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DeSagana Diop’s burdensome contract gets a bit heavier

Jan 7, 2011, 9:30 AM EDT

DeSagana Diop

DeSagana Diop is over two years removed from being a productive NBA player, and based on Diop’s recovery timeline for his recent surgery on his Achilles’ tendon, it could be some time before Diop even has a shot at NBA relevance again.

According to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, Diop’s surgery could put him out of action for an entire year, making it a season-ending affair for the ’10-’11 campaign and a season-altering one for the next. That’s a damn shame for Diop, but losing him doesn’t much affect the Bobcats’ play. This injury does, however, make one of the league’s most immovable contracts even more immovable. Diop is due $14.3 million in the two seasons following this one, a pretty handsome paycheck for a marginal player. It would have been immensely difficult for the Bobcats to move Diop and his contract before, but Diop’s injury is a lead weight to even the slight possibility of mobility.

Given Diop’s sub-par performance, that may not seem to matter much. However, Michael Jordan is as aggressive in the short-term trade market as any manager in the league, and the rumored availability of Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace makes virtually every Bobcat a player of interest, if for no other reason than salary-matching purposes in a potential move. Shedding Diop’s contract is surely on MJ’s to-do list, but any chance of including him in a deal may have vanished along with the rest of Diop’s season.

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