The Charlotte Bobcats had the NBA's worst record last season, and it wasn't even close. Due to that dreadful performance, you can't blame the front office for keeping its options open as draft day approaches, including a potential trade of the second pick.
Michael Lee of the Washington Post reports Charlotte would be willing to move the coveted selection if the price was right, but there's a catch. The Bobcats also want the other team to take 2006 draft bust Tyrus Thomas—and his $26 million contract—off their hands.
Suddenly, the pick isn't so intriguing.
Expectations of Thomas were through the roof when he came out of LSU. His combination of length and athleticism made him a defensive star for the Tigers. He had shown progress on offense as well, which earned him a fourth overall selection.
Simply put, he hasn't panned out.
After nearly four seasons with the Chicago Bulls, he was traded to the Bobcats and given a monster contract extension in the offseason based on his remaining potential. It has proven to be another poor choice for Charlotte.
He averaged just six points and four rebounds in limited minutes last season. He's still just 25, so there's always a chance he can become a late bloomer with a franchise that's willing to give him more playing time, but that's a long shot.
Teams interested in the pick—based on the report, the main contender is the Cleveland Cavaliers—have to ask themselves if it's really worth taking on that contract to move up. It's a major investment in a player that would likely provide very little production.
That said, it's the only way a team can guarantee itself any prospect it wants other than Anthony Davis. The Washington Wizards own the third pick. They have interest in multiple players and could also trade the pick, according to the Post report.
If a team has keyed in on a prospect like Thomas Robinson, Bradley Beal, Harrison Barnes or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, the only way it can be confident in landing him would be to make a trade with the Bobcats.
So they do have some leverage.
Ultimately, taking Thomas seems like too high of a price to pay. Since none of the aforementioned prospects have really stood out from the pack in the draft process, the risk factor would be too high to feel comfortable making a move.
Trading down would actually be a good option for the Bobcats, since they have so many needs to fill. They will likely have to lower their demands to make it happen, though.
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