Charlotte Bobcats (2008/09 Season Record: 35-47)
Key Additions: Tyson Chandler
Key Losses: Emeka Okafor
There isn’t too much to say about the Charlotte Bobcats. They came within four games of their first ever playoff appearance under the stewardship of veteran coach Larry Brown but have been hamstrung by a number of bad contracts and were unable to improve their roster in the offseason.
The biggest move by the Bobcats was trading starting forward/center Emeka Okafor to New Orleans for Tyson Chandler. Chandler should slightly improve the Bobcats’s defense, ranked 7th in the league in defensive efficiency last season, however, he is a slightly inferior scorer than Okafor. For a team that was third from the bottom in offensive efficiency in 08/09 and desperately needed another scoring option in order to improve this trade does not appear it’ll impact the team’s record in any positive (or negative) way in 2009/10. This trade was simply a cash dump as Chandler’s contract expires in 2011 while Okafor won’t be a free agent till 2014.
If Charlotte is to improve at all this season the team will have to depend on the improvement of sophomore guard DJ Augustin, and greater consistency from Raymond Felton. Augustin at 6′ is undersized, however, he’s got a quick first step and can shoot from deep at a high percentage. The fact that he scored an average of 18 points and dished out six assists per game in 11 starts last season is a positive sign and he should press Felton for additional minutes this season, possibly even the starting spot. Meanwhile, Felton will be playing for a new contract after failing to negotiate an extension in the offseason. I expect he will be out of Charlotte by March.
The remainder of the team’s rotational players: Chandler, Gerald Wallace, Boris Diaw, Vladimir Radmanovic, Desagana Diop and Raja Bell have all plateaud. With no cap relief coming for two more years, the Bobcats will remain a non factor in the NBA till 2012, a dangerous situation to be in considering the team is ranked 26th in attendance.
2009/10 Season Record: 32-50