The Charlotte Bobcats are in a bad way. But hopefully, another painful season is the stepping stone toward great future success. After all, the Bobcats already stock-piled Kemba Walker, Bismack Biyombo and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist the past two seasons, and could be just another young talent and a stable veteran away from getting back to competitive basketball.
That’s the hope, at least.
While it’s pretty clear the Bobcats biggest issue lies in their frontcourt, they’ll simply have to take the best overall talent come draft day. That is how teams truly get better, after all.
Charlotte is currently the worst team in the NBA. In fact, they’re in the cellar by a good four games and counting. Maybe it was by design. Judging by their average talent, though, I’m actually guessing it’s just how it naturally should have been.
The bad news is that doesn’t even guarantee them the top pick in the draft. However, as they stand, they have the best odds to emerge from The Lottery to hold the number one overall selection in the 2013 NBA Draft, and there’s a pretty good chance they’d spend it on Kansas guard Ben McLemore if they did.
Things can change between now and June, but for the moment, let’s speculate whether or not taking McLemore would be the right move.
Ben McLemore’s Strengths
Has excellent size for the two guard sport, while possessing the versatility and athleticism to play the three, as well. Already a very good shooter and is only going to get better. Extremely efficient on offense. Can create his own shot at will and still does a solid job of getting his teammates involved. Crashes the boards very well for a guard. Has the build and footwork to be an elite defender eventually. Is so young yet so advanced as a scorer and impact player. Just a freak athlete with tons of upside. Potential is limitless.
Ben McLemore’s Weaknesses
A little too unselfish? It’s possible he doesn’t quite understand how good he is yet, or how good he could become. Has displayed a bit of a streaky touch. Really needs to work on consistency. When his shot isn’t falling the rest of his game can suffer from it at times. Ball handling needs to improve at the next level. Offensive game needs to get more diverse. He’s an elite athlete, but to be great he’ll have to work on fundamentals. Relies too much on his natural gifts. Could use better shot selection.
Should the Bobcats draft him?
Uh, yeah. Why not? Gerald Henderson is in a contract year and the team and Ben Gordon aren’t in love with each other. Both of those guards could be gone, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist hasn’t taken over yet, and Ramon Sessions is more of a point than a two guard. They absolutely could use a splurge of talent and athleticism at the two spot, and landing McLemore would be huge for the franchise. He still has work to do, but he has all the upside in the world and could quickly develop into Charlotte’s go-to scorer and team with Walker to make a fairly formidable backcourt.
The Bobcats will think long and hard about beefing up their inside game with impressive bigs like Cody Zeller or Nerlens Noel, but ultimately McLemore is a unique talent that no one in Charlotte would bat an eye at.