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June 24, 2011

Wow, it's late and yet I blog...

Some post-draft thoughts at the end of a ridiculously long day:

-- I'm not saying the Charlotte Bobcats did the wrong thing -- they had to get worse to get better -- but some of you simply ignore that this roster is now a mess.

You don't want Corey Maggette as your starting small forward. You don't know how they'll ever score more than 80 points. And their opening-day center is...who the heck knows anymore.

I get Rich Cho's vision of sustained success. I really do. But there's some real pain between now and then, and I wonder how many fans will bail on the plan before it comes to fruition.

-- The dynamic between D.J. Augustin and Kemba Walker will be interesting. Walker is an alpha-male. D.J. has not always reacted well to competition (he wilted when Flip Murray challenged his right to be the No. 2 point guard in the 2009-10 season).

Walker will push Augustin hard. D.J.'s problem has never been talent. His problem is self-confidence. If he doesn't get over that, it will haunt his NBA career.

-- You realize I just lost the best quote in Bobcats history. Guys who hit a game-winning shot, then remind you "I make love to pressure,'' are few and far-between. There was a Joe Namath quality about Stephen Jackson's humor and candor. Of course I'm going to miss him.

The night he nailed that buzzer-beater in Atlanta was as fun as anything that's happened in Bobcats history.

-- I'm so glad Raymond Felton is headed to Portland, presumably to be the starting point guard and reunited with Gerald Wallace. Raymond is the best teammate in Bobcats history. He has a Jake Delhomme quality, as far as taking all the blame without expecting any of the credit.

Raymond backing up Ty Lawson wasn't going to work. He deserved to be a starter on a good team.

-- Rod Higgins continues to be non-commital about making a qualifying offer to Dante Cunningham. Small forward is the Bobcats' most shallow position, but maybe they just don't want to guarantee Cunningham a million dollars for the season.

-- Cho making a Serge Ibaka reference, when talking about Bismack Biyombo is high praise. But I can see the analogy.

Posted by Observer Sports on June 24, 2011 at 02:01 AM | Permalink

Comments

I think they dropped the ball a bit.

I understand trading up with the INTENT to select Biyombo. But no one could have told them that after trading up, that Brandon Knight would fall into their laps. They should have selected Knight, who I think is a better fit in the backcourt next to DJ. Yes, he isn't a pure point, but neither is the guy they selected. But Knight has more length than Kemba and wouldn't leave us as exposed on defense in the front court.

By selecting Kemba, you saying one of two things. We think Kemba and DJ can coexist in the backcourt together. Or, DJ isn't the future and were bringing in Kemba to run the show; DJ can come off the bench. I for one still believe in DJ and think that Silas can continue to grow his confidence and get him to be more assertive, which is when DJ is at his best.

Anyways, I don't mind the Biyombo pick other than the fact that they passed on Knight. I HOPE Biyombo will turn out alright and not be another uber long and athletic center who fouls out every 12 minutes. I can't deny his potential tough. After taking Biyombo, I think they should have taken a SF, considering the only one on our roster is Maggette and I don't really see a problem with the starting backcourt--although we do need depth there. Kawhi Leonard was available and he would have been a great selection. Because of his outstanding work ethic, he's going to become a very good NBA player.

I also would have kept Tyler. What do you have to lose. If he proves he hasn't matured at all, you haven't lost anything, as second rounders aren't expected to really contribute much anyways.

All in all, they got some decent players. But I don't think they did the best job they could have, both in terms of the players they could have selected regardless of how they fit with the team, as well as in terms of constructing a roster that is balanced.

I don't look forward much to next year on the court. Hopefully we get lucky in the lottery and have a high enough pick to take Harrison Barnes, because we're really going to need a SF, and he also is going to be able to fix what is going to be continued shooting and overall offensive woes.

Posted by: Will | Jun 24, 2011 2:38:52 AM

And this is why the observer shouldn't hire journalist that get hung up on certain players. I wish Charlotte would have traded Diaw so it could save me hours of my life next season about you writing about how versatile he is, or how "he coulda woulda shoulda" been this or that. Good grief.. Now that Charlotte actually made a good trade your in shambles because of your love affection for Augustin. Rick, I've come to the conclusion that when Boris Diaw leaves or gets traded your going to quit your job.

Posted by: Jason Warren | Jun 24, 2011 3:57:54 AM

@Will. Were going to be a 20 win team next year and hopefully pick first. Harrison Barnes will not go #1.

Posted by: Jason Warren | Jun 24, 2011 3:59:39 AM

I honestly foresee a few more things happening before the season starts...namely we probably drop Diaw, maybe move DJ...I figure we'll probably try out a few undrafted players, and maybe see if we can do anything with free agency or the trade exception we grabbed from the 3 way trade.

Posted by: tattoo | Jun 24, 2011 5:27:04 AM

Jason Warren:
My "love affection for Augustin.''
Wow, you really shouldn't try to make sense at 4 a.m.

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Jun 24, 2011 7:40:39 AM

Amen Jason! I was thinking the exact same thing. These writers don't have a clue, they develop attachments to these players because they help make good stories. Get over Jax, Felton, Wallace, Chandler, etc. They WERE NOT going to help this team win a title. Why keep working with mediocre players that have reached their ceiling? I'm glad they have traded away all those Larry Brown quick fixes. Good luck Cat's. I will be supporting you no matter what your record will be next year.

Posted by: D.W.G. | Jun 24, 2011 7:43:19 AM

Wow, Charlotte now has the worst team in the NFL and the worst team in the NBA. Great job.

Posted by: Jim SC | Jun 24, 2011 7:52:09 AM

We took the best players available. Who here wouldn't take 2 millions dollars for a 39th pick that has little chance of panning out? Solid draft over all.

So just the addition of Kyrie is going to make the Cavs instantly way better? Please.

Posted by: DanielTDenny | Jun 24, 2011 8:09:49 AM

I think we traded the 39th pick to buyout Bongo from the Congo's contract.
I expect to have a young run and gun team next year.
1-Kemba Walker
2-Stephen Curry
3-Corey Maggette
4-Tyrus Thomas
5-Bongo from Congo
Oh, trade DJ and Diaw for Stephen Curry. Bring him home!

Posted by: Yup | Jun 24, 2011 8:19:56 AM

Rick I get it!
We are 7 years in. I saw some real promise at the end of last season with only a 8 man rotation, our better guys on the bench. While most were not even watching.
However I am coming around to the pontential?

Posted by: David Stern has to go!! | Jun 24, 2011 8:19:59 AM

We got 2 mil for a 2nd round pick?! Has that been confirmed?

If so that's crazy. Never heard of that much cash for no. 39. I questioned the move when we could have gotten a good look out of Tyler but for 2 mil its no brained.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 24, 2011 8:25:21 AM

An NBA team can't pay more than 500K toward a player's buyout. The rest is the player's responsibility

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Jun 24, 2011 8:30:47 AM

Yup- would you trade Stephen Curry for DJ and Boris? (Nevermind that it doesn't work via the current CBA trade restrictions). We don't have the talent to trade for Stephen- we have nothing that the Warriors would want... The only way he's going to become a Bobcat is through UFA.

I'm ok with the draft, I guess this signals that they don't think DJ is the long term answer at PG but, I question wheter Kemba can be that as well. I see Kemba as more of a Jason Terry type player (which is a compliment) but, that's not a starting PG. I think we could have went with Brandon Knight at 7 and Klay Thompson at 9 and had a better team next year. (but, we are so far away that next year doesn't really matter.

I guess we will be one of the worst teams in the league next year and come away with Harrison Barnes, Perry Jones, or a freshman sensation (McAdoo, Rivers, or Quincy Miller).

I support the rebuilding effort and will be at as many games as I can.

Posted by: The Guru | Jun 24, 2011 8:35:11 AM

that buyout rule could be changing under the new cba, no?

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 24, 2011 8:36:53 AM

I would love that trade, but that was more wishful thinking. I personally don't think Curry and Ellis want to play together and that is why they drafted the Washington St. guard so they can ship one out. Give them DJ to back up Ellis and Diaw is still worth something(wishful thinking). It could happen. Either way I think Diaw will be gone before the season starts.

Posted by: Yup | Jun 24, 2011 8:42:39 AM

The Bobcats have a history of signing players that are "3 years away from being allstars" - to a 2 year contract.

Posted by: Courtside | Jun 24, 2011 9:05:17 AM

isn't it a problem that a professional athlete such as dj "wilts" when given competition? move dj back to the bench then & have walker starting for us. he's a better player anyways.

Posted by: whatever | Jun 24, 2011 9:10:55 AM

Nobody is craving for Diaw. The Bobcats would have to give away an asset that we dont have for someone to take him. I just don't have a good taste in my mouth for the Kemba Walker pick because it reminds me of Emeka Okafor. With little risk comes little upside. I would have preferred us to go with Klay Thompson and Leonard instead. I mean we could have signed an undrafted pg to back up DJ for now.

Posted by: CJ | Jun 24, 2011 9:15:46 AM

Like we're actually going to keep DJ that we have Kemba Walker. DJ is clearly an asset moving forward, not a role player, not a piece on a contender, he's an asset that probably won't be here come October.

Also, who cares about Corey Maggette? He's no worse than Stephen Jackson is with the ball in his hands and he wears his welcome out about as quickly. He's slightly more expensive, but we got the 7th pick for him. That nullifies any negativity he may bring because it's an excellent trade.

Posted by: John | Jun 24, 2011 9:53:39 AM

I just hope there is a season next year so we have a good chance at the #1 pick

Posted by: d-run | Jun 24, 2011 10:09:56 AM

Best comment: Kemba is like Okafor...great college player on a national championship UCONN team but very little upside. Now, we're got two 6 foot guards, relatively unproven. No true centers to step in and really compete night in and night out. We do have a player, Henderson, who has shown promise after sitting on the bench for most of last year. If this were the first couple of years of the team, I'd be on board. But, after all the bad decisions, to now ask the fans to "be patience while we rebuild" is disingenuous. Basically, we are now back to being an expansion team. All the money spent up until this next season trying to believe in a team has been flushed down the toilet. We are starting over. How can a fan base get attached to a player or a team when we basically have sent everybody packing. Amazing to spend millions marketing how good the former team was and now work so hard to "trash" them to try to make fans now focus on the new faces. Hype, hype, hype a mediocre team and then work hard trashing the Jacksons, Richardsons, Wallaces, Feltons and Chandlers once they are gone. If you worked for the Bobcats in sales, wouldn't that get tiring? I call it trying to keep your customers focusing on the NEXT BIG THING... 3 or 4 years down the road....really, trust me, the good stuff is coming....3 or 4 years down the road. Really.

Posted by: Da Sports Machine | Jun 24, 2011 10:11:51 AM

I'm a ride or die fan...The Bobcats organization made those choices and I'm going to ride with them...I love the game of basketball and the Bobcats...So I'm eager to see how things unfold good or bad...It's a honor and a privilege to have a NBA team in NC led by MJ...And Coach Silas is an excellent motivator...Excited about new things to come....Let's go Cats.

Posted by: Troy | Jun 24, 2011 10:18:24 AM

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=6x4ontb

Let me know what yall think about this trade. I think it makes sense because Houston is in rebuild mode and with their pick they have 2 solid young power forwards. They would get salary cap relief and if we can squeeze a draft pick out of there we could aquire more "assets" just as Rich likes.

Posted by: CJ | Jun 24, 2011 10:22:01 AM


I think one aspect of the draft that has not gotten enough attention is the change in personality the new guys will bring to a team that desperately needs it. Walker is a flat-out winner and will bring a confidence and swagger we really need, and Biyombo will be a big man with a motor and a mean streak on defense and the boards that we have been sorely lacking. Center or not, when he and Thomas are in the game, shots in the paint will not come easily for other teams.

I think real fans understand that we are going to be pretty bad next year and that we have now entered a serious rebuilding period. In the long run, Walker and Biyombo should be very nice pieces in a bigger puzzle. Our franchise guy comes next year, when we will be picking in the top three in a loaded draft. Let's be patient and keep our eyes on the prize.

I'll miss Jack and already miss Gerald, but I support the direction of the new leadership. It is time to stop patching holes and striving toward mediocrity. You can't really build a contending team that way. This is step one, and it is a good step.

Posted by: Chris | Jun 24, 2011 10:22:03 AM

Cho brings a modern day business approach to the table and finally there at least seems to be a plan. I am not sure if a plan ever existed prior to Cho' arrival. It seems that the team is beginning to pile up assets. I am sure you will see more personnel moves for the Bobcats this year and a team will actually begin to re-develop. It wil be another transitional year and we may be in the lottety next year but in two to three years if the business plan is good than we may begin to see a brighter future for the Bobcats. If the business plan is good but not followed than get ready for the abyss. Good luck and stay to the plan.

Posted by: ELI | Jun 24, 2011 10:25:57 AM

we're still undoing a lot of what bob johnson did to screw us, we were going no where with wallace and jax as our best players, they both are the third or forth best guy on a contender, they shouldn't be the 1st option. I like the idea of what we're doing, I just hope we get something out of biyombo....I've seen plenty of these "upside" guys that can't score never get any better. But I do like kemba.

Posted by: me | Jun 24, 2011 10:26:27 AM

@ Da Sport Machine

I totally agree. I think a 7 year rebuilding process is entirely too long. It didn't take Chris Paul that long to turn New Orleans around or Cho that long to build OKC. Now that Cho's on board here, we'll see what he's made of. I disagreed with the Wallace trade - but I understood it! I totally disagree with the Jackson trade and understanding it is a bit more difficult.

We draft a defensive big as the #1 pick of the franchise. Trade that away because we need a go-to-scorer. We get a go-to-scorer and trade that away because we need a defensive big!

Posted by: BBall Junkie | Jun 24, 2011 10:40:30 AM

Something to note about the Wallace/Felton/Jackson core....

Were they ever going to win a championship? Absolutely not. Were they a playoff team that full of character and brought it all every night? Absolutely. There is nothing wrong with that. I think we get caught up sometimes in what ESPN thinks of us, whether we have a sexy, highlight reel player, or a team that wins 60 games. To me there is a certain charm about a team can beat absolutely anybody at their best (Boston and Orlando somewhat were the only teams I felt overmatched against), gives fans their money's worth, and show more passion and heart than any basketball team you will ever see.

I firmly believe that we would have been in the playoffs for the next 5 or 6 years with that core and some smart GM moves. As high as our picks are now, the next 5 or 6 years are a crapshoot. Is sucking and picking high working for Minnesota or Sacramento right now? Hell, did it work for US?

Posted by: cornchip | Jun 24, 2011 10:50:19 AM

@ me

We made the playoffs with Jax and Wallace. Something we failed to do at any other point. Wallace isn't a go to option and will be missed most for his hustle,heart, and stingy defense (Mr. Intangibles)... Jax isn't your go-to-guy either but trading him got rid of the closest thing to one Charlotte has had.

I actually like the Bismack pick (thought there was a slim chance he'd be there at 9) and "we'll see" about the Kemba pick. I'm a Knick fan first, so I know all about riding out a rebuilding process!

Posted by: BBall Junkie | Jun 24, 2011 10:54:50 AM

Rick - you've mentioned several times that we're going to stink next season. Exactly how much? Maybe I'm just stupidly optimistic, but I think we can win 30 games, provided we re-sign Kwame and Diop can play as well as he was under Silas when he got hurt. A lot will depend on if Maggette gives a $#@%^#@ or not. If he cares, he can give us enough offense to get by.

I think we will still be better than the Clippers, Minnesota, Toronto and Washington.

Posted by: J | Jun 24, 2011 11:22:19 AM

CNNSI says we're the number one loser in this draft. Biyombo has to be a great defensive presence one day because on offense you are playing 4 against 5. It's not a terrible pick necessarily to chase the potential, unless you realize that:
a) a franchise point guard was on the board and
b) we traded Gerald Wallace, Stephen Jackson, Shaun Livingston, and the 19th pick for a player who may not be here next year because of a buyout issue and if he is here has to ride pine because he has the offensive game of a 5 year old playing on a 4 foot rim in the living room.

Posted by: sfinsf | Jun 24, 2011 11:25:41 AM

Totally agree cornchip. You don't just tear down everything when you realize you can't win a title with who you have. A 3-4 year run into the playoffs with Felton, Jackson, and Wallace would have been great for the Bobcats bottom-line and our reputation with free agents around the league. It would have made us look like an attractive place for Chris Paul or another high profile free agent, and it would have kept the fans like me enthused.

It's one thing to rebuild through the draft, but this team has the worst draft record of the last decade.

I've followed this team for five years from another NBA market from across the country but I don't know anymore. The Tyler trade was all I needed to know about this team's willingness to win.

Posted by: sfinsf | Jun 24, 2011 11:31:29 AM

A perennial 8th seed does nothing to attract major stars unless you want to severely overpay for someone like Joe Johnson to lead you to 2nd round exits every year.

If the Tyler trade is your impetus for leaving, you were never a real fan to begin with. Tyler is an unproven headcase that failed in Israel and put up marginal numbers in the Japanese league (One of the lowest levels of professional basketball in the world). Getting $2 million for that pick should be considered a felony.

Felton was never a franchise point guard. Period. Further, Kemba and Okafor couldn't have less in common. For starters, Kemba has a varied offensive game and decent athleticism. He can create for himself and hit open jumpers. He's also not a slouch on defense.

Okafor was a one-dimensional player with no offensive touch. His defense was good, but not game changing because he relied a lot on position and strength. He didn't do much to alter shots from the weak side or force stretch-4's to respect him.

On offense, he had no range past 10 feet, no post moves besides the jump hook, and he was too short to be a legit 5 man, so we had to obtain guys like Diaw, who could cover more than just the paint on both sides of the ball.

Posted by: John | Jun 24, 2011 11:44:29 AM

Also, if current projections hold true, the salary cap is going to be around $62 million next summer, when we will have roughly $30 million to play with since we currently only have $28 million committed, not counting Kemba and Bismack's contracts.

This is not a doom and gloom situation. We have assets, a GM that knows how to parlay those assets into something of value and the money to fill in our holes after picking high in the lottery again.

Posted by: John | Jun 24, 2011 11:47:52 AM

My thing is just lose most of the games next year so you can get into the top three and draft Barnes to be the SF. Walker, Henderson, Barnes, Thomas, Brown-Biyombo is a nice starting five and DJ, Carrol, Cunningham (I hope), DJW off the bench - solid team there... Also - if they tank the season then they will have a nice second round pick too. Then in 2013 we can give the Bulls the pick we own them and we will still have the first rounder from Portland.

Posted by: Dominator | Jun 24, 2011 12:11:20 PM

If you are talking trades I like Utah. They have Millsap, Kanter and Al now. Rebuilding and looking for another PG and wanted Diaw last year. DJ, Diaw and 2013 Portland 1st rd pick. Gives them a decent PG, cap relief and a pick.

Kemba could easily lead our team in scoring this year. We drafted great value and talent for 7 and 9.Toronto was considering Biyombo strongly at 5 before Jonas fell to them.

Posted by: DanielTDenny | Jun 24, 2011 12:26:40 PM

J:
You're saying you're "stupid optimistic'' in predicting the Bobcats will win 30 of 82? I think you just described stinking in the NBA.

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Jun 24, 2011 12:27:31 PM

Here is my plan for rebuilding the team.

Before the trade deadline, offer the Magic to get Howard:

1) Augustin or Thomas
2) Diaw (his expiring contract at the end of next season will be appealing)
3) Both 2013 1st round draft picks (ours plus Portlands)

If Howard is intent on leaving Orlando, I would think that would enough to get it done, assuming he would commit to signing here.

In 2012, we draft the best SF available, Barnes or whoever.

In 2013, we offer Stepehen Curry the money and love he deserves.

That's a pretty stacked roster, that by 2014 could be a championship contender.

1 - Curry/Walker
2 - Henderson/Curry/Walker
3 - Barnes (?) / Free Agency
4 - Biyombo / Thomas (maybe)
5 - Howard / Brown

Posted by: Chris | Jun 24, 2011 12:35:58 PM

Rick,

Any news on resigning Kwame?

Posted by: Nick | Jun 24, 2011 1:03:54 PM

it wasn't just that we would never win a championship, we were the 7th seed that year. after that season you saw atlanta retain their core long term, you saw chicago build a long term core, miami, indiana improving AND with boatloads of cap room, philly improving, washington improving, milwaukee, virtually everyone in the east was better positioned long term except toronto and new jersey (and boston) and new jersey went out and got D. williams during the season.

we weren't going to be able to retain felton AND tyrus thomas without having a 75 million dollar payroll for a team that MIGHT make the playoffs. the problem was how we went about doing it. we could have just not made the tyrus thomas trade and retained felton. we could have not made the dampier trade. we could have actually developed our young players during these years instead of really damaging augustin and henderson and completely failing to get anything out of ajinca who was a D_league allstar at age 20.

we had to do something to get better than the competition and still make money. that felton/wallace/jackson core wasn't bringing fans out to the arena either.


and you guys live in candyland or something. only way orlando even considers howard to us is for diaw, every pick we're allowed to give them, walker, biyombo, yvette, our best ball boy, 3 cases of cheerwine, and the rights to michael jordan's sperm for the use of permanently creating future basketball players with candance parker or lisa leslie's eggs.

and we aren't getting scola for diaw either. nobody benefits by dumping good contracts. people dump bad contracts. scola has one of the best contracts in basketball.


augustin and walker will be able to play together. you give those 2 and henderson 32 minutes a game each and you've got augustin and walker on the floor together for 16 minutes against somebodies backups. it's completely do'able.

now we just need a 3. barnes. and we should definitely go after hansbrough as a 3rd guard. eff anybody that says otherwise, that dude is gonna be a pro for a long time.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 24, 2011 1:04:52 PM

2 million for Tyler, even though I think he'll be a solid pro. I'm OK with this trade. That is a lot for a second round pick, besides Diaw is on his way OUT and hopefully we turn Diaw into any kind of center. Gortat seems to be available, we need to make a deal for a center or more draft picks next year. Being bad and watching young players grow is all apart of being a great organization. Love the direction Cho is taking us in. So what we're bad next year our reward could be Barnes.

Posted by: bobcatsfan05 | Jun 24, 2011 1:10:53 PM

DJ Augustin damaged himself by being a weak minded player that let competing with Flip Murray for the backup PG spot shake him so badly that he regressed.

Kemba's mere presence probably has DJ shaking in his shoes over his job security.

As for failing to get something out of Ajinca, that was just a bad pick. Being a D-League All-Star just means he proved he was good enough to ride the pine in a suit.

Henderson may yet become something in this league.

Posted by: John | Jun 24, 2011 1:12:26 PM

John,

I don't quite understand your logic. You say that Felton wasn't a quality starting NBA PG, but Walker still has to prove that he is a NBA PG at all. It's ridiculous how many people think being a NBA PG is just about blowing by people and scoring at the rim.

Walker isn't a great passer and hasn't proven that he can consistently run a team and set people up. I don't know if he will ever be able to absorb those skills. I've always said the best case for him is Jason Terry...and even then he has a LONG way to go to be the shooter Terry is.

Don't get me wrong, I like the pick there. But Kemba comes with the limitations that you see when a team picks #9 (like Hendo and DJ).

And on the Bobcats plan in general...I think if you could have packaged the 7 and 9 for a top 3 pick if at all possible, then I would somewhat "get it". I think Irving, Kanter, and especially Williams were building block, franchise player-like guys and there was a big dropoff. Bisyomo and Walker are role players, imo.

We HAVE to get a top 5 pick next year (luckily it's a deep draft). Sullinger, Barnes, Rivers, Terrence Jones, and Perry Jones are all guys I consider builiding blocks. If not, this could get ugly.

Posted by: cornchip | Jun 24, 2011 1:57:20 PM

The Bobcats are on the right track. MJ has been the owner for what? 2 years now? Give the guy some time to develop a basketball program. I mean, the 'cats weren't going to do any better than the 8th seed with Wallace and Jackson. They had to go to build a new foundation.

mike t.

Posted by: Michael C. Teniente | Jun 24, 2011 2:30:21 PM

I just don't know what to tell anyone who thinks Dwight Howard would ever, for one minute, wear a Bobcats uniform. If he leaves Orlando via free agency, he's going to a major market where he can maximize his sponsorship opportunities (i.e., Lakers or Nets). If you seriously think he would leave the Magic -- a decent team in a state with no income tax -- to come to Charlotte ... I'm sorry, that's just hilarious. Never. Gonna. Happen.

Regarding last night's draft, I give Cho credit for having the stones to make bold moves. That said, I would have picked Knight at 7, Leonard at 9 and kept Tyler at 39. Or even Leonard at 7, Klay Thompson at 9 and Lee at 39. I just don't think Kemba is an NBA star. Great college player, but he's a too-small, shoot-first combo guard. There's a long, long list of great (even NCAA title winning) college players who were garbage in the pros. Mateen Cleaves, anyone? Yeah, I know, Kemba's a much more explosive athlete than Mateen ... but still, Kemba just reeks of "bust" to me.

Posted by: Brock Landers | Jun 24, 2011 2:40:27 PM

There is a huge difference in being a "quality starter" and a "franchise" player. Felton was a quality starter, but never came close to being a "franchise" player, which is exactly what Charlotte hoped he would be when they selected him 5th overall.

Also, I don't know why you mention packaging the 7th and 9th picks, since that was never an option. Minnesota was the only team drafting above us willing to deal and they made it clear they wanted a lot to facilitate a move to #2. Everyone else was content to draft at their designated spot.

You can't knock draftees based on things that were never realistic in the first place.

The Jason Terry comparison is just dumb. Kemba Walker has an excellent first step, a creative game off the dribble and range to the 3PT line. Jason Terry is a guy that thrives off of spot up jumpers from 3 and long range 2's off the dribble.

Further, if you've been paying attention, the PG position is trending toward guys that are quick, athletic and capable of scoring in bunches. That's Kemba to a T.

If you pair him with an athletic 2 that can create off the dribble, he's got more than enough talent to be a successful PG.

Posted by: John | Jun 24, 2011 3:46:50 PM

John,

I suggest you go back and watch some Jet highlights coming out of Arizona. He had tremendous athleticism when he first entered the NBA and frankly was a better player than Walker coming out of Arizona. But he is 6'2 and athleticsm will only get you so far when you are a scorer at that height. He found a great niche and further developed his shooting ability to be apart of a contender. If Kemba was smart he would do the same thing.

And the NBA has been trending toward quick, athletic PG's....but they are still PG's. One only needs to look at the OKC series against the Mavs to see how bad a PG can hurt you when he doesn't play like a PG.

Posted by: cornchip | Jun 24, 2011 4:12:39 PM

My favorite is John ripping Emeka Okafor but somehow thinking Biyombo is a good pick:

"Okafor was a one-dimensional player with no offensive touch. His defense was good, but not game changing because he relied a lot on position and strength. He didn't do much to alter shots from the weak side or force stretch-4's to respect him."

You just described Biyombnoooooo! to a T. Actually, if Biyomnno ever develops Emeka's offensive game, it'd be incredible.

Posted by: sfinsf | Jun 24, 2011 4:14:21 PM

Are you guys serious??? The guy (Kemba) hasn't even suited up yet and we're killing him already. The Draft, hell any draft for that matter is based off of past performances and potential, both of which Kemba has. Raise your hand if you thought Terry would even be in the league up til this point being that he was drafted in the second round. I'm a little scared to judge Kemba positively because he's a NYC PG and they tend to not do too well. But given his potential Kemba "should" be fine. He is more aggressive on both sides of the ball than DJ. Kemba averaged just under 6 assts in the tournament, i'm not sure I understand what else you're asking him to do. He is undersized, but so is DJ. I don't think they're asking Kemba to be a savior, but i'll take a poor man's Ben Gordon at this point. Let the rebuilding begin. The cupboard is bare! Can't do anything now but be patient... Again!

Posted by: BBall Junkie | Jun 24, 2011 6:12:46 PM

Like Junkie said, Kemba average about 6 apg in the tourney, and scored a bunch of points. How are those numbers not "PG" numbers? Especially in the NCAA. Remember Kemba played "pass first" his first 2 years at UConn and was called upon to score more his 3rd year. The kid has speed and quickness, will be able to get into the lane, and that's half the battle with being a good distributor. For people who are knocking his jumpshot, it improved exponentially from his Sophomore year to his Junior year. He did not have a 3 point shot whatsoever until his Junior year. What some highlights of his last season. The kid put in time with his jumpshot and will keep putting in time. At this point in his career he is a better shooter than Chris Paul was coming out of college.

Posted by: Blee | Jun 24, 2011 7:17:06 PM

I think it's a terrific draft. Biyombo is long, athletic, with tremendous upside. I like Walker at the 4: he's athletic, a winner, with tremendous upside.

Posted by: G-Rock | Jun 25, 2011 12:49:31 AM

Kemba...not sure about the upside. This is the comparison with Okafor. Everyone suspected that Emeka was getting a high percentage out of his skills at UCONN, but he develop additional game? This is the question with Kemba...how much better will he be in 2-3 years in the NBA? Felton, for instance, got a little better in the NBA, but was essentially the same player who took UNC to the Championship. I guess the bottom line is that Cho and company are looking to "tank" the upcoming shortened season, save salary money, let some young players get some experience, hunker down with an awful season and try to get a top 3 pick. Kind of "in your face" to Stern...just strip the team of veteran talent and don't expect to compete with most teams. Be intentionally bad. Tell Stern that the curse of the small market is that you have to take this approach. Of course, the box office and sponsorships will suffer, but both have already been suffering big-time.

BTW, MJ was "director of basketball operations" for several years under B. Johnson. Someone keeps saying to give MJ more time because he just bought the team. If you have had total control of basketball operations and then take total control, should the clock start when you had "basketball control?"

Posted by: Da Sports Machine | Jun 26, 2011 7:15:43 PM

1 - ajinca being a d-league all-star at age 20 DOES mean something. he played in like 10 games prior to the all-star game and STILL got the nod. d league competition >>> college competition in almost every case. i mean you're talking about college all-star teams. and he at 20 would have been a sophomore or junior in college. he would have been riding pine at age 21, cracking the rotation by 22 and starting for the next 13 years or until his knees fall apart (like every other big man) by age 23.

develop your young'ns. especially the ones that are 7 feet tall and skilled.


2 - walker is comparable to terry in play and skill set. both can shoot and dribble, both are undersized 2's that can proficiently play the 1 but will never be confused with steve nash. both are winners. very comparable. jason terry is far from a spot up shooter. you must be 12 and have only seen him play with dirk nowitski. watch some arizona tape. watch some tape of his early years with atlanta. he once averaged 7.4 assists as a "spot up shooter" as you put it.


3 - DJ didn't fail to compete with flip murray. flip murray shot like 30% from 3 as a bobcat while DJ shot almost 40% during that time. assist to TO ratio? is this a joke? larry brown is a nut for veterans over young'ns. the guy signed LARRY HUGHES.

if you got drafted 9th and as a rookie put up 29 and 7 against derrick rose and totaled 10 games of 20 or more and played 25 mpg and then came in the next year and your coach puts you behind guys like flip murray and larry hughes? that would eff with ANYBODY's game.


i appreciate what brown did here but while silas is baking apple pies out of bad apples (kwame brown) larry was making samaki walkers out of damn near every 1st round pick we had (may, morrison, felton, augustin, henderson, ajinca, etc.)

if it were JUST augustin, you'd have a reason to argue that but the track record says too much. brown was the right guy for the veterans that they brought in for him, he wasn't the guy for the young'ns that we needed him to be making veterans out of.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 26, 2011 11:10:44 PM

Felton deserves nothing. He proved here and in Denver that he is simply not an above-average NBA starter at point guard. Can't run an offense to save his life, his endgame play is among the worst I've ever seen, and he got DESTROYED by--who???--Jameer Nelson? Really?

Posted by: Michael Procton | Jun 28, 2011 1:59:55 PM

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