The Last Word With Lewis Woodard
Last Word 6-19-2013: Bleacher Report columnist Sean Grimm joins Lewis to break down Game 6, predict Game 7 and look ahead to the future of the Big 3 in Miami. Why is LeBron struggling with […]
Spencer Percy of ESPN’s Queen City Hoops blog joins Lewis to break down the Clifford hire, talk trade rumors and look forward to the 2013 NBA Draft. Should we be concerned about Steve Clifford’s lack of NBA head coaching experience? What will associate head coach Patrick Ewing add to the organization? Would trading for DaMarcus Cousins or Chris Bosh be a smart move? And if the Bobcats can’t trade their draft pick, who is the best case scenario at 4th?
First and foremost, it’s not financially responsible. Bosh makes $61.7 million over the next three years of his deal. Even if the Bobcats amnesty Tyrus Thomas, paying Bosh $20M per year is going to clog a salary cap they’ve been working diligently to clean up. Is Bosh worth a third of the cap, every year? Doubtful. He’s on a four year streak where his scoring and rebounding have declined each season.
This is where I’ll probably clash with the majority of Panthers’ fans, who are still scarred by Delhomme’s six turnover performance against Arizona in the 2009 playoffs and Fox’s 2-14 swan song in 2010. I choose to remember Jake and Foxy at their best, not their worst.
Much like ‘Sheed and Z-Bo, Cousins has talent. The kind of talent you make exceptions for. His size and skill are exceptionally rare in an era where most teams concentrate on the perimeter. He’s productive, too, averaging 18 points and 11 rebounds in just his second season in the league. In my opinion, Cousins would be the most talented player to ever wear a Bobcats’ uniform – unless you count Jordan in practice gear.
More than defense, this organization has struggled with continuity. Clifford will be The Bobcats’ sixth head coach in 10 years and its fourth since December of 2010. Of the organization’s 10 lottery selections, nine were let go after their rookie deals expired. Only Emeka Okafor received a second contract, and he was traded for Tyson Chandler early in that second contract. Chandler himself only lasted a year in Charlotte.
Like most cliches, the perceived competitive gap between the large market teams and small market teams is inaccurate. Of the four teams remaining in the conference finals, Miami plays in the country’s 17th largest T.V. market, followed by Indianapolis (26th), San Antonio (36th) and Memphis (49th). For reference, Charlotte is the 25th largest T.V. market.
Now, I don’t typically buy conspiracy theories. Trust me, I don’t. But the NBA Draft Lottery? Well, let’s just say some convenient things have happened throughout the years. Like last year, when the NBA-0wned New Orleans Hornets won the lucky ping pong ball and not our Charlotte Bobcats, who had the worst record. Saints owner Tom Benson had just agreed to purchase the team, which the league had been trying to sell for a year and a half. Add in the fact that Benson was in attendance and Michael Jordan wasn’t and you can see why people raised questions.
As you’ve now heard, the Charlotte Bobcats will become the Charlotte Hornets. Credit to CBSSports.com’s Will Brinson for breaking the story late last night. We don’t know exactly how long the process will take, but we do know NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said the process would take “at least 18 months.” So we know Charlotte’s basketball team in 2013-2014 will again be called the Bobcats. The 2014-2015 season will tip off in early November of 2014, a little over 17 months from now. I have no inside information, but I suspect that the organization will aim to take the floor in 2014-2015 wearing purple and teal.
James Dator, editor of SB Nation’s Cat Scratch Reader, joins Lewis to break down the Panthers’ draft picks and discuss what they learned about new GM Dave Gettleman. Was picking Star Lotulelei over Shariff Floyd the right call? Will the coaching staff be able to develop Edmund Kugbila into a productive offensive lineman? Should Jon Beason and DeAngelo Williams feel nervous about the A.J. Klein and Kenjon Barner selections?