5 Dream Scenarios for Charlotte Bobcats' 2014 NBA Draft First Round
The Charlotte Bobcats made a stride in the right direction for the franchise as a whole by simply making the playoffs. Now, Michael Jordan has to carry that success over to next season, and that process starts on June 26.
The NBA draft will be the first chance for Charlotte to showcase its intelligence in drafting a player who will help them make consecutive playoff runs, rather than a bust like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Bismack Biyombo. Charlotte would've had the 16th pick, but after a trade with the Chicago Bulls, it only has one pick in the first round, the 24th, acquired from the Portland Trail Blazers.
To get that first-year starter that late in the first round will require some good fortune, so here are the five best-case scenarios for Charlotte in the upcoming NBA draft.
Top 5 Team Needs by Position
Al Jefferson averaged a double-double last year, and Cody Zeller was the fourth overall pick in the 2013 draft. He is a sufficient backup for the foreseeable future, and the 5 should be the least of the Bobcats' needs.
4. Point Guard
Kemba Walker is a future all-star and will be the starter for a long time. Yes, Luke Ridnour isn't an ideal backup, but the committee of shooting guards who filled in when Ramon Sessions left will do just fine for now.
3. Small Forward
Kidd-Gilchrist and Jeff Taylor are both young players who have yet to live up to their potential. Maybe the third year will be a charm for both, but until then, the Bobcats shouldn't look for an upgrade at the 3 just yet.
2. Shooting Guard
Gerald Henderson and Gary Neal certainly have experience and can score, but Charlotte needs a more explosive player, a young, prospective all-star like a Bradley Beal or Ben McLemore. This area should be where the Bobcats go in the second round if they can't fulfill their primary need in the first.
1. Power Forward
While Josh McRoberts had a nice campaign last year, he and Anthony Tolliver simply won't cut it at the 4. The Bobcats need someone who can compete on the low block and also shoot from behind the arc. This should be the primary need with the 24th pick.
5. Zach LaVine
LaVine received a microscopic amount of attention compared to the other freshman, but he still projects to land in the middle of the first round, according to NBADraft.net.
His 9.4 points and 2.5 rebounds aren't eye-popping, but his athleticism and explosiveness are attractive to any NBA team. LeVine also had to make way for the scoring talents of Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams on that UCLA team.
This wouldn't be the ideal scenario for the Bobcats, but LaVine would still be a solid pick to upgrade their backcourt.
4. Jerami Grant
Grant has yet to develop an outside shot despite seemingly perfecting the elbow jumper, but he is one of the most explosive players in this draft. He is a monster on the glass and even though he's listed as a small forward, the 6'8" Grant is capable of starting at the 4.
After assuming a full-time starting role after DaJuan Coleman went down with a knee injury, Grant went on to average 12.1 points and 6.8 rebounds.
This is a realistic scenario for the Bobcats, and one that would significantly upgrade their frontcourt.
3. Trade into the Lottery for an Elite Shooting Guard
The Bobcats will most likely not trade up into the top 15, because it would cost them significantly in terms of picks and money, but if their primary targets fall off early, they might want to consider it to scoop up a secondary target before it's too late.
They wouldn't have to necessarily move up to take a power forward because the elite talent of Julius Randle and Noah Vonleh will surely be gone in the top eight, but grabbing a fringe-lottery shooting guard would do the trick.
The multifaceted Kyle Anderson, Gary Harris or James Young would be an absolute steal for Charlotte and immediately upgrade the team from a borderline-playoff team to a sure-fire one.
2. Rodney Hood
Hood's versatility could sneak him into the lottery picks, but Charlotte would get a perfect piece to their puzzle if Hood was to fall. Even though he plays small forward, the 6'8" player is perfectly capable of manning the 4.
In addition to being extremely explosive around the rim, he can step behind the three-point line, evidenced by his 42 percent clip and 71 threes made on the season.
Hood certainly "packs the punch" that Josh McRoberts doesn't, but it is unlikely the former Duke Blue Devil will take the place of another former Dukie.
1. Aaron Gordon
Gordon won't fall to the Bobcats (if they stay put), but that's why it's ranked the No. 1 dream scenario. Gordon took somewhat of a back seat to Nick Johnson as Arizona's go-to player down the stretch, but he still possesses incredible athleticism and versatility.
While the 6'9", 225-pound Gordon isn't much of a threat beyond the arc, he can knock down mid-range jumpers and certainly dominate down low, as shown by his 12.4 points and eight rebounds per game with the Wildcats.
This pick could automatically vault the Bobcats into the top five in the East. But for now, they can only hope the former college freshman falls that far.