The Charlotte Bobcats hold the 12th position in the upcoming NBA draft. My bet is that the team will probably keep the pick. Even though this is classified as a ‘weak draft’ by the analysts, the lottery teams will still be able to find a good player to add. Between my first thoughts on this article and now, there has been a lot of movement of players and who’s rising and who’s falling. The latest mock drafts differ wildly but it looks like guys with momentum are Stephen Curry and Jrue Holiday while teams are beginning to worry about Ricky Rubio and his hefty contract buyout.
It’s my guess that the Bobcats are drafting a shooting guard/wing player. This player will start the year behind Raja Bell, but could gain playing time over the course of the year if Larry Brown likes them. Here are four candidates I think are the most likely picks at the 12 spot.
Gerald Henderson would certainly be the first option for the team. Henderson to me could play very well for Brown because of his maturity from growing up in an NBA family and the similarities of his game to that of Rip Hamilton's during Brown's time in Detroit. Henderson is a tough defender and has a nice midrange jumper. He isn't afraid to crash the boards either. A Duke player on a team loaded with former Tar Heels? Bobcats fans should hope it happens.
Evans is an intriguing prospect that has bounced around the lottery from the top 6 to as low as 12 or 13. He may not be Derrick Rose, but Evans plays an up-tempo style and would seem to be a good fit with Raymond Felton and Gerald Wallace, who both love to push the pace whenever possible.
The Louisville Guard is a wildcard for me. After watching the Cardinals play in the latter half of the year and in the NCAA Tourney, Williams intrigues me. He is a ferocious defender and enjoys that part of the game. His offensive game is still pretty raw as I don't think he has a consistent jumpshot yet. Yet he is a player I could see Brown molding into a starter in the NBA. If Henderson's off the board I wouldn't mind seeing Williams in blue and orange.
Johnson is different from the other prospects on this list in that his natural position is Small Forward. I think Johnson has a lot of upside could the Bobcats, to my chagrin at times, do like taking local players. I think Johnson has a game that would allow him to sub for Wallace or Boris Diaw at times, and could even allow Wallace to guard opposing team's SG's if they have a bigger lineup. I think Johnson would give them some versatility the other prospects on this list don't.
Those are the top 4 players on my draft board. I know some want the team to draft a Power Forward to either back up for challenge Diaw, but I see the team making a serious run at a veteran at that spot. I could be wrong.
Who do you think the team should draft at 12? Should the team trade the pick? We've got a little more time for debate before the draft. However it shakes out I hope the team gets good value for the pick - and hopefully it's the last lottery pick the team has for a while.