The Charlotte Bobcats have likely already made their big splash, executing a draft day trade that sent Stephen Jackson to the Milwaukee Bucks in return for Corey Maggette and a moved-up pick. With two top-10 picks, Charlotte loaded up with UConn star Kemba Walker and Congolese big man Bismack Biyombo. It's unlikely Biyombo will receive clearance to leave his Spanish team Fuenlabrada this season, so only two of the three pieces acquired on draft day will see the court. Are they enough to keep Michael Jordan, Rod Higgins and new addition Rich Cho quiet in free agency?
Here's a look at the Bobcats' salary cap levels over the past six seasons.
Unsurprisingly, the Bobcats have never touched the luxury tax. It may be surprising to see, though, that Charlotte has been fairly close in recent seasons.
Heading into free agency, the Bobcats have a cap figure of $47 million with the leaguewide team salary cap set at $58 million and the luxury tax line at $70 million. That's enough for a few small pieces or some extra salary in a trade.
The Bobcats' free agents are:
Cunningham is worth keeping around, assuming any offer sheet that happens to come along is tame. Przybilla appears to be deciding between retirement and a return to the familiar haunts of Milwaukee or Portland. McGuire and Temple are roster fillers for most teams in the league, and shouldn't be priorities. Kwame, though, provides an interesting challenge. With Biyombo stuck in Europe, the Bobcats figure to be painfully small, especially if the team waives DeSagana Diop under the amnesty clause. Unless Charlotte makes a dark hose play for a free agent big man or trade target, Brown looks like a likely candidate to return.
Diop is the popular amnesty name here, but it'll be tough to erase one of two centers on the roster (inexperienced D.J. White, who is actually a power forward, is the other) if Charlotte doesn't reach a deal with Brown quickly. None of the big-name free agents are remotely in play, and the Bobcats have little beyond draft picks that they'll be willing to part with in a trade, unless the front office has already soured on Tyrus Thomas. It looks to be a quiet free agent period in Charlotte. But at least there's Kemba to look forward to.
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