Yesterday the Bobcats announced that Tyrus Thomas will miss two months with a strain on his left calf muscle, and a tear of his plantaris. Thomas was acquired by the Bobcats in 2010 from Chicago in exchange for Acie Law, Flip Murray, and a future first round pick.
The deal was fantastic for the Bobcats at the time, as Thomas flourished with a change of scenery, and strengthed the Bobcats playoff team. That offseason, Thomas inked a five-year, $40M contract with the team. He played well early into it, but since has fallen off.
The first round pick the Bobcats dealt to Chicago has protection on it until 2016:
2013 – Top 12 Protected
2014 – Top 10 Protected
2015 – Top 8 Proteced
2016 – Unprotected’
The protection was built under the hope that the Bobcats would get better over time, and the loss of a draft pick wouldn’t be a huge deal.
You’re boring me here Edward, the Bobcats are over .500, I don’t care about this mumbo jumbo! True, so lets talk about that.
If the playoffs started today, the Bobcats would be in as a 6th seed, and on their way to Miami for the first round. Bittersweet, but still fun nonetheless. Because of that, the Bobcats lose their draft pick to Chicago, which would either be the 19th or 20th pick pending a coin flip with Atlanta.
It wouldn’t be a huge deal considering this draft doesn’t project to be very strong. However, if the Bobcats were to slide out of the playoff picture in the East, but still be good enough to be in the mix, they could find themselves as one of the last two teams in the NBA out of the playoffs. That would put them at the 13th or 14th worst record in the league, giving Chicago a lottery pick for 2013.
But wait, there’s better news. The Bobcats own two first round picks from Portland and Detroit. The Bobcats acquired these picks from the 2011 Gerald Wallace trade and this past summer’s Ben Gordon deal. Portland’s draft pick is Top 12 protected until 2016, where it will be unprotected. Detroit’s is Top-12 protected in 2013, Top-8 protected in 2014, Top-1 protected in 2015 and unprotected in 2016.
As it currently stands, the Blazers would draft anywhere from 12-14, pending coin flips with Chicago and the Lakers. Portland’s looked pretty good so far this season with the addition of Damien Lillard and development of Nicolas Batum, so there’s a realistic chance the Bobcats could end up with Portland’s pick this season. Detroit? Not so much, unless they really turn things around quick.
All this draft pick debt is just something to keep an eye on as the Bobcats improve this season. There’s a realistic scenario where the Bobcats could make out with two first rounders this year…or even none.