The Charlotte Bobcats are still not going to be a good team in the 2013-2014 NBA season. They are headed in the right direction with the signing of Al Jefferson and what appears to be a solid draft pick this season in Cody Zeller, but they are still a work-in-progress for this season and until they can build further in the summer of 2014.
Because there aren’t a ton of high expectations going into this season, though, that means a lot of this season for the Bobcats is going to be based on building an identity for this team and to continue developing young players like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kemba Walker, Gerald Henderson and Jeffery Taylor.
However, one player the Bobcats’ plan is likely to and should leave out in the cold is veteran wing Ben Gordon. In his first season with Charlotte last year, Gordon appeared in 75 games, all of them off of the bench, and averaged 11.2 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 20.8 minutes per game. Though he shot a solid 38.7 percent from three, he only shot 40.8 percent overall.
Gordon was really the lone threat for Charlotte from beyond-the-arc last season, but he was also a major liability for them. He’s a poor defender, which doesn’t help an already poor defensive team, and he doesn’t provide much of anything to the game outside of three-point shooting.
Given Gordon’s limited contributions to Charlotte and the fact that he’s 30 years old, it would be a surprise if a lot of his minutes as a backup on the wing don’t fall to Taylor this season, especially after Taylor’s impressive run at the Las Vegas Summer League. That may mean a lot of two point guard sets with Walker and Ramon Sessions, but that’s better than playing Gordon more minutes than he should. Keeping Gordon on the bench and potentially using him as an expiring contract at the trade deadline seems like the Bobcats best bet at this point.