The Charlotte Bobcats snapped their disgusting losing streak at 18 games, but there is still a lot of improvement to be made on both sides of the ball. With the NBA trade deadline quickly approaching come February, Charlotte may want to consider sending off some young guys or players in contract years in an effort to land a major upgrade.
And while at the moment it’s just gossip, there’s a real chance the Bobcats make a legit run at landing a potential superstar. It’s just a blurb in Marc Spears’ NBA Power Rankings, but it’s still worth noting: the Bobcats could make a run for Sacramento Kings’ big man DeMarcus Cousins.
With Byron Mullens hurting and struggling with consistency even when healthy, landing a balanced star like Cousins could completely change the dynamic of Charlotte’s attack at both ends of the court. The Bobcats already have a steady and growing young point guard in Kemba Walker and a forward with loads of upside in Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Landing a premier threat down low that can pound inside, shoot mid-range jumpers, handle the rock and even play defense could go a long way in helping Charlotte turn back into a playoff team.
It wouldn’t be a lock to happen this year, but it would certainly be a huge step in the right direction.
Spears notes that Charlotte has “as many as three first-round picks” for the 2013 draft, and has a collection of young players they could add to a deal. Byron Mullens could be one of them, while a contract year player like Gerald Henderson could also end up getting in the mix.
The fact is, Charlotte is young and has some talent, but they’re losing – and at a horrible pace. There’s no reason not to take a huge risk and make a splash via a trade this year. Landing Cousins wouldn’t negatively impact Walker’s development, would help the team at both ends, and would be an immediate complement or upgrade on Mullens and the rest of the bigs (depending on who the Bobcats decide to ship off).
For the most part, the same goes for the Kings. They’re not winning with Cousins and they have some solid young talent in place with Jason Thompson and Thomas Robinson already. The Bobcats could give them Mullens, who is a quality talent in his own right, and perhaps Sacramento could throw in a veteran like Aaron Brooks or John Salmons. That would start to free up minutes for Jimmer Fredette, who the Kings keep trying to get on the court despite a crowded guard rotation.
One way or another, both of these teams look primed for a deal. Expect to see both tossed around in NBA trade rumors as January marches on, and don’t be shocked if this Cousins to Bobcats blurb turns into something truly worth talking about.