Okay, it's draft time. Time to make moves, re-evaluate your players and try to build a winner.
This is one of the most exciting moments in the NBA season as the changes made during this time, could put a team over the top. Or, it could hurt them for years down the road.
Where the Charlotte Bobcats are
Let's start with the big men at Center:
DeSagana Diop (Keeper): Loads of potential if Larry B. can teach him some big guy moves; he could be a solid contributor. If nothing else, become a defensive force in the paint.
Alexis Ajinca (Trade): I don't see the logic in that draft pick. I hope this isn't MJ's "Kwame Brown" pick.
Nazr Mohammed (Trade): He is not and never will be a consistent player. That's
the bottom line.
Now we look at the Forwards:
Emeka Okafor (Keeper): Until he improves his scoring average closer to 20 ppg, he's a role player, not a star player. He could probably get there if he worked on his free-throw percentage.
Sean May (Trade): Talk about overrated. It's one thing to draft the hometown kid, it's another thing to build a winning b-ball program and this kid doesn't appear to want NBA champion status.
Put in him the list with Patrick Ewing as "An NCAA Championship was good enough for me."
Boris Diaw (Keeper): What a steal. For a guy his size, he has good court vision, decent passing, and is an unselfish player. This is a guy you keep in your core rotation.
Juwan Howard (Trade): Let's just hope he retires.
Vladimir Radmanovic (Keeper): A great compliment to Okafor to draw the other big body out on the perimeter. This will give Okafor the chance to go 1-on-1 or allow a slasher to get to the basket.
Gerald Wallace (Keeper): I love this guy, but, he needs to refine his game and not be so reckless. I admire him as a warrior on the court, but can't he stay on it for a full season?
Next up are the Guards:
DJ Augustin (Keeper): This kid is like G-Dub's little twin. He's fast, athletic, can hit from almost any spot on the floor and is a warrior. This is part of the future of the Bobcats franchise.
Raja Bell (Keeper): I think he was just starting to fit in towards the end of the year and will be a force in the upcoming season. I think LB will light a fire under this guy and he'll become a leader on the floor.
Raymond Felton (Trade): He and May left their hearts, their guts, at UNC. I know it seemed like a good marketing move with UNC coming off their 2005 NCAA Championship, but that was then and this is now. If Felton is not willing to step up and become a floor general and improve his scoring, then his time is up.
Dontell Jefferson - Release
Cartier Martin - Release
Sean Singletary - Release
Who the Bobcats should go after
1. Allen Iverson (PG/SG): Rumors of him wanting to reunite with Coach Brown, but is he what the Bobcats need? Hewill provide a scoring punch, and has been a top defender his entire career. The scary part is at 33, how healthy can he stay throughout the season?
2. Mike Bibby (PG): This is where I'd go first. Solid PG who can protect the ball and score, not as much as AI, but much more than Felton and without the injury concerns of AI.
3. Mehmet Okur (PF/C): Similar skills to Lamar Odom with a tad more size.
4. Anthony Parker (SG/SF): This guy can do it all from running the O to locking down the opposing player to hitting treys.
5. Matt Barnes (SF): Good outside shooter, rebounds well for a SF, decent defender and cheap.
6. Drew Gooden (PF/C): Could spell Okafor or Okur as well as play with them against larger line ups.
NBA 2009 Draft
The current projection has Charlotte picking at 12th, 40th, and 54th.
12th pick: If available, you have to take Ty Lawson as a back up PG to Augustin. Not because he's a hometown hero, like when they drafted Felton, but because he's fast, strong, and has good decision-making skills.
He is a tad short, but could be a floor general for the second squad.
40th and 54th pick: Trade up to pick Dionte Christmas. This guy makes few mistakes and is a great shooter. Coming from Temple, he's going to be a decent defender, so he shouldn't lose games for you.
So to get the most bag for the buck, you snatch up PB&O - Parker, Bibby and Okur. Now you have the following line-ups with these changes:
PG - Mike Bibby
SG - Anthony Parker
SF - Gerald Wallace
PF - Emeka OKafor
C - Mehmet Okur
PG - DJ Augustin
SG - Raja Bell
SF - Matt Barnes
PF - Boris Diaw
C - Dwight Gooden
SG - Dionte Christmas
C - DeSagana Diop
C - Alexis Ajinca
PF - Vladimir Radmanovic
PG - Ty Lawson
This gives Charlotte a solid team with depth and a lot of interchangeable pieces. This makes a defensive minded team that can still score points. A good blend of youth and experience and lots of unselfish players.
Hey MJ, if you take my advice, I want a job!