For what seems like the millionth time for a franchise that has only existed nine seasons, a first round draft pick has left the Queen City for nothing.
Adam Morrison busted. Sean May busted. Emeka Okafor was traded for Tyson Chandler, who was then traded for a flaming bag of crap. Raymond Felton left as an unrestricted free agent. Jared Dudley (and Jason Richardson) was traded for Boris Diaw (and others), who quit on the Bobcats in 2012 and was a major reason the team posted the worst record in the history of the sport. Alexis Ajinca was a joke.
Now DJ Augustin has left the franchise to sign with the Indiana Pacers. The former no. 9 pick scored 10.9 points, dished out 4.4 assists and grabbed two rebounds a game in four seasons for the Bobcats. Charlotte rescinded his $4.4 million qualifying offer (which made him a restricted free agent) after signing Ramon Sessions for two seasons.
The Bobcats tried to get something back for him after he turned down a possible contract extension (Felton turned one of those down too), shopping him around to contenders at the trade deadline. He was also in a few discussions for sign-and-trades this off season, before Charlotte signed Sessions.
There is a new group of players with promise on Charlotte’s roster; Gerald Henderson (despite his numbers last year) is a good wing defender with a developing offensive game. Kemba Walker put up solid numbers his rookie season, and Mike Dunlap is crafting his up-tempo offense around the former UConn star. Bismack Biyombo played well last year, considering he was the youngest player in the league, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Jeffrey Taylor are great prospects at the small forward position.
Right now, though, the sting of losing another first round draft pick for nothing hurts. For those who follow hoops in Charlotte, it will hurt until those players mentioned above are good enough to ease nine seasons of pain.