There are plenty of Charlotte Bobcats coming off the payroll this offseason, but how many of them should management try to keep?
First, let’s start with the unrestricted free agents. These are guys that any team can make a stab at without Charlotte being able to outbid them.
A clear number one on that list is Josh McRoberts. The former Duke Blue Devil basically averaged 10 points, eight boards and three assists as a starter in Charlotte. If he can continue this play into next season, he’ll be the clear starting power forward for the ‘Cats (unless they draft Anthony Bennett), and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him average close to a double-double the entire season. The price to keep him around shouldn’t be too high.
Next, the Bobcats should think about keeping Jannero Pargo around. He came to Charlotte on a 10 day contract to fill in for the injured Ramon Sessions, and he performed that duty admirably. He’d be a solid third point guard for ‘Cats, who really don’t have much to worry about at that position with Kemba Walker and Ramon Sessions under contract through next year.
There’s no way the Bobcats are retaining ‘Gana Diop or Reggie Williams, but they could try to keep Jeff Adrien, who played well off the bench this season.
As for the restricted free agents on Charlotte’s roster? The Bobcats have to keep Gerald Henderson. He’s gotten better every year, and he’s turning into a real threat at the two-guard position. His three-point shooting improved drastically this season, and towards the end of the year he showed signs of what could be to come: An offensive beast capable of carrying his team for stretches of games. There is the possibility that he could regress, but for the decent price the ‘Cats probably can retain him for, I don’t see any reason to let him walk.
Byron Mullens, however, has to be let go. It was a fun experiment, but the Bobcats can’t afford to keep hoping he develops into the stretch-four threat they thought he could become when they traded a second round pick away for him. He did start off the year doing work offensively and on the glass, but he’s never been a good defender, and, after he came back from injury, Josh McRoberts basically rendered his services useless.