After the hiring of Steve Clifford, there is a sense of change and optimism around the Bobcats organization.
There is no question they have a lot of work to do in order to become a playoff contender, and this upcoming offseason could take the Bobcats a step closer to becoming a playoff team.
Success in the draft is critical to rebuilding a team. With the No. 4 pick, the Bobcats are in a perfect position to acquire a high-level playmaker who could potentially change the fortunes of the franchise.
Throughout their history, the Bobcats have become a staple in the lottery of the NBA draft. They have had their fair share of busts, but this year they have the opportunity to reverse that trend.
This selection could either be another piece to the building puzzle or another mistake.
Although the Hoyas had an early exit in the tournament, they featured one of the best players in the country all year in Otto Porter.
Porter was selected to the preseason all-conference team and lived up to expectations for the Hoyas. Because of Georgetown’s inconsistencies on offense, they relied heavily on him for production, and he did not disappoint.
Porter averaged 16.2 points per game and 7.5 rebounds per game. One of Porter’s most notable performances came in the final Georgetown-Syracuse game at the Carrier Dome. Porter exploded after a sluggish start, shooting 12-of-19 from the field and scoring 33 points while tallying eight rebounds en route to a Hoya victory.
The statistic that is most indicative of Porter’s value to Georgetown was that the Hoyas only scored 57 points against the Orange. This meant that Porter accounted for 58 percent of the Georgetown offense.
Porter has size and the ability to create his own shot and carry an offense. His size and length also help him on the defensive end where he can contest shots and disrupt passing lanes.
Len is not quite as NBA-ready as Porter. What he lacks in experience he makes up for in raw talent and size.
This era of the NBA has become known as the era without true centers. Len is a true center who, at seven-feet tall, could give the Bobcats a much-needed presence down low.
Len could probably benefit from another year of college to develop his talent, but his upside could be too much for the Bobcats to pass up.
Len averaged 11.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and nearly two blocks last season for the Terrapins. He was a force in the paint, but as evident by his relatively low rebound average, he has not begun to scratch the surface of his potential.
Len saved his best performances for the Terrapins' toughest competition. He scored 23 points and recorded 12 rebounds in Maryland’s opener against Kentucky. He did that damage against Nerlens Noel, who is expected to be the No. 1 pick in the draft.
Len also recorded 19 points and nine rebounds against then-No. 2 Duke, had 16 points and nine rebounds against Miami and had 20 points and seven rebounds against North Carolina.
Len has the type of upside that will make scouts drool and have his stock shoot up a few ticks in the draft. If he is still on the board when the Bobcats are on the clock, he would be a great option. There is no doubt that he is a bit of a project and could take some time to develop, but the finished product could be something special.
The junior forward out of Canada had been the catalyst for Gonzaga’s success this past season. The seven-footer averaged 17.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game and was a matchup nightmare for opponents.
Olynyk also knows when to pick his shots. His 65 percent shooting percentage is an indication that he takes quality shots and does not force production. He is also a versatile scorer. Olynyk can back an opponent down just as easily as he can spot up from the perimeter.
Although he only averaged just two blocks per game, Olynyk affected many more shots than the statistics would indicate. His presence in the paint makes guards think twice before driving, and he has altered countless shots.
Like Len, Olynyk also saved his best performances for the biggest games. In the three games against ranked opponents, he averaged 17 points.
Although most of the country is talking about how Gonzaga “choked” in the tournament, it was not because of Olynyk. In the two tournament games, he averaged 23.5 points and 9.5 rebounds.
Like Len, Olynyk will provide the Bobcats with a better inside presence in the post and provide length in the paint.
Ben McLemore is arguably the player with the most raw talent in this year's draft. He has tremendous upside and would give the Bobcats a young playmaking guard for the future.
McLemore was a scoring threat in his year at Kansas, but his scoring outputs were very inconsistent, which is a product of youth and inexperience.
In his one and only year with the Jayhawks, McLemore averaged 15.9 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. He was a difference-maker and as he matures, he will become an elite scorer in the NBA.
Like most teams that pick high in the draft, the Bobcats do not have a lot of talent and the tendency would be to draft a player like McLemore and expect immediate production. This is a dangerous plan because if a young player like McLemore is asked to do much, it can stunt his growth as a basketball player.
If the Bobcats were to draft McLemore, it would be a project. Without a doubt, there would be flashes of brilliance in his rookie season, but it will take time for him to adjust to the NBA and become that No. 1 scoring threat that he has the potential to be.
Victor Oladipo would be an ideal selection for the Bobcats at the No. 4 pick. He is much more of a finished product compared to a prospect like Ben McLemore and he has a larger skill set.
Oladipo's quickness and energy made him one of the best defensive players in the country. Something Oladipo brings with him is an expectation of success.
In his junior season with the Hoosiers, Oladipo had a very complete stat line. He averaged 13.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game. He also had fantastic games in the Hoosiers' biggest games against Michigan, Ohio St. and Michigan St.
When a player attends a program like Indiana, they experience success throughout their college career and expect the same thing to happen when they arrive in the NBA.
His successes in college could bring a much-needed expectation of winning into the Bobcats locker room.