Congratulations are in store for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who somehow landed the top pick in the NBA Draft for the second time in three seasons (rigged!). While that should leave a warm, fuzzy feeling in the heart’s of many a Cavaliers fan, Charlotte Bobcats fans are left disappointed and disgusted.
Once again, despite having one of the worst teams in the NBA, the Bobcats are stuck with something other than the number one overall selection. In fact, the closest to the top spot they’ve ever gotten was #2, where they had to settle for Emeka Okafor after missing out on Dwight Howard, who went #1 overall to the Orlando Magic.
And here we go again.
It’s not the Magic this time, but the feeling is close enough, as the likely top pick, Nerlens Noel, is a defensive stopper who could change a timid defense into one that, you know, stops people.
But I’m actually glad this happened. This means the Bobcats won’t draft the offensively inept, ACL-tear recovering Noel, and they can instead focus on the actual most talented player in this draft. Hopefully.
As it stands, the Charlotte Bobcats hold the number four overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, and they have several interesting options to choose from. We broke down the top-10 prospects in past scouting reports right here on Bobcats Planet, but let’s go through a quick rundown of the top-five prospects Charlotte should have their eye on at the four spot:
Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas
He’ll probably be gone by the fourth pick (he might even go #1 overall), but he’d be too talented to pass up. I know Charlotte has wings, but Gerald Henderson is in a contract year and Ben Gordon isn’t a long-term fix. If McLemore is there, the Bobcats have to pull the trigger.
Cody Zeller, F/C, Indiana
Zeller isn’t a great athlete or explosive, but he’s as fundamentally sound as big men come, and he has the size and offensive versatility to develop into a fine post scorer. Charlotte has no real offensive game inside, so landing Zeller would be a steal at four.
Alex Len, C, Maryland
Len has a leg issue that could kill his stock, but I think the Bobcats should still consider drafting him. Their main issue is in the paint, where Byron Mullens lacks toughness and no one else on the team can provide offense. Len has the frame to get bigger and stronger, and is one of the most fluid centers I’ve ever seen. He’s worth the risk.
Victor Oladipo, G/F, Indiana
Oladipo is an explosive athlete who brings excellent versatility to the table, but I’m not overly high on him. I think he’s still a bit raw offensively and I don’t trust his shot. He’s got the talent and the upside is there, but Charlotte needs players who can help right away – not another batch of projects. Oladipo could be worth the risk, though.
C.J. McCollum, SG, Lehigh
McCollum is just a baller. He can flat out score and get his shot off anywhere, anytime he wants. He’s an instant offense type of player that could start at the two, sub at point, and even come off the bench as a spark player. He’d be a long-term upgrade at shooting guard and could offer an offensive punch as a rookie. He doesn’t fill as huge of a need as a stud big man would, but he has value for an inconsistent Charlotte offense.
The Bobcats could still surprise us by going for guys like Trey Burke, Otto Porter, Anthony Bennett, or even trading up (Nerlens Noel) or possibly even trading down. I think they stick with one of the five guys above, however, and if I had to guess early, I’d bank on them going for Zeller.