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Bobcats should pursue talent with upside, regardless of position

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I want to repeat something I wrote about a week ago, because now that Larry Brown's been fired, I'm hoping Paul Silas, Michael Jordan, et al are concerned with rebuilding the franchise from the ground up, rather than hoping to steal a few more wins this season than they would have under the old regime.

From a piece comparing Brown and David Kahn, the Timberwolves' GM:

...there is a logic to what Kahn's doing, and he deserves some recognition for having the courage to pursue this course. In short: Kahn is gathering talent with upside regardless of position.


The Cats are paying quality supporting players to hold steady while they search for their star. Not only are they paying $66 million for their team this year, but they've limited their ability to find out if they've got a young star already on the team, so getting that star in his prime depends on another team deciding they don't want him, for whatever reason. But why would another team give up their own championship-level star? It's got to be an extraordinary situation, and the Cats have to be in the best position to acquire him and give the best deal to the other team.

The Wolves, meanwhile, are living lean while they search for their star. They're paying about $46 million for their team of lottery picks and long shots. And their lack of roster coherence means that there just aren't enough minutes to go around -- if your goal isn't to find out what everyone can do. The Wolves have a much better chance of developing a star from within, and I contend they have a better chance of finding a star than the Cats do of acquiring one because the Wolves have gone all-in on the strategy.

If it wasn't clear before, I think this is a reasonable thing to do. Perhaps doing it that drastically is not the best course of action for this Bobcats team -- Gerald Wallace and Boris Diaw are both 28 years old, and could still be effective in three years, when a rebuild might conclude -- but the principle behind such a strategy is sound.

In other words: no one is untouchable, and if a player has near-zero potential to contribute to our championship season in 2014, the Cats ought to do him the favor of shipping him out and give his roster spot, and playing time, to someone who has that potential.

By that logic, the following players should be elsewhere by the start of next season: Kwame Brown, Matt Carroll, DeSagana Diop, Stephen Jackson, Dominic McGuire, Nazr Mohammed, and Eduardo Najera. Of course we should try to extract picks and desirable players in exchange for these guys, but for everyone other than Jackson, we really out to be satisfied with simply ridding ourselves of the contract and freeing up the roster spot so we can bring on the likes of Sylven Landesberg, Jon Scheyer, Brian Zoubek, Marqus Blakely and any other vaguely-upsideish guys.

Ideally, the fan base will understand that winning now takes a back seat to winning in 2013 and 2014, and no one should expect sellouts at the Cable Box until then (barring a change to the Hornets name, which would be a massive wild card, as far as stirring up interest). I, for one, am nervous about the uncertain future, but excited to see how it will all play out.