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Hakim Warrick Will Actually Be Worth Watching After Trade to Charlotte Bobcats

PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 30:  Hakim Warrick #21 of the Phoenix Suns reacts after scoring against the New Orleans Hornets during the NBA game at US Airways Center on January 30, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Hornets 104-102. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Dan FavaleFeatured Columnist IVOctober 21, 2016

In a move of not-so-epic-proportions, the Charlotte Bobcats traded shooting guard Matt Carroll to the New Orleans Hornets for power forward Hakim Warrick.

TRADE! The #Bobcats have traded Matt Carroll to the #Hornets for Hakim Warrick

InsideHoops.com (@InsideHoops) November 13, 2012

The move doesn't boast any household names, but it is a game-changer for both the Bobcats and Warrick. Charlotte's newest forward has played for six different teams in seven years, and this one will prove to be lucky No. 7.

Though Warrick hardly turned heads while in New Orleans, he wasn't being used properly, or used period. He appeared in just one game, played seven minutes and scored four points.

However, despite his underwhelming performance and usage with the Hornets, his production—or lack thereof—is not indicative of the player he truly is.

Throughout his career, Warrick has proven that he can be a scorer, and an explosive one at that. His production peaked with the Memphis Grizzlies between 2006 and 2009, when he averaged 11.9 points in 24.8 minutes per contest.

No, Warrick isn't what you would consider a staunch defender, but he's extremely athletic and can knock down baskets at a high percentage. He is shooting nearly 50 percent from the field for his career.

Yet why, after an extensive bout with mediocrity bordering on uselessness, are we to believe that Warrick can make a difference in Charlotte?

Because, for the first time in three years, he is now on a team that can give him some burn, which is all he needs. That's all he's ever needed.

When Warrick has been on the court, he has scored. He's never been a 20-points-per-game threat, but given 25 minutes of court time, he's a guy who can put up 12-plus points and six rebounds easily.

But he needs to be given the opportunity to break a sweat.

After his stint with the Grizzlies, he fell out of the offensive equation with the Chicago Bulls. Upon arriving in Milwaukee, though, his minutes increased, as did his production to the tune of 10.2 points and 4.7 rebounds per contest.

Then, however, he landed with the Phoenix Suns, who used him sparingly, if at all. It was with them that his production entered a steep decline, and he began his run of below-average displays.

That run continued in New Orleans with a team that had little need for him because it boasted a plethora of younger, more promising forward prospects.

That's what makes Warrick a perfect fit for the surprisingly almost-competent Bobcats. They aren't exactly laden with capable size. Outside of Bismack Biyombo and Brendan Haywood, there's not much worth watching in the post. Subsequently, Charlotte's lack of worthy bigs will ensure that Warrick receives an ample amount of playing time.

Make no mistake—even at 30, Warrick is a work in progress. He needs to work on his defensive coordination and cannot rely on his athleticism to carry him past every opposing big man.

That said, although he's a project, so are the Bobcats. They're currently playing .500 basketball, but they have a ways to go before the stench of last season is wiped away clean. And again, Warrick can help them do that.

He provides Ramon Sessions and Kemba Walker with a viable and explosive pick-and-roll option. He has the ability to be a leading post presence on a team that sorely lacks an identity down low on offense.

Most importantly, though, his offensive track record coupled with his athleticism and historic durability—save for last season—will be an additional source of hope for a Charlotte team just looking to take any kind of step in the right direction.

All he needs is playing time.

That's all he's ever needed.

 

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