The Charlotte Bobcats‘ 2013 offseason was one best in recent memory, but that is not saying much for a team that constantly fails to exceed expectations. Before we get into the Bobcats final grade for this summer’s moves lets take a quick look at the team’s additions and losses.
Additions – Cody Zeller (fourth pick in 2013 NBA Draft), Al Jefferson (signed three-year $40.5 million contract), Steve Clifford (head coach)
Losses -- Byron Mullens, Tyrus Thomas, DeSanga Diop, Reggie Williams, Mike Dunlap (coach)
Other offseason moves – Gerald Henerson (re -signed), Josh McRoberts (re-signed), Jannero Pargo (re-signed), retained Ben Gordon (player option)
Final Grade – C-
What Bobcats did right:
One thing the Cats did this offseason that did not involve player movement was the announcement that the team would change its name back to the Hornets for the 2014-2015 season.
This change will make the Bobcats a tad more relevant than they have been in recent years, and will draw in more Charlotte fans because it will be a new era for this struggling franchise. The fans will take notice and grow a stronger love and dedication to this team.
The name change was promoted by the saying “Back to the Buzz”, which fits Charlotte’s return to the Hornets franchise. Charlotte was also being called “Buzz City” in the wake of the name switch. This is a good move by the Bobcats and it will interest more people to take notice of the Cats.
The Bobcats also did a good job of finally finding a solid veteran that they can build their young roster around. Charlotte signed Al Jefferson to a three-year, $40.5 million contract this summer. The Bobcats have not really had a veteran leader on their team for a long time, and Jefferson has put an end to that search. J
efferson will bolster the Bobcats rebounding abilities (ranked 27th in the NBA last season in rebounding) and hopefully the talented rebounder Cody Zeller will follow in his footsteps.
I also think the Cats did a great job with re-signing starting shooting-guard Gerald Henderson. The terms of his contract were great as he signed a three-year $18 million contract. He’s definitely a guy who will be a huge factor in the Bobcat’s success in the near future, and a guy they will count on to be one of the leaders of this young team.
What the Bobcats did wrong:
Though Al Jefferson will be a solid leader for this team, it is not like the guy is going to come in and change this team’s losing ways right away. While he will definitely have an impact on the NBA’s 28th-ranked offense, how is he going to change the Cats’ league-worst defense?
For a guy his size, he is a terrible defender. The answer to whether Al Jefferson will lead this team to the playoffs in the near future is a firm no. Though his offensive game will help the Bobcats out a lot, his defensive game will also hurt this team. It’s a lot of money for a guy who can really only play one of the two.
How does this team deserve a grade over a C-? They really didn’t do much to make an immediate impact, and I feel the only really good thing was the re-signing of Gerald Henderson. We don’t know how well Jefferson will lead this team, and we don’t even know if newly hired head coach Steve Clifford can put an end to their losing ways.