Unlike Major League Baseball, there is a salary cap in the NBA. And while having a large payroll doesn’t always equate to winning more games (see: the New York Knicks before this season), it’s more often than not the case. So that’s why Michael Jordan dropped some great news for Bobcats fans last week when he said that he will spend the money necessary to attract big-time free agents.
“I don’t want people to think we’re not willing to spend,” Jordan told The Charlotte Observer last week. “I want to spend money for a team that’s going to get us in the top four (in the Eastern Conference), the top three.
“We haven’t put ourselves in position to do that yet because of some of the stipulations of our contracts,” adds Jordan. “And now this is the first time we feel like we’re going to have a pretty good summer because we have some flexibility. We want to invest. To get where we have to go, we know we have to.”
And as Jordan says, it all starts this summer. In this June’s NBA Draft, the Bobcats have two first-round picks – their own slated at No. 9 and New Orleans’ pick at No. 19 – giving them flexibility to make moves. But if MJ and GM Rod Higgins play their cards right, they’ll put themselves in the position to make an offer some big-time free agent can’t refuse.
“Why can’t Charlotte be that destination?” Jordan asks. “It has been in the past. It was. Why not now? I like to think we have the organization to do that. And I will do everything I can.”
Looking at their current roster, their only long-term investment is Tyrus Thomas, who’s under contract through 2015. Other than him and Stephen Jackson (who could be dealt this summer), the books are pretty clean by next summer when Dwight Howard, Deron Williams and Chris Paul can all hit the open market. Would any of them consider becoming the building block of a franchise in Charlotte? Perhaps. But people shouldn’t underestimate the power of the G.O.A.T.
What do you think? If you’re a big-time free agent, would you want to invest in the future of the Bobcats?
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