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Community projection: Dominic McGuire, Gerald Henderson, Derrick Brown

Please forgive me for worrying about the impending Dominic McGuire apocalypse. I'm probably still just suffering from the Stephen Graham experience, but there are probably a billion solid reasons why the Bobcats signing McGuire made no sense this year. To start with, they've got Gerald Henderson and Derrick Brown to soak up reserve minutes at swingman spots, and Brown can play a small front court spot, too, which shouldn't matter too much because power forward is where the Cats might be deepest with Tyrus Thomas and Boris Diaw vying for playing time. Stephen Jackson's positional flexibility helps, because he can play alongside Henderson, Brown, Wallace, Diaw -- swingmen big and small.

But if Larry Brown gave over 800 minutes to Graham last year, primarily because he supposedly played good defense (find the evidence; I can't) and was a good guy (tons of evidence for that), then the possibility exists for McGuire to get the same treatment at the expense of two younger guys with waaaaaaaaaay more upside, and who probably will perform at least as well as he can on his best days.

Predictions... and no, I'm not keeping track of minutes I give everyone, so we'll probably end up with something like 96 games' worth of minutes...

McGuire: 400 minutes, 4.0 points/40, 9.3 rebounds/40. Lots of playing time early in the season, then almost nothing in the second half (if he's not released) as Henderson and Brown kick his butt in practice and get more burn in games.

Henderson: 1,000 minutes (Crash and Jax can't repeat last season's minutes, can they?), 14.0 points/40, 6.0 rebounds/40, .250 3P%. I hope he earns a role on the second unit -- perhaps in press mode? -- alongside Livingston, and becomes the defensive ace I remember reading about leading up to last year's draft. Couple that with better confidence going to the rim and running the break, and we could see him become a nice backup. He still won't be able to shoot, though.

Brown: 600 minutes, 14.0 points/40, 7.0 rebounds/40. I understand signing McGuire, because he's more of a sure thing to produce at a baseline level of crapulence than other noted non-achievers like Joe Alexander. But the reason I endorsed signing Joey JoJo Junior Shabadoo, and why he got a partially-guaranteed contract, and endorsed going after guys like Pops Mensah-Bonsu, is because they actually still have a chance to be something valuable, whereas McGuire does not, and thus should not have been given a guaranteed contract. If the most we're asking of these guys is to do what I've predicted above, then we could have simply tossed Henderson and Brown in to competition with three or four others, including Darius Miles, and whoever else the scouts liked, and let the cream rise. Instead of hoping one of five guys steps up, we're really only hoping one of two guys improves, because McGuire likely won't.