The Bobcats Ceiling -

The Bobcats Ceiling

With my suggestion of the Bobcats blowing up their roster, taking some lumps, and drafting high (low?  First/second/third) meeting a bit of resistance – “Coaching can get more out of them” and “Money does not equal wins” (Didn’t say it did – drafting a superstar helps though, and that does not happen often at the tail of the lottery or just after it) – I decided to go along with it:  What’s the Bobcats ceiling?

And since I went to one extreme in shedding salary, I’ll do the same here:  Statistically based, here is the best the Bobcats as currently constructed could hope to be – 56.5 wins.  That’s actually quite good – and will never, ever happen.  Here’s why:  That’s based off the Bobcats all performing at their career best simultaneously.  I’m not working out the odds of that happening, but I’m pretty sure it’s quite low.

Where did that 56.1 total come from?  From using PER and Hollinger’s note that a 1 point increase in PER represents an additional win over 2000 minutes of action.  So, with the help of basketball-reference.com, I found the career best PER mark for all the current Bobcats, and then projected out their minutes for the rest of the season to calculate a best-case win total (Subtract 15 from their PER’s to get the number used – 15 is average, so we’re adding to 41 wins – an average total).

Player Career Best PER Projected Minutes/
2000
Wins Added
D.J. Augustin 16.4 1.41 +1.96
Derrick Brown 13.2 0.48 -0.86
Kwame Brown 15.7 0.48 +0.34
Matt Carroll 14.7 0.25 -0.08
Sherron Collins 4.57 0.05 -0.5
Boris Diaw 17.3 1.45 +3.34
DeSagana Diop 12.5 0.1 -0.25
Gerald Henderson 9.7 0.4 -2.1
Stephen Jackson 16.1 1.39 +1.53
Shaun Livingston 13.7 0.72 -0.9
Dominic McGuire 10.8 0.42 -1.76
Nazr Mohammed 19.6 0.62 +2.85
Eduardo Najera 14.8 0.1 -0.02
Tyrus Thomas 20.3 0.75 +3.98
Gerald Wallace 21.3 1.2 +7.56
Total - - 15.09

That’s where 15.1 wins to add to the average comes from – but you could just as easily say it comes from a land where unicorns exist: It is pure fantasy. For a few players, those numbers come from several years ago – for others (Dominic McGuire and Boris Diaw, for example), their career year is well beyond what they have accomplished in any other season – and then there is the age factor, with Stephen Jackson and Nazr Mohammed beyond the point in their careers where peak output can be expected. A more realistic ceiling for this group? 43.9 wins.

Player Best PER
Of Last 3 Seasons
Projected Minutes/
2000
Wins Added
D.J. Augustin 16.4 1.41 +1.96
Derrick Brown 13.2 0.48 -0.86
Kwame Brown 11.7 0.48 -1.58
Matt Carroll 10.2 0.25 -1.2
Sherron Collins 4.57 0.05 -0.5
Boris Diaw 14.4 1.45 -0.88
DeSagana Diop 9.7 0.1 -0.53
Gerald Henderson 9.7 0.4 -2.1
Stephen Jackson 16.1 1.39 +1.53
Shaun Livingston 12.8 0.72 -1.58
Dominic McGuire 10.8 0.42 -1.76
Nazr Mohammed 19.6 0.62 +2.85
Eduardo Najera 8.4 0.1 -0.66
Tyrus Thomas 20.3 0.75 +3.98
Gerald Wallace 18.6 1.2 +4.32
Total - - +2.9

With 44 wins approximating peak production, is it not time to think about tinkering with the components? If there were a player among the current Bobcats who you could point to and say: “In a year or two, Player X will be a star, creating wins like Dirk, Dwight, and Durant”, then Stephen Jackson, Boris Diaw, and Gerald Wallace would still be useful parts. But I don’t see that player on the current roster – and those kind of players are found in the lottery. Last year, by the approximation of 2000 minutes and +1PER, Kevin Durant was good for +18.2 wins to average, Dwight +12.9, and Dirk +12.2 (and LeBron was good for +18.2, but he’s on another level). That kind of player is needed to go from a mediocre team to a good/great one. And as currently constructed, the Bobcats best, with some luck, is average.

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