Reporting Colin Hoggard
Recent reports about a possible trade have the Bobcats sending Ben Gordon to the Nets for forward Kris Humphries. The money matches up and on the surface both players would fill a need for their new teams. The Nets lack a perimeter shooter off the bench and the Bobcats need a big man that can score and rebound. Humphries excels as a rebounder and finishes with strength in the pick and roll, but he’s not the post presence the team still covets. On the defensive end, Humphries rebounds and plays isolation defense well, but struggles in team concepts.
The Nets are in the unique situation of having a bloated payroll with very few trade-able assets and their owner, Mikhail Provhorov, has made it abundantly clear his goal is to win titles. Does acquiring Ben Gordon with their biggest trade chip, get them closer to a title? Perhaps, but almost certainly it would not get them over the Heat Hump.
Other reports have the Nets interested in Josh Smith and David Aldridge has stated Gordon for Humphries is a “back burner” deal. A one for one swap would be a seemingly easy decision for the Cats with the contract lengths and value being virtually identical. The Nets, however, are going to look around to maximize their lone large trade asset and, perhaps more likely, look for a team to take Humphries and his contract in a multi-team deal for the aforementioned Smith, with the Hawks reportedly opposed to taking on any contracts.
It would be in this three-team trade where things could get dicey for the Cats. Ben Gordon’s contract wouldn’t fit in the Hawks’ plans, which could result in any number of scenarios. The Hawks are after draft picks and possibly some young pieces. What appeared to be a simple one for one deal could turn into the Cats taking on salary, sending out a draft pick or both. The Nets may be willing to sweeten the pot by adding in MarShon Brooks, but his addition along with Humphries would not be enough to sacrifice more than half of the Cats’ cap space this off-season. The attractiveness of the original trade for Gordon could quickly fade, if the deal gets more complicated. Despite the on-court frustration of this season (and last) the Bobcats must not panic and make a move solely for the sake of doing something.