So you may have seen the post on the forum about a question and answer session with me and Christian “Norway” Bobcats. We got a bunch of questions, so we decided to do it in two parts. If you have any questions reading it please post them on the forum
1) SJackson1: Has MKG got the ability to be an All-Star?
James Plowright: Ability is an interesting word to choose here, has he got the drive? Definitely, but players need more than drive to be an all star. Many compared MKG to Gerald Wallace due to his athleticism, motor and inconsistent jump shot! Now, Gerald Wallace as we all know did become an all star and remains the only Bobcat in history to do so. However, I would argue that MKG has a higher ceiling than GW due to where he is in his development in relative terms to GW. MKG is just 18 and is way ahead of where Gerald Wallace was at that stage in his career and like I said before has the a similar if not even better work ethic than GW. So overall yes, MKG does have the ability to be an all star, but not right now. If MKG does have all star potential, I can assure you with his drive he will fill it to the max.
Christian “Norway” Bodin: It’s hard to tell whether or not MKG’s game transitions well into the NBA. A lot of times players struggle to do the things they did so easily in college, in the NBA. Also there is something to consider, which is the fact that most of his style of play doesn’t show up on the scoreboard. He was drafted out of college as a utility guy, the player who did a little bit of everything. He reminds me a little of a young Shawn Marion who never really did one thing in particular, but was decent at pretty much every aspect of the game, and he is a four time all-star. Another all-star is our very own Gerald Wallace, who did pretty much exactly what MKG was brought in to do. MKG has similar size; similar playing style, is hard on defense, a decent scorer, a good rebounder and a reckless hustler. Not to mention that MKG is better at his craft now, than both Marion and Wallace were at the same age. He also played on a stacked team in Kentucky, where he pretty much only did what the rest of the team didn’t, he was never asked to be the leading scorer, but was asked to help the team in every aspect of the game, which he did, and it led him to an NCAA championship.
So to answer your question; Yes, he has the POTENTIAL to be an all-star. I think one day he could be, if he is ready to take every aspect of his game with him to the next level. “Hard work beats talent, when talent fails to work hard”. He is crafty and with the right attitude, a good coach and hard work he should be.
2) Ziggy: What percentage would you give MKG to be the best rookie out of the draft class?
James Plowright: Let me make it clear that I really like MKG and think he will be a very good player, but I won’t give him more than a 10% chance of being the best rookie in the draft. Before we lost the number 1 pick, I was in love with the Unibrow (Anthony Davis). Despite losing out to him with the number 1 pick, I still think Davis is going to be a hall of famer. He breaks records wherever he goes, he is even playing with the USA team at the Olympics without playing a game in the NBA! This may not be what people want to hear, but you must understand it isn’t anything against MKG. Anthony Davis is a once in a decade type of player in my opinion and being second to him is nothing to be embarrassed about.
Christian “Norway” Bodin: This is a tough one. This draft class was filled with talent, and a lot of that talent ended up in extremely good situations, where they will be able to play a lot. MKG is in that situation, and I think he will have a fair shot at it. It is more often harder for big men, like Anthony Davis to adjust to the NBA, especially when playing against much bigger and longer guys, so as everybody can say he will probably win it, looking at the draft results; I don’t. Other players are in far better positions, like Jeremy Lamb, Dion Waiters, Bradley Beal and Damien Lillard. All guys who will be playing a lot this season. So between those five I think they all have a similar same shot at it. Lamb is probably the wildcard here, since Kevin Martin is still on their roster (Houston). Also, as I mention on a previous question, MKG’s style of play doesn’t necessarily show up on the scoreboard, so though he might be one of the best rookies next season, a lot of it will be pure hustle. So if there are four other guys to compete for it and given that he is not a prolific scorer or playmaker; I’d say it’s a small chance around 10-15% he will be ROY. This based on the fact that I believe everyone mentioned will be playing starting minutes, and I think Davis will be put at the 5 a lot (poor guy), where he is just not that long in the NBA. Now this being said, as far as how their careers will end up. The “Unibrow” does have a brighter future as we see it right now. But the sky is the limit for our MKG, with the right development; he can be as good as he wants.
3) Adam187: what do you predict will happen with Hendo and Mullens who are both near the end of their rookie deals?
James Plowright: For starters, I don’t think either of them will get extensions. Only the very best from the draft class normally get extensions and I don’t think either of these two are in that talent band (I count 7 players who are better than Henderson). The future of Henderson depends on what happens this season. So far Henderson has made strides every year and it will be interesting to see if he does again this year or if his development levels out. Right now I see him as a 6th man on a play off team. The development of Jeff Taylor is also important, if he shows great potential then I can see us letting Henderson go or trading him at some point. Also, if Ben Gordon settles into his role, he may make Henderson more expendable. However, I am partial to Henderson, he joined the team just around when I started following the Bobcats in depth. I love his professionalism and attitude and I hope we find a way to keep him and bring him off the bench.
Mullens has shown potential to be more than an effective player and last year was pretty much his rookie year, even though he got drafted in the same year as Henderson. If Mully shows more than just a big who can hit stretch the floor this season I see us keeping him. Mully seems to really like it in Charlotte and feels gratitude to the Bobcats as they have given him a chance to play. Also, Mully doesn’t exactly look like a sexy player for other franchises to go after. If he does stay through FA, I don’t think there will be that many pursuers.
However, with both players it is hard to tell right now. You can’t foresee some things, for example Omer Asik getting an offer of 3 years 25 million. Overall I would guess us extending qualifying offers to both, but might only end up keeping one of them, rather than two. We will have a lot of CAP space next summer though, so it could depend if we choose to pursue a big name.
Christian “Norway” Bodin: Chronologically, I expect both players to receive qualifying offers from the team during 2013 offseason. Hendo based on the fact that he is a solid shooting guard, and a great 3-4th scoring option on any team, and Mullens on the fact that he is a 7 footer with actual basketball skills who can do nothing but develop. Based on the lack of 7 footers in this league, I think Mullens will be pursued by other teams looking for a backup 4/5. Most contenders wouldn’t mind having this guy coming off their bench and unless Charlotte overpays him, I expect to see him go. Teams who contend for championships are often more willing to overpay these types of players than the teams in the bottom 10, he could simply become ridiculously overpaid compared to his role. Henderson will also be a huge free agent target, for teams looking for a solid 2. Imagine him being a free agent this season, how much of an asset he would be to say the Clippers or Bulls. Whether or not he will be ask for a lot, or too much money, relies on his performance the next two seasons. If he continues to develop like he has and still is I say he will be too expensive for us to compete with bigger teams. If his development matches his previous seasons Hendo could be a 20pt 5reb 5ast player with the ability to defend almost any SG in the league at a respectable level. That type of player would be nice to cash out to, but competition could be hard. In a freak scenario, say Hendo explodes this season. If that happens I expect the franchise to look at trading options. Our core is set and has potential, but we are still a lot of pieces short. I hope he stays and signs a decent deal, I still would love to see Walker, Hendo, Kidd-Gilchrist and Biyombo grow into a great team.
4) Along13: How come every good move Charlotte makes credit is given to Dunlap and Cho, but they are never criticized when making bad decisions, only Jordon and Higgins get that criticism?
James Plowright: People associate poor decisions in the past to Jordan and Higgins such as drafting Adam Morrison, trading for Gana Diop and not trading the picks for Felton and May for CP3. People like to think those dark days of the franchise are behind them and that Cho and Dunlap are this new leading light which will make everything better. The truth is none of them are perfect, Cho is just as responsible as Higgins for giving TT that fat contract and who knows how the team will react to Dunlap’s ethics. To run a rookie/FA team in summer league is one thing, but with a team of vets and pros it is a different story. Many of us on the forum realise that this rebuilding process is difficult and painful but necessary and Cho has been the one who triggered it. Overall, Cho has been the one behind turning this franchise around and I believe he deserves the credit he gets. But people always look for someone to blame, MJ and Rod are easy targets due to their previous mistakes.
Christian “Norway” Bobcats: This is a question I don’t quite understand. First off no moves go by either Jordan or Higgins, so when the franchise takes a turn, good or bad, they receive both criticism and praise. Dunlap hardly receives any credit for moves being made. Rich Cho on the other hand is very much involved in what goes on regarding moves. What might answer your question is that Rich Cho on one hand is known for his great decision making league wide, while Michael Jordan is known for Kwame Brown and Adam Morrison. Also, Michael Jordan does receive some, though only for the hiring of Rich Cho, who was hired to make better decisions. Since his arrival there just hasn’t been (yet) a lot of bad decisions made. Getting 2 lottery picks last season was the best draft we’ve probably had since the start of the Franchise, it is natural to assume that the guy who was hired to make good decisions, actually had a say in that decision. Also the decision to not trade down in the draft this year is credited to all three guys, MJ, Higgins and Cho. Whether or not it was a smart move in MKG still remains to be seen, but if he turns out to be the 2nd best player in this draft, statistics will still be on Cho’s side. We will then see that ever since Cho’s arrival, decisions got better. We can do nothing but praise M.J. for the decision to hire him, and to leave this responsibility to someone who knows what he is doing. While M.J. will forever be the guy who drafted Kwame Brown and Adam Morrison while Higgins watched it happen.
Thanks to SJackson1, Ziggy, Adam182, Along13 for all the Questions! Loved answering them, if yours hasn’t been answered look out for part 2 later this week. Thanks.
Dunlapism of the day- “How many guys play in 1st quarter? 10, because we’re gonna be tired.”