After nearly being traded to the Toronto Raptors, Bobcats center Tyson Chandler has a new home: the Dallas Mavericks. According to Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Mavs and Bobcats have agreed on a deal that will send Chandler and Alex Ajinca to Dallas in return for Erick Dampier, Matt Carroll and Eduardo Najera.
For the Mavs, landing Chandler somewhat salvages a disappointing free agency period, given that Mark Cuban et. al. had hoped to land a legit top talent for Erick Dampier's massively appealing non-guaranteed expiring contract. Chandler offers Dallas a top-flight defensive center, whose shot-blocking and rebounding should complement incumbent Brendan Haywood -- assuming, of course, that the oft-injured Chandler can stay healthy. ESPN's Marc Stein further reports that the Mavs intend to try to sign
As for the Bobcats, this is a puzzling move to say the least. While Charlotte can immediately cut Dampier and save some $13 million, ESPN's Marc Stein reports that they are first exploring packaging him to "fill another void". Still, given the Mavs' struggles to move Dampier themselves, Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski says that Bobcats officials think it is "very likely" that they will merely end up waiving him. The baffling part of this deal from the Bobcats' perspective is that Chandler's deal expires at the end of the season, so they are merely accelerating their cap savings a year, well after the top free agents are off the market this summer. Combined with the fact that Chandler is the far superior player at this point; the Bobcats had to take on the long-term salaries of Matt Carroll (who the Bobcats had ironically given to the Mavs in a salary dump a few years ago) and Eduardo Najera; and the Bobcats had a deal in place with the Raptors for Chandler that actually would have filled the holes on their roster, and this is a head-scratcher for Charlotte. As our Bobcats blog Rufus On Fire put it:
I don't get it. This would leave the Bobcats with a shaky point guard situation and Boris Diaw as the number one center option. Really?
The only way this works for us is if we have a deal in place to flip Erick Dampier for other assets, because Dampier's deal can be bought out. And if we're stuck with Matt Carroll and Eduardo Najera for the next three and two years, respectively... Again, I just don't get it.
If they're just trying to save several million dollars by buying out Dampier instead of cutting salary by taking Jose Calderon and Reggie Evans, then that's kind of silly, because Calderon and Evans would bring real performance value to the team.
Again: this is what Michael Jordan vetoed the José Calderon trade for? Brings back memories of his days as an executive for the Wizards...and Bobcats, for that matter.