Bobcats possess options at No. 12
By Mike Cranston
Associated PressCHARLOTTE ó Michael Jordan couldn’t find his shot. The old superstar’s jumpers kept clanging off the rim Wednesday morning after he finished supervising the Charlotte Bobcats’ final pre-draft workout.
Jordan can only hope it didn’t foreshadow another draft-night brick.
Seeking to distance himself from the embarrassing choices of Kwame Brown and Adam Morrison, Jordan will make the final call tonight in his fourth draft with the Bobcats and his second paired with coach Larry Brown.
While Jordan kept to his routine and shunned reporters Wednesday, Brown was confident they’ll be prepared for all possibilities ó including trading the 12th pick ó to help the Bobcats get closer to their first playoff berth.
“We’ve seen everybody, and we have a pretty good idea of who the best players are,” Brown said. “I don’t think everybody agrees exactly on the order, but I think we’re pretty consistent on the top 15 guys. I would hope we would consider how we play. Style of play, that’s critical.”
It’s clear after Charlotte used an NBA-high 24 players last season that Brown holds considerable sway. Charlotte’s three in-season trades were to bring in players Brown was more comfortable with.
After Brown watched workouts involving more than 50 players, including a second look at James Johnson of Wake Forest on Wednesday, he’ll try to reach a consensus with Jordan and general manager Rod Higgins on what to do tonight.
“We’re all over the board as far as keeping, trading the pick, tweaking our roster,” Higgins said.
The Bobcats need help at shooting guard. There is little depth behind Raja Bell, who turns 33 this year. Charlotte twice brought in Duke’s Gerald Henderson and Terrence Williams of Louisville for workouts, and they are strong candidates for the 12th pick.
After deciding not to extend a qualifying offer to Sean May, the Bobcats also need help at power forward behind Boris Diaw.
The strength of the draft is at point guard, an area the Bobcats have plenty of depth in after deciding to make a qualifying offer to Raymond Felton. It’s put Charlotte in trade discussions that could mean moving back in the draft or giving up the 12th pick for a veteran.
“I don’t think you’re ever hurt if you get the right type of veteran,” Higgins said. “Sometimes it’s a flip of the coin drafting a young player if he’s going to come in and help your team right away. Where we’re drafting, it’s hard to say at No. 12 if you can get an impact player.”
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