The Bobcats were not surprised when they heard their name called in the 9th slot on Tuesday night in the draft lottery and know that the pick will all depend on who is still available in one of the weakest drafts the league has seen in a long time.
“We know how important this draft is to our future,” said Bobcats general manager Rod Higgins.
Charlotte now stares the Gerald Wallace trade right in the face as they prepare to decide what to do with their extra first round draft pick. The Bobcats could try and move one of the picks in a package deal to get rid of more salary from the current roster or they could try and move up in the draft if there is a player they’re falling in love with and feel as if he will be off the board by #9. Charlotte could also decide to stay right where they are and figure out a way to draft the two players they believe could help them become an eastern conference contender in the future. One thing is for sure, the team will work out a whole lot of players between now and the June 23rd draft to get a better idea of which direction to go in.
Many early mock drafts have the Bobcats taking Donatas Montiejunas, a 7’0 Lithuanian who found his groove this past season and was the second most efficient scorer in the Italian Lega A, arguably the best league in Europe. Much is still to be found out about Montiejunas game because of his lack of aggressiveness, physical presence and willingness to consistently play basketball but don’t be fooled by his negatives because this guy can flat out score. Montiejunas can play inside and out as he shot 66% from 2-point range and 46% from behind the arc this past season. He has great touch with the basketball and understands the game fully. Montiejunas has received some Gasol/Bargnani comparisons because he shows flashes of both players on the offensive end but defensively the jury is definitely still out on this guy and to play in the NBA as a consistent force he will have to show some defensive qualities and willingness. An early guess would have me saying the Bobcats will take him with the 9th pick if he’s there because of the teams desperate need for big man that can score.
The 19th pick will also draw a lot of attention in this draft because of the potential big names that will still be available at this stage of the draft. Three names that I would keep an eye on here for Charlotte are Chris Singleton, Jimmer Fredette and Reggie Jackson.
Singleton is a lock down defender that will immediately make an impact on the next level and could also develop Stephen Jackson like offensive ability with the correct maturation.
Everyone pretty much knows what Fredette is; a lights out shooter that cannot be given any space on the offensive end, but the question that still remains is how will his game translate to the next level without the ball being in his hands nearly as much as it was at BYU?
I believe Reggie Jackson is one of the biggest sleepers in this draft as I got to see this guy twice last season in person with Boston College. At 6’3 he’s the perfect size for a PG in this league and has court vision/distributing the basketball skills that are second to only Kyrie Irving in this draft. Scouts worry about his transition to the PG role in the NBA because of the fact that he took on such a large scoring role at Boston College and so he’s perceived as a “score first” guard. I think Jackson could be a starting PG in the future on many NBA teams and believe he’s worth the risk at #19 if available.
I’ve provided you with some of the best ideas I have early with how this draft will play out for the Bobcats. A lot is to be determined with what they will do with their two first round picks but the lottery is now behind us and the countdown begins to draft day with just over a month to go.