2011 NBA Mock Draft: How the Charlotte Bobcats Should Draft
I won't kid myself and pretend to know every team's best interests in making a full mock draft, but I will give you a rundown on Charlotte's draft with a fresher take.
The Bobcats own the 9th, 19th, and 39th overall picks in the draft, and will need to use them wisely in order to return to the playoffs.
Most mocks have the Bobcats going with a power forward such as Bismack Biyombo, Tristan Thompson, or Marcus Morris at the 9th spot overall, and either another power forward such as Markieff Morris, or a European big man at the 19th overall pick.
My plans do not include any of the above, and I am very confident in my unorthodox selections.
Charlotte's roster includes DJ Augustin at point guard, Gerald Henderson at shooting guard, Stephen Jackson at small forward, Boris Diaw and Tyrus Thomas at power forward and, sadly, Kwame Brown at center.
Stephen Jackson is aging, Boris Diaw is average, Tyrus Thomas has underachieved, and Kwame Brown is...Kwame Brown.
With so many needs, who should Charlotte select?
With an aging Stephen Jackson manning the small forward position, Charlotte needs to find a replacement—preferably someone athletic that can score some and defend well.
Two words: Chris Singleton.
At pick No. 9, all of the elite prospects will be off the board, and there simply aren't many dominant power forward or big man prospects. So, instead of taking a power forward that will be average in the league, or taking a risk on a foreign prospect that has a strong possibility of not panning out, why not take the closest prospect to a sure thing in this draft?
Singleton stands tall for a small forward at 6'9", weighs in at 230 pounds and has a wingspan of 7'1".
He's freakishly athletic, is a lock-down defender that can defend four positions (three of which superbly) and he's able to get up and down the floor with the best of them due to his speed.
He is a great finisher, has a very good mid-range game and has three-point range. If the best defender in the draft can add some touch to his three-point shot, he will be up and away the best selection Charlotte could make here.
The best part?
He will more than likely be available when Charlotte makes its pick, largely because of his tendency to be streaky from beyond the arc.
A true NBA prospect, Singleton will replace what the Bobcats lost when they traded away Gerald Wallace.
He won't be an elite scorer, and will not be able to carry the team offensively, but that's not the reason he'll be drafted. He fills Charlotte's need at small forward for the future, and will eventually step into a leadership role, adding some swagger and identity to the defensive end of the floor for the Bobcats.
Like I mentioned before, this draft doesn't have many dominant power forwards or center prospects, so Charlotte should look to fill a need elsewhere.
With small forward taken care of, and DJ Augustin running the point, shooting guard should be next on Charlotte's checklist.
Gerald Henderson is a nice player, but he doesn't have a three-point shot in his arsenal, and that could prove to be a problem. Because of this, Henderson would serve Charlotte better as a scorer off the bench, where he can work on his three-point shot.
However, Charlotte just needs scorers, and while Augustin, Jackson and Henderson provide some offensive punch (which Singleton would add to), they are lacking a dominant scorer.
One scenario would be for Jordan Hamilton to fall to 19.
If Hamilton falls, you can bet that he will be given a long look, because Charlotte won't pass up the opportunity to pair Hamilton and Singleton with Augustin and Henderson for years to come.
Hamilton is maybe the best pure scorer in the draft, with a great three-point shot and a lethal mid-range game. However, Hamilton probably gets scooped up between picks No. 9 and No. 19, so Charlotte should be prepared to select another scorer.
Enter Marshon Brooks, whom I bet Charlotte takes because of his more natural fit into the shooting guard role.
The 6'5" shooting guard out of Providence is a major, major scorer in the mold of Kobe Bryant.
He has a 7'1" wingspan, which is unheard of for a someone of his stature. He gets to the basket with the best; is a good shooter, rebounder and ball-handler; has a quick first step and is very aggressive.
He needs to work on his three-point shot, but it's further along than Gerald Henderson's is.
The knock on Brooks is that he seems to be selfish, but at Providence he essentially had to be to keep them in games. Besides, Charlotte needs a dominant scorer, and Brooks fits the mold.
Even if Hamilton remains on the board at 19, Charlotte might still go Brooks over Hamilton. While Hamilton is the better shooter, Jordan might see Brooks' overall scoring ability as too great of a talent to pass up. Selecting Brooks would give Charlotte a splendid trio of Augustin, Brooks, and Singleton in the backcourt.
If both Hamilton and Brooks get swiped from under Charlotte's nose, look for Klay Thompson, the shooting guard out of Washington State, to fall to No. 19.
Thompson, like Ray Allen, is a prospect that relies on his lethal jump shot, shooting with incredible accuracy from long range. If Thompson can develop into a Ray Allen type of player, he and Henderson will form an incredible shooting guard duo.
To reiterate: Hamilton and Brooks are the first options, and should they be selected before 19, Thompson should be the guard that falls to Charlotte. In other words, at No. 19, Charlotte needs to be looking for a scorer that can play shooting guard.
Again, the Bobcats are faced with another dream scenario versus backup. Center is really a weak position in the draft this year, and has gotten even weaker with Brazilian center Lucas Noguiera withdrawing his name from consideration.
With this in mind, if 6'11", 263 pound big man Jeremy Tyler is available at 39th overall, Charlotte should grab him and not think twice about it.
Yes, he is a question mark when it comes to maturity, but you can take that chance when you draft him in the second round. He has great size, strength and athleticism—something missing from this year's crop of centers.
If he's available, he's the pick.
The backup options are many.
Charlotte could grab offensively-minded center Keith Benson, but Benson lacks strength and cannot defend his own position. He's interesting in a Matt Bonner type of role—the shooting center coming off the bench to spread the floor—but he's not the type of center you plug in to start on a playoff team.
Another option for the Bobcats would be to go power forward and see if they could develop someone, or even give Tyrus Thomas enough competition to put all of his athleticism to good use.
Matthew Bryan-Amaning stands at 6'10" and 232 pounds while possessing quickness, explosiveness and solid rebounding and scoring skills.
Trey Thompkins is the absolute opposite of Bryan-Amaning, with average athleticism and lacking explosiveness; but he possesses versatility, a great shooting stroke for a power forward, solid rebounding skills and a three-point shot.
The last option for the Bobcats would be to grab a backup point guard to add a spark off the bench or run the team if Augustin gets hurt.
Shelvin Mack, while lacking elite explosiveness, would fit this bill. Other options would be Norris Cole, Isaiah Thomas and, if he falls to No. 39, Darius Morris.
If Tyler doesn't fall, I would prefer a backup point guard to a third-string power forward though.
Boiled Down to a Few Lines...
Michael Jordan has some tough decisions to make in this year's draft. He cannot afford a bust while Charlotte is rebuilding, so his early decisions need to be sure things, while he can play with the upside in the second round and free agency.
So basically, boiled down to a few lines, this is how I would draft if I were in Jordan's shoes:
9th-pick: Chris Singleton, SF, Florida State
19th-pick: Jordan Hamilton, SG, Texas/Marshon Brooks, SG, Providence/Klay Thompson, SG, Washington State
39th-pick: Jeremy Tyler, C, Japan/PG (in order) Shelvin Mack, Butler/Darius Morris, Michigan/Norris Cole, Cleveland State/Isaiah Thomas, Washington
In other words, Chris Singleton, a shooting guard, and either Jeremy Tyler or a backup point guard would be the best possible draft for Charlotte.
Thanks for reading!