Bobcats’ 2011 Draft Could Shape This One

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Three days until the Draft, and….

The Bobcats have a very interesting decision on Draft night that is about more than this pick. It could be about the selection two years ago as well.

Bismack Biyombo, the defense and rebounding specialist taken seventh in 2011 as part of a pre-arranged deal with the Kings and Bucks, has gone from 23.1 mpg and 5.8 rpg as a rookie to 27.3 mpg and 7.3 rpg last season as part of what everyone knew going in would be a long-term project for a prospect with no offense and little previous basketball experience. Charlotte believed, and the ultra-confident Biyombo did as well, that he could become a game-changer just by his work around the rim, but that would take time.

While there was an ongoing internal assessment, the June 2013 read on Biyombo is particularly relevant as the Bobcats stare at a Draft board that would take them in two directions: Use the No. 4 choice Thursday night on Alex Len of Maryland as the new starting center and a much-needed infusion of post scoring. Or, go with Anthony Bennett of UNLV for the kind of offensive boost that is necessary for a power forward playing alongside the one-dimensional Biyombo.

Len makes sense because centers are always hard to find and he is the best one on the board this year. Maybe Biyombo’s best fit is as an energizing defensive force off the bench, able to spark a team the same way other coaches typically rely on a scorer for that role.

But, Bennett makes sense because Biyombo is clearly progressing in some areas. Plus, the Bobcats hired Patrick Ewing as an assistant coach and just maybe he knows something about playing center that can help a project develop. No one expected Biyombo to be making a major impact after two seasons anyway, and his rebounding numbers are encouraging.

Bennett is also a good fit with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, the lottery pick a year ago. Kidd-Gilchrist can’t hit a jumper, so the Bobcats need someone with range. That’s Bennett. There are questions about who Bennett guards — not strong enough to handle power forwards, not quick enough to stay with small forwards — but Biyombo and MKG have the potential to become elite defenders and compensate.

Charlotte will be facing a lot of scrutiny by the end of Thursday night no matter what, just because owner Michael Jordan is the name at the top of the masthead. The potential Len-Bennett internal debate, with Indiana shooting guard Victor Oladipo worth putting in the conversation as well after his improved perimeter game last season, makes for an intriguing decision in the Bobcats’ future.

14 Comments

  1. Billy says:

    Maybe Jordan may try to get HOWARD from their roster and we’ll see maybe Charlotte made to the Finals next season. What do you think?

    - Billy from Dubai, UAE.

  2. Richard says:

    clearly Bismack is Undersized and the problem goes on. Although he can compete, but that doesn’t relate to being comfortable with that position defending and scoring with the bigger matchups. They have to find the right size for the position to give them a steady core moving forward. There’s a chance Noel would slip down the draft, considering the CAVS go with a SF to complete their lineup. ORL will be happy with McLemore and steady improvement of Vucevic. While the WIZ got Nene already down low. So Len or Noel would be a better pick in my opinion.

  3. Willie says:

    Ok I think bobcats should draft a center that can score. they already have a point guard and shooting guard and small forward and power with bismack. they need a big man and they will be headed in the right direction

  4. how about... says:

    At one point last season we almost had a straight up trade of Carlos Boozer for Andrea Bargnani. Both Chicago and Toronto need to cut salary to avoid the luxury tax. What if Toronto sends Bargnani to Chicago and Chicago sends Boozer to Charlotte? Chicago still saves 5 million against the cap, while getting a stretch 4, and if anyone can get Bargs to play defense it is Thibodeau. Toronto saves 11 million against the cap, gets so separation from the luxury tax line, and can move on from Bargnani. Charlotte finally gets a power forward who can shoot, score, and rebound. If the Bobnets/ Horcats amnesty Tyrus Thomas then they would still have some cap space left. If there almost was a straight up Boozer for Bargnani trade then why can’t Boozer just be routed to Charlotte instead?

    • Willie says:

      but why waste cap on old injured players when you can go cheap for 4yrs on young healthy players………..

  5. realist says:

    bismack is too undersized. But that makes 7 rpg more impresive

  6. J says:

    Bismack Biyombo stinks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    5 points a game?!?!? on a bad team?
    7 rebpg is fine

  7. steppx says:

    its the pivotal pick (as is sacramento slightly later)……….but Biyambo is clearly not the answer…and not because he hasnt developed, because he has. But he remains undersized, and its not his shot blocking or rebounding, its just his inability to hold position (plus of course his lack of a post up game on offense). Im sure charlotte would love to trade this pick……get a Gortat and someone else….or find a way to pry lose DeMarcus Cousins or someone. Because in the end, Len is not the long term answer. Id actually draft Adams and accept he is going to take time. OR…..take Olidipo…..because with MKG and jeff taylor you would have a frighteningly good perimeter defense.

  8. Uberbunk says:

    agreed i hope Jordan can make something exciting happen with his team…beyond name changes…

  9. Look at the future says:

    I hope they figure it out soon. Can’t imagine a team from Charlotte moving again, but if they don’t get it together its possible. Seattle is desperate for a team and can probably fill the seats better than Charlotte. Hope it doesn’t get to that. Also it would be nice to see another small market team from the east put up some fight. Getting tired of Super-teams forming everywhere. How about some parity NBA. Look at the NFL and the NHL, any year a team can make the playoffs and be a contender. Wonder what happens with guard situation in Charlotte as well. Is Kemba a PG or SG? Who will play the other spot

  10. Chris S. says:

    Just for the record, Biyombo is not a center. Way too short and not physical enough to make up for it, even in today’s small ball NBA. Only about 6-8 if you are being generous. I interned for the Bobcats when they drafted him and Kemba and was around him a lot. I think he can be an All-Defense type of player and Tyson-Chandler type of really good offensive player in the right set. But he fits better next to Len than he does Bennett. Bennett fits well with MKG so your article is right but it would be with Bennett that Biyombo is an off-the-bench energy performer.

    Either way, they have pieces. But they need to hit with this and get lucky in next year’s draft to get that Superduper Star to make them a contender.

    PS: In case you read these comments, Scott, I have been trying for years to get people to call him the “BisMack Truck.” Suggested it when I worked there but they went with “thunder and lightening” for him and Kemba. So just do me a solid and throw that into an article please!

  11. dhk says:

    I feel, and I’m probably totally alone here, that Charlotte could actually be a pretty good team in a couple of years, what with them getting so many high pics consistantly. They have the potential to all blow up big at the same time, or just blow up. It is a very interesting team to keep an eye on.