Do you remember the days of D.J. Augustin in a Charlotte Bobcats uniform?
D.J. has gone downhill ever since he left the Bobcats after the end of the 2011-12 season, and looking back at his time in Charlotte, you can see the dropoff. No, this is not a throwback article to discuss bad times in Charlotte, but to discuss the positive times for Augustin.
The Bobcats took the young and talented 6-feet tall point guard with the ninth pick in the 2008 NBA draft. Augustin came into the NBA at the age of 21, but he didn’t let his young age and experience in the professionals stop him from impressing in his first year in Charlotte.
As a rookie with the Bobcats, Augustin averaged a solid 11.8 points per game, 3.5 assists per game, and averaged a very substantial amount of minutes for a rookie with 26.5 a game. His exceptional play in his first year in the NBA earned him a spot on the NBA All-Rookie Second Team.
His second year with the Cats was one to forget as he went down from 11.8 points a game to 6.3. His minutes total and shooting percentage is what struck me most why it was such a down year for him. He only played a total of 18.4 minutes while shooting a forgettable .386 from the floor.
But Augustin’s third year is what really solidified his legacy as a Bobcat. He averaged a career-best in virtually every statistic, and started all 82 games. He was absolutely brilliant on the floor, averaging 14.4 points a game along with 6.1 assists in just about 33 minutes per game. He also averaged a career-best free throw percentage with .906, a huge improvement after averaging .779 in the previous season.
Augustin’s final season in Charlotte was in the 2011-12 season, with him only playing 48 total games and once again putting up solid numbers. Before becoming a free agent at the end of the season, D.J. put up a total of 11.1 points a game along with a career-high 6.4 assists per game. On July 12, 2012, the Bobcats withdrew their qualifying offer, therefore making Augustin a unrestricted free agent.
On July 13, 2012, he signed with the Indiana Pacers, and this is the season where I feel Augustin fell of the tracks. He averaged a career low in minutes, field goal percentage, assists, rebounds (tied career-low with 1.2) steals, and points.
Let those facts speak for itself — Augustin was irrelevant last year in the NBA and on the Pacers’ roster as well. It was rough seeing him go from being so successful in Charlotte to a seldom used role player on the Pacers.
Augustin will be looking to revitalize his career with a new team because on July 22, 2013, he signed with the Toronto Raptors. This season presents a large opportunity to him as he will have a better chance at getting more floor time with the Raptors. It is a given in my mind that he will have a much bigger role than he did with Indiana last season.
Looking back at his time in Charlotte, fans of the Bobcats should be proud of the great career he had with the team and all the heart and hustle he put into this team for a period of four years. Thank you, D.J. — could you ever see that cheer echoing around the Time Warner Cable Arena? You be the judge if he deserves that praise from Charlotte.