Posted on: June 23, 2011 8:43 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2011 10:04 pm
Posted by Matt Moore
(Follow along with our DraftTracker)
With the ninth pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, the Charlotte Bobcats took Kemba Walker, PG, UConn.
So... I guess D.J. Augustin didn't show enough last year? Augustin had a career season and looked to be developing nicely, but instead the Bobcats took an undersized scoring point guard who is more of a scorer rather than a distributor. That makes sense.
It's not a terrible pick, especially when paired with their seventh pick in Bismack Biyombo. The Cats have two fairly big reach rookies, and the odds are that one of the two will work out. Either Biyombo's insane athleticism or Kemba's will to win will make them special players, if both of them don't succeed. Meanwhile, Augustin has to go on the trade block, and with Corey Maggette now on roster, the Bobcats will have a lot of shots coming from the back court starting next season... whenever that is.
Walker's defensive questions are considerable considering his size, but there's no denying his pedigree. If Biyombo was the pure athleticsm, pure tangibles selection, then Walker is the opposite, the pure-polish, pure-intangibles lock. He brings a fierceness that owner Michael Jordan is obvioiusly drawn to, and with his pedigree, he'll help the ticket sales department. Walker's translation to the NBA isn't a sure thing, but his popularity and resume is.
The freak of nature and the unconquerable hero. Not a bad haul for Rich Cho's first draft.
Posted on: June 23, 2011 8:19 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2011 10:18 pm
Posted by Royce Young
I guess the NBA had a feeling when it added Bismack Biyombo to the Green Room earlier today.
The Kings picking seventh, completed a three-way trade with the Bobcats and it was for Charlotte to move up for Biyombo.
What are they getting with the great unknown from Congo? A defensive presence, an athlete and someone that has a lot of room to improve. They aren't getting someone that can score. They aren't getting someone that's going to be part of any offensive set they have. A lot of people have compared Biyombo to Ben Wallace and that's probably pretty accurate.
There are questions about Biyombo's real age, a potential buyout complication and if he really is as good as he showed in a couple showcases. A few months ago, he was a total unknown. But he wowed scouted and GMs in Portland, didn't look great in workouts but because of an ability to change games defensively, Biyombo went high in the lottery.
How does he fit in? I don't think he's a starter from day one, but with Tyrus Thomas alongside in that front line, the Bobcats definitely have some jumpers. They've got athletes. Biyombo said he thinks he can lead the league in rebounding and blocks, which is what the Cats are looking for. They could've looked for an offensive impact player, but Michael Jordan and new GM Rich Cho are defensive-minded people, and Biyombo fits right in with that.
Posted on: June 23, 2011 4:37 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2011 5:56 pm
Posted by Matt Moore
Update 4:14 p.m.: Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that the Bobcats moved up to No. 7 to select Bismack Biyombo. That makes for a crazy pairing with Tyrus Thomas and the most athletic pair of frontcourt players in the league, probably, based on raw length and leaping ability.
Additionally, a writer from NBA.com notes that the move for the Kings was not made in anticipation of a second deal with San Antonio. Such a fail for the Kings.
Original Report: In a day filled with trade rumors on what's expected to be a wild night even with a disappointing draft class, things touched off Thursday afternoon as the Bobcats, Bucks, and Kings completed a three-way trade. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports:
The Bucks receive: Stephen Jackson, Beno Udrih, and the No.19 pick from Charlotte.
The Kings receive: John Salmons and the No.10 from the Bucks.
The Bobcats receive: Corey Maggette and the No. 7 pick from Sacramento.
Analysis: .... WHAT?! That's our general reaction. You're looking at three shooting guards with massive deals getting moved around. Here's the contract run downs from ShamSports.com:
Jackson: Two years, over $19 million, all guaranteed.
Salmons: Four years, $31 million, over $24 million guaranteed.
Maggette: Two years, over $21 million, all guaranteed.
So the Bucks moved over $45 million guaranteed, and took on $35 million (Jackson plus $14 million from Udrih), saving them over $10 million and dumping most of their bloated contracts. The Bobcats took on Maggette which is an upgrade at the two-guard position, and managed to keep their No.9 pick, now giving them the 7th and 9th pick in Thursday's draft. And the Kings? Uh, they moved back three spots and picked up an aging, undersized shooting guard to go with Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton. ...Okay.
Winner: We'll call it the Bucks, who lost all that salary and still picked up an upgrade on the wing, and still kept a top-20 pick. The addition of Udrih is curious considering Brandon Jennings' place on the roster and will add more question marks towards his future. (Some reports have Shawn Livingston included in the deal going to Milwaukee.) But they cleared all that space and still kept a pick, which is pretty impressive. It's a chance for the Bucks to move back, bring in a wing, and clear some space for a restructured CBA after their spending spree last summer. Grade: B+
Co-Winner: If the Bobcats hadn't had to take on Maggette, they would have won this. Maggette's not a terrible fill-in for Jackson, and the addition of the 7th pick while keeping the 9th means the Bobcats have a chance to wholly remake themselves in the draft, which they have struggled at through the years. This move reeks of Rich Cho, opting for a youth movement while clearing space. If Livingston is indeed included, the Bobcats will actually have managed to save money through this with total outgoing salary of over $22 million compared to Maggette's $21 million incoming. And they get the No.7 pick to go with their No.9. They can draft a big and a wing, two bigs, both Morris twins, Jimmer Fredette as a flyer pick, anything. Grade: B+
Loser: What in God's name are the Kings thinking? Is this some sort of desperate move to make the fans hate them so they'll stop wishing they would stay in Sacramento? There's talk this could be in anticipation of a move for Tony Parker. Even then, a small-market franchise taking on Salmons contract along with Parker's is a rough idea. And where does this leave Marcus Thornton? Is he doomed to perpetual burying by his coaching staff? Will Salmons come off the bench? What is the thought process here?
The Kings presumably think they can get the guy they want at No. 10 versus No. 7, but taking on Salmons is such a blow, despite giving up Udrih. Udrih wasn't the answer at point guard. Salmons isn't the answer at anything they need. Grade: F- (pending further action)
Posted on: June 23, 2011 4:00 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2011 4:15 pm
Posted by Matt Moore
From Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer:
There are definitely serious talks going on between the Charlotte Bobcats and Milwaukee Bucks. Don't know all the particulars yet, but it sounds like the Bobcats could end up with the 10th pick and maybe send No. 19 to Milwaukee.via Inside the NBA: Bobcats-Bucks talks serious.
Particulars aren't available yet but Bonnell mentions several veteran players. It would appear that without a 2012 pick, the Bobcats and new GM Rich Cho are making a move to obtain more picks in this draft and get them high. Milwaukee has been rumored to be talking to Houston about moving down as well. It's clear the Bucks don't feel they can get a value pick at the 10 spot that fills a need for them and are looking to move back for a cheaper selection.
The Bobcats could theoretically end up with back to back selections. They'd have their pick of several players they've targeted in that range including Marcus Morris, Alec Burks, and Bismack Biyombo who worked out yesterday in Charlotte and impressed the coaching staff.
Rich Cho appears to be trying to start out his second NBA GM gig in Charlotte with a bang.
Posted on: June 23, 2011 12:26 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2011 1:22 pm
Posted by Royce Young
There’s always a lot of smoke on draft day. For instance, that the Spurs might trade Tony Parker for a lottery pick. Which is why I wouldn’t get too hot and bothered at word that the Thunder are shopping Eric Maynor to move into the first 14 picks.
If you recall, there was a lot of talk that the Thunder were in heavy conversations with the Pacers involving Maynor last draft day. With Maynor being one of the premier backup point guards in the league and likely starter material, Sam Presti is probably trying to gauge a little value with Maynor.
But if the Thunder could give away their backup point guard who sees 10-15 minutes a night for a lottery pick they’re very high on and then use the 24th pick on Reggie Jackson or another backup point guard, it makes a little sense. A lot of teams are high on Valanciunas, the Thunder being one of them, I guess.
Where it doesn’t make sense is that the Thunder already have a long-term center in Kendrick Perkins and already have an international project in Tibor Pleiss. Not to mention Byron Mullens and Cole Aldrich. I just don’t see where Valanciunas really fits in to the future of the roster. Unless it’s not Valanciunas they want. (Maybe it’s JIMMER?!?!)
It’s going to be tough to retain Maynor in the future anyway as he’s too good to afford but not good enough to pay. Maybe Presti is trying to get out in front of that issue and shuffle in a new backup to Westbrook.
I think this is more of a smoke rather than a fire deal, but something that will make tonight’s draft a bit more interesting for Thunder fans for sure.
Posted on: June 14, 2011 12:59 am
Edited on: June 14, 2011 9:17 am
Posted by Royce Young
The Bobcats announced that they have hired former Portland general manager Rich Cho as the organization's new GM. Cho replaces Rod Higgins as the team's GM, with Higgins moving up to President of Basketball Operations.
Cho got his start in basketball management with the Oklahoma City Thunder franchise, eventually assuming the No. 2 role behind Sam Presti before taking the Trail Blazers position. However, Cho parted ways with the Blazers last month because of what were called "chemistry issues" with owner Paul Allen,
A smart basketball excecutive like Cho wasn't going to go unemployed for long, though. He was immediately considered a candidate in New York after Donnie Walsh didn't come to an agreement with the Knicks. The Bobcats position wasn't really open but evidently Michael Jordan put in a call pretty quickly to swoop up Cho.
Cho's known for his analytical approach to the game. He was an engineer and a lawyer before moving into NBA front offices. He was responsible for contract negotiations, salary cap and Collective Bargaining Agreement matters, player contracts and all player personnel issues.
Cho is a native of the Pacific Northwest and a member of the Washington State Bar, a graduate of Pepperdine Law School and achieved his undergraduate at Washington State University.
“He has a unique set of skills that I don’t possess,” Higgins told the Charlotte Observer. “His analytical mind is a big plus for us. His legal background is a big plus for us."
Cho of course has a connection to the Bobcats having negotiated with Higgins at the trade deadline last season. The Blazers acquired Gerald Wallace for Joel Pryzbilla, Dante Cunningham, Sean Marks and two draft picks. Higgins must've come away impressed. At least someone was.
Posted on: June 5, 2011 5:41 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Alec Burks, who is projected to be selected in the early to mid-first round, worked out for the Milwaukee Bucks last Saturday. It went well for the 6-6 guard from Colorado.
All except for the part about how he dislocated his shoulder and then couldn't work out for the Bobcats who pick ninth.
It's unlikely that will really affect Burks draft stock all that much and he's supposed to get another workout before the June 23 draft, but owner Michael Jordan didn't get a full look at the players he brought in. Marshon Brooks, who is a candidate for the Bobcats to take 19th, missed the workout as well because of a sprained ankle he suffered last Friday working out for the Knicks.
The Bucks pick 10th, one spot behind Charlotte of course, so if they really liked Burks the dislocated shoulder might be a good thing. Maybe the Bobcats will decide to pass now. In reality, one little workout shouldn't be the deciding factor as to if the Bobcats like Burks enough to take him or not. There's a whole season of tape of him at Colorado to look at.
Interesting though that the Bucks, according to the Journal Times, took Burks out to dinner with general manager John Hammond, assistant GM Jeff Weltman and director of scouting Billy McKinney. That could be an indication the Bucks like him a little more than most teams.
Maybe it's because they got to actually watch him work out.
Posted on: June 3, 2011 7:41 pm
Edited on: June 3, 2011 10:46 pm
A look at which NBA teams should move up or down the draft board in the 2011 NBA Draft. Posted by Ben Golliver.
Even in a weak draft crop like this year’s, the potential for movement – even if minor – is always there. Here’s a look at three teams that might consider moving up the board and three teams that might look to move down.
Three Teams That Should Move Up
The New York Knicks need to fill their center position and will likely do whatever they possibly can to accomplish that goal in free agency. Samuel Dalembert makes all sorts of sense. But there’s another option. Sitting at No. 17, it’s possible the Knicks would only need to trade up 5-8 positions to have a crack at Bismack Biyombo, the fast-rising big man prospect out of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Biyombo is hyper-athletic, has an endless motor and is a very skilled shot-blocker, both in one-on-one defense and from the help side.
Putting him alongside Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony would arguably give the Knicks the most dynamic 3-4-5 combination in the entire league. Biyombo doesn’t need touches, can finish putbacks in traffic and will work hard at all times. Does he need some polish and refinement? Of course. Are there questions about his age? Absolutely. But if he falls to the 9-12 range it’s worth whatever price it takes – it shouldn’t be exorbitant – for the Knicks to move up and nab him.
The Cavaliers own the top pick and will wisely use that on Duke University point guard Kyrie Irving. The intrigue comes with their No. 4 selection, which doesn’t do them much good. The best available names will either be point guards – and therefore redundant with Irving – or European big men. With Anderson Varejao and J.J. Hickson in place, the Cavaliers are not the ideal breeding ground for a project big.
The rumored trade with Minnesota to get the No. 2 pick makes all sorts of sense. The Cavaliers need starpower and they need talent on their wing badly. Derrick Williams would be an ideal fit. Cleveland, with a deep-pocketed owner and nowhere to go but up, is in a position where it can overpay for the luxury of drafting Williams. Whether that’s by absorbing salary into its massive trade exception, sending over cash or future pick considerations, or making anyone on their roster outside of Varejao available. The reward of building around an Irving/Williams/Varejao core is worth virtually any risk for a Cleveland team coming off a very, very bad season.
The Charlotte Bobcats have a gigantic hole in the middle. Addressing the center position through the draft can be a difficult process even if you’re at the very top of the board, but picking at No. 9 in a weak crop with no American-born, star big men makes it an even trickier proposition.
Here, the need is so great that they have to bring a big man home, pretty much no matter what. There’s a distinct possibility that Valanciunas, Kanter and Biyombo are all gone by pick No. 9, although there's variability in the stock of all three players. The good news: The Bobcats also possess the No. 19 pick, good bait to move up the board a few spots, so they can manage this risk nicely. Package the picks, move up a bit and snag whichever of those three big men are the most appealing to Michael Jordan and his staff.
Three Teams That Should Move Down
The rumors surrounding the Minnesota Timberwolves' draft position started within minutes after David Kahn lost the Lottery ping pong ball drawing to Nick Gilbert, son of Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. The reasoning is simple: The second most coveted player on the board, Derrick Williams, is not of particular use to the Timberwolves, as his combo forward skillset is similar to that of incumbent Michael Beasley and the Timberwolves have greater needs at both the guard and center positions. With the recent reports that Ricky Rubio will agree to come stateside, those needs have narrowed to a two guard and a center.
An ideal situation for Minnesota would be to auction the No. 2 selection – perhaps along with its No. 20 selection -- into a pick in the 5-10 range and two ready-now rotation players. That would allow the team to draft a big of their choice – Kanter, Jonas Valanciunas or Biyombo – or one of the class’s elite wings – Kawhi Leonard, Alec Burks or Klay Thompson – while simultaneously speeding up the rebuilding curve. Coming off of 32 combined wins in the last two seasons, this team badly needs to win some games.
The Utah Jazz are in a similar position as the Minnesota Timberwolves, although it’s a bit trickier. The obvious fit for Utah is Brandon Knight, the best point guard on the board not named Irving. He’s an intelligent leader, excellent citizen and has loads of upside. For a team looking to move past Deron Williams, he’s as good as the Jazz can hope for.
Knight might not necessarily be the third most valued prospect on the board, though, especially because teams at the top of the draft order often favor big men. Players like Kanter, Valanciunas and even Biyombo might wind up with more buzz when all is said and done.
The Jazz also hold the No. 12 selection, which could turn out to be a bit of no man’s land in this draft. If there's a run on wings – say, if Leonard, Burks and Thompson all go off the board – the pickings get pretty slim for a team that already has a fairly stocked frontcourt. Jimmer Fredette looms as an excellent back-up option, but he’s more novelty than impact player.
A best case scenario: the Jazz land a veteran guard by swapping picks to move down a few slots and are able to still snag Knight wherever they land.