The conventional wisdom is the Charlotte Bobcats can only get better through the draft or through trades. There’s no way a big time free agent is going to sign with Charlotte, right?
If Charlotte wants to get good through free agency, the Bobcats are going to have to offer players max contracts who aren’t worthy of the money.
Some of these guys could end up being worth the money in the long run, and who’s to say that if it makes Charlotte a playoff team, it’s not a good move even if whatever player they overspend on never turns into a max-contract superstar?
The first guy Charlotte should look at enticing with a massive contract offer is Josh Smith.
Most people around the league don’t think he’s worth it, but Charlotte should seriously think about giving him the money. Smith is talented enough to average a double-double if he really wanted to. This season he’s averaging 17.4 points and close to nine rebounds a game in 35.7 minutes per game. If Charlotte is the only team to offer him a max deal, don’t be surprised if he takes his talents to the Queen City.
The next player the Bobcats should seriously consider offering a max contract to, even though that player might not be worth it is Paul Millsap.
Millsap has been the Robin to Al Jefferson’s Batman in Utah. If he becomes the centerpiece of Charlotte’s post game, he could also be a double-double machine. This season he’s averaged 15 points and seven rebounds in 30 minutes per game. Pairing him with Kemba Walker would be fun to watch, and it would make the Bobcats’ offense significantly more dynamic than it is now.
Finally, the Bobcats should think about giving Monta Ellis a max contract.
Ellis, like Millsap and Smith, might not actually be worth the money, but he’s proven he can play in a back court with another scoring guard. He’s averaging 19 points, six assists and almost four rebounds per game this year. He does have the worst PER out of the three guys mentioned in this post, but there’s no doubt he would make Charlotte’s offense better, and in turn, make the Bobcats a better team.
I doubt the ‘Cats go after any of these guys, but it wouldn’t hurt to gauge their interest and see if they would come to the Queen City for max money.
The ‘Cats aren’t getting better through free agency unless they over-pay.