The Charlotte Bobcats traded managing partner Michael Jordan's first draft pick on Saturday, sending struggling forward Adam Morrison and reserve guard Shannon Brown to the Los Angeles Lakers for forward Vladimir Radmanovic.
Jordan's first major decision after becoming part owner with the
final say on all basketball decisions was taking Morrison with the
third overall pick in the 2006 draft.
The former Gonzaga star known in college for his shaggy hair and
thin mustache never lived up to expectations, and had fallen out of
favor with first-year coach Larry Brown. He was jettisoned for the
6-foot-10 Radmanovic, who was averaging 5.9 points and 2.5 reboundsa game with the Lakers.
"We definitely wish him well," Bobcats general manager Rod
Higgins said of Morrison. "He's a good kid and hopefully he gets
an opportunity to play. You never know, he might get a chance to
win a (championship) ring."
The move is the third trade the Bobcats have made this season in
a roster shakeup under Brown, who is trying to get the fifth-year
Bobcats to the playoffs for the first time.
Morrison and Brown were never a good fit. Morrison's defensive
deficiencies didn't mesh with Brown's style, and Morrison had
failed to hit shots consistently, struggling in a starting role the
past four games after small forward Gerald Wallace suffered a
partially collapsed lung and a broken rib against the Lakers on
Morrison, who cut his trademark hair short before this season,
will get a chance to crack the Lakers' rotation and become an
outside scoring threat. Morrison, who averaged a nation-best 28.1
points for Gonzaga in 2005-06, missed all of last season after
tearing an anterior cruciate ligament in a preseason game.
Morrison, due about $5.3 million next season, was averaging just
4.5 points while shooting 36 percent from the field and 34 percent
from 3-point range.
The 6-foot-10 Radmanovic, who is owed $6.5 million in the final
year of his deal next season, gives the Bobcats more depth up
front. Higgins said Radmanovic can play both small and power
"Being a 6-10 guy, obviously he brings some height as well as
some athleticism," Higgins said. "He's guy that can make some
shots. I think he will fit in with our current roster well."
Shannon Brown was signed in the offseason and had played
sparingly until Friday night, when he committed a turnover and had
a shot blocked in the closing seconds of a 102-97 loss to Atlanta.
A groin injury to starting shooting guard Raja Bell put Brown into
Higgins said they were arranging for Radmanovic to fly from
Cleveland, where the Lakers play the Cavaliers on Sunday, to Miami.
The Bobcats play the Heat Sunday night.