Hornets Acquire SG Matt Carroll from Bobcats in Exchange for PF Hakim Warrick

Published: November 13, 2012

In what may end up being the most irrelevant trade in the NBA this season, the New Orleans Hornets have sent 30 year old PF Hakim Warrick to the Charlotte Bobcats and will receive 32 year old SG Matt Carroll.

Before anyone attempts to over-analyze this trade, I implore you to reconsider, because the deal as a whole is largely meaningless. Given the Hornets’ incredibly deep front court, Hakim Warrick was the team’s 6th big man, behind even Lance Thomas. As a result, he was shipped off to Charlotte, seemingly in exchange for some back court help in Matt Carroll, since the Hornets are much thinner at his position.

Look deeper, though, and this trade looks like more of a cost-cutting maneuver than a basketball-related one. Over the past four seasons, Carroll has posted PERs of 5.5, 7.1, 12.2, and 5.6 (from oldest to most recent), with his 2010-11 year looking like a clear aberration. In fact, the first two words of John Hollinger’s most recent player profile of Carroll are “it’s over”, so it’s probably safe to say that his best years are behind him.

From a financial perspective, he will make $3.5 million dollars this season in the last year of his contract, compared to the $4 million that Warrick is scheduled to earn. Given that neither player has any real value for the Hornets on the court, saving $500K seems like a good enough reason to make this swap. In a pinch (see – 76ers game last Wednesday), Carroll is someone who could potentially be utilized as some extra guard help, but other than that, don’t expect much of anything from him.

One potential downside of this deal that Michael McNamara just mentioned is the trade limitations set forth in the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement for recently acquired players. A newly acquired player’s salary cannot be aggregated with another player for two months following the initial acquisition of that player. While Warrick’s salary could have been aggregated with that of another player (as Brad Miller’s and Dyson’s were in the trade to acquire Lopez and Warrick) at any point with another Hornets player, Carroll can only be moved in deals that do not require aggregation until January 13th. Aggregation allows more flexibility in making deals, but it is not always necessary. It is fair to wonder whether or not the $500,000 of savings is worth forfeiting the ability to aggregate Warrick’s salary as part of a possible larger trade within the next two months.

Additionally, as a Bird player, Carroll can veto any trade since he is in the final year of his current contract.

Reaction from Queen City Hoops: It’s pretty simple from the Bobcats point-of-view. This is a no risk trade and fills a serious need for the team. Rod Higgins dumps Carroll’s expiring contract worth $3.5 million and takes on $500k more for the season with Warrick- Charlotte was just north of $500k under the tax and this is basically how they’ve chosen to use that extra cash.

Warrick should see some significant minutes in Charlotte and may just jump ahead of Tyrus Thomas for the backup PF spot. Warrick will also play some SF behind MKG in the absence of Gerald Henderson.

Overall, a logical, no risk move by the Bobcats front office today.


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