The team announced today that center Brendan Haywood will need surgery on his left foot due to a stress fracture. Haywood will have two screws placed in the left foot to stabilize the navicular bone next week.
When you glance at the depth chart this doesn’t appear to be a huge blow for Charlotte, as Haywood was slotted third among centers behind Jefferson and Biyombo. Don’t let that fool you, though. For starters, Haywood is the tallest player on this roster and if either Jefferson or Biyombo come down with an injury then the Bobcats have real problems in the frontcourt.
The front office will now have to evaluate the depth they have in the frontcourt and decide whether or not it would be worth it to add another big man. The team does currently have free agent center Patrick O’Bryant on the preseason roster, but he did not play on Tuesday night and it’s uncertain as to what the team believes they have in him – O’Bryant was drafted in the first round by Golden State in 2010. He played college basketball at Bradley University.
“I think they’ll keep options open. If somebody became available, who Rich and Rod thought could help, I’m sure we have the flexibility to add somebody to the roster,” Clifford said when questioned whether or not he thought the team would add another center.
The Bobcats have 12 guaranteed contracts (Pargo’s contract isn’t guaranteed, but we expect the team to keep him) on the roster currently and 16 total players. The maximum an NBA roster can hold going into the regular season is 15, so the Bobcats do have some flexibility with the roster if they choose to use it.
When Clifford was asked how O’Bryant had been in training camp so far, he responded with — “He’s been fine. For somebody like him it’s doubly hard. He’s coming in and learning something totally new. In another situation there’d be more of an opportunity to learn from the other guys.”
I’ll let you make of that what you will, but certainly doesn’t sound like Clifford is going to bend over backwards in an attempt to keep O’Bryant on the roster for the regular season.