"An interesting note I came across from Charlotte.com:
The NBA has ruled that any team with a restricted free agent in the summer of 2004 would have to count him among the eight veterans protected from the Charlotte expansion draft, or risk losing him. Forcing teams to protect restricted free agents figures to improve the talent pool from which Charlotte will pick.
But think about the opposite scenario: What happens if a restricted free agent in 2004 -- a player such as Chicago's Jamal Crawford or Cleveland's Chris Mihm -- is left unprotected in the expansion draft?
Under the rules, if Charlotte drafts that player, he immediately becomes an unrestricted free agent. You might ask why Charlotte would draft such a player -- who, by definition, has no obligation to play in Charlotte. But in fact, that could be a great strategy for managing the new team's salary cap."