(ed. - from the FanPosts)
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo sports is reporting that according to one Eastern Conference executive "the whole team is available" when it comes to the Charlotte Bobcats. If this news surprises you, then you probably should have paid closer attention to the Rich Cho hiring. We've poured over his exploits before, but in short-- he's going to blown this team up, fix the foundation and rebuild; this is in his basketball DNA. So while it's being rumored that players the likes of Josh Smith, Andrew Bogut, Al Jefferson and Roy Hibbert could all be available for the right price, ultimately it would be extremely surprising to see the Bobcats add any talented veterans at this point. Cho is going to build through the draft, and it's going to be a slower, more methodical pace.
That being said, there is one trade that I would keep an eye on and that's the Phoenix Suns who it's rumored are willing to take on bad contracts provided they can unload the last year of Vince Carter's deal and get back a 2012 1st round pick. Vince Carter is this year's Erick Dampier, he has an $18 million team option which can be bought out for $2 million. Should the Bobcats trade veterans (read Jax) and amass picks in future drafts it would not surprise me in the least to see Cho send some of the Bobcats less desirable contracts like Carroll and Diop with a future 1st with the sole purpose of buying out Carter and erasing bad future contracts. Short term it would probably really annoy fans, but long term it further supports the notion of having complete cap flexibility and slowly building the roster.
More draft notes after the jump...
- Kawhi Leonard could be out of reach: Numerous sources are reporting that Leonard is now cancelling second workouts with any team drafting after #8. It's believed he left Detroit with a guarantee that if he's there the Pistons will draft him.
- Several teams believe the Bobcats will use the 9th overall pick on Chris Singleton: While I don't dislike the move it makes little sense based on the Bobcats' current roster to add another offensive liability for the purposes of more defense. However, if "the whole team is available" then the immediate offensive needs of the team will play second fiddle to them getting the best possible player.
- Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer has reported the Bobcats' interest in Jimmer Fredette is 'lukewarm'. One team who seems very high on Jimmer, however, is the New York Knicks. A quick glance at their roster and assets shows they have very little to offer to move up to #9 after gutting their team to acquire Carmelo Anthony.
- The Houston Rockets are offering the #14 and #23 picks to move up into the top 10, and have been rumored to be talking to the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons, however, have asked to wait until draft night to see who's available at #8. My assumption is that Detroit will stay pat and select Kawhi Leonard, but if he's selected they will trade back. This is pertinent because you better believe Cho is jumping up and down hoping the Rockets come calling him. I guarantee he would rather the #14, #19, #23 than the #9 and #11.
Per this think from Yahoo their latest mock is out based on the latest information Draft Express is hearing around the league. Their mock has the Bobcats selected Kawhi Leonard with the #9 pick and Alec Burks with the #19 pick, which would be a major gain for the Bobcats.
However, there are two interesting points raised in the mock:
- The Bobcats could sacrifice the #9 pick to gain cap flexibility and unload bad deals
- The #19 pick is readily available for trade
Neither of these moves would be attractive to the fan base, but they are smart. This is still a fairly weak draft, and if losing out on the #9 means potentially getting out from under the majority of the bad deals it would be a fresh start for the Cats. Similarly, if a desperate team wants to trade for the #19 for a 2012 1st rounder then Charlotte should consider holding off for a stronger draft.
Both moves are the definition of 'taking a step back to take two forward'.