Recent trade rumors have Crash almost certainly on the move, but where could he be headed and what could the Cats be getting in return? Wallace's remaining contract has four years and nearly 41 million dollars remaining. This could make him prime for a salary dump trade, but even in that scenario, it may be better for the long term of the franchise. With Jrich, Mek and Nazr all having contracts that most teams will be unwilling to take on, moving Crash may be one of the only ways to restructure this team sooner rather than later. Anyone that watches him play appreciates his effort and tenacity, but this is one time where business needs to take precedence over loyalty (not that the Bobcats organization would know much about that). On to the potential suitors...
We have a better SF or too much invested in our own): Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Memphis, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Orlando, Philadelphia, Utah and Washington
Not Interested due to 2010 Lebron Lottery: New York and New Jersey
Not interested due to younger versions of Crash: OK City, Phoenix, LA Lakers, and Portland
We're covered at 3, but we have a salary we wouldn't mind dumping: Indiana and Dallas
This leaves nine teams: Atlanta, Cleveland, Golden State, LA Clippers, Miami, Minnesota, San Antonio, Sacramento and Toronto.
Atlanta has very little other than their starters to trade to match salaries.
Golden State was reportedly already scared off by Crash's contract and they have Corey Magette with a similar (and trade restricted) contract.
San Antonio could be a good fit, but with an aging core and a deliberate front office, they're highly unlikely to take a chance on Wallace's contract.
Toronto would be a bad fit. They need a SF that can make a shot with Bosh and O'Neal on the inside.
So now we're down to five: Cleveland, LA Clippers, Miami, Minnesota and Sacramento.
Why was Cleveland not taken off the list? Ballerblogger has been driving this train for some time, but Lebron at the four is a dangerous weapon. With three capable scorers: LBJ, Mo Williams, and Zydrunas Illgauskus, Crash could be the energy guy that does everything. Unfortunately, the have little to trade in terms of value for the Bobcats. Ben Wallace's $14 million contract would necessitate either another team or another Bobcat contract (Ammo or RayFeon). The only other possibility would be Eric Snow's contract. Snow was someone Coach Brown had targeted as a potential assistant coach and could help tutor the young point guards, but thats what Phil Ford should be doing.
The Clippers appear interested in Crash, despite having Al Thorton as their current leading scorer. The current rumors apparently involve Chris Kaman, but there's another possibility. The Bobcats could potentially land their much needed PF in the form of.... Tim Thomas! He and May could compete to see who can be the most lethargic. Along with Thomas another contract would have to head to Charlotte, possibly in the form of a veteran PG... Jason Hart, who could have his second tour of duty with the Cats. Another salary that could work would be Ricky Davis, but between Thomas and Davis, Coach Brown would probably pack his bags 17.3 seconds after the trade was announced.
Miami poses another interesting possibity. With Marion's contract expiring this year, Crash could be the glue guy between Wade and Beasley. The contract that matches up the best would be Mark Blount who is making approximately $8.5 million and averaging about the same in minutes. Blount has one additional year on his contract, and even if he's paired with a draft pick, it'll likely be no better than middle of the first round in a weak draft.
Minnesota makes sense beacuse they have Corey Brewer at the small forward and Crash would be a good fit, but he is probably not a difference maker to get the Wolves to the playoffs and they have little to offer other than a Brian Cardinal salary dump or some undersized forwards like Ryan Gomes and Craig Smith.
So we're left with Sacramento. Crash's original team, he still has a cult-following out there and with Jason Thompson emerging at the power forward position, the team may look to move Mikki Moore (even if Thompson hadn't emerged, they still might have been). Donte Green, their rookie SF did, however, just have his best game with the team so interest may be limited. A trade for Mikki Moore and John Salmons would give the Cats another scoring option on the wing and a defensive minded power forward. The Cats would have Moore's contract on the books for one more year, and Salmons for two.
The long and the short of all this is there's a limited market for Gerald and his contract. If and when he's traded, the Cats will not get equal return. More than likely they'd get a salary dump or marginal players at best. There's always the possibility of a three way trade, but most of the logical targets for Crash have very little on their roster to offer. The two marquee names that could see Crash as a piece of the three team trade would be Shawn Marion and Al Harrington. There's few to no sexy possible returns for Charlotte, but can a core of Jrich, Emeka, and Crash be a playoff contender? Probably not for anything beyond the first round of the playoffs, so it's in the interest of the team to unload one of the contracts and Wallace's is the most attractive of the three.