What the Bobcats Will Look For in the Draft

*Rubs eyes*

The NBA draft is on June 25? Dude. That's in less than two months. I guess we'd better crank up the Prospecticon 8000 and start looking at guys we might draft...

The Charlotte Bobcats could stand to be a lot better in a lot of ways, mostly on offense. They were exactly average from three point land last year. Despite Emeka's improved offense, they never had a reliable scoring option in the post. And even though the bench was better at the end of the year than it was in training camp, no one on the second unit could be considered a game-changer. Even on the first unit, Gerald Wallace is still the guy most capable of dominating a game, and it's a mild shock if anyone else breaks out.

When talking about the draft, there's guessing what the team will do and discussing what the team should do. I'm pretty certain they'll keep the same M.O. as this year and gun for a playoff spot at all costs. That means keeping the current starting core, working Augustin into the starting role, and drafting a shooting guard who can, at least, come off the bench right away, and, they hope, take over for Raja after next season.

I wouldn't necessarily do it that way. I think this core can be successful if given time -- another full season or two -- to play together, but by then the window of opportunity will be closing rapidly, with players about to exit their primes at any time. And if you're going to follow the Pistons' model, you're best off getting guys who haven't hit their primes yet and who are getting better each year. Unfortunately for us, it's unlikely that anyone other than Augustin will be getting better in coming seasons, so it's that much more difficult to follow that Pistons' model.

Ideally, the Bobcats would find and acquire younger replacements for some of their starting five and let those young 'uns grow up together. That may not be possible, given those players' contract situations, but it's worth exploring. Raja is the obvious one. Diaw, Okafor, and Wallace will all be 27 years old during this upcoming season, so it's not as if they're fogeys, but they are who they are and likely won't be getting much better, barring dramatic reinvention

Maybe there's some young dude with an awesome pedigree who just hasn't put it together for his current club, which happens to be looking for a way to get over the top now, and we can trade one of our established pieces for that potential. See: Andrea Bargnani, circa 2008 offseason. If you can figure out a way to turn any of our guys into a promising 21 or 22 year old, let me know, because that would be some magic trick.

I think I'm a little insane for suggesting this, but the one guy who jumps out at me as possibly being better than he's shown for the team that drafted him is ... gulp ... JJ Redick. He's not the best we can do, for sure, mainly because his defense is suspect, but he'd fit perfectly as the Rip Hamilton figure in the Larry Brown offense.

We'll get into specific players later, but it's pretty much a given that the Bobcats will put a priority on finding a two guard in the draft. He'll probably have to be a defense-first guy, but they won't quibble if the right offense-first guy is available.

rufusonfireblog@gmail.com

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