In case you missed it, Bill Simmons posted his annual MVP Rankings this week starting at #450 with Elton Brand before skimming all the way down to his #1. A few Bobcats made the list:
422. Alexis Ajinca
Keep an eye on this one: Ajinca has a chance to become the first top-20 foreign NBA pick to get cut from his national team within three years. For God’s sake, even Fred Weis started for the 2000 French Olympic team.
51. Raymond Felton
The guy I’d pursue this summer if I ran an NBA team. Ten weeks of trade rumors bounced off him and he never held a grudge. He has lottery pick pedigree (fifth overall in 2005), and if we’ve learned anything over the years, it’s that many blue-chip point guards take awhile to “ferment” (for lack of a better word). He’s one of the five or six best people in the league by all accounts. I’ve never seen a Bobcats game where he didn’t play as hard as he could. The arc of his first four years looks exactly like Chauncey Billups, and like Chauncey, his game will open up once he starts making 3s. Just a lot to like. Someone will steal him this summer just like Detroit stole Billups in 2002. You watch.
34. Boris Diaw
Reborn as an all-around player with Charlotte (since New Year’s: 16-6-5, 49 percent FG, 40 percent 3FG), giving us 2009’s best example of the Devin Harris/Avery Johnson Corollary: If you have a choice between making a major trade or firing a coach who clearly isn’t working out, always fire the coach first. OK? OK.
(Here’s how dumb coaches are: Just this season, we witnessed coaches playing Kevin Durant at shooting guard, slowing down Steve Nash, playing slow-it-up with the Sixers, bringing Rip Hamilton off the bench, burying Anthony Randolph on a lottery team, playing Darius Songaila over JaVale McGee on a lottery team, ignoring the stat that’s about to impress you when we get to the Nowitzki paragraph, and doing everything that Mike Dunleavy did. There’s a reason 85 percent of these guys get canned within three years.)
Do yourself a favor and check out the full column here.
It’s odd that Simmons made the Billups comparison with Raymond because Baseline contributor “E” has been saying the very same thing all season, even using Chauncey’s career arc as an example.
2 thoughts on “Bill Simmons on Bobcats MVP Candidates”
And odd that, during the season I finally get over Felton, that someone else makes the Felton-Billups connection.
I'm still of the opinion that Felton is a bad match for being the PG of this Bobcats team because he's such a bad shooter. With Okafor, Diaw and Wallace entrenched at starters, but leaving a lot to be desired as far as offensive potency, we need our PG to be a more efficient scorer.
A certain DJ Augustin comes to mind…
the problem though is that the team chemistry is amazing right now, and shipping felton off could/would destroy it possibly. (thats the only reason why im against the Iverson idea you got here at the baseline)
felton obviously has to fix his shooting game, but he gets the job done. he also blows DJ out the water when it comes to assists. it makes me wonder what happened to that "DJ is a pass-first point guard" talk that went on around the draft.
look at this at bobcats.com: http://www.nba.com/bobcats/stats/
felton had 6.7APG whereas DJ had 3.5APG. thats my only misgivings about DJ. if DJ is going to light it up all night, i would like him to get about 7-12 dimes a game as well.
id be ok with making raymond a restricted free agent, then doing a sign-and trade for that fourth quarter go-to guy/all star that we need.
hell, id be ok with sending okafor and felton for an all star center, then maybe develop dontel to become our SG of the future.
so far i think the only "untouchables" we SHOULD have are wallace, borris, and DJ.
anyway, really looking forward to next year. that way people will see the bobcats and stop underrating this team.