For a lot of franchises making the playoffs is just a waypoint, an afterthought. Making the postseason is unstated because it’s assumed. For a team like the Charlotte Bobcats that hasn’t been the case for the entirety of its existence. This past season though there was a deliberate effort for the ‘Cats to make the postseason and they did. Of course, getting swept by the Miami Heat in the first round wasn’t the goal or really something to be proud of either.
As the team turns its sights to next season it’s time to look at who should be kept as the Bobcats hope to make a trip to the playoffs an annual one. When looking at who the Bobcats have on their roster for next year one thing that jumps out is the youth. The Bobcats currently have four players on rookie deals, Kemba Walker, Bismack Biyombo, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Cody Zeller. At the moment the Bobcats only have one pick in this summer’s draft which will be Portland’s but there is a 5.4% that a team with lower lottery odds could end up with a top 3 pick and push Detroit out of the 8th spot. Detroit currently owes Charlotte a pick that is top-8 protected this year, top-1 the next and unprotected the following. If on the slight chance that Charlotte does get that pick they could potentially have 7 players on rookie deals heading into next season. Of course in that scenario and with this draft it’s likely they would try and make a trade.
But with the amount of young talent on this roster there’s a lot of potential but also a lot of inexperience and that showed in the playoffs. If Charlotte wants to make a deeper push in the upcoming season they’ll need veteran presence as well. This is why it’s important to keep around a player like Josh McRoberts. McRoberts isn’t a great player by any stretch of the imagination but he’s a solid one and was a valuable presence on both ends of the floor for the Bobcats this season. He also gave the team a much needed deep threat to help spread the offense. Similarly it might be worthwhile to resign a player like Luke Ridnour, Jannero Pargo or Anthony Tolliver to a veteran’s minimum deal. Out of the three Ridnour would probably be the most serviceable but none would have to be relied on heavily. Gary Neal will also still be around but based on his behavioral history he may not be the best for setting an example of being a good teammate.
It’s important to have young talent to develop but it’s equally important to have experienced veterans who have been around awhile and can help provide insight and guidance that the younger players wouldn’t otherwise have. Finding the right mix is invaluable to team building and hopefully this will factor large into the offseason decision making.
Edit:I thought the Detroit pick was top-8 next year but I was wrong.