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Blogcat's Take, 4/25


I plan for this to be my last entry until the draft, barring any idiotic front office decision. So in other words, I’ll probably write again on Tuesday. Until then, I need a break from all of this underachievement and malaise, much like America television programming in 1980. But while we were eventually bailed out by Thomas Magnum later that year, I’m skeptical that a similar handsome, rugged free agent is headed the Hornets’ way in 2015. Besides, even if we were to find our Tom Selleck, we’d first have to make room by canceling our Linda Carter, and it’s unclear if that’s what we even want to do. So I’ll close the door on this turdball of a season by going through the free agent status, and I’ll just hope I can do it fast enough before too much of the smell gets out.

The two biggest question marks are Gerald Henderson and Bismack Biyombo, because both are somewhat out of the team’s control, and both lack an obvious answer. Hendo has a player option for $6M this season, and as of this writing hasn’t made a decision on whether he’ll take it or not. Thru Basketball-Reference.com, I took a look at Henderson’s overall win shares, and he contributed 3.6 for Charlotte this season. Hendo also played 80 games for us this year, and I want to thank him for that, because it makes evaluating him so much easier (I’m sure that’s why he did it), as opposed to an injury-prone guy who did really well in limited minutes; I hate trying to make a call on those ones. Below is a group of 2’s who put up identical win shares, along with their age and salary:

Posted Image

Based on this chart, it seems likely that the bidding war for the last Pop Tart in my office pantry was more heated than it will be for Henderson. Although he’s the youngest of the group in the table, his career production has probably crested. He’s a better-than-average defender (+1.04 Defensive RPM, per ESPN) whose shooting ticked up nicely this season (.514 TS%) after last year’s brick-fest, and he partially ameliorated the Lance Stephenson disaster by stepping up his play…in the way that a cactus partially blocks the sun in Death Valley. Hendo’s still not floor-spacer, though, which makes it unlikely that a contender is going to think of him as the missing piece and throw a bunch of cash at him. I think of that as good news, though, because I like having Henderson around—for $6M, at least. Hopefully both sides agree and Henderson opts into a deal that seems fair for everyone.

The bigger puzzle—possibly the biggest puzzle of my lifetime—is Biyombo. Biz is a restricted free agent, and the Hornets have to make him at least a qualifying offer of $5.2M and hope that nobody else matches or exceeds it in order for him to continue gracing us with his presence. I’ve written about Biyombo constantly, and I clearly have some sort of obsession with him, but I can’t help it, because I’ve simply never seen anything like these last two years of horrible-yet-apparently-good play inflicted on us by the Biz. He’s the basketball equivalent of the blue and black (or white and gold) dress. Just look what happens when I do the same exercise with Biz that I did with Henderson:


Posted Image

First of all, in what wormhole have I fallen that I’m seeing Biyombo numbers that are comparable to the other guys on that chart? Splitter only played 52 games, so that explains some of the non-gap in production…except that Biz only played 64 games, so I’m right back to scratching my head, picking my nose, and itching my crotch in pure wonderment. Plus, Biyombo actually played less than Steven Adams. It’s just crazy that someone whom I can’t picture in my mind unless it’s fumbling the ball to the other team or launching a shot that’s more of a threat to land in a fat guy’s tub of popcorn than in the hoop is actually—apparently—worth a $5M qualifying offer. Plus Biz is only 22 years old (or at least that’s what his passport says), and with Big Al Jefferson possibly on his last leg, we need—apparently—Biyombo. I hope—apparently—that he signs.

Finally, we have Mo Williams. Or, we had Mo Williams. The 32-year-old unrestricted free agent was like a 2-month meth bender that started out high and full of energy, but then it had a really long, sad crash. Williams pulled in just over $4M last season via his original contract with Minnesota, and the Hornets would be crazy to offer him anything close to that—though somebody else might. Williams put up a composite 2.1 win shares with the Wolves and Hornets, but I’m not sure how useful that metric is given Williams’ drastic change in scenery and context. If you just look at his win shares on a per 48 minute basis, he was a 0.051, which is down in Jordan Farmar/Jameer Nelson journeyman territory. It was actually quite a bit below Brian Roberts’ 0.064 WS/48, and B-Rob is 3 years younger and made under a mil last season. Honestly, I knew the final returns on Williams weren’t great, but now that I’ve looked at them in gory detail, it’s even worse than I realized (which also basically sums up my experience with my college GPA). Mo’s TS% with us was .511, which was better than his previous couple of stints, but well off his earlier years. And his turnover rate was at a career low, but my god, it seemed like he coughed it up enough to hock a loogie the size of a small child, plus his defense was little to non-existent (-1.70 DRPM, below somebody named David Stockton on the list of point guards). The one intangible that might have warranted additional consideration for a new contract would be his chemistry with Kemba Walker, but they netted out at exactly 0.0 points per 100 possessions together (97.8 scored to 97.8 allowed), so unless Williams is open to a bare-bones veteran minimum of ~$1.5M, he’s probably going to play for his 8th team next year.

Just as a formality, I should point out that Al Jefferson has a player option of $13M that he would be completely crazy to walk—make that limp—away from. That leaves Jason Maxiell and Jeff Taylor as the only other two players not already under contract next year. Taylor’s an RFA whose cap hit for next year would only be about a million, and given his low cost and our shortage of small forwards, I would imagine the Hornets are able to easily retain him. Jason Maxiell is completely unrestricted as a free agent (if not as a useful basketball player), who will be eligible for that same 10-year veteran minimum as Mo. The Hornets might re-sign him. Or not. I haven’t really thought or cared much about it, and I’m guessing neither has Rich Cho.

Let’s assume Henderson and Jefferson opt in, Biyombo signs the minimum qualifying offer, Taylor is retained, and Williams and Maxiell continue roaming the earth, getting into adventures in random small towns. In that scenario, the Hornets are distressingly tight against the cap—at least for next year. By my calculation, they’d be somewhere around $72.5M against a cap estimated to be about $77M. Plus they’d still have a couple of rookies to sign and fewer 3-point threats than the 1946 Anderson Duffey Packers. Assuming they stay under the cap after the rookie contracts are signed, their only free agent card to play is the $5.5M mid-level exception. Before I write anything further, I should actually just asterisk this whole paragraph, because trying to understand the particulars of the salary cap is like trying to understand the particulars of the female vagina; I know roughly how it works and how it should be approached, but I get confused and intimidated by the details. Anyway, 2’s and 3’s who can shoot for that price are unfortunately not a dime a dozen—Landry Fields, anyone? DeMarre Carrol is theoretically available, but so is the cash of many other higher profile and desperate teams; he’s going to get a crazy offer if Atlanta lets him go that we could never match. With no Mo, we might also have to go for someone who can play the point, like Rodney Stuckey, who just had a good 3-point year after several nightmarish ones. Ugh. I can and have driven myself crazy with this type of rumination.

Of course, the ideal scenario would be that the entire free agency track is unnecessary. Jeff Taylor could stay healthy and nonviolent in his personal life, and relearn how to shoot (not necessarily in that order). And what do you know, PJ Hairston could also relearn how to shoot. And so could (dare I say it?) Lance. And Mitch Daniels, whom I’ve obviously always thought was a hidden gem, so much so that I just remembered his first name is actually Troy, could blossom as a second or third point guard. The point is, the Hornets could be quite a bit better just by having their own guys play to their potential. I’d be delighted if even one of those guys improved and downright god-fearing if all of them did. In the meantime, I’ve got to decide which number to pick on my customized “Fields” Hornets jersey, because Marvin Williams already has #2.

(Reminder: Please don’t forget to check out my e-book at the following link)
(Other Reminder: Please follow me on Twitter here)


  • 6 Comments

    Photo
    GeraldWallaceMVP
    Apr 25 2015 09:23 PM

    Woah.... lots of words haha. I dont  think resigning mo at maybe 2millon or 3millon. Then maybe have a two point gaurd lineup with kemba. But i wonder if we can get Big al to opt out and take a shot a lamarcus Aldridge if thats how you spell his last name. With Hendo i dont want hendo back he shoots way to much and he looks so funny. Then i want to keep Biz but im scared we will overpay for him. Im on the Wes mathews band wagon for sure though.

     

    We need to save some room for a curry or anthony davis run though

    Get Big Al to opt out and sign Aldridge?! Save for Curry or Davis?! This team?! I'll let Sir John Amos respond...

     

     

     

     

    ** fixed youtube link for you - Ziggy

    I plan for this to be my last entry until the draft, barring any idiotic front office decision. So in other words, I’ll probably write again on Tuesday. Until then, I need a break from all of this underachievement and malaise, much like America television programming in 1980. But while we were eventually bailed out by Thomas Magnum later that year, I’m skeptical that a similar handsome, rugged free agent is headed the Hornets’ way in 2015. Besides, even if we were to find our Tom Selleck, we’d first have to make room by canceling our Linda Carter, and it’s unclear if that’s what we even want to do. So I’ll close the door on this turdball of a season by going through the free agent status, and I’ll just hope I can do it fast enough before too much of the smell gets out.

    The two biggest question marks are Gerald Henderson and Bismack Biyombo, because both are somewhat out of the team’s control, and both lack an obvious answer. Hendo has a player option for $6M this season, and as of this writing hasn’t made a decision on whether he’ll take it or not. Thru Basketball-Reference.com, I took a look at Henderson’s overall win shares, and he contributed 3.6 for Charlotte this season. Hendo also played 80 games for us this year, and I want to thank him for that, because it makes evaluating him so much easier (I’m sure that’s why he did it), as opposed to an injury-prone guy who did really well in limited minutes; I hate trying to make a call on those ones. Below is a group of 2’s who put up identical win shares, along with their age and salary:

    bcat_0424.jpg

    Based on this chart, it seems likely that the bidding war for the last Pop Tart in my office pantry was more heated than it will be for Henderson. Although he’s the youngest of the group in the table, his career production has probably crested. He’s a better-than-average defender (+1.04 Defensive RPM, per ESPN) whose shooting ticked up nicely this season (.514 TS%) after last year’s brick-fest, and he partially ameliorated the Lance Stephenson disaster by stepping up his play…in the way that a cactus partially blocks the sun in Death Valley. Hendo’s still not floor-spacer, though, which makes it unlikely that a contender is going to think of him as the missing piece and throw a bunch of cash at him. I think of that as good news, though, because I like having Henderson around—for $6M, at least. Hopefully both sides agree and Henderson opts into a deal that seems fair for everyone.

    The bigger puzzle—possibly the biggest puzzle of my lifetime—is Biyombo. Biz is a restricted free agent, and the Hornets have to make him at least a qualifying offer of $5.2M and hope that nobody else matches or exceeds it in order for him to continue gracing us with his presence. I’ve written about Biyombo constantly, and I clearly have some sort of obsession with him, but I can’t help it, because I’ve simply never seen anything like these last two years of horrible-yet-apparently-good play inflicted on us by the Biz. He’s the basketball equivalent of the blue and black (or white and gold) dress. Just look what happens when I do the same exercise with Biz that I did with Henderson:


    bcat_0424_b.jpg

    First of all, in what wormhole have I fallen that I’m seeing Biyombo numbers that are comparable to the other guys on that chart? Splitter only played 52 games, so that explains some of the non-gap in production…except that Biz only played 64 games, so I’m right back to scratching my head, picking my nose, and itching my crotch in pure wonderment. Plus, Biyombo actually played less than Steven Adams. It’s just crazy that someone whom I can’t picture in my mind unless it’s fumbling the ball to the other team or launching a shot that’s more of a threat to land in a fat guy’s tub of popcorn than in the hoop is actually—apparently—worth a $5M qualifying offer. Plus Biz is only 22 years old (or at least that’s what his passport says), and with Big Al Jefferson possibly on his last leg, we need—apparently—Biyombo. I hope—apparently—that he signs.

    Finally, we have Mo Williams. Or, we had Mo Williams. The 32-year-old unrestricted free agent was like a 2-month meth bender that started out high and full of energy, but then it had a really long, sad crash. Williams pulled in just over $4M last season via his original contract with Minnesota, and the Hornets would be crazy to offer him anything close to that—though somebody else might. Williams put up a composite 2.1 win shares with the Wolves and Hornets, but I’m not sure how useful that metric is given Williams’ drastic change in scenery and context. If you just look at his win shares on a per 48 minute basis, he was a 0.051, which is down in Jordan Farmar/Jameer Nelson journeyman territory. It was actually quite a bit below Brian Roberts’ 0.064 WS/48, and B-Rob is 3 years younger and made under a mil last season. Honestly, I knew the final returns on Williams weren’t great, but now that I’ve looked at them in gory detail, it’s even worse than I realized (which also basically sums up my experience with my college GPA). Mo’s TS% with us was .511, which was better than his previous couple of stints, but well off his earlier years. And his turnover rate was at a career low, but my god, it seemed like he coughed it up enough to hock a loogie the size of a small child, plus his defense was little to non-existent (-1.70 DRPM, below somebody named David Stockton on the list of point guards). The one intangible that might have warranted additional consideration for a new contract would be his chemistry with Kemba Walker, but they netted out at exactly 0.0 points per 100 possessions together (97.8 scored to 97.8 allowed), so unless Williams is open to a bare-bones veteran minimum of ~$1.5M, he’s probably going to play for his 8th team next year.

    Just as a formality, I should point out that Al Jefferson has a player option of $13M that he would be completely crazy to walk—make that limp—away from. That leaves Jason Maxiell and Jeff Taylor as the only other two players not already under contract next year. Taylor’s an RFA whose cap hit for next year would only be about a million, and given his low cost and our shortage of small forwards, I would imagine the Hornets are able to easily retain him. Jason Maxiell is completely unrestricted as a free agent (if not as a useful basketball player), who will be eligible for that same 10-year veteran minimum as Mo. The Hornets might re-sign him. Or not. I haven’t really thought or cared much about it, and I’m guessing neither has Rich Cho.

    Let’s assume Henderson and Jefferson opt in, Biyombo signs the minimum qualifying offer, Taylor is retained, and Williams and Maxiell continue roaming the earth, getting into adventures in random small towns. In that scenario, the Hornets are distressingly tight against the cap—at least for next year. By my calculation, they’d be somewhere around $72.5M against a cap estimated to be about $77M. Plus they’d still have a couple of rookies to sign and fewer 3-point threats than the 1946 Anderson Duffey Packers. Assuming they stay under the cap after the rookie contracts are signed, their only free agent card to play is the $5.5M mid-level exception. Before I write anything further, I should actually just asterisk this whole paragraph, because trying to understand the particulars of the salary cap is like trying to understand the particulars of the female vagina; I know roughly how it works and how it should be approached, but I get confused and intimidated by the details. Anyway, 2’s and 3’s who can shoot for that price are unfortunately not a dime a dozen—Landry Fields, anyone? DeMarre Carrol is theoretically available, but so is the cash of many other higher profile and desperate teams; he’s going to get a crazy offer if Atlanta lets him go that we could never match. With no Mo, we might also have to go for someone who can play the point, like Rodney Stuckey, who just had a good 3-point year after several nightmarish ones. Ugh. I can and have driven myself crazy with this type of rumination.

    Of course, the ideal scenario would be that the entire free agency track is unnecessary. Jeff Taylor could stay healthy and nonviolent in his personal life, and relearn how to shoot (not necessarily in that order). And what do you know, PJ Hairston could also relearn how to shoot. And so could (dare I say it?) Lance. And Mitch Daniels, whom I’ve obviously always thought was a hidden gem, so much so that I just remembered his first name is actually Troy, could blossom as a second or third point guard. The point is, the Hornets could be quite a bit better just by having their own guys play to their potential. I’d be delighted if even one of those guys improved and downright god-fearing if all of them did. In the meantime, I’ve got to decide which number to pick on my customized “Fields” Hornets jersey, because Marvin Williams already has #2.

    (Reminder: Please don’t forget to check out my e-book at the following link)
    (Other Reminder: Please follow me on Twitter here)

    Click here to view the article

     

    A Henderson/CJ comparison is pretty good.  Except CJ Miles wasn't 2.3 million this past season...had signed a 4/18 million MLE coutract with Pacers.  C.J. 2013-2014, 2.5 WS but w/ 39% 3PS/ 57% TS...about the same 2012-2013.  If GH thinks he's at least CJ's minimum, opts out for more guaranteed.  Heck as in 2013, after both sides shop around, would not be surprised if we settle with each other again and resign Henderson to a 4yr MLE contract.

    Photo
    GeraldWallaceMVP
    Apr 26 2015 07:32 PM

    Get Big Al to opt out and sign Aldridge?! Save for Curry or Davis?! This team?! I'll let Sir John Amos respond...

     

     

     

     

    ** fixed youtube link for you - Ziggy

    Okay im giving like options we could get al to opt out and sign for aldridge. But if we dont get him we can save to take a shot at curry or davis

    Photo
    @JPlowright_NBA
    Apr 27 2015 07:17 AM

    bcat_0424.jpg

    Based on this chart, it seems likely that the bidding war for the last Pop Tart in my office pantry was more heated than it will be for Henderson. Although he’s the youngest of the group in the table, his career production has probably crested. He’s a better-than-average defender (+1.04 Defensive RPM, per ESPN) whose shooting ticked up nicely this season (.514 TS%) after last year’s brick-fest, and he partially ameliorated the Lance Stephenson disaster by stepping up his play…in the way that a cactus partially blocks the sun in Death Valley.

    . He’s the basketball equivalent of the blue and black (or white and gold) dress.

    The additional consideration for a new contract would be his chemistry with Kemba Walker, but they netted out at exactly 0.0 points per 100 possessions together (97.8 scored to 97.8 allowed), so unless Williams is open to a bare-bones veteran minimum of ~$1.5M, he’s probably going to play for his 8th team next year.

    Before I write anything further, I should actually just asterisk this whole paragraph, because trying to understand the particulars of the salary cap is like trying to understand the particulars of the female vagina

    Of course, the ideal scenario would be that the entire free agency track is unnecessary. Jeff Taylor could stay healthy and nonviolent in his personal life, and relearn how to shoot (not necessarily in that order).

    (Reminder: Please don’t forget to check out my e-book at the following link)
    (Other Reminder: Please follow me on Twitter here)

    Click here to view the article

    Amazing stuff Blogcat, always so impressed with your ability to combine stats/informed discussion and general humour. I particularly enjoyed the bits I pulled out and quoted, keep up the great work!

    Links to your twitter and book just have me auto blanks?
    Photo
    wundrbread33
    Apr 27 2015 01:21 PM

    Blogcat, you are very much appreciated!

     

    Now is it possible to put you in Bonnell's position via petition? 

     

    I think Biz needs to be retained. I don't want to be another one of those teams that wastes a draft pick on a "project" player with no intention to finish the project.

     

    It happens so often that the drafting team develops said project...just for the second team to reap the benefits. 

     

    If Clifford really is a defensive guy...letting Biz walk would make no philosophical sense.





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