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October 31, 2013

Charlotte Bobcats exercise options on Walker, Biyombo and Kidd-Gilchrist

    The Charlotte Bobcats locked in an additional $12 million-plus into their player-payroll for next season Thursday when they exercised contract options on Kemba Walker, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Bismack Biyombo.

            Thursday was the deadline, under the NBA’s wage scale for first-round picks, for the Bobcats to guarantee those options. Had any of the three not been guaranteed, he would have become an unrestricted free agent after this season.

            The season salaries are based on when a player was selected in the first round, not how he has performed since being drafted. As the No. 2 pick in 2012, Kidd-Gilchrist’s salary next season is about $5 million. Biyombo (seventh pick in 2011) will make about $4 million. Walker (ninth pick in 2011) will make about $3.4 million.

            While it’s typical for teams to exercise these options, it’s not automatic. For instance, the Sacramento Kings Thursday chose not to exercise the option on guard Jimmer Fredette, the tenth pick in the 2011 draft.

            The rookie scale doesn’t apply to Bobcats small forward Jeff Taylor, since he was a second-round pick in 2012.


Posted by Observer Sports on October 31, 2013 at 05:40 PM | Permalink


all that cash & we get a guy who can't shoot, a guy that can't score at all, & a guy a that is a second tier point guard at best

Posted by: bull123 | Nov 1, 2013 12:19:24 AM

LOL@bull123. Sad but true. All three were drafted too early, one dimensional, and terrible to try to build around.

It's like the Cat's don't want to admit they were wrong. Cut your losses and move on. Looking back on these past drafts and some of the players they could have had shows they are inept at finding talent. Zeller looks to be another one so far.

Posted by: D.W.G. | Nov 1, 2013 2:22:42 AM

That is not very much money to committ to 3 players in the NBA. Especially short term.

Posted by: Steve | Nov 1, 2013 2:44:47 AM

This is inept .. These are good kids . Really . But they don't fit . You can't win in this league unless the player plays both ways . Not one of these guys fits . Kemba is a sg . Biz will never be useful on offense . Mkg is salvageable but he must be used correctly and his jump shot has to be fixed . And not in two yrs .

Posted by: Iron man | Nov 1, 2013 8:17:57 AM

MKG is like the 4th or 5th youngest player in the league this year.......in his 2nd year. think about that. you all are tearing the guy apart, who CLEARLY belongs in the starting lineup of ANY nba team (including contenders) already.

the guy rebounds great, plays great defense, finishes at the rim in transition, handles the ball, passes well..........can't shoot well and at age 20 he's a bust to some of you?

and biyombo a year older......2 time top 10 shot blocker in the league at age 19 and 20. you guys aren't excited about these guys? they aren't even old enough to be in the nba and you're mad they aren't dominating? they should be in college right now. the fact that they have dominated individual games is evidence of their promise.

kemba might not be chris paul or rondo or nash or curry or westbrook or rose....but he IS a player. at 9th overall, he's brought solid value. he can have a kenny anderson type career except he's a way better teammate than anderson was.

these guys all fit together very well....defensive minded, hard working, high energy, gamers. when they hit 25-26 collectively.....they WILL be running the league. 19-23 year olds don't run the league.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 1, 2013 9:48:22 AM

don't waste your time Charlottean, these guys will take every opportunity to tear down this team and anyone associated with it. Do they have a point? Some. But hindsight is 20/20. Just like in college, some guys do better than they are projected. I love Kemba's drive, MKG is a defensive guy that EVERY team needs, someone that can guard the other teams best players and get tough rebounds(Gerald Wallace anyone?), and Bis is a defensive shot blocker in the post. Kemba at 3.4 mil is a steal. And don't forget, these guys haven't had the same coach 2 season's in a row either.

Posted by: DaveT | Nov 1, 2013 10:07:37 AM

Dave T, Here's the issue - we're a small market team without a superstar that can carry the load so players with offensive flaws like Biz and MKG are costing us points on a team that struggles to score anyways and are also exploited by the other teams game plans. Perhaps that $ could be better used to find more well rounded players in the draft or trade market?

Posted by: Phil Lattio | Nov 1, 2013 10:25:32 AM

Exercising options doesn't prevent any of these guys from being traded later on. At this stage it was the prudent thing to do.

Posted by: apauldds | Nov 1, 2013 11:09:57 AM

Picking up the options on these three players was the right thing to do, evidently.
Each one of them has some great qualities, together with undeniable flaws.
All three of them are very young and are a "work in progress" - still developing as pros. At this stage of their careers, and with all of their positives, it doesn't make sense to call any one of them a "bust", or call for "getting rid" of them.

Having said that, MJ aims high with this team for the following seasons, and our roster will need, and will undergo, changes, for sure.

These will be through some more high Draft picks, but not only. We can expect more trades, and more free agent(s) signing(s), that will change the starting line-ups (and the key reserves) in following seasons.

It's not that I wish for massive overhauls in the future. Actually, I always thought that massive changes from one season to another are suspect, and rarely give good results.

But, between a need for stability and a need for upgrading, some tweaking of the roster every year can be expected. Some of the young players we drafted will probably stay here and keep developing, but some will be traded.
And among our best veterans (Al Jefferson, Ramon Sessions, Josh McRoberts) some may be re-signed after their current contracts expire.

I'm not more specific on purpose, because the changes of upcoming seasons are unpredictable now.

Still, a few specific points.

I think the most talented and highest upside player among those we drafted is Cody Zeller (as PF). It's silly to make negative comments against him now, when he barely started his pro career.
And I can't see this team building up its future on both Hendo and MKG as starting on the wings. Both in strengths and flaws they are too similar, so you can't keep both (not as starters, at least).

No, they are not the same player, I could list here some differences (having to do with rebounding and attitude - guess which one of them is playing with more motivation constantly ?).
But essentially, they have too much in common: great defenders, not fearsome scorers (except occasionally for Hendo), both good on the drive, but not pure shooters who demand constant respect when behind the arc - and that IS a problem, for spreading opponents' defenses.

So, we'll be looking some time not too far (in 2014, or 2015) for a pure shooter for one of the wing positions. IF only Ben Gordon wasn't so turnover prone, and so lacking in defense, he could've done this for a few more seasons (he's 30 now). But, he is all of those things, besides a very good shooter.

As for Jeff Taylor, I like this player, and he is a good shooter. I just don't think we already solved our shooting-and-spacing problem just by having him. It's good to have him in the rotation, it doesn't look like this will be enough.

Posted by: Sandy | Nov 1, 2013 11:56:38 AM

Phil Lattio. Those deals do not stop the Bobcats from getting other players. They will still be 20 million under the cap those summer with multiple picks. Way to young to give up on any of those guys.

Posted by: Hornet Fan | Nov 1, 2013 11:58:10 AM

How about having a coaching staff that is here for more than one year? How about finding players in the draft that can play? MKG, Kemba or Biz is not what is holding this team back. Can you draft or sign one all-star please! Ridiculous.

Posted by: Jimbo | Nov 1, 2013 12:00:37 PM

Go Hornets!

Posted by: Michael | Nov 1, 2013 12:01:16 PM

lamenting the fact that MKG and biz aren't scoring a lot right now and look offensively limited RIGHT NOW....doesn't mean they will be 5 years from now.

gerald wallace was a mess offensively early on. does ANYONE remember his first year here? he literally only scored when he stole the ball and went the length of the floor. no half court game at all. even less in sacramento.

but he, LIKE MKG came into the league at age 19, extremely young after 1 year in college. wallace now had a career 3 pt % of 31.3% including his all-star year where he topped 37%. that's not ray allen numbers, but it's major improvement from not being able to buy a 3. the guy averaged 13.1 points per 36 minutes in his first season in charlotte at age 22. MKG averaged 12.5 per 36 as a 19 year old rookie.

MKG will be a MUCH BETTER and much better built version of wallace. he's capable of being rudy gay who had his breakout year at age 21.

and there's a big difference between having an ugly shot, and not being able to shoot. MKG can knock down jumpers. we've seen him (those who actually watch the games) get hot before. he hit back to back 3's from the top of the key carmello style in a summer league game last year. he'll find his way with that in the pros. patience with these guys.

and I agree on zeller....easily highest upside. he wasn't put in any positions to score this past game almost everything was off of put backs where he was out muscled by howard and asik. he would be better suited starting along side jefferson than being paired with biz. biz would benefit from mcroberts passing as well. veteran/youngster pairing until they're both ready.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 1, 2013 2:09:12 PM

Well, I also said (many times) that these are still developing players.

Still, there is a difference between having a talent and not having it (or, between degrees of being, or not being, gifted in a certain area). It goes for shooting, for court vision and passing (can you teach passing like Jason Kidd, or Ricky Rubio?), for a knack for rebounding (involving timing and positioning), etc.
There is players' growth, there is upgrading talent on the roster too.

I said when we drafted Kidd that his ceiling is Gerald Wallace in his best years (which in my eyes means a lot), but that will have to take years.
Better than Gerald? Well charlottean, that's not what I believe, but let him prove it...

But my point was that - if we are to aim really high, and MJ certainly does - we need an upgrade in shooting talent on the wings, maybe next year, maybe the year after, and that would normally mean trading one of our starting wings.

Posted by: Sandy | Nov 1, 2013 3:50:29 PM

can't teach size. biz and mkg both have that.

MKG's better build than wallace physically, better handle and passing, doesn't have the shot blocking or at least hasn't shown it yet.
that dude was 6'6 233 7% body fat at 18. that's 20 pounds of muscle on fully grown gerald wallace.

wallace couldn't shoot at 19 either.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 1, 2013 6:00:11 PM

"MKG and biz aren't scoring a lot right now and look offensively limited RIGHT NOW....doesn't mean they will be 5 years from now."

Shoot me...

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Nov 1, 2013 7:39:49 PM

to the tune of 26 points and 16 rebounds 3 blocks and a steal last night. *shots fired*

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 2, 2013 10:44:16 AM

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