HoopsHype Rod Higgins rumors

February 26, 2011 Updates

Charlotte Bobcats general manager Rod Higgins said he plans to release veterans Morris Peterson and Sean Marks, players who were picked up to make trades work Thursday. That opens the possibility the Bobcats will bring back one or more of the players they waived -- Derrick Brown, Dominic McGuire or Sherron Collins -- or possibly someone else, since they'll have room under the 15-man roster maximum. Charlotte Observer

February 25, 2011 Updates

First, Michael Jordan's Charlotte Bobcats allowed starting point guard Raymond Felton to leave in free agency. Then they traded center Tyson Chandler for payroll relief. On Friday, arena employees were scrambling to cover up all likenesses of forward Gerald Wallace, the only All-Star in franchise history, who was traded to Portland a day earlier for role players and draft picks. And while Jordan's employees were defending the owner and insisting the six-time NBA champion isn't cheap, Jordan declined to attend a news conference announcing the latest jolt to Charlotte's roster in the past year. "Of course Michael is willing to spend the money," general manager Rod Higgins said. "He's made that clear to all of us from the top down that he's going to spend the money. But you have to understand when is the good time to spend the money." ESPN.com

For the Bobcats, that appears to be down the road as they begin a rebuilding effort despite making the playoffs for the first time last season and sitting just 1½ games behind Indiana for the final postseason spot before Friday's game against Sacramento. "We don't want to be in that seventh or eighth spot. We want to get to that championship level," Higgins said. "That's the plan." ESPN.com

February 5, 2011 Updates
December 23, 2010 Updates
December 14, 2010 Updates

Scratch the idea of Gerald Henderson going to the Charlotte Bobcats’ Development League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, in what would have been a rehab assignment. Coach Larry Brown said pre-game that owner Michael Jordan and general manager Rod Higgins didn’t favor that. Charlotte Observer

October 21, 2010 Updates
September 16, 2010 Updates
September 15, 2010 Updates

“You had to know we weren’t going to keep (Dampier’s) contract in its current state,’’ Bobcats general manager Rod Higgins said Wednesday. “We didn’t see a good deal out there that would help our ball club and be fiscally responsible.’’ By “fiscally responsible,’’ Higgins meant any trade involving Dampier’s contract would have had to include payroll reduction for the Bobcats from $77 million to below this season’s $70 million tax threshold. Charlotte Observer

September 11, 2010 Updates

Six years later, Higgins is on the other side of the country in a new job as GM of the Charlotte Bobcats. And now he holds what's become one of the most valuable contracts in recent memory - the last year of Dampier's unique, voidable $13 million deal. Dubbed the "Dust Chip'' because a team can trade for Dampier, then waive him and his contract will disappear like a cloud of dust, it's considered gold for teams like the Bobcats seeking salary-cap relief. The 35-year-old veteran has become a get-out-of-jail-free card, a way to achieve financial flexibility and avoid the choke-hold the luxury tax presents. "It is quite interesting, being with Erick on the front end and the back end of this deal,'' Higgins said, breaking into a chuckle. "I've also changed teams to get that done.'' SI.com

That means just two weeks before teams open training camp, Dampier has no idea where he'll play this season - or for what salary. It's all because he failed to achieve the playing-time clause in his seven-year, $73 million deal last season, making the last year non-guaranteed. It's a rarity in the NBA, where almost all contracts outside of fringe players are fully guaranteed. "For me, it's just limbo,'' said Dampier, who had arthroscopic knee surgery in May. "I don't really know what's going to happen.'' SI.com

There has been reports the Bobcats could even acquire Denver forward Carmelo Anthony in a Dampier deal, or at least a starting point guard to replace departed free agent Raymond Felton, But Higgins is lowering expectations. While saying there's no "drop dead date'' to get a deal done, they may end up simply waiving him. "The conversations have been had around the league,'' Higgins said. "I don't know if there's going to be anything that subsequently gets done.'' SI.com

One of Charlotte's options for Dampier was to waive him and re-sign him for less. But while Dampier said in July the Bobcats would get "the first opportunity'' to re-sign him, he turned down a $2.2 million deal. It was all Charlotte could offer because it was over the cap and had used $3.5 million of the $5.7 million midlevel exception to sign guard Shaun Livingston. So now the Bobcats will likely either trade Dampier or release him. And the move will be made by Higgins, who never would've guessed he'd be holding such a valuable chip six years ago. "That contract,'' Higgins said, "is probably one of the most valuable contracts in the league.'' SI.com

August 25, 2010 Updates
July 13, 2010 Updates

Other sources suggest Bobcats owner Michael Jordan got cold feet after the deal had been agreed to by Colangelo and Bobcats general manager Rod Higgins. However, league sources also say Higgins would not likely have agreed to a trade without at least apprising Jordan of what was going on. Toronto Star

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