As the 2012-2013 NBA regular season winds down, it’s around this time that many fan bases around the country begin to live and die with every three-point play and turnover committed by their team of choice. Here at Roberto Gato, the Charlotte faithful have an opportunity to put off the stresses of playoff glory to focus on something much more important: the future.With the Bobcats still fully entrenched in rebuilding mode, one can only begin to wonder what Rich Cho & Co. are scheming as the 2013 NBA Draft approaches. There are past trades to keep in mind as all the Charlotte faithful finish ripping up their March Madness brackets and now start pondering on what could be.
Unfortunately, the Bobcats are stuck in a bit of a bind. Regardless of whether the organization gets some overdue assistance from the Portland Trail Blazers or not in receiving a second first-round draft pick, the Cats find themselves without a second round pick.
While many “experts” from various media outlets have openly stated that this is not as strong a draft class as last years, there seems to be plenty of talent that’s being overlooked. For example, half of the Final Four Wichita State Shockers could be had for cheap anywhere throughout the second round (Carl Hall, Cleanthony Early, Malcolm Armstead, etc.). Baylor freshman Isaiah Austin, who showed solid range and defensive intensity (as well as inconsistency) this year, is quickly falling out of the first round in many mock drafts, while undervalued and underappreciated Adreian Payne of Michigan State is quickly rising after an impressive run in the NCAA Tournament.
The list of talent that could be available in the second round in June’s draft is almost limitless, and –with a roster such as Charlotte’s –allows for any player drafted by the Cats to have just as good a shot of making the rotation as anyone else (just ask Jeff Taylor, who is averaging a respectable 6.1 ppg and 2.0 rpg in 20 minutes off the bench).
Yet there is one major dilemma that stands in the way of the Bobcats being allowed to trade back into either the first or second round for the Draft in June: the Bobcats have almost a few too many expiring contracts coming off the books this year, and the few contracts remaining are either pieces of a puzzle that Michael Jordan, Cho, and Mike Dunlap want to continue to work with (i.e. Kemba Walker, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Bismack Biyombo, Taylor), or are way too expensive to move (i.e. Ben Gordon, Tyrus Thomas).
Should things not fall their way in the coming weeks, Charlotte could have an exciting Draft in their near future, or a very pressure filled June. One is the loneliest number, and deciding what to do with the only pick will continue to draw criticism from fans and the media alike until the front office can turn the Bobcats into a winner.