Preparing for the Draft. We are now two days plus some hours (depending on the time of posting) from the 2011 draft. The Bobcats, I’m very pleased to say, have started the prospect workout portion of evaluating players with a fury. Unlike years past, the ‘Cats have had two players, Kemaba Walker and Kawhi Leonard, who are listed in many mock drafts as off the board before we pick, come in for workouts. Coach Paul Silas has made clear he expects the Bobcats to get very good players at the #9 and #19 draft positions and anticipates getting a functional player with #39. Charlotte has had a total of 50+ players in for work outs and with three picks it seems that the ‘Cats are doing due-diligence in the evaluation process. One other change that will have an impact on the draft is hiring Rich Cho as the new General Manager, and Rod Higgins being promoted to President of Basketball Operations.
The ‘Cats have had the best-rated small forwards, excluding the international players, of this draft in for workouts. Coach Paul Silas has had question-answer sessions after all of the workouts and a few of his answers jumped out at me. Some of these things are obvious to the fans but it it is nice to know that the organization is also aware of the team’s issues. This came up after the day three work out On wanting more 3-point shooting “It just puts so much pressure on your opponents when you kick it out and the man is spaced out properly and you kick it out to him.” This is from the day four PM Q&A session On what is tougher to teach up at the next level – defense or offense “That’s something that you can really work on. But the defense – it’s hard to make a good defender out of a guy that doesn’t just have it.” This is from the day five Q&A session His thoughts on evaluating international players “I look at these guys. Some of them are very, very good athletically. Defensively, there’s a big problem that I have with a lot of European guys.” I think it is a safe bet to assume the front office knows we need more consistency with our outside shooting, particularly off the bench. Coach Silas also gives us a couple of strong indications that he values defense over offense and that the offensive side of the game is easier to “teach”