Charlotte Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins announced today that the team has exercised its fourth-year options on forward/center Bismack Biyombo and guard Kemba Walker, as well as the third-year option on forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
“We are excited to keep these three up-and-coming players as part of our core for another season,” Higgins said. “We have been very pleased with their development over their careers so far and look forward to seeing them continue to grow both in the season that is just starting and in 2014-15.”
The seventh overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Biyombo has played in 144 career games for the Bobcats, averaging 5.0 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 25.5 minutes. Biyombo, who is already third on the team’s career blocked shot list (258), ranked eighth in the NBA in blocked shots as a rookie in 2011-12 (1.8) and ninth in 2012-13 (1.8). He has led the Bobcats in both rebounding and blocks in each of his two seasons, setting a franchise single-season record with 44 multiple-block games last season.
The ninth overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Walker has played in 149 straight games since joining the Bobcats, with averages of 15.2 points, 5.1 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 31.4 minutes. In 2012-13, he was one of five players in the NBA to lead his team in scoring (17.7), assists (5.7) and steals (2.0). Walker ranked fifth in the league in steals per game and set the franchise single-season record for steals with 160. He has participated in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star Weekend in each of his two NBA seasons.
The second overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Kidd-Gilchrist earned Second Team All-Rookie honors last season after averaging 9.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 78 games played. In addition to being named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for November 2012, he was also selected to participate in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star Weekend. Kidd-Gilchrist posted a pair of games with 25 points and 12 rebounds, joining LeBron James as the only players to record two such games prior to their 20th birthday.