Charlotte Bobcats: State of the Roster | Post Draft

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"With the 12th pick in the 2009 NBA DRAFT..." ©Bobcats.com

Prior to the 2004 NBA Draft, former Bobcats GM/Coach Bernie Bickerstaff managed to hoodwink the lowly Clippers into trading down from #2 to #4 in order for Charlotte to select Emeka Okafor.  That was the first and last great draft move made by the organization and ever since then Bobcats fans have been subjected to picks ranging from mediocre to mind-numbingly stupid.

A quick recap for the masochistic:

  • 2005: Needing a Point Guard, the Bobcats refuse to trade up with Portland (who practically begs Charlotte for the 5th and 13th selections in return for #3).  Portland eventually trades with Utah for a lesser package of draft choices.  Utah drafts Deron Williams at #3, New Orleans drafts Chris Paul at #4, Bobcats reach for Raymond Felton at #5.  Bickerstaff cites “needing bodies” as the reason for hanging on to the #13 selection and not trading up.  The #13 pick?  Sean “Crab Bread” May.
  • 2006: Bobcats have a decent foundation with Felton, Okafor and Wallace and are in need of a dynamic scoring wing player.  They own the #3 selection overall and have their choice of either future All-Star Brandon Roy or Rudy Gay.  They select a non-athletic white guy with a crappy mustache gimmick and diabetes.
  • 2007: Bobcats realize that they wiffed big with Adam Morrison a year earlier so get creative and ship their #8 selection (Brandon Wright) to Golden State for Jason Richardson.  Later in the first round, they draft hustling, former ACC Player of the Year Jared Dudley.  Richardson and Dudley would later turn into a combination of Boris Diaw and Raja Bell.
  • 2008: With new coach Larry Brown, the Bobcats future looks brighter than ever.  With a foundation of Okafor, Felton, Wallace and Richardson, the team looks to add size in the frontcourt in order to contend for a playoff spot.  Stanford Center Brook Lopez is sliding and Charlotte is on the clock.  They select…5’10” PG DJ Augustin.  That’s ok, because they added size later by trading a future first round pick for a 7’1″ guy out of France who only out-weighs ‘Lil Augustin by 40 pounds.

So it might amaze the few people out there who are actually paying attention to all of this that the Bobcats just completed their first intelligent, completely rational, well-scouted and well-executed draft in five years.  WOO-HOO!!!

They didn’t royally screw it up as they did with May, Morrison or Ajinca.  They didn’t desperately reach for decent players like Felton or Augustin earlier in the lottery.  Nope, in Duke’s Gerald Henderson they picked a solid player from a great collegiate program who fits a position of need at exactly the spot they should have.  And to top it off, they added another great value pick (Xavier’s Derrick Brown) mid-way through the second round.  Props to MJ, Higgins and Coach Brown for killing it last night.  Your efforts are much appreciated.

STATE OF THE ROSTER

Now that we know who the picks are, it’s easier to see what the Bobcats will be focusing on once we hit free-agency in the next two weeks.

Starting Five

As of today, the starting lineup remains the same.  Henderson only starts if Raja goes down for any stretch.
Keep an eye out for anymore Dalembert rumors between now and next week.  If a Dalembert deal goes down, look forward to a summer of madness because this likely means that Emeka will be shipped off at some point to bring in a big-time scorer.

Second Unit | Post-Draft

Last night’s draft fills the backup SG position and potentially the backup PF position as well depending on how quickly Derrick Brown develops.  As of this writing, the Bobcats have a total of ten players under contract and two draft selections, leaving two roster spots available.  I think it’s pretty safe to assume that both Alexis Ajinca and Derrick Brown will spend the first couple of months of the season in the D-League so that would leave room for another veteran PF and veteran 3rd PG to be added sometime during Free Agency or Training Camp.

Even if the ‘Cats don’t make any major moves between now and the start of the season, the team is probably looking like a 38-42 win squad in a tougher Eastern Conference.  If they can find a way to add an offensive Alpha Dog either through a trade (Monta Ellis) or through free agency (Iverson), add another 4-6 wins to that total.

We’ll have more offseason coverage starting next week during our “Free Agency Preview.”

–ASChin

POLL : The Gerald Henderson Pick?

  • Great Draft Pick (26%, 6 Votes)
  • Decent Selection for #12 Pick (61%, 14 Votes)
  • Bad Pick - Duke Sucks (4%, 1 Votes)
  • Go Heels! (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Derrick Brown Was A Better Pick (9%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 23

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32 thoughts on “Charlotte Bobcats: State of the Roster | Post Draft

  1. reggie

    i wouldnt say felton and dj are reaches. spectacular players? maybe not (although dj may develop into one in due time), but certainly not reaches. i thought the move for j-rich was a pretty good one as it created a crazy wing tandem of crash and j-rich, but obviously, it didnt work out as expected. the moves for bell and diaw turned out to be the second best trade (next to the trade with the clipps) in franchise history. and as far as im concerned, adam morrison is a ghost that haunts the cable box nightly. im more lenient on frenchie because i know that he needs time to develop, and hopefully that pays off. im starting to think that we should have used that pick on somebody else and then drafted frenchie in the second round. itd save us some cash too.

    but this year, i applaud MJ for not screwing this up. it was a hellov a safe pick, but the nets wanted to screw up everything we had planned so he did the best he could in his situation. everybody is hanging onto henderson’s potential. i dont know that much about derrick brown, but he seems to be a good second round pick.

    and there was some crazy rumor about adam morrison winning a ring. did you hear about that?

  2. One more. Trading Ammo & getting something of value in return was good move. Some GMs won't admit that type of mistake until it's too late. Vladimir provided what Ammo couldn't coming off the bench. Immediately.

  3. Reggie & Les-

    Go do some light research on the '05 and '08 NBA Drafts. Most mocks had Felton lasting until pick #13 (Lakers), DJ lasting until around #12. The Bobcats drafted at #5 and #9 respectively in those drafts. And if you think that they are better players than Danny Granger/Brook Lopez then you are even bigger "homers" than I am.

    Les-

    The JRICH move was ultimately a good TRADE. That's why I have it listed as such in the chronology. But it was a series of TRADES and not a DRAFT SELECTION.

    Also, are you saying that a soft, inconsistent Euro-shooter who makes $7mil per (Radman) is worth the #3 overall selection in the 2006 draft??? Granted, it's as good a move as they could make considering but c'mon, that doesn't take MJ & Co. off of the hook for the AMMO move.

  4. Jared

    It is WAY too early to start making judgments on Ajinca. The guy was drafted as a project! Projects take time. We may say it was a bad move next season or the season after, but not now.

  5. I disagree with lot of what you've said.

    – J-Rich trade from GS was a great move. Just look at what Brandon Wright has done. Nothing. J-Rich was an obvious asset that was traded to PHX to get players to fit LB's system. Diaw was a great pick up & we couldn't have got him without J-Rich.

    – To say Felton & DJ were "reaches" means there were lots of better playera selected after them & that wasn't the case.

    – Derrick Brown is a great pick so late in the draft & I would have done the same. The problem is he's more of a SF. Look for Bobcats to make a low offer to May or sign FA for back up PF.

    Ammo was a bad pick & we haven't seen anything from AA. However I think were starting to see a trend of good moves by MJ.

  6. You can't put much stock in mock drafts. Just compare the 20+ mock drafts from this year. Their picks are all over the place. Why not measure success of draft pick by considering on who they passed? Trading away Ammo doesn't take MJ off the hook on blowing the 3rd pick in the draft. I'm giving him credit for getting some value in return for a guy who would have but cut or released.

    I like Brook Lopez & he's surprised me, but he is much like Okafor & his Stanford highlights reflected it. Why would Bobcats draft a player just like another they had invested in so heavily already? Felton was on his rookie contract still.

    I'm not ready to declare AA a failure or success. It was obvious from day 1 he would be an interesting project.

  7. reggie

    the DJ/Lopez debate is interesting. you could argue that we didnt need another PG (and we didnt), but im not sure how a Lopez/Okafor backcourt would work. they both are true PF's and not defensive monsters. but Felton is a solid player who will eventually be replaced by DJ. DJ has a chance to be a Granger type of player, but that involves a successful playoff run and terrific play for at least this season and the next. obviously May was terrible. why should we even go there? so in retrospect, we deff should have traded up with Portland and nabbed either CP3 or Deron. but if Bickerstaff wants to blame a "lack of bodies" (which we still have), then thats just stupid. talent>numbers 100% of the time.

    Radman was good for the first three games. then he trailed off. i cant think of a way to move him because of his monster contract, but maybe Brown can become our backup SF/gerald insurance and Radman will move into a more solid PF role.

    i think LB will end up keeping Dontell because of his size. he did look pretty good down the stretch. free agency season will determine how good we really will be.

    and im still waiting on frenchie.

    ILBIT

  8. All-

    Thanks for the continual feedback.

    Your comments on Ajinca have inspired a future post on "Foreign-born, Late First Rounder, Frontcourt Projects."

    Until then, Google the names "Dalibor Bagarić," "Mamadou N'Diaye," "Pavel Podkolzin," and "Johan Petro."

    These guys have a failure rate of about 6:1. For every Diaw there's a half-dozen Frédéric Weis-es.

    But seriously, I appreciate the optimism and sincerely hope that Ajinca has a few 50-point games up his sleeve.

    Les-

    As far as draft "reaches" go, I couldn't find a proper definition online so I'll try to coin one here:

    A "draft reach" is a pick in which a player is selected between 4-8 spots before ANY mock draft had him going. And by this definition, Augustin wasn't a reach, he just duplicated a team strength.

    Jaxon-

    Derrick Brown not in the D-League? He was drafted like 20 spots lower than "Freedom Fries." LB learned his lesson last season with Ajinca – you gotta let these young men play and learn to appreciate the perks of NBA life by sending them to the minors for a stint. That all changes, of course, if Brown dazzles in camp.

    And I agree with you that the 'Cats will be a better team next year, it's just that the East is getting VERY GOOD VERY FAST alongside them. So 38 Wins next year would be like 44 Wins two or three years ago.

  9. Jaxon

    You really think Derrick Brown will be in the D-League? Many teams had him as 1st round talent.

    Also I'm a bit surprised you don't even see this as a .500 team next season. They jelled well enough in only the second half of the season to nearly make the playoffs. This year they have experience together + training camp. I would think a preseason of learning how to be a Larry Brown team, could mean a major jump.

  10. reggie

    Jaxson, the east is now 15 times more competitive than last year. our division itself is going to be interesting to watch. the Magic and Hawks are both contenders, and if the Heat have another stellar season like last year they will surprise a lot of people as well. thats why he has the bobcats sub .500

  11. Jared

    Reg…the hyperbole…stop

    Also, hoe can anyone who's seen Okafor play call him a PF? He's a bit short for a center, but that's still his game.

  12. Jared

    What exactly is your metric for "failure rate?"

    Also, what's the failure rate for American-born players? I'd wager it's fairly high, but it's all in how you choose to define it.

    The point I'm making is that we can't pass judgment on a player that we really haven't seen play. Many prospects don't pan out regardless of where they're born or what position they play.

  13. Jaxon-

    One "hater" is a lot to brag about if you are a small-time, fly-by-night outfit like this one.

    Good call on that last comment. The Bobcats did seem step it up a notch against the League's best. Maybe that translates into more wins next season as well.

  14. Jared

    Metric, as I used it means "measure." I was asking you how you measured something. I use the word and hear it used in a professional context all the time. It's not inaccurate. I was asking you how you measured a failure in the nba. What standards are you using? What's your metric?

    A guy buys ESPN insider and all of a sudden he's an expert? My point is, and it's a point that Hollinger would likely agree with, the failure rate of one very specific group means little unless we have something else to compare it to. Find out the failure rate of American-born centers. How do the two compare? That will make your 6:1 ratio compelling. Otherwise you're just making up numbers.

    We haven't seen Alexis play a significant amount of time compared to other players. You know that, just admit it.

    I'm not saying Ajinca will be a good player. I'm saying that to me and you and most other people, he's an unknown commodity.

  15. Jared

    Seriously? I don't hate anyone. I'm just debating things that I think you got wrong. That's what happens on all sports blogs guys.

    Sure, be happy that people read your blog. No need for the passive aggressive bullsh*t though.

  16. Jaxon

    One hater on a BOBCATS blog aint much to brag about. The Bobcats get about as much local coverage as the men's US Soccer team… Whom by the way deserves much more props for an outstanding tournament against the world's best teams.

  17. Jaxon

    Also, I hear ya regarding an improved conference. But that is mostly based on personnel, which sometimes doesn't pan out. Where as the Bobcats' is based on chemistry and the system of a future hall of fame coach.

    Also didn't the Bobcats usually play well against good teams and down to the level of bad teams? The conference could help them be even more competitive.

  18. Jared-

    I believe the word “metric” is at worst inaccurate and at best overly flattering. Take a look at all of the drafts since the mid-90s and add up all of the foreign-born players picked after #15 who are over the height of around 6’8″ and divide that number by the guys who actually end up having NBA careers. I think you’ll see what I mean.

    Hollinger has an Insider article over at ESPN that tracks the failure rate of all Centers drafted outside the top 5 that’s a lot more scientific and could be classified as a “metric.”

    And what do you mean we haven’t seen Freedom Fries play yet? I watched over 70 Bobcats games last season and he played a total of 182 minutes in 31 of those games. There were some bright spots, for certain, but the majority of that time he looked lost and ill-suited for the NBA. Like you, I’m still cheering for him but history is not on Ajinca’s side. If Courtney Lee were the pick instead, there’s a good chance that the ‘Cats would’ve made the playoffs this season.

  19. Jared-

    Actually, that's quite accurate. We have nothing to brag about – we are complete amateurs and shouldn't even be operating this blog. What were we even thinking! We suck! Like Adam Morrison Suck. Oh, who am I kidding, at least AMMO has a ring.

  20. Jared

    Seriously man? I'm not insulting you. No need for sarcasm. I had a issue to raise with how you're portraying Ajinca. It's not personal. I'm not a hater. I'm reading the blog aren't I? I just raised an issue.

    You're not even addressing the point that I'm raising. Let's just keep it on basketball and not get personal or sarcastic.

    I gave you a little dig about buying ESPN insider, but am I really that bad?

  21. Dude, I wasn't being sarcastic!

    Listen, I thought I answered your point a few comments ago. Just go back and look at the past fifteen drafts and catalog all of the foreign-born, frontcourt players and divide that by the guys who actually end up having NBA careers, i.e. players who get second contracts and/or stay in a rotation for 5+ seasons. Now, is this a "metric?" Call it what you want.

    Is this ratio better or worse than American-born players at the same positions? I'll leave that to you to figure out. Also, as Baseline contributor "E" has commented on in the past, has there ever been a TEMPLATE for a 7'1" SF in the League? You could argue that Garnett and Dirk Diggler are close but those guys had real NBA skills coming into the draft. Ajinca might not even make the French National Team.

    Anyways, thanks for being a good sport and playing along.

    Peace.

  22. Jared

    Actually, that’s quite accurate. We have nothing to brag about – we are complete amateurs and shouldn’t even be operating this blog. What were we even thinking! We suck! Like Adam Morrison Suck

    That screams sarcasm to me, but whatever.

    You didn't answer my question about how you defined failure vs. success until the 23rd comment.

    You can leave it to me to compare American players' success rate if you want, but you're argument isn't compelling w/out that info…that's all I'm saying.

    I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on a few things.

    Thanks for taking it down a few levels

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