With the NBA draft happening this week, I thought it would be appropriate to voice my opinion on what the Bobcats should do with their second-overall pick.
They should trade it.
Cleveland has been voicing their desire to draft Bradley Beal at all costs and are reportingly willing to give up their #4, 24, 33, and 34 picks in order to get him. If Cleveland puts this offer on the table, Michael Jordan and the Cats have to take it – it would be stupid not to. Charlotte has no business drafting Beal. The last thing they need is another perimeter player who can’t finish at the rim with consistency.
Beal is being compared to Ray Allen – which is laughable in my opinion – and even if he is of his caliber, who is going to pass the ball to him? Augustin? Kemba? These guys have trouble controlling the ball as it is, how are they going to get room for Beal to take a perimeter shot? Not to mention the Bobcats just signed Gerald Henderson to 4 more years. Henderson is the team’s leading scorer and is showing promise as a jump shooter, but most importantly he attacks the rim with strength – something the Bobcats can’t afford to lose.
Now, if this trade happens, who should MJ pick at #4? Answer: Harrison Barnes. This is not my Tar Heel bias talking so let me explain.
Barnes has the size, strength, smarts and, most importantly, attitude that makes a strong NBA player. I’m not saying he will be the savior of the franchise, but he fits the Bobcats mold and can definitely help them out from day one.
He has been criticized his whole collegiate career for his lack of aggression around the rim. I saw a significant change in his demeanor towards the end of his time at UNC. He became a leader and a strong post player, not to mention he has a natural clutch gene. He has the jump shot and has shown significant improvement in his dribble and drive since leaving the Tar Heels. He seems to be a coach’s player who is eager to learn and better himself.
Now, the remaining 4 picks the Cats would get from this deal can be used to grab mediocre assets or be combined in a trade for a mid to late first round pick. Hopefully it is the latter since this is a relatively weak draft outside of the lottery. Charlotte can trade these picks in the hopes of getting a big like Fab Melo – who would be an instant upgrade for Charlotte. With the addition of a young big, Charlotte’s starting five would look something like this:
Point Guard D.J. Augustin
Shooting Guard Gerald Henderson
Small Forward Harrison Barnes
Power Forward Bismack Biyumbo
Center Fab Melo
Key Bench Players Kemba Walker, Corey Maggette, Byron Mullens, D.J. White, Derrick Brown
Doesn’t this look like a team that will at least win more than 10% of its games? I think so. I might even be bold enough to say that this could be a playoff contending team. It’s an obvious upgrade in size and talent that I think will pay instant dividends for Charlotte.