This one seems to make some sense. The Boston Globe, reporting on a source says a three-way deal is in the works that would send Mavs backup center DeSagana Diop to Charlottle, Oklahoma City guard Earl Watson to Charlotte and Charlotte point guard Raymond Felton -- who has fallen out of favor with coach Larry Brown, who loves former Longhorns point guard and Bobcats rookie D.J. Augustin -- would land in Dallas.
The one area that's unclear is who the Thunder would take back. Speculation is that Charlotte shooting guard Matt Carroll and perhaps another low-salary player such as Sean May, could be in the package.
This deal, unlike the one rumored last week sending Josh Howard to Toronto for Andrea Bargnani and Anthony Parker, makes sense for Dallas, and Charlotte. Diop has been nothing more than a bit player under coach Rick Carlisle who seems happy with Erick Dampier starting and Brandon Bass playing center with a smaller lineup. The Mavs could also get out from under Diop's five-year, $32-million deal. The Bobcats pursued Diop over the summer and it's believed they were believed to pay the full mid-level exception, which the Mavs did.
The Bobcats could use Watson as a backup to Augustin, who is appears on the fast track to becoming a star, and the Mavs would get a solid guard in Felton to backup Kidd, and also provide insurance if Kidd does not re-sign with the Mavs this summer as a free agent.
Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson reiterated his stance of not commenting on trade speculation, only to say, "We talk to everyone all the time."
The Bobcats want to deal Felton because he becomes a restricted free agent in the summer. He's good enough that he'll entertain some good offers, which would put the Bobcats in the position of re-signing him for a figure they don't to or losing him for nothing. In a trade they players -- Watson and Diop -- they feel help their situation.
-- Jeff Caplan