2012 NBA Off Season Preview: Charlotte Bobcats

Charlotte Bobcats

2011-2012 Record: 7-59, .106, 5th in Southeast Division, 39 GB.
Stat Leaders: Gerald Henderson, 15.1 ppg. DJ Augustin, 6.4 apg. Bismack Biyombo, 5.8 rpg. Bismack Biyombo, 1.8 bpg

Depth Chart

C - Byron Mullens, DeSagana Diop (PO)
PF - Bismack Biyombo, Tyrus Thomas
SF - Corey Maggette, Reggie Williams
SG - Gerald Henderson, Matt Carroll (PO)
PG - Kemba Walker, Cory Higgins

Restricted Free Agents: G DJ Augustin, F DJ White
Unrestricted Free Agents: F Eduardo Najera, F Derrick Brown, F Jamario Moon

The Good: The team went 7 and freakin' 59, the worst winning percentage in NBA history, so there is not a lot of good. But I will try to find some gold in a mountain of turds. The Bocats do have an interesting set of young big men with nice skill sets. Byron Mullens was rescued from very outer limits of the Thunder bench and had an up and down but mostly nice season for Charlotte. He showed a nice scoring touch and could be a 15 point per game scorer next year. He is not much of a rebounder or shot blocker though. Bismack Biyombo was as raw as advertised on offense but flashed that great shot blocking and rebounding ability that caused him to shoot up draft boards. He looks like a keeper. Gerald Henderson and DJ Augustin had good statistical seasons and would be good players to have off your bench. Kemba Walker was the only Bobcat to play every game and he had a decent rookie season. The shooting percentage is going to have to go way up for him to continue to have value.

The Bad: Everything else. The Charlotte Bobcats were dead last in points per game. Dead last in field goal percentage. Dead last in 3 point percentage. Second to last in rebounding. Fourth to last in points allowed. Second to last in field goal percentage allowed. So in summary, they could not score and they could not stop anyone else from scoring. That is the perfect recipe for a .106 winning percentage. Veterans brought in the last few years were all disasters for the Bobcats. DeSagana Diop is the most worthless player in the NBA making more then the minimum, and amazingly he is still under contract for one more year at 7 million dollars. Two other players under contract past this year are Corey Maggette and Tyrus Thomas, who were nearly as pathetic. Maggette was injured for half the season and Thomas just does not seem to care anymore. The rest of the team is composed of fringe role players that are hardly worth mentioning.

Key Free Agents: Eduardo Najera and Derrick Brown are the only unrestricted free agents, meaning they are stuck with most of these guys for at least another year. DJ Augustin is a restricted free agent, and like predecessor Raymond Felton, he is a low level starting point guard. The team would be wise to retain him though, because he runs a team better then Kemba Walker, who is better as a scoring guard off the bench.

These fine professionals hard at work losing 59 of 66 games.
They really let down the seven fans who paid for season tickets
Draft Possibilities: No team needs to hit the lottery more then the Bobcats. The best player in franchise history is probably Gerald Wallace, so needless to say this team needs a face. They have struck out in the draft seemingly every year since their inception. This team really needs to luck out and land Anthony Davis. He has serious star potential, and if he is paired with Biyombo, the team will have some lethal interior defensive potential. That is something to build around. But as we all know they only have a 25% chance of landing the first overall pick. The worst they can finish is four, so I think they would be wise to go after Thomas Robinson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Andre Drummond, in that order. Robinson is a bit undersized but he offers scoring down low and rebounding potential. Kidd-Gilchrist is a great jack of all trades player, but he really would not solve any of Charlotte's offensive problems. He cannot create offense for himself, but he is a good defender who can cover a few positions. Andre Drummond is the ultimate wild card. He could be the next Dwight Howard or the next Kwame Brown, no one really knows at this point. Which makes it scary to both draft or pass on him. But what does Charlotte have to lose? They need to try to swing for the fences in this draft. It would be a huge letdown if the Bobcats do not land the top pick, but this draft will help determine the future of the Charlotte Bobcats.

Rebulding, Contending or Status Quo?: The Bobcats are most definitely rebuilding. The team has struggled to win and draw fans since the outset, and hit reboot before this season. The results are extremely ugly, but with respected GM Rich Cho in the building, the team should be better eventually. It will be a painfully slow rebuilding process, however, with next to no young talent on a roster that is saddled with some of the worst contracts in the NBA. Corey Maggette, Tyrus Thomas and DeSagana Diop are the three highest paid players on the team and will make a combined 25 million dollars in 2012-2013. The Bobcats will be best served to just lose some more and hope to hit on high draft picks while flushing bad contracts out of their system. Rich Cho has his work cut out for him, and will hope to recreate magic when he helped build the current Thunder roster.

I didn't make a Michael Jordan joke!

All logos courtesy of http://www.sportslogos.net/

Jonathan Carrano

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