The Charlotte Bobcats pre-trade deadline primer

Streeter Lecka

The trade deadline is less than two weeks away (Feb. 20) so now's probably a good time to look at the Bobcats' situation.

It's been a rare occurrence near the trade deadline that fans of the Bobcats have been able to discuss the team as being buyers. With the team currently sitting in the eighth spot in the playoff picture and playing some of their best basketball of the season, the question at hand is whether Charlotte should be buyers.

By all accounts Michael Jordan and Co. are trying to win this season. The signing of Al Jefferson was the first indication that the decision makers of this franchise were going to play for a low seed even if it meant it would cost the team a top 10 draft pick in one of the deepest drafts in recent memory. You may not agree with the decision to make a run at the playoffs, but Charlotte is likely going to wind up with Portland's first round pick and still could land Detroit's. All in all, it's hard to fault the front office for not wanting to rely on ping pong balls when they haven't been friendly to the franchise since its inception. So in short, yes, your 2013-2014 Charlotte Bobcats are going to be heading into the trade deadline as buyers.

The Bobcats have been bitten by the injury bug at times this season, but are getting healthy again. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is back and so is Kemba Walker. Jefferson's ankle hasn't caused him any problems of late and he's playing some of the best basketball of his career. Still, if the Bobcats want to strengthen their postseason chances they need to address the lack of depth they have. As it always seems, the team could use a perimeter scorer but that is a search that has been ongoing for years now.

Gerald Henderson hasn't taken the step forward many hoped he would take this year and he isn't shooting the ball as well as he was last season. There wasn't much interest shown in Henderson from other teams this past offseason, which led to him coming back on a three-year deal worth $18 million. It made sense fiscally to bring him back with the dollar amount they got him for and it wasn't as if the alternatives were great options, but Henderson isn't a threat from deep and isn't dynamic off the dribble. The Bobcats have a dynamic player in Kemba who is special off the dribble, yet they don't have anyone to stretch the defense with the three ball in the back court. Ideally they could find someone who could do a little bit of both.

Another need for Charlotte is help up front. Jefferson has carried the load as expected, but the lack of production from reserves, Cody Zeller and Bismack Biyombo, will have the team looking to add another big. Josh McRoberts isn't going to haul in a large number of rebounds and put up double-digit points every night, but he can handle the ball and has been proven to be a sort of a glue guy for this team. Adding a veteran up front who could come off the bench would be ideal.

Rumors are starting to trickle out of Charlotte in regards to who they're looking at in possible trade scenarios.

They were linked to Evan Turner earlier this week, but acquiring him would come at the cost of future draft picks. With a similar guard already on the roster in Henderson it wouldn't make sense for Charlotte to bring Turner in unless the two were swapped as part of the deal.

Greg Monroe is another name that has been thrown out with Charlotte's. Monroe will be a restricted free agent this offseason and it wouldn't be cheap to keep him, but if the Bobcats want to make a big splash it would give them a formidable duo with him and Big Al anchoring the block.

There have also been reports that the Bobcats have interest in the Bulls' Taj Gibson via the Chicago Sun Times, though the talks have been merely preliminary.

If I'm running this franchise I'm exercising patience. The team has been burned in the past for making shortsighted moves. I am hoping the rumored aggressiveness of Jordan is more bark than bite. There's nothing wrong with standing pat and rolling with this roster the rest of the season, although I fear that won't be the case. Let's hope the mindset in the front office is make the playoffs at all costs mode because last time the Bobs had that mentality Tyrus Thomas wound up in town.

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