Breaking down the Bobcats depth chart: Centers

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Some say the position is dead. Others say it's the most important position on the team. A great center is a valuable asset to any NBA team. A deep center position? Even better. How deep is the center position for the Bobcats this season?

Al Jefferson

Strengths and Weaknesses

Jefferson is an extremely good post player. In the basketball era where the low post game is not what it once was due to current NBA rules making it more difficult than ever to dominate down low, Jefferson appears to be an exception to the rule. The post is his bread and butter, his go-to offense, and his proficiency there makes Jefferson an elite offensive player in the NBA. He can score in a multitude of ways and, depending on the defender, he can beat you with craftiness or size. He's not a great ballhandler, but if need be, Jefferson can put the ball on the floor and get around you with his terrific footwork in the post. His jump shot isn't a major weapon but it's dangerous enough that a defender has to stay honest on him. He overwhelmingly prefers his post offense, but his jumpers also allow him to spread the floor against the defense.

For Jefferson's elite offensive skills his defensive skills lead much to be desired. Jefferson gets beaten by semi competent offensive centers due to being slow on rotations and not being in the right spot. Being slow like this can lead to fouls or a team over-correcting and allowing the offense to move the ball for a wide open three.

Jefferson shoots 77% on free throws, which is solid, but he averaged only three free throws per 36 minutes last season. He doesn't get to the line nearly enough for a guy that can be a usage monster. He settles too much for short jumpers rather than continuing to create contact and draw fouls.

Season Potential

Jefferson is more than likely going to be the No. 1 option on offense for the Bobcats this season. As the team's best offensive player he is also going to be spending a lot of time on the floor considering one of the options behind him might play a good chunk of time at power forward and the other is really old. Jefferson hasn't averaged a double-double since 2009 but it would surprise me if he didn't achieve that this season, given the Bobcats' struggles rebounding. After all, he was within one rebound per game away from doing so the last few seasons, even with the Jazz's glut of talent in the frontcourt in recent history. His offense will thrive but his defense is going to get spotlighted, especially against teams like the Hawks and Nets who have very good offensive and mobile frontcourts.

Bismack Biyombo

Strengths and Weaknesses

Bismack Biyombo showed at times last season that he can be a very good help defender and an above average rebounder.

Sadly, that's about all he showed and even then he was inconsistent. Biyombo's offense is still a major work in progress, although it's starting to show that he's best used off cuts. If he holds onto the ball for too long he's a turnover machine. If he even tries to put the ball on the floor that's almost a guaranteed turnover due to his inability to create. Per basketball-reference.com, he turns the ball over on about 17 percent of his possessions.

Biyombo can be exciting on defense at times because of his elite shot-blocking talent (top-6 in the NBA in basketball-reference's estimate of two-point shots a player blocks while they are on the floor). However, Biyombo can also be found out of position a lot because he's so eager to play safety. If the Bobcats had better frontcourt defense the past two years, he probably wouldn't have to do that, however. But when he's in the right spot, Biyombo will have a block that saves an easy layup and causes a shot clock violation.

Season Potential

Biyombo is an interesting case this season. It seems the team is growing a little impatient with the project center and may be looking to him to be a defensive energetic spark of the bench. If they don't see a sign of some major improvement this season the team may choose to go elsewhere, or decide that he's nothing more than a career backup. That said, the type of season Biyombo has is huge for how the Bobcats will play this season. If Biyombo finally makes that jump, on at least one side of the ball, that could make a huge difference in what type of team we see.

Brendan Haywood

Strengths and Weaknesses

Brendan Haywood has been around for a long time. With that comes experience and mentorship. The majority of teams in the NBA have their own version of Brendan Haywood. He's a very valuable locker room guy especially considering the developing youth of the Bobcats.

Haywood is only 33, which for some NBA players isn't all that old, but Haywood has also 12 years of NBA mileage on his legs. This will be his 13th season in the NBA and his body has taken a beating. As a result he's prone to injuries and can't play very long very effectively.

He's got size to plug up the paint on defense, but his quickness isn't what it used to be. On offense, he's never been a guy who can shoulder much of the load, but that's not his role. In the past, he's been fairly effective for a minor offensive threat. But last year was by far his worst year shooting from the field and he's an abysmal free throw shooter. His work ethic and character is something you want your young players to emulate. His free throw shooting is not.

Season Potential

Haywood isn't going to play very much unless Jefferson/Biyombo gets hurt. Expect a lot of DNP-CD or 2-3 min games. He will likely be a non-factor.

Position Depth: D+

The position could get a big boost if Biyombo makes a jump but I just can't bank on that. Right now the only good player at the position is Jefferson.

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