After eight seasons with five teams, Hakim Warrick is an NBA plug-in unit: He already knows the plays. Just teach him the lingo and he is set to go.
Once youve played for a couple of different teams, its just different terminology. Just find out what the calls are, said Warrick, the new Charlotte Bobcats forward. Everyone runs the same plays. Everyone knows each others plays.
The Bobcats traded for Warrick Tuesday, sending guard Matt Carroll to the New Orleans Hornets. A 6-foot-9 forward, Warrick will make his debut in Charlotte Saturday night against the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies drafted Warrick back in 2005, after he was a big piece of Syracuses 2003 national championship team. As a pro he has spent time both as a power forward and small forward. His biggest asset is a post-up game that has made him a career 49 percent shooter and sent him to the foul line over 1,800 times.
That should come in handy in Charlotte: Coach Mike Dunlap advocates a rim-to-foul line first approach. There arent many post-up scorers on this team, so Warrick quickly addresses a need.
Be aggressive, attack the rim and get to the foul line; these are things Ive done throughout my career, Warrick said after Fridays practice. And I can knock down the mid-range (jump shot) and bring energy.
The Bobcats front office has been looking for another power forward since July. They pursued free agents Kris Humphries, Antawn Jamison and Carl Landry. They all signed elsewhere. Then circumstance pointed Warrick the Bobcats way.
The Hornets lucked into the No. 1 overall pick, allowing them to pick power forward Anthony Davis. Then the Hornets acquired another quality power forward, Ryan Anderson, from the Orlando Magic via off-season trade.
That made Warrick extraneous. Hornets coach Monty Williams told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that Warrick was such a pro about the situation that the team felt obligated to move him to a team where he had a fair chance to play.
Warrick played in just one of New Orleans first five games. So he told Hornets general manager Dell Demps he would be receptive to a trade.
I knew it was a tough situation, playing behind the No. 1 pick and knowing Ryan was coming in. There just werent a lot of minutes, Warrick said. I tried to stay ready and stay professional. Whatever way I could help the team, I did that and stayed patient.
The Bobcats have Byron Mullens as the starting power forward and Tyrus Thomas as his backup. But Dunlap clearly liked what he saw of Warrick in practice Friday.
Smart, seasoned and he shoots it well. All those things, we need, Dunlap said. How you introduce a new player into your lineup is always dicey, but well do it.
Warrick likes that hes entering a situation on the upswing. The Bobcats are on a three-game winning streak and are 4-3, following a 7-59 season.
From the two days Ive been here, its clear theres some excitement about the way the team has been playing, Warrick said. Hopefully we keep that going and sneak into the playoffs.