With a win on Friday night over the Orlando Magic, the Charlotte Bobcats moved to 38-38 on the 2013-14 NBA season and another step closer to making the playoffs for just the second time in franchise history. They were able to capture the win despite being without starting power forward Josh McRoberts once again.
Given the injury to McRoberts, you might have assumed that Bismack Biyombo would take his spot in the starting lineup. However, for the second-straight game it was rookie Cody Zeller that was inserted into the starting lineup in relief of McRoberts, leaving Biyombo to once again come off of the bench.
The rise of the Bobcats this season has brought about the role of Biyombo greatly dissipating this season. After playing 27.3 minutes per game last year, the third-year big man has seen the floor for just 14.2 minutes per game this season. Though his offensive efficiency has improved, he still hasn’t realized the potential that Charlotte has been betting on over the past three seasons.
Now likely bound for the postseason and with a seemingly bright future ahead of this team, the Bobcats now face an interesting decision regarding Biyombo. Next year, the big man will be entering the final year of his rookie contract. Subsequently, Charlotte will be faced with the option of retaining Biyombo for another season, waiving the big man, or trying to work a trade this summer that includes Biyombo as an expiring contract.
Biyombo is due just $3.8 million next season, so he’s not going to take up a big part of the salary cap if Charlotte were to keep him around, but for a team on the rise and that will likely be looking to improve their bench-scoring next season, Biyombo isn’t exactly the guy you want around to make that happen.
Though it’s always tough for an organization to admit a mistake and stop believing in potential that hasn’t yet come to fruition, doing that might be the best option for Charlotte at this particular juncture. Biyombo could still develop to be an effective role player in this league, but with the Bobcats trending upward, it seems like it’s time for the two parties to part ways either bay trade or just outright releasing him.