The Charlotte Bobcats ended the regular season with the lowest winning percentage in the history of the Association and Charlotte General Manager Rich Choi, is on a mission to get his club back on track as soon as possible. The former G.M. of the Portland Trail Blazers, has already been busy two days before the NBA Draft, as the “Charlotte Observer” reported Tuesday night, that the B-Cats have completed a trade with the Detroit Pistons, which will send shooting guard Ben Gordon and a future first round draft pick to Charlotte, in exchange for veteran forward Corey Maggette.
The move could prove to be a win-win situation for the Bobcats and Gordon, as he tries to turn around the team’s fortunes while attempting to turn around a once promising career in the Association. The key to the deal, will be if Gordon can capture the same kind of chemistry with Charlotte’s promising point guard Kemba Walker, that he had playing his only season with Derrick Rose on the Chicago Bulls. That was by far the strongest season of Gordon’s career, as well as creating one of the best back-court tandems of recent years in the Association.
Gordon had failed to impress the Chicago Bulls brain-trust, during his first four seasons with the club, after they used the number three pick in the 2004 NBA Draft to acquire him. The Bulls went into the 2008-2009 campaign with their minds set that they would allow the guard to leave as an unrestricted Free Agent, once the season had completed and nothing was going to change their minds.
Injury would force Gordon into the starting lineup, teamed with rookie Derrick Rose in the Bulls back-court and the pair led the Bulls to the Eastern Conference Playoffs. It was his strongest campaign since joining the Association, as he started 76 games and averaged 20.7 points, 3.4 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 0.9 steals for the season.They lost in the first round to the Boston Celtics, but not without a battle and Gordon led the team in scoring in the Post Season.
Chicago, had no second thoughts about keeping Gordon on the squad, after he showed what he could give the team starting with Rose. The former Bulls guard went into Free Agency that summer, with the reputation as a player who might be an asset as a starter, but does not perform as well coming off the pine.
That evaluation seemed to mean nothing to Pistons President Of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars, as Dumars decided that with all the holes his club had, he would spend his Free Agency money on players that the Pistons already had on their roster. They inked Charlie Villanueva to a deal, with Jason Maxiell showing promise at the four-slot. They also signed Gordon, knowing that it would cause dissension on the squad as Rip Hamilton was starter at the two. It turned into a situation, that satisfied neither Hamilton or Gordon; ironically Hamilton played for Chicago this past season.
The Draft Pick the Bobcats will acquire in the deal, goes through stages of protecting the pick, as it keeps the Bobcats from getting it next year if the Pistons pick is in top 13 slots. Detroit will have protection for the first eight spots in 2014 and the number one pick in the 2015 draft. If Charlotte has not gotten it by then, the Pistons will have no protection for the pick in 2016.
Pistons acquiring Maggette in the move happened for salary relief purposes, more than for any other reason, as his contract ends at the conclusion of the upcoming season, while Gordon has two left on his. If he can recapture what he had with Rose, playing alongside Walker, he could be in a B-Cats uniform for many years to come.