The Charlotte Bobcats are pursuing Al Jefferson. If he expresses interest in the them, Rich Cho and company have no other choice, but to pounce.
A debate raged on Twitter earlier today amongst ‘Cats bloggers and fans, though, and for good reason; Despite the fact that he’d be the best big man in franchise history, Al Jefferson has a limited, but potent skill-set.
Some call him one-dimensional. While he is extremely talented offensively, and almost the exact opposite defensively, those are hardly the only things he’ll bring to (or leave off) the table wherever he lands.
He’s a good rebounder and a solid passer. Amongst centers, Jefferson was 10th in rebounds per game and ninth in assists per game last season.
Another reason some say the ‘Cats shouldn’t go after him goes something like this: “Hold steady. Continue with the rebuilding process”.
First: Why can’t Jefferson be part of that process?
Second: Jefferson would speed that process up.
Third: That process hasn’t worked for Charlotte since they blew the team up after their only trip to the post season.
Yes, the draft is loaded next season.
No, the Bobcats are not guaranteed a shot at drafting Andrew Wiggins. If any team has proven that a (really) bad record rarely leads to the best draft pick, that team is Charlotte.
Finally, if the ‘Cats don’t start trying to win soon, they could be in rebuilding mode for five more years (or longer).
Take a look at the situation the Cleveland Cavaliers find themselves in. Kyrie Irving is a star. They lucked into drafting him. Two years later they found themselves with the number one pick again, and they’ll probably be in the discussion for that honor next year.
The ‘Cats already have a good, starter-quality point guard in Kemba Walker. If they paired him with Jefferson, I think Charlotte would compete on a nightly basis in 2013/14. Depending on how MKG and Cody Zeller mature, they could be just one piece away from competing in the playoffs in 2014/15, and they’ll have plenty of money to work with next off season even if they landed Jefferson this summer.
The chance to sign players with the potential to drastically improve a team doesn’t come around all that much.
In the Bobcats case, if they let Jefferson slip through their hands, it may not ever come around again.