Why? There are various reasons why each player will be selected by the Charlotte Bobcats. Thomas Robinson has the size of an NBA power forward. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is an excellent defender, and Harrison Barnes has the capability to put up 40 points any given night. However, the #2 pick is going to be a lot bigger than someone who is ready to contribute. The #2 pick is going to possibly be the cornerstone of the Bobcats’ franchise, or a corner piece within the Bobcats’ organization. In the following paragraphs, I am going to make a case for why Michael Jordan should draft each of these players, then I will give my choice and why.
Thomas Robinson had a stellar season for the Kansas Jayhawks. In his junior season, T-Rob went from being the 6th man during his sophomore season to “the man” during his junior season. Robinson looked like a man among boys in a lot of games last season. At 6’10” 230 lbs, T-Rob is going to play power forward in the NBA; however, he will see time at the center position against some teams. Is T-Rob worthy of the #2 pick? Yes. Is T-Rob what the Bobcats need? Yes. Will he get drafted by the Bobcats? Possibly. The problem with Robinson is that the Bobcats have several players that play the same position as Robinson. The Bobcats lack a scoring threat, and a consistent perimeter. I think that the Bobcats can make the playoffs in 2013 if they satisfy both of these needs because there are decent power forwards and centers on the roster. This is why I think MJ will overlook TR at the #2 pick. It has nothing to do with T-Rob’s talent, though.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (aka MKG) was arguably the second best freshman in the nation behind Anthony Davis. He was the Robin to Anthony Davis’ Batman. He was the Kobe to Anthony Davis’ Shaq. In my opinion, the premiere game of the 2012 season took place in Rupp Arena with the North Carolina Tar Heels played the Kentucky Wildcats. This game consisted of nine players who could be selected in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft. Although all eyes were on Anthony Davis, MKG stole the show. MKG was the deciding factor in the game. He tallied 14 points and 11 rebounds from the small forward position. MKG single-handedly outplayed Harrison Barnes, John Henson, and Tyler Zeller. Heck! You could argue that he outplayed his teammate, Anthony Davis. Many people (including myself) thought that this game was a prelude to the 2012 NCAA National Championship game in April. As we all know, it didn’t happen. However, the Wildcats were still crowned the champions and MKG was a huge reason why. He is an excellent defender. He reminds me of Shawn Marion because he is a power forward trapped in the body of a small forward. MKG can guard four positions. In addition, MKG has already signed with NIKE, a step in the right direction. With NIKE backing him and a National Championship under his belt, this kid is on top of the world. He may not the deadly perimeter assassin like Doron Lamb is, but he is average from the three-point line. You can’t knock his hustle (Reasonable Doubt plug, ya heard). If I was MJ, I would strongly consider MKG as my #2 pick.
Last but not least, Harrison Michael Bryce-Jordan Barnes, born May 30th, 1992. On his 20th birthday, the young man who was named after Michael Jordan AND attended the same alma mater as Michael Jordan may possibly be drafted by, no other than, Michael Jordan. Harrison is a scorer. The kid can flat out play. Sure, he didn’t perform well in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. He had a few games where he struggled. Boo hoo, that’s life. It gets on my nerves when people sum up this young man’s college career with his worse games. The same player who disappeared some games also hit many big shots during his two year career at Carolina. A lot of people had high expectations for Harrison Barnes, better known as the Black Falcon. Were some of these expectations warranted? Yes and no. I think some people expected TBF to walk on water. We are talking about someone who averaged 18 points a game, on a loaded team. He didn’t average close to 20 points on a team where he was the only good player. John Henson and Tyler Zeller were first team all-ACC along with Barnes. Kendall Marshall, the Bob Cousy award winner as the top point guard in 2012, also average nine points to go along with nine assists. In addition, there were three other players (Dexter Strickland, Reggie Bullock, and James McAdoo) who averaged between six to nine points. Bottom line: Harrison Barnes did well! He did what he was supposed to do. He can shoot the 3 with ease. He can create his own shot. He is 6’8” 215 lbs., and I think he will probably play the small forward position. However, if I’m MJ I draft Harrison to be my starting shooting guard. Many people will criticize the Black Falcon for his dribble-drive game. Yes, it needs work. However, we are talking about Michael Jordan’s protégé, here. Harrison Barnes just fell into MJ’s lap. Most people will lean towards Thomas Robinson or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist for the #2 pick, but not me. I’m looking at the big picture. Remember, what I said earlier. On his 20th birthday, the young man who was named after Michael Jordan AND attended the same alma mater as Michael Jordan may possibly be drafted by, no other than, Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan will invest in Harrison Barnes, the way that Sonny Vaccaro invested in Michael Jordan. Jordan will groom Barnes to be a dominant scorer, and to excel at defending the opposition. In addition, Michael Jordan will mentor Harrison Barnes on how to market himself. MJ epitomizes the Jay-Z quote, “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man.” MJ is re-tired, and still a hot commodity.
So, when you have this discussion in your barbershops, hair salons, ciphers, PlayStation Network, at school, on the blacktop, or with your boo over breakfast, remember to look at the big picture. Michael Jordan drafting Harrison Barnes is reminiscent of Jay-Z backing Kanye West. Kanye West became the rap icon that he is because he was supported by the top rapper in the hip hop industry. These two are inseparable, now. In this case, MJ is Jay-Z (don’t taze me bro on this analogy) and Harrison is Kanye. Believe me, they will ball so hard next season if MJ makes the Black Falcon his #2 pick. I could be wrong here, but as an avid Tar Heel basketball fan AND Tar Heel alum, I study the Tar Heels very closely. Tar Heels look out for one another. They support each other. Check the various coaching trees in the NBA and NCAA. The Carolina Family sticks together for the most part, unless you have a big mouth (feel in the blank here). Although I discussed Jay-Z a lot, he actually isn’t my favorite rapper; however, I do recognize exceptional talent and skill when I see it, hence, why I mentioned him. As for Harrison Barnes, I would go against the grain and pick him as my #2 pick. However, this would come after flipping a coin in the air because MKG is the Matrix 2.0 reloaded (aka Shawn Marion for those of you who are not up-to-par on NBA players’ nicknames) and possibly the 2012 NBA Rookie of the Year. On June 28th, 2012, we will see.