The Charlotte Bobcats 15-game losing streak is the type of streak that ends playoff hopes early in the season. Charlotte has the fourth worst record in the league behind Cleveland, New Orleans and Washington. These teams made up the Top-4 of the 2012 draft, and could do the same in 2013. Charlotte though would have another pick in the lottery if the season ended today.
Charlotte owns the Portland Trailblazers 2013 first round pick. The pick was dealt to the team as apart of the Gerald Wallace trade in 2011. Portland has Top-12 protection on the pick until 2016, where it becomes unprotected. Portland is 13-13 this season, largely due to the impact of rookie point guard Damian Lillard.
If the season ended today, Portland would be tied for the 13th worst record in the league, and would surrender their pick to the Bobcats. This will be a tough one to guess. Portland’s not a great team, but they’re competitive and just a half-game out of the playoffs in the West. If they make moves by the deadline, they could sneak into the postseason.
Charlotte also owns the Detroit Pistons 2013 first round pick from last summer’s Ben Gordon trade. Detroit has protection on the pick until 2016. This season the pick is lottery protected. Detroit coincidentally is right behind Charlotte, with the fifth-worst record in the league, so they would not have to give up their pick.
Unless Detroit goes on a hot streak, I’d bet they’re going to finish in the lottery again. They’re 4-9 in December and 9-21 overall. It’s a team that’s rebuilding just like the Bobcats are and just don’t have the readiness to compete for a playoff spot. They’re six games out of the last playoff spot in the East.
Charlotte has their own debt in draft picks though. The Bobcats traded a future first round pick to the Chicago Bulls in 2010, in the Tyrus Thomas trade. The pick is top-12 protected this season, but becomes unrprotected by 2016. Charlotte doesn’t look like they’re getting out of this slump anytime soon, so a betting man would wager they’ll keep their pick this season.
All these draft picks are an ongoing thing to keep your eye out on during the season, but as it stands now the Bobcats would have two lottery picks to further their rebuilding project.