If I asked you for your ultimate set of maneuvers that shaped the Bobcats roster the day after the NBA Draft, would Ben Gordon, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Jeff Taylor be your additions? Not many if any would have said “Yes, please!” Incredibly, the second overall pick wasn’t traded, not to any of the 5 teams with standing offers, not to Cleveland for the 4th and 24th or whatever was being offered. The Bobcats stood pat on both of their picks. At press time, Adam Silver is still calling names and it remains to be seen if they trade back in for another second rounder, but it’s unlikely.
I’m not as disappointed as many of the regulars to our draft chat. I don’t think that Rich Cho took the night off or that Michael Jordan had much of anything except to approve what his front office team had come up with. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist isn’t the overall second best player but he might be just what the Bobcats need. All Chad Ford said in his analysis was “Hardest Worker in the draft.” He takes pride in his defense and scores enough to seem like he’s got some offensive game. But no one will accuse the Bobcats of stealing the draft. This isn’t like a Kevin Durant to Greg Oden’s Anthony Davis, but the Bobcats got a “character,” “motor,” guy to play at small forward, which may be exactly what they wanted all along.
The dreams of getting Thomas Robinson at #4 after trading away Gana Diop, Tyrus Thomas and the #2 pick and getting some other pile of goodness were dashed for many. That’s what MKG will represent unless he really takes over and impresses fans on a #2 Overall pick level. It won’t matter if he lands somewhere in the middle. Those pissed off will be waiting to say “I told you so,” those that are happy will be waiting excitedly for Gilchrist to take over the reigns of the team and end up an All-Star. Middle ground here does no one that loves a narrative any good, whatsoever.
I’m happy with the pick, but I question it. Bradley Beal was supposedly the second best available and the one everyone wanted to move up to get, but not bad enough for the Bobcats.
I’m wrestling with what could have been and what is. The trade scenarios that were batted about ever since the lottery made the roster-baters drool. Multiple first rounders?! James Harden?! Getting rid of a bad contract or two?! Who wouldn’t want that? But Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, to me, isn’t a disappointment. No ticker-tape parades down Tryon street tomorrow, that’s for sure. But Bobcats fans shouldn’t damn this front office and their decision making. They took the best player that fit exactly what they needed, which is a little bit of everything.
That’s where we are. Oh, by the way. Did I tell you the Bobcats have $18-$20 million in cap space? OPTIMISM!