There is no simple answer to the question posed in the headline of this article. The Charlotte Bobcats were awful last year, and there’s no way they won’t be better next year.
They added established veteran players to a young roster this off season, with Ramon Sessions, and Ben Gordon likely coming off the bench for good stretches of the game, and Brendan Haywood basically the undisputed starting center.
The Bobcats also added two great rookies via the draft. The youngest player drafted, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, was brought in to change the culture inside Time Warner Cable Arena, and Jeffrey Taylor was added to be a serviceable backup at the shooting guard and small forward positions, as well as a knock down shooter and lock down defender.
Statistically, those five players should put the Bobcats well ahead of their pathetic win percentage of a year ago.
Basketball-Reference.com has a stat which tries to estimate the number of wins contributed by a player throughout the season. It’s called win-share.
Using that stat, it’s impossible to argue that Charlotte didn’t upgrade at every single position (except power forward) this off season.
Brendan Haywood blows all of Charlotte’s bigs out of the water on win-share. His 2.7 win-share is 1.1 points higher than the Bobcats starting center most of last season, Bismack Biyombo.
Ramon Sessions had a much higher win-share than D.J. Augustin and Kemba Wakler put together. The comparison is 1.9 to 0.8.
Ben Gordon and Gerald Henderson were pretty close in that category, with Gordon tallying a 1.7 and Hendo a 1.0.
Kidd-Gilchrist had a 6.3 win-share in his only year at Kentucky, and Taylor a 5.2 in his last year at Vanderbilt.
As rookies, their combined production at the small forward spot should easily surpass Corey Maggette’s 0.7 from last season.
Those rookies really hold the answer to that question: How much better can the Charlotte Bobcats be next year?
If the two could even combine to put together a win-share equal to MKG’s from college, the Bobcats might be far better than people think they can be next season. Not playoff better, but not 20 loss bad either.