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The Charlotte Bobcats Are Moving In The Right Direction

The Charlotte Bobcats Are Moving In The Right Direction

Jun 25, 2013

High draft picks, young stars, space in the salary cap soon, the original team name to return, Charlotte basketball fans have a lot to be excited about.

The name change will mean a fresh start for the franchise, and a chance for fans to cheer for their Hornets again.  When NBA expansion brought the Hornets to the Charlotte Coliseum, they were among the attendance leaders.  Little Muggsy Bogues, their teal color, the effort of Kenny Gattison, some wild plays by Rex Chapman, Elliott Perry’s goggles and socks, the team mascot, the Hornets were popular during their early years.

Today, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Kemba Walker are the building blocks for the Bobcats.  MKG is a defensive stopper and rebounder at small forward, and will develop into more of a scorer.  Walker made a huge improvement in his second season.  He doubled his steals numbers, all of his shooting percentages went up and Walker passed for nearly six assists per game when he didn’t have a lot of scorers to pass to.  Bismack Biyombo has the potential to be like Ben Wallace was for the Pistons, he may not score a lot but his rebounding and defense can help his team win.

This offseason, decisions will have to be made on restricted free agents Gerald Henderson and Byron Mullens.  If Charlotte draft a shooting guard it could mean Henderson moves to a new team.  Josh McRoberts is unrestricted, Charlotte sent out Hakim Warrick to get the former Duke center and McRoberts was an efficient scorer and averaged 7.2 rebounds per game.  As Mullens and McRoberts are similar forward/centers, and to keep salary cap room for the future, possibly only one of them will return.

When the Charlotte Hornets prepare for season 2014-15, they will have likely cleared all of the bad contracts away and can sign a star player, or two, while another option would be taking on a contract from another team while being rewarded with a future draft choice.  Diop’s big deal is gone now, Gordon’s contract which brought in an extra first rounder from Detroit has only one more season while Tyrus Thomas could depart via the amnesty rule at any time.  Ramon Sessions isn’t a bad player for the roster but his contract expires after the 2013-14 season which is a good thing.

With Head Coach Steve Clifford and Associate Head Coach Patrick Ewing, the Bobcats have added teachers of centers, and of course Ewing was one of the best himself.  If they do want an offense that goes inside and then out the Bobcats will need to acquire a low-post scorer.  As both of the new coaches have worked with Dwight Howard before there might be a small chance that Charlotte can attract the free agent, and then arrange a sign-and-trade move with the Lakers.

The Bobcats have the 4th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.   They might trade the pick, but with an even group of prospects in the top 5 they could and end up with the best player in the draft if they use it.  Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore, Cody Zeller, Alex Len, Victor Oladipo, Otto Porter, Trey Burke, some of them will be available when the Bobcats pick and all but point guard Burke would fill a need.  They could have three first round picks in 2014 NBA Draft, including traded picks from Portland and Detroit.

It looks like the Bobcats will have one more season in the lottery, and then when they become the Hornets again the team could be back in the playoffs.

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