Continuing with the series of draft/roster blogs, we look at Charlotte this week. It should be very easy to fix this team with hindsight, as not much has gone right with this franchise in recent years.
Charlotte had 2 draft picks in the first round. They got Felton with the #5 pick and Sean May with #13. In 2005 their starters were:
They also had four guys with 18-25 starts each: Emeka Okafor, Melvin Ely, Kareem Rush and Bernard Robinson.
See what I mean? Easy to fix going forward! We first change both their draft picks that year and instead take Andrew Bynum and Monta Ellis (who went 40th overall). We'd need to fix our PG situation with a stop-gap measure with Felton gone, but we've got the makings of something great already.
I'm a big fan of Okafor, but he isn't a center (even though he routinely starts there). We've already got a great core now:
SG - Ellis
SF - Wallace
Now we need a PG and some bench players to sub both at the front and back court spots. Luckily for us, someone with the name of Rajon was available to almost everyone but was passed over by 20 teams before he was selected. We'll take him instead of Adam Mustache (Ooops, we mean Morrison).
In 2007 the Bobcats took Brandan Wright with the 8th pick and Jared Dudley with pick #22. We'll change both of those picks. We'll take Joakim Noah with pick #8 (who actually went 9th) and Wilson Chandler (who went 23rd to the Knicks).
In 2008 the Bobcats had 2 more picks in the first round! They ended up getting Alexis Ajinca and DJ Augustin with those picks. We'll swap both out and take Nicolas Batum and George Hill instead. They went 25th and 26th respectivly, and Charlotte had picks at #9 and #20. We could have had Brook Lopez with our first pick there, but let's face it. We already have Okafor, Bynum and Noah. We don't need another player of that caliber up front.
We can still look at 2009, but we won't bother. There is no way that if Charlotte had drafted better in these "early" years, that they would have had high picks in 2009 (let alone 2008). Our roster "could" have included:
Bench: Joakim Noah, Nicolas Batum, George Hill and Wilson Chandler.
I think it's safe to say that Charlotte has been the most mismanaged team out of any we have looked at so far (although that list is relatively short so far).
The only problem facing these players in 2008 would have been "leadership." They could have had the talent, but who would have led them? Can veteran bench players provide enough leadership to these young players?