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February 08, 2012

Injured Bobcats on the mend

The most fixable aspect of the Charlotte Bobcats’ 12-game
losing streak is the injury situation. It sounded Wednesday like three key players are on the mend.

Gerald Henderson, D.J. Augustin and Corey Maggette – the team’s top three scorers this
season – have all missed considerable stretches of late. All three are hopeful they’ll be ready to play again before the All-Star break, which starts Feb. 23.

Point guard Augustin has been out with severe inflammation in his right big toe since a loss in New Jersey Jan. 22. He says he’s feeling dramatically better, and might play as soon as a Monday home game against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Augustin is no longer required to wear a protective boot. He’s started some light running and shooting, but has not yet tested cutting or leaping off his right foot. During the West Coast trip, Augustin met with Nike officials in suburban Portland, Ore., who are customizing his shoes to better protect the injured tendon in his toe.

“Hopefully Monday or next week sometime,’’ Augustin said of his return to games. “I don’t want to wait until after the All-Star break.’’

Augustin said his absence has put a burden on rookie teammate Kemba Walker, the team’s other primary point guard. Before Augustin’s injury, Walker averaged 24 minutes a game. In the nine games since Augustin went down, Walker averaged 36 minutes.

“It’s hard for him right now. He’s so tired from playing so many minutes,’’ Augustin said. “But he’s doing a really good job.’’

Henderson suffered a hamstring strain in the loss at Portland, and has missed the past two games.

“I’m not good enough to play yet, but it’s better every day,’’ said Henderson.

Maggette has been out the longest, after suffering a hamstring strain in New York Jan. 4. He was able to participate in part of a practice this week in Boston, with no ill effects.

“I don’t know what it will be (today), maybe a little more than it was,’’ Maggette said of medical clearance to practice. “There weren’t any setbacks and that’s the positive thing.’’

Maggette said he’s encouraged there’s been no grousing among teammates, despite the losing streak:

“We’re in desperate need of a win. But guys have still been positive. We’re keeping the morale up. Hopefully we get D.J. and Gerald back soon. He’s 10 years younger than me, so he’ll be able to come back a little faster.’’

Maggette said he hopes to play sometime this week or next, but is cautious about risking re-injury.

“Especially with a hamstring (injury), you can’t have a middle ground with them,’’ Maggette
said. “It’s been tough for me to be very, very patient, but you have to patient with these things. The good thing is no setbacks.’’

Posted by Observer Sports on February 8, 2012 at 04:31 PM | Permalink


at this point i just want to see Kemba and Bismack to get to know one another.

Posted by: vinh | Feb 8, 2012 5:32:48 PM

I agree...We suck and even with those guys coming back we arent gonna be very good. I'd like to see them move DJ Augustine for a nice pick and a throw-in pg to spell Kemba. Id rather see the young guys learn and grow than see a few so called "veterans" come back and steal a few meaningless wins to hurt our draft position. Its fairly obvious at this point Kemba is part of the future here, now if we can just get Bismack to some sort of a respectale offensive game we'll be good heading into next seasons free agency and draft

Posted by: jp | Feb 8, 2012 6:04:24 PM


Posted by: RAHSHON GAMBLE | Feb 8, 2012 6:17:37 PM

Rahshon - please re-read your post. None of things you typed make any sense whatsoever.

Amnesty should not be used on someone who's contract is small and expiring. If they're using it on anyone, Tyrus Thomas is the only candidate. Best case is these guys don't rush back because we do need to keep losing in an effort to try for the #1 pick. Honestly though, I feel like we're cursed and even if we have the worst record, we still won't hit the lottery.

Posted by: Bobcat Matt | Feb 8, 2012 6:48:47 PM

Guys - Kemba blows and is going to be a bust. Someone please tell me the logic your using when comparing Kemba to DJ?? DJ is the only solid player on this team and the only one with a decent jump shot! Giving DJ up would be a HUGE mistake.

Posted by: Cantwinwithkemba | Feb 8, 2012 7:08:34 PM

We were 3-15 with DJ starting...with healthy players around him. Kemba hasnt had a healthy roster since he's been starting and is a rookie. DJ's in his 3rd year and we've still lost with him starting basically every year. Neither player sucks, we just need more talent at other positions and DJ really has the most trade value. Stocking up on draft picks with a 3-22 team in my opinion is the way to go.

Posted by: jp | Feb 8, 2012 8:14:58 PM

Kemba will be fine. He is getting better every game.

Posted by: Skip | Feb 8, 2012 8:32:40 PM

Yall are nuts. Its as if yall arent watching the games. Dj had the same group of guys kemba has had. They were losing but close, now they're getting blown out every game just about. Walker is playing better of late, but how many possessions per game is he going to dribble out the clock and take a bad shot at the buzzer.

New car syndrome. Augustin is equally talented, but more refined. Moving him for a pick just creates a need at pg and gives up on a 24 year old who is the best player we have. How the eff does that make us better?

Continuity and a draft pick, an offseason and some fat cutting is all we need. And patience from the idiotic fairweather fanbase.

Posted by: charlottean | Feb 8, 2012 8:57:07 PM

Hopefully they won't mess up the record for us

Posted by: crymeariver | Feb 8, 2012 9:35:34 PM

Losing does not guarantee the #1 pick. Even if we did get the top pick, the way we draft it wouldn't matter. We had two top ten picks and got nothing! We will continue with the bad drafts and trading our best players every year for what? More picks to make bad drafts!! We'll never get better until somebody with some discernment of talent gets in charge.

Posted by: Superguru | Feb 8, 2012 11:15:32 PM

Bobcats, trade all your assets for nothing! Wallace left, Jackson followed and nothing absolutely the team got in return. Margette is a waste. He's never going to be healthy and this has been his model throughout his career.

Let his contract expired and retain the young guys, and hopefully a nice pick can pawn out. Keep Hedo, Walker, Biyombo, DJ, Reggie, Mullens, White & Brown. Trade Diop & Tyrus Thomas or apply amnesty on both players. Mark Carroll need to retire from playing basketball. This guy is never going to get any better. I think Higgins was signed because of connection, and I regret Dante Cunningham was never resign on this team.

DJ need to rest and don't rush to get back playing. Hopefully the team can win the first lottery and get a better player. He's the only valued asset on this team right now and please don't trade him management.

Posted by: Bobcat | Feb 8, 2012 11:53:35 PM

The last thing we need to do at this point is to start winning games.

Posted by: apauldds | Feb 9, 2012 8:48:13 AM

Does it really matter at this point? We get these guys back and we finish the season w/ 9 wins instead of 6.

Posted by: SteveS | Feb 9, 2012 8:50:23 AM

You are right Bobcat... Diop and Thomas need to go... Diop is just a body and Thomas is not a SF at all... If we were to get a 1st round pick who would you get and why?

Posted by: MAJ | Feb 9, 2012 9:02:34 AM

Kemba really has to work this offseason on becoming a distributor. He didn't do that in college, but said they needed him to score (implication being that he DID have natural PG skills). With better players/finishers and a lot of work, I think he can mold his game and be a PG, but it will take time. Biz needs a lot of work also (training and weight room), and I think he will be a keeper, but nothing close to the impact of a star player. The upcoming draft is critical...we MUST get a star, an impact player, to lead this team into the future.

Posted by: Bassman | Feb 9, 2012 9:06:31 AM

I am going to have to disagree with some of you. No need to move Augustin he is too good of player. I still think Hendo is the best player on this team and Augustin is second. Kemba has done some things as a rookie that are encouraging. He just needs a little more time, I can't believe people are calling him a bust. WoW!!!!!!The team has been inconsistent due to a number of injuries and this team is not talented enough to sustain the injuries. No one pick is not going to solve the problem but cap space will with expiring contracts. Hopefully the dead weight on this roster will be removed.We can build around those players but need to do it with the above players mentioned by Bobcat. And Charlottean with the stock rising for DJ Augustin he may overvalue himself like Ray Felt did after a few seasons.

Posted by: tbird | Feb 9, 2012 9:38:19 AM

"Yall are nuts. Its as if yall arent watching the games. Dj had the same group of guys kemba has had."

Um...no. DJ had Maggette & Kemba. Kemba hasn't had Maggette or DJ...and for some of the games he didn't have Hendo either.

"New car syndrome. Augustin is equally talented, but more refined."

We are talking a 4 year vet vs. a rookie here aren't we? if they are equally talented as you say then we should be pretty excited about Kemba no? Certainly enough so where we wouldn't want to pay "equal talent" 7 million or more a year.

In this case that new car is going to be a heckuva lot cheaper than the 4 year old version.

If we can get a pick out of DJ then hopefully Cho will pull the trigger.

Posted by: spectre | Feb 9, 2012 10:24:30 AM

if it's a top 10 pick like he was, sure, maybe. but who is giving up a top 10 pick in this draft?

we could debate all day about how much maggette helped or hurt. walker hasn't had augustin to back him up, this is true but what does that have to do with him when he's on the court? he's had thomas and williams who missed time early. najera too although that's more of a non-factor. he had henderson for almost all of those blowouts and by the time he lost henderson, he got williams.

augustin is more experienced, but only 2 and a half years older. that's not enough of a difference to go with the new car that doesn't run as well. regarding his pay.......that's the way it goes with rookie scale. it's cheap while the kids are learning. then it gets expensive like it should. we have the cap room. extending augustin and adding 3 or 4 million to what he's already making is not hindering our ability to signing free agents and winning ball games. not resigning him IS.

walker's going to get paid the same in a few years too. it would be different if the guy was significantly better but i mean......dude is putting up adam morrison numbers and everybody bashed morrison back then but they're praising walker now. we were losing before but we are getting BLOWN OUT now. and dude has taken HUGE strides in becoming better about sharing the ball but it's still way too often that the ball never leaves his hands in a 24 second shot clock.

we're going to have a top 5 pick in the draft this year. if we get the right guy and retain everybody, we could be an 8 seed next year and a contender the following. IF WE KEEP EVERYBODY AND GET THE RIGHT GUY. if we start letting guys go, nobody is signing here for appropriate price. so to replace DJ or d.j. white or derrick brown, we have to either find ANOTHER young guy to develop and set us back 3 years or we have to overpay to get them to come here.

when i say new car syndrome i'm talking about how every year you guys are jumping up and wanting a new car. you want to trade for guys like chris kaman and brook lopez (who are mediocre to say the least) instead of developing a guy who could be better but at the very least will be THAT. it's the grass is always greener. not every new car is better than the 3 year old model you already have with some miles on it and all the kinks worked out.

we should be keeping both guys long term. a la d'angelo williams and jonathan stewart. a la okc with james harden. ala memphis with oj mayo. ala indiana with all of their young'ns that they have on the bench that could probably start for half the league.

Posted by: charlottean | Feb 9, 2012 12:10:05 PM

Kemba has a lot to learn. This shortened season really doesn't help matters. DJ Aug was doing good before his injury. He & Kemba can work at the PG position. I would only trade DJ if we could get a bigger, better PG to replace him. Hendo was doing good before his injuries. Hopefully he can come back strong. Reggie has been doing a good job the last couple of games as a 2 guard. He and Hendo can fill the need there. Matt Carrol needs to be replaced with a better backup. D Brown is playing the 3 position now and doing ok the past couple of games. He brings good size to that position. Maggette wont be a profitable player for this team so we need another strong small forward with starter power. D Brown can be the backup. We can keep Biyombo and Mullens but the 4 & 5 positions need a complete overhaul. All others are expendable.

Posted by: Patrick | Feb 9, 2012 12:43:38 PM

Agree with Patrick. The depth chart going into next year should be:

PG: DJ / Kemba
SG: Hendo / Reggie
SF: ?? / D Brown
PF: ?? / Biyombo
C: ?? / Mullens

We can hopefully deal with some of those question marks in the draft -- get Davis or Drummond and move Mullens into the starting role for a year, then flip them back (starting Davis or Drummond with Mullens backing up); or get Sullinger and do that with Biyombo. This team won't be good next year, but that kind of thinking could set us up to be good in the long haul.

Definitely need to keep all of our good players, which includes DJ without a doubt. No need to rush Kemba into being the starting PG just yet. They even play well together on the court, so they could co-exist for many years, I think.

Posted by: James | Feb 9, 2012 12:52:51 PM

if you look at it by position and look at the draft......

augustin/walker + 3rd pg with size = pg position set

henderson/williams/carroll = 2 guard set. carroll can be kept for the remainder of his career as a 12th man on the roster kind of guy as injury insurance and a veteran/community guy that the fans know and love. this IS important. and he plays well enough in spot duty to justify keeping him as he ages a bit.

brown is clearly showing over the past 3 weeks that he's a keeper. is he a starter? not sure but he's definitely a rotation guy. you can go 1 of 2 ways with this. you draft barnes and he's you're starting franchise 3 with brown coming off the bench OR you draft davis or sullinger and you have tyrus thomas and brown splitting the time pretty evenly with the position focused on defense and rebounding and spot scoring.

at the 4 and 5......if you draft barnes, you have biyombo, mullens and you might keep d.j. white at that point and maybe you keep thomas as a backup 4.

if you draft davis which is far more ideal I think, he's your cornerstone at the 4 and biyombo and mullens split the time at the 5 and backup 4 spot.

but we can literally take this exact roster and cut the fat (maggette, najera, diaw, diop) and draft davis or barnes or sullinger and have the right mix of guys.

you only need 8 or 9 guys. the remainder of the roster spots should be veteran insurance policies, young developmental players that we can stash in the d-league, or specialty role players like shooters or rebounders.

thomas and white are the only true question marks. boris WAS but he has completely given up. he showed a lot of promise for being that glue guy in the beginning of the season but he should have REALLY shined over the past few weeks with everybody hurt and he hasn't. he's done. thomas is an enigma. he could be insanely useful and brings a lot of energy and everything but he just isn't putting all the pieces together and at this point you have to assume he never will.

white.....looked like the ideal backup 4. comes off the bench scores and rebounds and is smart enough, skilled enough, and poised enough to not mess with your team chemistry coming off the bench.

everybody else is clear. mullens and biyombo and walker and henderson and brown and augustin and williams are all clearly on an uptick in development. future is really bright if we just land a top 3 pick and get the right guy.

Posted by: charlottean | Feb 9, 2012 12:56:47 PM

"walker hasn't had augustin to back him up, this is true but what does that have to do with him when he's on the court?"

Kemba was playing WITH DJ after Maggette got injured...remember? It's not about backing him up, it's about the talent surrounding him while he's on the court.

"dude is putting up adam morrison numbers and everybody bashed morrison back then but they're praising walker now. we were losing before but we are getting BLOWN OUT now. he's had thomas and williams who missed time early. najera too although that's more of a non-factor. he had henderson for almost all of those blowouts and by the time he lost henderson, he got williams. "

Thomas was injured in preseason and didn't come back until January 4th...remember? Since then we've won one game, Tyrus has played like utter crap. Yet we're still starting him!

DJ went down on January 22nd. Since then we've played 8 games and Henderson has missed 4 of them. Reggie has played in the last 2...none of which were "blowouts".

Seriously man...I know you watch the games. I can respect your opinion but don't make me have to go to the websites to dig all this info up just to correct you.

The blowouts are happening because our back court is possibly the worst defensively in the history of the NBA. We also have a coach that would rather the players freelance vs. calling set plays...a great recipe for a young team like we've been trotting out.

Maybe DJ can fix all that...even tho it was pretty apparent before he went down. Interestingly our 3rd biggest "blowout" was 30 pts in Atlanta while DJ was starting.

Posted by: spectre | Feb 9, 2012 1:41:13 PM

1st Trade: Boris Diaw, Tyrus Thomas, DJ Augustin and Portland 2013 1st Rd Pick to Cleveland for Antawn Jamison and Ramon Sessions.

2nd Trade: Corey Maggette and Charlotte 2012 2nd Rd Pick to New Jersey for Mehmet Okur.

3rd: Amnesty Gana Diop (if necessary).

That will solve all of the Bobcats problems. It will cost the Bobcats two potentially good draft picks, but it will provide the team A WHOLE LOT of Cap Space this next summer to sign or trade for an elite player. Also, Ramon Sessions is as good as DJ and bigger, less of a defensive liability (he's not the long term PG). Add whoever the Bobcats will draft with their Top 2012 Pick and this team has a big chance to be special next year (similar to the Indiana Pacers).

Posted by: RobC | Feb 9, 2012 3:22:38 PM

We'd make out like bandits if those trades went down. Get rid of all our problems for a mid pick, 2nd rounder, expiring and a rental? Put me down.

BTW...Adam Morrison's highest PER for his career was 7.9 (wow). Kemba's right now is 14.3 which is slightly below average...but nothing near Adam Morrison.

Posted by: spectre | Feb 9, 2012 3:50:23 PM

@ spectre.."1st Trade: Boris Diaw, Tyrus Thomas, DJ Augustin and Portland 2013 1st Rd Pick to Cleveland for Antawn Jamison and Ramon Sessions".....Why would we give a way 3 players and a 1st rd draft pick for 1 and half??? Jamison is done so what's the logic in that. Good thing you're not the GM. That would be really dumb...Why do you think they spent all that time getting rid of the old to bring in more relics??

Posted by: Rightbackatcha | Feb 9, 2012 4:14:34 PM

set aside PER and the numbers are comparable.

I get what you are saying about DJ being on the floor with Kemba helping/hurting him, but doesn't that further reinforce that DJ has a ton of value with this team?

I mean if you were going to trade one of the 2........and they are basically the same player. you could argue for kemba, I could argue for DJ but the numbers are insanely comparable even in college and high school. augustin is a more efficient offensive player but walker brings a little more defense and rebounding.

if you're going to trade one......wouldn't you trade the new car? i mean if you offer DJ to toronto without his contract extended, they're just going to give up a late 1st and bayless. but if you offer walker, they might give us their top 5 pick next year or valancunius.

so which is better? walker, henderson, thomas, davis, biyombo with bayless backing up and a pick equating to.....a zeller or plumlee or someone of the like.


augustin, henderson, barnes, davis, biyombo


augustin, walker, henderson, thomas, davis, biyombo.


augustin, henderson, thomas, davis, valancunius with biyombo.

i mean i'm taking either of the latter 3 before i'm taking the 1st. the market for DJ is less because of the lack of new car smell and because of his contract status. so why not keep him and trade walker if they're the same guy? if we turn last year's 9th pick into this year's 5th......that is a HUGE move. or even turning last year's 9th into last year's 5th.

i mean yall are talking about turning augustin into ramon sessions and cap relief. sessions is a solid player but that's not an upgrade. i mean diop's contract expires before we need the cap room, so does maggettes. we can pay those guys and eat those contracts next year for them to not play. we can amnesty thomas if we want to, but there MIGHT be a trade market out there for him. new jersey might take the guy off our hands for a 2nd round pick or something.

cap relief would have helped coming off the playoff loss to the magic when we had to decide between felton, thomas, and chandler.........if we had not had diop on the roster we could have picked 2 of them and kept our core intact to grow but instead we gutted the whole team with the dampier trade and picked the wrong one of the 3 in thomas.

now we don't need cap room. we need high draft picks (not just picks, high ones) and young starting caliber players. why trade one for what we don't need?

we need to be building for a playoff run in 2013-14 and to be long term contenders from there. to get there, we should be doing whatever we can to keep our core in tact, and use our other pieces to acquire a top 5-10 pick this year if at all possible. or grab an under performing talent like an evan turner or one of the guys worth saving off of the lost teams like detroit or washington......think jan vesely or jonas jerekbo or ed davis or austin daye or something of the like.

we don't need mediocre veterans and we don't need cap room to overpay guys who don't deserve it. no quality free agent is going to sign here except for MAYBE guys like curry and morrow and jamison because they're from here and still live here. but they don't exactly change the franchise into winners either.

Posted by: charlottean | Feb 9, 2012 7:29:09 PM

Set aside PER? You mean shooting? That's all Ammo did was shoot. He didn't defend, pass or rebound. Not to mention he had a lot more skilled players around him where he never got that much defensive attention.

Did you notice them double teaming Kemba in the Celtics game on inbounds plays? Teams have been game planning specifically against him. His PER is a tribute to what he's been doing despite that...and why you just can't set it aside.

You know he's ranked 3rd on NBA's rookie ladder right?

One PG is going to cost 7 million and in his 5th year and the other 2-3 million in his 2nd year. You're already saying their comparable so you have to know that one has more potential to get better.

He keep bringing up that we have to spend the money anyway, but it doesn't seem very cost efficient to put over 10 million into 2 guards with similar skill sets when we have SO many holes on this roster. We are NOT near to doing anything.

If we're spending 10-12 million just to man the PG spot I want more than just an average PER and subpar defense.

Posted by: spectre | Feb 9, 2012 8:30:28 PM

"@ spectre.."1st Trade: Boris Diaw, Tyrus Thomas, DJ Augustin and Portland 2013 1st Rd Pick to Cleveland for Antawn Jamison and Ramon Sessions".....Why would we give a way 3 players and a 1st rd draft pick for 1 and half??? Jamison is done so what's the logic in that. Good thing you're not the GM. That would be really dumb...Why do you think they spent all that time getting rid of the old to bring in more relics??"

It wasn't my trade idea...but:

Had a look at Tyrus' contract lately?

Jamison is still productive (unlike Boris), would probably sign here less than the MLE, provides a solid vet presence for the kids and Sessions is fairly comparable to DJ except he's a better defender and knows his role. He's also going to be cheaper to re-sign vs. DJ.

Guess you also missed the Maggette for Okur part too. THAT's the one I was referring to mostly about making out like bandits...we'd be losing about 11 million in committed salary.

Getting rid of Tyrus for a mid/late 1st only is probably better than it'll end up costing us.

Posted by: spectre | Feb 9, 2012 8:41:43 PM

"if you're going to trade one......wouldn't you trade the new car? i mean if you offer DJ to toronto without his contract extended, they're just going to give up a late 1st and bayless. but if you offer walker, they might give us their top 5 pick next year or valancunius."

There is NO way Kemba would pull the 5th pick. None...nada.

Posted by: spectre | Feb 9, 2012 8:50:01 PM

You guys cant compare stats when comparing dj n kemba. The stats may be misleading making them comparable , but theyre not. Dj is a far better distributor of the ball. Kemba has problems making basic bounce passes. Part of this is due to his height whc is less than average for a pt gd.

If you trade dj, i agree w the posters saying it must be for a taller ,passing first and defending pt gd. Not even mj, whose kembas best supporter, would give the pt gd reins to kemba at this point after seeing his terrible play since hes played big minutes or been starting.

He will never be a legitimate defender, has always posted poor shooting per centages even in college and hasnt a clue how to advance the ball on the break , rather than dribbling it up and creating shots in the paint for teammates whom desperately need to be set up .

Trading dj is pretty dumb right now. Theres not much out there in terms of decent pt gds that will be offered up. Hes a way better shooter, passer and defender.

Posted by: Ironman | Feb 10, 2012 6:33:18 AM

Another stellar performance (2-11) from Kemba against the bulls last night...i can now see why you all think he's better than DJ....NOT!

Posted by: Cantwinwithkemba | Feb 11, 2012 10:46:20 AM

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