After reading threw a number of the posts that fans have written on different forums on Bobcats Planet I can see that there is not a whole lot of faith being put in the ability of D.J. Augustin to run the point for the team in the 2010-11 season.
Personally, I am holding out hope for the third year pro. After watching him at Texas for a couple years I got to see first-hand how talented he is, and I’m hoping that all he needs is the opportunity to play more in order to find his game on the professional level.
However, as somewhat of a realist I also believe in being prepared for every possible scenario. What if Augustin flops early and often?
The best of the free agents are already locked up making it unlikely they will get anyone new without pulling off a trade (which is possible with Boris Diaw and Eric Dampier being dangled). Chances are solid that this year the team will live or die with Augustin at the helm.
His back up, Shaun Livingston, is just where he should be—on the bench. The kid should have taken the scholarship to Duke when he had the chance; even one year out learning under Coach K would have made him a much better professional than he is. The injury that he suffered in 2007 (pretty much blowing out his entire knee, ACL, PCL, lateral meniscus, and more) is a career ender. So while I give the kid credit for coming back and continuing to play the game he loves, I don’t see him getting any better.
I recently saw this quote of his that just makes me laugh:
“When I came into this league, at 19 or 20 years old, I was like, ‘What’s stretching? I don’t need that.’ And now I need to do 30 minutes of stretching to make sure I’m ready to go and prevent re-injury. So many things I have to do now I didn’t have to do before.”
He’s only 24 and talking like he’s 44!
That being said, it really is D.J. Augustin for the 2010-11 season. If he does flop, there will be a few free agent point guards available next summer (keep in mind that I am only looking at guys that are listed as a point guard by NBA.com).
The best of them has to be Mr. Eva Longoria, otherwise known as Tony Parker. While not one of the best point guards in the league, he is pretty good and likely the best one to be available next summer if San Antonio does not resign him. He may not have the statistics of guys like Steve Nash and the other premier point men, but a quote of his said it best:
“When there is talk about the best point guards, sometimes they don’t talk about me. But that’s not my main motivation, They can talk about Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Deron Williams and Chris Paul. I still have the most rings.”
Houston though enough of Kyle Lowry to sign him to a nice contract this summer which could mean that they may be willing to part with Aaron brooks when he becomes a free agent next summer. Brooks is another relatively young player. In his three year career he has seen his numbers increase as his time increased.
The best of the rest are not really too encouraging and not worth mentioning. There are a number of shooting guards available if they want to try and convert someone, but that would probably mean taking a step back, something no team wants to do.
Hopefully Augustin will step up and become the player that the team needs; if not, the Bobcats may have to look to the draft next season to find a point guard that will.