On the cusp of their only nationally televised game of the year, the Bobcats announced they have traded forward Walter Herrmann and center Primoz Brezec to the Detroit Pistons for 6-foot-10 center Nazr Mohammed.
The Bobcats have been in pursuit of an athletic big man for some time, and recently signed restricted free agent Anderson Varejao who eventually returned to the Cavaliers, and hope that Mohammed can form an effective tandem with Emeka Okafor.
Brezec has been the Bobcats' starting center. Herrmann shone for the Bobcats in the latter half of the 2006-2007 season, but under new coach Sam Vincent has not seen much playing time.
Mohammed "can definitely help the team," Bobcats coach Sam Vincent said. "From everything I hear he's a real nice guy, he's great in the locker room, he's definitely a winner, he brings rebounding which we sorely need, he gives us another low post presence. So he's all the things that we have been talking about needing to add to the team."
Mohammed, averaging 3.3 points and 3.5 rebounds in 21 games for the Pistons, will provide the Bobcats depth they've been missing since Sean May underwent season-ending knee surgery during training camp.
The Bobcats have gotten very little from Brezec, who has been starting but averaging only 1.9 points and 2.2 rebounds a game. Herrmann had failed to crack the Charlotte rotation under Vincent, in his first season.
"Primoz missed a lot of preparatory time and found himself struggling to catch up," Vincent said. "He was working as hard as he could, and had made some improvement, but he hadn't gotten to the point that he could give us 14, 15 points. Not to say that he wouldn't."
The deal gives the Pistons' Herrmann, someone they've coveted, and dumps salary. Mohammed is due about $25 million in a deal that runs through the 2010-11 season. Brezec and Herrmann are in the final year of their deals.
"We get great financial relief, and it is a deal we had to make from that perspective, but we are also getting two guys we like," said Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars. "These are two players that we've talked to Charlotte about in the past."
Mohammed, in his ninth season from Kentucky, has averaged 6.8 points and 5.5 rebounds a game in his career. It's likely he'll eventually move into the starting lineup with Charlotte.
The deal came two weeks after the Bobcats signed Cleveland's Varejao to a three-year offer sheet. The Cavaliers matched the offer the next day, leaving the Bobcats thin up front.
Information from ESPN TrueHoop's Henry Abbott and The Associated Press was used in this report.