Rumors developed early last month that the Charlotte Bobcats had shown interest in singing undrafted free agent James Southerland to a contract, but the conversation soon dissipated, and Southerland was left on the list of free agents without a team.
Today we find Southerland finally landing with a team. The Bobcats began talking to the former Syracuse forward, and ultimately signed him to the roster on Sept. 5, 2013. The Bobcats’ President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins made the announcement today, but terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed, per team policy.
Southerland averaged 13.3 points a game, 5.2 rebounds a game, and had a 3-point percentage of .398 last year for the Syracuse Orange; all were career bests for him. In his four year career playing for Syracuse, Southerland averaged 7.9 points per game, 3.3 rebounds per game, and had a field goal percentage of .419.
Although he was not one of the 60 players selected within the 2013 draft, Southerland had experience playing in the 2013 NBA Summer League. He played for the the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA Orlando Summer League, as well as the Golden State Warriors within the Las Vegas Summer League. Even after both appearances for NBA teams, he was still left without a job, a job that was filled today with the Bobcats offering the 6-foot-8 forward a contract to play for them.
Much is still unknown about how Southerland can perform in the NBA, but I think he ended up in a good position with Charlotte. So, what can he do for this Bobcats team and what is his role? Charlotte could use a good scorer off the bench, and I feel with Southerland’s career-high 13.3 points a game last year for Syracuse, that is very possible. He could definitely be a good go-to guy off the bench for the Bobcats if they keep him throughout the season. I think he will be staying in Charlotte, as long as he stays consistent and provides good minutes off the bench.
He will definitely be a bench player, that’s not even a question for me. But can this guy be one of the most used players on the Charlotte bench? I think so, and I believe he will bolster the Bobcats bench on the scoring and rebounding side. I am looking at him being in the eighth to tenth man range for this team, scoring around six to eight points a game and contributing about four rebounds a game. Congrats to the Bobcats on a great sign, and congrats to James Southerland for fulfilling his dream playing for an NBA team!