The Charlotte Bobcats are widely being reported as interested in acquiring the services of Philadelphia 76ers wing Evan Turner leading up to the 2014 NBA Trade Deadline. The Bobcats are seemingly in a two-team race with the San Antonio Spurs to try and enlist the talents of the former number two overall pick.
After the initial reports of interest, there have been two noteworthy parts of a potential deal that have come to light. One is that the Sixers are reportedly looking for first-round draft picks in exchange for Turner or some other players that they could possibly deal. The other is that the Bobcats could unload Ben Gordon in a potential deal for Turner.
Unloading Gordon would be a great move for the Bobcats. The veteran sharpshooter hasn’t shot sharply at all for Charlotte this season and his salary eats up a great deal of the team’s cap-space. Having him off the books would give the Bobcats flexibility moving forward as they continue to try and build a solid playoff team.
However, recent reports have a bit more troubling tidbits attached to them. According to a report from Bill Ingram of Basketball Insiders, the Bobcats could be willing to include second-year forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in a deal to land Turner. That seems unwise.
With this Bobcats team that is currently in the hunt to make the playoffs in the weak Eastern Conference, their identity this season has been built on the premise of playing terrific defense. Kidd-Gilchrist is arguably the best and most versatile defender for this Bobcats team, with Charlotte playing 4.3 points per 100 possessions better defensively with MKG on the floor. Replacing him with a sub-par defender like Turner doesn’t seem like the right move for this team. Sure, Turner would provide more offense, but if the defense suffers that would make this somewhat of a stagnant move on Charlotte’s part.
Since the rumors started, I’ve not been a fan of a deal that would send Turner to Charlotte. The idea of sending draft picks is enough to deter me, but the idea of sending away Kidd-Gilchrist makes the entire notion of getting Turner even less enticing. We’ll see how this develops over the next week and a half and if the Bobcats share my way of thinking or move forward with the rumored deals.