For the majority of the 2012-2013 NBA season, the Charlotte Bobcats had the worst record in the league, which would have given them the best odds in the 2013 NBA Draft Lottery. However, in typical Bobcats fashion, they couldn’t even lose correctly as they ended up winning 21 games, one more than the Orlando Magic, and lessening their odds of getting the number one pick in the draft.
Though it’s impossible to know what would have happened had the Bobcats finished with the worst record in the league, it feels like having the second best odds in the lottery hurt them when the time came for the lottery to be announced. Charlotte fell out of the top-three to the fourth pick and the Cleveland Cavaliers won the number one overall pick for the second time in the last three years.
However, the Bobcats have been talking about making moves leading up to the draft and have been a part of a number of rumors regarding potentially trading their pick. Some far-fetched Chris Bosh trade rumors were involved, as were talks about trading with the Minnesota Timberwolves. However, there may be an even bigger trade brewing involving the Bobcats.
According to Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio, the Cavaliers have been “working on something major.” Amico later expanded on this, quoting an Eastern Conference executive as saying that both the Bobcats and the Cavaliers have been “ultra-aggressive” in regards to trade talks about their picks. Amico said the executive did clarify that the executive was not saying that the two teams had been talking, but he also didn’t rule it out, either.
So, could the Cavaliers and Bobcats be looking to trade picks?
The obvious matter to address is the fact that there’s no way it would be a direct swap of picks because that just doesn’t make any sense. Because of that, the Bobcats would likely need to send the Cavaliers a wing player or a big man along with the fourth pick if they were to make a deal for the number one overall pick in the draft.
The ideal option for the Bobcats would be if the Cavaliers were to take Bismack Biyombo and the fourth pick in exchange for the number one overall pick. Unless the Cavaliers are completely incompetent, though, they aren’t going to do that deal. The same probably goes for offering Byron Mullens, as well.
However, a couple of deals that could be made would be the Bobcats re-signing and dealing Gerald Henderson, who is scheduled to become a restricted free agent. Though there’s no guarantee the Cavs would bite on that, it’s definitely a better offer than Biyombo or Mullens. The offer that would likely draw the most interest from Cleveland, though, would be to offer Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, last year’s number two overall pick, in addition to the fourth pick.
In an ideal world, the Bobcats wouldn’t have to deal such a young player with the upside that Kidd-Gilchrist has, but it would most likely get the deal done between them and the Cavs. If that were to happen, though, it wouldn’t be all bad for the Bobcats. Charlotte could address their frontcourt needs by selecting Nerlens Noel and then have him recover for most of the season next year. This would essentially lock them into a high lottery pick for what’s supposed to be a fantastic 2014 NBA Draft. The Cavs wouldn’t come out all bad, either, as they could snag someone like Anthony Bennett and an asset from the Bobcats.
This is all just speculation at this point and nothing is written in stone. However, it seems like a plausible possibility for these two teams to be in talks about swapping picks. If it were to happen, Charlotte will have to mortgage an asset or two, but that might mean that they will be better set for the future and in their rebuilding process. We shall see if anything from this comes to fruition.