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News » Charlotte Bobcats Getting Inside 2009-09-04


Charlotte Bobcats Getting Inside 2009-09-04


Charlotte Bobcats Getting Inside 2009-09-04Sexy as it is to speculate on how Allen Iverson might fit as a Charlotte Bobcat, the more urgent issue involves another combo guard.

Specifically, what of restricted free agent Raymond Felton?

It's clear coach Larry Brown is a Felton fan after one season together. It's also clear Felton's mature, improving play last season raised his stock with the Bobcats' front office. But with less than a month until the start of training camp, Felton remains unsigned.

This is about leverage -- Felton doesn't have much right now -- and the Bobcats acting as careful shoppers. They anticipate tens of millions in losses the next few seasons regardless of whether majority owner Bob Johnson sells, as he endeavored to do the past few months.

Felton's agent, Kevin Bradbury, told the Charlotte Observer there's been little movement toward a long-term deal. The two sides are still talking, but it's quite possible they'll continue to stalemate until training camp opens. Felton would have little choice by then but to sign a one-year, $5.5 million qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent the summer of 2010. That would be the best way to gain leverage, assuming he has another strong season as this team's starting point guard and occasional shooting guard.

That's not Felton's preference. He grew up in South Carolina, led North Carolina to the national championship, and loves being in Charlotte, near family and his roots.

The Bobcats signed other free agents -- Emeka Okafor, Gerald Wallace and Matt Carroll -- to lucrative long-term deals, but those were in different economic times, both for the Bobcats and the NBA in general. It's no given Felton will re-up for the long haul before camp convenes in Charlotte.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: September 4, 2009

 

 
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