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NBA Draft: Why Charlotte Bobcats Must Avoid Andre Drummond

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NBA Draft: Why Charlotte Bobcats Must Avoid Andre Drummond
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The way in which the Charlotte Bobcats approach this year’s draft has to be reflective of their goals for the 2012 NBA season. 

So what are the expectations for newly hired coach Mike Dunlap? Is he focused on contention, flirting with the eight through 12 spots in the weaker Eastern conference? Or is he simply trying to avoid being the laughing stock of the NBA for a second straight season?

The two goals share a common theme—win more games. At 7-59 (.106 winning percentage), the 2011-2012 Charlotte Bobcats were the worst team in NBA history. The Washington Wizards were the second-to-last team in the league, and they had almost three times the win total of Charlotte.

The Bobcats will need to improve upon their shooting, rebounding, defending, passing, decision-making…well you get the point. They stink.

Charlotte is a young squad with a fair amount of potential, but adding another “boom-or-bust” player is not the direction the team should go in.

Center Andre Drummond of Connecticut remains on the Bobcats’ board at the number two overall pick. But picking the 18-year old would be a huge mistake.

Charlotte has one of the shakiest reputations when it comes to the draft, and picking Drummond would only continue that trend. The team has experimented with players like Adam Morrison, Sean May and Alexis Ajinca, and not one of those players has returned any sort of value close to their supposed potential.

Last year, the Bobcats selected an identical player to Drummond in Bismack Biyombo. At 6’9’’ 245 lbs, Biyombo was drafted on his athleticism and physical frame. It was a project to say the least.  Biyombo’s offensive skills were nowhere close to the NBA’s standard, and a year later, he still remains a long way from being able to threaten opposing defenses.

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Drummond is better than Biyombo with the ball, but isn’t that like being the fastest turtle? The smartest donkey? The hungriest hippo? 

Drummond has good hands, finishes stronger at the rim and is one of the best at his position in transition. Coach Mike Dunlap has already stressed his desire to run the floor next season, but is that going to be the ultimate aim of Thursday night’s draft?

Drafting Drummond would be like re-paving your driveway before you let the concrete dry the first time. Biyombo has had one year as a pro and is only 19-years old. Maybe he didn’t show as much improvement as we were expecting, but that doesn’t mean we should abandon the project just yet.

There’s no saying he won’t come out of hiding in the next two to three years. 

Picking Drummond would circle Charlotte back to where they were in 2011; a step this team cannot afford to make. 

They would have to develop Drummond’s game in the exact same manner as Biyombo, and in all likelihood, he won’t have significant improvement by the end of the season. These things take time.

Drummond is a great defender and a monster on the offensive glass, but he shot 29 percent from the free throw line in college. 29 percent! Biyombo shoots about 20 percent higher than that. Is that the kind of venture you want to throw into the mix?

As much as people want to think of Drummond’s peak as a pro, it’s far too early, and naïve for that matter, to compare him to the Andrew Bynum's of the NBA. That’s how Charlotte has struggled in the past. They are far too unrealistic with their assessments, and only look at the boom, not the bust.

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Instead, take Drummond for what he is: a Marcus Camby with a potential to be a Tyson Chandler. And here’s my problem with that. It’s the exact same comparison we all made when the Bobcats selected Biyombo in 2011.

Why reinvent the wheel when you are still drawing blueprints for the prototype? Instead, go out and find future solutions to the plethora of problems that sunk you to the lowest point ever to be documented in professional basketball. 

Trading the pick would be the ideal move, but drafting Thomas Robinson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, or Bradley Beal would be smarter than taking Drummond. Fill holes that need filling. Give the squeaky wheel the oil.

Don’t pick Andre Drummond.

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