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April 02, 2012

Kemba Walker to start for Charlotte Bobcats

When you’re 7-43 with 16 games left in the regular season, what’s the downside to exploring options?

That was Charlotte Bobcats coach Paul Silas’s message in saying Monday he’ll readjust the rotation the rest of the season to see what some of the younger players offer. That started on the road against the Detroit Pistons Saturday when Byron Mullens and Reggie Williams both started. It will continue Tuesday in Toronto, when Silas plans to replace D.J. Augustin as starting point guard with rookie Kemba Walker.

This isn’t a demotion for Augustin, who finished the Pistons game with 16 points and 10 assists. Rather, it’s acknowledging that Augustin’s sore right knee is an issue. Augustin sat out the Bobcats’ last three practices with tendinitis.

Mullens replaced Tyrus Thomas as the starter at power forward and Williams replaced the injured Corey Maggette at small forward. Mullens had 20 points, nine rebounds and two blocks against the Pistons.

“We still want to win games,’’ Silas said. “But we’ve got to find out what these kids are about. If we were going for a playoff berth, then absolutely you’d want your veteran players in there. But we’re not. So we want these guys to play, and see how they react.’’

Maggette suffered a strained Achilles tendon Friday against the Denver Nuggets. He’s expected to miss at least another week. At this point, it’s an open question whether it makes sense for the 32-year-old Maggette to come back this season and risk aggravating the injury.

Posted by Observer Sports on April 2, 2012 at 02:05 PM | Permalink


Dj didn't have a sore knee at the beginning of the year and he struggled then just as he is now. Is it possible that Dj augustine just isn't that good? The dude is average, its been obvious to me for weeks that kemba has a bigger upside and is more athletic. This move should be permanent and shouldve happened months ago. I guess dj's knee was sore all last year too...he'll have a decent game like once a month and people think he's our best player...smh

Posted by: m | Apr 2, 2012 2:31:41 PM

I put Augustin in the same category as Gerald Wallace. Is he a good player? Yes. Can he win you a championship, and is he good enough to start on the majority of teams in the league. No!

Posted by: Jax | Apr 2, 2012 2:50:23 PM

Wow. Lineup changes? Jordan must be talking about selling the team or something...

Posted by: Roger | Apr 2, 2012 3:09:00 PM

i mean who cares.. does anyone? we are talking bout mullins and some dude named reggies williams.. who are these guys? augustine is also very unimportant around the league.. kemba has some potential i guess..

Posted by: red | Apr 2, 2012 3:15:56 PM

This is obviously a bad move. Kemba is not, nor will he ever be a starting point guard in the NBA. He is very limited in many aspects of his game, which I knew before he was even drafted.

Hey Jax, the Bobcats are never going to any Championship, so why are you even worried about the level of DJ? Start dealing with reality.

Posted by: Jalen Rose | Apr 2, 2012 3:18:33 PM

m........he struggled at the beginning of the year? really?

jax......he would start on half the teams.

the guy has played garbage over the past few weeks no question. they say he's hurt, but if you're hurt that bad, you don't play at all. i'm not going to defend it, in fact, i thought they should have made this move a few games ago when he just clearly wasn't bringing anything to the table.

his FA price just dropped big time, chances are really high he's brought back at the QO now. Can't see them reaching an agreement with this many question marks around him.

the scary thing is.......walker hasn't shown he's any better. you have to give him the shot (again) because he's a rookie and stands a better chance to improve but the flaw in that logic is that DJ HAS played better. walker hasn't. comparing one guy in a slump to another guy in his rookie year is tough. walker's played much better off the bench than he has as a starter so we'll see what happens. it's important they figure out what the deal is before the offseason but i don't think they will.

both guys will look like they COULD have break out years in 2012-13 and both guys will look like they COULD have mediocre years like they did this year. it's still not our biggest concern on the depth chart. 3 and 4 are definitely that.

Posted by: charlottean | Apr 2, 2012 3:31:07 PM

M ..... Not sure what team you were watching for the first 20 games but DJ was not struggling in fact DJ & Boris kept us in most of the games. My take is DJ wants to get out of here and who wouldn't with Yogi and BooBoo bear running the team. Kemba will never be a point guard until he 1) learns to dribble with both hands 2) keeps his head up to actually see people (more like Jax right now) 3) knows the proper pace to bring the ball up court yo cant try to outrun the d in this league all the time 4) gets the ball to guyd where they like it and not just becuase he no longer has options and is tied up. He is Jason Terry at best but most likely Nate Robinson.

Posted by: TrueBBallFan | Apr 2, 2012 3:45:53 PM

Good to start Walker and let he and everyone see what he's capable of at this point in his young career. I also have serious doubts about Kemba as a starting-caliber PG. He must work on the weaknesses in his game, gain some advanced skills, to be successful beyond a 6th man role. Like what Mullens showed in recent games. I also think he is a better 4 prospect than a 5. Gotta hit it in the draft. If we do not get #1 and Davis, then we must get a deadly scorer to carry this team (MKG), or the next great PG (not convinced that player is out there).

Posted by: Bassman | Apr 2, 2012 3:59:08 PM

i said the night Mikey drafted Kemba this is such a joke. there are no 6'2" shooting guards in the nba for a reason and he isn't a point guards because he doesn'tmake everyone around him better.

Posted by: my2centsworth | Apr 2, 2012 4:07:04 PM

This is a message board full of imcompetence. DJ Augustin consistently breaks the golden rule of being a point guard. Creating/setting up a play. I don't know how he managed 10 assists the other night. Walker is guilty of this too. He's not a PG by any means. More of a shooting guard. This team needs so much help.

Posted by: Buckley | Apr 2, 2012 4:08:05 PM

Let's not mistake this a promotion for Kemba Walker. It's more like an evaluation of talent, so that the team can see what they should go after in free agency and the Draft.

Can Kemba prove that he's a stater-quality point guard to close out the year? If so, the club has one less variable to sort out. Otherwise, they've got start working the phones or sending scouts out to find a true top-tier point guard.

Posted by: Mike | Apr 2, 2012 4:29:15 PM

kemba at best Jason Terry... Thats the buggest joke ive heard in a yr. Hes Nate robinson on his best day. He cant get in the paint and dish. He can only get his hot blocked , force a shot or pass up a teammate.

Kemba has had his hand in losing one half of the games by geting abused on defense or shooting the Cats out of games . Recall the multiple blowouts . Most were his fault in part or alone. He will never ever be a starting pt gd as all he wants to do is shoot. Do you think the players want to play a guy who guns at pt gd and never plays defense reulting in losses.

This was a worse pick than Adam Morison bc Morrison didnt play . Kemba does . A short, shoot first , jacking pt gd is cancer on a team. He makes no one better and thats the measure at pt gd . Period.

Posted by: Ironman | Apr 2, 2012 4:44:45 PM

I'd take Kentucky 102-86 tonight if they were playing the Bobcats...maybe more if they were playing at Rupp...

Posted by: David Robinson | Apr 2, 2012 4:56:40 PM

Brooklyn Bobcats

Posted by: Stankonya | Apr 2, 2012 4:57:48 PM

New Orleans is getting too close to use for worst record. gotta hold on to those ping-pong balls

Posted by: CJ | Apr 2, 2012 5:25:54 PM

kemba has actually gotten a lot better about passing the ball but he's still not an effective pg at this point.

DJ is, his shot is just horribly off. he's slumping something terrible shooting the ball and when you aren't a threat to score, you aren't much of a threat to do anything offensively at that size.

no need to jump off the deep end on either, i think both should be kept long term. both can play at this level effectively and one of them or both might have that eureka moment eventually. it won't be detrimental to keep both but it will be detrimental to let the wrong one go.

we address the 4 or the 3 with davis (hopefully) and if not you look at robinson, kidd-gilchrist, barnes, and maybe sullinger.

we'll be significantly better regardless, just by having guys like mullens, biyombo, walker, brown, augustin, henderson and the pick(s) working out together during offseason and training camp and hopefully extremely healthy.

even if we don't get davis, we've got mullens who will be a player in this league. he's just got to put it together on a consistent basis. all of them do. henderson and brown have been the most consistent but when you get biyombo, mullens, augustin all playing at their best too? we have a really solid young core.

this year went almost to plan. i mean if augustin played better, he'd be headed out the door to a big offer sheet. it's probably a huge gift that he was injured and came back slumping. huge gift.

Posted by: charlottean | Apr 2, 2012 5:33:00 PM

Oh, boy. Where's the objectivity?

But then again, if your aim is to get noticed, then go ahead and flame.

It's obvious that the Bobcats are the best team in the NBADL. And I say that with all respect to the veterans on the team. Such youth and no camp was just disaster for this crew. That and the injuries.

It's an expansion franchise all over again. And it was done that way on purpose.

We won't see the final value of trading away Wallace and Jackson until all the draft picks are made, and those draft picks are in the league long enough to develop. At some point, all that beautiful cap space will be spent.

The franchise has started over. Hit the reset button, and began again.

If the Hornets name comes available - and I'm not starting yet another naming debate here okay - Jordan should grab it and rebrand this do-over. Call it a new start, re-birth, whatever. Sometimes the name is everything your brand is identified with. The Hornets name belongs in Charlotte and us with it. There may be an unprecedented opportunity for Jordan to appeal to two strong contingents, the prideful old guard of Hornets history and the excited youth of today's hip-hop NBA sub-culture.

The plan to become an expansion team for the second time will take the same amount of time an expansion team should take to develop: 5 years. This year, two drafts, another year or two of development and realistic long-term success is achievable.

Here's the objectivity: Kemba Walker is the new starter at the point because Michael Jordan hired Larry Brown. Brown gave the Bobcats legitimacy, but he burned the franchise's future in pursuit of immediate playoff gratification. Jordan, and all of Bobcats fandom, is now paying the price for that decision.

Walker is a point guard that will need time to develop. He's a rookie. Same for Biyombo. I like what Mullins brings, and he has a future, too. Hiring Cho was a wise move. Solid marketing approach with a nose for community involvement. Decent youthful core...

So there's good stuff to build on. You can't say that about many expansion franchises.

Posted by: Bobby Sharpe | Apr 2, 2012 5:45:22 PM

Kemba's in the Italian League in 4 years. The guy just cannot play the point in the NBA.

Posted by: George Hanson | Apr 2, 2012 6:22:10 PM

I looked at everyone's comments to share that Kemba is a rookie people don't u forget it. Westbrook is a shoot first pg, but they still manage to play well in OKC. I believe that we could get something of value for DJ, and use put out the QO for him but we NEED A BIG PG. Otherwise we will be liable on our defense. Maybe a Mo Williams, D. Williams, Bledsoe, Curry with better scoring. Davis no doubt I believe will be leaving and hoping the CATs capture that first pick. If not then T. Robinson, Barnes, Kidd Chilcrest, Sullinger wil have to do..Could we get lucky and get a Witney, Zeller, Royce, Terence Jones because another good player in the draft will be a plus. The core of Walker, Mullens, White, Biz, Hendo, Maybe Brown, and let DJ walk. I like DJ but we cant have short pg that are not pure scorers.

Posted by: tbird | Apr 3, 2012 1:10:45 AM

i bet walker has more trade value.

regarding the hornets name........why are you guys so obsessed with that idea? it's over. it's like your wife left you and went and effed a buncha dudes and yall want her back. sure the bobcats name hasn't been putting out like you want but does that mean run back to the ex? if ANYTHING, the cougars name (and jersey's) fits better and has just as much if not more history.

you have to admit those jerseys are pretty dope.

as for walker....he has been playing more point guard lately and passing a lot better, but his shooting has been horrible. but so has augustins. you got one guy in his rookie year, one guy that's young and in a slump.

anybody remember how well felton played last year in new york and denver? it'll be augustin. the kid absolutely has game and we've seen it but for whatever reason whether it be a slump whether it be injuries whether it be coaching whether it be supporting cast whether it be the shortened season........the guy is not bringing it. but he's STILL better than walker. even in the slump.

Posted by: charlottean | Apr 3, 2012 11:21:07 AM

It is hard to find much of anyone who cares at this point.
The head coach has a training program going for his son, the assistant.
Mine as well also get the non-starters some time to see what they have in that role.
The article about the team being the second worst in NBA history says it all.
Time to move onto baseball.

Posted by: BD | Apr 3, 2012 12:20:24 PM

The last time Kemba started he got a triple-double. But, you know, whatever.

Posted by: Todd | Apr 3, 2012 1:15:05 PM

Bobby Sharpe more like Bobby Dull.

Change the name to the Hornets wave a magic wand presto chango and we have a playoff contender. I guess you consider Walker a point guard if your setting the bar at the Nate Robinson level. Cho was a good hire assuming Jordan shuts up and lets him do his job or is he a paid scapegoat in case "the plan" doesn't work because we all know that Jordan is perfect just ask him. Byombo is a true project because of his limited basketball background. Kemba is a project because we are trying to make a pig sing.

Posted by: TrueBBallFan | Apr 3, 2012 1:45:53 PM

todd, walker had the triple double but all in all, we struggled mightily when he started with DJ out. not saying that we haven't struggled WITH DJ, but it was drastic without.

they need to get bogues to work with the kid in the offseason. that's who he needs to model his game......or rather his life after. he'll obviously be able to do a lot more with more size but that pass first pass 2nd pass 3rd shoot last mentality is what is needed. henderson will be solid, mullens will develop into something solid as will biyombo. we get a solid scoring 3 with our pick and we've got something to build on.

we should be actively trying to land another 1st rounder as soon as the season ends. there's going to be just as much talent in the 2nd half of the 1st round as there will be in the 1st half. and a fraction of the cost. zeller would be a great backup 5. so would withey though i think he's staying. there's a couple of bigs that will be available outside of the lottery.

but can you imagine if mullens and biyombo have a big jump up from this year to next the way guys like ryan anderson and brad miller and ben wallace did when they finally got the chance to start. we have pieces. future still looks really bright.

and we are no where near the 2nd worst team ever. no effing way. 1995 grizzlies and raptors were HORRIBLE expansion teams. the bobcats expansion wasn't as bad because we had a legit rookie big man (ROY) and some decent veterans. but that team wasn't much better than this one. they won more games, they also had a regular season and offseason. they also had less injuries. they also weren't thinking about lottery ping pongs as much as they were just happy basketball was actually happening in charlotte again. not even in the 10 worst teams ever. not even the worst team this year. worst record yes, but no way you can tell me that new orleans or washington (pre nene trade) or even new jersey or toronto or sacramento aren't just as bad. best of 7's head to head and we're competing with all of those teams. Detroit too. Golden State, Cleveland. We're not that bad.

Posted by: charlottean | Apr 3, 2012 2:41:42 PM

DJ isn't there and now your at decision time so trade him for something..anything.

Kemba can't shoot at all!! But he is now passing. He also brings passion!! Let him stay a bit and learn and see.

Keep Kemba, BB, Mullen, Derrick Brown , and gerald and the rest move whenever for whatever you can..

Posted by: Chris | Apr 9, 2012 4:23:39 PM


Posted by: myles | Apr 24, 2012 2:35:40 AM

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