For the past few months, most people have been living under the assumption that the Charlotte Bobcats will be one of the more active teams in NBA Free Agency this summer. The franchise is in the midst of a massive rebuild and could definitely stand an influx of veteran talent all over their roster.
The Bobcats also have a good deal of flexibility this season regarding the salary cap. Charlotte already has about $12 million to spend and, if they amnesty Tyrus Thomas like they’re expected to, their cap-room would increase to over $20 million this summer. They obviously wouldn’t be able to sign Dwight Howard or Chris Paul, but they could lure in some high quality talent with that type of money to spend.
However, according to a report from The Charlotte Observer, the Bobcats may remain relatively silent in free agency this offseason. President of basketball operations in Charlotte, Rod Higgins, said in the piece that the team would be aggressive but that he also wouldn’t rule out not making any moves and carrying over that cap flexibility to the 2014 offseason.
One of the reasons Higgins may be keeping this door open as a viable option is because the high quality free agents in 2013 like Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap and O.J. Mayo are either already in the middle of their prime or on the wrong side of 30. For a team like Charlotte that’s rebuilding around youth and upside, those aren’t exactly the types of players that they would want to bring in.
Another reason that the Bobcats might not want to be too aggressive in the 2013 free agency period is because it would put them in position to have a high pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, which many people believe to be one of the best and richest in recent memory.
Though we can’t rule out the possibility of the Bobcats still pursuing guys like Jefferson and Millsap this offseason, it also wouldn’t be a surprise if they didn’t pull the trigger on any big deals this summer. It may be another year of developing talent for the Bobcats, as painful as that may be for the franchise and fans.