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June 23, 2009

The latest entering the draft

Some educated guesses, as of Tuesday night:

-- I don't believe the Bobcats have made a promise to draft Louisville's Terrence Williams with the 12th pick. However, I do believe Williams is the frontrunner, should he last that long Thursday. There's no good reason for the Bobcats to make a promise, because they have no idea who else might last to 12 in this crazy draft.

-- Wake Forest's James Johnson is coming in Wednesday for a second workout with the Bobcats. While they could trade down, don't dismiss the possibility they use the 12th pick on Johnson. They need a Plan C, should Williams and Duke's Gerald Henderson both be gone.

-- Syracuse's Jonny Flynn will be gone by Milwaukee's 10th pick -- count on it. The other thing that would be good for the Bobcats is New Jersey drafting Tyler Hansbrough with the 11th pick. Unlikely as that would seem a month ago, Hansbrough wowed Nets management with his Tuesday workout. The Nets think Hansbrough is good enough to be the 11th pick; the issue is more the abundance of big men already on New Jersey's roster.

-- As general manager Rod Higgins said Tuesday, they're looking at trade possibilities. It's conceivable they'd trade down for Chicago's 16th and 26th picks in the first round. But I'd say that, unlike the NFL, trading quality for quantity is a dicey tactic in the NBA.

 -- This draft gets squishy as early as No. 2, but I hear the Memphis Grizzlies will take Connecticut center Hasheem Thabeet. Don't be surprised if Ricky Rubio lasts a while Thursday, not because he lacks talent, but because his Spanish contract issues complicate everything. If Sacramento drafts Tyreke Evans, it gets complicated for the Minnesota Timberwolves, because new Wolves GM David Kahn craves Evans.

 -- A stab in the dark: Stephen Curry is a Golden State Warrior come draft night.

Posted by Observer Sports on June 23, 2009 at 11:34 PM | Permalink


Thanks Rick!!

Regarding James Johnson: Anybody else out there worried about a 250-plus lb. SF with 12% body fat?

Posted by: DeLaQuest | Jun 23, 2009 11:52:22 PM

everybody, wear all of your good luck stuff on thursday. this may be the first time MJ makes a GOOD draft pick.

Posted by: reggie Gallant | Jun 24, 2009 12:46:39 AM

the Bobcats are set...after this draft

Posted by: BobCat Fan D | Jun 24, 2009 1:11:19 AM

Trade the pick, unload a contract or trade down and take better value for money. Historical statistics show that you have a better chance dumping the pick.

Posted by: rick | Jun 24, 2009 4:01:12 AM

I'd normally agree with Rick's assessment that trading down for quantity over quality is a bad move in the NBA draft ... but not this year. This is such a weak draft, it's really a crapshoot. Might as well roll the dice twice, since there won't be an enormous dropoff in talent from 12 to 16 to 26. If we could get Earl Clark at 16 and then take a flyer on somebody like DaJuan Summers or Chase Budinger or Omri Casspi at 26, what the heck, go for it. It's better than taking a shooting guard who can't shoot at 12.

Posted by: Elevatorman | Jun 24, 2009 7:56:22 AM

I really think Williams might be worth the 12th pick, but i sort of agree that in this draft I'd rather have two picks than just one. Take Earl Clark and James Johnson if possible...

Posted by: A Fan | Jun 24, 2009 8:39:09 AM

Elevatorman is right. Quantity over quality in this roll-of-the-dice draft. The Bobcats increase their chances of striking gold (or at least silver).

Posted by: Slobcat | Jun 24, 2009 8:40:27 AM

This is a really important off-season for the Cats. The Southeast Division seems to be getting a lot better. The Wiz just added Foye and Miller to their talented yet injury prone roster. The Hawks are young and athletic. They may trade Johnson or Smith, but they will still be a playoff team. The Heat don't really put any fear in my heart, but they still have a legitimate superstar.

I am pretty sure the Cats have never finished last in the division. Hopefully, the front office will make some moves this off-season that will put Charlotte in the playoffs.

Posted by: Token | Jun 24, 2009 9:27:30 AM

The more I watch tape of Earl Clark the more I like him...so IF Williams is gone by our pick we need to snatch him or James Johnson

Posted by: Bobcat Terry | Jun 24, 2009 9:38:29 AM

Rubio is going to buy out his own contract. What's the concern?

And thank you, rick, for your well-thought and succinct commentary.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Jun 24, 2009 10:33:05 AM

Quantity over quality should NOT be the style of this draft. Because it's so weak a mid first like 16th is more like a late first and a late first like the 26th is more like a second rounder in any other draft. Would you trade a potential starter for two bench guys? That could be a good thing, just remember that the talent in this draft is really, really below average.

Posted by: David | Jun 24, 2009 11:46:22 AM

The concern with Rubio's contract situation would be his availability, not who pays the buy-out. What if Rubio says, in essence, why do I want to pay millions to get out of Spain to move to Oklahoma City?
That's not my opinion or interpretation, it's what I hear from people in the NBA.

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Jun 24, 2009 12:53:33 PM


I don't think that's necessarily true. The skinny on this draft is that after Griffin, there really isn't a legit star looking at you, but it's a nice role player draft.

Toney Douglas, Darren Collison, Chase Budinger, Derrick Brown, Dejuan Summers, etc. are all very good 1st round caliber players who might not go in the 1st round. There's just alot of question marks at the top however.

I know the chances of James Harden lasting to the 12th pick are slim to none, but I would love to see him in a Bobcats uniform. He is Mitch Richmond reincarnated or a less selfish Cedric Ceballos.

Posted by: cornchip | Jun 24, 2009 1:41:14 PM

I totally disagree with you David. This is a weak draft because of the top 10 with the exception of Blake Griffin. The mid and late first rounder are not weak, which is why so many people are having a hard time predicting it because it's so level. I think the 11-30 guys are fairly close to the 2-10 talent in this draft. It's the 2-10 talent that makes this a weak draft, not the middle of the pack guys.

Posted by: eddie | Jun 24, 2009 1:51:23 PM

The more you read, the less enthustiastic you can actually get with this years draft. If a logical trade is on the table that will free salary cap and possibly bring in another veteran to make a strong playoff run than it should be taken. If a player that is rated higher and has fallen to 12th is available than a trade can also be initiated but bringing in either Williams or Henderson or another rookie will only show benefits possibly late in the season or even later. Trade the pick if it is at all possible.

Posted by: Bobcat EX-PAT | Jun 24, 2009 2:07:48 PM


I agree with that assessment alot. The notion that Stephen Curry, who was a great college player and has some skills that may translate well to the NBA, can be picked as high as #3 scares me.

He's a glorified role player in the NBA..but apparently that seems to be the case with everybody from 2-30.

Posted by: cornchip | Jun 24, 2009 2:32:45 PM

Even though this draft looks weaker-than-average fot the top ten picks, it seems to me that the "weak except for Griffin" notion is exaggerated. It underestimates the talent and potential of players like Thabeet (great defender, still improving his offensive game), Ricky Rubio (very talented, very young and still developing as a player) and James Harden (I don't know if he'll ever be an All-Star, but at least there is a chance he will). That's why I think it's worth trying to trade up to get Harden. Of course, this may or may not work depending on what the Bobcats will have to offer, but it's worth trying.

Posted by: Sandy | Jun 24, 2009 4:12:51 PM

ESPN.com's Marc Stein:

"Charlotte indeed offered defensive ace Raja Bell to Golden State earlier this week for Kelenna Azubuike and Marco Belinelli but, sources say, was quickly turned down by the Dubs."

Posted by: Yeah? | Jun 24, 2009 5:14:05 PM

There are between 3 and 5 players of eventual impact in this draft: Griffin, Harden, Evans, Hill and possibly Curry. A few others have the ability to become starters, but it is a weaker draft on average.

If Hill and Henderson are both gone, trade down w/Chicago. Get Johnson (or best big available) at 16 and Marcus Thornton at 26. Thornton is going to be the surprise player from the back of the pack.

OR, if the trade can't get done and both the 2's are gone, why not take DeJuan Blair? I'd just a soon roll the dice with Blair as with Hansborough. But I'd take either one over Johnson. Both project better impact as role-playing 4's than Johnson. JJ has skills for sure, and if he can get chisled and drop som tub he could be the best of the bunch. But then he becomes an undersized tweener and probably loses his leverage in the post. Blair could become McMay Junior, or he could be Grandmama 2 (less the outside shot).

Posted by: Mark | Jun 24, 2009 5:25:13 PM

We have no idea how many "players of eventual impact" are in this draft. In a few years, B.J. Mullens could turn out to be the best player in the whole draft. Patty Mills might slip to the second round, but for all we know he'll have a better career than Ricky Rubio, who could go second overall. It's the biggest crapshoot draft I can recall. Two rolls of the dice are better than one.

Posted by: Elevatorman | Jun 24, 2009 5:35:30 PM

two roles of the dice are better than one. I agree 100%. Henderson and T-Will aren't exactly roles of the dice. I think they're both safe pics. If both are gone you have to ask who dropped off and who might become a steal at 12. But if it's a big gamble at 12, might as well role the dice twice like my man said, or better yet dump some lousy contracts.

Posted by: Bobby | Jun 24, 2009 6:56:25 PM

Now that Sean May is available to go out partying with J.R. Reid every night, perhaps the front office will stay away from the fat boys from UNC forever.

Posted by: BIG MAC | Jun 24, 2009 10:42:21 PM

Um, OK. And how does that relate to the draft? On the other hand, I enjoy non-sequiters as much as you evidently do. Let's try some:

"Now that Jason Williams is available to go on rides with Bobby Hurley, perhaps the NBA will avoid cripples forever."

Or, "Now that Chris Washburn is available for adult literacy classes with Charles Shackleford, perhaps the NBA will avoid mongoloids forever."

Posted by: Elevatorman | Jun 25, 2009 7:28:07 AM

based on a lot of the mock drafts I'm seeing TWill should still be available at 16... why wouldn't we trade down if Chi-town is down. We would get a free pick out of it.

Posted by: flanahan32 | Jun 25, 2009 9:10:37 AM

Why have my recent posts all disappeared? It's not like there's an overabundance of Bobcats fans!

Posted by: G'boro Cats Fan | Jun 25, 2009 11:05:27 AM

Burn on bobby hurley and jay williams!

Posted by: Bobby | Jun 25, 2009 11:34:54 AM

Chad Ford said in his chat yesterday that the Bobcats promised Williams they would draft him... if he was available. Why were we trying to send Bell to the Warriors?

Posted by: But ESPN said... | Jun 25, 2009 11:41:25 AM


Bobcats 1st round: T. Williams is a good pick at 12, assuming he's available. He's got an NBA body, great athleticism, and is a versatile defender. How many recent Bobcats picks can you say that for?

Bobcats 2nd round: Jodie Meeks. The Bobs need scoring, period.

Both Meeks and Williams can play SF and SF, which is great because Bell and Wallace are not locks to stay healthy all season, and hopefully at least one of these rookies ends up being good NBA players. Load up on two wings with NBA skills and sign a free agent for a backup PF.

Am I the only one that's not in love with Griffin? He is the clear number 1 pick, but he's the least exciting #1 pick since Darko Milicik. If I had the #1 pick, I'd trade down if I got offered a starter-calibur player with a reasonable contract and another pick in the 4-6 range.

Posted by: Deuce | Jun 25, 2009 12:58:01 PM

ive personally been opposed to trading down in any draft. if you know what man you want at 10 then why not take him? thats like deciding to go to a movie at a later time than what normal people go to. either way, your gonna get the same person/result.

Posted by: reggie Gallant | Jun 25, 2009 3:37:58 PM

Awful. A shooting guard who cannot shoot. At all. Garbage.

Posted by: Elevatorman | Jun 25, 2009 8:48:19 PM

This idiot's bragging about his golf game. Yeah, that will really help us. Atrocious pick. Pure bust.

Posted by: Elevatorman | Jun 25, 2009 8:49:32 PM

Wow, going back over this Rick was clairvoyant...

Posted by: Ben | Jun 26, 2009 10:53:35 AM

Is there ever going to be another post? Here's an idea. How about something on the two players we just drafted.

Posted by: Bustacat | Jun 27, 2009 2:22:52 AM

This is the absolute worst sports blog I've ever seen. The fish rots at the head Observer!

Posted by: Bustacat | Jun 27, 2009 2:25:39 AM

Rick do you think that the bobcats will land allen iverson this summer and do you think you can wirte about that. that would be great if you could because i have heard that from several sources and i am shaking in my chair wondering what could happen if he came.

Posted by: kyle | Jun 27, 2009 10:53:38 PM

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