5 Better Options for Charlotte Bobcats in 2012 NBA Draft Than Harrison Barnes
The 6'8" sophomore's stock is high because of his athleticism and shooting ability, but is he the best option for the franchise?
Bobcats owner Michael Jordan, general manager Rich Cho and newly hired coach Mike Dunlap should steer toward alternatives at the wing and also consider top post players available.
Barnes is good, but there are better choices out there. Here's a breakdown of five better draft prospects for Charlotte than the Tar Heel star.
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Florida Gators freshman standout Bradley Beal is on the Bobcats radar, and he just worked out for them a couple of days ago.
Beal is projected to go in the top five by almost every mock draft and expert. He impressed me with both his play and demeanor in his freshman year.
Charlotte could certainly use a productive guard like Beal to run alongside Kemba Walker rather than another forward like Harrison Barnes. The Bobcats didn't have a true shooting guard in their rotation last year (Matt Carroll at 11 minutes per game was their only true shooting guard).
Even though Beal is 6'4'', his 6'7" wingspan gives him plenty of size to score and defend in the NBA. His shooting stroke, defense and strong character makes him an excellent choice for Jordan and company.
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Working out with Beal on Monday was Kentucky all-purpose forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who lived up to expectations in Lexington and could be a great addition for a team looking to rebuild.
The Bobcats gave up more than 100 points per game last season—one of the many shortcomings that led to their atrocious record. Adding a strong, athletic and defensive-minded forward like Kidd-Gilchrist would help keep them in games.
He can get to the rim, score in transition and guard multiple positions. Most importantly, he brings a winning mentality to the hardwood every day.
When you take defense and intangibles into consideration, Kidd-Gilchrist is a better prospect than Barnes.
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The Bobcats have some young talent in the post, but not nearly enough to compete with the best Eastern Conference big men.
They know they need to develop a better presence down low, which is why they remain interested in Connecticut bruiser Andre Drummond. Sports Illustrated reports that the 6'11" freshman will work out for Charlotte Friday.
Drummond's a risk and somewhat of a project offensively, but when you're as bad as Charlotte is, it might be worth it to exercise the patience it takes to maximize his potential.
He's built like a tank but can move like a deer, and he'll instantly be a rim protector and rebounder for the Bobcats. Depending on what lineup they want to use, they could have him and Bismack Biyombo on the floor at the same time as interchangeable power forward/centers.
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Speaking of getting beefed up in the paint, an even better low-post option would be Kansas forward Thomas Robinson. The explosive Jayhawk is high on the Bobcats' list and will work out for them with Drummond Friday.
The NCAA runner-up had a sensational junior year, dominating the Big 12 and working his way up the draft board.
Robinson's chiseled, sturdy frame helps him carve out space in the paint and collect rebounds. His footwork is solid, he can finish with either hand and has a respectable jump shot. He's not a dynamic scorer yet, but his tenacity and athleticism makes up for it.
In fact, Charlotte shouldn't be sore at all about missing the No. 1 pick because Robinson is a lot closer in value to Anthony Davis than people give him credit for.
Trading the Pick
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All of the aforementioned alternatives to Harrison Barnes could be trumped by an enticing trade offer.
Charlotte is open to swapping the No. 2 pick for a player like James Harden or Rudy Gay, as the Bobcats are actively seeking such talent. The Rudy Gay scenario is the more probable trade, as he's been reported to be on Memphis' trading block.
Gay would be a terrific acquisition for the Bobcats—he's a proven star in the prime of his career.
The Grizzlies' slasher scores 19 per game, has a 17.7 player efficiency rating and he would fill Charlotte's need at small forward much better than Harrison Barnes.
A potential deal like this should be a no-brainer for the Bobcats brass.
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