Since there’s really no “must have” free agent left on the market, I feel like it’s finally OK to grade the Charlotte Bobcats off season.
It all started with a trade that I, nor anyone really, never saw coming. Corey Maggette, coming off a terrible, injury plagued season, for Ben Gordon AND a future first round draft pick. Gordon can still shoot, he can still score, and he’ll likely be asked to do it coming off the bench, so his age isn’t really a problem for Charlotte.
Then there was the trade that never happened. Everyone, including me, thought Charlotte was going to deal the second pick in the draft for something… anything, really. The Cavs #4 and 24, the outside shot at James Harden, and all the other rumors thrown around were viable deals. Instead, Charlotte held pat, and made their pick.
After deciding to keep their pick, Charlotte drafted Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, a great defender with the skills to become a potent slasher and deadly finisher in transition on offense. Then, they picked Jeffrey Taylor, who I was calling a steal even before the draft started. Taylor might have been the third best defender in the draft behind Anthony Davis and Kidd-Gilchrist. He’s also become a very good shooter, he has a solid all-around game, and he can play two positions on offense and guard four positions on defense.
Some people think you should always draft talent, and others say you should draft need. Charlotte did both this year.
After the draft, all attention turned to free agency. The Bobcats let D.J. Augustin and D.J. White walk, and they brought in Ramon Sessions and Brendan Haywood. Combined with Gordon, Kidd-Gilchrist and Taylor, those two additions almost solidified a two-deep rotation.
Although Sessions will most likely be a back-up to Kemba Walker, the Myrtle Beach graduate will see plenty of time, and he adds height to Charlotte’s historically short back-court. Haywood is the Bobcats starter at center.
To me, though, this free agent period was about who Charlotte failed to land. They had their eyes on plenty of very good power forwards and couldn’t get a single one of them.
Antwan Jamison chose the Lakers over them, the ‘Cats couldn’t land J.J. Hickson, Carl Landry signed with the Warriors and the team either failed to bid on or didn’t bid enough for Elton Brand or Luis Scola.
Since they could’ve filled all their needs through free agency and didn’t, I have to grade them as above average.
FREE AGENCY: C+
Overall, the Bobcats almost built a completely new roster. They have new faces at every position… except power forward. The position will probably be a platoon between several players, including Tyrus Thomas (blehhh), Byron Mullens (love him off the bench, throw up when he’s in the starting lineup) and even Bismack Biyombo (really think he needs to stay at the center position).
Charlotte would not have been a playoff contender if they landed any of those free agents, but they would have been much more competitive heading into the season. It would’ve been nice to know that they were doing all they could to revamp the roster at every position after a 2012 season that many pundits say the ‘Cats tanked.
If they would’ve landed anyone better than the three guys they already have at power forward, I would’ve given the Charlotte Bobcats an A for their work this off season. Instead: