Last Friday was the deadline for teams in the NBA (except for the Pistons and Lakers) to turn in their list of unprotected players that will be made available for the expansion Charlotte Bobcats during the expansion draft. Charlotte will form the core of their new team during the draft, to be held on June 22, assuming the NBA Finals do not reach a seventh game. In that case the draft will be held on June 23.
NBA teams are able to protect up to eight players from their roster from the expansion draft. The remaining players are the available for Charlotte to pick. However, the Bobcats are only able to select one player from each team.
As a first-year expansion team, the Bobcats' salary cap will be two-thirds of that for other teams next season. So figure they'll have about $29 million to spend on salaries. Most likely a majority of their rosters will be filled with young, inexpensive and inexperienced players.
Although the official list of unprotected players will not be made public (the league threatened to fine teams up to $1 million if they revealed their list), this site has combined the various local media reports on the subject to create a rough estimate. From the Knicks, Allan Houston, Penny Hardaway, Shandon Anderson, Moochie Norris and Cezary Trybanski will be Charlotte's for the taking, while the Nets left Kerry Kittles, Alonzo Mourning, Rodney Rogers, Tamar Slay and Brandon Armstrong unprotected.
Now before you go calling for Isiah Thomas's or Rod Thorn's head, you need to realize that because of their lengthy and extremely expensive contracts, Houston, Hardaway, Anderson, Kittles and Mourning are not likely to be selected. The Bobcats may want Houston's silky jumper, but his balky knees and $16 million price tag for next season will make them think twice. Ditto for Penny ($14.6 million next season) and Kittles ($9.8 million). So for once, all the overpaid talent on the local rosters may come in handy. Mourning's health issues will keep him in New Jersey.
One player that figures to be heading south is Net Tamar Slay. Charlotte GM Bernie Bickerstaff has reportedly taken a liking to him and at a little over $500,000 for next year, his salary is much more in line with what the Bobcats are trying to do.
Other notables around the league that were reportedly left available to the Bobcats include: Scottie Pippen, Antoine Walker, Nick Van Exel, Eddie Jones, Glenn Robinson and Jerry Stackhouse
Stay tuned to Gothamist for more coverage on the NBA Expansion Draft.