Baseline 2012 Draft + Roster Breakdown – Part I
Post-Lottery I broke down the three serious contenders for the Cats’ second overall pick. Last week, DrE prescribed some trade options should the team choose to go another route. Today we’ll begin filling out the team’s roster based on who they end up walking away with on the 28th. First up…
STEP 1: T-ROB MANIA
Not only is Thomas Robinson the safest pick at two but by selecting him the Bobcats can follow a fairly straight-forward path building out the rest of the roster come July. At 6’9″/244, Robinson instantly becomes the team’s muscle down low; he’ll likely lead the team in rebounds his rookie season and challenge for highest PER. If the Cats do select T-Rob, expect a stream of happy tweets from Bismack Biyombo, who’ll be surprised to find a competent frontcourt brawler crashing the boards next to him in the paint.
Long term, the combo of Biyombo and Robinson form a high(ish)-ceiling big man duo to build the team around. Add in a change of pace stretch five (Byron Mullens), a (hopefully) refocused Tyrus Thomas* and the Cats frontcourt suddenly becomes a strength.
RESULT: Bobcats select PF Thomas Robinson, Kansas
STEP 2: YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU GOT TIL IT’S GONE
With the frontcourt out of the way, the team must address its #1 area of weakness: SCORING. Robinson will help a little but what the Cats desperately need is a legit 20-30 point threat capable of drawing a double-team or cracking a pick ‘n roll — y’know, those components which make up 90% of NBA offenses.
GOOD NEWS: Big-time scoring wings are available this offseason. Danny Granger, Andre Iguodala and Rudy Gay can all be had given the right trade.
BAD NEWS: Even if the Cats wanted to take on a big-salaried veteran, the team might not have the ammo required to make a deal happen.
Oh, and don’t look for any firepower in free agency, it’s simply not the year for it (#2013).
How desperate are the Bobcats for scoring? Without any legitmate offensive threat on the roster, the team can’t even properly evaluate its current point guards. DJ Augustin is technically a free agent. But what’s he worth? Put him on the Lakers and he’s a legit starter/rotation player, nailing open threes playing off Kobe & Co. On the Bobcats? Another mediocre player on a mediocre team. How can Kemba Walker learn the position when he’s the best option for the team’s offense every time down the floor? The new coaching staff will help but the team MUST acquire scoring talent soon or risk roster-wide development atrophy.**
The most likely scenario is that the team signs some low-risk/low-cost veteran help in the form of Antawn Jamison or Grant Hill to shepherd the kids until Shabazz Mohammed*** or James Harden come along.
RESULT: Bobcats extend/sign D.J. Augustin to the $4.4m qualifying offer, sign Antawn Jamison to two-year $8m partially guaranteed deal.
STEP 3: ANOTHER STEP FORWARD
Drafting Robinson, signing Augustin and Jamison brings the roster to:
Factor in the team’s high second-round pick (a potential rotation player) and the roster maxes out at fourteen with a cap number around $55m — right around the league mandated minimum.
Will this roster be decent? Probably not. Will they be as bad as last year? Nope. The coaching change alone should be good for a handful of victories. Robinson’s ability to finish in the paint and rebound will be a godsend while Jamison’s scoring punch from the bench should prevent some of those mid/late quarter collapses.
Will the fanbase stick around after another grueling season? Total speculation on my part but I think the organization has an ace in the hole to restore local interest once the demolition is complete. One Hint: BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ…
RESULT: Charlotte team looks better, finishes strong, wins 27 games, enters July of 2013 with a handful of good young players, two first round picks, a ton of cap space and lots of teal & purple.
*And, no, I refuse to believe that the Bobcats will amnesty Tyrus simply because: a.) The team is broke and b.) No one outside of Billy King would offer T-Time guaranteed money to offset the costs. Also, “T-Time” is the second laziest nickname in the league, right after “T-Rob” and just behind “Hendo”.
**Lack of scoring both on the team and around the league is why I’m strongly in favor of Charlotte taking Bradley Beal with the pick — but that is another post for another day…
***Is Shabazz Mohammed the next great NBA prospect or the leader of the Black Panther movement? Name always confuses me.
NEXT UP: So You’re Going to Draft Andre Drummond
POLL : What Should They Do with Pick #2?
- Select Thomas Robinson (39%, 75 Votes)
- Select Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (8%, 15 Votes)
- Select Bradley Beal (15%, 28 Votes)
- Select Andre Drummond (9%, 17 Votes)
- Trade The Pick (29%, 55 Votes)
Total Voters: 190