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D.J. Augustin: Season Report Card

PER PER Against (Net)
D.J. Augustin 14.19 17.14 (-3.23)

Strengths: As a point guard, Augustin has always been thought of as an above average shooter and exploded onto the scene as a rookie where he knocked down 44% of his 3PA. In his rookie campaign Augustin was able to play off of the ball most of the time with Raymond Felton running the point and that allowed him to get tons of open, set shots. 86.1% of Augustin’s 3PM in his first season were assisted on, so there’s your proof. Now, switching gears to this past season. Augustin has plummeted drastically with his shooting percentages since his rookie campaign and only hit 34.1% of his 3PA this season. 62.3% of Augustin’s 3PM this season were assisted on- this simply tells us that having the ball in his hands so much effects his shooting percentages, especially when he’s forced to take numerous bad shots at the end of the shot clock which Augustin and Kemba both had to do on occasion last season.

Augustin is also an excellent ball handler and has a knack of getting into the lane and breaking down defenses. He’s also a surprisingly good finisher at the rim considering his 6’o ft. frame. Problem is, Augustin had zero offensive threats to dump the ball off to last season when he did get into the lane, so defenses simply sold out on him defensively. Not only is Augustin a good ball handler, but he also takes care of the basketball on a regular basis. Last season, Augustin had an AST/TO ratio of 2.79 and that’s nearly identical to PG’s such as Steve Nash and Jason Kidd in a season with his team only won 7 games.

Weaknesses: Defense. Augustin isn’t a good defender at all. No aspect of his game on this end of the floor is worth finding a real positive in. He struggles to stay in front of defenders, is often much smaller than opponent he’s guarding and lacks consistent effort. Augustin has quick hands which occasionally allow him to reach in and get steals, but he only averaged .8 steals/game last season. That didn’t even rank in the top-100 in the NBA this season. Overall, if Augustin would commit to exerting more energy and effort on the defensive end then I really feel that he could be better, but it has to start with him deciding he wants to change on that end of the floor. Augustin also allowed his opponent compile an average of 17.4 PER, well above the player median of 15.

Reasons for Optimism: Augustin is technically not a member of the Bobcats at this time as his contract expired at the end of the season. He has a qualifying offer of $4,385,416 million coming up this summer and if Charlotte wants any chance of keeping him then they must at least offer him that for next season. If Augustin gets a better offer, which I believe he will, then the front office must make the decision of how badly they want Augustin back. The Lakers were very close to trading for Augustin instead of Sessions at the trade deadline and that tells me that most GM’s in this league believe he has some real value. Optimistically thinking, Augustin won’t receive an offer better than what his contract qualifies for this summer and Charlotte is able to retain him for one more season. One more year from him, helping out with the maturation of Kemba, would be great. Also, it’s a fact that the Bobcats would have been a better team this season with a healthy Augustin. Some believe he’ll never evolve into an ideal NBA PG, but he can score and has the ability to be a productive player in this league for a long time. That being considered, the Bobcats badly need his services next season to add depth in an extremely thin backcourt.

Reasons for Pessimism: He receives an offer from another team greater in value than his contracts qualifying offer. Again, in my eyes this is likely to happen. I just really believe that Augustin could be a very productive PG on a top level team. Augustin can push the tempo, space the floor for you and defenders must always respect/know where he is with his ability to knock down shots. I always thought that Augustin would be a fantastic fit in Miami and still believe it would be an upgrade for them at the PG position now, but they’re simply locked down financially. PHX, POR, DAL, HOU & ORL are all possible destinations for Augustin next season because of their unknown PG situations and slight cap flexibility. So, in summary, the pessimistic aspect of Augustin’s situation is that he leaves for more money and Charlotte becomes extremely thin at PG.

Forecast: This one is tough because it’s impossible to know for sure whether or not Augustin will be in a Bobcats uniform next season. I don’t believe that he will return to Charlotte and, in fact, believe the change of scenery will help his career in this league. He’s 12 & 8.5 (PTS/AST) guy in this league, but not in Charlotte. If the Bobcats would have passed on Kemba and drafted a wing instead my stance would be much different on this. Just don’t see where D.J. fits into the future plans of this franchise. That being said, if Augustin were to stay in Charlotte then I do see him having a surprisingly productive season. For one, he will be playing for a new contract, and two, he’ll likely being playing fully healthy which he never was this season. The only thing that would hold Augustin back next season is the lack of minutes. For the most part this season the Augustin/Kemba combination on the floor together didn’t work out and when Charlotte has more depth at the 2/3 positions they won’t have to implement this lineup as much. Augustin will be splitting minutes with Kemba next season and likely come in at an average of 25-26 min/game. So, I’ll say 10 PTS, 6 AST for Augustin on a nightly basis next season if he’s in Charlotte. If he’s elsewhere, it’ll be closer to the double-double mark.