Our big board should be (realistically, and don't bash me too hard on this, not sure if some of these guys have declared or returned to school). This includes picks in both rounds. Now, before you guys bash me, there are several logical reasons as to why I chose these 10 players. The obvious ones (Griffin, Lawson, etc.) will either be taken earlier than us or we don't need them. In no particular order...
1. Stephen Curry - Davidson: Shooter, plain and simple. We need depth at the SG position and he provides just that. He would also be a decent third-string PG if we needed him to be.
2. Wayne Ellington - UNC: Same as Curry, only slightly better defensively IMO. He'd be solid as a backup SG.
3. Danny Green - UNC: He'd be a better version of Jared Dudley. He's tough and aggressive. He's a good rebounder, very athletic, and has a good perimeter game to go with it.
4. Hasheem Thabeet - UCONN: This is a stretch, because he will probably won't drop to us, but if he does, it would be a situation where you'd have to pick him. His offensive game is his weak point. But we lost Roy Hibbert last year to the pick before us and he turned out to be a solid player for the Pacers. Thabeet is taller, and more athletic. He's in better shape than Hibbert and is a defensive powerhouse. He could easily start at Center and allow Okafor to focus his energy more on the offensive side.
5. DeJuan Blair - Pitt: Blair is bigger than Thabeet, and also gives up nearly half a foot in height. However, he's big and tough. He would also be a good rebounder, and a decent offensive player. If we drafted him, he'd probably start at PF and we'd move Okafor to Center.
6. Tyler Hansbrough - UNC: Same as Blair. He's tough and he'd work hard defensively. I think his offense is better than Blair's because Hansbrough's been adding a mid-range shot to his game.
7. Gerald Henderson - Duke: Could you imagine Henderson playing with Gerald Wallace? It would be like Jason Richardson again, except for the fact that Henderson's game will probably never equal Richardson's.
8. Luke Harangody - Notre Dame: A poor man's Hansbrough. Harangody would be a 2nd round pick and more than likely a project forward. He'd get some playing time because he's a solid post player, but I wouldn't expect a lot more than that.
9. Alade Aminu - Georgia Tech: His brother from Wake Forest will likely go early in the first round, but Alade would probably end up being another Ajinca. He's a good player, but I'm not sure he's quite ready for the NBA.
10. Damion James - Texas: The experts have him projected as a 2nd round pick. IMO he's a bigger, stronger Jared Dudley. His defense is strong, and his offense is okay.
Yeah except Thabeet is the only guaranteed lottery pick. I'm going to assume we are 12th... Obviously Griffin, Thabeet, Rubio, Hill, and Harden are probably the only complete locks to not be around at 12. I don't think we go big in this draft b/c we have quite a bit of depth there now with the additions of Diaw and Diop. I am not convinced the staff will keep Felton but I also don't think anyone is entirely sold on DJ; so I am not ruling out a PG if the right one is available. However, I think it is glaringly obvious that we really need depth behind Bell and Wallace. So assuming those 5 guys I mentioned before are gone, and we draft 12, we need a "big board" of 7 guys (for the 1st round). Here's how my big board looks for the Cats:
1) Tyreke Evans
2) Demar DeRozan
3) Brandon Jennings
4) Stephen Curry
5) Gerald Henderson
6) Earl Clark
7) James Johnson
With no one to back up Raja Bell, why is LB coaching Dontell Jefferson to be another PG? And with Radmanovich ending the season as a liability with too many turnovers will Cartier Martin develop into a strong enough player to completely replace Vlade?
i think that if felton dosnt re-sign with the cats then we will have to take a whole diffrent approach to the draft even with augustin if felton dosnt re-sign we will have to get a good back up for him. We are lookin at little to no cap room like you guys were sayin earlier but nazr is demanding a trade but the problem is no one wants him and it looks like from readin in the newspaper that cats r lookin to sign may back for league minimum. it seems like green and ellington r goin to be goin later in the draft, so if we cant find anyone in the lottery y not trade down and pick up a extra pick and get ellington or green. But if felton dosnt sign back we gotta get a decent 1 guard. I am probly wrong but im just sayin....
Felton's name had been kicked around a lot at the NBA trade deadline in February as word was spread around the league that Felton's camp was looking for a new deal in the $8 million per season range, a number the Bobcats were unwilling to consider and a number Felton's stats this season may help justify - 14.2 points per game, 6.7 assists per game, 1.5 steals per game on 40% shooting from the field and 80% from the foul line. This is good enough for 14th best among point guards in scoring and 11th best in assists per game. To put that in perspective, he's just ahead of Andre Miller and Chauncey Billups in assists and just below Mike Bibby and T.J. Ford in scoring – all four are making better than $8 million per season.
Felton's asking price was only 8 and not 10 like some were saying. I can't imagine us not getting a deal done if that's his starting point.
We need a SG. Unless LB has some other moves in mind to address that I think that's the direction we'll go with the 12th pick. We probably have a good shot at both Gerald Henderson and Terence Williams.
I'd combine the 2 2nds for a late 1st (teams will be happy to move those I think because they are guaranteed salary...2nds are not) and get the best available. There's usually someone falling who'll be worth picking up.
Rick Bonnell covers the NBA and Charlotte Bobcats for The Charlotte Observer. You can reach him by e-mail. Inside the NBA E-mail Rick
The Pistons' Rasheed Wallace has a wide skill set that could help the Bobcats reach the playoffs, writer Rick Bonnell says. But he would pose a potential threat to team chemistry. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
This started with a call Monday from an NBA scout. For lack of a better description, this guy does quality-control for an Eastern Conference team.
I ask him a lot about various players and so once a year he calls to ask for my review of the Charlotte Bobcats and, particularly, their free agents. The guy figures if I see these guys 70 or more games a season, I should have some sense of what they are, who they are and what they're worth.
That got me thinking about the Bobcats' depth chart, their payroll and how they might proceed during an offseason that should lead to a first playoff spot. What started out as some scribbling on a legal pad led to – I hope – giving you a better picture of the local NBA team's situation.
They have 10 players under guaranteed contract for next season, adding up to $57million-plus in payroll. I won't be surprised if one of those 10 – point guard Sean Singletary – is cut before September. (Singletary's partial guarantee grows if he's on the roster in September.) I don't see much future here for Singletary; he faded out of the picture the last third of the season and he's not the big third point guard coach Larry Brown prefers.
Dontell Jefferson does have the size Brown likes at the point. I'm told by an NBA source – though I haven't confirmed this – that Jefferson is under contract, unguaranteed, for next season. If so, then Bobcats general manager Rod Higgins deserves kudos for writing that into Jefferson's deal.
To me, the greatest area of need is depth – a reliable backup shooting guard who also can play some small forward and a backup power forward who can rumble in the lane. Their lottery pick – somewhere in the top 14 – could address one of those needs.
From here on, I'll break down the five positions by depth, salary and some analysis, plus throw out a potential free-agent acquisition.
A caution about these unrestricted free-agent suggestions: I don't know if they can afford any of these guys, much less two or more. But each is a veteran with a high basketball IQ. And all four have played for Brown before.
With the Bobcats chasing the playoffs, additional experience – particularly people who know Brown's methods – would help.
One more thing: Parenthesis symbolize an unresolved situation.
1. (Raymond Felton, anticipated restricted free agent, $5.5million qualifying offer)
2. D.J. Augustin, $2.37million salary
3. (Jefferson, Singletary or a veteran acquisition.) THE SKINNY: Brown and Felton seem confident Felton will stay. I tend to agree for two reasons – Felton wants to be here, and this isn't the best summer to hit the free-agent market. Between the economy and the limited number of teams with major salary-cap space, there shouldn't be many suitors. Dallas, Portland and Oklahoma City all could be potential threats, but I bet Felton is this team's starting point guard on opening night. FREE-AGENT SUGGESTION: Kevin Ollie, late of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Ollie (6-foot-4) has the size and experience Brown wants from his third option at the point. Had he been the Timberwolves' last cut in training camp (that was possible), Ollie likely would have spent last season with the Bobcats. At 37, Ollie is no kid by NBA standards, but he could do at the point what Juwan Howard did at forward for the Bobcats this season.
1. Raja Bell, $5.25 million
2. (name your guy, I will below)
3. (Cartier Martin, a restricted free agent) THE SKINNY: I'm a bigger fan of Bell than many of you, based on my e-mail. I like that he's rugged defensively, guarding some of the league's best scorers, yet is still good for an occasional 25-point game. However, I get it that he's a high-mileage player who suffered two groin strains and a calf strain during roughly a half-season with the Bobcats. He needs a reliable backup and the Bobcats are more vulnerable here than anywhere. I loved Cartier Martin's approach – he always tries to do the right thing – but he was in the deep end doing the doggy paddle in minutes that decided games. FREE-AGENT SUGGESTION: Anthony Parker, late of the Toronto Raptors. Sure, he's aging (34 in June), but he's a big swingman (6-6) who understands the game, understands Brown (two seasons with him with the 76ers) and should be ready to be a backup in return for job security. The Raptors are in rebuilding mode, so it's hard for me to believe they'd take extreme measures to retain a guy in the sunset of his career.
1. Gerald Wallace, $9.5 million
2. Vladimir Radmanovic, $6.47 million
3. (Someone else, or Boris Diaw in a pinch) THE SKINNY: This is the most solid position on the roster, primarily because things have played out so well between Wallace and Brown. Wallace needed coaching and he absorbs it from Brown with humility and attention. Wallace understands this is his chance to grow, and Brown loves the savvy questions Wallace asks during practice. Radmanovic is a reclamation project, and an expensive one. He fell out of Phil Jackson's favor, which subjected him to borderline-cruel sarcasm. He's a bright kid with a wider skill set than the Lakers utilized. But he's a mistake-player, too – he tries too hard to impress – and that's what sent Shannon Brown packing out of here. FREE-AGENT SUGGESTION: Check above, concerning Anthony Parker.
1. Boris Diaw, $9 million
2. (Somebody … Juwan Howard? Sean May?)
3. Alexis Ajinca, $1.37 million. THE SKINNY: Diaw is the most skilled player in Bobcats history. He makes one-handed passes through traffic that – maybe – five others in the league can complete. He changed the way they play and addressed their most basic flaw – an inability to create easy baskets. But he's not the most intense guy and the backup should be something different; a low-post enforcer. Ajinca will never be that, but it's silly to give up on him. Anyone with that length and skill (as a passer and a shooter) someday will screw up defenses. He just needs about 3,000 protein shakes to get where he needs to be strength-wise. FREE-AGENT SUGGESTION: Antonio McDyess, late of the Detroit Pistons. He's one of Brown's all-time favorites and can play power forward and center. He started out as an unrefined athlete, but now he knows the game. The smart move would be using his final two or three seasons with a title contender, but if there was ever a time for Brown to leverage his personal relationship with Dice, it's now.
1. Emeka Okafor, $10.5 million
2. Gana Diop, $6.03 million
3. Nazr Mohammed, $6.47 million. THE SKINNY: Center is not a bad place to have too much depth, but that doesn't explain away trading two expiring contracts for Mohammed. He isn't playing, he likely won't play, and he wants to be somewhere else. But particularly in this economy, who will take on roughly $13million in guaranteed money over the next two seasons? Diop is younger and perhaps a better post defender, but he needs to improve dramatically on offense. FREE-AGENT SUGGESTION: Rasheed Wallace, late of the Detroit Pistons. Understand, up-front, this is a pipe dream. Wallace should draw interest from a contender (Cleveland, for instance). But he has that wide skill set (can defend any front-court position, can shoot out to NBA 3-point range) that could assure the Bobcats a playoff spot. The issue is his potential threat to great chemistry. I've never been around a group of professional athletes so vested in each other's success. Messing with that is risky business.
Kevin Ollie is done. Actually, he is beyond done, he has been completely irrelevant in the NBA for over 5 seasons. Or has he ever been relevant? I can understand the sense in signing a veteran PG, but let it be someone who can still contribute something on the court, or someone who actually was a good player in the past.
Anthony Parker is a player who looks good on paper. But Parker was an integral part of the worst swingmen rotation in the NBA these past two seasons. An empty stats kind of player . On top of that he's one year older than Bell, and will probably still command a decent paycheck because he is still a "starter". And aren't there a lot of decent SGs available?
SF not a priority I agree.
McDyess is a terrific bench player. He averaged a double double this season. He's also 35, and on every team that is looking for some veteran help's list. Charlotte will get the short end of the stick on that one.
Sheed is done. He's either going to retire or he's going to ride on someone's back to get another ring. Even in the unlikely scenario that he would want to come to the Cats to fight for a playoff spot, he would be a total cancer on this team. We all know he is crazy, and have you seen how he treats his teammates? Sheed would dominate this team in the lockerroom in a bad way.