The Charlotte Bobcats recently made the official announcement that they had signed free-agent forward Anthony Tolliver, a deal the public has been known about for quite a while at this point. Tolliver spent last season with the Atlanta Hawks, the fifth team that he’s spent time with over his five seasons playing in the NBA.
As Tolliver heads to his sixth team in Charlotte, though, he will help add needed depth at the wing to back up second-year forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and compete for minutes with Jeffery Taylor and newly signed James Southerland off of the bench, as well as potentially grabbing some minutes as a reserve power forward.
Last season with the Hawks, Tolliver saw the floor a solid amount, but wasn’t incredibly effective when he saw the floor. He appeared in 62 games and played 15.5 minutes per game. In that role he averaged only 4.1 points and 2.5 rebounds per game while shooting only 38 percent from the floor and only 33.8 percent from three.
However, Tolliver’s surface numbers don’t fully encapsulate his effectiveness on the end of the floor, especially in terms of how he can help the Bobcats. The most notable thing about Tolliver was his effectiveness as a spot-up shooter. Though he shot only 33.8 percent from three overall, he shot a solid 36.6 percent in spot-up opportunities. With Charlotte’s lack of outside shooting, an area they’ve quietly tried to address this summer, Tolliver’s ability to space the floor as a spot-up outside shooter should prove valuable.
The drawback when it comes to the addition of Tolliver, as is the case with the addition of Al Jefferson, is the fact that he’s not going to help the Bobcats’ defense. Charlotte was one of the worst defensive teams in the league last season. Similarly, Tolliver was one of the worst individual defenders in the NBA last season as he allowed a full point per possession defensively last year, ranking 424th in the league.
Despite Tolliver’s defensive woes, though, he could wind up being a solid addition to the Bobcats. Charlotte seems to have made it relatively clear that they placed their focus on improving their offense this season, something that Tolliver will help them address. Tolliver may not be a player that will help them overall and for the future, but he does seem to fit what they are trying to do this season.