That’s right — less than a week left! The 2008 NBA Draft is next Thursday, June 26th. The deadline to drop out has passed, workouts are in full swing, and rumors are flying around at a dizzying pace.
Let’s take a look at some of the rumors that directly involve or affect the Bobcats. Most, if not all, of this stuff comes from DraftExpress or Chad Ford on ESPN.com. Bobcats.com has also been delivering top-notch coverage of the workouts the Bobcats have conducted, complete with video.
Rumor 1: Gerald Wallace is available. This came up last week when I made my case for trading for Rasheed Wallace, and Chad Ford confirmed it the other day. Gerald Wallace is simply the best trade piece the Bobcats have if they’re looking to make a deal this off-season. He’s a young, productive player who is just entering his prime and is signed to a reasonable deal. However, I think he’ll drive Larry Brown nuts with his bad shot selection, risk-taking on defense, and questionable “coachability”. So if the Bobcats end up making a significant trade this offseason, Crash will be involved.
Rumor 2: Brook Lopez is slipping and will be available at #9 for the Bobcats. This has almost moved past “rumor” stage at this point and become fact. On the surface, this would be a no-brainer — last month I discussed Lopez in my Pick #1-3 preview as the best option if the Bobcats had landed the #3 pick. But his so-so athleticism and some allegedly pedestrian workouts have sunk his draft stock. Ziggy from BobcatsPlanet.com has detailed several other reasons that Lopez shouldn’t be the pick. As of this writing, Lopez hasn’t worked out for the Bobcats; yet a majority of the mock drafts out there currently have Lopez pegged as the Bobcats guy at #9.
Rumor 3: The Bobcats have promised Russell Westbrook. Chad Ford reported on Wednesday that Westbrook has a promise in the mid-lottery. Ford ruled out a couple of other teams and speculated that the Bobcats were the “most likely” team to have promised Westbrook. Couple of problems with this one: 1) Westbrook didn’t work out with the Bobcats until Thursday (a promise before a workout?), and 2) Westbrook doesn’t fit a need for the Bobcats (unless you’re planning to use the #9 pick to shoehorn a dynamic combo guard into your backup point guard slot). That said, check the video from Thursday’s workout: Westbrook is a very exciting athlete. I think he’s going either #6 to the Knicks or #7 to the Clippers.
Rumor 4: Centers Alexis Ajinca and Kosta Koufos are moving up draft boards. Ajinca worked out for the Bobcats on the 13th with other first round bigs DeAndre Jordan, Roy Hibbert and JaVale McGee. Ajinca was reportedly very impressive in that and other workouts. He may have moved himself into the late lottery at this point. Same goes for Kosta Koufos, who just worked out for the Bobcats on Thursday. Despite the buzz, #9 seems like a stretch for both of these guys. Could the Bobcats, looking for just the right big man, be interested in trading down for either of these guys? Anything’s possible.
Rumor 5: Both Anthony Randolph and DeAndre Jordan are slipping. It is sounding like Randolph will probably, and Jordan will definitely be available when the Bobcats pick at #9. I previewed both of these guys a while back, and still believe Randolph is the best fit in the draft for the Bobcats. However, teams seem to be backing off of them due to their youth and inexperience. Both guys have allegedly not been as sharp in the professionalism/intangibles area as lottery picks should be while out on the workout trail.
That’s all for now. As a bonus laugh, be sure to check out this video of Michael Beasley making his case to not be drafted #1 or #2. Somebody get this guy some Adderall before he goofballs his way out of both Chicago and Miami. Seriously.