Sevem Burning Questions for the Charlotte Bobcats

Chris BallContributor IMay 17, 2009

CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 16:  Raymond Felton #20 of the Charlotte Bobcats reacts on court against the Toronto Raptors during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 16, 2009 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

1. Where are the points going to come from?  

Gerald Wallace (16.6), Boris Diaw (15.1), and Raymond Felton (14.2) led the Bobcats last season, who averaged an NBA low of 93.6 ppg.  

I don’t think Felton will be the starter at point on opening night.  I doubt if he will even be in Charlotte

Charlotte needs more from the shooting guard position, and Bell can be the answer. But he was injured a lot last season. 

There is a lack of quality free-agent shooting guards this offseason, so I see them getting a SG through the draft. 

2. What positions to focus on this offseason?

Shooting Guard and Power Forward.  There are plenty of PF available through free agency, and some good quality SG through the draft that will be available at the 12th spot. 

Charlotte should use the first round of the draft to focus on the best player that fits their system.  If it fills a needed position, then that is great.  There aren’t many centers available and that is not one of their needs, so they should go after the best player. 

3. Who are some free agents Charlotte should be targeting?

  • Bobby Jackson, PG Sacramento – If Felton is traded, Augustin will need some help.
  • Matt Barnes, F Phoenix – Could help at both the SF and PF position
  • Drew Gooden, PF San Antonio – Add some much needed depth at PF.  He would be a banger behind Diaw.
  • Shawn Marion, F Toronto – Would add instant offense, but I'm not sure Diaw would want to play behind Marion again.
  • Carlos Boozer, PF Utah – Duke grad who would be a great addition to this team.
  • Ime Udoka, SF San Antonio – I would go after Udoka if the Outlaw trade doesn’t happen.
  • Sheldon Williams, PF Minnesota – Another Duke grad to have a presence at the Four.
  • Antonio McDyess, PF Detroit – A Larry Brown favorite would be a role player.
  • Brandon Bass, F Dallas – Would be a good fit at a low cost.
  • Wally Szczerbiak, G Cleveland – Added insurance in case Bell gets injured.
  • Ben Gordan, SG Chicago – Add instant scoring, solid defender.
  • Joe Smith, PF Cleveland – Another good depth player.

4. Who should Charlotte target with the 12th pick?

If they win the lottery on Tuesday, they should take Blake Griffin (PF), Ricky Rubio (PG), and Jordan Hill (PF)—in that order.  But the chances of landing one of the top three is less than one percent, so they are likely going to be drafting at the 12th position.

Here are some options for the Bobcats:

  • Gerald Henderson, SG, Duke
  • Terrence Williams, SG/SF Louisville
  • Dejuan Blair, PF Pittsburgh
  • James Johnson, F Wake
  • Stephen Curry, SG Davidson
  • Tyreke Evens, SG Memphis
  • Wayne Ellington, SG North Carolina

5. Will Charlotte’s off-season lead to its first playoff?

Charlotte can fairly close before falling back the last week of the season.  They are coming off the best season in team history. 

Depending on what happens during the offseason, I think Charlotte will be playing in the postseason next year. 

6. What offseason moves should they make?

PG – Re-sign Raymond Felton, draft a third point guard.

SG – Sign Ben Gordon

SF – Sign Ime Udoka

PF – Sign Shawn Marion, re-sign Sean May.

C – Trade Nazr Mohammed for a draft pick.

Do whatever it takes to draft Tyreke Evans or Stephen Curry with the first round draft pick.

Draft some international players to keep in Europe with the second round picks, unless they are used to trade up.

This would give them an opening-day lineup of:

PG – DJ Augustin / Raymond Felton / Evans or Curry

SG – Raja Bell / Ben Gordon

SF – Gerald Wallace / Vladimir Radmanovic / Ime Udoka

PF – Shawn Marion / Boris Diaw / Sean May

C – Emeka Okafor / Diop / Ajinca

Potential players traded at the trade deadline include Felton, Radmanovic, May.

7. What offseason moves are likely to take place?

Raymond Felton will either be re-signed or traded. 

My projection is that Felton, along with the second-round pick, will be traded to Portland for Travis Outlaw, Sergio Rodriguez, and their second-round pick.

Sean May will re-sign for a year or two, if nothing else to be traded in the near future.

Singletary, Jefferson, Howard, and Martin will not be re-signed.

With the 12th pick in the 2009, the Charlotte Bobcats will select Gerald Henderson out of Duke University.

They will also sign Antonio McDyess for a few years.

This would give them an opening-day lineup of:

PG – DJ Augustin / Sergio Rodriguez

SG – Raja Bell / Gerald Henderson

SF – Gerald Wallace / Vladimir Radmanovic / Travis Outlaw

PF – Boris Diaw / Antonio McDyess / Sean May

C – Emeka Okafor / Diop / Ajinca

Charlotte has a lot of talent but needs a few more pieces of the puzzle.  Depending on what direction this team goes, the Bobcats could be a playoff team this coming year. 

And if they continue to develop their young players, they could be playoff-bound for some time.


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