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Charlotte upgrades backcourt depth, trades for Gary Neal, Ridnour from Bucks for Sessions

Feb 20, 2014, 1:18 PM EDT

Gary Neal Bucks AP

Charlotte may not have planned to be in the playoff picture before the season started, but now that they are they want to stay there. Their home-and-home sweep of the Pistons the last two nights was a good start on that road, the Bobcats now have a 2.5 game cushion over the Pistons (3 games over the streaking Cavaliers and 3.5 over the Knicks). Heck, the Bobcats are just 1.5 games back of fifth-seed Washington.

Now Charlotte has some backcourt depth to help them hold on to a playoff spot and maybe climb the ladder a little.

The Charlotte Bobcats have acquired veteran guards Luke Ridnour and Gary Neal from the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for Ramon Sessions and Jeff Adrien, something first reported by Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer and confirmed by other sources.

Sessions has been solid this season playing behind Kemba Walker, he was the kind of true professional veteran that was good to have in a young locker room (coach Steve Clifford raved about him). He will play well for the Bucks the rest of this season and get another deal somewhere for the season after that.

However, the combination of Neal and Ridnour gives Charlotte more. Neal is shooting 36 percent from three this season and the Bobcats needed a deep threat to open things up more for Al Jefferson inside and the slashing of Walker. Ridnour, like Sessions, is a solid and professional backup point guard who can play quality minutes nightly off the bench.

Milwaukee does this to save money — Neal hadn’t been a great fit for them (nobody is right now) and he is owed $3.5 million next season. That is off the Bucks’ books, and they get a quality guard in return.

  1. pbtunpaidwriter - Feb 20, 2014 at 1:24 PM

    Solid move. I love what the Bobcats are doing.

    Steve Clifford has transformed this franchise. He won’t get it but he’s a coach of the year candidate.

    • fm31970 - Feb 20, 2014 at 1:45 PM

      Good move for both teams. They grant Neal his wish and at least send him to a playoff contender and unload his salary for next year. Sessions wasn’t horrible for the Bucks the first time he was there, but he’s bounced around enough to know the drill by now when it comes trade deadline time.

      Kinda OT, but John Hammonds is sure being setting the Bucks up well for the future, even though there are no guarantees when it comes to drafting players. It’s also an appealing team to someone looking to buy and move a team. Lowest valued franchise in the NBA, an aging/retired owner, and an outdated arena with no hope of being remodeled. Reminds me a lot of the Sonics-Thunder situation a few years ago in some regards.

      • bougin89 - Feb 20, 2014 at 2:30 PM

        “It’s also an appealing team to someone looking to buy and move a team. Lowest valued franchise in the NBA, an aging/retired owner, and an outdated arena with no hope of being remodeled.”

        Unfortunately you are right. That’s the sad reality of being a Bucks fan. They’re the most likely team to relocate unless a local owner really steps up to the plate and wants to keep them in Milwauke.

        Maybe an ownership group headed by Mark Attanasio(he’s said he’d be interested for whatever that’s worth)? That’s at least someone the fans can trust and get behind and that would also allow Herb Kohl to save face in Wisconsin knowing the team wouldn’t move.

        Time will tell I guess.

  2. pfic15 - Feb 20, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    Bucks ….solid case for contraction.

  3. El Pollo Loco - Feb 20, 2014 at 5:49 PM

    great move by the Hornets!

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