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May 20, 2014

Expect the Hornets to shop around for potential deals

If you look at the Charlotte Bobcats’ history (yes, they’re the Hornets today, but I’m looking back), they’ve been poor drafters and mediocre in free-agency until they signed center Al Jefferson. However, they’ve made plenty of trades and many have been successful.

            The past could portend the future.

An educated guess: The Hornets will aggressively explore some way to turn the Nos. 9, 24 and 45 picks in the June 26 draft into something else. I’m not saying all three picks become a veteran, necessarily. I’m saying they now have commodities, plus at least $17 million in room under the salary cap in July.

They’ll explore how to add another game-changer to center Al Jefferson. So I take it for granted they’ll check what it might take to acquire power forward Kevin Love, who seemingly wants out of Minneapolis. Likewise, I’d expect them to inquire about restricted free agents Greg Monroe with Detroit and Gordon Hayward with Utah via sign-and-trades.

A caution about Love. Of course he’s available in trade, but remember why: He’s headed toward unrestricted free-agency and reportedly told the Timberwolves he won’t sign an extension.

No sensible front office would trade for him without a long-term commitment. Would he tell the Hornets in the summer of 2014 he’s theirs for the long haul? That could be a reach.

Posted by Observer Sports on May 20, 2014 at 10:53 PM | Permalink


I'd give some serious thought into sending that #9 and #60 to Utah for Hayward. He may bolt, then again he may not. But if they think they won't be able to retain him, then I could see them doing it. We could still get a good player at 24, move Hendo to the backup 2, and start Hayward. 17 points, 5 reb, and 5 assists are good stats. And he's only going to get better.

Posted by: bb1130 | May 20, 2014 11:46:42 PM

The only one that sounds good for this team is Gordon Hayward but it's going to be tough getting him from Utah.

Posted by: Piff | May 20, 2014 11:49:35 PM

henderson needs to be dealt with, he is not an NBA starter, he can't shoot, & he is lousy in the clutch...deal him with a pick and get us an all-star...I will also be a homer & say take PJ with #24, he is going to be a big time NBA scorer, reminds me of James Harden...we need guys that can light it up

Posted by: bull123 | May 20, 2014 11:55:01 PM

Can't trade #9. Draft Young from Kentucky and live. Monroe doesn't fit the Hornet scheme. Better off signing McRoberts, drafting a star wing and a back up over 6 ft point.

Posted by: The Q | May 20, 2014 11:55:30 PM

I'd say go draft James Young and Shabazz Napier(probably spelled that wrong). Then go get a good shooting forward. We'd be in business.

Posted by: Joshua | May 21, 2014 12:08:02 AM

I say they should try n aquire Gordon n a starting Pf. If they could pull off some magic n get Heyward n Monroe that would b a very good eastern conf lineup. That'll move McRob to backup 4 give Al another big body with him inside that can hit the mid and I think Gordon is a great fit for a small market team on the come up like the Hornets.

Posted by: Mel | May 21, 2014 1:02:14 AM

Build the team through the Draft and draft a quality young player and future star with the #9 pick. Don't trade it for a so-so NBA player which is a short term solution and short sighted fix. This draft is deep with talent. This team needs stars. Draft Cleanthony Early and/or P.J. Hairston. Especially don't waste the #9 pick drafting a backup point guard. We need help at the 2 and 3. Trading for players that other teams aren't excited about will not add excitement in Charlotte.

Posted by: Chuck | May 21, 2014 1:07:28 AM

I actually think it's be more beneficial to draft Gary Harris from Michigan State. He'll be a rookie but I feel with a two way player like him, an all star/ high caliber wing, and a resigned McRoberts, the Hornets can contend in the East with a more productive bench as well with somebody like Napier leading it.

Posted by: Joseph | May 21, 2014 1:08:31 AM

First the hornets and now this! Definitely need to look at getting some veteran help. Cosch Clifford will know what to do with it. What a first day for the Hornets!

Posted by: Aaron | May 21, 2014 1:30:04 AM

Rich Cho knows how to draft. Let's keep our drafts and make our picks.

Posted by: Rahshon Gamble | May 21, 2014 2:08:32 AM

Yes, Rich Cho knows how to draft! See: Biyombo, Bismack.

Posted by: Michael Procton | May 21, 2014 2:22:15 AM

I wouldn't mind seeing:

CHA gets Wilson Chandler, 11th pick, 41st pick

DEN gets 9th pick, 24th pick

Charlotte gets a long athletic wing (though not what he once was) that can come off the bench and create his own offense.

Denver gets the 9th and 24th pick in a deep draft and the ability to both add toughness to their frontcourt and a consistent long term prospect to grow with Lawson.

Posted by: cornchip | May 21, 2014 3:33:17 AM

Draft james young at 9 and p.j hairston at 24 this is the best scenerio for the hornets young athletic wing scoring then sign a big free agent. Come this is the best thing for charlotte trust me

Posted by: martin griffin | May 21, 2014 3:55:24 AM

I think that the best option is that the timberwolves will get the number 1 and Dion Waiters for Kevin Love, we could probably draft Gary Harris from Michigan State who has a sweet touch from outside & sweet hops...then trade the 24th & Gerald Henderson for the 17th Pick (because Boston is probably gonna lose Avery Bradley in free agency) and draft Tyler Ennis from Syracuse to back up Kemba Walker...We will be getting Jeffery Taylor from injury so the wing shooting will be back, and draft Jabari Brown from Missouri who is a dunk artist that'll be able to assist Gary Harris. And making a splash in free agency? We sign Pau Gasol who can provide veteran assistance for Cody Zeller to develop another year.

Posted by: Johnhornetsnest | May 21, 2014 4:48:53 AM

LOL at people suggesting Gerald Henderson has any trade value - if we all know he stinks i'm pretty sure all the other teams do too. It's not like his contract is on the cheap either.

Posted by: joe | May 21, 2014 6:50:51 AM

Here's an idea:

Dump Rich "draft master" Cho and get someone in here that knows how to draft. Then we don't have to give up draft picks for free agents! That's one of the worst ideas I've ever heard Rick suggest. That's what loser teams do.

Kidd-Gilchrist, Biyombo, Zeller. I almost threw up in my cereal just thinking about how garbage those picks are.

Posted by: Frank | May 21, 2014 7:01:03 AM

For anyone calling for Harris at 9....did anyone actually see his combine numbers? He is one the least athletic guards in this draft. He can shoot it well, but was inconsistent this season, and his mediocre athleticism will be a pitfall to his defensive capabilities in the NBA. I say take BPA at #9 unless it's a center or a PG. Pray that PJ falls to 24, that kid will be a stud....call me a homer or whatever, I don't care. He can fill it up and would be a perfect fit for this team. Don't draft a backup PG for heavens sake, at least not until the 2nd round. Quality backups can be easily had in FA for cheap. Remember, we got Sessions to come on a small contract when we were the worst team in the league.

Posted by: Ryan | May 21, 2014 7:26:51 AM

Them: Larry Bird, Donnie Walsh, Quinn Buckner, Kevin Pritchard, Clark Kellogg.

Us: Michael Jordan, Rod Higgins, Fred Whitfield, Rich Cho, Larry Jordan.

We're screwed.

Posted by: SurveySays! | May 21, 2014 7:53:53 AM

Lots of Tar Heel fans on here is see. Dump Henderson (third or fourth best player on the team) and draft PJ "puff puff" Hairston. Hmm? That sounds like a solid draft strategy.

Why don't we put our ACC allegiances aside and draft the best players available? At 9 I like our options and think one of Harris, Smart, Voblah, or Gordon slips to us. Probably Harris.

At 24 there will still be plenty of talent, and with the Hornets needing 1 or 2 backups at PG Napier makes a lot of sense.

Then use our free dollars to add a couple more pieces and this team should be on a roll. I could see the Hornets becoming a 4-5 seed next year, maybe even higher depending upon what happens with other teams in free agency.

Posted by: Chris | May 21, 2014 8:10:14 AM

I meant to say Vonlah and free agency dollars. I have not had my coffee yet this morning, but I do like the direction that this team is headed. The BUZZ is BACK!!

Posted by: Chris | May 21, 2014 8:12:28 AM

Wow, the ignorance is amazing. Rich Cho just came on board with us. He did not draft Bismack or MKG. He did draft and put together the OKC Thunder, who had Harden as well during his time there... That is why we hired him.

And really people? Hairston? You mean so he can still be less than a 2 hour drive from the drug dealers he got in trouble with multiple times over summer! He needs to be as far from the NC Triad as possible.

Posted by: John | May 21, 2014 8:13:08 AM

Lol. Young and Harris are weak right now . They will take yrs to develop and be good . These guys will not beat out Cdr, Taylor or Neal right now . They will be good mind you , but to expect them to come in , start , take over , score and defend to a higher level than the wings here now is a joke . You guys were clamoring for Shabazz and Mclemore last yr . Lol. Mj is right about one thing , these guys are not nba ready unless they're man child's like Howard , James ,Durant , Melo etc . There's zero wings in the draft like that . And Heyward isn't leaving Utah . He's a poor defender and can't shoot from the arc better than anyone here . Until you get Kemba and Jefferson to move the ball when doubled , hitting open teammates , the third and 4 th options will struggle here . Until you get a pass first pt gd here. The entire team will struggle ESP in crunch time and the top of the third quarter . No third option will do much until assists at the rim go up . Clifford's honey moon is over . Get a back up point gd that's pass first. Get a pf that's a two way player . Add a sf that can shoot and defend. They may only then win 40 games again . The East this yr is much tougher bc of the teams like Philly , Clevland , Knicks and possibly Boston , all which will be much improved . Trade Henderson so you get something for him . I'm tired of hearing he's garbage despite being the only two way player on the team who never could get any Rhytm or easy buckets . He needs to get to a team that uses him like Wade at sg who gets easy buckets inside off cuts , lobs , back doors and transition . All the spread the floor sgs got exposed recently in the playoffs bc they seal the arc . Mkg too . Get him outta here so he can be used effectively . Then watch the gimmick defense slide when the wings who never got easy buckets are gone . Lol.

Posted by: Iron man | May 21, 2014 8:14:39 AM

John - Hairston made mistakes and by all accounts has learned from them. But the fact is he is a natural scorer with a legit NBA body that will allow him to be very successful on both ends of the floor. This isn't about ACC allegiances, this is about a need fit that can make an immediate impact. Who else at 24 would provide as much upside combined with NBA readiness.

Drafting Harris would be a mistake...He reminds me of a much less athletic Mclemore.

Posted by: Ryan | May 21, 2014 8:42:42 AM

To Joe,

If you don't mind I would like to check your credentials to assess talent. Shut up and let the team do what they do. If you hate them so much , here's a thought , MOVE somewhere else.

Posted by: Scoot1 | May 21, 2014 8:42:44 AM

Oh, and Cho was absolutely in the organization when MKG was drafted.

Posted by: Ryan | May 21, 2014 8:44:01 AM

Break the bank...Lance Stephenson Free Agent

Danny Granger sign him

Keep Draft Picks and rest of team intact...

any thing else is a disappointment..

Posted by: Its time | May 21, 2014 8:46:53 AM

Trade both first rd picks for one of top 3 picks to get Wiggins

Posted by: Barry | May 21, 2014 8:59:43 AM

PJ will not last until 24. He will be among the first 14 chosen. Not many guys his height and strength with an NBA ready body that can fill it up and defend. We should consider him at #9 because he can step right in an contribute now at SG. Take either A Payne or C Early at #24. We need a SF that can score and defend and both of these players fit the bill. Those players would give us some much needed scoring punch. Let Hendo and MKG be part of the second unit.

Posted by: Beachbum | May 21, 2014 9:08:57 AM

Barry - no team in the NBA would trade a top 3 pick for 9 and 24. this isn't the NFL.

Posted by: Joe John Johnson | May 21, 2014 9:22:44 AM

The Hornets will draft Doug McDermott with the number 9th pick and draft PJ Hairston with the 24th pick I don't think they will trade any of there picks so don't believe that. I think they will go after Greg Monroe and a sign and trade with MKG if that happens this is what it would look like.

Posted by: Demetrious | May 21, 2014 9:24:50 AM

Survey Says.....It's NASATAR!

Posted by: Matt R. | May 21, 2014 9:25:21 AM

James Young and PJ Hairston would be awesome.

Posted by: Brian | May 21, 2014 10:20:25 AM

Gotta go with a shooter at #9. Preferably one with size and some athleticism. Love Stauskas at #9 and he's more athletic then you think and can handle. James Young would be good too. How about that Levine kid from UCLA who worked out as a SG in the combine? Really athletic and they say he's played PG, maybe a Russell Westbrook?

No way is McDermott a 3 in the NBA. Maybe a Kevin Love at a 4 but that's the only way he's making it in the NBA as a stretch 4. He's not a wing player in the NBA.

Posted by: EP | May 21, 2014 10:24:12 AM

Break the bank...Lance Stephenson Free Agent

Danny Granger sign him

Keep Draft Picks and rest of team intact...

any thing else is a disappointment..

Posted by: Its time | May 21, 2014 10:36:02 AM

McDermott is Adam Morrison 2.5

Break the bank...Lance Stephenson Free Agent

Danny Granger sign him

Keep Draft Picks and eat good.

any thing else is a disappointment

Posted by: Its time | May 21, 2014 10:37:22 AM

Gordon Hayward and Kevin Love are the only way/reson for the Bobcats to trade the #9 and/or any pick for that matter. Monroe is not going anywhere and he is not a good fit for the Hornets. The other big time free agents: Lebron, Carmelo, Wade, Bosh, etc. - none of them is coming to Charlotte.

If we keep the #9 I would pick Nik Stauskas over all other avaliable options. At 6-7 he is one of the biggest SG, he is one of the top 3 shooters in the draft, an incredible scorer, handles the ball very well (that will be great playing along side Kemba), and based on his numbers at the combine, he can learn to be an above avergage defender in the NBA. Clifford, MKG and Taylor will be a great influence on his defense and his scoring/shooting ability will be a God send.

If they trade: For Hayward I would be willing to give up the #9 and #45, plus the last 2 years of Henderson will have to be included to make it work in a sign-&-trade. For Love, it will be the same, plus we might need to add Cody Zeller and Haywood to make salaries work, and/or a future protected 1st Round Pick (maybe 2016), but Love will need to agree to an extension.

Then draft best player avaliable with #24 regardless of positions. Cleanthony Early, TJ Warren and CJ Wilcox are good options.

Sign Jordan Hill as a back-up Center, Josh McRoberts as a back-up PF and someone like Ramon Sessions as a backup PG.

Posted by: RobC | May 21, 2014 10:47:04 AM

Okay Rob C is only one with a clue!!

He is dead one correct with all his statements especially not trading #9 pick unless.
Nik would be money and keep in mind brain farts have happened in the draft every year so we could get a Gordon or Smart falling to us also. Could Cav's be that dumb with #1 pick twice in a row..I mean maybe

New Starting Line-up
Kemba PG
Hayward or Draft SG
McBob PF
Big Al C

2nd Team
Sessions PG
CDR, Taylor, or pickup SG/SF
Tolliver/Zeller PF
Biz C

Now thats a team that can go two rounds or two eastern finals with some luck and chemistry.

Posted by: Season Ticket Holder | May 21, 2014 10:56:30 AM

we need to sign someone to play the 5. Big Al is not a center and will flourish even more if he's starting at 4 next season. his defense isn't great enough to consistently play 5 like he did this year. Bring in Greg Monroe, I say forget about Hayward from Utah and go big in the draft. MKG is a good player, his jump shot just needs work after reverting to his old form after an arm injury. don't be negative, remember, were the HORNETS, not the lousy Bobcats anymore. optimism please.

Posted by: Brett | May 21, 2014 11:02:42 AM

We need scores not shooters.Drafting P.J. Hairston and Mcdermott are the smartest thing I heard. Hornets please dont miss out on Mcdermott because you afraid of Adam Morrison comparisons, which are not fair, people need to stop the only thing they have in common is that they are white. We made that mistake last year taking MKG over Harrison Barnes because other carolina plyers were bust.

Posted by: Tarhellkenneth | May 21, 2014 11:32:58 AM

"He did not draft Bismack or MKG."

Absolutely he did.

"He did draft and put together the OKC Thunder..."

No he didn't. If he were the architect OKC never would have let him go.

Posted by: Twist | May 21, 2014 11:36:35 AM

Mark these words.. Nik Stauskas is Adam Morrison 2.0. Don't get me wrong, he is a very good ball player, great shooter, better handles than ppl give him credit for.. but his game will not translate to the NBA with the more athletic defenders. Think about it this way, he's a 2 guard.. what other 2 guards would he need to defend in the NBA? Is he athletic enough to do so? He's more of a shooter than a guy who can create his own shot in the pros. Who do you think would have a better professional career, Nik Stauskas or Rodney Hood? Hood is more athletic, can create his own shot, better defender, and bigger in size.

Stauskas may very well turn out to be a good player, but I wouldn't pick him with #9 over some of the other options.

Posted by: Hugo | May 21, 2014 11:47:24 AM

"MKG is a good player, his jump shot just needs work..."

That's a good one! After a year under the tutelage of the great Mark Price MKG's percentage from the line went from 75% to 61% -- face up to it, he's a lost cause and will never be an adequate shooter.

Posted by: Tom S. | May 21, 2014 11:51:49 AM

I think i would trade back with the Suns. Trade the #9 and #60 picks for #18, #27 and #50. The Suns also have #14. I would then draft TJ Warren at #18, PJ Hairston at #24, Napier at #27 and Dwight Powell (Stanford SF) at #50. Pick up Grainger in Free Agency and the Hornets are ready to roll!

The only guy i think could go before #18 is Warren - so maybe we ask for the Suns #14 pick instead of #18. Either way we need wings who can score and Warren and Hairston can get it done.

Posted by: Dom | May 21, 2014 11:54:01 AM

ok - we have #45 not #60. Not sure what i was thinking... Anyway, if we can't get McDermot at #9 then we should trade down with the Suns. Perhaps we could move #9, #24 and #45 for #14, #18, #27 and #50. We can get Staukus or Warren at #14 and perhaps both of them with #18. Then Hairson or Napier at #27 and then Powell at #50. We add wings and/or a backup point. We als add a very good and underated Powell who can play both forward spots.

Posted by: Dom | May 21, 2014 12:15:06 PM

Hugo - you are either a racist or a fool. I watched Hood and Staukus all year and although Hood had his moments he can't shoot like Stauskus. And i hate Michigan... but the guy also can drive and play defense. his game might be better suited for the nba than college - same with McDermot. Both guys will stretch defenses all day long - and Big Al will have more room to operate. Based on what Hood did at Duke - and i am a Duke fan - i think he is a bench warmer in the NBA and likely out of the league in a five years. He is the reason Duke blew it this season - man did he take a lot of stupid shots posing for the NBA scouts...

Posted by: Dom | May 21, 2014 12:20:28 PM

Zach Lavine is the answer for the two guard combo

Posted by: Eric | May 21, 2014 12:20:50 PM

Some of these ideas are crazy. Get real people. Why not just trade our 2nd round pick for Durant?

Posted by: dingus mcgee | May 21, 2014 12:21:12 PM

MKG is not a good shooter but he could be, look at Jason Kidd his nick name was Ason no J. MKG is and good defender and slasher so he needs to start, and Cho did have say in the OKC team which is why he was hired. Not sure how anyone can call Zeller a bust after one season and look at the last quarter of the season.

Posted by: jason | May 21, 2014 12:24:05 PM

Wow. NASTAR is on a rampage today.

Posted by: Hank | May 21, 2014 12:28:17 PM

Break the bank...Lance Stephenson Free Agent

Danny Granger sign him

Keep Draft Picks and rest of team intact...

any thing else is a disappointment

Posted by: Its time | May 21, 2014 12:40:07 PM

"...Cho did have say in the OKC team which is why he was hired."

Why did Portland fire him?

Posted by: ricky | May 21, 2014 12:50:49 PM

Loving the other comments mentioning James Young. Admittedly, I'm as big a Kentucky homer and I am a Hornets homer, but after watching him all year, I think he'd be a great fit @ #9.

Posted by: DWS44 | May 21, 2014 1:06:02 PM

Hornets need scoring: period.

Do not draft Aaron Gordon or McDermott.

Aaron Gordon= Biyombo with slightly more offensive skill and basketball IQ

Doug McDermott= Adam Morrison 2.0/can't play defense

We need to focus the draft on TJ Warren, Rodney Hood, PJ Hairston. We need guys who can put the ball in the hoop and can move around at least enough to play some defense.

Posted by: PantherD | May 21, 2014 1:23:03 PM

I think Cho is building smart. Look at what we have... 3 draft choices and money in the bank for a B level player. Also for you haters that want to knock Zeller... Zeller WANTED to play here. A lot of these players are so tight in the backside that they don't want to play for anyone but the big city teams. So they pick and choose where they want to go. Why pick a player and then he wants to go a bigger market? Get the players that has the fire to play here. Remember the Hornets drafted Kobe, but he didn't want to play here. So build a team here that can compete for years not just right now. Jordan wants to hold the trophy again. This time as a owner.. I think he will find a way to get there through Cho

Posted by: Darnell | May 21, 2014 1:24:38 PM

"Wow, the ignorance is amazing.", said John above.
Then proceeded to have no clue what he was talking about.

Stay off the message board, clown.

Posted by: Teddy P | May 21, 2014 1:27:07 PM

All i know is i hit 90% of the players i predict and it is too bad i can't pull a history of all the players i have suggested the team draft over the years. TJ Warren is going to be a stud. Danny Granger 2.0. McDerrmott isn't going to be an all-star but he is going to be better than Morrison. Morrison was supposed to be a savior - and that pressure cracked him. If the team could have worked him in slow i think he would have been a solid second string guy. I think he will be more like Kyle Korver - same for Stauskus. Either one will be a solid shooter off the bench. Warren is a starter - and a step up over MKG. Hairston could be stud or get in more trouble. I think he is worth the risk at #24.

Posted by: Dom | May 21, 2014 1:42:51 PM

Hornets in the playoffs. Two first round picks. Cap space. Completely turned this listless ship around. Yeah...he is horrible. If you don;t want to give him the credit you better pick someone because they are very well positioned.

Posted by: Alan | May 21, 2014 1:46:24 PM

If for some CRAZY reason, Marcus Smart (projected at #8 right now), happens to be avaliable at #9, the Hornets better jump all over this kid. He will be great, a guy maybe even similar (not the same) to Derrick Rose.

Posted by: RobC | May 21, 2014 1:58:47 PM

We finally catch a break in the Lottery!With the 9th pick in the 2014 NBA draft, the Charlotte Hornets select ?. The main 2 pieces that I think we need is another big that can score for the second unit and another 3 pt scoring wing player. Ideally one being a veteran and one being a rookie. I feel like that's a good approach to balancing the short term and the future. With the draft picks and cap room that we have, this seems like we should be able to make a deal that can bring something like that to fruition. The future looks bright! I can't wait till the draft.

Posted by: nucat | May 21, 2014 2:12:48 PM

Marcus Smart is the guy . He's the big , strong ,pass first , defending pt gd that this team needs to get you to and out the first round . He makes everyone better instantly , increases assists at the rim Can run and defend the pick and roll and is not a runt . The nba has pt gds that are big , strong and fast . Let Kemba come off the bench and be the fireplug . You will never win w his dismal shooting per centages and horrific defense . It's starts w the pt gd . As Mj said , admit your mistake and move on . Smart will instantly make the wings better scorerers . All of them . He's Chauncy Billops or Kyle Lowry . Both took time to be great but are great and ran teams the correct way .

Posted by: Iron man | May 21, 2014 2:42:00 PM

So many possibilities! How cool is it to be going into the offseason with picks and cap space?

Posted by: apauldds | May 21, 2014 3:05:22 PM

Marcus Smart averaged 4.8 assists per game and shot 29% from 3 point range. Do you even watch basketball? Holy Crap.

Posted by: Alan | May 21, 2014 3:06:08 PM

Wouldnt it be cool to get Steph Curry traded to the Hornets. He would instantly fill a need for perimeter shooting and it would be like the good ole days when his dad Dell Curry was a sharp shooting Hornet! Not likely to happen, but would be neat!

Posted by: JB | May 21, 2014 4:00:19 PM

Lol. Some of you clowns are too stat driven . And watch games but do not know what there is to see . Smart can pass , is a willing passer , runs smoothly the pick n roll and defends it wo getting abused or smothered . Smart can make a lob pass . Hit a roller . Hit a guy going back door . He's a natural pt gd w pt gd instincts . He can get inside and won't get his shot blocked or put up a forced shot bc of his size . He has the requisite ct vision and can see plays before they unfold . Kemba can do none of this . Cho and Higgins didnt think to evaluate him as a true pt gd , being blinded by his awesome scoring ability .

Stars that play both ends win rings . Even guys as good as Durant will not bc he sucks at defense . You will have to put four two way players around him . Jefferson is the same . Do not draft or recruit any player that's not a two way player . They will be like Barkley , Melo ,Durant , Karl Malone etc who were great but never won a ring . The stars that won were two way players like Shaq, Wade , James , Duncan. Parker , Ginobli ,
Robinson . Cho and Higgins don't know this . Start w Smart . He's a two way player and will truly manage the team . Let Jefferson go who plays not a drop of defense and doesn't pass . The only star who won that couldn't play defense was Dirk . And he was surrounded w defense and he passed . You can't ball hog , not pass and not play defense and expect to win . Two way players who pass willingly like Wade and James . That's how you build out a franchise . Nothing else matters . When the Hornets lose ground this yr w gunners Kemba and Jefferson who not only do not play defense but don't pass , you will realize this yr was fools gold .

Posted by: Iron man | May 21, 2014 4:10:17 PM

I will eat my hat if Smart is there at #9. Really no way that we draft him with the 9th pick. That being said...Smart just doesn't scream "winner" to me. Is there any other star college player in recent memory that team has underachieved as much as Smart's? OJ Mayo and Michael Beasley immediately come to mind on the other end however (and even then you give them somewhat of a pass because they were freshmen).

We have MKG and Kemba as strong character guys who can deal with that however if he implodes in college....how is he going to act in the NBA when the grind of the regular season and the pressure of the playoffs are unforgiving?

He is one of the guys that you consider at 9 with star potential along with Vonleh, Levine, Young, and Exum who you have to take a look at that pick. If none of those guys are available then I think you have to look at trading back because the difference between the #9 guy and #24 guy isn't much in this draft.

Posted by: cornchip | May 21, 2014 5:29:11 PM

Love the runt comments and no defense for Kemba by the same naysayers. Kemba won a national championship in college. What did CP do.

I guess CP is a runt (same height as Kemba).

9 seasons with numerous all stars and hall of fame players, yet, he can't get out of the 1st round (oops he got to the 2nd round). As for defense, Westbrook blew by CP. It was a joke.

Clifford only praised Kemba in game 4 against the Heat. I think I saw 11-15, 29 points, 5 assists. Maybe we should get Bob Cousy as a pass first PG.


Posted by: Tyrese Jones | May 21, 2014 7:23:44 PM

A. Stay away from the locker room disaster known as lance stephenson

b. Re-sign mcroberts

c. Exum and smart will not be around and homer that I may be pj is not worthy of #9 but might not be around for 24. Take a sf with 9 and hope early is around for 24

Posted by: chris | May 21, 2014 8:52:07 PM

I would look at putting 9 and 24 together to try to move into the 4-6 range. If we can do that I'd love to get Vonleh - a guy with a massive wingspan, great athleticism, and range to the 3pt line. Perfect PF skill set to compliment Big Al - athletic post defender and stretch 4 on the offensive end of the floor. Obviously, this is what Zeller was supposed to be (and still could be - sans the wingspan and shotblock/rebound potential).

Then you look for perimeter scoring at #45. If Glenn Robinson III is there, he is the guy. I think he has a similar impact to Hardaway Jr - spot up shooter and finisher in transition. He struggles when he is asked to create for himself, but can be a solid role-player with a playmaker at PG. If not I like a senior PG like Russ Smith who can step in from day one and be a spark off the bench behind Kemba.

Posted by: PattyCakes | May 21, 2014 9:03:21 PM

Lol. Chris Paul for starters is stockier , heavier , has longer arms and is the best pt gd defender in the nba . He has all the passes . That's just the beginning . One is a pt gd . The other is not . No one takes two lower picks for a higher one that's way better . You don't drop back w the top talent this yr. If the 9 th pick is no better than the 24 th , then the Hornets most likely will sell it and get someone that's ready from free agency . Cho is a horrible drafter but he's done well w free agents . Lance will not come here bc he won't be able to handle the ball , won't dare play w two ball hogs who stop ball movement if he has a choice , wont be able to gamble and rest on defense one play bc there's no Hibbert to shot block a mistake behind him . He will never see any of the many easy buckets he sees in Pacerland which is a good part of his totals . At 9 m . He won't want any part of being the scapegoat when the Hornets fail . He's averaging 13 on a passing system team w a superstar that moves the ball and passes out of doubles . Heck he won't be able to get the 4 extra attempts Kemba gets a game taking the last shot either . If you think that won't give a player pause , you should wake up . Plus Cho doesn't sign bad character guys which to me , should be tempered some .

Posted by: Iron man | May 21, 2014 9:37:02 PM

I like the idea of drafting James Young or Nick Stauskus as a two guard with the nine pick. They are both very good players and would give the HORNETS a very good scoring punch. I think James Young has better defensive potential because of his athleticism. At the number 24 pick I like Doug McDermott, the best point guard, or best power forward on the board. Any one of those three selections, especially a pickup point guard, would make a lot of sense and really help the bobcats out. The 45th pick should be whatever area you have left to address. In free agency I think the guy you go after is Loul Deng. He's played in a defensive first scheme with the Bulls under Thibs and his game would translate great to the HORNETS under Steve Clifford.

Posted by: Caleb Street | May 21, 2014 9:49:40 PM

Iron Man I am sure you know more than Bleacher Report

H 6'1"
W 172 lbs

H 6'
W 175 lbs

They did say CP has the longest arms in the history of the NBA


Posted by: Tyrese Jones | May 21, 2014 9:58:19 PM

7× NBA All-Star (2008–2014)
NBA All-Star Game MVP (2013)
3× All-NBA First Team (2008, 2012–2013)
All-NBA Second Team (2009)
All-NBA Third Team (2011)
3× NBA All-Defensive First Team (2009, 2012–2013)
2× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2008, 2011)
NBA Rookie of the Year (2006)
NBA All-Rookie First Team (2006)
3× NBA assists leader (2008–2009, 2014)
6× NBA steals leader (2008–2009, 2011–2014)
Consensus first team All-American (2005)
No. 3 retired by Wake Forest
USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year (2004)
North Carolina Mr. Basketball (2003)

Medals -- Men's basketball
Gold 2008 Beijing Men's basketball
Gold 2012 London Men's basketball
FIBA World Championship
Bronze 2006 Japan FIBA Americas U20 Championship
Gold 2004 Halifax Men's U-20 basketball

Posted by: Cliff P. | May 21, 2014 10:03:59 PM

Hey Tyrese

Posted by: Suck That | May 21, 2014 10:28:08 PM

Take pj Hairston if he's still there and Rodney hood from duke. Both can score. We need it. Both probably could start right away for us at SG and SF along with Kemba, big Al, and McRoberts. And try to sign someone via free agency.

Posted by: Colton | May 21, 2014 10:39:22 PM

why would no sensible front office trade for love without a guarantee?

al jefferson can opt out next summer too. why not swap love for jefferson and some picks that won't get developed properly anyways? love is more efficient offensively (one of the few), better rebounder (one of the few), slightly better defensively and by playing the 4 allows biyombo to do what he does best which would make our team defense significantly better.

it's a risk to keep al as much as it would be to swap him for love. and the benefit of love (25) resigning WAY outweighs the benefit of Al resigning. not to mention, he's leaving minny because he's never been to the playoffs........is he really going to go to the lakers or warriors out west and stay in that competition? he would love it here being in the playoffs every year and having a legitimate shot at the finals with regularity. there's just more well run franchises out west.

not to mention we would still have the cap room to make a play for whatever other free agent would placate him into resigning (stephenson?).

it's illogical to think that it would be a bad move to roll the dice. because mediocrity isn't worth risking for greatness?

not trading for him = 0% chance of signing him.
trading for him = at least a 25% chance of signing him + the 1 year you get with him. which would sell a ridiculous amount of tickets.

Posted by: charlottean | May 21, 2014 11:03:03 PM

"he would love it here being in the playoffs every year and having a legitimate shot at the finals with regularity. "

Here? Where?

Posted by: Hexter Bros. | May 22, 2014 12:33:48 AM

Trading Al Jefferson would be a bad move. He averaged 21.8 points per Game and had 10.8 rebounds per game on a bad ankle. He was never 100% healthy and if he was I believe Charlotte could have pushed Miami to 6 or 7th game. Will Al stay in Charlotte? Yes because he see's that the team is trying to work to improve the team and with $17 million in cap they could easily improve the team along with the 9th, 24th & 45th picks in this years draft. Lets not forget the last time we traded our best player it was Gerald Wallace and we struggled for years afterward.

A need many people are forgetting is we need a back up Center for Al. Brendan Haywood was suppose to be that guy but he got injured and never played a game for us.

Odds are a guy like Kevin Love would want to go to a big market that like a NY, Miami or LA, and coming to a small market team like Charlotte would probably not be on the teams where he would like to play list.

Posted by: Andrae Jones | May 22, 2014 1:44:17 AM

Some people only look at stats. Chris Paul May get his share if steals, but he is a poor defender. His gambling leads to the defense being out of position a lot. Look at the talent on the LA vs Charlotte. Who has the better defense? The guy that claims to know the most about hoops here probably knows the least. That must suck for him.

Posted by: Aaron | May 22, 2014 6:03:19 AM

"Ironman" aka Louis Tape on Rufus on fire soon to be Alive at the Hive. Just. Let. It. Go.

Kemba is the starter. Kemba will never come off the bench. Smart is fat and selfish. His attitude stinks and he does not fit the mold of players that Cho and Comp have put together.

Clifford values size, defense, hustle, rebounding, and a great attitude. Young fits the bill. It's too early to make predictions anyway. They haven't even worked any of these guys out. IMO, Taylor needs to be let go, draft Young and a back up PG and sign Greg Monroe.

Posted by: D.W.G. | May 22, 2014 8:29:16 AM

I'll take the sharp shooter from Michigan at #9 and the PJ or Ealy at #24 then sign Lou Deng during free agency

Posted by: Earl | May 22, 2014 8:33:39 AM

Issue with Love isn't even him resigning with us...it's the fact that the Wolves are probably going to ask the team that's trading for Love to take on a bad contract. Are we prepared to pay JJ Barea 6 million a year to be Kemba's backup? I don't think so...especially if we are trying to match a FA with Love.

It's going to take no less than Big Al, MKG, Zeller, #9, and #45 (maybe #24 too) to get Love.

I don't know if a hypothetical roster of:

Stephenson (at best)/Martin

is dramatically better than what we have now.

Posted by: cornchip | May 22, 2014 8:41:43 AM

Some of you are idiots who clearly must never watch our games or know the fan base.

Big Al and Kemba are the keepers and everyone else can go. is Kemba the next Chris Paul..no. But is he top 10. yes.

Big Al is top 20 player in the league easy!

We just need a star level SG.

#9 and #24 can be packaged but who wants to move back in this draft. Likely no one especially with what we can offer unless you throw a good player in the mix.

Nope goal in offseason is re-sign McRoberts at decent pay, get sessions back at decent rate and then trade for Haywood or just pay up for him and see if they match.

Posted by: Season Ticket Holder | May 22, 2014 9:20:34 AM

Charlottean, you do write some good things every now and then. But two things: Wolves will never take Jefferson back in return for Love, because Al and Pekovic don't fit together and they just broke the bank on Pekovic last summer.

Also, you really believe Bizmack Biyombo will be a starting center in the NBA? Listen, I loved the kid when they drafted him, I was on the "Next Ben Wallace" bandwagon for a long time, but out of all the rookies this team has had in the last 3 years, he's had the most minutes played and the most opportunities. He was a starter by default with both Silas and Dunlap, and still he can't even catch the ball and still goes into "fetal position" whenever he catches it, wasting every possible opportunity at a close range basket. Biz offensive limitations are extremely bad. They take away every defensive prowess he can bring.

He "could" become a decent back-up, maybe a 3rd string defensive minded big. In 3 years his ofensive game is in a plateau, at best. And yes, his FG% went up this season, but that is an outlier, he played almost every single minute against second units and in scarp minutes. He almost never faced starting lineups, which is his best fit, as a back-up Center playing 15 MPG. He has played 4,700 minutes in 220 NBA games, an average of 20MPG, and there has very little if any progress at all - heck he still can't catch a ball after 3 years in the NBA. Unfortunately I lost all hopes on Biz becoming anything like Ben Wallace in his peak.

Posted by: RobC | May 22, 2014 10:55:02 AM

WOW....I am so glad none of you have any influence in the decisions for this franchise. You guys are HORRIBLE at suggesting trades and "signing" free agents. Somehow you think Charlotte is an attractive destinations for free agents and that the Bobcats/Hornets have a pletora of "GREAT" talent that other NBA Teams are craving for.

I loved the Bobcats and will love the Hornets even more. I've been a STH for the past 7 years and will continue to be one. I am a huge fan of this team, but you all need to be realistic.

MKG is a talented young man, that has the skills to be great but need to put a lot of work into it. His problem (not his fault), he is not what you expect from a #2 Pick. Zeller is pretty much the same story, although he should develop a little quicker (he is older than MKG). But non of them has shwon any promise of becoming anything close to a star player, maybe a good starter at best.

Biyombo, as much as I liked the pick 3 years ago, he will be at best a back-up Center. Kemba Walker can and will be a starting PG in this league, because he has all the intangibles and the heart of a lion, but he will never be a star. He will have a great career and will end up making $8-10M per season, but you need to sorround him with enough talent to mask his limitations.

My point is, no team in the NBA is craving for any of the Bobcats players. Any trade will cost the Bobcats a lot, and any good free agent able to have a significant impact on this team will be overpaid. Unfortunately that is the reality of a small market team, unless you are San Antonio or Oklahoma City.

Posted by: Chuck M. | May 22, 2014 12:04:31 PM

@Season Ticket Holder: Kemba is definitely NOT top 10 NBA PG. The guy is a good player, but his height make him both a defensive and offensive liability and he has a poor shooting percentage.

@Chuck M and RobC: Biyombo/Zeller (and to lesser extent, MKG) …haven't been given enough playing time to develop. Chaarlottean's point has been play the guys and let them grow into better players.

If Big Al won't play defense and Walker is too short to play great defense, then it's best to have a guy like MKG on your team.

Posted by: the Dude | May 22, 2014 12:18:59 PM

Lol. season ticket holder calls guys here idiots . But goes on to say Kemba is a top ten pt gd . Lmao . Exactly what is he top ten in ? Field goal per centage ? Assists at the rim ? Assists per game ? Total assists ? Any defensive stats ? What . He's not even in the top 15 .

And DWG .. You let it go . Who cares what my name is elsewhere clown ? Does it change anything as to Kemba ? No . I will let it go when they get a pt gd who makes everyone better who can facilitate all game , play defense and not jack . Felton sucks but he was the only decent ot gd they've had . And Young please . He's weak , has no defense and will take yrs to develop . He will be good but his defense is on the level of Hardens . Clifford will love that . Lol.

Posted by: Iron man | May 22, 2014 3:20:29 PM

Trade MKG(or Hendo), 9th and 24th pick to Clevland and grab either Wiggins or Parker!

Posted by: Mike | May 22, 2014 3:29:18 PM

i love kemba for all the good things, but he is the least efficient offensive player who actually plays on our team.

for all of biz and mkg's faults........they produce more PPP than kemba. biz actually lead the team and that's WITH a horrible turnover rate and horrible free throw rate.

there are a lot of delusional people about how good jefferson is and how much that ankle injury kept us from contending against miami.

RobC - i completely agree that jefferson and pek don't really mesh together.......if i'm minny I would go henderson/zeller all day over jefferson. but jefferson has the big name. if they're trying to sell their fans on the move.....jefferson would placate a lot better. so i agree, but offer some reason to the alternative.

jefferson will not win big in this league. not unless he wakes up tomorrow and decides he wants to play defense full time. he played better defense while injured in game 1 and 2 than he did the entire season by far. and it was still horrible defense, i'm just making the point that he chooses not to play defense to his capabilities. you cannot win with a gaping hole at the rim. we were just as effective game 4 with biz playing defense as we were in games 1-3. and the ankle has nothing to do with that. that's a microcosm to our season.

people here love al
people here hate biz

yet both are equally as effective on the floor when it comes to winning.

people love mcroberts
people hated diaw

yet diaw is more effective and continues to play great ball for the spurs.

people love kemba
people hated augustin

yet they are almost the exact same player except kemba looks more intense and confident doing it, and augustin is more effective while looking like he's scared (he's not).

people have to start looking at reality and not portraying what they want on the team. the blame goes directly to guys like henderson, mkg, and biz when they aren't the ones being ineffective. they aren't eating up the volume of offense inefficiently, nor are they causing the rest of the team to overcompensate on defense. our team defense was at it's highest when biz was playing big minutes while al was hurt. it was at its lowest when MKG and jeff taylor were both out and biz was playing less.

our offense? how is kemba NOT to blame when everybody on the roster was more efficient and he had the ball in his hands more than anybody? how can you possibly blame anybody other than he and the coach? al did his part. al was business as usual on the block. just under 1 PPP. kemba? not even close. he's a bad shot taker and a bad shot maker who doesn't create for others and doesn't make enough of his shots for it to work.

he's iverson with less assists, less steals, less volume, and even lower %'s. which means.....he isn't iverson. he looks iverson-esque at times.......but he is not iverson. not even close.

they appear to be the best players on the team but they are not. the best player on the team by far is MKG. there is a large gap between he and the rest. and he's not even at full potential yet.

to clarify about love wanting to stay here......i was referring to the eastern conference being easier than the west. he's trying to make the playoffs on a max contract, not make a max contract in hollywood and sit out his prime while kobe and pau age out and a top draft pick grows up. that's why golden state and chicago make more sense. golden state is offering lee and barnes. we can top that (i think) with zeller/henderson/picks or jefferson/picks. we have a top 10 pick, and can offer another first THIS YEAR. there's no risk in moving jefferson because jefferson could opt out anyways and be a UFA just like Love will be. but by making the move, you upgrade from jefferson NOW (slightly but get younger) and can offer more money than anybody else in free agency to get a legit top flight superstar which jefferson is not. jefferson is a franchise guy for a bad team or a mid level guy for a good team. he's no better than al horford or nene or brook lopez.

the only people even in the conversation with love for the top 4-man in the league are griffin/aldridge/davis and most peg love at the top because of his elite rebounding coupled with the shooting. it's worth going all in on. even if it backfires.

i'm tired of hearing how our role players are the problem. we have solid role players. what we don't have is top end talent. if you put chris paul and blake griffin in our lineup for kemba and al.........we immediately become contenders. westbrook and ibaka would work too. parker and duncan. harden and howard. and a lot of those teams would kill to have guys like henderson, mkg, biz, zeller, even mcroberts to fill in the gaps around their stars. there's only 1 ball, you don't win with 5 scorers who don't defend and rebound and play a floor game.

b.j. armstrong? luc longley? bill wennington?

how great of a shooter was rodman? how great of a post up threat was will purdue? charles oakley? how much of a dribble drive threat was steve kerr?

Posted by: charlottean | May 22, 2014 4:46:51 PM

The one thing charlotte does not need to do is trade good yound draft players for a old medicocre veteran. Veterans help when you have a ypung talented team. And the gods honest truth is kemba walker is seemingly ok with being a decent player in the league and not a great player, along with MKG. cody zeller will be a decent starter but dosent have a tremendous upside like some people think.(some players have a great college game and ok pro game, and hes one of them). The best thing charlotte could get out of this draft is to get rid of a couple picks and get in the top 5-6 picks. Go out and get a marcus smart or julius randle, or james young. Hell trade up and get one of the three future nba centerpieces going this year (embiid, wiggins, parker)

Posted by: justin hill | May 22, 2014 5:09:51 PM

Players A & B, 3rd year numbers for both:

Player A
2P% = 46%
3P% = 33%
FT% = 91%
AST = 498
TOV = 155
TRB = 225
STL = 54
PF = 152

Player B
2P% = 42%
3P% = 33%
FT% = 84%
AST = 447
TOV = 169
TRB = 306
STL = 86
PF = 128

Both players started every game their 3rd year, player B played 9 fewer games due to an injury.

What jumps out at you?

Posted by: Bballreference | May 23, 2014 12:06:53 AM

Charlotean .. That was the most brilliant, analytical , in depth post of all time in Nc sports . I wouldn't conclude that Mkg was by far and away the best player or most efficient but he's balling if they go to him and use him the correct way which Thibbs , Doc and Pop would . He's only one of two , two way players on the team . Both mind you will be certainly on the target list for all three coaches who will fit either one in their schemes seamlessly . It' shouldn't be surprising that they were a top 5 defending duo and Henderson averaged 20 a game after the break last yr before Jefferson got here . Mkg scored better then too . The Spurs wll win the finals w ease . They have more layups and easy buckets off cuts , back doors , rollers who hit cutters , lobs , alley oops and transition buckets than any other team . Either one will flourish in that environment which should be bred here but won't be . It's a. Shame bc Mj flourished in the same environment but settles for two dominant ball hogs . One ball hog is efficient but could be much better if he passed for easy buckets . The other is hopeless . The rest of the wings who are equally maligned here will flourish too . Is it surprising that Neal flourished w the Spurs ? But not here ? He got open looks off ball movement , screens and cutting teamates who drew two defenders and kicked the ball out to him . When Kemba drives , he looks always to score no matter what . When you're w the Spurs , you drive to draw two and dish or kick . But these guys here expect the magical wings to come here and thrive w the same two inefficient ball hogs . Lol . Good luck . It's never happened w Iverson or w any other stops where Jefferson was .

Posted by: Iron man | May 23, 2014 8:21:34 AM

To say Jefferson and Biz are equally effective on the floor when it comes to winning gives you no credibility when it comes to your post. I agree with many of your comments on CHA players, but your love for Biz is mindboggling to Jeff Otah.

Posted by: Jeff Otah | May 23, 2014 8:47:38 AM

biz is to defense what al is to offense. al is to defense what biz is to offense.

we were just as competitive in game 4 as we were in games 1-3. we went 5-4 with biz starting in place of injured al jefferson this year.

and biz is 21. the impatience for this kid is incredible and the lack of credit he got for finishing 61+% of his attempts this year, plus having an elite rebounding and block rate (among the top 10 in all 3 categories) is baffling. people want him to be something he's not and can't celebrate what he is.

rodman won rings
ben wallace won rings
tyson chandler got one
kendrick perkins got one
haslem/birdman/joel anthony have a few combined
longley/wennington/perdue have a slew
rasho nesterovic/nazr mohammed combined for one
francisco elson/fabricio oberto combined for another

outside of shaq and olajuwon and david robinson's one.....these are the centers that have won titles the past 20 or so years. and all 3 of those guys were defensive juggernauts also. nobody wins with a gaping hole in the middle.

andrew bynum is really the only thing that resembles an exception to the rule and even he was a significantly better defender than jefferson. with more size. keyword was.

defensive centers win more than offensive centers do. wing scoring is more efficient because of the 3 point ball. that's why kevin love was more effective than al even though al is far superior at getting buckets in the lane.

keep ignoring facts and actual results, guys. i know yall love al but al isn't getting anywhere close to a conference finals, let alone a championship unless it's on somebody else's back. there is a significant need for an upgrade of he and kemba as the 1-2 punch more than there is a significant need to upgrade the supporting cast.

unless we want to continue to be mediocre forever. trading for love would at least give us a temporary upgrade with a legit shot at a long term upgrade. and would open the door for another big move even more so. getting love followed or preceded by getting somebody else of comparable talent would increase significantly the chance of love staying. unfortunately free agency is dry this summer but eric bledsoe is out there. eric bledsoe + kevin love is better than kemba + al. that's just reality. it's not like it's a HUGE upgrade like we go from 43 wins to 65 or anything like that. but it's an upgrade. and a more long term upgrade assuming it included 5 year deals for both.

bledsoe delivered nearly the kind of PPP that JEFFERSON gave you. he's light years ahead of kemba's horrible rate.

hate my line of thinking all you want, but i'm going off of facts, precedent, results, etc. not gut feeling. gut feeling is...i love kemba's game and love al's offense but hate his defense. everything beyond that is based off of reality.

Posted by: charlottean | May 23, 2014 11:09:06 AM

What the Hornets need to do, package Hendo and the 24th pick for a trade and see if they can move up to the 16th or 15th pick along with their 9th pick and that way they have two high picks in the 1st round and their 2nd round pick.

Also, please draft a point guard well over 6ft, or pick up Ramon Sessions for little for nothing.

Posted by: VJ | May 23, 2014 11:47:27 AM

The guys who had nothing but ranting and grumbling for the Bobcats this season keep going with their negativity. One of them believes, and will always believe, that he knows better than the management how the roster should be built. The other is very convinced that he knows better than each and every head coach we had in the past five or six years (at least, that's how far back my memory of his rants goes) how our offense should be run.

They have a little problem (not that it would bother them at all): the Bobcats have been successful beyond any expectations this season, and the men most responsible for this success are the targets of their attacks. Both these fans enjoy going against our two best players, and one of them (Louis the lol-man) is so sure he knows better than the head coach.

Back to planet Earth:

The Bobcats have been the most improved team in the East, by adding 22 wins to their record this season, and the second most improved team in the NBA, closely behind Jeff Hornacek's Suns, who improved by 23 wins.

The Bobcats are also the second most overachieving team in the East in '13-'14, behind the Raptors (who overachieved by finishing third in the East, at 48-34).
Before the season started, the reasonable expectation for the Bobcats was to improve their record by 50% (or a little more), and finish somewhere between 32 to 35 wins.
More than doubling the number of wins, to 43, was wild overachieving.

Many players can claim their part in this success.
But the top men responsible for it were coach Clifford, Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker. Yeah, those players whom the "usual suspects" would like to get rid of (one of them may like to forget that a few months ago he came up with the genius idea of trading Big Al for a second round pick!!!).

About the funny comparison between Big Al's and Bismack's contributions to the team
in the playoffs.
Al made an amazing effort to play with his plantar fasciitis. He could barely walk, his mobility was severely impaired, and still he averaged in three games 18.7 ppg, 9.3 rpg and 1.7 blocks per game. Biz was healthy and got to play 33 minutes in game 4, for 7 points, 8 rebounds and 0 blocks; talk about the "center of the future"...

For Al's haters:
Al Jefferson was named twice Eastern conference player of the month, for March and April '14.
This is a huge recognition by the league.
Only LeBron got also two nominations as Eastern player of the month this season.
Only four players have been named Eastern player of the month this season (add here Carmelo and Paul George).
Big Al was also voted 8th for league MVP.
So far above any other player in the Bobcats' ten years history.

So, when you activate your contrarian instincts on Big Al, you aren't just going against the vast majority of the fans (which evidently makes you feel so "smart" and self-important); you're going against the determinations made by those awarding these important league distinctions.

Posted by: Sandy | May 23, 2014 11:19:04 PM

Throwing a whole list of names, without any analysis, to "prove a point", doesn't actually prove anything. You do it frequently: 10, 15, 20 names of quite different players, current and past, randomly mixed together, placed under the heading of your theory, but lacking in any real analysis.

To begin with: Dennis Rodman, Udonis Haslem are Fabricio Oberto are power forwards and don't belong in a discussion of centers.

Then, naming a whole bunch of mediocre and sub-mediocre players and say that "they won championships" is extremely misleading.

There are players who were part of championship teams (including Shannon Brown and Adam Morrison in L.A...), but saying "they won championship" is reserved for the leading stars of those teams, not for minor role players.

Will Perdue and Wennington were sub-mediocre reserves, playing very limited minutes for the Bulls - when Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen truly WON championships.
You even forgot the starting center for the Bulls, for their first three titles with MJ: Bill Cartwright. He was just as mediocre as Luc longley, the starting center for the next three titles.
Mediocre: that's better than those reserves, but nothing special - including in defense.

You jam together Rasho Nesterovic (starter) and Nazr (reserve) from the Spurs championship team in '05, but only Rasho was a defensive center, while Nazr was actually an offensive center primarily [also, arguably the most skilled offensive center the Cats had before Big Al].

Just like with the Bulls, it's not a role player like Rasho who "won the title", the Big Three: Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili WON. The role players helped, but they are not those who WON championships.

And this title is sandwiched between other Spurs' titles, when they started David Robinson, and then Tim Duncan at center.

Or, other mediocre role players that Miami used at C in their last two title runs: Joel Anthony and Chris Andersen. Birdman is the better one among them, but still, mediocre. That's why he played 15 mpg (in the '13 title team), while MOST minutes at center went to a true PF, a very skilled offensively one - Chris Bosh.

The only decent examples of centers who lack in offensive talent, and yet were important starters for their championship teams (unlike those who were marginal role players, and the stats are still there to prove it) are Ben Wallace and Tyson Chandler. Now, even Chandler makes FTs at 64% (career), vs. Biyombo's 51% (career)...
(How do you like "hack a Biz", to exploit this vulnerability?).

Then, there were all those quality centers who gave offense to their champioship teams: Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, Shaquille O'Neal, Tim Duncan (converted to real center, from PF in his younger years).

We don't have, and probably won't be able to get, players like MJ and Scottie, to afford having mediocre centers. Also, the very balanced starting five - no dominant star - that the Pistons put together to win in 2004 was something very unusual, a real anomaly among championship team.
It's not very realistic to think we'll ever build such a team; usually, nobody does. It's much more realistic to try to get a third high impact player (besides the two we already have), preferrably a wing, and surround these three with decent and efficient role players.

Posted by: Sandy | May 23, 2014 11:28:03 PM

Kemba Walker was the team’s most improved player in each one of the last two seasons. This season, he improved his 3 point and free throw shooting, his assists and rebounding. That’s a hard working player.
Saying his assists went from 5.7 to 6.1 per game doesn’t really show how much he actually improved as a playmaker.

In the early part of the season, before Al Jefferson started playing, and then, when he still had lingering effects of his ankle injury, while Kemba was still learning how to play with him, Kemba didn’t look very good: 4.4 apg for the first 28 games of the season.
Then, as he started getting more comfortable running an offense focused on Big Al, Kemba showed he’s not a “shooting guard disguised as a PG”.
In the following 45 games, Kemba averaged 7.2 apg.
And after the All-Star break, the improvement is even more obvious: 7.7 apg.
If he can sustain this through a whole season, 7.7 apg would make him 5th in assists among all point guards, above many big name ones.
Can he? I actually think he can go steadily above this; it depends on who he’s playing with.

The only blemish on Kemba’s stats for this season was his 2 point shooting, which went down below 42%.
This evidently has to do with taking too many shots, forcing the issue a bit too often; it's faulty decision making.

I remember the years when Raymond Felton was criticized for this kind of bad decision making, and also, how spectacularly he improved in this regard under Larry Brown. Kemba will too, if put in the right situation.

The Hornets most pressing need is to add another high scoring player, one who is also a good shooter and thus helps spread the floor. I’m sure the management will get this done, in this off-season - whether through the draft or free agency.

Kemba has what Hendo and MKG just don’t have: the scoring instinct.

Either you feel like you can assert yourself in offense, and you’re ready and willing to take the shots when the team needs this, or you don’t. It’s an issue of mindset: you are offensive minded, or you aren’t, you can’t teach that. And it's false to say that our starting wings weren't getting the ball enough; they were getting it more than they were ready to take the scoring upon themselves.
True scorers always find ways to demand the ball, and to create often scoring opportunities for themselves (whether by how they move without the ball, and then demand it, or off the dribble). And OFTEN is the key word here.

But having this instinct doesn’t mean at all you have to keep forcing bad shots. You still do it, when you don’t have many good scoring options around you. Getting a third big time scorer in this team will take SOME of the pressure of having to take lots of shots off Kemba, and will push him to look often for the other scorer too.

To naysayers: he showed he can do it with Al, who can be trusted as a top scoring option, he’ll also do it when he gets the chance to play with a true scorer, who wants the ball, on the wing. Then, he’ll be shooting just a little less, he especially won’t have to force the issue on the drive so often, and his assists will definitely keep going up.

To sum it up: Kemba is a very talented player, with a true winner mentality.
He’ll do all it takes to win. He’s shooting when he feels his scoring is needed, he needs to remain one of the top three scoring options of the team, but he also proved already he can do very well as a playmaker too, if scoring/shooting talent is available around him.

Posted by: Sandy | May 24, 2014 2:00:15 AM

Lol. Sandy . All you did was regurgitate if not vomit up the past . We are passed that . Citing achievements no longer addresses anything . We all agree Kemba and Jefferson can get you to the first round . But BC OF THEIR SHORTCOMINGS , THEY WILL NEVER GET YOU OUT TGE FIRST ROUND . JEFFERSON passes out of doubles only ten percent of the time he should . He totally misses wings for easy buckets . He does not play league average on ball defense , help defense or protect the paint , the rim or block shots ! These are facts . Not a recital of his awards .

Kemba can't stop opposing pt gd penetration , can't play league average on ball defense or help defense . He's at the bottom of assists at the rim , is not even a league average pt gd in overall ratings , is below league average in assists per game for pt gds , has never thrown lobs or back doors w any degree of regularity , is below league average in arc shooting and field goal percentages and is too small to cone the on either end w the top pt gds . These are the facts that won't change , not awards . He is salvageable by being a good 6 th man . Jefferson , if you want to win , is not .

Your assessment of the Pistons is wrong . They had three two way players on the starting unit all of whom were all stars at one time or more . Prince , Billops and Rasheed . The other two were allstars , who were
Rip and Wallace . Ben Wallace fiercely protected the paint , rim , blocked shots , played the best on ball defense and huge help defense . Any winner has this from the center at least league average or better . Jefferson , in each of these categories is attrocious and not only below league average but in the basement . In any event , the Pistons were not an anomaly in the least . They had a big , strong , defending , good arc shooting pt gd that passed the ball when he got inside and doubled who also finished well at the rim . Rip didnt shoot the arc ball but neither did
Wade , Kobe , Ginobli or Mj . How many rings do they have ? All this spread the floor out of the two gd is garbage ESP in the playoffs bc the arc shooters get shut down and easily run off the arc . The Pistons shared the ball , moved it and had bigs that passed the ball inside . Big to big passing , like the Spurs and the Heat .the Cats don't have this bc of Jefferson . McRoberts passes from the arc which is different . Kemba and Jefferson can't run the pick n roll . So the roller can't hit cutters , unlike the Heat ,Spurs , Okc , Pistons and old Bulls . Regurgitating the laurels of both won't cut it . You will see this yr when getting to the playoffs will be tougher and out the first round will be impossible w the both of them . The role players are fine and will be better when they get stars who pass which makes them better . All the winning stars are willing passers . The reluctant ones like Kemba , Jefferson and Melo will never win anything but all star appointments .

Posted by: Iron man | May 24, 2014 7:05:33 AM

And if you don't put the other players in the correct scoring positions , why would you expect them to not defer from taking shots . Wade passes up arc shots . So do Henderson and Mkg . But get them a screen and have them dribble drive bc both can finish . Look at all the screens for wings on teams in the playoffs . They are not spot up shooters . When their men double , have them cut and pass them the ball , not force a shot out f a double or pass it late in the clock when the defense has stiffened . Run a pick n roll and have them cut from the weak side and get a pass from the roller . Both can finish . Did Henderson forget from the yr before how to score when he averaged 20 a game after the break ? Did Mkg all of a sudden learn to score when he scored 21 in the second Heat playoff game ? Mkg was used correctly . He flashed deep in the right side in the post and shot turn around jump hooks . He got the ball timely . He may never be able to remove the hitch but he can score off jump hooks , tight curls inside , lobs , alley oops , back doors and in transition . He needs a pass first pt gd and a passing system , neither of which is here . Clifford is trying to keep his job . He will repeat what got him to the first round . He has no idea how quickly the demand by the fans and front office will change to getting to the second round . Kembas failure to make teammates better will preclude getting to the second round . Jeffersons failure to pass or defend anything will most certainly kill any attempt . The wings should be shopped bc nothing will change . Get some pure shooters in here that sit and wait in spot up while Jefferson and Kemba force or jack . The shooters will be one dimensional that will get abused on defense and have the arc sealed in the playoffs unable to do anything else . Then , Clifford and Cho will both be fired bc they built a team around two one way stars who both are ball hogs . Watch . Watch .... Watch

Posted by: Iron man | May 24, 2014 7:44:07 AM

After next yr , Clifford will have taken the Hornets as far as he can go . He's a brilliant defensive coach . But his offense is dump it into Jefferson . And high volume shooting Kemba . This is easy to stop in the playoffs . Clifford has zero clue how to incorporate the wings . The Spurs had 6 back doors against the Cats . They had 120 points in the paint against Okc in the last two games against Okc . No one dominated the ball to get the points and most were scored by the wings and pt gds !!!!! The wings run the pick n roll or are screeners who roll . How many times do they do that in Clifford's tired offense . Bring Korver in . The best arc shooter at sf or SG . Lol. Or Reddick who got abused every time he stepped on the ct in the playoffs for the Clippers . Lol. These are the best arc shooters . .. But they give everything back as Jefferson and Kemba do . Any draft pick shooters will not be ready close to what Mclemore , Rivers , Mayo , Shabazz , or Rddick . They won't beat out Taylor or Cdr . Cdr can go to the Spurs and look like Neal did w the Spurs last yr . Neal can go back and look like his old self . At some point y'all will get it and realize it's the system . Or lack of it . You can't have a system that has no pick n roll . Or where the roller hits a cutter , for starters . It's impossible to succeed .

Name one star or superstar that won a ring who didnt play defense and didnt pass ?

Posted by: Iron man | May 24, 2014 10:58:31 AM

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