This is legitimately a good move. The Bobcats need a true starting center, and Bismack Biyombo is not it. You can pair Brendan Haywood with Biyombo and have incredible length and size and Biyombo can focus on improving in space and be a weak-side help guy. This is a fine move. It’s really cheap, as the Bobcats nabbed Haywood today off the amnesty waiver wire for just $2.05 million according to David Aldridge of NBA.com, with the first year at $4.19 million, which still isn’t bad. There’s nothing wrong with getting a good starting center for less than $2.5 million per year.
The Bobcats will pay Haywood and Desagana Diop over a combined $11.5 million next season. That’s just so much for two guys who the Mavericks literally paid to go away. With the amount of cap room the Bobcats have, it’s not a big deal, it’s just also not a good thing on the surface. The Bobcats have to hit the salary floor, and that’s an issue, but you’d think they could find someone on the open market to give a one-year deal for a moderate amount of money to based on upside, and fill out the rest of the roster with D-Leaguers. Haywood’s contract is more than manageable, it’s just awkward.
But the Cats get a veteran on the cheap, will play him moderate minutes, and maybe get some production. He can help the kids develop and protect the rim some. He’ll be paid his value. But as a rebuilding team, the Cats are hosting some contracts that make you understand why the lockout happened, and boggle that owners and GM’s don’t understand it was these types of decisions that lead them there.