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Corey Maggette: A closer look

Just hours before the draft this past June, the Bobcats landed Corey Maggette in a trade with Milwaukee. In the last second deal, Charlotte had received the 7th overall pick from the Bucks (Bismack Biyombo) and Corey Maggette, giving up, in the process, Stephen Jackson, Shaun Livingston and the 19th overall pick. When all the dust had settled, it was clear that Maggette had been, essentially, a swap for Jackson.

Allow us to take a look at Maggette’s career in the league and what he’ll bring to Charlotte as a player.

Corey Maggette is coming off his least productive year in the league since ’01-’02. Maggette averaged 12.0 pts and 3.6 reb/game last season, where as just one year earlier he was playing nearly 10 more minutes a night and averaging 19.8 pts and 5.3 reb/game.

Don’t let the sudden drop in production scare you away so quickly Bobcats fans. It can be fairly assumed that most of the reason Maggette saw such a drop on the stat sheet last season is because he was playing behind John Salmons and sharing playing time with the likes of Carlos Delfino, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Michael Redd (when he returned from injury). Maggette seemed to be an insurance policy at the SF position as Milwaukee seemed to be attempting to develop younger talent.

Maggette’s minutes dropped drastically last season. He played 20.9 MPG in ’10-’11 with Milwaukee, his lowest since his second season in the league, during ’00-01′, when he played 19.7 MPG. In Charlotte, Maggette’s MPG should go back up to where they were before the ’10-’11 season, and maybe north of that. Maggette will presumably be a starter at the SF position in Charlotte. Before the ’10-’11 season, Maggette had 9 consecutive seasons where he averaged at least 25.6 MPG or more, and in those 9 seasons Maggette averaged 18.5 PPG. Maggette clearly has been most accustomed to being a starter in this league and that opportunity will resurafce in Charlotte next time the NBA plays games again.

With Stephen Jackson as the starting SF in Charlotte, he attempted an average of 5.2 3FG/game. Maggette, in his career, has only averaged 1.7 3FG/game. Maggette’s offensive arsenal is clearly more directed to attacking the rim, something that Jackson did not like to do. What is encouraging about this stat is the fact that the number of bad shots taken per game will drastically drop. Although Jackson wasn’t scared to shoot the ball from the outside, and could catch fire at times, half of the shots from behind the arc seemed to be bad shots with defenders draped all over him.

On the contrary, Maggette will probably have to take more shots from the outside than he has in the past few years. Maggette will be taking on a serious scoring role with the Bobcats, so he will forced, to some extent, to score from various places on the court. A player like Maggette will not be able to be very one dimensional on a team that is short handed for natural scorers. Simply put, Maggette’s offensive style is built around looking for high percentage shots going to the basket and that’s the player he will remain to be, but scoring from the outside will now be a bigger priority than it has been in year’s past. He will be the guy who is going to have to average about 18-19 PPG in order for the Bobcats to be competitive this season.

Defensively, Maggette will be much quicker moving laterally than Jackson was. The take away from that is that Maggette is about 6’6, where as Jackson was big for his position at 6’8. Maggette will be an upgrade athletically at the SF position for Charlotte and hopefully be more of a force protecting the rim.

Of all aspects of Maggette’s game that stick out, hopefully the most beneficial will be him fitting into Paul Silas’s up-tempo style philosophy more effectively than Jackson was and just maybe making Silas’s coaching job in Charlotte an easier one.