For Michael Jordan, this is like being called for pushing off on Bryon Russell, or getting stripped by Craig Ehlo, or throwing the ball to Steve Kerr and John Paxson, only to watch them miss.
In so many other instances in his playing career, Jordan has been both good and lucky. As an executive, not so much. And the crummy luck came back to haunt him once again with the NBA draft lottery, where the seven-win Bobcats suffered a bigger defeat the other 59 combined.
They’re choosing second in what’s probably a one-superstar draft. Such is life for Jordan since he traded his sneakers for a seat in the boardroom. He can’t seem to win.
When he had the first overall pick, while the GM in Washington, the prize was Kwame Brown. When he had the third pick, the 2006 college player of the year was available, and Adam Morrison was taken because he was a scorer, which the Bobcats desperately needed. (In a cruel twist of fate, Jordan later traded for the fourth pick in that 2006 draft, Tyrus Thomas, giving the Bobcats the biggest busts that year.)
Then he held lower lottery picks in franchise player drafts and missed out on Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose and Kyrie Irving.
And now the Bobcats will not get Anthony Davis, a big man whom all the experts believe is the surest thing in this draft (although he could turn into Purvis Ellison, another lanky freshman who led his team to the NCAA title and was taken first overall). This doesn’t mean the Bobcats will wind up with another Adam Morrison but, with Jordan’s luck, there’s a better chance of that happening than not.
This is where GM Rich Cho should think out of the box, take a reasonably safe gamble and trade down. Cho was hired by Jordan to silence the critics who said Jordan relied too much on his buddies to turn the franchise around. The Bobcats have multiple needs and therefore should position themselves to add multiple players if they’re not going to get a star at No. 2, where there’s no consensus. Why not trade for a package that includes a top-10 pick and a veteran scorer? Why not use that pick on Perry Jones of Baylor, who may turn out nearly as good as Davis? Or be there to snatch another big man, Andre Drummond, if he falls? Or Drummond’s college teammate, Jeremy Lamb?
By turning a single draft pick into two players, the Bobcats will increase their odds of getting help next season. With Jordan’s track record and the lousy luck that seems to follow him, increasing the odds is the only way to go.