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, 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

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? 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.

Charlotte Bobcats NBA Draft Preview: Part 3



In Part 2, I talked about some strategy that the Bobcats could possibly use in making the 12th pick and made some generalizations about which players may or may not be available at #12.  In Part 3, I’ll go into more detail about the players that are likely to be available to the Bobcats at pick #12.

A quick review: There are eight guys who will definitely be gone: Blake Griffin, Hasheem Thabeet, Ricky Rubio, James Harden, Tyreke Evans, Stephen Curry, Jordan Hill and DeMar DeRozan.

Then there are three guys who will probably be gone: Jrue Holiday, Jonny Flynn and Brandon Jennings.  In this point-guard heavy draft, these guys have been searching for a safety in the mid-to-late lottery.  In Chad Ford’s latest Mock Draft, he has them going in the 8-11 range.  But with the Nets at #11 supposedly in need of a big (and with this draft being described as underwhelming and unpredictable in general) I think there is a small, but not irrelevant, chance that one of these guys could be available to the Bobcats at #12.

Could the Bobcats use a lottery pick on a point guard who didn’t work out for them for a second year in a row?  I suppose anything is possible (especially with Jordan and Brown making the pick) but have to guess that they wouldn’t.  With the Bobcats having been pretty clear that they intend to keep Raymond Felton and DJ Augustin, point guard is a relative strength on our roster.  We have other needs that are more important.

Lets turn our eyes to the players that we’re pretty sure will be available at #12:  Gerald Henderson, Terrence Williams, Earl Clark, Austin Daye, Jeff Teague, DeJuan Blair, Eric Maynor, Tyler Hansbrough, James Johnson, BJ Mullens, Ty Lawson, DaJuan Summers and Sam Young.

To cull the list even more, we’ll strike Young, Summers and Johnson — #12 is just too much of a reach for these guys.  I’ll also strike Teague, Maynor and Lawson because they’re all pure point guards.  Mullens is intriguing, but one 7-foot-plus project on the roster (Ajinca) is enough — off the list.

I’ll strike Hansbrough for a couple of reasons: one, the Bobcats can’t be eager to reinforce the perception that they’re actually the Charlotte Tar Heels; and two, they have to be wary of a white player who was dominant in college, but has questionable athleticism for the NBA (coughAdamMorrisoncough).  James Johnson is out of the discussion; he did work out for the Bobcats, but is an out-of-shape forward tweener who has no buzz going right now.  (Update: as I prepared to post this, just saw Bonnell’s blog post from tonight which informs us that Johnson is coming back for a second look on Wednesday.)

DeJuan Blair is intriguing, as the Bobcats have a need for depth at the power forward position.  However, he’s a relatively unathletic rebounding specialist who relies on a wide frame to grab those rebounds, has played at a heavy weight, and has known knee issues.  Sounds a little too close to Sean May for me.

Austin Daye is an interesting talent; everyone compares him to Tayshaun Prince and the feeling is that he’ll be picked somewhere in the middle of the first round.  But he’s extremely weak and a little raw for the NBA.  In a few years he might make a good hybrid forward, but the Bobcats need help now at other positions — off the list.

Earl Clark is the first guy on the list that I think the Bobcats could potentially pick at #12.  He’s a long, athletic forward who’s similar to, but more ready to contribute than, Austin Daye.  Clark is most often compared to Lamar Odom, as opposed to Tayshaun Prince, to give you an idea of the slight difference between Daye and Clark.  Clark is just the kind of player whom Brown likes, and would only be a minor reach at #12.

Now we get to the two guys who are obviously at the top of the Bobcats draft board: Gerald Henderson and Terrence Williams.  The Bobcats invited these two back for a second look on Monday with Micheal Jordan in the house to observe.  Here’s the breakdown for these two.

Gerald Henderson played three years at shooting guard for Duke.  He goes 6’5″ and 215 pounds.  He increased his scoring average from 6.8 to 12.7 to 16.5 ppg over his three years at Duke.  He is considered a pure shooting guard, with tremendous athleticism and an improving outside stroke.  He plays great defense, and seems ready to contribute right off the bat.  Here’s video of Henderson after the workout, with some comments from Larry Brown towards the end.

Terrence Williams played four years at shooting guard at Louisville.  He goes 6’6″ and 215 pounds.  He averaged 8 points as a freshman, then 12, 11 and 12 his last three years of college.  That stagnation is probably the biggest concern on Williams’ resume (the other is his, ahem, eccentricity).  While he’s clearly a shooting guard, he’s considered more versatile than Henderson.  Williams has better ballhandling ability, is a better passer and can probably play a little small forward in a small lineup.  Similar to Henderson, he’s considered a great defender and will likely be ready to contribute in his first year.  Here’s video of Williams from the workout.

Here’s a great breakdown by on the shooting guards in this draft, with a bunch of great info and statistical analysis that helps to differentiate between Henderson and Williams.  Rumor has it that Williams really impressed Larry Brown at the workout, met with team officials afterwards, then pulled out of a Tuesday workout in New Jersey with Henderson, Hansbrough, etc.

So as I wrap this up on Tuesday night, all signs are pointing to Terrence Williams as being the guy as long as the Bobcats don’t trade the pick.  Seems like Williams would be OK with it.  Hell, judging by the interest he had in Jordan’s gear at Monday’s workout, he may even pay Michael to wear Jordans.



Charlotte Bobcats 2009 NBA Draft Preview: Part 2



In Part 1, we established several team needs.  Most of all, the Charlotte Bobcats need a superstar — position be damned, we need an alpha-male, a go-to scorer, a box-office draw, a crunch-time killer, et cetera, et cetera.  Since that’s not going to happen at #12 (the best #12 pick this decade is probably Thaddeus Young), let’s just forget about it.

The team needs that we should realistically be looking at filling in this draft are at backup SG and backup PF.  Of the two, the backup SG spot is more pressing.  Raja Bell was pretty brittle down the stretch this year, and probably only has a year or two left as a legitimate starter in the league.  So the “backup” we’d be looking for needs to have some potential to become a starter within that time frame.  #12 seems like a good spot to find a guy fitting that description.

On the other hand, Larry Brown has recently opined that drafting for need isn’t the best draft strategy.  He seems to think that, even at pick #12, talent should rule the day.  I think we can all agree that talent should rule the day if you’re talking about a top 3 pick; but beyond that, the argument that you should pick with team needs in mind makes a lot more sense to me (and Greg Popovich and Jerry Sloan, apparently).

Fortunately, Chad Ford rendered this debate meaningless a few years back by revealing a draft strategy commonly used by successful GMs.  It’s called the tier system, and it basically allows you to combine both approaches in a rational manner.  Ford just posted this year’s edition of the tier column on Wednesday.

The “strategy” goes like this: you group the first round prospects in tiers, as opposed to trying to rank them in some exact order.  Within the tiers, you loosely rank the players according to your team needs.  When your pick comes around, if there’s a player from a higher tier available, you pick him, regardless of position — even if he doesn’t fit your roster well, he’s too good of an asset to pass up.  If all the players available are in the same tier, then you pick the player that matches your team’s needs the best:

Here are Ford’s tiers for this year:

Tier 1: Blake Griffin

Tier 2: Ricky Rubio, Hasheem Thabeet, James Harden

Tier 3: Tyreke Evans, Stephen Curry, DeMar DeRozan, Jordan Hill, Jonny Flynn, Jrue Holiday

Tier 4: Brandon Jennings, Gerald Henderson, Terrence Williams, Earl Clark, Austin Daye, Jeff Teague, Dejuan Blair, Eric Maynor, Tyler Hansbrough, James Johnson, BJ Mullens, Ty Lawson, DaJuan Summers, Sam Young

Per Ford: “a number of GMs say this draft really goes 10 deep.”  So the chance that someone from Tier 3 falls to the Bobcats at #12 is infinitesimal.  Tyreke Evans or DeMar DeRozan would be ideal, but it’s just not going to happen.

A quick look at the list of guys that the Bobcats were able to get in for workouts validates Ford’s tiers.  Most of the guys in Tier 4 visited the Queen City.  The only guy from Tier 3 to grace Larry Brown with his presence was hometown boy Stephen Curry, who basically used us as a practice interview.

So we’re left with the mishmash of Tier 4.  Again, per Ford: “Theoretically, teams are saying you can get the same quality player at 11 that you will get at 24.”  Ouch.

Coming soon in Part 3 of the 2009 Draft Preview, I’ll sort through the guys in Tier 4 in detail.


QUICK FIX – Kyle Weaver Traded to OKC


Kyle Weaver in college

Kyle Weaver may hold the record for shortest tenure as a Charlotte Bobcat. On Monday evening, Weaver was traded to the soon to be named Oklahoma City franchise for a future second round pick.

This is a fairly quick move for the Bobcats, as they had just picked Weaver in the 2008 NBA Draft. Somewhere between June 26th and August 11, the Bobcats must have felt that they shouldn’t have used that 38th pick in the second round on him. Fortunately, the ‘Cats will get a comparable pick back in next years draft. Charlotte traded their 2009 first-round pick to Denver.

The recent signing of Shannon Brown hinted that a roster move was impending, as the Bobcats had at least 5 players signed to play Weaver’s position. Charlotte may not yet be finished making alterations to their line up. This move now leaves the team with 14 players on their roster. The Bobcats are sure to make full use of the NBA’s 15 man limit. It’s likely that they’ll pursue a power forward or center to participate in Coach Larry Brown’s defensive system.