Feb 20, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
But this is not what I expected:
Neal is a 3-point specialist who’s shooting just over league average from downtown this season. His career numbers certainly suggest he’s more likely to trend up than down, but he’s not an elite outside shooter.
Sessions is a better player.
Why would the Bobcats offer, let alone push for, that trade?
They’re extremely selective from beyond the arc, and their 3-point percentage is still below league average. Neal would help. But plugging one, or even two, holes to open others doesn’t really get Charlotte anywhere.
Neal would be a defensive upgrade over Sessions, as would most players. But Neal defends shooting guards better than point guards, some of whose speed trouble him, and he’d likely spend most of his time with the Bobcats replacing Sessions as the backup point guard.
Neal can handle point-guard duties, though like on defense, he’s better at shooting guard.
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This has been a down year for Sessions, and I can see the Bobcats wanting an upgrade. But it’s also been a down year for Neal, and I don’t see him a step up in a typical season for these two, regardless.
The Bucks passing on the deal could make sense, as well. They’re headed deep into the lottery, anyway. What good does Sessions, who’s on an expiring contract, do them? If they’re trading Neal, it should be for an asset that helps next season or later. That’s not Sessions.
Neal might be just what the Bobcats need, but Sessions is too high a price to pay.
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