Despite their improvement this season, especially on defense, the Charlotte Bobcats are very far from being a complete team. The bad news coming from the Brooklyn Nets might mean that Paul Pierce is available for trade, which should spark some interest around the league.
Why the Bobcats? Because this season might lead them to the playoffs, almost by mistake. Unless they’re about to start joining the tanking squad around the East and the NBA, it might be wise to try and add a piece that can be very helpful to them this year, and won’t hurt their chances of adding big-name free agents in the future. One such option is Paul Pierce, who might be disillusioned with what’s going on in Brooklyn, while the team might try and reduce its wage bill.
Pierce becomes a free agent at the end of the season, finishing a deal that pays him $15.3 million this season. The Bobcats lost Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (broken finger) and Jeff Taylor (out for the season), which means they’ll be using either Chris Douglas-Roberts and Anthony Tolliver at the small forward position, not an ideal situation, especially for a team that’s been so bad offensively.
Their offense is ranked 28th in the NBA when it comes to efficiency, with small forward, with a -4.2 PER compared to the league average, is by far their worst position. A way to fix that and help Kidd-Gilchrist have a smooth return from his injury without too much pressure on him to preform (not an offensive juggernaut in any case) is bringing in someone via trade. A team like the Nets, who willing to cut their losses and start loading up with younger players, might be a suitable trading partner.
The question is how much are the Bobcats concerned about winning now and creating an illusion of success, which means making the playoffs for only the second time in franchise history? If that’s true, they might be able to set up a trade package that will satisfy the Nets, who seem further and further away from their delusional early goal of competing for a title. Pierce, averaging 13.2 points per game this season, isn’t a huge addition, but he’s better on offense than anything the Bobcats have at the moment.