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Bobcats depth chart breakdown: Point guards

In the fourth part of Rufus On Fire's depth chart preview, we look at the point guards. The same trio returns for the Bobcats this season, but it is time for Kemba Walker to take the next step in his development.


Kemba Walker

Strengths and Weaknesses

Plain and simple, Kemba Walker is a scoring machine. He can pull up and hit one of his signature jumpers over anybody, or he could drive to the rim seemingly at will (56.7% conversion rate when driving). After Walker averaged almost 18 points per game last season, Charlotte could rely on him to carry the team, which he never shied away from when it was needed. Now with Al Jefferson and Cody Zeller down low, some of the offensive load can be distributed off of Walker's shoulders. The analytics-side also likes Walker's game (9th in PER for point guards at 18.86).

Where Kemba will need to improve is his passing ability, especially now that he is able to relinquish some of his scoring opportunities to more than capable big men and scorers on the wing. Walker averaged six assists per game last season, but just imagine if he balanced out his game a little bit more.

Having Michael Kidd-Gilchrist hopefully taking a step in his own offensive development and the aforementioned big men, Walker should hopefully get a stat line somewhere in the 16 points and 8 assists per game range next season.

Also, Kemba needs to cut down on his turnovers, which should go down a little bit anyways with a post presence to throw it to down low. In his first two years in the league, Kemba's turnover numbers have increased slightly, going from 12.1 turnovers per 100 possessions to 12.4.

Walker will always maintain his score-first mentality, but if he rounds-out his offensive skill, he could take the next big step in his development.

Season Potential

After being one of the most relied-upon players in the league last season, Walker will get a little bit of a break now. Expect Steve Clifford to tell Kemba to spread the ball around. He has the talent to be a skillful passer, and now he has the pieces to be one. There is no excuse now for Kemba to not effusively share the ball with the Bobcats' post players..

Kemba will still see probably his usual 35 or so minutes per game. Unless Clifford believes Sessions is running his system better at some point and wants to equal it out more, I do not see Kemba coming off the court that much at all. If he refuses to relinquish some scoring opportunities for his improved group, then it will cause Coach Clifford and many others (including me) some major headaches.

Ramon Sessions

Strengths and Weaknesses

Like Walker, Ramon Sessions is a score-first point guard. Sessions averaged 14 points per game as a leader off the bench for Charlotte. As he has done pretty much his whole career, Ramon can carry a second unit with his scoring. Also in the same boat as Kemba, the analytics favors Sessions. Finishing with a PER of 17.80 (just over one point less than Walker, in top-half of point guards in NBA). Outside of scoring, Sessions really does not give you much more than that outside of drawing fouls -- which obviously is an asset as he was second in guards playing 15 minutes plus in free throw attempts-- but his game was fairly one-dimensional for the Bobcats last season, though he has shown the capability to be a decent passer in the past. He is a lightning in a bottle-like scorer though, which helped Charlotte's mediocre bench last season.

Sessions struggled with his shooting efficiency last season and gave the Bobcats his second-lowest field goal percentage of his career at 40.8 percent. He also had a bit of trouble with his three-ball last season at a mere 30.8 percent, his lowest since 2010. Though his efficient field goal percentage was at a career low, when you factor in his tendency to get to the free-throw line and make his shots, he had one of his more efficient scoring seasons in spite of a dreadful scoring year on his field goals.

If I was thinking of one trade chip Charlotte could use to get something back, it would be Sessions. He holds an expiring contract, which would take $5 million off the Bobcats' books next season. Plus, with small-ball out with Clifford, Sessions will be reduced to a pure backup role.

Season Potential

If Sessions can play well in role that gives him less minutes, he could stick around the whole season. If not, expect him to be out by the trade deadline and ship him off for some sort of asset. Like last season, Sessions should be used in a scoring role to try and lead Charlotte's bench this year. His ball-handling ability and being able to lead a second unit is a plus for Sessions, even though I see him as a likely trade chip.

I am on the fence about Ramon and how he fits, but I see him being a nice piece off the bench. If someone offers something for his contract though, Rick Cho and the rest of Charlotte's front offices ears should perk up.

Jannero Pargo

Strengths and Weaknesses

After re-signing with the Bobcats this offseason with a one-year, $1.4 million deal (veteran's minimum), Jannero Pargo is back in Charlotte. Like last season, Pargo will have to wait for an injury to Walker (lets hope not) or Sessions to get any significant minutes in the rotation this season. As mentioned, Clifford will not play small-ball much at all this season, which could balance minutes for Sessions and Walker, and also further limit playing time for Pargo. Jannero can score off the bench and provide some veteran leadership, but that is about it with his role on this Bobcats team.

Pargo struggles with turnovers a little bit, but in garbage time everyone is trying to go out there and contribute. In his 18 games with Charlotte, Pargo had a renaissance of sorts with his stats. He had a lot of numbers that he had not put up better since the 2006 season, but that number obviously is skewed with the amount of games.

Season Potential

If Jannero can keep up what he did in his 18 games last season, he could fit in the rotation. I just can not see how Pargo can supplant Sessions as the backup to Kemba in this rotation though. Also as mentioned before, Clifford wanting to eliminate most of the small-ball concepts puts Pargo's minutes in jeopardy.

Overall, having a veteran who is capable of scoring and can help out the young guys is always a plus with a roster like the Bobcats have.

Position Depth: B

A solid "B" for the point guards is good for this trio. If Kemba can take the necessary steps in his development to become a more well-rounded player, it could do wonders for the offense. I can not say this enough: the big men need to be fed down low to take pressure off of Walker. Outside of Kemba, if Sessions and Pargo can contribute and score near their statistical clips last season, that should satisfy the Bobcats.

Really it comes down to this: either Kemba takes the big step toward being balanced in his offensive repertoire and makes the Bobcats a fringe playoff contender, or he stays where he is at and the Bobcats continue to battle it out for the top pick in the draft next season.