2012 NBA Offseason Preview: Charlotte Bobcats


. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-US PRESSWIRE

2012 Free Agents: D.J. Augustin (R), Derrick Brown (R), Cory Higgins (R), D.J. White (R), Matt Carroll, DeSagana Diop, Eduardo Najera

2013 Free Agents: Gerald Henderson (R), Byron Mullens (R), Corey Maggette, Jamario Moon, Reggie Williams

2011-12 Record: 7-59 (worst record in NBA history)

Positional Needs: EVERYTHING!

Potential Draft Picks: Anthony Davis (Kentucky) or bust!

3 BIG QUESTIONS

1) Is Anthony Davis the salvation this franchise truly needs? 

I want to say yes so badly on this one. Anthony Davis would make any team significantly better. He’s as good as advertised.

BUT…..this is the Charlotte Bobcats were talking about. This is a team that just set an NBA benchmark for futility with a record of 7-53. No matter how good Anthony Davis turns out to be, he probably won’t be enough to turn this team around overnight.

In his one season with the Kentucky Wildcats, Davis averaged 14.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and 4.7 blocks a game while leading the team to the National Championship. While questions still remain about whether or not he can develop an offensive game at the NBA level (his defensive ability will never be up for debate). he still has enough tools in his repertoire to be an effective pro and possibly one of the best young forwards in the game.

Nothing is set in stone just yet. Despite holding the worst record in the league (by far), the Bobcats only have a 25% chance of landing the number one overall pick and selecting Anthony Davis. There’s a distinct possibility that Charlotte could fall out of the top 3 when the draft lottery takes place next Wednesday. With the terrible luck this franchise has endured as of late, it wouldn’t surprise me to see that happen.

Even if Anthony Davis doesn’t pan out as the Tim Duncan clone that many predict he will one day become, his presence on the Bobcats roster will give fans a small glimmer of hope that winning days may soon be on the horizon.

2) Is there anyone currently on the roster who isn’t expendable?

Is that a trick question?

In all honesty, no player on this roster should feel 100% safe about their future in Charlotte. When you become a part of the worst team in the history of the sport, feeling secure about your job should be anything but a guarantee.

First-year players Kemba Walker and Bismack Biyombo may play a part in the Bobcats long-term plans. Kemba averaged 12.1 points and 4.4 assists in mainly a backup role to starter D.J Augustin. The biggest knack against him was that he couldn’t shoot the ball worth a damn as he only hit 36% of his shots from the field. That number will have to rise significantly if he wants to earn that starting point guard spot.

Biyombo emerged as a up-and-coming defensive beast in the paint as he led Charlotte in rebounds (5.8) and blocked shots (1.8). Those statistics wouldn’t cut it on most teams, but they were good enough to lead the Bobcats at least. He has a very limited offensive game, but his defensive numbers may warrant him sticking around for the foreseeable future. The Bobcats were still third to last in the league in points allowed and dead last in rebounds though.

Starting shooting guard Gerald Henderson had himself a breakout year as he led the Bobcats in scoring with 15.1 points a game. I still don’t know how much of that was him improving or how much of that was the lack of offensive skill players on the team. Someone had to handle the scoring load for Charlotte. I guess it had to be Henderson. Despite the reasoning, he may have  shown the Bobcats enough to keep him around as a small piece to the puzzle.

3) Is Jerry Sloan the teams answer at Coach?

All of this is speculation at this point. Sloan has interviewed with Bobcats owner Michael Jordan about the position, but nothing is official by any means.

I still can’t figure out why a man with his credentials would even consider throwing his name out there for the Bobcats coaching position. Either he really misses coaching or he truly believes that with the right players, he could turn this ship around.

He’s one of the greatest head coaches in NBA history with over 1200 victories to his name. He doesn’t need the headache that comes with coaching this horrible basketball team. He’s a tremendous coach, but he isn’t a miracle worker.

Even if he were to join this team, the man is 70 years old. He wouldn’t be around long enough to enjoy the fruits of his labor. He may be able to get the best out of some of these players, but even so, they still aren’t a playoff team ready to compete in the Eastern Conference.

It’s a nice premise to think about, but I truly don’t believe Sloan will take this job and join Charlotte. He may indeed miss coaching in the NBA, but this job won’t be worth the trouble.

 

Other Previews: Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets

 

Christopher Walder is a sports blogger and lead editor for Sir Charles in Charge. You may follow him on Twitter @WalderSports 

Tags: Anthony Davis Charlotte Bobcats Gerald Henderson Jerry Sloan Kemba Walker Kentucky Wildcats Michael Jordan NBA NBA Playoffs 2012

  • JosephNardone

    I don’t know why but I picture Anthony Davis having a Tyson Chandler like career. A lot of folks thought Chandler would be like Garnett since he shot a ton of jumpers in high school. Not like there is anything wrong with having Tyson Chandlers career. I just don’t think Davis will amount to anything offensively in the post. He has a small frame and being told he will get bigger does not mean he will. I hope I am wrong because he is athletic for a big guy. I hope he plays a PF role in the NBA as I think he fits that mold better.