It’s easy to get down on the Bobcats right now.
After all, they are the worst team in the NBA, and there is really no argument against it.
I tend to focus on the “what if’s” too often. What if the Bobcats had done things differently in the expansion draft? What if they’d been able to land the trade to be able to draft Jameer Nelson? What if they’d made the trade to be able to select Chris Paul? What if they’d not taken Adam Morrison, or if they’d have had a coach that would have developed him instead of shattered his confidence? What if they’d not traded talent like Jason Richardson away for Boris Diaw? What if they’d actually taken Brook Lopez and not had a change of heart and taken D.J. Augustin at the last second, thinking they could nab Roy Hibbert later on? What if they hadn’t wasted a first round pick on Alexis Ajinca when Hibbert was off the board? What if they’d not traded Gerald Wallace and rolled with their only first round pick this past summer and still could have gotten Kemba Walker?
It really seems like this franchise is allergic to talent. They avoid it at all costs.
It’s easy to get caught up in it.
We can’t fix it. We don’t run the team, and we don’t have a time machine.
Looking at the current roster, there are two things at play: First, there is an effort to get all big money off the books. Boris Diaw will be an unrestricted free agent after the season. The Bobcats took Corey Maggette off the Bucks’ hands to be free of Stephen Jackson’s salary a year sooner. The Bobcats sent Tyson Chandler to Dallas for Dampier (whose salary evaporated from their books), Matt Carroll and Eduardo Najera.
Secondly, the Bobcats are trying to develop young talent. Guys like Gerald Henderson, Kemba Walker, Bismack Biyombo and Byron Mullens are building blocks for the future. The rest are players either left over from the Brown regime that they can’t trade or cheap roster-filler players.
The current state of the team isn’t pretty. With injuries and inexperience, the team can’t score, rebound or play defense. Without Augustin, Williams, White and Maggette — all four of which should start on this team — the Bobcats are literally a second-rate team right now.
The good news — and there is good news — that this is all temporary. Guys will heal. The team will gel. Rotations will solidify. The season will inevitably end, and the Bobcats will have one of the top four spots in the 2012 NBA Draft.
The player they acquire will have more talent than anyone on this current roster. That player, regardless of who it is, will be looked upon as the savior of the Bobcats. Right or wrong, that’s what the perception will be.
Additionally, the Bobcats will have some money to spend. With Roy Hibbert not getting an extension in Indiana and going into the offseason as a restricted free agent, I expect the Bobcats — who targeted Hibbert with their second first round draft pick in 2008 — to give him a big offer that the Pacers may not be able to match.
That all sounds good, doesn’t it? However, we’ve heard this song and dance a couple times since the Bobcats’ inception, and it’s hard to have confidence in a team that has broken its promises to build through the draft and free agency in the past.
The only thing we can do is sit back and watch it all unfold.