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NBA Charlotte Hornets

2013 NBA Draft: 5 Possible Moves for Charlotte Bobcats

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2013 NBA Draft: Five Possible Moves for the Charlotte Bobcats

2013 NBA Draft: Five Possible Moves for the Charlotte Bobcats
Sam Sharpe - USA Today Sports Images

The 2013 NBA Draft is going to be enormous for the Charlotte Bobcats. After finishing with a combined record of 28-120 over the past two regular seasons, including setting the dubious record for the worst winning percentage for a season in NBA history in 2011-2012, the Bobcats will be trying to get things going in the right direction, which will start with the draft.

Though the Bobcats have managed to foul up the process before, drafting to address needs is relatively easy for a team that has so many gaping holes. Because Charlotte has so many issues and so many areas of need, they can look to a lot of different options with the fourth overall pick in the draft.

The only real ways the Bobcats could mess this up would be if they went and selected a point guard like Trey Burke, or if they went after a small forward like Otto Porter. Though both of those players have high upside and are talented, they also would create a log-jam at two of the positions where the Bobcats already have solid young players in Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

Charlotte really needs help at the shooting guard position, where they could really use an elite shooter, especially since the incredibly overpriced Ben Gordon isn’t cutting it in that role. Their frontcourt is also quite problematic for them as they don’t have a great post scorer and, despite what people thought Bismack Biyombo could develop into, they also lack a defensive presence on the interior.

Given their needs and where they are in the draft, Charlotte has a lot of ways they can go in this draft. Here are five options that they have for the draft and how they would affect the team going forward.

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Selecting Kansas Shooting Guard Ben McLemore

Selecting Kansas Shooting Guard Ben McLemore
Kevin Jairaj - USA Today Sports Images

With the fourth pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, the Charlotte Bobcats could select Ben McLemore, a shooting guard out of Kansas. McLemore played just one season at Kansas and is just 20 years old. He averaged 32.2 minutes per game and put up 15.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, two assists and one steal per game while shooting 49.5 percent from the field and 42 percent from the 3-point range.

McLemore has incredible athleticism and solid length on the wing. At the NBA combine, he recorded a 42-inch max vertical leap and completed the 3/4 court sprint in 3.27 seconds. He’s also a great shooter with great range, all of which are things that the Bobcats could use at the two-guard.

Some of the downside for McLemore is the fact that he was largely inconsistent at times and had a tendency to disappear in college, which was evidenced during March Madness. Part of that is likely due to youth, but it does bring about worries that it might also be part of his makeup as a basketball player. McLemore is also a tad small, standing under 6-foot-5 and weighing just 189 pounds. He will need to get stronger and bulk up if he wants to succeed at his height at the pro level.

There’s a chance that McLemore will be off the board by the time that the Bobcats make their pick, but if he’s available, it’s hard to believe that Charlotte would turn down the chance at a young elite scorer like him. There’s a bit of risk involved considering the guard’s inconsistency, but if he pans out, he could be a tremendous success with the Bobcats.

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Picking Indiana Shooting Guard Victor Oladipo

Picking Indiana Shooting Guard Victor Oladipo
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Another option for the Bobcats with the fourth pick, if he were to fall to them, would be to select Indiana shooting guard Victor Oladipo. Oladipo saw his star rapidly rise over the course of the college basketball season and actually became the biggest star and best prospect from the Hoosiers, despite playing with Cody Zeller.

Oladipo is 21-years old and played three seasons in college. In his junior year last season, he played 28.4 minutes per game and averaged 13.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.8 blocks and 2.2 steals per game on 59.9 percent shooting and 44.1 percent shooting from long distance. He literally did it all for the Hoosiers on the floor and the box score.

One of the incredible things about Oladipo is his athleticism. He registered a 42-inch max vertical leap and 3.25 second 3/4 court sprint at the NBA Combine. This allows for him to be dangerous in transition and on the defensive end of the floor. He’s also an efficient scorer and greatly improved his outside shot last season.

There are still a few drawbacks to Oladipo, though. He turned the ball over 2.3 times per game last season and isn’t the greatest ball-handler. He’s also just over 6-foot-4 tall, which makes him a tad undersized as a shooting guard. However, his motor, skills and athletic ability make him an attractive option with the fourth pick. If he can continue to play within himself and work on his turnover issues, Oladipo could be a nice addition to Charlotte’s team.

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Drafting UNLV Small Forward Anthony Bennett

Drafting UNLV Small Forward Anthony Bennett
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UNLV power forward Anthony Bennett would be a player that the Bobcats could look to with the fourth pick to address their needs in the frontcourt. Bennett played just one season with the Rebels, but looked impressive in that one year. In 27.1 minutes per game, he averaged 16.1 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 0.7 steals per game on 53.3 percent shooting from the floor and 37.5 percent shooting from long range.

One of the things that makes Bennett such an attractive young option as a post player is the fact that he has a nice inside-out game. He’s not a guy like Byron Mullens that doesn’t know his role and consistently hovers outside the 3-point line, but he can step out and knock down jumpers with solid consistency as well as having a nice power game in the post that allows him to attack the rim on the interior.

Bennett is also a solid rebounder considering his age and inexperience. He’s great when it comes to picking up the trajectory of the ball and attacking that space to grab boards. Bennett also has fantastic hands, which help him in rebounding and help him to not turn the ball over often. Despite being the focus of UNLV’s offense last season, he averaged just 1.9 turnovers per game, a solid mark.

The biggest concern when it comes to Bennett is the fact that he’s relatively short for his position. He has NBA-type strength and length at 239 pounds and a 7-foot-1 wingspan, but that still doesn’t change that he measured just 6-foot-7 with shoes on at the combine this summer. There’s no question that Bennett’s offensive prowess would help the Bobcats’ post play, but they definitely need to weigh the risk of him not being able to score at the pro level because of his size before they select him.

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Trade Pick to Minnesota Timberwolves

Trade Pick to Minnesota Timberwolves
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There were reports early in May that the Minnesota Timberwolves were interested in moving up in the draft, reportedly so that they could have a shot at selecting Oladipo. One of the teams that they were said to be interested in trading with was, in fact, the Bobcats. Though there hasn’t been much word about that idea lately, it has to be an enticing option for Charlotte.

One of the things that was never disclosed in those reports was what the Timberwolves would be willing to give up to move up from ninth in the draft. Depending on how badly they wanted to do so, though, they might be willing to give up an attractive trade package that could potentially bring the Bobcats some value.

Derrick Williams is one player that the Bobcats could potentially get in return for their pick. Williams just finished his second season in the league with Minnesota and played 24.6 minutes per game averaging 12 points, 5.5 rebounds, 0.5 blocks and 0.6 steals per game on 43 percent shooting and 33.2 percent 3-point shooting.

Williams is believed to have a lot of potential as an NBA power forward and many think he can still develop into a starter in the league. However, he is somewhat buried as a member of the Wolves and has his development stifled in the crowded frontcourt of Minnesota. He simply can’t get on the floor enough and in meaningful enough minutes to really progress as a player.

Because of the depth of their frontcourt, Williams is somewhat of an expendable commodity for the Wolves. If they are really adamant about moving up in the draft and are willing to negotiate with Charlotte, sending Williams for the fourth overall pick would be a solid option for the Bobcats. If they could get the ninth pick as well in that trade, that’d be ideal, but they would still get a solid young frontcourt player they could grow with and develop.

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Trade Down and Select Indiana Center Cody Zeller

Trade Down and Select Indiana Center Cody Zeller
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The best fit in the draft for the Bobcats may in fact be Indiana center Cody Zeller, Oladipo’s teammate. Zeller elected to return for his sophomore season with the Hoosiers despite the fact that he would have been a high lottery pick last year. This caused his stock to fall a little bit even though he had a solid season.

Zeller played 29.5 minutes per game and averaged 16.5 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.3 blocks and one steal per game while shooting 56.2 percent from the field. He showed a solid proficiency on offense around the basket, including a fantastic array of post-moves. He also measured a legitimate 7-feet tall at the combine and showed off impressive athleticism for a guy his size.

Zeller has nice strength, as he put up 17 bench press reps at the combine, but he’s still a little small and needs to get stronger in the NBA. At just 230 pounds, he’s liable to get pushed around a little bit in the post at the pro level even with his length and impressive leaping ability.

The problem with the Bobcats selecting Zeller at fourth is that it would be shorting themselves as he’s currently projected to likely be picked outside of the top 10. That would be a tremendous reach for the Bobcats to pick him that early in the draft. There are always teams looking to move up in the draft, so the Bobcats should look to see what kind of value they could get for their pick.

In an ideal world, Charlotte would be able to combine two of these options by making a trade with Minnesota that would bring Derrick Williams and the ninth pick to Charlotte and send the fourth pick to the Wolves. That would give the Bobcats a solid option at the four and the opportunity to select Zeller ninth without making too much of a reach. There’s no telling if that, or any of these options, will happen come June 27. However, they are some of the more likely possibilities and some that would really help Charlotte going forward.