The Charlotte Bobcats did a deal at the trade deadline Thursday, but it won’t exactly change the course of the franchise.
The Bobcats moved one little-used power forward, Hakim Warrick, for another little-used power forward – Orlando’s Josh McRoberts.
This makes the Bobcats a bit younger: McRoberts, who played collegiately at Duke, is in his sixth NBA season, while Warrick is in his eighth. It also shaves about $800,000 off the Bobcats’ salary cap.
Bobcats president of basketball operations Rod Higgins and general manager Rich Cho said they’ve had interest in McRoberts for a while and want to explore his potential the rest of this season.
“He’s got good size (6-10) and a lot of skill – he can shoot, dribble and pass well for a big man,” said Cho. “He has a very high basketball IQ. We’re excited to add him.”
McRoberts was one of the country’s top recruits when Mike Krzyzewski signed him in 2005. He went in the second round of the 2007 draft to Portland and has bounced around to three other teams – Indiana, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Magic.
He averages 3.9 points and 3.3 rebounds this season. His shooting has fallen off considerably this season, from 50 percent for his career to 39 percent in 2012-13.
McRoberts’ contract, which expires after this season, pays him nearly $3.2 million. Warrick makes $4 million this season, and the Bobcats are sending some cash to Orlando to make up the difference in salaries.
Warrick played in only one of his last 11 games as a Bobcat. McRoberts played in three of his last four games with the Magic, never for more than 14 minutes.
The Bobcats acquired Warrick early this season in a trade that sent Matt Carroll to the New Orleans Hornets. The Bobcats needed depth and more scoring at the power forward position.
Warrick started 14 games while Byron Mullens was out with an ankle sprain in January. Coach Mike Dunlap made a switch to Jeff Adrien in late January, shortly before Mullens’ return. That dropped Warrick out of the rotation entirely – he played in one more game, six minutes at the end of a blowout loss at Cleveland.