Rod Higgins, the Charlotte Bobcats President of Basketball Operations, told the Charlotte Observer that the Bobcats could have more than $20 million to spend on top free agent talent this offseason. In fact, the Bobcats will even have enough cap flexibility to go after a max-contract guy, which would be huge for the team.
Although Charlotte’s backcourt is deep and filled with young, talented players like Kemba Walker who could potentially be future stars, it’s no secret that the Bobcats frontcourt is awful and the worst in the NBA today. That’s why players like DeMarcus Cousins and even Greg Oden have been linked to the ‘Cats, even though it’s unlikely either guy will end up in Charlotte.
What the Bobcats need is an elite big man, and that could be the guy to put them into playoff contention with the talent they have in the backcourt. It’s not a big stretch to think they are just one piece away from being a legitimate team, but that piece would have to be a significant one.
In the article found in the Charlotte Observer (link above), Rick Bonnell names Josh Smith, David West, J.J. Hickson, Nikola Pekovic, Paul Millsap, and Al Jefferson as potential targets for the Bobcats. The team could either trade for a guy or sign someone in the offseason, and it seems more likely that a signing will be made in the offseason.
The one thing to worry about is that none of those guys are max-level players, so hopefully the Bobcats don’t mistakenly treat one of them (Smith comes to mind) as a max-level guy and overpay. The Bobcats will likely have to spend more than they should on a player since that’s the nature of the game of free agency, but the point is that this team needs a legitimate big man and it would be great for the fans and Charlotte Bobcats basketball in general.
Personally, I’d like to see Millsap or Jefferson on the team, since those are two true impact big men. This team needs whatever type of player they can get on their hands, because there is a need at PF and center; a need for a high-scorer; a need for a star; a need for a big rebounder; and a need for a tough defensive guy. The Bobcats won’t be picky, and that’s probably a good thing. We’ll see if the Bobcats can score a deadline deal, or if they will wait and weigh in their options in free agency. The only thing that is certain is that the Bobcats desperately need a big man, and the best solution is getting the best guy available. As long as the price isn’t over-the-top.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.