Originally posted on Fox Sports Carolinas  |  Last updated 3/1/12
In their relatively short seven-year history, the Bobcats have already experienced more makeovers than a 50-something divorcee. Apparently there won't be another of these, what president of basketball operations Rod Higgins called a "hard right turn" in an extensive story in Sunday's Charlotte Observer. Higgins said if the team participates at all in the trade deadline, it would only be in a deal that brings a draft pick or a young player to the team. There will be no cosmetic moves to make this team marginally more competitive the rest of the season. The Bobcats have worked hard to create cap flexibility the summer of 2012 and beyond. According to the Observer story, the Bobcats could be anywhere from 5 million to 21 million under the salary cap this offseason, an advantage the Bobcats won't throw away on quick fixes. Ideally, the Bobcats would sign a superstar free agent, a maximum-salary player who would eventually cost 80-100 million. But Higgins and general manager Rich Cho are realistic enough to understand that's no given, particularly considering such a player would parachute into a situation where the Bobcats might lose more games than any franchise this season. However, there are other options. The Bobcats could split an abundance of their cap room on two mid-level free agents. They could bank their cap room for the free-agent class of 2013. They could facilitate trades between other teams to pick up draft picks or young talent. Or they could do a combination of all of the above. The Bobcats lost to the Pistons by 15 points on Wednesday. They next play the Spurs Friday. NOTES --If the Bobcats do make a trade before the March 15 trade deadline -- and trading is their thing -- it could involve the 3.5 million trade exception they have from including Shaun Livingston in the draft-night deal with Milwaukee and Sacramento. That could allow them to accept a player salary that drops another team below the luxury tax threshold, for which the Bobcats could receive a draft pick or a quality young player. --The Bobcats are healthier than at any time this season. Coach Paul Silas hopes that allows for a more stable rotation after using 13 starting lineups in the first 32 games. In particular, Silas wants a bench he can depend on, both in talent and familiarity with each other. A backcourt of Kemba Walker and Reggie Williams should go a long way toward building a genuine NBA second five. PLAYER NOTES --G Gerald Henderson went back into the starting lineup immediately after missing nine games with a hamstring strain. Usually Silas has an injured starter come off the bench for a game with limited minutes. But Henderson looked so good in practice that Silas went with him right away. --C Byron Mullens will play a lot until Bismack Biyombo recovers from a serious left shoulder injury. --F Boris Diaw played only spot duty in the second half. On some level, they're deeper at power forward at any other position. And yet, Diaw's and Tyrus Thomas' lack of production is striking. --G Kemba Walker is likely not a starter in the NBA. He's not a point guard, and he's probably not so prolific a scorer that this is going to work as the Bobcats hoped. --C Bismack Biyombo left the Pistons game with a left shoulder injury. --F D.J. White left the Pistons game late with what looked like a severe left wrist injury. QUOTE TO NOTE "Guys aren't playing tough. That's the major problem." -- Bobcats coach Paul Silas.
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