Should the Bobcats trade the #2 pick?


As we debate (agonize over?) the relative merits of Micheal Kidd-Gilchrist, Bradley Beal, Thomas Robinson, and Andre Drummond as potential selections for the Bobcats with the #2 pick, a tantalizing alternative has been presented.

Matt Moore of ProBasketballTalk makes a strong argument for trading the pick.  The argument boils down to this: the Bobcats desperately need both a franchise player and a more general infusion of talent; there is not a franchise player in this draft other than Anthony Davis; thus, the Bobcats should trade down in an attempt to add a couple of talented players — pieces, or assets if you will.

Moore also identifies some weaknesses in this strategy: one, while it seems unlikely at this time, it is possible that one of the above-mentioned candidates for the second pick could develop into a franchise player, which would make the Bobcats look even worse than they already do (if that’s possible); and two, that the Bobcats would be unlikely to receive full objective value back when trading away the pick.

For what it’s worth, I think the former weakness is the more important one.  Part of me thinks that the Bobcats should just decide which guy is going to be the best player, pick him at #2 and move forward.  Don’t over-complicate things.

But building an NBA team is complicated.  And the argument for trading the pick is admittedly compelling.  The next question is:  What could the Bobcats realistically get back for the second pick?

Speculation has mostly centered around the two teams with two first round picks: the Cavaliers (picks #4 and #24) and Trailblazers (picks #6 and #11).  Obviously, the first step is that one of these teams must fall in love with a player.

The Cavaliers are building around the core of Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao.  Most observers are putting the Cavaliers onto the prominent wing prospects in this draft: Bradley Beal, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Harrison Barnes.  The Cavaliers supposedly liked Harrison Barnes in last year’s draft, so if Barnes’ underwhelming 2011-12 season didn’t scare them off, they would certainly be able to sit back and get him at #4.  But if they fall for Kidd-Gilchrist or Beal, they could package #4 and #24 to move up to #2 to ensure that they get their man.

Getting #4 and #24 would be attractive for the Bobcats in that they could very likely still get Thomas Robinson at #4 (who may be the best fit anyways) and pick up an extra player/asset at #24.

The negative part of this is that the Bobcats already have pick #31, the first pick of the second round.  #24 and #31 aren’t that much different — are the Bobcats really going to give significant playing/development time next year to the #24 and #31 picks?

What you’d be hoping for is that someone who’s projected in the teens slips down to #24 so you get some real value there — Quincy Miller, for example? Or maybe you use one of those picks on a project (Fab Melo, Marquis Teague, Evan Fournier?) and stash him in the D-League/Europe while using the other pick on a more polished player who could contribute from Day 1 (Jeff Taylor, Draymond Greene, Andrew Nicholson?).

Moving on to Portland (picks #6 and #11), the Trailblazers are building around LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum.  Their biggest needs are a starting point guard and a big to pair with Aldridge.  They could try to fill those needs with #6 and #11 (Chad Ford’s Mock 6.0 has them taking Andre Drummond and Damian Lillard, respectively, while Jonathan Givony/ has them on Jared Sullinger and Kendall Marshall).

Or they could package the picks to move up to #2 to pick Thomas Robinson or Bradley Beal.  While Robinson is possibly too similar to Aldridge and thus not the greatest fit, he’s plug-and-play NBA ready.  Beal at 2-guard isn’t a primary need for the Blazers (they have Wesley Matthews there currently), but nonetheless keeps getting mentioned as as the guy that teams could really fall in love with.

Getting the sixth and eleventh picks would be supremely fun and terribly frightening for the Bobcats.  They might end up having to work out 50+ players when you add in the prospects for the #31 pick.

They could do the most Bobcatsian thing ever and pick Harrison Barnes at #6 and Tyler Zeller at #11 (harkening back to the all-Tarheels 2005 draft of Raymond Felton and Sean May).  People might riot, but those guys do fill needs — a wing and a big who meshes with Biyombo.

Or they could go with the two highest risk/reward prospects in the lottery: Andre Drummond at #6 and Perry Jones at #11 (again a big and a wing).  That would be fascinating.

Really, the possibilities are endless — the upshot is that you’re getting two lottery picks in a pretty deep draft.  And when you have as many holes as the Bobcats do, that’s probably the best move.

–Dr. E

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

Loading ... Loading ...

Bobcats Score Decisive Win Over Cavs (Witness This!)


Charlotte Bobcats vs Cavaliers 2/20/10

Thomas, Ratliff Impressive in Debuts

The Charlotte Bobcats defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 110-93 before a sellout crowd at the Cable Box on Friday evening.  AP recap here, box score here.  After losing their initial matchup in the opening days of the season, the Cats have since defeated the Eastern Conference leading Cavaliers three straight times.

The game was tied 50-50 at the half, but the Cats pulled away midway through the third and kept a double digit lead through the fourth quarter.  It was over when a Boris Diaw steal led to a Gerald Wallace fast break dunk to put the Cats up by 17 with just under three minutes left.

The lead storyline in this one has to be the relative performances of each team’s newcomers.  The day before the trading deadline, the Cavs traded for Antawn Jamison in a move that has been lauded around the league.  However, Jamison looked rusty and tentative in his debut for the Cavs, and probably cost them the game.  Jamison seemed passive, yet finished with the second highest FGA for the game with 12.  Furthering the problem, he didn’t hit any of them — yep, 0-12 FG.  Jamison had several shots blocked and had two airballs from three-point range.

Meanwhile, Bobcats newcomers Theo Ratliff and Tyrus Thomas probably couldn’t have asked for better debuts.  With Tyson Chandler (foot/ankle) and Gana Diop (knee) sidelined, Ratliff was pressed into early duty to back up Nazr Mohammed.  He entered the game with about 5 minutes left in the first quarter and within 90 seconds had recorded his first block for the Bobcats (on the aforementioned Jamison).  Ratliff went on to log 18 minutes in the game, mostly spent valiantly guarding Shaq and gathering rebounds.  Ratliff ended with 5 rebounds and 2 blocks, no FGA or FTA.  Perfect line for the guy.

Tyrus Thomas entered the game for Ratliff a little later in the first quarter and quickly went about filling up the stat sheet.  He recorded his first block less than fifteen seconds after checking in, and went on to block 5 more.  By the fourth quarter, Thomas’ mere presence in the lane was affecting the Cavs’ decisions in the lane.  Thomas also swallowed up tons of boards, eventually totaling 12 in his 25 minutes of playing time.

If Larry Brown can work the same magic for Tyrus that he’s worked for Gerald Wallace, then we’ll be in great shape.  On second thought, “magic” is a poor choice of words there.  There’s nothing magic about what’s happened to Gerald’s game, or what needs to happen to Ty’s game — it’s just simple maturation, getting smarter about the game, picking your spots, slowing down a bit while maintaining necessary aggression, minimizing your weaknesses and highlighting your strengths.

Beneath his morose surface, you know Larry Brown is quietly pumped about the prospect of teaching Tyrus all that he’s never been taught about basketball.  I imagine the dynamic kind of like Stellan Skarsgaard and Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting; only I hope this doesn’t end with Tyrus lighting Larry Brown’s playbook on fire, then going to cry in Phil Jackson’s embrace while the Zen Master repeats “It’s not your fault.”


A secondary storyline has to be what in the world the Bobcats are doing to Lebron James.  Lebron had a quiet 22 point, 9 assist game; he has averaged 22.5 points in the four games against the Cats this year, well below his 30 ppg average.

The Cats don’t seem to be doing anything too fancy to Lebron.  It helps that Gerald Wallace is the primary individual defender, of course, and that Stephen Jackson, Raymond Felton and Boris Diaw are the guys that most frequently get switched onto him — all of those guys can at least hold their own.  But the key is more in the team defense that the Cats play — the traps in the backcourt, the aggressive help defense, the good rotations out to the jump shooters.

Odds And Ends

  • It’s unfortunate I’ve gotten this far without mentioning the guy who put the ball in the hole all night for the Cats; Stephen Jackson led the offensive charge with 29 points (9-17 FG, 3-7 3PT, 8-10 FT) while also adding 8 rebounds and 4 assists.
  • Boris and DJ both had their best games in some time, looking confident and decisive.
  • The only downside I can see to Ty Thomas being a big part of the Bobcats down the stretch (other than the general combustibility and questionable basketball IQ, or course) is that Gerald’s rebounding numbers are probably going to drop.  Not that they were going to rise back to a league-leading level without him around, but still…
  • Tyson Chandler, we hardly knew ye…
  • Does anyone else think Shaq might be pushing 350 lbs?  And those awful Chinese shoes he’s wearing look like locomotives.
  • I hadn’t realized this until looking at the standings after the game, but due to their recent stumble, the Cats have fallen down to 8th place in the East.  Which means that if the season ended today, we’d face these Cavs in the first round.  Interesting matchup, huh?
  • Not only were the Cats on point all night, but so was the Cable Box’s WiFi.  Got lots of Tweets in — follow me!
  • Quick turnaround, as the Cats have a back-to-back Saturday night in Milwaukee, 8:30 PM ET start.  This one’s important, as the Bucks are the primary threat to jump into the playoff picture in the East.  Currently, they’re only half a game behind the Cats in the standings.  Furthermore, the Cats are 1-1 against the Bucks so far this year, with Saturday’s meeting and a late season tilt still to go.  A victory tomorrow night guarantees we wouldn’t lose a head-to-head tiebreaker with them if it came down to that at the end of the year.

-Dr. E

Gerald Wallace T-Shirts @ Cavs Game + More Trade Links


Hello Baseliners — no rest for the weary.  After a crazy trade deadline day, we’re already looking ahead to Friday night’s big matchup with Lebron, Antawn, Shaq and the Cavs at the Cable Box.  I’ll be there, Tweeting live from the game as long as the arena’s WiFi plays nice with my phone.

The Cavs lost at home in overtime to the Nuggets on TNT Thursday night to end their 13-game winning streak, so they’ll be looking to start a new streak on the second night of a back-to-back.  Antawn Jamison did not suit up for the Cavs on Thursday night, but is expected to be activated for the matchup with the Bobcats.

In addition to seeing the big game, you’ll also have the chance to check out our Gerald Wallace “SarcophaCrash” t-shirts on Friday night, and even pick one up at a discount if you’re so inclined.

I’ll be bringing a handful of t-shirts and will be outside the arena early from about 6:00 to 6:30 PM.  Look for me to the left of the big crush at the main entrance with the lines and ticket scalpers.  I’ll be a little further around the building, close to the season ticket holder’s entrance, sporting the t-shirt.

With shipping, the t-shirts end up being around $28 via the website here. In person, they’ll be $25, so you’re saving a few bucks — please bring correct change. See you there.

Last but not least, here’s a few more links to wrap up the trade deadline madness from Thursday:

-Dr. E

Bobcats Stop Lebron and Cavs for Third Straight Victory


Charlotte Bobcats vs. Cavaliers, 11/27/09

Please Let This Be Real

The Charlotte Bobcats defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers, 94-87, on Friday night at the Cable Box.  AP story here, box score here.  The Cats improve to 6-9 overall and 6-2 at home.  After losing 7 straight — the last three of those with newly-acquired Stephen Jackson in the lineup — the Bobcats came home to Charlotte and have reeled off three straight wins.  In these three wins, the Cats are averaging 104.6 PPG while holding their opponents to 85.3 PPG.  Just sayin…

The Bobcats pulled away late in the first quarter and never trailed again as the Cavs could never get a sustained run going.  The Cats scored 94 points despite a meager 12-point 4th quarter and no field goals for the last 9 minutes; it was enough because they played fantastic defense throughout.

Gerald Wallace went for 31 points (9-14 FG, 3-7 3PT, 10-14 FT), 14 rebounds and 3 steals; in doing so he became the first Bobcat to get 30/10 in consecutive games.  This is even more special because he did it against Lebron.  Generally, Crash has been somewhat overwhelmed by guarding King James, often getting into foul trouble and being taken out of his comfort zone.  But Crash set the tone early with a big drive by and dunk on Lebron in the first quarter.  He kept it up from there, even hitting three 3s in the third quarter.

The Cavaliers

On the other hand, it was Lebron who got into foul trouble and looked out of his comfort zone.  Three considerations here: 1) Gerald Wallace was forcing him to play defense on the other end, 2) Bron came up with a gimpy foot/ankle after an early drive — maybe it continued to bother him, and 3) Shaq was back in the lineup for the Cavs, and he is not good for Lebron.  Seriously, when the ball goes in to Shaq, everything just stops for the Cavs offense.  He’s so big he clogs up the middle, thus preventing Lebron from operating there.

Now in the past, defending Shaq required sending a double-team.  This would obviously open things back up for a player like Lebron.  However, the Bobcats were steadfast and rarely sent a doubler, generally letting Nazr Mohammed guard Shaq by himself.  Shaq got a few buckets in the post (5-11 FG) but they seemed to be at the expense of letting Lebron (and thus the rest of the team) really get into the flow of the game.  I haven’t watched enough of the Cavs this year to know, but I’m guessing this “no doubling of Shaq” is a trend around the league.  Maybe explains why the Cavs are 5-1 without Shaq, but only 6-4 with him.

The Cavs do not have “the look” like they did last year.  Last year they were simultaneously loose as hell (the pregame pantomimed portraits) and super-intense, stepping on the throats of teams like the Bobcats and never letting up.

By the way, anyone notice that “Cavaliers” is one of those words that gets more and more strange the more you consider it, look at it, say it?  What percentage of NBA players could describe what a “Cavalier” is.  Wait, can I?  Are “Cavaliers” actually cavalier? And if so, why would you make your mascot a Cavalier?

Various And Sundry

  • Officially this one goes down as a sellout, but there were numerous empty seats around.  Having said that, the atmosphere was awesome and the game was more fun than the Curb finale.  And I love nothing more than sending bandwagon and transplanted fans of Boston, Cleveland, etc. home with a loss.
  • In addition to extending their winning streak to three, the Cats also broke a seven game losing streak to the Cavs.
  • Boris Diaw looks to be fading as Stephen Jackson becomes more acclimated.  Maybe it’s better for Boris to not be counted on for so much, maybe he’s got a nagging injury, or maybe he becomes trade bait if this keeps up?
  • The Tyson Chandler/Nazr Mohammed situation continues to be an interesting conundrum.  Tyson got an early hook after picking up a quick foul in the first quarter, then didn’t start the second half.  His back is clearly still bugging him, and he finished with just 2 points, 3 rebounds and 4 fouls in 18 minutes.  Nazr continued his strong play with 13 points (5-7 FG) and 6 rebounds in 28 minutes.  Nazr had a far better game, right?  Check the +/-, though: Tyson with a +9, Naz with a -6.  Wha?
  • Derrick Brown continues to get minutes (20 tonight) and, aside from some shaky free throw shooting (2-6 FT), continues to show promise.
  • Ambien + alcohol = what happened to Tiger.  Bet me.
  • Reminder, follow me and ASChin on Twitter.  Between the two of us, we’re live-tweeting most of the games as well as adding other Bobcats-related thoughts when you least expect it.
  • Speaking of ASChin, he’ll be at the helm for recap duty tomorrow night as the Bobcats head to D.C. to face the Wizards (7 PM ET).

-Dr. E

Charlotte Bobcats @ Cavs 1/7/09


Not much to observe tonight, folks — so I’ll forego the usual format and hit the sack early.  One night after a thrilling (and apparently draining) win at home against the World Champs, the Cats get crushed on the road in Cleveland tonight 111-81. AP story here, box score here.  Cats fall to 13-23; Cavs improve to 28-6, 18-0 at home.

Lebron jumped all over Gerald Wallace in the first quarter, scoring 15 points on 7-10 FG en route to a 29-12 Cavs lead after 12 minutes.  It was over after that.  Cue Larry Brown: “The first play of the game, the game was over in my mind. LeBron just dribbled in and laid it up like nobody was guarding him… We never competed a lick.”

And that’s that.  No one played worth a damn for the Bobcats.  The mix of being drained from last night’s win, the late flight into Cleveland, and the presence of the most dominant basketball player on the planet was enough to turn the Cats into an embarrassingly limp bunch.

The Cats stay on the road for the next few games, but have a day off before taking on Philly Friday night.  Rest up guys.