Leading up to the 2013 NBA Draft, there were talks that the Charlotte Bobcats may hold onto their cap-space this summer and wait to make big moves next offseason. However, considering that center Al Jefferson is scheduled to visit Charlotte and meet with Bobcats officials on Wednesday, they may very well be looking to do some spending in free agency.
The 6-foot-10, 289-pound Jefferson spent last season and the two prior seasons as a member of the Utah Jazz. Before that, Jefferson lent his talents to the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Boston Celtics, spending three years with both of those organizations.
For his career, Jefferson has averaged 16.4 points, nine rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game while shooting 50 percent from the field. Last season with Utah, he put up 17.8 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.1 blocks and one steal per game while shooting 49.4 percent.
There’s no doubt why the Bobcats are entertaining the possibility of signing Jefferson. One of the niches that Jefferson has established for himself in this league is a role as a scoring big man. Jefferson has a solid low-post game and a relatively reliable mid-range jumper to compliment that as well.
In case you didn’t know, the Bobcats have been one of the worst teams in the past couple of years in terms of post scoring, largely due to the fact that guys like Bismack Biyombo, Brendan Haywood and Tyrus Thomas are essentially incompetent when it comes to playing offense as a big man in the NBA.
There’s not much of question that Jefferson would instantly improve the offense of the Bobcats and would be a solid addition for next season. In actuality, though, that’s the root of the problem with the Bobcats signing him.
Jefferson will turn 29 years old next season, meaning that he’s already in his prime considering the age that the average NBA player hits their prime. Considering that Charlotte is a team that is looking to rebuild around a young core of players, why would they bring in a guy that’s in his prime now and will likely start to decline before his contract runs out? That doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense.
The team that could really maximize Jefferson’s talents for next season and the next couple of years is a team that’s on the verge of being a contender and just needs a few extra Bobcats. Charlotte has won 30 games combined over the past two seasons, so that description does not fit them in the least.
Would it be nice to finally see a free agent of some sort of notoriety come to Charlotte? Of course it would. However, Jefferson isn’t that guy. It’s the wrong player at the wrong time for this franchise. For the sake of the Bobcats, let’s hope they hang onto their cap-room for next summer.