“With the Ninth overall selection in the Two-Thousand Eight NBA Draft, the Charlotte Bobcats. . . ”
Well, what exactly happens won’t be known until a week from now. We can narrow down a few options, though.
Option A: The Bobcats select an inexperienced big man that they draft entirely on potential, but have not seen in personal workouts (SI.com / Charlotte Observer). None of these guys have a recognizable name, so there’s no simple choice.
Option B: Charlotte drafts a point guard that may or may not fit their new system (Augustin/Westbrook/Bayless)
Option C: The ‘Cats make a big trade for a veteran talent.
Option D: Jordan and the crew choose to move down in the draft and make an exchange with a team for a player with a cap relief contract or position themselves for a move later in the off-season.
Last season the Bobcats got Jason Richardson for the 8th pick. They were faced with the option of selecting an unproven big man at the 8th spot or make an exchange. Brandan Wright and Yi Jianlian both showed a huge upside, but the Bobcats didn’t need another project. Yi went before their pick and the decision to trade Wright for J Rich was probably one of the easiest basketball-related decisions they could make.
The circumstances of the 2008 Draft are a bit different, though. The Bobcats face no clear choices as several possible selections have refused to workout for Charlotte. With Larry Brown putting an emphasis on how “coachable” a young player appears in workouts, it doesn’t seem likely that they’d want to gamble on a kid that hasn’t shown Brown any of that. Without knowing Larry Brown personally, one could still assume he holds a level of respect high enough that snubbing a workout with him wouldn’t fair well for a future member of his roster.
The goal of any trade would bring a proven top-tier big man to pair with Okafor (or possibly replace him). With Lamar Odom and Rasheed Wallace rumored to be available, the Bobcats could use the draft to set themselves up to swing the right deal to make themselves very competitive next season.