doesn't opt out of the final year of his contract at $12.7 million, which, based on his present production, would be fiscal insanity.)
And, as I mentioned, Okafor is the better player. Both players consistently have been honorable mentions in my all-defense picks, but Okafor is the superior scorer. That might not be saying much -- both players are somewhat limited offensively -- but Okafor can score on post-ups occasionally and make short bank shots, while Chandler's range ends at the charge circle. Over the past three seasons, Okafor has averaged nearly five more points per 40 minutes -- that's big.
The health disparity between the two also has been mentioned, but look closer, and I'm not sure there's any difference. Okafor has averaged 66 games per season over the course of his career, Chandler 67. Chandler has a bad toe that already nuked one trade, but Okafor has a problematic back. Okafor has played 82 games each of the past two seasons, but over their careers, their injury histories show little separation. Age isn't an issue either -- they were born four days apart.
Nevertheless, the Hornets have to be stoked. Getting a not-quite-All-Star caliber center who will do the dirty work on D and score a little improves their chances of hanging with the West's upper crust, although there remains much work to be done.
... (It goes on, but I don't think I'm allowed to post the whole thing.)