While my colleague James has been writing about interesting free agents (read his post!) I am going to discuss the future of this team as the Bobcats management obviously has started a rebuilding (again) of the franchise. Now in my eyes there are only a few things that can be done at this point thinking ahead. Let me explain. The rebuilding started by trading our only All-star in franchise history to the blazers (Gerald Wallace), and next the only good scorer on our team (Stephen Jackson) to the Bucks to move up in the draft, where we drafted Bismack Biyombo (7th), and Kemba Walker (9th). Our roster now contains two top 10 draft picks, including young talented guards D.J. Augustin and Gerald Henderson, young talented forwards Tyrus Thomas, Dante Cunningham (if resigned which seems to be in the plans) and D.J. White, together with veteran forwards Corey Maggette and Boris Diaw and a Center named Kwame Brown (unless someone steals him). There are more players on the roster yes, but not worth mentioning. So let’s look at our options.
The Road to the 1st Round.
Sign Kwame Brown again, give him a lucrative deal, though I think after last season more teams would be interested. Not taking an offer from the Heat would surprise me a lot, so we would have to make him a deal he wouldn’t refuse (Somehow it seems winning a championship is not as important as being more wealthy in the NBA ? what?). He was our only big guy last year and did OK! Not very good, but better than having NO center, because I don’t think we can get anyone better, and statistically having Diop is the same as not having a center, or maybe half a center for two years (we can pray of course). Now we have 1.5 centers in Kwame and Diop. We definitely need more than 1.5 centers, which is why we drafted Bismack Biyombo! He can back up Kwame when we are going small and whoops we won’t have to pay up for more centers. There are some interesting rotation centers who might be realistic but maybe not worth the dollars, like Krstic or Jason Collins as backup (I favor Krstic, just remember how having a big man like Nazr with a jump shot helped us out our first playoff season).
Rotation: Brown, Bismack, Diop.
Then we have our 4 spot which I shouldn’t have to say more about. We have Tyrus Thomas, DJ White, Bismack and Diaw who can jump in every now and again (If you wonder why this rotation ill post my explanation later).
Rotation: Thomas, Bismack, White, Diaw.
3 spot. Now this is a position where most people would say we are weak, but look at this. Boris Diaw was originally and SF, he has ball handling skills, he can defend SF’s and he can make a three pointer. He is an SF for the cats, mostly because I don’t want him eating any playing time from Bismack and Tyrus. So now we can start Corey Maggette and have Boris as a backup. At the same time we might resign Dante Cunningham, which means we have some young blood at the three.
Rotation: Maggette, Diaw, Cunningham.
2 spot. This is in my opinion our problem and this is where we need to dig into the free agency.
We have Hendo, which has great potential (look for a breakout season this year), athleticism and can hit a jumper while turning on a dime. But who backs him up? We have no one to back him up really. We have Kemba Walker yes, but D.J. and Kemba will be too small at times. So my thoughts, go for Michael Redd. I know you all think he’s no good anymore, but remember that we are the Charlotte Bobcats, and not an attractive free agency destination we will have to take what we can. I think that this guy is looking to prove he still can play, and unless some team with playoff strength (Chicago?) snaps him up, we should definitely move on this guy. He is a seasoned veteran who can mentor our young guards and play backup to Henderson. We want more 3 point shooters right? How about this three point lineup? D.J. – Walker – Redd – Diaw – Thomas.
Rotation: Henderson, Redd, Walker, Carroll.
Behind our 4 spot this is our strongest position, even with the lack of 3rd PG. D.J. Augustin and Kemba Walker is going to be SO exciting. They complement each other a lot and their differences and likenesses in playing style’s going to make the 1 spot hard to guard for other teams. But with the good comes the bad and we are lacking size at that position. I hated to see Livingston go but that’s that and the fact is that we need another point guard hopefully a little bigger than barely six feet.
Now who’s available? There aren’t really a lot of guys there. And getting a quality rotation player with some size seems unlikely, and to be honest, if Walker and D.J. stay healthy we’d need someone who would be willing to sit on the bench a lot. Still I like one name there. Unless contenders will pick him up for the sake of our rookies, take Bibby. Who would be a better mentor, and who wouldn’t want that guy in their lockeroom, besides he can hit an occasional three!
Rotation: D.J., Walker, Bibby.
This leaves us with a pretty good rotation with a lot of quality players. In this rotation D.J., Hendo, Maggette, Thomas and Kwame would start. Our direct bench rotation would be, Diop, Bismack, Diaw, Redd, Walker which isn’t looking so much worse, then our 3rd, which would be Bismack, White, Cunningham, Carroll and Bibby, which is a respectable third rotation team. So the main key here is diversity. The ability to switch around on the roster is a great advantage in the NBA, having tired feet on the floor while defending the Wall’s, and Wade’s of the southeast is a sure loss. To end this off, I’d like to throw in a few potential in-game lineups for you and you can decide whether or not this seems exciting.
C Kwame, Bismack, Diop
PF Thomas, Bismack, White, Diaw
SF Maggette, Diaw, Cunningham.
SG Hendo, Redd, Walker, Carroll
PG D.J., Walker, Bibby.