Will The Charlotte Bobcats Give Up The Second Pick?
The Rockets are trying to trying to amass draft picks to have enough young talent and financial flexibility in order to acquire Dwight Howard. The Celtics acquired an extra first-round pick because of disputes with the Thunder about AJ Green's health. The Lakers are also looking for a high pick for center Pau Gasol.
The most perplexing team, though, has to be the Charlotte Bobcats.
Yes, they were apparently robbed for the first pick in a somewhat controversial lottery, but they still received the second. Not too bad in a relatively deep draft.
Yet after a historically dismal 2012 season, the Bobcats seem poised to move that pick in an effort to amass more pieces. New Bobcats GM Rick Cho (though by no means a rookie, having over 10 years of managerial-related experience) has stated that it would take "something enticing" for them to move that pick.
However, after having traded an already faded Corey Maggette (expiring) for the quickly fading Ben Gordon (who still has 2 years on his contract), it’s hard to get behind the Bobcats’ decision making. Why would they give away an expiring contract for an undersized volume shooter that doesn’t play defense, is owed a lot of money ($25.6 million), and isn’t even done after next season?
(Their saving grace is that they got a pick from Detroit in the deal, though that doesn't become unprotected until 2016. What's more, they owe the Chicago Bulls their own 2016 pick, so they only come out even).
The thing with this year’s draft is that though there is little differential among talent depth (which makes it technically “deep”), it isn’t top heavy. Outside of Anthony Davis, there isn’t even a consensus among mock wizards on who will be taken second. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist? Thomas Robinson? Bradley Beal?
Which would lead to the assumption that swapping the second pick for two later picks (say Cleveland’s fourth and 24th) would yield better results. If there isn’t such a huge talent gap between second and fourth, why not get an extra pick?
Cho’s problem, though, is that with his trade for Gordon he seems to be trying to address the Bobcats’ needs with role players, when really they lack a superstar. That trade has done nothing to work them closer to obtaining that piece. Considering giving up the second pick does exactly the same thing. Why not operate like the Thunder, and build with high picks instead of giving them away?
Whether the Bobcats keep their pick or give it away (again) for something else, the key is that something else must be bigger. They don’t just need pieces, they need what their owner used to be: an absolute star.