The Charlotte Bobcats were stuck in mediocrity, the land where the team is not quite bad but not good either. Players knew it, diehard fans knew it and finally, Michael Jordan knew it.
MJ might be arguably the best NBA player in history, but his record as a General Manger has left much to be desired. After he became majority owner of the Cats, he inherited a team with some talent but nothing close to really compete for a title. He also was burdened with a high payroll and players with long-term contracts.
That’s a formula for trouble. And, that’s why Charlotte was in the no-man’s land of the NBA. I call it the Milwaukee Bucks dilemma. In NBA history, the Bucks go down as one of the most notorious franchises during the 1980-1990s.
The Bucks were always a playoff team but an easy out. So, they got mediocre draft picks, and the cycle continued for years.
That’s why this is MJ’s best move yet as owner and GM. Dumping Gerald Wallace, a fan favorite, hurts in the short term but is a brilliant move if Charlotte ever wants to really compete for a ring.
They freed up cap space, moved a player who had years left on his contract, and Charlotte picked up two first round draft picks. They also did a deal with Oklahoma City to get more cap relief.
That all bodes really, really well for Charlotte. They might not make the playoffs, this year and the next. But, with a solid coach now in Paul Silas and picks to improve, this is why MJ did well at the trade deadline.
Now comes part two of Jordan’s best move.
Can he now draft well and make these trade moves pay off, like one of his last second buzzer beaters?
Only time will tell but for a man who has been criticized repeatedly (mostly deservedly), Jordan showed he might just be learning a new game he can become great at as well.
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