This year's MYSTERIOUS EUROPEAN DRAFT PROSPECT is a man named Rudy Gobert. The Bobcats haven't quite hit bulls eyes on foreign prospects in the past, completely whiffing on French 7 footer Alexis Ajinca in 2008 and they're still working to develop Bismack Biyombo into a solid starting big man.
Could Rudy Gobert be the prospect they need?
Rudy Gobert, International Man of Mystery (sorry, I couldn't resist)
If you're looking for an immediate impact player, perhaps look elsewhere. If projects are your thang, then you're in luck.
Gobert has the physical tools to be a very good rim protector in the NBA. With a height of 7 feet, 2 inches and a wingspan of 7 feet, 8.5 inches, Gobert has the height and length to be a solid rim protector. At 238 pounds, he's a little thin for the traditional center typeset, but he's quite mobile for his size. With his giant stride, Gobert has the quickness to play decent pick and roll defense, capable of hedging and recovering. However, he does need to pack on some muscle to his frame. Just look to the Pacers right now to see the value of a monstrous 7 footer than can control the paint like Roy Hibbert does.
Moving on to his offense, Gobert is much more raw. Not medium rare, not steak tartare but somewhere in between.
To his credit, Gobert has good hands and can finish at the rim fairly well. He could be a decent pick and roll option because of his hands and his size. The margin for error becomes a little bit bigger with his size as a target on the move towards the hoop. Gobert also has the tools that can translate to good offensive rebounding in the NBA. The good things pretty much stop there. He has difficulty when double-teamed and his ballhandling (or lack thereof) leads to turnovers. He lacks a jump shot in his arsenal, but his 70.4 percent free throw shooting makes me wonder if he could develop even a half-consistent jumper. Further, a back to the basket game eludes him and at times his decision making is suspect. Gobert's weight once again causes an issue here as it makes it difficult to maintain position and finish through contact.
Fit with the Bobcats
Have you been thinking to yourself recently "Hm, I wish the Bobcats had Alexis Ajinca again but with less offensive skills and less fouling on defense," then you're in luck.
The Bobcats can't really afford to take on another project player, especially a frontcourt player since they already have Bismack Biyombo. Plus, Biyombo does some of the same things and just as well or better. He's a terrific shot-blocker that can hedge and recover but has the strength to work in the paint. Biyombo's hands are more questionable, but neither are Hakeem Olajuwon in the post or Dirk Nowitzki at the elbow.
Anyway, this doesn't really matter. Gobert's a long-term project and the Bobcats don't have the time to take risk on a mostly one-dimensional player. Charlotte needs a much more complete, versatile frontcourt player, period.