Brendan Haywood's best years are behind him. He knows this, we know this and the Bobcats know this. Haywood was not brought into Charlotte to help a team win. Haywood was brought in to be a veteran presence in the locker room for the young players.
Haywood's relationship with the Bobcats started off strangely. In the month of November, Haywood averaged 28 minutes per game and played solidly on the offensive end.
That month Haywood had an effective field goal percentage of 54 percent on a usage rate of 12 percent. So although Haywood wasn't used too often, when he was used, he was efficient and helped the Bobcats. Haywood had decent rebounding numbers with a total rebounding percentage of 14 and a defensive rebounding percentage of 16. He didn't eat the boards alive, but he grabbed them at a decent rate.
December was a different story for Haywood. Haywood's once solid numbers plummeted. His eFG% for December was 42 percent despite the fact that his usage rate stayed the same. Most likely due to the less than stellar play, Haywood's minutes dropped down to 15 a game. Haywood's rebounds stayed about the same. January was more of the same for Haywood with similar numbers across the board except for two areas. Haywood's rebounding percentage dropped a bit but the huge thing was his turnover ratio. Turnover ratio is not the greatest stat in the world, so it has to be taken with a grain of salt, but Haywood had a turnover ratio of 23 in January. This was 10 in December and 17 in November. This stat just shocks me. How does a guy with such a low usage number have a turnover ratio above 20? It completely befuddles me.
February was horrible for Haywood; his scoring numbers plummeted. His eFG% dropped all the way down to 20 percent and his usage actually went up! I know Haywood is not a player that bases his game around scoring but when a guy shoots that bad, don't you have to assume something is wrong with him? Apparently he was just in a terrible shooting slump because his rebound percentage actually jumped up a bit this month getting back up to 16% and his defensive rebounding percentage had a huge jump all the way up to 22%. His turnovers ratio also dropped all the way down to 7.
The injury that eventually sat Haywood for the entire season was a stress fracture in his ankle, which happened in March. A stress fracture occurs from overuse of tired muscles, so I've decided to throw out his numbers from March. We have no idea when the injury occurred and for how long it was bothering him so I feel this is fair.
Haywood's defense seemed to be the only consistency. Below average. Due to his age, Haywood is not the fastest guy out there. As a result, when the opposition got around Charlotte's guards, Haywood was usually the last big man to get there. However, in an era of basketball when team defense is crucial, we can't put too much blame on Haywood for a team that was just bad on defense the entire season.
Play of the season
This Brendan Haywood block was pretty awesome because he swatted it to a teammate and it led right to a fast break dunk.
What to work on
The thing about Brendan Haywood is it's too late for him to be improving. He's into the stage of his career where rather than improve, he's going to steadily get worse. The only thing I can suggest to him is he finds a way to avoid further injuries that will allow him to stick around the NBA longer.
Grade and Future with the team
Haywood had one very good month in November and then receded back to what was more expected of him. It is because of this along with average rebounding numbers and below average scoring numbers that I'm going to give Haywood a C-. A lot of Bobcats fans said "Oh no, Haywood is gone, not like it matters" when he went out with an injury. One thing about Haywood that I feel was overlooked was that he was able to come into games and usually not hurt the team, except for that awful February. The options behind Haywood are DeSagana Diop and Tyrus Thomas. I don't know about anybody else but I'd take Haywood over those two most of the time.
Haywood's future with the team is pretty much locked up in his 3 year contract. I doubt very many teams are going to be fighting to trade for him so unless Haywood is given away as a piece in a larger trade he is going to remain around as a veteran in the locker room, and there is nothing wrong with that.