Oh Corey, sweet, sorry, injured Corey. We barely got to know you as a Bobcat, and now, you are gone. Stephen Jackson and Shaun Livingston to swap picks and bring in Maggette, last year on draft day, worked. It was worth it to get Bismack Biyombo, or was it Kemba? This time around, Corey Maggette for Ben Gordon and a protected first round pick, might just be crazy enough to work.
My question is, did Cory Higgins demand the trade because he has to be the only person named Cory or Corey on the team? How would that conversation go? ”Dad! I’m tired of the coach saying “Corey, get in the game!” and then he looks at me and Maggette getting up and tells me to sit down!”
No, that probably wasn’t it. I wondered aloud if this was a trade for trading’s sake, sort of to kick-start the week of the draft. That was immediately met with “Nah, Rich Cho just loves him some draft picks.” Very true. Rich Cho is all about acquiring assets. As “assets” go, conditional first round picks seem pretty easy to come by, if you have a guy that is that puzzle piece that a team thinks they need.
It’s interesting to me that Maggette was traded the same week as Kevin Youklis of the Boston Red Sox. If you have read or seen “Moneyball,” you know that Youklis is the “Greek God of walks.” Similarly, Corey Maggette is the “Greek Sub-God (if that’s a thing) of going to the free throw line).” When he came in, a quick glance at his numbers would tell any Bobcats fan that he gets to the line a lot for a guy who doesn’t average as many points as a superstar or has the cache to draw fouls like a superstar. His attempts jump off the page at you as probably the one thing he did really well.
All those free throw attempts didn’t translate to helping the team much last season, as we all know. So my next immediate thought was “Hey, Mike (as in Dunlap, new coach of YOUR Charlotte Bobcats), Mike, who do you see on this roster as really not working for you?” ”Really, Rich, umm, I’d have to say Matt Carroll.” “Sorry, Matt is untradeable, don’t ask.” ”Ok then, how about Maggette?” Maggette and his free throw attempts and seeming indifference to run might not work on an up-tempo squad next season. His age and, how do I put this in a way where I’m not bashing the guy? His deliberate offensive game may not be exactly what Coach Dunlap is looking for.
Ben Gordon however, might be the shooter that fits the Dunlap “8 seconds and shoot” style of play that I think he’s looking to implement. Gordon is due $15.6 million more over the next two seasons than Maggette was due in this one upcoming season. That’s a lot to pay for a younger, shooting guard and a conditional draft pick, but it might work out. Gordon may opt out after next season, if he plays well and thinks he can parlay that into a long-term deal. That’d wipe $13.6 million off the books there. If the Pistons get that much better with Maggette, the pick could be next season and that’d be outside the lottery. That’d be less good, however, all first round picks have a shot to be good, at least as good as Maggette or Gordon.
I don’t know why this deal was done, don’t really care. Maggette did nothing to inspire me last season. At least Stephen Jackson was a cold blooded killer in big moments and a vocal, if not entertaining player off the court. No, Maggette will go down in the column filled with other one year rentals such as Tyson Chandler, Jason Richardson and someone else I can’t think of. Guys who came in with promise, did what we expected or something close enough, and were moved for interesting reasons.
The hope for a first rounder, in some draft, some year in the next 4, isn’t enough for me. I want this draft. I’m thinking, as someone posted on twitter, that with Maggette out, that leaves on Derrick Brown as a small forward on this team. That might open the door for Harrison Barnes or Michael Kidd-Gilcrist to be taken, if the Bobcats stay at #2, which no one is convinced of. Barnes or MKG could be enticing. This move almost certainly eliminates Bradley Beal out of Florida being taken by the Bobcats at #2, opening the door further for trade talks with Cleveland to move back to #4.
Either way, I hope Gordon can pull back his ability to play from 4 years ago with Chicago and wash that Detroit stink off of him in a hurry.