When assessing the Bobcats’ draft needs, one thing became clear: the Bobcats suck. Trying to determine their biggest area of need was a little like me trying to determine what toppings I need on my frozen yogurt at one of those self-serve places: eventually I just give up and realize I need pretty much everything.
The Bobcats were last in the league in field goal percentage last year, so they need shooters. But they were also 27th in rebounding, so they need big men. But they were also 29th in assists, so they need distributors. And I’m assuming they were last in watchability, as there just wasn’t much interesting at all about this team.
Charlotte is potentially not TOO bad off at the 1,2 and 3, with Kemba Walker, Gerald Henderson (RFA) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. So there is some potential there, although again, there isn’t a particularly strong shooter among that group. Henderson would probably be better served coming off the bench, but at least he’s serviceable, and the other two could be starters for a long time.
Although there are still question marks with the backcourt, those players look like a bunch of all-stars compared to the front court. Bismack Biyombo could become a first-rate defensive player eventually, but he still has miles to go offensively. And at the “4” position, the group of Byron Mullens, Tyrus Thomas and some guy named McBob was, to put it kindly, a steaming pile of dog excrement. And all three could be gone, as Mullens and McBob are free agents and there are rumors they may amnesty Thomas to get rid of his $8 million salary.
I suppose if I were to pick one position the Bobcats most need to fill, it is PF. But they are so lacking in elite talent that I don’t believe they can draft for need, but rather need to take the best player available. Apparently GM Rich Cho agrees, as he has stated that his philosophy is to draft for talent and trade for need, and I think that is wise in this case. They’ll also have a good amount of cap space this offseason to try to fill needs.
Honestly, I feel like Charlotte’s best option may be to trade down to acquire multiple pieces (unless Ben McLemore falls to them, as he did here). If they can slide down a few spots (around No. 9) and take a big man like Alex Len, he might be a good fit. But I just can’t take him at No. 4. I may have considered Victor Oladipo here as well, but although he’s an elite athlete, I’m not sure he’s the answer here, either. When McLemore slid to me, though, the choice was clear.
So with the fourth pick, I’m giving Charlotte: Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas
McLemore gives them an elite athlete and would immediately be their best shooter. He makes Gerald Henderson expendable if they choose not to bring him back and would be a good fit between Walker and Kidd-Gilchrist. He would also give the Bobcats another player capable of being a top-notch defender.
I was strongly considering Anthony Bennett from UNLV, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him end up with Charlotte, as that would have been my pick had McLemore been taken and Bennett not. But fortunately for the Bobcats in this case, McLemore was still on the board, as I had him No. 2 on my big board (full disclosure: I don't actually have a board).
So welcome to Charlotte, Ben McLemore! Try not to toil in anonymity like most players that go there!