Friday, September 28, 2007

Bobcats Add 3 More to Roster

Last night, the Kinston Free Press broke the story on the Bobcats bringing three new players into its preseason camp. Can we pause for a moment to reflect on this.... Richard Walker of the Kinston Free Press is breaking Bobcats news, while the Observer is totally silent. Thank goodness for Bobcats blogs and discussion forums - I was alerted to the Free Press story by a post on Bobcats Planet's message board.

Enough venting, on to the Free Press story. The Bobcats are bringing in 7'1 center Deji Akindele, 6'7 forward Gabe Muoneke, and 6'2 guard C.J. Watson. Akindele and Muoneke are NBDL guys, while CJ Watson played college ball at Tennessee from 2003-06.

I reserve the right to get behind Akindele - we could use another big body, and Akindele was Defensive Player of the Year in the Mid-Continent Conference in 2005. He may be a nice addition to our squad.

That said.....Bobcats, you have to bring back Derek Anderson.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Bobcats Links

A few quick Bobcats related links.
  • Tom Sorenson's gooey Observer op-ed column about Jason Richardson visiting an elementary school. Sorenson states that the way Richardson handles himself around children is "telling". Telling as to what? Not sure... Babysitting prowess? What a ridiculous column.
  • Queen City Hoops' 9 ingredients for a successful season. I agree wholeheartedly with this analysis. I would also like to emphasize the need for Felton to stay healthy. Felton is merely average. But McInnis is utterly horrible. The Bobcats can weather injuries to anyone except Okafor, Wallace, and Felton. If they go down, so do the Bobcats. By the way, any column that starts with a Transformers reference is A-OK in my book.
  • ESPN's Marc Stein evaluates the Bobcats' off-season. Stein: (i) questions Richardson's status as a go-to player; (ii) chides the Bobcats for not re-signing Okafor; (iii) questions the team's dedication to Morrison; and (iv) absolutely destroys Coach Vincent. I'm on board with Stein's first three points, but the last seemed too personal. Do Stein and Vincent have history?
Hopefully this weekend we will learn the identity of the Bobcats' mysterious 12th man.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Esteban Batista, Man of Mystery

I'm reading reports that the Bobcats are in talks with center Esteban Batista. I know next to nothing about this guy, aside from his solid rebounding stats and strong FIBA performance.

Does anyone else?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Backseat GM-ing

I've been backseat GM-ing a lot lately. I argued that: (i) Adonal Foyle should be signed; (ii) Derek Anderson should be re-signed; (iii) Jeff McInnis should be dropped; (iv) Emeka Okafor's contract should be extended; and (v) Dikembe Mutombo should at least be courted.

None of these happened.

It appears that the Bobcats decided after the draft that they're finishing maneuvering.

I can't help but feel that in the blackjack game of the NBA, the Bobcats are staring at 14 and choosing to stay.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Bobcats Must Pursue Mutombo

Coach Vincent recently discussed roster moves with Charlotte Observer reporter Rick Bonnell. As our friends at Bobcats Bonfire intimated early this week, the Bobcats are looking for another center. Vincent mentioned two options - Michael Ruffin and Marc Jackson.

These are poor choices.

In 300 minutes of play last season, Ruffin shot less than 30% and managed a 1:2 rebound/turnover ratio. That's abysmal. His WP48 was -0.035. Jackson wasn't any better. In 1,000 minutes of play, he shot 41% and earned a WP48 of -0.079. Why are we even considering them?

Although most quality free agents have already been signed, an incredible center remains on the market - Dikembe Mutombo.

According to reports, Mutombo is close to signing a 1-year contract with Houston for $1.9 million, the maximum Houston could pay under the salary cap. Why don't we make a run at him?

Last season, Mutombo played 1,331 minutes. He shot 56% from the floor. He pulled in 499 rebounds. He blocked 79 shots. He only committed 38 turnovers. That's tremendous output from a back-up center. Who cares how old he is? If he puts up numbers that approach last season's, he will be a massive upgrade for the Bobcats. Mutombo's WP48 last season? 0.332. That's one of the highest in the entire NBA.

Signing Mutombo for $2.5 or $3 million next season would be an absolute steal. Why would the Bobcats pursue Marc Jackson when they could land one of the most dominant big men in the NBA? Even better, his salary is a staggering bargain.

I hope the Bobcats are on the phone with Mutombo's agents right now.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Bobcats 07/08 Salaries

I was inspired to take a look at the Bobcats' salary situation by Sean Deveney's "Most Overpaid Players" article (and David Berri's response).

Here are their 07/08 salaries (rounded to the nearest hundred thousand dollars):

Jason Richardson - $11.1 million
Gerald Wallace - $9.5 million
Matt Carroll - $5.5 million
Emeka Okafor - $5.4 million
Adam Morrison - $3.9 million
Raymond Felton - $3.3 million
Primoz Brezec - $2.8 million [potentially a "great bargain", says Queen City Hoops]
Othella Harrington - $2.4 million
Walter Hermann - $2.0 million
Sean May - $1.9 million
Brevin Knight - $1.5 million (buyout)
Jared Dudley - $1.1 million
Jeff McInnis - $1.1 million ["not a bad price", says Rick Bonnell]
Ryan Hollins - $0.7 million
Jermareo Davidson - $0.4 million

Obviously we are paying well below market for Okafor; his salary should more than double when he signs his extension. Otherwise, these salaries look about right. Kudos to the Bobcats management.

The biggest bargain may be Sean May. He is routinely destroyed by commenters at Rick Bonnell's Charlotte Observer blog, but May has the potential to average 12 points and 12 rebounds next season. And for that potential, we're paying less than $2 million this year. What do we have to complain about?

Hat tip to ShamSports for the salary info, and Kelly Dwyer at TrueHoop for recommending them.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Jared Dudley - Impact Player

I am very high on Jared Dudley. Why? He excelled at Boston College.

David Berri explains that college play is a strong indicator of NBA play. In fact, it's a better predictor than draft position. The fact that Jared Dudley slid to the Bobcats at the 22nd pick speaks little about his prospect as a pro.

Instead, let's take a look at the superior predictor - college stats. In his senior year, Dudley averaged 19 pounds and 8 rebounds while shooting 56% from the floor (and 44% behind the arc). And Dudley wasn't putting up these numbers in the MAC; he was the 2007 ACC Player of the Year. According to David Berri's productivity/minute metric, Dudley was the second-best swing man in college last season, behind only Kevin Durant. He was significantly better than Corey Brewer, Jeff Green, Thaddeus Young, and Julian Wright. He was even better than the Bobcats' top 10 pick, Brandan Wright.

Past college performance predicts future pro results, so we have plenty of reasons to be optimistic about Dudley. If he finds his way onto the floor next season - granted, a big "if" - I expect Dudley to shine.

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