NBA Charlotte Hornets

2013 NBA Draft: 5 Prospects Charlotte Bobcats Should Avoid

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5 Prospects Charlotte Bobcats Should Avoid in 2013 NBA Draft

5 Prospects Charlotte Bobcats Should Avoid in 2013 NBA Draft
Jerry Lai - USA Today Sports Images

The Charlotte Bobcats have made it clear that this offseason and the 2013 NBA Draft are going to be huge for them. As the franchise tries to pull themselves out of the cellar of the league through a massive rebuilding process, the decisions they make this summer will be huge for how their franchise shapes up for the future.

In the offseason, they obviously aren’t going to be able to sign big-name free agents like Chris Paul or Dwight Howard simply because those types of players don’t want to come play for a lowly small-market team in North Carolina, even if that is where Paul played his college ball. However, the Bobcats have ample cap room that will allow them to acquire some solid mid-level talent in free agency that they can build around moving forward.

The draft is even more key for the Bobcats, though. Two years ago, they made what seems to be like a smart selection with Kemba Walker and continued that in 2012 when they selected Michael Kidd-Gilchrist second overall. In 2011, though, they also traded for a first-round selection which they used on Bismack Biyombo, who has been an enormous bust thus far in his NBA career. Picks like Biyombo are the type that the Bobcats can’t afford to make and miss on in the 2013 draft.

Many people largely consider this draft to have one of the weaker classes of prospects that we’ve seen in recent years. That’s not to say that there aren’t talented players, but there are a lot of high-risk players that have a high probability of not panning out, which is the type of player the Bobcats have to stay away from. Here are five players Charlotte should avoid taking in the first round.

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Maryland Center Alex Len

Maryland Center Alex Len
JD Mercer - USA Today Sports Images

On the surface, Alex Len looks like a tantalizing NBA prospect. He’s a legit 7-footer with surprising athleticism, complimented by a nice touch with the ball in his hand. Though he never really produced the greatest numbers while at Maryland, there’s no denying the fact that he could develop into a solid big man at the pro level.

Obviously that begs the question of why the Bobcats should avoid him. Though Len has discernible skills and solid upside as a center in the NBA, there are still several drawbacks. The first detraction from Len is the fact that he’s not strong enough for the pro game at this point. In college last year, he would repeatedly get pushed around and forced out of position by bigger guys, also known as guys the size of big men in the NBA, which doesn’t bode well for how he’ll fare in the post in the NBA.

Another thing that has to be considered is that Len is currently recovering from an ankle injury that he is still rehabbing from. He’s expected to make a full recovery by the time the season begins, but the fact that a kid of his stature and in his early 20s is already experiencing lower-body injuries is disconcerting. There’s no guarantee, but that could be the start of an ugly trend which the Bobcats can’t afford to take the risk on.

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Georgetown Forward Otto Porter

Georgetown Forward Otto Porter
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Otto Porter may be one of the surest prospects in the draft. There’s no question that whenever he steps on the floor, he is going to give his team maximum effort on both ends. He’s a sound defender that can defend multiple positions because of his length and quickness and has a versatile offensive game that seems like it will translate to the NBA.

It’s highly likely that Porter won’t even fall to the Bobcats at the fourth pick, but even if he does, they have to pass. It’s not that they couldn’t use a forward like Porter, but Porter plays small forward, as does MKG. With a great deal of Charlotte’s future tied up in Kidd-Gilchrist, they can’t really afford to bring in another small forward with a lottery pick.

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Pittsburgh Center Steven Adams

Pittsburgh Center Steven Adams
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There’s no way (hopefully) that the Bobcats would be foolish enough to take Steven Adams with the fourth pick in the draft. However, with talks still circulating that Charlotte may trade down in the draft to later in the lottery, that would put the Bobcats in the range where Adams is currently projected to fall in the majority of mock drafts.

The thing about Adams is the fact that he was relatively unheralded before the draft combine, where his athleticism and skills impressed scouts. However, that doesn’t change the fact that he averaged only 7.2 points, 6.3 rebounds and two blocks per game in 23.4 minutes per game last season for Pittsburgh.

Adams, if anything, is a project that has to be labeled as a work-in-progress rather than someone who can make somewhat of an impact immediately. The Bobcats need someone who can give them something on the court right away and develop into a solid player, not another project. If they end up actually trading down, Adams shouldn’t be on their radar.

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Michigan Point Guard Trey Burke

Michigan Point Guard Trey Burke
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Much like in the case of Otto Porter, Trey Burke has undeniable talent that many people believe is going to make him a successful player in the NBA. He has unbelievable range shooting the ball and fantastic speed and quickness that makes him a dangerous playmaker. Even being undersized, Burke looks like a player that can have a major impact on a franchise.

Once again like Porter, Burke simply doesn’t fit an immediate need of the Bobcats. Kemba Walker emerged as a potential star for Charlotte last season, showing vast improvements in his game and displaying leadership qualities. Bringing in another young point guard would not only threaten the confidence of Walker, but it would also create a log-jam and somewhat of a controversy in the backcourt. As they rebuild, the Bobcats need to avoid situations like that and, subsequently, should avoid Burke.

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Indiana Shooting Guard Victor Oladipo

Indiana Shooting Guard Victor Oladipo
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A prospect that has shot up mock drafts over the 2012-2013 college basketball season and since the end of the year has been Victor Oladipo. Many people considered him a second-fiddle to Cody Zeller with Indiana coming into the season, but Oladipo emerged as the star of the team as the season went on. He now sits as high as the second overall pick in some mock drafts.

Oladipo is another guy that gives fantastic energy on the wings on both offense and defense. He’s got fantastic athleticism that makes him a solid playmaker with the ball in his hand and has improved his shooting as well. He’s also a lock down defender that can match up with almost anyone at his position.

The issue with Oladipo fitting with the Bobcats, if he were to fall too them, is the fact that Charlotte needs a wing player that is an elite shooter. Though Oladipo is much improved in that department, he’s by no means lights-out at shooting the rock. He would improve Charlotte’s perimeter defense, but would leave them still lacking on offense, which doesn’t really do the Bobcats much good. Oladipo has a chance to have a huge impact on whatever team he goes to, but the Bobcats need to make sure that he doesn’t head their way.