The Charlotte Bobcats have established an identity under new head coach Steve Clifford in the 2013-14 NBA season. After ranking as one of the worst defensive teams in the league in their 2012-13 campaign, Clifford has turned Charlotte into a top-10 defensive team and has them fighting for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
However, the Bobcats are hardly assured a postseason berth this season and are still a team that’s building despite their success this season. With the Feb. 20 NBA Trade Deadline looming in the near future, Charlotte figures to be potential buyers and major players over the next nine days.
The Bobcats have been linked to Philadelphia 76ers wing Evan Turner over the past week, but the latest rumors now have them linked to Boston Celtics power forward Brandon Bass. As I’ve said before, I’m not a fan of any deal that would bring Turner to Charlotte, but Bass is another matter.
Sporting News reports that the Bobcats are one of three major players in talks with the Celtics about acquiring Bass. Bass has had a decent year with the Celtics, averaging 10.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and one block in 27.4 minutes per game while shooting 47.5 percent from the field.
One of the Bobcats biggest weaknesses this season has been their depth at the power forward position. The rotation of Josh McRoberts and Cody Zeller has had its moments of promise, but has more often than not been a let-down, particularly on the defensive end of the floor. Bass isn’t a lockdown defender, but he’s an upgrade for Charlotte at the position and can also give the Bobcats another semi-reliable offensive option.
Bass suffered an eye injury on Monday night, which could deaden any potential deal, but as of right now the rumors are still alive. Of all the players that the Bobcats have reportedly shown interest in, Bass is the one that makes the most sense for their purposes this season. We’ll see if Charlotte is able to offer a sweet enough deal to coax Bass out of Boston.