Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan spoke to about 100 of the team’s season ticketholders about the team’s future Tuesday. General manager Rich Cho also attended, as Jordan told the crowd that he expects basketball and business changes this offseason. Jordan told the audience he’s as frustrated as anyone by the Bobcats 16-52 record after finishing 7-59 last season.
Jordan also addressed the future of first-year head coach Mike Dunlap. A ticketholder told Jordan that he sees the progress Dunlap has made with the team’s younger players, but didn’t see the same connection with the Bobcats veterans. Jordan was non-committal in his assessment of Dunlap, but reiterated that everyone would be re-evaluated in the offseason.
The Bobcats could have one of the more interesting offseasons in the NBA, given their available resources. Charlotte is expected to be way under the league’s salary cap and could have two draft picks in this year’s lottery. The team’s strategy will decide whether they make full use of their funds.
It’s clear fans though aren’t pleased with the team’s recent play and desire a playoff contender. Since making the playoffs in 2009-10, the Bobcats are 58-159. Charlotte has one winning season in nine years a franchise.
Jordan’s decision to trade away veteran players from the Bobcats only playoff team brought questions up about the Bobcats direction. However, Jordan has remained consistent about building a winner. It’s possible he ralized he couldn’t build one with a core of older players in Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace, both of whom are pricey roleplayers on playoff teams.
My desire is still to see the Bobcats spend big and smart in free agency this summer, while drafting well with their picks. I don’t think the Bobcats need to offer four and five year contracts to every player, but I’d like to see them land better veterans who can balance the roster. Veteran leadership is one of the main things this team lacks, as well as proven scoring talent. There’s also the alternative where the Bobcats could decide to hold out on spending large, and elect for more moderate signings and draft pick development.
We’ll see what the team decides to do, but it’s encouraging that Jordan doesn’t seem to be content with another miserable season in Charlotte.