What To Do With Biz?


Picked seventh overall in the 2011 Draft, Bismack Biyombo entered the league with high expectations. As the championed prospect of former OKC exec and current Cats GM Rich Cho, “Biz” (founder of #biznation, brother to Billy) was immediately compared to another shot-swatter from the Congo, Serge Ibaka.

Three years later, Biyombo has certainly lived up to the comparison from a shot-blocking standpoint. His per 48 block numbers trail just behind Serge and he’s the only player in the league to average at least a swat per game while playing less than 15 minutes a night. It’s a near guarantee Biz would rank amongst the league’s Top 5 shot-blockers if he were playing starters minutes.

More impressive is Biyombo’s rebounding. In just 14.3 minutes per game, Biz is averaging 4.9 boards. That’s Kenneth Faried-level insane. Biyombo’s rebound rate of 19.3 blows away anything Ibaka’s ever posted. Again, if Biz were starting, he’d likely be averaging double figure rebounds and crack the league’s Top 10.

The problem, of course, is at the other end. While Serge has moved his gorgeous jumper further and further out to the three point line, Biz still has trouble finishing anything outside of a dunkthat is if he hasn’t fumbled the ball first. Despite extremely limited touches on offense, Biyombo’s turnover rate is twice as high as Ibaka’s and nearly three times the rate of Josh McRoberts – a guy who’s constantly handling the rock. When it comes to protecting the basketball, Biz is less Ibaka and more Kendrick Perkins.

Turnovers are a major no-no for coach Steve Clifford so it’s no wonder the staff was looking forward to Brendan Haywood’s eventual return. While Haywood isn’t nearly the shot swatter Biyombo is, he’s also not going to give the ball away immediately after touching it and offers just enough post scoring so that the team doesn’t have to entirely change the way it plays when Big Al goes to the bench. He’s also a better system defender than Biz – just check out last years defensive on/off court numbers – Mike Dunlap’s Bobcats gave up ten points per game less when Haywood subbed in for Biyombo.

The size of the gap is probably an aberration given the coaching misadventures and Biz’s youth but there is a very real story buried in those numbers. Clifford’s gushing comments about Haywood’s past exploits last summer weren’t lip service. Had he been healthy this season, it’s likely Brendan would’ve taken Biz’s spot in the rotation.

Points at a Premium

If you haven’t heard, the Bobcats have a hard time scoring. They’ve played better at that end since the All-Star break but against a good D, the late game offense generally devolves into a triple teamed Al Jefferson with Kemba Walker left to improvise. In order to stay in close games, Clifford relegates Biz’s fellow one-dimensional phenom, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, to the bench in favor of a good to league average three point shooter (Anthony Tolliver, Gary Neal or Chris Douglas-Roberts) just to keep the opposing wing defenders honest. MKG can at least catch a ball and do a few things with it once he has it – so if he’s sitting, you know Biyombo’s not sniffing crunch time.

All of which brings us to the premise of the post. Despite the strides Biyombo has made over the last few seasons, there’s essentially zero chance that he’s in their long term plans for the following three reasons:

1. Al Jefferson. Big Al’s the most talented player in franchise history and has at least 4-5 solid seasons left in him. Thus, the starting center spot is occupied for the foreseeable future and you can’t play Al & Biz together. Next.

2. MKG. Unless you like watching 3 on 5 hoops or want to lose a ton of games on purpose, you absolutely can’t play MKG and Biz together in the same lineup. Since Big Al’s return from an early season ankle injury, MKG and Biz have barely logged any minutes together. Clifford’s no fool. If the Cats keep either long term, it’ll be MKG.

3. Money. Two off-the-court comps for Biz: Derrick Williams and Evan Turner. As a high Lottery pick, Biz is due $3.8 million next season and after that, the team would have to extend a $5.2 million qualifying offer as the first step towards restricted free agency. So yeah, it’s not gonna happen. Just as Williams’ and Turner’s contracts spooked their respective teams into abandoning them this season, Biyombo’s looming free agency and disproportionate cap hold will likely jettison him to another team as soon as a decent opportunity presents itself.

Open for Biz-ness

So where exactly would that opportunity be? The team acquiring Biz would ideally be both offensively advanced and in desperate need of a rim protector who doesn’t have to score. Dallas, Portland and Golden State immediately come to mind as potential candidates. Unfortunately the Warriors have serious cap issues and another raw center (Festus Ezeli) returning from injury next season. The Blazers practically have a stable of developing young could-be bigs at the end of their bench. But Dallas…oh yes, Dallas. I think we might have a match!

Consider first Mark Cuban’s penchant for aggressively raw big men with over-sized contracts (Erik Dampier, Gana Diop, Haywood, Tyson Chandler). Now combine that with an offense practically tailored for Biz: the league’s all-time greatest stretch four and a couple of pick and roll instigators in the backcourt:

“Nah Biz, just set this pick and get the hell out of the way. We’ll take care of the rest.”

The Mavs are practically starting Old Biz now, with veteran Sam Dalembert occupying much the same role. Biyombo’s directive would be clear and simple: Get rebounds, dunk putbacks and block shots. Sure, he’ll still have to improve his hands and figure out how to not foul out of games before halftime but once he does, Big D could be Biz’s ticket to a big payday.

So what would Charlotte receive in a Biyombo to Dallas trade? The Mavs don’t have a first round pick to trade until after the Draft (when they’ll likely send it to OKC) – and no one in their right mind would pay that high a price anyways. What Dallas does have is Boston’s 2014 2nd Round pick. As of today, that’s the 34th overall selection in the Draft and with a deep class on the way, Charlotte could find an intriguing guy who slips (Isaiah Austin, James Young, Mitch McGary) or a Euro “draft & stash” prospect for the future. Best of all, the Hornets would save around $3.2 million in the deal – giving them the ability to find a two-way veteran backup on the cheap (ala Golden State with Jermaine O’Neal).

And really, from an “asset” perspective the trade would basically be a wash. Remember that Cho originally traded up from 19th in order to pick Biyombo at seven for basically no cost (unless you count an angry Stephen Jackson as an asset). Swapping a late first for the 34th pick in a deeper draft a few years later is hardly the worst thing that’s ever happened to the franchise – and the real mistake of course was passing on Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson and Nic Vucevic on Draft night back in 2011.

In the meantime, let us enjoy our remaining time with Biz, soaking in his incomparable likability, his endlessly entertaining tweets and his tenacious effort each and every time he steps on the court. After all…





Bobcats Decimate 76ers For Fourth Straight Victory


Charlotte Bobcats @ 76ers, 3/10/10

The Bobcats took care of business Wednesday night in Philadelphia, soundly defeating the 76ers 102-87.  The Cats are now 32-31 and in 7th place in the East with 19 games left in the season.

AP recap here |  Box score here

After briefly falling behind by a few points in the opening minutes of the game, the Cats got it rolling and went on to score 37 points in the opening quarter.  They dominated the rest of the way, leading by as much as 29 late in the third quarter.  The Cats shot 50% on the game and basically made this one look easy.

Gerald Wallace led the way with a 28 point effort on 9-10 FG and 10-11 FT.  Stephen Jackson had another off night shooting the ball (6-19 FG, 2-7 3PT) but added 10-11 FTs for 24 points overall and added 10 rebounds for a double-double.

The Sixers looked dreadful in turning the ball over 20 times and committing 27 fouls, putting the Cats on the line for 41 free throw attempts.

What A Difference A Week Makes

Just  seven days ago, the Bobcats were coming off a bad loss to the Celtics, their 6th out of 8 at the time.  They had fallen a full game off the 8th playoff spot and their Hollinger projection had fallen down to around a 60% chance of making the playoffs.

Cut to tonight: the Cats have won four in a row, including rousing victories over the Lakers and Heat and tonight’s road win over the Sixers.  The Cats are now in 7th place in the East, only a half-game out of the 6th spot, and hold the tiebreaker over the 8th place Heat.

DJ has his groove back (10 points, 5 assists tonight), Tyson Chandler is looking semi-competent as he works his way back into shape, and Gerald Henderson has broken into the rotation.  If we can get Nazr Mohammed back into the lineup, we could potentially go 9 deep in the playoffs, with Henderson, Stevie Graham and Derrick Brown available for spot minutes in a pinch.


  • As alluded to above, Tyson Chandler had his best game since coming back from his foot/ankle issues.  He scored 12 points on 3-3 FG and 6-9 FT and added 5 rebounds in 15 minutes.  Of course, that was against Sam Dalembert, Elton Brand and Jason Smith, but whatever.
  • Next game is Friday night — the Cats will be hosting the similarly reeling LA Clippers at 7 PM ET.  The Clips have lost 5 in a row, and will be on game 5 of a 6 game road trip.  I’ll be there tweeting live at the Cable Box.

-Dr. E

Bobcats Draft Rumors – Roundup


T-Will at 12?

Editor’s Note: We’ll continue to post updates to this thread as we head towards Thursday’s Draft.  It’s a blog within a blog!

MJ shooting down T-Will?

According to ESPN.com, Michael Jordan nixed the Terrence Williams “Promise” after the Henderson/T-Will workout Monday and would rather have the team trade the pick or select Wake Forest’s James Johnson.

T-Will going 11th to New Jersey?!?!?!

ESPN NBA Draft God Chad Ford updated his mock draft twice on Wednesday — he’s up to v6.2 as I write this.  Unfortunately, Ford has New Jersey taking probable Bobcats target Terrence Williams with the 11th pick, leaving the Cats with Gerald Henderson (or the possibility of trading down).  Ford speculates that even though Williams skipped a second look with the Nets on Tuesday, the Nets have him above Henderson and Hansbrough on their draft board.

So does this make the Nets like a teenage girl who sees her old boyfriend with a rival female, then goes all psycho-bitch and becomes obsessed with getting him back?

ESPN NBA Underlord Chris Broussard offers a few more tidbits about the Nets draft preparations (scroll down to the June 24, 5:53 PM update).  Apparently, Brandon Jennings was great in that Tuesday workout (the one that T-Will bailed on), but will nonetheless slip by due to the feeling that he’s a few years away from really contributing at the NBA level.  Broussard offers that the Nets do like Hansbrough, but probably not enough to spend the 11th pick on him.

In other words, (continuing the teenage girl comparison) they like Hansbrough, but don’t “like-like” him.

Raja to Golden State?

Golden State appears to be exploring possibilities to improve on the defensive end in hopes of making a strong run to the playoffs next season. One trade that has reportedly been offered by the Charlotte Bobcats that may help on that front would involve packaging Kelenna Azubuike and Marco Belinelli in exchange for Raja Bell. The Warriors are pondering the offer, but would have to get Azubuike’s consent to make the trade unless they decided to wait until July 24th.

Reported at DraftExpress.com.

Bill Simmons & Chad Ford like Iverson, Williams and the Bobcats as a Playoff team in ’09-’10

In the latest episode of “The B.S. Report” Bill Simmons and Chad Ford end the show with a bit on Iverson/Coach Brown/Terrence Williams and the Bobcats future.

Download the podcast here.

Dalembert Trade?

The Dalembert rumors don’t seem to want to go away.  This report from Philly has the Bobcats sending Radmanovic, Mohammed and the 12 pick to Philly for Dalembert and the 17.  Not sure how Samuel fits in with Okafor so if this deal were to go down, look for a blockbuster Emeka trade post-moratorium.

Rod Higgins gives Promise Ring to T-Will?

ESPN.com reports that Terrence Williams has pulled out of his workout scheduled today with the New Jersey Nets citing an “ankle injury.”  Rumor has it that T-Will was pulled aside yesterday after his one-on-one workout with Gerald Henderson and given a promise that if he’s there at number 12, the Bobcats will take him.

Seems like the Coach Brown, MJ, and Higgins agree with Jay Bilas.

Gerald Henderson shouldn’t feel bad though as the Chicago Tribune reports that the Bulls are trying to trade up into the lottery for him.

Also, Bonnell just reported that the Bobcats are not extending a qualifying offer to RFA Sean May.  We saw this one coming.  Don’t be surprised if May is brought back at a lower number later next month.