View Full Version : Here's a couple new things on the expansion draft.

Will Galen
06-21-2004, 08:52 PM

Bobcats Looking for Cheap, Young Talent in NBA Expansion Draft
Jun 21, 8:10 PM (ET)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Kerry Kittles, Eddie Jones, Antoine Walker and their high-salaried, unprotected brethren can breathe a sigh of relief. The Charlotte Bobcats don't want them in Tuesday's expansion draft.

"We aren't taking any big contracts," coach and general manager Bernie Bickerstaff said Monday. "We aren't taking any contracts that are longer than two years."

That means the Bobcats will select a smattering of young, unproven gym rats that can possibly be molded into future stars. That means no Jerry Stackhouse, no Brian Grant, no Allan Houston and - former Hornets fans can relax - no Derrick Coleman.

But will anyone even recognize the players Bickerstaff does select?

"Basketball fans will," he said.

Charlotte finalized one major move Monday, acquiring the No. 2 overall pick in Thursday's amateur draft - which the Bobcats will use to select Emeka Okafor or Dwight Howard - from the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for the No. 4 overall pick and Charlotte's second-round pick, 33rd overall. The Bobcats also agreed to select Clippers center Predrag Drobnjak in the expansion draft.

In another deal that was close to being finalized, Charlotte would acquire center Jahidi White, cash and a future draft pick from Phoenix - a deal that would give the Suns enough salary cap flexibility to make a run at free agents Kobe Bryant or Steve Nash.

The Bobcats tried to acquire the No. 1 overall pick from the Magic, but the Clippers were more receptive to a trade.

Bickerstaff said he expects to make three or four trades before this week is over.

"There's not a lot, but we do have some things on the bubble and we'll work diligently to try to bring a couple more to fruition," he said.

Many teams left their highest-salaried players unprotected for the expansion draft, in which the other 29 teams could protect up to eight players but had to leave at least one player unprotected.

Among the unprotected players the Bobcats are believed to be interested in are Sacramento's Gerald Wallace and Jason Kapono of Cleveland.

Bickerstaff has to pick a minimum of 14 players, no more than one from each team. He expects to choose at least 18 players but said as few as five might be on the opening night roster.

Meanwhile, the Bobcats worked out forward Josh Childress for a second time, but Childress said the team had not given him any feedback.

"I like Charlotte. It would be an honor, a great opportunity," said Childress, who left Stanford after his junior season. "I feel like I have the maturity of a college kid but the potential of a high school athlete and I think that I could grow with the franchise."